10 Interesting Facts About The Fender Stratocaster Guitar

There’s no getting away from it, the Fender Stratocaster guitar has without doubt played a significant part in helping to shape popular music throughout the years. We have witnessed countless prominent guitar players opting for the Stratocaster as their guitar of choice including: Jimi Hendrix, Hank Marvin, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others.

Below are 10 facts about these world altering guitars:

1. The Stratocaster was designed by Leo Fender, Freddie Tavares and George Fullerton in 1954.

2. The heavily contoured double-cutaway body was crafted from Ash right up until the middle of 1956 when Alder became the hardwood of choice for the body. Alder is still used to this day.

3. The first 1954 model showcased a 1-piece maple neck with 21 frets. Inlays were black dots.

4. The guitar initially arrived equipped with Kluson machine heads. These were quite often changed for other styles over time as guitarists will have certain machine heads they can’t live without.

5. The guitar pickups selector switch was formerly a 2-position style which fortunately was updated to a 5-position variation in 1977. This made possible far greater versatility deciding on pickup combinations and sounds.

6. The volume of the Stratocaster pickups is controlled by way of a single master volume knob.

7. The three single-coil pickups set up in the guitar used to be originally identical in style and design. 1977 saw the roll-out of the RWRP (reverse wound reverse polarity) middle pickup, which when linked with either the neck or the bridge pickup could function in hum-cancelling mode. This went some way to making the at times noisy pickups quieter, and helped the guitars contend with the quieter humbucking pickups supplied with Gibson electric guitars. Gibson used to be and still are great competitors of Fender.

8. The guitar was built with a rosewood fretboard as standard between the years of 1959 to 1967.

9. 1965 witnessed CBS take over the Fender brand and for many, this became the start of many years of poorer quality instruments. The company in time upped their game but many devotees had been lost in the process.

10. In 1982 a low cost model of the guitar began production in Japan under the ‘Squier’ name. It was for many an ideal way of owning a Fender guitar without the higher, United States built asking price.

So there are my 10 interesting facts about these wonderful guitars. Whether a Stratocaster is your electric guitar of preference, there’s no denying the astonishing influence that this 50’s guitar has had on the music industry.

I’m fairly certain this guitar intends to stay around for a while yet.

Source by Eduardo Munroe

Guitar Motivation – Easy Tips To Get Back On Track With Your Guitar-Playing

Have you come to a point in your guitar-based hobby where you can’t get motivated to play? The thought of pulling out the guitar and going through songs just seems like too much to organize.

Well, you might be caught in a slump, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t kick yourself out of it. Here are some very simple strategies to jump start your guitar practices and get yourself some guitar motivation.

1. Have confidence in yourself. A lot of the problem to not wanting to pick up your guitar is because you might be beginning to feel like you can’t play. Tell yourself that by doing a little bit at a time, you can eventually become a guitar-playing machine.

2. Schedule time to practice. If you don’t make a conscious effort to interrupt the normal layout of the day to fit in some guitar practice time, you might never get your guitar motivation back. Plan out, in your mind or on paper, when and for how long you can spare time to practice the guitar. Even ten or fifteen minutes can get you into the groove again.

3. Find a quiet space to practice. It’s pretty unbearable to practice the guitar where there are all sorts of noise and distractions to keep it from being enjoyable. Find somewhere that you know is to yourself for a half hour at least and just jam.

4. Practice what you want. Maybe you didn’t want to play again because the thought of another scale or practice riff just sounded terrible to you. Then don’t play them! If you sit down to your next guitar practice knowing that you can play whatever you want, you’re almost guaranteed to get your motivation back.

5. Reward yourself when it’s over. Another thing that guitarists miss out on is a little reward to themselves for completing their agenda. It can be small like buying an ice cream cone or going to the movies, but the purpose is to let yourself know that you did a good job.

Gaining that old guitar motivation again can be a bit tough if you’ve been forced to practice on things you didn’t want or more than you wanted. The next time you sit down with the guitar, make a pact that you’re going to play on your own terms.

Source by Kyle Hoffman

Easy Way to Show Children How to Play Guitar

Guitar is the best music instrument for children to learn as their first music instrument to play. Do you know that most of the world’s greatest guitarists started to learn since they were kids. Kids are a bit different to teach than adults. Adults understand that they are paying money for a service and can keep themselves motivated to learn. Kids will have their interest waver if lessons are not kept interesting. Kids will respond if you keep lessons exciting. So above knowing how to play the guitar, you will need to be able to engage children. This article will give you some ideas on how to keep those lessons up-tempo.

Music is not all fun and games. Scales, chords and harmonics are the most important theories to learn in guitar playing. These can get a bit tedious, especially when you are teaching children to play the guitar. Most kids want to get right on the guitar and start strumming. Strumming is the fun part in playing guitar. I’m sure your children will loves it and starts to learn them.

To keep kids interested in learning, they need to see improvement and experience musical success. While kids are learning the basics like scales, they can learn simple songs to help them experience that success. This will help lay the groundwork for that kid to become a successful musician.

Everyone knows that you don’t get a second chance to get a first impression. The best thing that can happen in a first lesson is for the kid you are teaching to play something. This will get them very excited about the lessons. Early success will also soothe any nervous feelings on behalf of the student. Playing an instrument is a very personal thing. It can be very scary when people don’t do well. So remember, in your first class keep it very simple and keep it exciting. This will let them play with the guitar and touch the strings.

Try to bring your own guitar to the lessons. Guitar is an active instrument. There is a lot of movement, emotion, and fun. Kids will learn better if you teach them by example. It helps to have them hear what things are supposed to sound like. This will add an extra layer of fun to any lesson while you are teaching a child to play the guitar. Not only that, but the child will see that you know how to play. They will trust that you know what you are doing. Bringing your own guitar to the lesson will also keep you interested in teaching.

The greatest thing about music is that there is the possibility of finding out new things. Free your mind in order to leverage your thinking. Tell them to try new arrangements and to just play around with the instrument. It is wonderful to see how kids will take leaps and bounds with their learning if they are allowed to play a bit.

Don’t be your student’s only teacher. There are so many ways a student can learn. There are books available, tutorials on the computer, and videos. Sometimes, learning outside of your lesson is a kind of creative teaching style.

Source by Rowley Wright

What Kind Of Glue Holds Your Guitar Together?

A strange thought came to my mind the other day as I was replacing a truss rod in a super cheap Chinese made guitar. In the process of softening the glue used to put the fingerboard on the neck itself I wondered if every company used the correct glues.

To get at a truss rod, in most cases one would remove the neck itself. Necks are either bolted or screwed on, or they are actually glued to the body of the guitar. This one was a screw on neck so I took off the strings and unsrewed it.

First, there are only two types of glues used on guitars that are acceptable. Period. No epoxy, cements or super glue! The two acceptable glues are: Ground Hide Glue, which is a traditional luthiers glue and Franklin Co. “Titebond’ Glue. One of the most important qualities of a guitar makers glue is the ability to separate the glued pieces of wood without damaging the guitar. Guitars break or get broken, realistically speaking, most folks will fix an expensive guitar rather than trash it.

One quality of the glues for making or fixing guitars is that the parts can be separated with ease by someone qualified. Without giving away my top secrets, lets just say the components that are going to be separated need to be heated up in order to soften the glue. Adding that you should not experiment with this type of procedure if you are not qualified. Back on subject, the big thing in heating is not getting the parts to hot and damaging the wood or finish. In most cases the max heat needed to separate the glue would be 200 degrees.

Simply put, the cheap neck did not separate until I hit 210 degrees. Scary yes, but it is a cheap neck. Never try going over 200 degrees, especially on a $5000.00 Martin!

Taking that much heat to separate the fingerboard concerned me, however it did come apart, but it made me wonder what type of glue they used when assembling the guitar. I doubt it was a bonafide guitar glue. Maybe when cheap guitars are manufactured overseas, they use a less expensive glue to keep the product affordable. My belief is that this guitar was assembled with the wrong glue. Well it turned out that the truss rod was a piece of junk, non replaceable.

I modified the neck slightly and put a Fender Stratocaster truss rod in it, mostly for the challenge and fun of doing it, certainly not for the value of the guitar. I did reassemble the neck with ‘Titebond’ glue. I then went through the rest of a normal set-up job and played it a bit. Thank GD. It turned out great and played better than it ever should have. I also have happy customer.

Be careful of cheap or offbeat guitars and how they are manufactured. Many shortcuts have been discovered on cheap guitars to keep costs down.

If you have the need to try a repair such as this, don’t use Elmers glue or the likes. Buy a manual and study it first. Then take the guitar to a good luthier or guitar maker who has the experience to do this job properly. Do use a cheap guitar for experimentation if you are so inclined. Enjoy

Source by Daniel Lehrman

Guitar Learning Programs – Which One Is Best For You?

When you just start learning to play guitar it is best to start with a good guitar learning program. The problem is that there is a lot of guitar learning programs out there. So which one do you choose? Well that all depends on what you are looking to accomplish and where you are in your learning process. Are you a beginner that needs beginner guitar lessons? Or are you an intermediate or advanced guitar player just looking to improve your skills?

Another question you may want to ask yourself is, do you want an instructor to teach you or would you rather learn to play guitar online? Both choices give you loads of guitar learning programs to pick from. Each instructor has a particular why they teach and follow their own program for the most part even though they mostly use a standard guitar book that goes through a slow process of learning.

On the other hand the Internet is filled with websites offering many different kinds of guitar lessons. You can find the program that best suits your needs and your price range. Lets say you’re into learning classical guitar or maybe taking electric guitar lessons. You can find guitar learning programs that address both of these specifically.

So, which guitar learning program is best for you? Well, if you are a beginner you will need a program that is going to show you the parts of the guitar, how to hold it in order to get the notes to play, where and how to play the notes and how to play chords. If you are an intermediate or advance player you may what a program the shows you how to strengthen your playing skills. Something that can teach you to solo better or change chords faster.

There are guitar learning programs out there for every skill set from stone beginner to advanced. Your skill set is what will determine which program is best for you.

Source by Michael Bridges

Popular Guitar Chord Progressions

Did you know that many popular songs of the last century can be played simply by using the same popular guitar chord progressions? That way, even if you’re just a beginner at playing guitar, you’ll be able to play an entire host of different songs all by mastering a few easy to play popular guitar chord progressions.

So let’s look at one of the most common popular guitar chord progressions of pop and rock music. Most of these progressions rely heavily on the chords G, C and D, so it would be beneficial to fully commit to mastering these individual chords first before starting to work through these popular guitar chord progressions.


The chord progression G-C-G-D isn’t genre specific. In fact, there are so many songs that you can play on your guitar using a variation of these popular guitar chord progressions. Both 1959’s “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley and 1969’s “Ballad of John and Yoko” by the Beatles use this progression with practically the same variations throughout the verses. 1959’s “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys and 1958’s “The Twist” do too. Keep in mind, however, that their rhythms will vary, as well as some of the bridges might vary slightly. This is true for any of these songs. You will still need to listen to a recording of the song before getting the particular rhythm completely right.


The G-C-G-C progression is even easier to master, as it only switches back and forth between just two chords. This can be seen used in 1963’s “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Man and 1966’s “Mony, Mony” by Tommy Jones & The Shondells. This is a great example of how two very different songs can share much of the same chord structure while maintaining separate sounds. Both of these songs have been made into popular covers because they are easy to play and their sounds can be considered timeless.


The G-C-D chord progression offers the most sound variety of the group. It’s progression can be found in popular hits like 1957’s “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis and 1960’s “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles. It’s even common in more recent songs like “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman in 1996 or in regional favorites like Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.” It’s a great chord progression to start with because of the variety that it offers.

These progressions are only a start in learning the popular guitar chord progressions that have been used in the past century of popular music. Though these definitely represent some of the easier progressions to learn, they help provide a starting point for further learning.

Source by John Halas

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