The Stratocaster: A Brief History

By Divya G

The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most widely played and iconic guitars ever. Let’s dive into the story and gain some extensive knowledge right away. Leo Fender launched the model in 1954. Check out the other changes that this model has undergone throughout the era.

Image credit: Niquirk/Shutterstock

In 1954, Fender built several Stratocaster prototypes; each one of them came with a broad range of specifications. In the month of October, full production came into the scene after the company decided on a final design. These Strats used a heavier ash wood body along with a wide D-shaped neck profile. 

From 1954 to 1958, some of the key changes took place in these guitars. Various components like the tremolo system, string stress, and knobs evolved on a continuous basis. The neck profile was replaced by a V-shape. 

During this time, Fender incorporated a slab rosewood fingerboard on the guitar models. Besides that, the company decided to change the thickness of the pickguard for added protection and style.

The year 1964 marked the introduction of a switch from clay and a brand new headstock. 

According to Fender, the years 1964, 1965, and 1966 marked a transition period for the company. 1965 witnessed a massive turning point for Stratocaster production. 

The changes here included a brand new bullet-style truss accompanied by a three-bolt neck plate. With time, the body shape’s contouring started getting less and less dramatic. 

Image credit: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

The 1983 Stratocaster consisted of an input jack and control knobs. It was a cost-cutting model that can be termed the Standard Stratocaster.