The Fender Esquire was the first solid-body electric guitar. Now, its 70th Anniversary is being celebrated with a new model.
In 1950, Leo Fender revolutionised the guitar with a slab of wood and a bolt-on neck, laying the groundwork for the solid-body electric guitar that you’re still hearing today.
Back then it was a simple design with a single-coil pickup on the bridge controlled by a volume and tone knob. Fender called it the Esquire. Now, Fender is paying tribute to this historic moment with the release of a special 70th Anniversary edition of the fabled guitar.
With its elegant single-cutaway silhouette, many classic rock guitarists adopted the Esquire over the years like blues legend Jeff Beck, psychedelic mastermind Syd Barrett and punk-rock rebel Joe Strummer. It’s still a favoured guitar today for its classic aesthetic and tonal range.
Fender’s reissue of the Esquire replicates the original guitar’s specs with some modern twists. Like the original Esquire, the 2020 model has a lightweight pine body that’ll produce those punchy, complex tones from way back when. Plus, with Fender’s new roasting treatment, the body of the Esquire will resonate like never before. The maple neck is a chunky U shape with a 7.25” radius fingerboard and 21 vintage-tall frets, bolted on with four screws like it was 70 years ago.
The single-coil bridge pickup is designed by Tim Shaw (whose pickups are legendary in their own right) and pays homage to the tone of the earliest Esquire models. The three-way switch offers players a range of discrete voices from the Esquire’s single bridge pickup.
For more details on this nod to early electric history, visit the Fender website.