The Fender Strat is the unofficial representative of the guitar world. Since its birth in 1954, it has risen to legendary status at the hands of the most talented players ever and is still being pushed to new heights.
We’ve seen many iterations of the famous guitar in Fender and Squier forms. From Three single-coil setups to active humbuckers, semi-hollow bodies to flamed maple tops and heavy relic finishes to 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 and ground-breaking methods and effects to mould their sound. But of course, at the heart of their tone is that famous S shape.
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 tone.
He plays everything from a heavy relic Custom Strat to his own Signature model – just as long as it’s Fender. His tone is built on dynamic single coil pickups to produce flavourful rhythm and leads as the only guitarist in the band. Amps-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 those gritty tones. It packs a punch through the single coils and certainly isn’t lacking in any quality normally associated with the pedal. His sound is certainly achievable at a reasonable price.