Origins of Fender Guitars

The history of Fender goes way back to 1946. A truly iconic brand that has been at the centre of musical development for decades. There isn’t a musical genre that has been affected by a Fender guitar from rock ‘n’ roll, country and western, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues – you name it, Fender has been there. Ask any wannabe guitar player what their dream guitar would be and there’s a very good chance it will be a Fender. Whether it’s a Telecaster® or a Stratocaster® electric guitar or a Precision® or Jazz® bass guitars.

An inventor from California called Leo Fender made innovative prototype amplified guitars using SOLID BODIES instead of the usual hollow body. He not only got the sound he was striving for – he also developed a process for building these new, ground breaking solid body electric guitars. That was back in the 1940’s.

All images courtesy of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation ©2020

Fender Broadcaster 1951

It wasn’t until 1951 when Leo Fender presented a prototype solid-body instrument that would eventually be called the Telecaster® guitar. initially as the Fender Broadcaster – the Fender Telecaster is one of the most popular electric guitars ever produced.

A modern Fender Telecaster guitar - click image for more details on the Tele

Name Change to Telecaster

The Telecaster has been in full production since 1951/52. The collectors dream version is known as the “NOCASTER”. Due to copyright infringements in 1951 the Broadcaster labels were simply removed – these no label models are highly prized. More information on the origins of the Fender Telecaster guitar.

Keith Richards Hannover 2006

Keith Richards with his Fender Telecaster – image by Patrick Baumbach, original uploader was DieBand

Fender Precision Bass 1951

At this time (1951) – the term “Bass guitar” referred to the large upright bass instruments. Fender took the upright bass and introduced a revolutionary new instrument – the Precision Bass guitar. Played like a regular guitar (under the arm) with the addition of frets. A traditional bass instrument has no frets leaving the location of notes to the skill of the musician. The Precision Bass could be played with “precision”. The other breakthrough was the introduction of amplification. Being amplified bassists no longer needed to carry around their large, unwieldy and increasingly difficult-to-hear acoustic basses.

A modern Fender Precision Bass guitar - click image for more details on the P Bass

In the 1940’s and early 50’s the only way to create loud music was with a traditional “big band”. These new small, amplified, portable guitars allowed smaller bands to be formed leading the way to the modern 4 or 5 piece rock combo.

Fender Stratocaster 1954

Musicians of the time didn’t have to wait long for the next revolution. It was in 1954 that Leo Fender released the Stratocaster. A key to the innovation behind the Stratocaster is its third single-coil pickup. This extra pickup offered more tonal possibilities.

A modern Fender Stratocaster guitar - click image for more details on the Fender Strat

Physical changes to the body shape made it more comforable to play and the double cutaway design made access to upper frets much easier. More information on the origins of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Eric-Clapton 1975

Eric Clapton with a Fender Stratocaster “Blackie” circa 1975 – photo Matt Gibbons

Fender Tremolo bridge

The addition of the new Fender vibrato (or “tremolo”) bridge was a real game changer. The tremolo lever gave lead guitarists the ability to “bend” strings. This bending of the strings can either flatten the pitch (by loosening the strings) or by pulling the tremolo arm away from the body it can sharpen the pitch (tightening the strings).

The Stratocaster has revolutionized popular music as we all know and love it today. Essentially the design has remained unchanged since its debut in 1954. The STRAT is the most popular and influential electric guitar ever. A look down the Fender Stratocaster Hall of Fame reads like a who’s who of the music world.

Because of poor health, Leo Fender sold the company to CBS in 1965. Fender Musical Instruments experienced tremendous growth over the next 20 years, but a lack of commitment and real understanding of music and musicians by CBS gradually became apparent.

Fender On the Market Today 🎸

A small selection of new and used Fender Guitars on the eBay market today. We have used the latest filtering technology to provide some of the best guitars from various sellers. To browse all the Fenders available today click the green button at the end of these listings to go directly to eBay* for a FILTERED selection.

Fender American Texas Special Stratocaster USA 2000  Guitar

The Fender American Texas Special Stratocaster USA 2000 Guitar is a sought-after instrument known for its high-quality sound and playability. This specific guitar is used and priced at £915.00, making it a great option for those lookin…

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Fender Vintera '50s Telecaster, Maple Fingerboard, Fiesta Red

The Fender Vintera ’50s Telecaster in Fiesta Red with a Maple Fingerboard is a beautiful and classic guitar that is highly coveted by musicians. This specific guitar is listed in “Opened – never used” condition for £8…

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Fender PB-70 Precision Bass Reissue - Natural - 1991 - MIJ

The Fender PB-70 Precision Bass Reissue from 1991 in Natural finish is currently available for £1,650.00 in used condition. This model is part of the renowned Made in Japan (MIJ) collection from Fender, known for its high-quality craft…

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Fender American Professional II Jazz Bass Mystic Surf Green 2021 (75th Annive...

This Fender American Professional II Jazz Bass in Mystic Surf Green is a 2021 limited edition model celebrating the brand’s 75th anniversary. Priced at £1,800.00, this guitar is listed as Used. The Fender American Professional II…

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Click the button below to browse ONLY Fender guitars on eBay* today.

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Price Check an Authorised Dealer 🔎

Before spending hundreds, possibly thousands, on a pre-owned Fender guitar we recommend checking NEW prices at Gear4Music – one of the UK’s largest ranges of Fender guitars. Knowing the price of a brand new Fender guitar has several advantages a) you won’t overpay for a used instrument b) it protects buyers from fakes – unfortunately there are counterfeit Fenders on the market c) the buyer has the backup and support of an Authorised Dealer

Check all available prices now at > > Gear4Music*

Fender Guitars at Gear4 Music

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The quick links provided below provide easy access to the most popular Fender guitar styles and models.

History of the Fender Icons

To find out more about some of the most iconic Fender guitars – please use the links below