THE STRATOCASTER GUITAR SOUND
The design of the Fender Stratocaster guitar (released in 1954) produces a recognizable sound, often used in funk and disco. The thin and glassy sound is predestined for rhythmic accompaniment and is also strongly connected with individual playing techniques. It can be heard on many tracks of Nile Rogers (e.g. Le Freak by Chic; 1979).
Looking at the Billboard charts it can be noticed that most songs involving the Stratocaster guitar point to the genres Soul, Funk, New Jack Swing and Synthie Pop and are limited to the period of the 1980s. But there are also areas like rock and blues rock, which are dominated by the Stratocaster sound.
Since the 1960s, well known players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton or Marc Knopfler have achieved a kind of personal musical profile through this instrument. Others, like John Mayer, still use this instrument for its sound today.
From these observations, the Stratocaster represents, so to speak, a classic, timeless guitar instrument.
On the stylistic level, three playing techniques are mainly used: rhythmic chords, rhythmic octaves and single note lines. All three varieties are pure accompaniment techniques and were sometimes used simultaneously in recordings.
The attack with the plectrum often takes place near the fingerboard, i.e. above the third pickup. The funkyness is created by the highlighted application of ghost notes. With this style of playing the percussive character of playing the Stratocaster and its functionality becomes part of the rhythm section.
Often the hollow Stratocaster sound is enriched with chorus and some reverb. The preferred amplifier for the Stratocaster is the Fender Twin Reverb, which in itself delivers a bright and clear sound. In the studio, such amplifiers were often bypassed. The non-discolored signal of the Stratocaster is sent directly into the mixer and is slightly compressed.
|1966||Jimi Hendrix||Hey Joe|
The Disco Era
|1982||George Benson||Turn Your Love Around|
|1982||Michael Jachson||Billie Jean|
|1983||Marvin Gaye||Sexual Healing|
|1985||Madonna||Like A Virgin|
|1985||Dire Straits||Money For Nothing|
|1986||Whitney Houston||How Will I Know|
|1986||Madonna||Live To Tell|
|1986||Madonna||Like A Prayer|
|1987||Whitney Houston||I Wanna Dance With Somebody|
|1989||Bobby Brown||On Our Own|
|1991||Jane Child||Don't Wanna Fall In Love|
|2013||Daft Punk||Get Lucky|
"Just a classic sound"