If there was ever a perfect collaboration between artist and brand, it’d be songstress H.E.R. and the guitar brand that started it all.
“Fender was the reason I began playing guitar,” said H.E.R. “My father taught me how to play my first blues scale on a mini black-and-white Strat.”
So after a relationship that has lasted decades, it is no surprise that this September, the iconic guitar brand and multi-platinum singer-songwriter made history joining forces to create the artist’s signature Stratocaster, making her the first black female artist to receive one from the brand.
H.E.R. has become a major influence on new guitar players, not only being seen rarely without her guitar but also in things like her Instagram live conversation and concert series Girls with Guitars that highlight women guitarists. The new signature Strat looks to continue to inspire more guitarists who are looking for her signature sound and look. The Fender and H.E.R. relationship has collaborated to create many memorable looks and moments already. Over the last year alone, the brand worked with her to create the see-through acrylic Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster she used for her 2019 Grammy performance and a custom black Stratocaster for her Pepsi Big Game commercial.
The new signature Strat, designed to H.E.R.’s specifications, aimed for a distinctive look with exceptional tone and made its debut during her Prince tribute performance during the 2020 Grammys. It sports an alder body with a traditional tonewood finished in Chrome Glow inspired by her favorite nail polish. The 9.5” radius, one-piece maple neck is also cut in the mid-‘60s “C” neck shape similar to the Stratocaster of that decade, made for exceptionally comfortable playing. The Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups might give pause to a Strat purist as the tone is a little different than a traditional Strat, but they give the guitar a bit more warmth and can be played with a lot more gain. And you can achieve that vintage Strat sound just without worrying about continuously monitoring the volume.
It also has a six-screw, vintage-style Fender Synchronized Bridge that provides smooth vibrato making this a balance of modern usability and classic Strat tone. Another note is that unlike some other signature collaborations, it keeps its classic Fender look and feel with just a custom neck plate engraved with H.E.R. artwork being the only embellishment.
The model costs $1099, which is affordable based on the Fender range of prices as well as the components placed in the guitar. Cop it here.