rich menga
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10 albums that I like

These are 10 albums that I like. If you want to listen to any of them, click a link below.

Experimentation with a floating bridge on a cheap Squier Strat

Squier Bullet Strat with floating bridge

Above is a guitar that long time followers of mine know as Banana, the 2010 Squier Bullet Strat in Arctic White. Why is she called Banana? Because the Arctic White that Squier puts on that particular guitar is nowhere near white. It's decidedly more yellow, as in banana-colored, hence why the guitar is called Banana.

I took the guitar out of its gig bag today. The neck was back-bowed a bit from not being played in a while. A few turns of the truss rod fixed that right up.

Yes, the guitar is slightly dirty at the bridge, but that's only because of something I did to it today. I adjusted the bridge so now it floats.

My reason for doing this yet again was that I had the thought of how I use a vibrato bar. On the Jazzmaster I use slow movements and barely bend it to make it do what it does. It came to mind that if I float the Strat bridge, I could get a similar effect as long as I'm really light on the bar.

Did it work? In fact, yeah it did. My Jazzmaster playing has "trained" me in such a way where I can now use a Strat's vibrato system, which Fender incorrectly calls tremolo on the Stratocaster guitar, and get that slow-style vibrato while keeping the strings in tune.

As for the dirt seen in the photo, that's gunk that was trapped under the bridge when I had it decked. On the next string change I'll run a rag under there and clean it out proper.

Using the vibrato bar on a Strat is weird

Almost nobody uses the vibrato bar a.k.a. whammy bar on a Strat because it makes the strings go out-of-tune so easily. But it's my feeling most people don't know how to use a vibrato bar properly.

As I said above, the Jazzmaster taught me how to use vibrato the right way. I can't explain that in words other than saying that when you use vibrato on a Jaguar or a Jazzmaster and play on one of those for a while, only then do you truly understand how a floating vibrato system is supposed to work.

A Floyd-Rose system does not teach you how to use vibrato on a Strat, for the reason the Floyd is a locking system and the Strat is open where no part of the string is locked down anywhere.

Actually using the vibrato bar on a Strat is a weird experience because I never played with one on a regular basis before. But I think I might leave it on and try it out for a while.

Yes, it is possible to use the vibrato bar on a Squier and have it keep in tune, or at least possible when the bridge is set to float and you use it lightly.

How good can a Squier Telecaster sound?

This good:

That's a Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster in Butterscotch Blonde you see being played.

Now if I didn't tell you that at first, you probably would have thought the player was playing something really expensive. He's not. It's a Squier, and from the looks of it, it's all-original and hasn't been modified - not that it needs to be, because it's more than good enough on its own.

Several have called the CV 50's Tele the best guitar Squier makes. Looks right, feels right and sounds right. With certain other Squier axes there are some components that could be upgraded. But on the CV 50's Tele, it doesn't need a damned thing as it is one of those "needs nothing/just plug in and go" guitars.

I may one day get myself another Telecaster, as I did own one previously. While I do love the Jazzmaster, the best bang-for-the-buck Tele is the Squier CV 50's. Nothing else comes close to how unbelievably good the CV Tele is. It's the classic Telecaster formula all the way through, front to back and everywhere in between.

I'd be very happy to own a blonde one just like the kind seen in the video.