Fender Offset Guitars
For players looking to stand out from the crowd and expand their creative horizons, the Fender offset guitars might just fit the bill.
Fender Offset Guitars
Offset is a broad term that's often used to describe Fender's alternative body shapes, i.e. not Stratocaster or Telecaster. It all started in the mid-50s, with the introduction of the Musicmaster and the Duo-Sonic. With subtle curves, a double cutaway, beautiful finishes and a shorter scale-length, these instruments were aimed squarely at beginners who might find it harder to grasp a full-size solid-body guitar. With a number of variations over the years, the Duo-Sonic went from beginners' choice to cult classic, favoured for its simple configuration, poppy sound and groovy aesthetic. The Mustang was released in the '60s as a tweaked version of the Duo-Sonic, with a re-designed vibrato system and two scale lengths to choose from.
The Jazzmaster was the next model to be introduced; as the name suggests, it was Fender's attempt at targeting the upmarket jazz crowd, but it ended up becoming a firm favourite of rock players worldwide. Its unique circuitry, including thumbwheel controls and distinct 'lead' and 'rhythm' circuits, made it surprisingly versatile. Combined with Fender's unique Soapbar pickups, the Jazzmaster managed to retain singlecoil twang while adding heaps of midrange warmth.
The Jaguar featured a similarly complex switching configuration, but with two standard singlecoil pickups instead. Many consider the Jaguar to have been released ahead of its time; while it found popularity among guitarists on the surf scene, it never matched the sales of the Strat and Tele models. It enjoyed a resurgence among alt-rock and grunge players during the '80s and '90s, and is now a firm favourite among rockers who swim against the current.
Fender offsets have enjoyed decades of popularity among the alternative crowd, brandished by players such as Jim Root (Slipknot), John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and Kurt Cobain to name a few. If that's not good company, we don't know what is.