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The Squier Bullet Stratocaster Guitar
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The Squier Bullet Stratocaster Guitar

The problem with user reviews of the Squier bullet strat

There are times when user reviews are truthful and times when a lack of experience plays a big part in what's said about certain products.

The electric guitar is probably one of the most confusing topics to research online, especially when looking to buy a beginners electric guitar.

Apart from having to take into account whether or not the reviewer has the right experience to make an accurate assessment of the instrument, there is also the date of manufacture to take into consideration.

Very often when a guitar manufacturer decides on a cheap beginners electric guitar product line, they invariably will choose a different country where labour is cheaper than at home, and many times they will move their production from one country to another over a period of time in order to get the most bang for the buck.

Quality can vary from year to year with the occasional glitch in quality control as they set up new premises elsewhere.

Then of course there's the problem of beginners reviewing beginner guitars, which is not the best combination.

Many beginners don't understand exactly how to set up a guitar so it plays well, don't have the know how to get a good sound out of a guitar as well as the necessary knowledge on how to string a guitar and tune it up properly so that it stays in tune.

There are many factors that determine the sound of an electric guitar, and believe it or not, mostly it's got less to do with the guitar and more to do with the amplifier it's being played through.

All things being equal though, different guitars will still sound different through the same amplifier, but the true quality of sound can never be realised through an inferior amp.

One of the most popular guitars for a beginner is the Stratocaster, mostly because of how popular the guitar is with professional guitarists and how often bands are seen with the guitarist playing a Fender Stratocaster.

They're also one of the most copied designs in electric guitar with many clones being made by different brands. Their modular design makes them easier to manufacture as well.

To compete with the budget guitar market, Fender brought out their own line of budget instruments called Squier.

The cheapest stratocaster made by Fender at the moment is the Squier Bullet Strat. Because of the vast number of beginners learning to play on these guitars, one needs to find a Squier Bullet Strat review done by a professional.

Understanding the Squier Bullet Strat, or most Fender Stratocasters for that matter

The Stratocaster is a naturally treble sounding electric guitar and this is due mostly to the pickups used on a regular Strat. These are single coil pickups of which this guitar has three.

There's one in the bridge position, which is the most treble sound, then one in the middle and one near the neck of the guitar.

Obviously one doesn't want a guitar to sound dull and muffled, but most Strats (short for Stratocaster) are way over in the opposite direction.

The nicest Hendrix like rock tone for a Fender Stratocaster is in the neck position as this catches the naturally more bassy part of the strings vibration coupled with a lovely treble response. This is great for clean rhythms as well.

If you're thinking of buying a Squier or Fender Stratocaster, but you're keen on getting a good rock sound as well as that sparkling clean sound that Strats are renowned for, the best option would be to go for what's known as a Fat Strat.

These are configured the same as a standard Stratocaster with the exception of the bridge pickup, which is changed to a humbucker.

A humbucker pickup is two single coil pickups wired in series to cancel out the hum which comes from stray electromagnetic interferences. Some radios, televisions and flourescent lighting have a tendency to give of a mains cycle hum which can be very annoying when coming through a guitar amplifier at high volume.

This is especially prevalent when either the amplifier is driven into overdrive, or a distortion peddle is used.

The advantage of the Fat Strat humbucker pickup in the bridge position

A humbucking pickup has two main advantages, especially in the bridge position.

Firstly, it's louder, which means it'll drive your amplifier into overdrive a lot sooner, and secondly, it has a fatter sound with a bit less treble than a regular single coil.

They're still bright enough for most applications though and when they're designed to match the rest of the pickups on a guitar they generally aren't too much louder as to cause a noticeable volume discrepancy.

This is also helped by the fact that the guitar strings vibrate a lot less at the bridge than they do in other positions, this being the place where the guitar string produces the most treble, a humbucker is fitting.

Leo Fender didn't think of that one! Nevertheless, rock n roll was a different sound back in the 50's.

Making the most of your beginners Stratocaster

The first thing to keep in mind is that electric guitars are made of wood. Wood has a tendency to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity.

Even with the most stringent quality controls in any factory, a guitar that's made in a different country will have to be shipped from one climate to the next.

This means that certain things will happen to the guitar, not just from the factory to you but through the life of the guitar as well. Here's a short list of things that will need attention and things to consider.

  1. The guitar will need a setup. Sometimes you get lucky but mostly this will need to get done, either by yourself or someone who knows how. It's worth teaching yourself how to do this later on as weather is sure going to change.
  2. If after a guitar setup your strings are buzzing against a few frets, you can take the guitar to a guitar tech and ask him to level the frets. Changes in temperature can cause some frets to slowly work their way out of the fretboard by tiny amounts which makes for a less than optimal playing surface. Most guitars at a beginner level of playing will be fine without this.
  3. What's really nice about Stratocaster guitars is the availablity of aftermarket parts, and the closer to a Standard Stratocaster design your guitar is, the easier it is to change things, even as far as necks and bodies.

One needs to know what to look for and expect in a beginner electric guitar before jumping to conclusions or perhaps becoming unnecessarily disheartened by what can easily be remedied.

I hope I have saved you that possible dissapointment.

There are other things to pay attention to when playing electric guitar that may help get the most out of one, but that has more to do with your playing than anything else.


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