Music still mourns at the untimely passing of Amy Winehouse…It’s safe to say anyone with ears could hear that Amy Winehouse was an exceptionally talented musician. From her captivating vocal performances, to her unique song-writing skills, Ms. Winehouse brought something so refreshing to the world of music. Well, Amy’s talents extended even further when she decided to pick up the guitar, remaining faithful to the Fender Stratocaster! Have a look at this video from 2004 featuring Amy discussing her love for the good ol’ Strat, as well as giving us a mini-performance for us to enjoy!
Just when you thought it was over, Gary is back with yet another case of GAS! We all know what it feels like to have a bad case of GAS. It’s hot. It’s uncomfortable. It can be downright shameful. Luckily, we’re not talking about the kind of gas you get after wolfing down three plates of Thanksgiving dinner, we’re talking about Gear Acquisition Syndrome. What exactly is GAS? We’re glad we have Gary Blankenburg (one of The Music Zoo’s favorite people on earth) in this video series to help diagnose some of the most common cases.
Here, Gary tells the story of the Fender Telecaster, what makes it so unique, and some of his favorite Telecaster players.
Stay tuned to our YouTube Channel for more videos!
The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most modded electric guitars. One of the easiest things to do to upgrade or mod your tone is to switch out your pickups. This video will go through the process of converting from three single coil pickups to two Fender humbucking Twin Head pickups. It’ll also show you how to install new pots and a new 3-way switch.
Watch to learn how to take an American Standard Strat and go from vintage tone to modern tone in a few easy steps, resulting in an American Standard HH Strat.
All new for 2015, the American Custom is the Fender of modern times—and then some. With figured woods and striking finishes combined with contemporary performance features and detailed craftsmanship, new American Custom Telecaster® and Stratocaster® models are not only beautiful to behold, but also highly functional in pure Fender fashion.
American Custom Stratocaster
The Fender Custom Shop 2015 Flame Maple Top American Custom Stratocaster® takes the quintessential Fender electric guitar and decks it out with knockout appointments that make it a dazzling performer. The two-piece lightweight ash body is sculpted with deep ’57-style contours for remarkable playing comfort, with a gorgeous two-piece book-matched AAA flame maple top. The guitar comes in Violin Burst and Honey Burst finishes with an NOS treatment that evokes the look of a brand-new instrument in its original model year. Singing Strat sparkle comes from hand-wired ’69 Stratocaster single-coil neck and middle pickups (middle pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity) and a hand-wired Texas Special™ single-coil bridge pickup.
American Custom Telecaster
The telecaster will of course get it’s scorching Telecaster snap comes from a pair of hand-wired Twisted Tele® single-coil pickups and Fender’s Greasebucket™ tone circuit, which rolls off highs without reducing gain. Other premium features include an AAA flame maple neck with “large C” profile, fast compound-radius (9.5″-12″) maple or dark rosewood “slab” fingerboard with bone nut and 22 narrow jumbo frets, three-way pickup switch with black “top hat” tip, three-ply eight-hole parchment pickguard, custom deluxe Telecaster bridge, and Elite chrome tuners with pearl buttons. Includes black textured vinyl hard-shell case.
Watch the demos above and below to hear these guitars in action! If your interested in ordering either of these guitars, feel free to contact our sales staff through the link below, or call 516-626-9292!
For the pro four or five-string bassist, Dimension basses present the modern pinnacle of Fender style, power, performance and personality. With an original body style, powerful pickups and electronics, and other fine features, they let you sculpt your tone with unparalleled bass artistry. The American Deluxe Dimension Basses are a phenomenal instrument, available in both four and five string versions, with one or two powerful humbucking pickups, delivering an elegant modern look and remarkable tonal versatility with any degree of muscle and finesse. With other features including a natural-feeling asymmetrical neck profile, a compound-radius fingerboard and much more, it’s a remarkable new Dimension in Fender bass. Specs listed below!
- Ash body with asymmetrical neck heel
- Maple neck with asymmetrical “C” profile
- Compound-radius (9.5”-14”) maple or rosewood fingerboard
- 18-volt onboard preamp with active three-band EQ
- Fender High-Mass bridge
- Stealth A-string retainer
from Fender Custom Shop-
Not bound to any particular year or design era, reverently irreverent Custom Shop Postmodern guitars represent six decades of “Fender firsts” based simply on our own subjective view of what works best in a single instrument. Player friendly with enhanced sonic and ergonomic features, the Postmoderns open the door to an even wider range of individual musical expression and creativity, with elegantly crafted Stratocaster® and Telecaster® models, and a special combination Precision/Jazz Bass® model.
The 2015 Postmodern Stratocaster® is elegantly designed with a reappraisal of modern assumptions. A thoroughly contemporary take on a time-honored classic, it has a lightweight ash body with a comfortably contoured heel, a quartersawn maple neck with a finely sculpted ’60s “C” profile, a fast compound-radius (9.5″-12″) “round-laminated” maple or rosewood fingerboard with 21 narrow jumbo frets, and three sparkling Fat ’60s single-coil pickups (reverse-wound/reverse-polarity middle pickup) with modern five-way switching and a special “Tone-Saver” treble-bleed network that keeps tone consistent at any volume (no loss of highs when decreasing volume).
Other premium features include a three-ply parchment pickguard, American Vintage synchronized tremolo bridge, staggered tuning machines (no string tree), Schaller® strap locks and Fender “F” logo engraved neck plate. Available in Black, Olympic White, Dakota Red and Three-Color-Sunburst new “Journeyman” Relic® lacquer finishes, which imparts the appearance of years of aging and light use without heavy wear and tear. Includes black textured vinyl hard-shell case.
The 2015 Postmodern Telecaster® features many of the same accouterments as the Strat, but with dual Twisted Tele® pickups with three-way switching and a Greasebucket™ tone circuit, which rolls off highs without reducing gain. Watch the video above to get a closer look!
If you are interested in either of these guitars, you can email our sales staff through the link below. Feel free to call us as well, at 516-626-9292!
The first weekend of Coachella was jam-packed with a wide-range of artists covering several different genres of music, from rock to punk to country and nearly everything in between.
And more often than not, bands were playing their Fender gear, bringing a lot of interesting instruments to the stage.
Although there were some arguments over which to pick, we’ve compiled a list of five Fender guitars that stood out from the pack, rare and eye-catching pieces that require a closer look.
Spencer Dunham of the surf-influenced Los Angeles psych-rock band Allah-Lahs held down the low-end with a vintage-looking Mustang Bass.
The creaky old instrument had a dark green finish with a matching headstock and blue racing stripes. And you can almost see what’s underneath that, as various chips and wear spots have exposed parts of the wood underneath.
It was an early set for Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger on Friday – the first of the day at Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre – and guitarist Robbie Mangano rocked out on his red flame top Stratocaster with a rosewood fingerboard. It was such a beautiful instrument that it shined brightly amid the afternoon sun.
The War on Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel pulled out an amazing Japanese 12-string Stratocaster midway through his band’s soaring Friday set.
Granduciel actually came across the instrument in Asheville, N.C. and knew he had to take it home.
“It’s so sick, and it plays so sweet,” he told Guitar World about the 12-stringer. “I went into this guitar store in town to pick up some strings for a friend and I saw this white 12-string. I was like, ‘You gotta be shitting me!” I had to get it.’”
Outlaw country crooner Sturgill Simpson typically plays an acoustic guitar in a live setting, but his sideman Laur Joamet is an avowed Telecaster man.
And when the band performed on Sunday at the Gobi Tent, Joamet wielded his 1974 Tele that he bought about 10 years ago in Estonia. As the story goes, it was in rough shape when he got it, but after a little TLC, it’s been his main axe for a long time. Note how the control panel is flipped, a modification that allows him to play pedal steel swells more easily.
Touché Amoré guitarist Nick Steinhardt drew oohs and aahs for his American Vintage Jazzmaster. The shimmering gem is stock except for its unique Royal Blue Sparkle finish, a great look for the post-hardcore band.
For the discerning player with an eye for beauty, Artisan series instruments are works of art crafted with purity of design in mind. Each instrument blends high-end appointments with original-era features for a one-of-a-kind Custom Shop experience. From exotic tone woods to handwound pickups, no design touch is too ornate, yet each instrument is distinctly Fender.
The Artisan Okoume Stratocaster is a perfect combination of striking form and legendary Fender functionality. Mesmerizing in looks and sound, its ’56 Strat® body is crafted from premium okoume and finished in classic chocolate sunburst. Featuring a comfortable 10/56 “V” profile, the bird’s-eye maple neck is “roasted” to a dark caramel color to match the body’s edges and finished with nitrocellulose lacquer for ultimate breathability and feel. Complete with gold hardware, a trio of handwound single-coil ’69 Strat pickups and a wealth of cosmetic upgrades, each unique model is a feast for eyes and ears alike.
Other features include a 9.5″-radius maple fingerboard with 21 vintage tall frets and bone nut, headstock with gold foil Fender logo, gold American Vintage Strat bridge, ’50s-style truss rod adjustment, vintage-correct knobs and parchment pickguard, five-way switching and more.
The Artisan Series Okoume Telecaster is a perfect combination of striking form and legendary Fender functionality. Mesmerizing in looks and sound, its ’52 Tele® body is crafted from premium okoume and finished in classic chocolate sunburst. Featuring a comfortable 10/56 “V” profile, the bird’s-eye maple neck is “roasted” to a dark caramel color to match the body’s edges and finished with nitrocellulose lacquer for ultimate breathability and feel. Complete with gold hardware, a pair of handwound single-coil ’58 Tele pickups and a wealth of cosmetic upgrades, each unique model is a feast for eyes and ears alike.
Other features include a 9.5″-radius maple fingerboard with 21 vintage tall frets and bone nut, headstock with gold foil Fender logo, specially designed RSD Tele® bridge, ’50s-style truss rod adjustment, vintage-correct knobs and parchment pickguard, three-way switching and more.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-626-9292 to order any one of these guitars! Head on over to our Fender Custom Shop section to have a look at the Fenders we have in stock!
Written by Walter Bryant
Michael Lee Firkins is one of those guitarists that happens to slip under the radar when talking about game-changing players. With his versatility, and out-of-the-way licks, Michael Lee Firkins is one of the most intriguing players we’ve seen…
Like most of the progressive-thinking guitar players we’ve showcased, Firkins was born into music. With a mother who was a pianist and a lap-steel guitar playing father, Firkins was destined to stumble upon something musical. Lucky for us, that something was the guitar.
Firkins began playing the acoustic at the age of eight, latching on to the works of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC after taking lessons at a local music store. It wasn’t until 1979 that Firkins began his quest with the electric guitar; a Gibson SG paired with a Princeton Reverb to be exact. Inevitably, as his stylistic interest started to expand, so did his influences; jamming along to the musical works of Chet Atkins, Albert Lee, and Danny Gatton. It wasn’t long before Firkins began borrowing a few techniques from Jeff Beck and others to create a slide-effect using the tremolo bar. This identifiable sound and perpetual desire to play the guitar led him to put together a 5-song demo of completely instrumental tracks. The demo would make it into the hands of Guitar Player Magazine talent scout, Mike Varney. Needless to say, Varney would go on to signing Firkins immediately.
Come 1990, Firkins would release a debut self-titled album on Shrapnel Records. The album showcased Firkins’s signature slide-esque sound with some shred flavoring. The album was truly the best of both worlds, and was widely received. It would go on to sell more than 100,000 copies, landing him with a number of accolades for the work. Firkins’s most prestigious award would be won in Europe where he would accept an Edison award (Holland’s version of a Grammy).
Firkins’s combination of hybrid picking and tremolo bar techniques creates a truly captivating sound that we have yet to hear from anyone else. The genesis of Michael Lee Firkins as a Shrapnel artist can be vividly represented by the Hot Licks videos still lurking around YouTube. With the groove and punchiness of a Greg Howe, charisma of a Scott Henderson, and a sound and style all his own, Michael Lee Firkins was and still is the total package. Ironically, in addition to his fantastic slide-emulation technique, Firkins uses a slide in exceptional fashion as well, and can be heard in his later works. The albums that would follow his self-titled debut would also lend themselves to his astounding versatility, showcasing his effortless ability to delve into other musical genres; most notably Rock fusion and Jazz. The greatest part about his playing is his seamless ability to allude to other styles. Every once in a while he’ll surprise you with a jazzy phrase here and there to remind you.
In early years, Firkins could be found toting a Yamaha Pacifica with a maple fretboard, but can now be seen using a variety of Fenders including a custom-built resonator Telecaster, a 1957 reissue Stratocaster, and a 2003 reissue Fender Nocaster.
With 7 solo-albums to date, and a number of collaborations and features on the works of countless artists, Michael Lee Firkins shows no signs of putting down the instrument any time soon. Furthermore, we urge you all to give a listen to his self-titled album, “Chapter-Eleven”, and “Yep”. But if you have the free time, you’d might as well listen to them all (you’ll thank us). Below is a clip from his Hot Licks instructional video from 1990. Also have a look at a more recent video from his performance at Fender’s Kickoff Event in Anaheim, California. Watch them and tell us what you think of this monster player! Remember to keep an eye on our page for more “Guitarists To Know”!
There’s been a trend of expensive guitars making headlines lately. From the Gibson “Black Beauty” purchased by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, to the $2 million diamond encrusted Gibson SG put together by Coronet and Gibson Guitars. Now, a 1964 Fender Stratocaster once owned by the legendary Jimi Hendrix, is projected to sell for a hefty $750,000. The guitar was in the possession of Jimi’s brother, Leon. However, due to health concerns, Leon has decided to let the guitar go. Now the probable $750k selling price will get you the original case that Hendrix toured with at the time of his hits Hey Joe, Purple Haze, and The Wind Cries Mary. That price tag seems even heavier when you consider the fact that Mr. Hendrix only paid $370 for it back in the day. Factor in inflation and the legacy of one of the most influential guitarists of all time, and that figure begins to make a little sense. Either way, we’re going to sit back and see if Jim Irsay snags this one too, we won’t be surprised if he does.