Non guitarists all know the strat if they only know one electric guitar.

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
1,739
norcal
In the old days as a new player there was also the SG, tele, and Les Paul as common instruments and by then really nice Japanese copies of USA guitars like the Yamaha SG-2000 and Ibanez Roadstar/Roadster.

But the strat seemed to be the one model that broke into non musician circles as the electric guitar that is remembered.

Why??
 

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
1,739
norcal
why?
jimi clapton ,knopfler etc
From my beginnings in ‘76 until Slash it was heavily only Fenders and among certain shredders, the superstrats.

But from all my non player friends who know very little it’s always the strat that is synonymous with electric guitar

I guess being a guitar player they’re all common (at least SG, tele, strat, LP) and I certainly know non-players won’t know PRS or ESP, nor Rickenbacker or Gretsch.
 

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
1,739
norcal
Not sure why, aside from all the famous players like Hendrix etc.
When I was very young, I heard of a guitar called a Stratocaster. I thought it was some rare, mythical instrument.😆
Oh well, now I have 4 of them. They are pretty good, as far as I can tell.
I took a longer path to strat as main axe, an early 1990s Standard.

The first two common nice ones I had were old teles, then a pair of Gibson L6-S guitars, some Ibanezes, some super strats, then finally that strat. While I liked it, I still went with a Gibson melody maker and a Gibson Sonex 180 Custom. Somewhere I got another strat and several teles, and Flying Vs, and many other guitars until the strat I have now from 2017 finally settled in as a daily player and one I kept more than two years.

If I had to have just one shape forever, it would be the strat or something similar like a Suhr strat or PRS Silver Sky.
 

Las Palmas Norte

Squier-Axpert
Feb 19, 2017
10,514
Vancouver Island, Canada
In the old days as a new player there was also the SG, tele, and Les Paul as common instruments and by then really nice Japanese copies of USA guitars like the Yamaha SG-2000 and Ibanez Roadstar/Roadster.

But the strat seemed to be the one model that broke into non musician circles as the electric guitar that is remembered.

Why??
Ritchie Blackmore
 

Eddie

My Squier is on Fire !!!
Nov 5, 2016
19,639
New York
My dad encouraged me to start playing guitar at age 14 back in 1984. He did research and came down to two guitars: Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul.

He took me down to 48th Street in Manhattan. Back in those days, it was the mecca of music ... Manny's Music, Rudy's Music, etc, etc. All gone now.

But we looked through different shops. The Fender Standard Strat was about $400 new ... this was pre-MIM and I'm assuming it was MIJ. The Gibson Les Paul Standard was about $450 new. I decided I liked the Gibson better. The Gibson Les Paul Custom was $800 new at that time. Dad was going to go with the Gibby LP Standard when we came across a shop that had a beautiful second hand alpine white Gibson Les Paul Custom. They were asking $650. Dad talked them down to $600 with hard shell case.

While I wasn't able to play much at the time, I liked the tone of the Gibson LP. Even to virgin ears, I could tell it was warmer.
 

Slacker G

Squier-Meister
Sep 6, 2021
457
Iowa
"Non guitarists all know the strat if they only know one electric guitar."
Not so.
I never heard of a Strat when I was younger. Les Paul was popular and so was the Gibson Les Pal. When I began playing guitar I liked archtop guitars such as the L5. So I would imagine the guitars that non players would remember would follow suite with the music that they preferred not necessarily a Strat.
 

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
1,739
norcal
There was a time in the 70s that I like LP and Ibanez Iceman because of Kiss.

But strat was still it for my guitar friends and for reasons I didn’t get at the time the master was Hendrix.

Long after his death I would join the Jimi cult lol.
 

grizzlewulf

Squier-holic
Dec 11, 2020
3,210
Lucerne, California
My non-scientific thoughts on how the non-guitar playing public views guitars:

When you ask people to picture an electric guitar, most people probably imagine Strat.

But if you ask them to name a model, I feel like they'd come up with Les Paul more? Just such an iconic name. Maybe I'm wrong about that. I could definitely be wrong.

It is interesting to me that those are the 2 most common electric styles because each (in its original form) is a bit idiosyncratic...the Strat's 3 pickups and internal-spring trem are pretty novel and almost eccentric when you think about it in comparison to many guitars. And the LP has the heavy weight, and the independent volume/tone knobs have a bit of a learning curve if you've never used them.

They're iconic for a reason. But I own neither one, as I'm one of those pretentious D-bags that thinks he's different and unique for playing an offset guitar.
 

Toddcaster64

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,702
Ventura
Beyond its numerous great players, the Strat is timeless. Its looks were a million years ahead of it’s time when it was introduced and it still looks fresh to me. It is also sexy as F. The body so resembles a woman’s figure that I can’t think that’s just coincidence. Leo had to know it. Many don’t like the strat as a player, and though I’m not one of those, I’ve actually come to like the tele more as a player. The tele is the one you marry, the strat is the hot chick. It’s the quintessential electric guitar.
 

brians

Squier-holic
Oct 1, 2017
2,244
South Africa
Beyond its numerous great players, the Strat is timeless. Its looks were a million years ahead of it’s time when it was introduced and it still looks fresh to me. It is also sexy as F. The body so resembles a woman’s figure that I can’t think that’s just coincidence. Leo had to know it. Many don’t like the strat as a player, and though I’m not one of those, I’ve actually come to like the tele more as a player. The tele is the one you marry, the strat is the hot chick. It’s the quintessential electric guitar.
Ive never married a Tele, got a couple of hot chicks lying around here though.
 

szombat62

Squier-Meister
Jul 19, 2015
309
Rotherham, S Yorkshire UK
Given the impact that the Beatles had worldwide, it seems odd that the Rickenbacker shape is not more iconic than it is, way below either the Stratocaster and Les Paul and many others one could think of. Probably because there are just so few around. Period.
 

Horseflesh

Squier-Meister
Sep 19, 2020
151
Seattle-ish
I recently transitioned from non-guitar-aware to guitar student so this is an interesting topic for me.

Prior to beginning my own study I had certainly heard the word "Stratocaster" and even "Les Paul" but I could not have doodled any body shape semi-accurately, save maybe a traditional acoustic guitar.

None of my friends, even friends who are into listening to music, know jack squat about guitars other than the same dim awareness that a "Stratocaster" is a brand name.

The first guitar I bought was a tele and I swear to you, I had that thing out of the box for months before I really noticed and remembered how it differed from a strat in shape.

What I am saying is...

But the strat seemed to be the one model that broke into non musician circles as the electric guitar that is remembered.

I think this is over-estimating how informed non-players are.

I bet nearly all such people think of all electric guitars as "stratocasters" just like nearly all non-motorcycle people think of all cruisers as "harleys."
 


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