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What makes people say that Strats are the most versatile guitar?

robertkoa

Member
Messages
4,200
Most stock Guitars are not made to be extremely versatile.


Multi pickup Guitars with custom wiring will smoke any Stock Guitar for versatilty anyway except

maybe a PRS 513.


H-S-H or even H-S-S-H like Steve Morse first Signature Guitar.

An H-S-H setup can produce more than 50 different tones with 3 - 3 ways and a phase switch

with middle PU a Stack or Rails type....
 

mockchoi

Member
Messages
581
Most music can be played on any guitar but recording engineers and producers often are less than pleased to see a guitarist show up with just a stratocaster.

Classic sounds for sure, tons of great music done with them but versatile?

Teles on the other hand...
Whatever...
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
I'm not bashing, I do own two of them myself but I just don't get it when people say this. To me, there are so many situations where I would not want to have one and where humbuckers just seem to be such a better fit. I'd have little use for one in Jazz (though I do happen to have one MIJ Strat that might be 'interesting to use here) and although I don't really play metal anymore, I'd never want to be stuck with an S/S/S Strat for that setup. I also find my 335 to be much better for ambient stuff as well.

I really find the nature of the Strat sound (in the hands of the average player, not someone like Hendrix) to be quite a limiting one, good for blues and Classic Rock (but so is a Gibson), Funk and no doubt quite a few other things but overall a 335, a good Tele or even a Les Paul seem like they would all cover so much more ground to me.

But as I said, this isn't a bashing thread. My question is, to the people who say that a Strat is the most versatile guitar, what do you do with yours that has brought you to that conclusion? I'm saying this about an S/S/S Strat, I can understand why people would regard an H/S/S as versatile (I'd share that view myself). Anyway, lets hope this doesn't turn into a flaming war at all.
It's possible you could attribute the truism to the sheer number of Stratocasters floating around and the neccesarily different results achieved in different player's hands.

Hendrix, George Harrison, Yngwie, Ry Cooder, Garcia, SRV, etc.

That's a lot of territory, and it's just a thin slice, but you get the idea.
It's probably overstating the importance of the guitar in the equation a little to attribute all that range to "Strat", but from the outside looking in it's not a huge stretch to say "that's a versatile guitar".

Stratocaster is my main guitar, pretty much, but I never shopped for "versatile" otherwise.
I like it because it's comfortable to live with.
And I got it for free.
 

Defendant

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,042
Anything can be played on anything, if you have the imagination and the desire to do so.

A strat with a bridge humbucker is probably the most versatile easily available guitar there is. It's also very generic in the hands of many, myself included.
 

Delayed Delay

Member
Messages
2,645
I've said it several dozen times... But a Les Paul with coil splitting capabilities is far and away a more versatile guitar than a standard SSS Strat. I can EASILY dial in Strat and Tele like tones by splitting the coils on my LP! but I can't do the same thing on a Strat.
 
Messages
3,403
It's possible you could attribute the truism to the sheer number of Stratocasters floating around and the neccesarily different results achieved in different player's hands.

Hendrix, George Harrison, Yngwie, Ry Cooder, Garcia, SRV, etc.

That's a lot of territory, and it's just a thin slice, but you get the idea.
It's probably overstating the importance of the guitar in the equation a little to attribute all that range to "Strat", but from the outside looking in it's not a huge stretch to say "that's a versatile guitar".

Stratocaster is my main guitar, pretty much, but I never shopped for "versatile" otherwise.
I like it because it's comfortable to live with.
And I got it for free.
To be honest, you could come up with an equally good list for Gibson really. I find that the Strat, in the hands of the average player at least, produces a sound that wouldn't be suitable for a whole lot of genres to me. And I actually think Hendrix one of his best Red House tones on a live version of the song that he played with a Les Paul (the Miami concert that was released recently).

I guess my thought process has been that if I suddenly had to play in a bunch of bands of different genres, I'd probably feel better setting out with a Les Paul than an S/S/S Strat.

But you make a valid point with your comment, it is an impressive list afterall.
 

guitguy28

Member
Messages
1,163
My Strat IS versatile, but to me it always sounds kinda Stratty.

But like others have said, just do some wiring mods on any guitar, and you can get a lot more tones.

The most versatile guitar I played was the Hagstrom Super Swede. An LP-style guitar with a Fender scale length, and a split-coil feature. So the humbucker sounds were in the LP camp, but the single coil sounds were in the Tele camp.
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
To be honest, you could come up with an equally good list for Gibson really. I find that the Strat, in the hands of the average player at least, produces a sound that wouldn't be suitable for a whole lot of genres to me. And I actually think Hendrix one of his best Red House tones on a live version of the song that he played with a Les Paul (the Miami concert that was released recently).

I guess my thought process has been that if I suddenly had to play in a bunch of bands of different genres, I'd probably feel better setting out with a Les Paul than an S/S/S Strat.

But you make a valid point with your comment, it is an impressive list afterall.
You could make a similar list with any popular guitar for sure.
Les Paul, Buckethead, Peter Green, John McLaughlin, Fripp, Dickie Betts etc.

I could do that all night!

I think the "Strat versatility" issue is a consequence of the huge number of Strats and Strat type things available on the cheap.
There's just more Strats for more different folks to do more different things with than Les Pauls.
Possibly because you can drop 'em more than once.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,675
The definition of a versatile guitar to me is, one that each individual Player is the most comfortable with. With that said I was more a 60%Tele./40% older made Gibson guy until I came across a '74 Strat.

Then Slowly I found myself getting away from Gibson solid bodies all together for playing (kept a couple around as a collection basis only), using mostly G&L ASAT's, a older Tele. I had, the '74, and then put even my 335's up for sale sans one ('82 that I dug).

As my Collection grew, I was spending some time here in Northern Mi. (had a cottage before I moved up here perm.) and was seeing what a ton of good players were using, most of what was up here would be things in most Metro areas, players wouldn't think these guitars wouldn't even good enough to get by on,...But these ol' boys knew how to get them to sing Brother.

I've seen Harmony's, Peavey's, Silvertone's, early MIM's, etc., set-up to play like High-end Instruments, and the musicians playing them, enjoying the music they are/were playing and not thinking one bit 'If it was versatile' enough.

Then I learned who some of these folk's were related to in the Music Industry, and how a Nashville Band (or 3...LOL) got their name (the one that gets to me the most is Sawyer Brown, they got their name from 2 cross streets in Beaverton, Mi. where my cottage was), of course now their Bio.'s say Midland, Mi. (I guess 'cuz Midland shows up on the Map).

So again, I've learned 'Versatility' is in the Hand's, and as a couple of members have stated about the 'guitar' in my OLD statement, which is ..."If you can't plug a MIM Tele., into a Peavey amp., and get a good sound/tone,...It ain't the guitar, and most likely ain't the amp. either". Tom
 
Messages
3,403
The definition of a versatile guitar to me is, one that each individual Player is the most comfortable with. With that said I was more a 60%Tele./40% older made Gibson guy until I came across a '74 Strat.

Then Slowly I found myself getting away from Gibson solid bodies all together for playing (kept a couple around as a collection basis only), using mostly G&L ASAT's, a older Tele. I had, the '74, and then put even my 335's up for sale sans one ('82 that I dug).

As my Collection grew, I was spending some time here in Northern Mi. (had a cottage before I moved up here perm.) and was seeing what a ton of good players were using, most of what was up here would be things in most Metro areas, players wouldn't think these guitars wouldn't even good enough to get by on,...But these ol' boys knew how to get them to sing Brother.

I've seen Harmony's, Peavey's, Silvertone's, early MIM's, etc., set-up to play like High-end Instruments, and the musicians playing them, enjoying the music they are/were playing and not thinking one bit 'If it was versatile' enough.

Then I learned who some of these folk's were related to in the Music Industry, and how a Nashville Band (or 3...LOL) got their name (the one that gets to me the most is Sawyer Brown, they got their name from 2 cross streets in Beaverton, Mi. where my cottage was), of course now their Bio.'s say Midland, Mi. (I guess 'cuz Midland shows up on the Map).

So again, I've learned 'Versatility' is in the Hand's, and as a couple of members have stated about the 'guitar' in my OLD statement, which is ..."If you can't plug a MIM Tele., into a Peavey amp., and get a good sound/tone,...It ain't the guitar, and most likely ain't the amp. either". Tom
After reading through this post I think I should say that I can find no fault with it. The 335 is currently the guitar I feel most comfortable with and to me it is probably the most versatile.
 

+3kk!

Member
Messages
772
why is a strat versatile? simple its featured everywhere, every genre has a legend playing a strat

obvious ones, funk, rock, blues, punk, country

other less obvious genres -
jazz : allan holdsworth had a strat era
shred guitar: yngwie
R&B: Nile ROdgers
metal : Iron Maiden

name any genre out there, theres one guy with a strat that made it big and is a legend in it. apart from tele, LP and the 335 (then again ive not seen anyone do metal on a 335) i think no other guitar brand in this world has such a presence

the other factor these days is that humbuckers now can be fitted into the ss slot pickup, which gives you humbucker tone but a SS configuration. so all you need is a screw driver and some soldering iron and you can mod your strat into something else.

try modding your 335 into a single coil guitar and see how had it is
 
Messages
1,859
while a tele, es335, LP or SG can be versatile for other guys, when you show up with a tele, some musical directors(usually keyboard players) on live sessions have said to me, "thats a country guitar, we're playing pop and rock. can you use use a strat?". but when i play they dont remember i'm using the tele
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,084
I play strats and semis just about an equal amount of time. Right now I prefer the 335 and they are versatile as well. But imho the versatility of a strat lies in a range of sounds that are incredibly easy to shape to the context. One example: A strat can get as beefy/thin/in your face/small as you can possibly want. With rw/rp pickups it'll take any amount of gain as well. As much as I love 335s I think there are places that they don't go with the same ease - they don't do hollow and jangly as well as a strat.
 




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