In this video, I go through 5 of my favourite songs that are played on the famous Fender Stratocaster. These are some of the songs that come to mind for me when I think of Stratocaster tones.
For the recording, I used my Fender Standard Stratocaster in Midnight Wine finish directly into my Kemper Profiling Amplifier. I used both Top Jimi and Michael Britt profiles.
#1 – Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
The guitarists that played on this track were Gary Rossington, Allen Collens and Ed King. This track opens with a classic ‘out of phase’ strat sound, which is achieved by selecting two pickups in parallel (in this case, I used the middle and bridge pickups together). I used a clean tone with some compression to emulate the tone used on the original recording. This song is a great example of classic rock blended with a country vibe, and has some great guitar lines and solos throughout the song.
#2 – Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Ritchie Blackmore played the guitar parts on this track and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest rock songs (and guitar riffs) ever written. To emulate Ritchie’s guitar sound on this song, I used a high gain Marshall style tone and selected the bridge pickup position. I also played the riff up around the 10th fret on the low E and A strings, and plucked or ‘hybrid picked’ the notes in the riff. Doing this gives the riff a different feel, since you are sounding both strings at the same time, as opposed to the slight difference if you used a pick to play the riff. Playing the riff on the low E and A strings also provides a thicker, darker sound which in my opinion sounds more like the tone on the original recording. The guitar solo on this track is one of the all time classic solos, and is definitely worth learning. It has some trademark Ritchie Blackmore licks and is a great example of blues/rock soloing.
#3 – Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
Neil Giraldo played the guitar parts on this 80s classic, and is another great example of the ‘out of phase’ tone. This song also has a great guitar solo (I didn’t play it in this video) and I’d definitely recommend checking it out. I used the middle and bridge positions for this one, with a slightly overdriven tone.
#4 – Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
This track was the breakthrough hit for Dire Straits, and features Mark Knopfler on guitar. Knopfler plays with his fingers, so for this one I ditched the pick and used fingers only. I used a fairly clean tone for this one, with the neck and middle pickup position selected and some compression added to smooth things out and give a little more sustain. This song features some great guitar licks throughout and some killer guitar solos, well worth checking out!
#5 – New Sensation – INXS
One of the biggest ever INXS hits, from the ‘Kick’ album, this track features Kirk Pengilly and Tim Farriss on guitars. This entire album is full of great songs and some excellent pop/funk type guitar playing. For this one, I used a low gain tone with some added chorus from the Kemper, and a little bit of compression. I used the middle and bridge pickup positions for this one and changed to the bridge position for the second part.
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