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So was Leo Fender more famous for making basses or guitars?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Apr 4, 2001.

  1. Basses

    9 vote(s)
  2. Guitars

    24 vote(s)
  1. So what really is Leo known for? Cause he made fender and G&L basses and guitars, and he made up the stingray which has no guitar counterpart. And the P-bass did come out before the strat did (if im not mistaken). So, what is he more known for?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I voted "Guitars" because I know a lot of people who don't play any musical instrument, but say the words, "Fender Stratocaster" and they know exactly what you're talking about.

    It's the same thing with guitarists and bassists; many people know who Clapton and Hendrix are, (and helped popularize the Strat), but ask them who played bass in the Experience and Cream and they might even say, "You mean the guy playing the other guitar?" :rolleyes:

    The Strat made shockwaves when it hit. But the Precision got off the ground slowly. For one thing, remember there were no electric bassists, except for a few rarities, when the Precision was introduced. Bassists were guitar players who doubled on bass to get more work, or converted double bassists. But many double bassists considered the frets were dumbing-down the instrument and abhored it. Fender hoped for a lot of guitarist converts, but many considered its 4 strings as a lesser instrument, suitable for lousy musicians.

    I think the Precision, unlike the the Strat, is a legend only in our world.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...c'mon, it's gotta be "basses"! ;)
    There was a time when any electric bass was called Fender bass; like some kinda generic name or sumthin'(like Kleenex is the only tissue out there).
  4. Yeah, I can see your point about all basses being Fender, but I still think they're more famous for guitars because I always associated Fender with guitars way before I even knew about Basses.
  5. i would say guitars...

    but I thought that when the p-bass was made, they tried to do it after the strat... just with fewer strings and different pickups (duh!)... am i wrong? (I probably am)
  6. there was a stingray guitar for a while, with two big familiar-looking humbuckers.

    the original Precision followed the telecaster, though.....

    I'd say he's more famous to non musicians for guitars, as if you asked a non musician to name an electric guitar they'd say "Fender strat". some people don't even know what an electric bass is.....
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I think Leo is more famous for his guitars, just because guitars are more well known than basses in general. Everyone knows what a guitar is but not everyone knows what a bass is.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Bass...for the reason Jim stated.
  9. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    guitars, people recognize the strat shape as guitar as soon as they see it. I think when non musicians think of a guitar they think Strat-well @ least the people i know do. thats all
  10. cole


    Sep 14, 2000
    actually, Strats weren't particularly popular until Jimi Hendrix came onto the scene. before Hendrix, most 'rock' people played stuff like Gretsches and Rickenbackers. about the only people the Strat was popular with (aside from Buddy Holly) were the surf bands, and they still played Jazzmasters and Jaguars a lot of the time.

    (BTW, for the historyphiles(?), Fender released the Strat in '54.)
  11. I read about the thing where all basses were referred to Fender basses at one point, so I'd say basses, amongst the people that know their basses and bass history.
    But for the most part, I'd probably have to say guitars. One of my friends who wanted to play guitar a while ago went out and bought a (as if you couldn't guess) Fender strat, and was boasting about it. "I went out and bought a $3,000 Fender Stratocaster yesterday!"
    Of course, he got completely turned off from the instrument when the teacher he found said to him "Oh...your fingers are too big, you won't be able to play." Hehe...so now his strat is gathering dust somewhere in his room. Maybe I should introduce him to the world of bass... :D
  12. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    To the expert, perhaps basses, but to the common human being (which is the majority), Strat's.
    Thus, vote's for guitars.
  13. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Um, Clapton? He was "on the scene" long before Hendrix (unfortunately) got popular wasn't he? Weren't Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page also playing Strats? Yes I know Jimmy is famous for playing a les paul mostly, but I have seen pics of him playing a Strat.
  14. I voted basses. Les Paul also gets a lot of credit for being an electric guitar pioneer. Leo doesn't have to share the spotlight on the bass side.;)
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    cole - You're absolutely right in terms of sales. But its appearance made quite a bang in the guitar world. The 3 pups, shape compared to the Tele and Esquire, jack mounting, among other things, definitely got the attention of the guitar world. When Jimmy Bryant made it "okay" to play one, the sales started ringing up. Billy Strange had scads of people buying them before the surf scene ever made a dent.
  16. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Didn't Buddy Holly play a strat?
  17. cole


    Sep 14, 2000
    Clapton didn't start using a Strat until the '70s. He used a Tele with the Yardbirds and an SG with Cream. he also used a Les Paul occasionally (like on the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps").

    dunno about Beck, but Page played a Danelectro (seriously!) in his early days, then later he switched to his famous Les Pauls. (at least onstage--in the studio, he used pretty much everything.)

    cb56: I mentioned Buddy. you might have missed it, it was more of an aside than anything else.
  18. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Not originally...it was a Tele.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...wasn't that was actor Gary Busey sportin' a strat in The Buddy Holly Story. ;)
  20. True enough. But Les Paul didn't design the Les Paul guitar.... Ted McCarty did.

    Unfortunately Mr. McCarty has just passed this week. He is responsable for many of the innovations in electric guitars. He was President of Gibson for many years, owned Bigsby for a while, and designed some of the most dynamic axes we've seen.

    But Leo built the Jazz bass so he gets my vote on that...........

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