The guitar is a Stratocaster, and comes finished in what Fender calls Chrome Glow. Other specs include Fender Vintage Noiseless single-coil pickups, and a one-ply aluminium pickguard. These are fitted to an alder body, along with a 9.5-inch-radius one-piece maple neck. This is cut in a mid-’60s C shape, and at the join there’s a custom neck plate engraved with HER artwork. Additionally, for some smooth vibrato there’s a six-screw vintage-style Fender synchronised bridge.
Speaking of the launch in a statement, H.E.R. said: “Fender was the reason I began playing guitar. My father taught me how to play my first blues scale on a mini black-and-white Strat, so it’s absolutely surreal I have partnered with Fender to design my own Signature Stratocaster. As an artist, I find that my most personal thoughts make the most relatable music. By designing a Stratocaster with a colour, shape and sound that is one-hundred-percent my own, my hope is that other young women and players from all backgrounds feel inspired to pick up this guitar, tap into their thoughts and create amazing music.”
Fender EVP Justin Norvell added: “This is the culmination of a years-long relationship between Fender and H.E.R., and a testament to everything she has done to inspire a new generation of players. This guitar was in the works alongside the custom clear acrylic Strat we made for H.E.R.’s 2019 Grammy performance and the all-black Strat for her 2020 Pepsi Big Game commercial. This is a guitar that’s just as eye-catching as those iconic pieces and finally accessible to everyone. Players that are drawn in by the unique look of the guitar are going to be rewarded with a neck, pickups and bridge that have stood the test of time and are up to HER’s high standards for recording and touring.”
Fender CEO Andy Mooney has spoken up about Fender’s commitment to gender diversity, and the brand notes that H.E.R.is now the first Black female artist to have a Fender signature model.
“We are honoured that H.E.R. has chosen to work with Fender on her debut artist signature model,” said Evan Jones, the brand’s CMO. “She is an incredible, Grammy Award-winning artist whose future in the music industry is bright, and we are proud of the authentic relationship we have built with H.E.R. over these last several years. As we look to the future of guitar, we believe it’s our responsibility to support the increasing diversity and adoption of the instrument across all genres, and it’s also our belief that investing in more signature projects and collaborations with more Black, Latinx and female artists is an important next step toward expanding the cultural relevance of guitar and the Fender brand.”
He added: “It’s important for young aspiring players to see themselves in the heroes they look up to, and we know who we amplify with our brand can help make that impact.”
The guitar’s launch is being celebrated by Fender with the addition of some of H.E.R.’s biggest songs to its learning platform, Fender Play.
Take a look at Fender’s demo of the guitar below:
The instrument lists for £1,099/€1259. Find out more over at fender.com.