The Fender Stratocaster is a timeless classic of the guitar world. Instantly recognizable and used by some of the all-time greats.
But what is the best color for a Stratocaster? Well, Fender has an official ‘instrument finish color chart’ with no less than 99 colors on it, so there are plenty to choose from.
The most popular Fender Stratocaster colors have not changed much since the ‘60s, and for good reason: they look awesome!
The all-time favorites for Stratocaster body colors are sunburst, white, black, and candy apple red. The pickguard/body combo also plays into the overall look of the guitar and can change the whole style. The most popular colors of Strat pickguards are white and black.
Let’s look in more detail at the most popular Strat colors and some more unusual styles that are growing in popularity on modern Strats in the ‘Player Series’ and classics from the ‘American Performer II’ series.
Table of Contents
- The Classics
- Bold & Unique Stratocaster Colors
- The Player Series
- The American Performer II Series
First, we’ll look at the all-time most popular colors. It’s easy to see why they have stuck around for so long.
Sunburst with White Pickguard
Sunburst is a classic for a reason. Its subtle deep brown and golden tones spread out from the middle of the guitar body before gently fading to black, just screaming cool.
This is normally paired with a white pickguard which offers a nice contrast but is also often seen with a black or rosewood pickguard for something a little different.
White with White Pickguard
The choice of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, the white Stratocaster with the white pickguard is still a favorite for many guitar buyers. It’s easy to see why – all white looks slick, bold, and eye-catching!
Black with Black Pickguard
The opposite of Hendrix’s axe, all-black is a popular style that doesn’t seem to be going out of fashion anytime soon. Dark, mysterious, and grungy, it commands a kind of stylish respect.
And of course, if you’re playing rock music – all black is always cool!
Candy Apple Red with White Pickguard
It’s something slightly less common than the others but still a mainstay when it comes to classic Stratocaster colors.
This is the choice of legendary guitarists such as David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), and Yngwie Malmsteen. It’s what many people picture if you ask them to think of ‘electric guitar,’ and for good reason.
Loud, bright, easy to identify, and still a strikingly cool style, the candy apple red Stratocaster has been a staple of Fender’s official color chart since 1963, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere!
Bold & Unique Stratocaster Colors
Bold Stratocaster colors are meant to make a statement, turning heads and capturing attention with their vibrant and striking hues. These colors often reflect a guitarist’s unique personality and artistic expression.
Fiesta Red with White Pickguard
For those looking to make a bold statement, Fiesta Red is an excellent option. This vibrant color stands out on stage and exudes a sense of energy and passion. The Fender American Vintage II 1961 Stratocaster is a perfect example of a guitar that demands attention.
Fiesta Red is a color that reflects a player’s fiery spirit and drive. It’s perfect for guitarists who love to perform with intensity and passion. The color’s history is closely associated with artists like Hank Marvin of The Shadows, who popularized the Fiesta Red Stratocaster in the early 1960s.
Lake Placid Blue with White Pickguard
Another bold color option is Lake Placid Blue. This deep metallic blue has an air of sophistication and elegance. Check out this Fender American Performer Strat to see this stunning color in action.
This color has a rich, regal quality that can elevate the appearance of any guitar. Lake Placid Blue is perfect for players who want their guitar to make a strong visual impact, and it looks great under stage lights.
Mystic Surf Green
For a more modern and unique color option, Mystic Surf Green is a fantastic choice. This color features a pearlescent finish that adds depth and dimension to the guitar. This particular variant of the Fender American Professional II Stratocaster showcases this captivating color.
Mystic Surf Green is a color that evokes the spirit of the ocean and the surf culture that has been a significant influence on guitar music throughout the years. It’s perfect for players who want a color that’s both modern and nostalgic.
The Player Series
The Player series of Fender Stratocasters was introduced in 2018 to offer customers modernized, playable versions of their classic guitars without the ‘vintage’ styled features of older models.
The Player series is available in different color options, leading to some interesting combinations that are stylish and modern.
Buttercream with White Pickguard
An interesting combination and a more subtle and refined look. The soft, warm tones of the buttercream lend a nice visual to accompany the music of the many indie and folk bands who often play buttercream Strats.
Tidepool with White Pickguard
Tidepool is a beautiful blue shade, not quite light enough to be considered ‘baby blue’ and definitely not dark enough to be ‘navy.’
It has a cool and carefree style that can be made to look a little edgier if paired with a black pickguard.
The American Performer II Series
The American Performer II Series is a slightly more expensive line of Fender guitars, designed to be faithful to the build, feel, and sound of vintage guitars.
Again, this series is available in a different selection of colors. Here are some of the most popular choices!
Honeyburst with White Pickguard
A lot like the timeless classic sunburst, honeyburst features a splash of amber and natural wood pattern, which gradually fades to a dark brown at the edge of the guitar body.
It’s easy to see why this color is popular – it’s smart, stylish, and is a nod to the classic sunburst, which everyone recognizes.
Arctic White with Black Pickguard
Arctic white is a blazing bright white that really stands out from the crowd. Paired with the black pickguard, the contrast offers a dazzlingly cool guitar color that is both unique and eye-catching.
Really, the color of the guitar you buy is totally down to personal preference. But it doesn’t hurt to know what else is popular!
If you need inspiration, look to your guitar heroes and see what they play. Fender Stratocasters are a staple of the music world, and the possibilities for colors are almost endless.