The Fender Strat is the unofficial representative of the guitar world. Since its creation by Leo Fender in 1954, it has risen to legendary status at the hands of the most talented players who ever lived and is continuously being pushed to new sonic heights.
We’ve seen many iterations of the famous guitar in Fender and Squier forms. From three single-coil configurations to active humbuckers, semi-hollow bodies to flamed maple tops and heavy relic finishes to a bright Paisley pink, there’s a Strat with your name on it.
Here are five iconic names who have helped make the Strat what it is today. Each of these players is unique in their own right, using unusual or ground-breaking methods and effects to mould their sound. But of course, at the heart of their tone is that famous “S” shape guitar.
Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil is the quintessential 21st century Strat man. The Scot has all the qualities of a modern-day guitar hero with the energy and character to back up his instantly recognisable distortion tone.
He plays everything from a heavy relic Custom Strat to his own Signature model – just as long as it’s made by Fender. His sound is built on dynamic single coil pickups to produce flavourful rhythm and leads as the only guitarist in the band. Amp-wise, Simon isn’t picky. Whatever he’s using, be it a Fender Hot Rod, Hayden MoFo or Marshall Plexi, he makes sure it sounds huge.
Most interestingly of all is his use of a Boss Metalzone distortion pedal to get that gritty attack. It packs a punch through the single coils and certainly isn’t lacking in any quality normally attributed to the pedal. His sound is certainly achievable at a reasonable price.