Fender's guitar models explained: we break down the entire Fender line-up from Player to Custom Shop, to help find the right one for you

Fender Guitars Explained
(Image credit: Future)

In the world of electric guitars, there are a few names that ring out quite as loud as Fender. Along with their stablemate Gibson, Fender paved the way in the 1950s for the future of mass-produced electric instruments and it’s fair to say that popular music would look very different without their influence. 

Leo Fender founded the company in 1946 and quickly pivoted from repairing radios to manufacturing amps and instruments. It wasn't long before he struck gold, so to speak, with the invention of the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar – originally called the Esquire, it would later be rebranded the Telecaster. Since then, Fender has gone on to do huge things and continues to be a pioneer within the industry. 

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Richard Blenkinsop

After spending a decade in music retail, I’m now a freelance writer for Guitar World, MusicRadar, Guitar Player and Reverb, specialising in electric and acoustic guitars, bass, and almost anything else you can make a tune with. When my head’s not buried in the best of modern and vintage gear, I run a small company helping musicians with songwriting, production and performance, and I play bass in an alt-rock band.