18 Guitarists Who Play Fender Guitars
If you’re on a quest to know which rock gods and guitar legends have jammed on a Fender, you’ve tuned into the right frequency. Fender, undeniably one of the biggest names in the guitar game, has been slung over the shoulders of countless legends and music makers across all genres. From the roaring ’60s to today’s chart-toppers, many have chosen Fender as their trusty six-stringed sidekick. So, plug in, sit tight, and let’s dive into the who’s who of Fender aficionados!
Fender Guitar Legends
1. Jimi Hendrix
Setting the Stage on Fire
Arguably the most iconic Fender Stratocaster player ever, Jimi Hendrix redefined what one could do with a guitar. Left-handed, he famously flipped a right-handed Strat and re-strung it. His explosive playing at Woodstock with “Star Spangled Banner” remains one of the most iconic guitar moments in history.
2. Eric Clapton
Slowhand’s Trusty Steed
“Slowhand” Eric Clapton and his Fender Strat “Blackie” are a match made in guitar heaven. From “Layla” to “Tears in Heaven”, Clapton’s nuanced playing style has showcased the versatility of the Fender Strat.
3. David Gilmour
Stratospheric Sounds of Pink Floyd
When you think of the cosmic sounds of Pink Floyd, David Gilmour’s Stratocaster is front and center. His black Strat has been with him through classics like “Comfortably Numb” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”
4. Stevie Ray Vaughan
Texas Blues Powerhouse
Stevie’s raw power and bluesy riffs revitalized blues in the ’80s. His sunburst Stratocaster named “Number One” was the tool he used to craft his signature sound on hits like “Pride and Joy.”
5. Kurt Cobain
Grunge’s Reluctant Hero
Nirvana’s frontman was often seen with a Fender Mustang or Jaguar, especially during the “Nevermind” era. Cobain’s raucous playing style paired with Fender’s gritty sound was a recipe for the grunge tone that defined a generation.
6. John Mayer
Modern Blues Maestro
John Mayer, known for his silky-smooth vocals and fingerstyle magic, is a massive Stratocaster enthusiast. His song “Gravity” is a great showcase of his love affair with the Fender sound.
7. Bonnie Raitt
Slide Queen of Blues
Bonnie’s fiery slide guitar technique and her Fender Stratocaster are blues royalty. This match has given us classics like “Something to Talk About.”
8. Buddy Holly
The Pioneer of Rock and Roll
In the ’50s, Buddy Holly made glasses cool and Fender even cooler. Often seen with a sunburst Stratocaster, he’s one of the earliest adopters of this now-legendary guitar.
9. Mark Knopfler
Sultan of Swing
The Dire Straits frontman and his red Fender Stratocaster are stuff of legends. Just listen to the fingerpicked intro of “Sultans of Swing” and you’ll get why he’s on this list.
10. Yngwie Malmsteen
Fusing classical scales with metal, Yngwie’s Strat has faced furious arpeggios and lightning-fast scales. His signature Fender Stratocaster even has a scalloped fretboard for his high-speed antics.
11. Jeff Beck
From The Yardbirds to his solo career, Beck’s been a long-time Fender enthusiast. His technical prowess and innovative playing style make him one of the most respected players in the guitar community.
12. Robert Cray
Contemporary Blues Icon
Cray brought blues to the MTV era with his smooth vocals and Strat-in-hand. Tracks like “Smoking Gun” solidify his place in the pantheon of Fender aficionados.
13. Ritchie Blackmore
Deep Purple’s Riff Lord
Before he ventured into medieval folk tunes, Blackmore wielded a Fender Stratocaster to give us monstrous riffs like “Smoke on the Water.”
14. George Harrison
The Quiet Beatle’s Loud Statement
Though he played a variety of guitars, George Harrison’s rosewood Fender Telecaster holds a special place, especially since it was used during the iconic “Let It Be” rooftop concert.
15. Ry Cooder
When it comes to slide guitar, few can hold a candle to Ry Cooder. His modified Fender Stratocaster and Coodercaster (a custom Fender) have been key to his signature sound in tracks like “Paris, Texas.”
16. Tom Morello
Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine’s Sonic Rebel
Morello’s “Arm The Homeless” custom Fender is as iconic as his innovative playing techniques. From using the guitar as a turntable to his unique effects, Morello redefined what a Fender could sound like.
17. Dick Dale
King of Surf Guitar
His gold sparkle Fender Stratocaster and a ton of reverb gave birth to the surf rock sound. “Misirlou” is a testament to Dale’s wild, fast-paced style.
18. Albert Collins
The Iceman of Blues
Known for his unique tuning and capo use, Collins’ Fender Telecaster, which he affectionately named “The Iceman,” was essential in crafting hits like “Frosty.”
From blues to rock, from jazz to metal, Fender guitars have found fans across the spectrum of music. These artists, with their unique sounds and styles, have showcased the versatility and timelessness of Fender instruments. If anything, this list proves one thing: if you’ve got a Fender in your hands, you’re in stellar company!