How to play guitar like 7 Fender Strat icons

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix in New York, 1969, Strat in hand. (Image credit: Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images)

First appearing in 1954, the Stratocaster has certainly stood the test of time. The double-cutaway body shape has endured, the original three-single-coil layout is the accepted standard configuration, and the five-way selector that evolved in the '70s, well, players had been jamming the early three-way switches into the ‘in between’ positions for years. 

Though the core Strat ideals remain to this day, specs are continually tweaked and literally hundreds of variants on the original template have been made available over the years.  

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Chris Bird

Chris has been the Editor of Total Guitar magazine since 2020. Prior to that, he was at the helm of Total Guitar's world-class tab and tuition section for 12 years. He's a former guitar teacher with 35 years playing experience and he holds a degree in Philosophy & Popular Music. Chris has interviewed Brian May three times, Jimmy Page once, and Mark Knopfler zero times – something he desperately hopes to rectify as soon as possible.