It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance.Along with the Gibson Les Paul, it is one of the most-often emulated electric guitar shapes.Some players, such as Eric Clapton and Ronnie Wood, feel that floating bridge has an excessive propensity to detune guitars and so inhibit the bridge's movement with a chunk of wood wedged between the bridge block and the inside cutout of the tremolo cavity and by increasing the tension on the tremolo springs; these procedures lock the bridge in a fixed position.Some Strats have a fixed bridge in place of the tremolo assembly; these are colloquially called "hard-tails".Guitarists soon discovered that by jamming the switch in between the 1st and 2nd position, both the bridge and middle pickups could be selected, and similarly, the middle and neck pickups could be selected between the 2nd and 3rd position.When two pickups are selected simultaneously, they are wired in parallel which leads to a slight drop in output as slightly more current is allowed to pass to the ground.
Hank Marvin, used the Strat's floating tremolo extensively in their playing.
However, since the middle pickup is almost always wired in reverse (and with its magnets having opposite polarity), this configuration creates a spaced humbucking pair, which significantly reduces 50/60 cycle hum.
In 1977 Fender introduced a 5-way selector making such pickup combinations more stable.
As the bridge floats, the instrument has a tendency to go out of tune during double-stop string bends.
Many Stratocaster players opt to tighten the tremolo springs (or even increase the number of springs used) so that the bridge is firmly anchored against the guitar body: in this configuration, the tremolo arm can still be used to slacken the strings and therefore lower the pitch, but it cannot be used to raise the pitch (a configuration sometimes referred to as "dive-only").
During this time, vintage instruments from the pre-CBS era became popular.