Design work on the Musicmaster and a two-pickup version the Duo-Sonic began in late 1955 following a request from the sales department. Prototypes were made in early 1956, followed by sales literature announcing both models. Production of the Musicmaster began in late April of that year, using a body routed for two pickups to be common to the Duo-Sonic, which followed a little more than two months later. The Duo-Sonic and Musicmaster also shared a single-piece maple neck and fingerboard, with a 22.5 inch scale length and 21 frets.
There was one major redesign of these two Musicmaster-bodied guitars, in 1959 when the entire Fender catalog was updated. At this time, the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic both received a plastic pickguard in place of the previous anodized aluminum one, and a two-piece maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard.
In 1964, following the release of the Fender Mustang, both the Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic were redesigned using the Mustang necks and body. This body was larger and slightly offset, and was fitted with a plastic pickguard but with the volume and tone controls mounted on a separate metal plate; The necks had larger headstocks. All three models were offered with the option of a 24 inch scale 22 fret neck or a 22.5 inch scale 21 fret neck with the choice of "round-lam," or veneered, rosewood or maple fingerboard. The 24 inch scale proved by far the most popular of these options. The redesigned Musicmaster was named the Musicmaster II and its stablemate the Duo-Sonic II, both using the Bronco body and pickguard shapes, although decals with and without the II designation were used without any real meaning.
The Musicmaster was produced until 1982 when both it and the Mustang were dropped in favor of the newer Fender Lead models.