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Expanding on the Telecaster's slab body, Fender developed the Strat's contour body design that players know and love till this day. To address new playing styles, a third pickup was added between the neck and bridge to offer a wider variation of tone selections. The synchronized tremolo bridge was originally designed to mimic the sound of a lap steel guitar. The result was another instant classic for Fender.
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The Fender Stratocaster was launched in 1954. Leo Fender relied on feedback from professional musicians and the Fender staff to develop the guitar, using the Telecaster as a starting point. The new design featured deep contours that made the Strat extremely comfortable and the double-cutaway made reaching the top frets much easier.
The biggest addition was the new Fender vibrato. Originally designed to let a guitarist sound like a pedal steel, this would be embraced by new generations of players from surf bands to the players of the psychedelic sixties.
Often referred to as the most popular and influential guitar ever made, the Stratocaster is largely unchanged since in release in 1954 and is still favored by players of all levels who turn to a Strat for it's legendary sound, versatility and playability.