Leo Fender wasn't a musician himself, yet his creations profoundly affected modern music in ways that few other inventors have. Two of his guitar designs, the Telecaster and Stratocaster, helped usher in new styles of music and revitalized the manufacturing of musical instruments.
Fender started in the 1940s and '50s with a desire to meet the needs of rhythm and blues, Western swing, boogie, and honky-tonk performers. Fender had been talking to and listening to the suggestions of musicians. As a result he was able to create guitars and electric basses that actually met gigging musicians' needs.
At that time, the popularity of big bands was declining. Amplified electric guitars gave a small group of instrumentalists the ability to fill a dance hall or bar with sound that could compete with an entire horn section. But the real secret was that Leo Fender's mass-production methods gave guitarists and bassists affordable, highly playable instruments.
In 1951 Fender introduced the prototype for what eventually became the Telecaster, a solidbody electric guitar that is still in production and still the go-to guitar of country, rock, and blues guitarists. Famous Telecaster masters include Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Keith Richards, and Muddy Waters. Today you can still see rockers like Bruce Springsteen, Jonny Lang and James Root of Slipknot and Stone Sour rock a house with the classic Telecaster guitar sound.
Fender also introduced the Precision Bass in 1951. The name "Precision" refers to the bass guitar's frets and neck shape, which allow precise hand placement and articulation. More portable than an upright acoustic double bass, the Fender Precision Bass is also considerably louder, thanks to amplification of its split pickup. The P-Bass, as it's often called, remains a top choice among bass players to this day.
In 1960 Fender released the Jazz Bass, a bass guitar with a thinner neck, an offset-waist solid body, and dual single-coil pickups. As was the case with the P-Bass, the Fender J-Bass was an instant hit, with players such as Geddy Lee, Flea, Marcus Miller and fusion artist Jaco Pastorius known for their prowess with the Fender Jazz Blues.
This was the same era in which Fender introduced the Fender Bassman, a 45W bass amplifier with four 10" speakers. Other classic Fender amps have included the Princeton, Champ, Twin Reverb, Deluxe, and Vibrasonic, as well as many other amplifiers, guitar combo amps, and amp heads that are prized for their "California" sound.
Of Leo Fender's inventions, the Stratocaster is probably the most famous. Stratocasters have been the catalyst to release many a guitar slinger's virtuosity. The Strat has features such as shape, weight, pickup configuration, and construction that professionals want in their electric guitars. From Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to Sting and John Mayer, many musical artists have found their voices with Fender Stratocaster guitars.
The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) line today includes the Charvel, Gretsch, Guild, Jackson, Olympia, Orpheum, SWR, Squier, and Tacoma brands. FMIC also manufactures a complete line of professional audio equipment under the Fender brand, including Passport portable PA sound systems.
To this day Fender Standard Strats and Teles, and the American Deluxe version of these guitars retain their appeal for musicians. Other popular Fender electric guitars are the Jaguar, Jazzmaster, and Showmaster. Also offering classic Fender value and playability are the Jazz Bass, the Precision Bass, Frontman and Super Champ amps, and the new Fender G-Dec Entertainment Centers.
Woodwind & Brasswind is proud to offer high-quality Fender products for musicians from professional to beginner. Fender guitars, basses, and amps are backed by The Woodwind & Brasswind's 110% Price Guarantee, assuring that you won't find quality Fender products for musicians at a lower price anywhere else.