Fender offered the first mass-produced solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar, the Telecaster (originally named the ‘Broadcaster’; ‘Esquire’ is a single pickup version) the first mass-produced electric bass, the Precision Bass (P-Bass); and the popular Stratocaster (Strat) guitar.
While Fender was not the first to manufacture electric guitars, as other companies and luthiers had produced electric guitars since the late 1920s, none was as commercially successful as Fender’s. Furthermore, while nearly all other electric guitars then were either hollow-body guitars or more specialized instruments such as Rickenbacker’s solid-body Hawaiian guitars, Fender had created versatile solid-body electric guitars. These guitars were and still are popular for musicians in a variety of genres.
Many bands still use Fender guitars today. Some notable Fender players, both past and present, include Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Roy Buchanan, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Albert Collins, Steve Cropper, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan, Rory Gallagher, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Johnny Marr, Hank Marvin, John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brian Wilson and many others.
- Solid body – usually ash or alder
- Bolt-on neck – made of maple
- Maple or rosewood fretboards (maple is more common)
- Nitrocellulose lacquer (vintage Teles), polyurethane or polyester finish (modern Teles)
- 2 single-coil pickups (one in the bridge position and one in the neck position)
- 3-position pickup switch
- Master tone and volume controls
- 21 or 22 frets
- 25.5″ scale length
- 7 1/2″ fretboard radius (vintage Teles), 9 1/2″ fretboard radius (modern Teles)