Take a look at that Fender Strat in your hands. Did you ever think about how many hands touched it before it landed in your capable grip?
To be honest, I didn’t -- until I made a visit to Fender's factory in Ensenada, Mexico, earlier this month to help celebrate the facility’s 25th anniversary.
Our stay included a tour of the production facilities, and let me tell you, even though these are assembly-line guitars we're talking about, there's a ton of hand work that goes into every one of these babies. They are cut, shaped, painted, sanded, buffed and so much more. I would venture to say that dozens of people have a part in every guitar that goes out the door.
The fact that blew my mind the most? Each guitar neck takes approximately 10 days to be completed. That they leave space to let the wood “rest.” I love that. I could feel that these people understood that this wasn’t just a piece of wood that was being passed to the next station. That it was the part of an instrument that will be someone’s inspiration. That it would one day soar, rock out or be used to play the most beautiful ballad ever written.
Check out this photo gallery from our factory tour this month, and then check back in for some more in depth coverage of some great conversations we had with our hosts at Fender.
Laura B. Whitmore is a singer/songwriter based in the San Francisco bay area. A veteran music industry marketer, she has spent over two decades doing marketing, PR and artist relations for several guitar-related brands including Marshall and VOX. Her company, Mad Sun Marketing, represents 65amps, Dean Markley, Agile Partners, Guitar World and many more. Laura was instrumental in the launch of the Guitar World Lick of the Day app. She is the co-producer of the Women's Music Summit and the lead singer for the rock band, Summer Music Project. More at mad-sun.com.