TONE is Where its at: Fender Stratocaster

I'm often asked why I always play this same Fender Strat in pretty much all of my videos... And, if I use very many other electric guitars... 

One time, I even got an email that said I'm like Brian May in how I'm so hooked on using the same guitar for everything all the time. Well, on this week's Guitar Blog Insider, I'm going to discuss some tonal reasons why I use this particular Fender Strat for almost everything I do and why I Love playing the Fender Stratocaster...

Watch the Video:

The first reason why I initially wanted a Fender Strat as a kid (and why I felt that the Stratocaster design and style was the right one for me), has to do with my early guitar heroes. This included; Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, and David Gilmore. These guys along with Clapton (and later Eric Johnson and Yngwie Malmsteen) were the big inspirations early on.

As you are probably well aware, they all played Fender Strats. In the early days, I wasn't sure why they all played Strats. The first time I ever played one, I actually wondered what it was that they liked with them. At the time, I felt that the three single-coil pickups were actually quite awful when the distortion and overdrive were cranked up. And, since I was only 13 years old at that time, I actually bought another guitar. So, unfortunately I gave up on Strats for awhile. I didn't realize that the pick-ups could be changed out.

When I got a lot more serious about my playing and I took the plunge and purchased my Fender USA Stratocaster (for a whopping $400). I never even let it leave the store without changing out the bridge pick-up. I immediately replaced that single coil bridge pick-up for a Seymour Duncan Hot-Rail.

Right away it gave me a better sound for overdrive and it offered a really nice rhythm tone when combined with the stock (middle position) single-coil pickup. Not long after that, I also replaced the neck pick-up with a Seymour Duncan Cool Rail. At that point I felt that I really had a great sound and most importantly a super versatile guitar.

In the 1990's (from specifically 1993 through to the early 2000's, maybe around 2002 / 2003, or so), I was working in all kinds of different playing situations and the thing that I kept realizing was that no matter what I was doing, if it was a jazz gig, or if maybe I was doing a Latin, or a Caribbean gig or maybe doing Reggae, or if it was more of a Rock or Hard-Rock situation, the Start could always pull it off and make any one of those playing styles work very nicely. So, my Fender USA Strat became the number one guitar for me.

In playing all of these different styles and having to get the best tone for any one of these gigs, no matter what I was doing, (if it was live on stage or if it was in the studio - recording something), the Strat could always offer a ton of flexibility so that I always had a good sound.

As time went on I started to feel more and more that it's not just what kind of gear that you run through, (in fact that's probably only 50% or less of the sound), it also has a lot to do with the way the guitar you're playing is built. With the Fender Stratocaster, I liked how the guitars 5-way switch operated to create so many different tonal responses, and also there's the amount of choice I have with the layout and spacing of the Stratocaster's "3 pick-up" configuration.

I can get a nice deep sounding tone from the neck position pick-up. And, then split that off with the neck blended against the middle. The same is true with the bridge and middle, with the addition of the option of dialing out some frequencies using the two tone controls on the Strat. So, whether I'm using bridge or neck, I can dial up a sound that can work really nice for a lot of different playing styles.

Well, I hope that you gained a little more knowledge about the Fender Strat through this description video. The flexibility of this guitar is what I feel allows it to have so many different playing options.

Thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership. When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

As always, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week on my other channel, for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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