What Should I get,a Telecaster or Stratocaster

October 1st, 2008, 05:52 PM
OK,what one of these guitars should I get.I am planning on getting my first electric guitar and so Ia m wondering what one I should get.Mexican Standard Strat or Tele.

I will post the same thread on the Strat discussion forum.

October 1st, 2008, 05:55 PM
Only you can answer that question.

For me there's only one right answer though ...

October 1st, 2008, 05:59 PM
If you asked on this forum, then my guess is that you, deep down, want to get a telecaster...so go for it!:lol:

October 1st, 2008, 06:04 PM
Yeah but I have posted the same thing on the Strat forum as well.

October 1st, 2008, 06:08 PM
.....uhm....which forum am I on? Did I miss that turn outta Kansas?

Colt W. Knight
October 1st, 2008, 06:11 PM
General rule is that Country guys play teles, and Rock guys play Strats ( if we are sticking to just the Fender line up). However, there are plenty of famous rockers who use a tele, such as Bruce Springsteen, John 5, and Joe Strummer. Then again, lots of country guys play a strat too. The percieved tone or sound of any player is 90 % playing style/ability, 5% gear, and 5 % guitar. Chet Atkins sounds like Chet Atkins whether he is playing his signature Gretsch, Gibson or the occasional Telecaster.

But heres the difference, and keep in mind that both guitars are capable for all genres of music in capable hands.

Strat - 3 pickups ( more tonal variability), whammy bar ( for that cool vibrato and wha wha wha sound), and a countoured and double cut body which is supposedly easier on the rib cage, forearm, and hand when playing up the neck. Eric Clapton is a big strat man.

Tele - two pickups ( which produce more of a twang and/ or harsh/bright sound), simple ( only two knobs and one switch), and they are tough with a capital T. These guitars are basic, not a lot to break or fool with.

So what kind of music are you into? A lot of shredders and heavy metal guys like the tele, while the classic rock and blues guys dig the strat. If you are just learning, I would go for which ever guitar your heroes play the most. There are effects pedals and amps that will give you all the fancy stuff, so buy the one that sounds the best to you. Go to a music store and have the clerk play a strat and tele side-by-side. You will know which one you like better. Or you may decide one lookes cooler than the other. If having a cooler looking guitar motivates you to play, then buy the one that looks cool. Both guitars are fully capable of serving your needs, especially as a beginer.

boris bubbanov
October 1st, 2008, 06:20 PM
Mr. Star, the answer is right before you, and you know it.

You gotta go out right now and buy one of BOTH, a Tele and a Strat.

October 1st, 2008, 06:21 PM
Set yourself a price limit, walk into a music shop, play as many Strats and Teles as you can and you'll probably find that one of them will pick you. What a nice dilemma to have - good luck :smile:

October 1st, 2008, 06:36 PM
Rock music.Oasis,Van Halen,Jimi Hendrix,The Clash,Sex Pistols,The Shadows,Led Zeppelin,The Coral etc,etc.

Colt W. Knight
October 1st, 2008, 06:41 PM
Rock music.Oasis,Van Halen,Jimi Hendrix,The Clash,Sex Pistols,The Shadows,Led Zeppelin,The Coral etc,etc.

Thats a pretty even split of teles and strats.

Yup, your going to have to go to the store and figure this one out for yourself, but if you need a push. BUY A TELECASTER!

Mark Davis
October 1st, 2008, 06:48 PM
I know there are people who like the MIM STD Strats and Teles but I like the Classic and Artist series way more. But thats just me. Id look for a used 50's-60's Classic 2 of the best Teles ever made at any price. Same wirh the Strats the 50's-60's Classics are great.

October 1st, 2008, 07:05 PM
I'd say both, because I like variety. Then again I'd probably get a G&L Strat, just because I like them better, and they have nicer colours. :roll:

That said, however nothing could keep me from mah twang! http://planetsmilies.net/music-smiley-7526.gif

October 1st, 2008, 08:42 PM
For me, one's a steak and the other's a fish. Both'll address your hunger, but different foods altogether. I have both (and eat both). And, like them both. But, if I were stranded on a desert island, with a Twin Amp and had my choice of only one guitar, it'd be a Tele. And fish would probably be on the menu.

October 1st, 2008, 08:49 PM
why not look into the squier series, get one strat and one entry level telecaster, sell whatever one you don't like, everyone and their brother is always looking for a cheap, afordable strat, I like telecaster's. The only strat I own is a Tom Delonge Strat and it's hanging on my wall, cause I like Tom Delonge. I bought it as a "look at me" piece.

I know own 2 telecaster's and I'm getting 2 more built for me. With the right pickup combo and amp settings, nothing really shreds like a telecaster. It's hard to explain it's a player's thing, I guess.

October 1st, 2008, 10:22 PM
I'd say we have pretty similar tastes in music.
I have both a strat and a tele. the only reason why I am playing the strat is because the tele is currently in pieces awaiting massive upgrades. In my opinion, strats simply don't match up to teles. A Telecaster is the ultimate guitar.

October 1st, 2008, 10:39 PM
Plan on getting BOTH and whatever You do DON'T be impulsive and buy the first one You see - unless of course She's total knockout.:cool:

October 1st, 2008, 11:02 PM
Let me solve your problem...get a Les Paul. Teles suck. Strats are even worse. If you get one of them despite this advice...then what does it matter what anyone says. Play 'em all & decide for yourself. Get one of each. I did. So did many others here. BTW, the real answer is a Tele...

October 2nd, 2008, 12:13 AM
Let me solve your problem...get a Les Paul. Teles suck. Strats are even worse. If you get one of them despite this advice...then what does it matter what anyone says. Play 'em all & decide for yourself. Get one of each. I did. So did many others here. BTW, the real answer is a Tele...

:lol::lol::cool: +1 Tele. Leo was trying to improve the tele when he made the strat. Leo got it right the first time

ole AZ
October 2nd, 2008, 12:40 AM
I have a tele (esquire actually) and a strat because together they can fill all the gaps I need to fill...it isn't tele vs strat so much as it is guitar vs guitar. I do very much consider myself a tele man with a strat...the telecaster is a persona.

October 2nd, 2008, 12:45 AM
You'll lose money when you trade the Strat in on a Tele.

October 2nd, 2008, 02:38 AM
Personally I would get a Telecaster, learn to master a Tele and your be able to play anything, even a Strat.
I notice that you are looking at Mexican made Teles/Strats for a few Dollars more it might be worth looking at that Highway one range. The Highway one Guitars are not only an excellent buy, but also your first stepping stone to getting that much coveted "made in USA" badge sitting proudly on your headstock!

October 2nd, 2008, 03:14 AM
Buy a Strat, and start saving for a Tele. Because ultimately, you'll want both.

I say Strat first because you'll get a whammy bar. It's easy to disable a whammy bar, but it's hard to ADD one, if it isn't there in the first place.

October 2nd, 2008, 03:44 AM
Mr. Star, the answer is right before you, and you know it.

You gotta go out right now and buy one of BOTH, a Tele and a Strat.

Just make sure you're really going to play both ...

I bought a Strat to complement my Teles, and though it's a great guitar in every way ('57 RI), I almost never play it, so I have put it up for sale.

So if you don't know by now that you're a Tele guy at heart, buy both and you'll find out soon enough :wink:.

But if you're going to buy a Tele, do yourself a favor and buy a real good one like a used 50's or 60's Classic like Mark said.

October 2nd, 2008, 04:43 AM
My first guitar was a cheap strat copy. I loved it. I still love it. I play it nearly every day. It's only occasionally had it's whammy bar in place, and I upgraded a pickup to a Hotrails humbucker. I reckon as a starter a strat-type guitar with a humbucker will keep you happy for a looong time. They are comfortable to play, as well.

I reckon Teles are more of an acquired taste. A bit more specific, too. More the kind of guitar you actually go and seek out because you simply must have the coolness factor, or specifically want a Tele sound. It'd be interesting to see on the Strat forum how many people buy them and say, "I love my guitar" and then change the pickups, tuners, neck, tuners, etc like Tele players do...

Although Teles are way cooler, for an all-rounder, I'd go Strat, but a Strat with a humbucker.

October 2nd, 2008, 05:38 AM
Most of the Teles I have owned I have kept, except for an old very heavy Tele Custom I sold when I stopped gigging for a while, and needed the cash.

I have owned Strats and strat styled guitars, but I have never kept them long, and certainly dont own any of them now.

I have 5 teles, and I would get others. If I had the money I would get myself a really nice top end one, but I would keep my others.

I have no desire to get a Strat, even though some of my fave guitarists play them.

I wouldnt mind a nice semi though.

I would say go and play as many examples of each as you can, you will find one that "talks" to you.

October 2nd, 2008, 08:16 AM
Wirh respect to the whammy bar bridge, do those cheap strats stay in tune as well as the expensive ones?

October 2nd, 2008, 08:23 AM
Wirh respect to the whammy bar bridge, do those cheap strats stay in tune as well as the expensive ones?

heck no, if you want a whammy bar/tremblo system that will stay in tune all the time, then you need to look at a Floyd Rose, nothing stays in tune like a floyd rose.

October 2nd, 2008, 04:45 PM
I think I kight get a Tele.I was looking at this one.



With this case.



I know it has a picture of a Strat but it says it fits both Teles and Strats.

Probably with this amp



Nice little selection.Most of my fave guitarists play Teles.

Noel Gallagher
Jimmy Page
Joe Strummer
Pete Townsend
Steve Mariott
Mark Knopfler

I also have a long list of guitarists that I love that play strats but we all know who they are really,Clapton,Beck,Hendrix etc,etc.And of course people like Knopfler,Page and Townsend who play both.

Anyway comment on what you tink of the selection I made.


October 2nd, 2008, 04:55 PM
I guess you can't go wrong with a Standard. Play a few others. I recommend a Nashville...very versatile. I also hear a lot about the Classic Vibes. Lots of info around here...

October 2nd, 2008, 05:06 PM
I guess posting this question on a rabid Telecaster forum, you can expect a bias toward Tele's..

but for what it's worth.. I PREFER Tele's after having played both.

( I still have all these guitars. )

Started out with an American Strat.

Then I wanted to experiment , so I bought a Fat Strat ( MiM ) to get a humbucker in the bridge.

Had no intention of even looking at Tele's... but played a friends Standard MIM one night at our garage band practice.. and man.. I was sold.

I got a G&L Tribute ASAT off Craigslist ( mint condion Swamp ash natural stain ) - and just a couple weeks ago got a Squire CV 50's

Teles have such a great RANGE of tones... all the Pup positions are different/usable. Hot spank in the Bridge, rich bell tone with the neck.. and the two together - some of each.. And you can adjust the tone in any position.

I brought my Fat Strat to garage band night last week.. I just don't get the tones out of it, over all. Good for lead work here and there..

and what really surprised me was how much I missed a tone control when in Bridge only position... -- had to go over and futz with the amp BMT controls... what a hassle..

I will probably sell the Fat Strat, Keep the Am. Std. Strat ( which does have the tone control wired with the Bridge ) - so I'll have a Strat in the collection..

so: if you're really wanting opinions... You must get a Telecaster into your guitar line up. No doubt...

( Not that I wouldn't also love to have an SG, LP , a 335 and a Ric in my Collection! ) .. but I'll never be without a Tele...

October 2nd, 2008, 05:49 PM
that is a tough decision, strat or telecaster. I myself think that both the fender strat and telecasterare excellent guitars, so it really comes down to what you like. it'd be silly for me, even though this is a telecaster board to try to sway you either way, in the end, the choice of a strat or a telecaster is up to you. so play both and make your decision, and be careful of the sorts around this telecaster page who will try to subliminally manipulate you into buying a telecaster. in the end, you'll be happier if the strat or telecasteryou choose is truly the guitar you played and fell in love with.

October 2nd, 2008, 07:14 PM
Rock music.Oasis,Van Halen,Jimi Hendrix,The Clash,Sex Pistols,The Shadows,Led Zeppelin,The Coral etc,etc.

You might want to check something with humbuckers too. I'm a recent convert to Epiphone, look at their Les Pauls and Dots for some of those sounds.

But Hendrix is Strat territory.

Colt W Knight's response is dead on though.

And I think Jazztele is related to Kevin Nealon...

October 2nd, 2008, 07:23 PM
One other thing: if you're new to guitar, have the salesman play through a clean amp. Any guitar can sound like any other guitar with enough distortion and effects.

The amp is responsible for 75% of the sound you hear, don't be distracted by the effects of the amp. Have it played through the amp you'll be using. And budget enough for a nice amp, it'll make a big difference in your sound, more than the guitar itself.

If you are just starting out, it doesn't really matter what guitar you get. Just get one that you find cool and inspires you to pick it up. Never underestimate the importance of colour and appearance of a guitar. If you have a horrible looking guitar that you hate, you'll never want to pick it up and practice.

Good luck and let us know what you get, doesn't matter if it's not a Tele, you can still hang here!

October 2nd, 2008, 07:38 PM
A great Tele is a great guitar. A great Strat is a really nice guitar.

October 2nd, 2008, 07:50 PM
when I bought my first telecaster, I was so excited, I had always wanted one when I was younger, never got one, my first guitar is a 1996 Fender standard strat, I still have it too this day, besides that face, telecaster's to me are my weapon, when I plug in on stage, a joke in our band is

"this is my telecaster, there are many like it, this one is mine"

a telecaster to me is my left hand, can't play without my left hand, simple as that.

I like telecaster's for the tonial variety, you can play anything on them, and I mean anything. Look into the squier series, I'm telling you, there affordable, decent, and are extremely reliable. I have 2 of them, I still love them both to this day.

Colt W. Knight
October 2nd, 2008, 11:38 PM
+ 1 on a good amplifier. Here is how it works. A cheap guitar sounds better on a nice amp, and sounds like crap on a cheapo amp. An expensive guitar sounds like crap on a cheapo amp. A good tube amp will serve you better at this point than a mid grade tele or strat. I think the MIM tele standard is around 400$. In my opinion you would need about a 2-300$ amp to match that tele. My first amp was a Line 6 spyder III. It was a piece of garbage, and I didnt play my tele very much. Just didn't have that sparkle a good electric should have. After I bought my good tube amp, I almost quit playing my acoustic and play the fire out of my tele now.

Good amps to look into
Fender pro junior(300$), blues junior(400$), super champ(329$), champ 600(200$), vox ac 15, and epi valve junior(<200$). Other will have more suggestions, these are the only ones I am familiar with though.
A MIM tele and a tube amp would sound pretty sweet though.

October 3rd, 2008, 12:28 PM
Cheers for all the suggestions folks.I will probably go for the suggestions that I made though.But they are still all very well apprectiated.


October 3rd, 2008, 01:42 PM
if went the Squier route, you could get BOTH right now for the same price as one of them in the Fender MIM variety

October 3rd, 2008, 01:53 PM
Don't buy mail order without trying the exact guitar, particularly as you are torn between the two Fenders. Go to the local Fender dealer and try all of them, as someone else said here, it will pick you.
Last thing you want is a Tele or Strat that you don't like, it might put you off that type of guitar forever.

October 3rd, 2008, 02:32 PM
You're going to have to go to a music store that has a selection of both and try a few and see what feels and sounds good to you.
An old fool from the old school