Why do I hate strats? And do I need therapy?

dandood

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Google James Gang "Funk #49" on the Howard Stern show, 2006 I think. Typically that was played with an LP, but Joe makes it sound thick with a strat.
Speaking of Joe Walsh, things like Life in the Fast Lane, or Life's Been Good. Those riffs just wouldn't sound the same on a Les Paul.

I've seen a few people here say that a Strat is "bland". I must argue that Strats are the opposite of bland. They absolutely have a strong characteristic, and you can get a wide variety of sounds out of them.

Personally I love everything about Strats. Sound wise I love the brightness of the Bridge pickup. The snotty sound you get on the in-between settings, the warmth of the neck pickup. Having all those tonal choices is just fantastic. I love using the bar to add vibrato to chords. Shape wise, I think they look awesome and the contours make them comfortable to play.

For people that really "don't get along with Strats", I would suspect these as being some of the possible reasons....


- You play gigs where you cover a wide variety of music and the characteristic of the sss Strat doesn't work for all of it.
( too "thin" for the riffs that were original played on humbucker guitars)

- You've only played on cheap Strats (no offense intended), and judge Strats in general based on that experience.

- You don't listen to / like / want to play classic rock such as Clapton, Beck, The Eagles, Skynryd, Trower, Hendrix...

* basically none of you're role models play Strats.

- You're expecting a Strat to sound like a Les Paul (or any guitar that isn't a Strat)... and are disappointed to find out that it sounds like a Strat.

- You're a Gibson guy and thats that. (or whatever you're thing is)



There are so many different model guitars, I really love most of them... especially the classic ones like Strat, Tele, Les Paul....ect. They have different characteristics and I love that.
 
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soliloquy

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i'm not going to read all 9 pages of this thread, but for me, i dont like strats for a few different reasons:
1) bolt on necks. Now, i dont necessarily mind bolt on, by default, as I really enjoy Ibanez AANJ's, and though i haven't tried them, i'm sure the Charvel neck joints would be equally, if not, then more enjoyable to play. But the boxy neck joints on strats (teles too), just irritate me.
2) narrow nut spacing. I could just have had access to ALL narrow strats, but for whatever reason, all strats i've had were not spaced at 1 11/16 or wider. they all have had been at about 1 5/8th, which seems too cramped to me.
3) maple necks and I just dont get along. I dont like the way they feel in my hands. I dont like how they vibrate, or lack there of. Has nothing to do with the tone, but in my hands, they feel stiff and cold.
4) the pick guard irritates me. This isn't just a strat thing. Add a pickguard to anything, and it will bother me. they just scream 'ugly' to me. More on the pickguard, to my ears, unplugged, they create a slight chambred sound, which sounds interesting...but in reality, it sounds thin and not full.
5) in line with them sounding thin unplugged, plugged in, they also sound thin and harsh to my ears. too high on treble, and sounds like an ice pick to the ear.
 

sightsofsounds

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Speaking of Joe Walsh, things like Life in the Fast Lane, or Life's Been Good. Those riffs just wouldn't sound the same on a Les Paul.

I've seen a few people here say that a Strat is "bland". I must argue that Strats are the opposite of bland. They absolutely have a strong characteristic, and you can get a wide variety of sounds out of them.

Personally I love everything about Strats. Sound wise I love the brightness of the Bridge pickup. The snotty sound you get on the in-between settings, the warmth of the neck pickup. Having all those tonal choices is just fantastic. I love using the bar to add vibrato to chords. Shape wise, I think they look awesome and the contours make them comfortable to play.

For people that really "don't get along with Strats", I would suspect these as being some of the possible reasons....


- You play gigs where you cover a wide variety of music and the characteristic of the sss Strat doesn't work for all of it.
( too "thin" for the riffs that were original played on humbucker guitars)

- You've only played on cheap Strats (no offense intended), and judge Strats in general based on that experience.

- You don't listen to / like / want to play classic rock such as Clapton, Beck, The Eagles, Skynryd, Trower, Hendrix...

* basically none of you're role models play Strats.

- You're expecting a Strat to sound like a Les Paul (or any guitar that isn't a Strat)... and are disappointed to find out that it sounds like a Strat.

- You're a Gibson guy and thats that. (or whatever you're thing is)



There are so many different model guitars, I really love most of them... especially the classic ones like Strat, Tele, Les Paul....ect. They have different characteristics and I love that.
This guy gets it ^

Also, David Gilmour's take seems pretty accurate to me:

"The Stratocaster tends to enhance the personality of the person playing it," he told Guitar Magazine in a recent interview. "People playing Fenders are more recognizably themselves than people playing some of the other well-known guitars."
 

efstop

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It's OK to hate Strats. There are MLP members who don't have or like Les Pauls.
 

monstruo_loco

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that is an example of the BEST color sunburst strat to me. I love two tone. Three tone is gross. Two tone is bad-A.
I agree 100%! Before the RIs were available I could only look at them in photos of my guitar hero’s who had the originals, and this light weight burst really sounds and feels great, just like an old friend every time I pick it up after I’ve been playing others for awhile, by far my most played guitar over the past twenty years.
 

Adinol

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A lot of people that play Strats do use the Trem/vibrato bar. I would say that most people that truly love Strats use the bar.
I guess we would have to have access to some statistics to have a good idea about what percentage of Strat players use the trem. From my experience as a busy guitar tech, most of my customers want that trem to be set up flat, so that it doesn't float. I am told, by same customers, that if they use the trem they just want to use it in the dive direction and not both ways. But of course, I do not have reliable statistics.

If for some reason you really don't want to use it, but like playing the Strat, you just don't use it. Leave it in the case. You can set the bridge up so it doesn't float.
Yes, I am aware of that. I guess what I was trying to say is that it is just simpler, for most users, if the Strat has a hard tail so they don't have to worry about how to set up the trem system, if they are not trem users.

I wouldn't mind if they made more hardtails, but I'd be really bummed if MOST of them were hard tails.
One thing that I was always curious about is the historic fact that the Strat was originally designed for country music. Well, that is according to some YouTube videos I've watched.

If that is in fact the case, the floating trem kind of goes against that genre of music, as it is impossible to play some of the typical country licks. So, I never understood this, if it is in fact true that the Strat was designed for country music.
 

kkmacgoody

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What started as a seemingly provocative thread with little merit has really got people talking; very few people cannot have a point of view. So bravo original thread poster.....

In my previous post to this thread, I unabashedy supported the Strat, the guitar that I grew up on. Now will do likewise with the LP.

There are 2 guitar players in my band, the other is an exclusive strat player (which can at times get tedious for other reasons, not least of which is his constant tongue-in-cheek LP-bashing!). However, when I play my Les Paul it always overpowers the Strat; numerous times guitar players in the audience have told me how nicely my LP "cuts through the mix". Guess the Start gets lost in the shrill, tin-y cymbals. There, how about that for playing both sides of the fence!!
 

ehb

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Step one- crank the claw
Step two- toss the bar

Instant hard tail.


Impossible to play what country licks on Strat? That makes no sense... I know an old fart that sits in his front yard and goes from Chester to Pass to Albert..... On his freaking 400.....
 

Adinol

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Step one- crank the claw
Step two- toss the bar

Instant hard tail.
We all know that. The point is really, why don't they make more hardtail Strats?

Plus, I never liked that look of that ugly rectangular plate on the back of a Strat. I prefer the look of 6 holes, with the ferrules.


Impossible to play what country licks on Strat? That makes no sense... I know an old fart that sits in his front yard and goes from Chester to Pass to Albert..... On his freaking 400.....
To clarify, I said "some of the country licks". The key word is "some".

Play this lick in C major pentatonic. ring finger, G string, 7th fret, bend and hold. While this note is sounding, place pinkie on B string 8th fret. Play that note. It should be a G (a pretty importat pitch in the key of C). But because you are keeping the G string bent that note is now flat.

I think that's a pretty common country lick, but you can't play it in tune if your guitar has a floating trem.
 

dandood

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I guess we would have to have access to some statistics to have a good idea about what percentage of Strat players use the trem. From my experience as a busy guitar tech, most of my customers want that trem to be set up flat, so that it doesn't float. I am told, by same customers, that if they use the trem they just want to use it in the dive direction and not both ways. But of course, I do not have reliable statistics.
Well I guess I shouldn't have used the word "most" because I really wasn't trying to argue statistics. Let me put it this way.... plenty of people that play Strats enjoy using the bar, which makes sense because its clearly one of the key features of that model.

Yes, I am aware of that. I guess what I was trying to say is that it is just simpler, for most users, if the Strat has a hard tail so they don't have to worry about how to set up the trem system, if they are not trem users.
I get your point that If you get a hard tail you won't have to pay a tech to deal with the bar if you don't want it to float, but you also won't have the option should you decide you want it. Besides, its not all that expensive, and its not that hard to deal with on your own.

I certainly wouldn't mind if Fender made more hard tails available, but like I said, I'd be really bummed if they made them the majority. It just doesn't make sense to me for them to do that, the bar is after all a key feature that the guitar is known for. The way I deal with the bar issue is that I play a Strat when I want to do the bar thing, and when I don't I play something else.... or I play the Strat that I set up to not float.
 
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ehb

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Slap on a couple extra springs, crank the claw...and you have a ''hardtail'' with way more mass under it than a hardtail.

:cool2:
 

el84ster

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I started this thread mostly tongue in cheek (though it’s true I don’t prefer strats myself) for a fun discussion.
I understand strats have their place.

I’ll share this:
I started on a strat inspired by jimi. When I was at berklee, the classes had the students all sit in a little circle with the teacher all plugged into amps. Two students would often share inputs on the same
amp.
Most students then (mid 90s) had guitars with humbuckers, I was often the only strat in class.

And man...I got a lesson right then and there how weak strats sound in comparison. I quickly began to hate the tone of that thing and by the next semester had an SG.
It didn’t help that my buddy had a Les Paul, when we plugged into the same amp, you couldn’t even hear my strat! Lol.
 

ArchEtech

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Why are people still hating on strats, this thread needs to be shut down!!! :facepalm::facepalm: ITs hurting my feelz.
 

ehb

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An amp eq'd, gain'd, etc., for a Lester ain't gonna sound righteous with a Skrat....

An amp eq'd, gain'd, etc., for a Skrat ain't gonna sound righteous with a Lester....


Furthermore:

An amp eq'd, gain'd, etc., for a Precision ain't gonna sound righteous with a Jazz....

An amp eq'd, gain'd, etc., for a Jazz ain't gonna sound righteous with a Precision....

An amp eq'd, gain'd, etc., for a Rick ain't gonna sound righteous with either damn one of em...

Just is....
 

rockstar232007

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This is inspired by another thread but maybe someone can fill me in on what I’m missing.
jimi is the only guy I’ve ever heard make a stray sound really great. To me they’re always thin, bland and too sproingy.

Now I’ve been playing for over 30 years, went to Berklee, played live a ton and manage a studio, so I’ve had plenty of exposure to strats

If something is that popular but I don’t like it, it tells me maybe there’s something I’m missing.

someone please explain the beauty of this guitar to me. Do I need therapy?? And I do realize I’m asking this on a les Paul forum Lol. This thread is meant in fun.


'Nuff said.
 

dandood

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When I was at berklee, the classes had the students all sit in a little circle with the teacher all plugged into amps. Two students would often share inputs on the same
amp.
Most students then (mid 90s) had guitars with humbuckers, I was often the only strat in class.

And man...I got a lesson right then and there how weak strats sound in comparison. I quickly began to hate the tone of that thing and by the next semester had an SG.
It didn’t help that my buddy had a Les Paul, when we plugged into the same amp, you couldn’t even hear my strat! Lol.
Thats really a lesson on what happens when 2 people play through the same amp at the same time, but I can understand how it turn you off from the Strat.
 
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el84ster

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It was the same result if I was plugged into my own amp in class too. Just weaker.
 

dandood

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It was the same result if I was plugged into my own amp in class too. Just weaker.
Ofcourse a Les Paul sounds thicker and/or "louder" than a Strat, because of the humbuckers. They can still sound great together though. Its a matter of balance. In your case, the person playing rhythm on a Les Paul should have recognized that he was too loud and turned down so you could hear both guitars.

That said, maybe a Strat just doesn't suite your style.


btw, What kind of music do you play? and what context do you play in.... like do you gig? original music? Cover band?
or just for fun at home?
 
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