It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance.
In the floating position, players can move the bridge-mounted tremolo arm up or down to modulate the pitch of the notes being played.
The Stratocaster features three single coil pickups, with the output originally selected by a 3-way switch.
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.
Dick Dale is a prominent Stratocaster player who also collaborated with Leo Fender in developing the Fender Showman amplifier.
In the early 1960s, the instrument was also championed by Hank Marvin, guitarist for the Shadows, a band that originally backed Cliff Richard and then produced instrumentals of its own.