Fender Swinger

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Fender Swinger
Fender Swinger aka Fender Musiclander, Fender Arrow.
Manufacturer Fender
Period 1969
Body type Solid
Neck joint Bolt-on
Scale 22.5 in (572 mm)
Neck Maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Bridge Fixed (non-tremolo), 3-saddle adjustable
Pickup(s) 1 single-coil pickup
Colors available
include Dakota Red, Black, Candy Apple Red, Olympic White, Sonic Blue, Lake Placid Blue

The Fender Swinger (also known as the Fender Musiclander and Fender Arrow – as the "Swinger" emblem is usually missing from the headstock) was a short-lived electric guitar model released by Fender in 1969, with few made. The Swinger was an attempt by CBS (which had bought the company in 1965) to extract cash from inventory by combining unused bodies from the failed Fender Bass V with parts from the Fender Musicmaster. Another use of surplus stock was the Fender Custom (aka Fender Maverick). The Swinger was marketed as another cheaper, short-scale 'student' guitar, but never seriously promoted, with resulting low popularity.[1]

Development and Design[edit]

The Swinger and its cousin, the Custom, were both developed under the supervision of Virgilio 'Babe' Simoni, without the help or even involvement of Fender's R&D Department. Simoni had begun work at Fender in 1953, at age 16. He had risen to Product Manager by the mid Sixties, and was both skilled and well-liked within the company. The Swinger used excess parts from the Fender Bass V and Fender Musicmaster, with the Bass V pickup routing hidden under the pickguard. Between 300 to 600 Swingers were produced, and the model never appeared in any Fender literature. [2]

The Fender Swinger has become a vintage guitar and a collector's item.


As the Swinger was built using parts that were surplus, the individual components may be older than the guitar. For example, the neck may be datestamped 1966. As far as is known, all Swingers were assembled in 1969. There are estimates that only 250 to 300 Swingers were ever produced.[3]


It was used by Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads in live performances and can be seen in their movie Stop Making Sense. It has been used by Ben Kweller live, and saw the bulk of the guitar work on his 2006 self-titled album. Jimmy Page can be seen playing a modified Swinger (with a humbucker in the middle position) on the front of a Led Zeppelin live 8-track.


  1. ^ Bacon, Tony (2000). 50 Years of Fender: Half a Century of the Greatest Electric Guitars. Backbeat Books. p. 128 pages. ISBN 0-87930-621-1. 
  2. ^ Kelly, Martin; Foster, Terry; Kelly, Paul (2010). The Golden Age of Fender 1946-1970. Cassell Illustrated. p. 287 pages. ISBN 978-1-84403-701-8. 
  3. ^ Fjestad, Zachary (2009). Blue Book of Electric Guitars. Blue Book. p. 325. ISBN 1-886768-93-5. 

External links[edit]