The guitar is over 3,300 years old, as noted on Wikipedia, and it is still one of the most want to learn instruments out there today. There are 19 different types of guitars, but these 19 different types are grouped into 2 main groups, acoustic and electric. Some people would argue, because there is not a group for acoustic electric guitars, which is obviously a little of both of these groups. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, rely on an amplifier that can electronically manipulate tone. Early amplified guitars were hollow body, but a solid body was found more suitable.
For more than forty years, Fender guitars and amps have had a great influence on the way the world writes, listens to, and plays music. In the 1940’s, a Californian inventor named Leo Fender had made some custom guitars and amps in his radio shop. Leo would go on to create the world’s very first instrument amps with built in tone controls. Leo’s vision was that everyone would have better guitars. With his knowledge in technology, he knew he could improve amplified hollow-body instruments, so he did.
In 1951, he introduced the Broadcaster, the prototype solid-body guitar that would eventually become the fine Telecaster. The Tele, as it became known, was the first solid-body electric guitar ever to go into commercial production. Soon to follow the Tele were the Precision Bass guitar in 1951 and the Stratocaster in 1954. In 1965, Leo Fender became sick, so he sold his company to corporate giant CBS. Over the next 20 years, Fender experienced some large growth. But as time passed, CBS’s lack of commitment and understanding of music and musicians was becoming obvious.
In 1981, as stated by NIN&J5 on ultimateguitar. com, CBS hired a new management team to “re-invent” Fender. William Schultz was named the new President, and was supported by William Mendello and Kurt Hemrich. They developed a five-year business plan with the idea of increasing Fender’s position in the market by greatly improving quality. This association continued until CBS decided to divest itself from the non-broadcast media business. In 1985, a group of workers and investors led by William Schultz purchased the company from CBS.
This sale put Fender in the hands of a small group of musically dedicated people whose lives where crafting the world’s best guitars and amplifiers. The team had to start from scratch; there were no buildings or machines included in the deal. They owned just the name, the patents, and the parts that were left over. Supported by a core group of loyal employees, dealers and suppliers – some of whom had been with the company since Leo Fender began making guitars and amplifiers – Bill Schultz and his colleagues started to re-build an American icon.
In 1987, Fender bought Sunn, a line of amplifiers whose past endorsees have included The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. This started Fender’s re-entry into the amplifier business by making accessible Sunn’s manufacturing facilities in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Fender has always recognized the importance of an open-door policy for the professional musician. When artists first started requesting specific features for their guitars, they were accommodated for the individual’s needs and wants.
The “play loud” guitar is considered the greatest custom guitar ever made; it is over $12,000. Another famous custom guitar is the Ritchie Blackmore Tribute Stratocaster; made in honor of Ritchie Blackmore which is $8,000, who is probably most know for the song “Smoke on the Water”. These relationships led to the forming of Fender’s custom operation in 1987. Today, the world’s greatest guitarists work with the renowned Fender Custom Shop in Corona, California, to create their dream instruments.
Recently, Fender has added amplifiers to the list of custom-made instruments that can be produced at the Custom Shop in Corona. The Fender Custom Shop also has some room at the new facility. Over 50 artisans now work at the Custom Shop, offering the world’s greatest custom made instruments to professional musicians, as well as a complete line of hand-made replications of classic Fender models. Also, the amp Custom Shop was brought back from Scottsdale and folded into the guitar Custom Shop. During the past decade, as Nigel Turner-Heffer states at guitaristsite.
com, Fender has grown drastically in sales and status in the music industry. The company manufactures and distributes virtually everything that a guitarist (and bassist) needs to perform, from the guitar, strings and accessories, to the top notch audio products including amps and live sounds and effects. Today, Fender is a world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of all sorts of guitars and amps. Fender became the world’s best by designing the sounds we hear and creating quality products.
As Fender made its way through the 1990’s and into the 21st century, its management team is maintaining Fender’s 1st rate status through a winning combination of some elite businessmen and a love of music. This is why Fender Musical Instrument Corporation is so important to the history of the electric guitar. Even though, others have produced electric guitars, Fender was the first to mass-produce them and first to sell guitars in very large quantities. The Stratocaster is still one of the most popular instruments for today’s guitarists.