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I spent a big chunk of the last couple months travelling and catching live music locally. I grew up in a town pretty much devoid of live music so it's always a treat to see some "real musicians". One thing I noticed (with one exception) was all of the guitar players (all working class nobody's earning a living) all played rosewood Strats. The one exception was the guy in a cruise ship orchestra who swapped out his Strat for an Ibanez jazz box for a jazz set one night. The next day he was back on the Strat. No Les Paul's, no shred machines, no PRS etc. Just Strats. And they sounded great! The gear was all cheap stuff too. Nothing boutique. Another constant was they ALL had a guy running a mixer at the back if the room. Probably the most important part.
 

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E major IMO

hard to beat a good strat. great cleans, and works well with pedals
 

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That's kind of good to hear 'cause all I ever used to see at live shows were Les Pauls. Nothing wrong with Les Pauls but strats, especially on the neck pickup, have some dynamic, sweet tones too.
 

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I see all sorts of stuff--although there are trends at times.
But they keep cycling around & I see lots of variety.
 
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I have a strat and other great gits (335, 137 etc.) but I always play my SG with Lollar humbuckers.
 

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I've always remembered this from the Guitar Player interview in Nov 1975 with Jeff Beck (Blow By Blow):

You used your 1954 Les Paul Standard on the album and tour, but also some Stratocasters. I thought you had given up on Stratocasters?
No. I don’t know. It’s just a good stage guitar, although it’s technically a bitch to get a hold of and play. But it comes over well, and it slices through the atmosphere with the highs.


He was just transitioning from LP's to Strats and hadn't gone all the way over to the dark side yet. I've always loved JB's playing and I played my Strat a lot because of that statement. But I'm still ultimately an LP (and humbucker) guy. Especially when I go out and almost everyone else is playing Strats.
 

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Strats are pretty versatile, and a lot of classic stuff from Buddy Holly to Dire Straits to Pink Floyd, never mind Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Ritchie Blackmore, and Eric Clapton is ample proof. It's not the only style I use and like, but it's a huge part of it. Strats are good cover band guitars not only for the versatility but for their way of sitting in the mix. My perfect dream guitar might be a Tele with a centre Strat pickup and a five position switch and body bevels.
 

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Strats are pretty versatile, and a lot of classic stuff from Buddy Holly to Dire Straits to Pink Floyd, never mind Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Ritchie Blackmore, and Eric Clapton is ample proof. It's not the only style I use and like, but it's a huge part of it. Strats are good cover band guitars not only for the versatility but for their way of sitting in the mix. My perfect dream guitar might be a Tele with a centre Strat pickup and a five position switch and body bevels.
I've often thought of putting a middle pickup in my workhorse Tele. Another option would be a 5 way superswitch with a series setting and a half-out-of-phase quack setting.
 

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A compromise I find works well for me is a SSH strat, with a Jon Moore hybrid humbucker in the bridge position.
Split coils in the #4 switch position provides the quack and #5 delivers the rock.
 
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I don't want to take anything away from them (because I like what they do), but it stands to reason that once enough popular music has been recorded using a Strat, anyone who attempts to cover it is probably going to have to play one to sound like it. Some things are just self-sustaining that way. It's also one of the reasons why a J-45 or D-18 are going to be popular amongst those playing country, folk, or some combo thereof.
 

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Over the years playing in rock cover bands, I've found that a strat a much more versatile guitar. That being said, I'm playing a LP exclusively these days....lol.
 

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I've tried to like Strats and have owned some nice ones over the years, but just can't bond with them for some reason. Actually, the one that I stayed with the longest was a '79 but it was heavy as hell and had a very brittle tone that wasn't improved with pickup swaps.
 
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