It’s “very inspiring,” in the words of H.E.R., to see more female guitarists. The singer recently unveiled her own Fender Blue Marlin Stratocaster, which has the name of one of her favourite fish. She acknowledged that as a Black woman, she “barely felt it was feasible” to play the instrument.
In the 77-year history of Fender, she is the first Black female musician to introduce a trademark guitar.
The Grammy-winning performer was just five years old when she began playing the guitar after being inspired by her musician father, Kenny Wilson.
“I was five years old, six years old when I started playing piano, and then I picked up the guitar not long after when I was seven, and he (Kenny) taught me how to play the blues … I started performing when I was like six years old. My first time being on stage was with my dad and his band, and I remember my mom at one point kept booking gigs for me, like there were festivals and things around the neighborhood,” H.E.R. told Reuters.
“I distinctly remember my father teaching me how to play my first blues scale on a Fender mini black-and-white Stratocaster. Filming this interview with him, reflecting on my musical journey, and the development of my second signature Fender guitar has been a surreal ‘pinch me’ moment. I designed my Limited Edition Stratocaster guitar with colour, shape, and sound that is 100 percent my own so that young women and players from all backgrounds feel inspired to pick up this guitar, tap into their thoughts and create amazing music,” she said.