History of Fender® Musical Instruments Corporation

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Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is the world's foremost manufacturer of guitars, basses, amplifiers and related equipment.

With an illustrious history dating back to 1946, Fender has touched and transformed music worldwide and in nearly every genre: rock ‘n' roll, country and western, jazz, rhythm and blues and many others. Everyone from beginners and hobbyists to the world's most acclaimed artists and performers have used Fender instruments and amps, and legendary Fender instruments such as the Telecaster® and Stratocaster® guitars and Precision® and Jazz® bass guitars are universally acclaimed as design classics.

In the 1940s, southern California inventor Leo Fender realized that he could improve on the amplified hollow-body instruments of the day by using an innovative and rather simple solid-body electric guitar design. Further, he realized that he could streamline the process of building them.

In 1951 he introduced a prototype solid-body instrument that would eventually be called the Telecaster® guitar. The Tele®, as it was often called then and still is today, was the first solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar to be commercially mass-produced.

That same year, Fender introduced a revolutionary new invention—the Precision Bass guitar. It was played like a guitar and had frets so that it could be played with "precision," and it could be amplified, thus liberating bassists from unwieldy and increasingly difficult-to-hear acoustic basses.

These two historic instruments laid the foundation for a new kind of group and a revolution in popular music—what we know today as the modern rock combo. As opposed to the "big bands" of the era, electric Fender instruments made it possible for smaller groups of musicians to get together and be heard.

The Stratocaster first appeared in 1954, incorporating many design innovations based on feedback from professional musicians, Fender staff and Leo Fender himself. Its third single-coil pickup offered...
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