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
- 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!
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.
3 thoughts on “Best Stratocaster Colors – People’s Most Favorite Strat Colors!”
Apart from the sunburst finish, I don’t believe those are the favorite Stratocaster colors. I would say it’s more of blue and green tones; Surf green, Daphne blue etc.
My Stratocaster is from the mid 80’s Japanese vintage not one rust on the bridges play’s nice
Gilmore is best known for his black Strat with a black pick guard.
Furthermore, all the traditional “white” pick guards you describe are actually “mint.”