If you only do one thing today – get a Fender Stratocaster

Looks wonderful on the wall

You don’t have to be able to play it – or even tune it. Just hang it on the wall and look at it. It’s an object of beauty and promise. Just touching it is a joy.

I started playing the guitar in my mid teens, and you could be excused for thinking that I should be quite good by now. Well I’m not. From my thirties until about a year ago (thirty years later) I stopped playing. What got me going again was a brand new Squier (by Fender) Bullet Strat I bought on the internet. I couldn’t believe you could buy a new “Strat” for so little, but hey, it would look good on the wall.

And I love it. The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most ubiquitous guitars of the last 50+ years and (in my opinion) it meets all of the criteria for a work of art. It looks good, feels good and, as a bonus, can sound good too. It is a triumph of form and function.

Of course, if you get one, you’ve got to take it down from the wall from time to time. And with a little practice it plays beautifully. It has an action that makes it a pleasure to play and handle – and this is the bottom of the range model, for goodness sake – and now I’ve even pimped it with a floral leaf pattern, just to make it unique.

I’ve got my eye on an “American Elite” Stratocaster in Sky Burst Metallic with maple fingerboard, which is a lot more money, and the day I win the lottery will be the day I order one of those. I will hang it on the wall next to the Squier, and take it down to play whenever I get the chance. In my hands it won’t sound any better than its forebear, but wow. What’s better than a Strat? Two, of course.