Fender Guitars at Brothers Guitar Shop

The First Fender Guitar

Fender's journey began with a simple, guitar-shaped piece of wood used to test the output of magnetic pickups. Leo Fender and his partner, Clayton Orr "Doc" Kaufman, ran an electronics repair business known as K&F. As amplification became essential for growing ensembles and larger crowds, local musicians started borrowing their pickup "test-rig" guitar for gigs. This custom solid-body design offered impressive sustain and clarity.

After Kaufman left, Leo Fender shifted focus to building electric solid-body guitars, leading to the creation of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. The first model, the Esquire, was a single-pickup guitar without a truss rod. Feedback led to the development of the double-pickup Broadcaster, but a trademark conflict with Gretsch prompted a temporary name change to "Nocaster." Eventually, the iconic Telecaster name was born and has since become a legend.

The Birth of the Fender Electric Bass

The Telecaster's success was soon followed by Fender's most significant contribution to music: the Precision Bass. Bassists struggled to be heard over ensembles, and the cumbersome double bass was difficult to transport. Fender's innovative design included a solid body, a double-cutaway for easy upper register access, and robust construction to handle the tension of heavy strings. This electric bass guitar quickly became a staple in live and recorded music, revolutionizing the role of bassists.

The Iconic Fender Stratocaster

Building on the success of the Telecaster and Precision Bass, Fender introduced the Stratocaster, featuring an additional pickup and a double-cutaway design. The Stratocaster became one of the most recognizable guitars, known for its style and sound. It became the instrument of choice for rock legends like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck, further cementing Fender's place in music history.

Fender Amplifiers Complete the Rig

Leo Fender's expertise extended beyond guitars to amplifiers, starting with "tweed" amps in the late 40s and 50s. These amps, known for their portability and distinctive look, were small but powerful. Throughout the 60s and 70s, Fender expanded their amplifier line, introducing Tolex coverings and silver front plates. Today, Fender amps are as revered as their guitars, offering unmatched sound quality and reliability.

Innovations and Listening to Musicians

Fender's success is rooted in listening to musicians. When surf guitarist Dick Dale's amps couldn't handle his powerful playing, Leo Fender personally observed Dale's performance to understand the issue. This led to the creation of the 100-watt Dual Showman, designed for unprecedented volume and clean headroom, demonstrating Fender's commitment to innovation.

More Guitars by Fender

Fender's influence extends beyond the Stratocaster and Telecaster. Their diverse lineup includes the Jazz Bass, Jazzmaster, and Jaguar, known for their sleek designs and ergonomic body shapes. Models like the Mustang, Musicmaster, Duo-Sonic, and Bullet have gained cult followings. The semi-hollow Coronado, reissued in 2013, remains a favorite among bands like Radiohead and The White Stripes. Fender continues to innovate with new models that blend historic designs with modern features.

At Brothers Guitar Shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC, we carry a wide range of Fender guitars, including custom and limited edition models. We also stock brands inspired by Fender, such as Nash, Suhr, and Anderson. Whether you're transitioning from acoustic to electric, playing in a band, or exploring new sounds, we have the perfect Fender guitar for you.

Explore Fender at Brothers Guitar Shop

Discover the legendary craftsmanship and innovative spirit of Fender guitars at Brothers Guitar Shop. Visit us on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC, and let us help you find the perfect instrument to elevate your music. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, we've got you covered with our extensive selection of Fender guitars.