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The Fender Mustang Guitar

Updated on February 14, 2011

Fender’s Mustang guitar is not quite as high profile as their more top-end Stratocaster and Telecaster models, but it’s very popular nonetheless. Let's take a look at the Fender Mustang in more detail.

The Original Fender Mustang Guitars

Fender originally introduced the Mustang in 1964, as a student guitar. At the time, Fender’s student models were the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic guitars,and Fender wished to redesign both of these.

In fact, the Mustang is quite similar to its predecessors, although it does have a slimmer and more offset waist, as well as a new tremolo arm. The redesigned Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic models featured the Mustang body.

All three new types of guitar had a choice of 21 fret and 22 fret necks, although the latter were much more popular.

The Mustang was quite popular in the 60s, and in 1969 Fender released a ‘Competition Mustang’ model, which was produced until 1972. The main Mustang line ceased production in 1982.

The Fender Mustang Bass Guitar

Fender also produced a Mustang bass guitar in 1966. This shared the offset body of its six string counterpart, and also had a relatively short scale length of 30 inches. The Mustang bass also has the distinction of being the final bass that was designed by Leo Fender himself, before he left Fender in 1965.

This bass was produced until 1981, but was later reissued in 2002.

Fender Mustang Reissues

After an eight-year hiatus, Fender resumed production of the Mustang guitar in 1990, although this time it was produced by Fender Japan. During this period there was a strong surge of interest in vintage guitar models, and old Mustangs were especially popular among the alt rock movement of the time.

Notable players of the Fender Mustang include Kurt Cobain, John Frusciante, PJ Harvey and Todd Rundgren.

Today the Mustang is especially popular among those who are looking for Fender quality, but without paying the high prices associated with Stratocaster and Telecaster models (a new Mustang can be had for around $1000). The relatively short scale length also makes it popular among those players with small hands.

Fender Mustang Features

The Fender Mustang includes the following features:

  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Two Mustang single coil pickups
  • 24 inch scale length with 22 frets
  • Chrome hardware

You can view the full specifications at Fender’s site.

The Mustang is also notable for its floating bridge and tremolo arm. Together these form the Fender Dynamic Vibrato tailpiece, and the result is an extremely sensitive tremolo system which is very popular among many guitarists.

The reissued Mustang is available in blue, white and red finishes.

Where To Buy The Fender Mustang

Many music stores and specialist guitar shops will stock the Mustang, and you can also find some fantastic bargains online, from both guitar sites and more general sites such as Amazon. Used Mustangs (as well as new ones) can also be picked up for bargain prices on eBay.


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      sugar101 5 years ago

      How much is a fender mustang bass offsetbody worth made in Japan I would say poor condition. 4 strings

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      Bob 7 years ago

      With the 24 inch scale it has the feel of an electric guitar. That's good for guitar players who may want to tackle the bass.