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Anyone else "struggle" with Tele's?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Seitz38, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Seitz38

    Seitz38 TDPRI Member

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    Let me preface this thread with this: I am 5'5", which makes me "pretty short" compared to most males who play guitar. As a result, I have a love/hate relationship with full-scale Fender guitars. Most of my life I've played Les Pauls or other 24.75" guitars.

    So my question is this: Does anyone else have a bit more difficulty playing Tele's (Or Strats, for sake of discussion) as apposed to say Les Pauls, SG's or Fenders Short(er)-Scale guitars?

    My problems mostly come from full bar chords and quick hammer-on/pull-off bits, I get a lot of fret buzz from my tele that I don't quite get from my other guitars. However, I really find the Tele, in all other respects, much more rewarding and easier to play (3-way switch, great tone, good feel to body, etc)

    I'm a big Jaguar fan, which I find to be the easiest guitar to play out of the numerous different styles I've tried. If only I could elevate that damn bridge buzzing...
     
  2. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm about that size. Can't say it's ever bothered me. I also play a Jazz and a P bass, although I'll admit TUNING those two feels like a stretch.
     
  3. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have smallish hands, so some of the wider-spaced chords can be difficult for me to fret cleanly, but I've never gotten on with Gibby necks. So yes, I can relate to the difficulty sometimes playing chords on my Teles or Strat, but those are the two guitars that really just work for me.
     
  4. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Which model tele do you have? I have a 50's Baja with the very chunky neck that puts up more of a fight. Not a scale length problem for me but the fretwire is thin and seems low and close to the poly. Even set up well it feels different to any of my jumbo fretted instruments.

    For any fast and fluid playing and fretboard fireworks the Baja is nothing like my Ibanez with it fast neck and 12" radius neck.

    I like my tele though, it makes me play to its strengths and has great, strong piano like tones. If yours is buzzing, it may need some more setting up.
     
  5. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    I have small hands, but I don't struggle with the fender scale with regards to the stuff you mention. Where I prefer the my gibsons is if when venturing into chord shapes with large stretches and here I don't just mean something like Andy Summers add 9 chords with The Police, but more stuff like the below shown by John Stowell.



    But how often do you finds yourself in situations, where you're doing stuff like that? :D .... I love my tele just like I love my gibsons :)
     
  6. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Have you checked out Teles w/ the 7.25" neck radius? Many smaller-hands people find that radius really fluent.

    Fret sizes can make a difference here, too. Even a neck w/ the same radius you have now with more vintage-sized frets can be easier to barre.

    A good luthier/tech. He can help identify the culprit(s), and get you to the string height/neck relief settings where buzzing is minimized, yet your action isn't too high for comfort.

    String gauge, too. I had both open and fretted buzzing on an American Standard that completely disappeared just by changing from 9's to 10's.

    A pretty subtle thing that for some people makes a big difference is how glossy or smooth the back of your Tele's neck is. Gloss can create stickiness. I had trouble with that same Am. Std. until I abraded off some of its neck gloss. I was skeptical of this even being a real issue, but, sure enough, that neck's initial stickiness was delaying me at making a barre chord just enough so that I was rushing the barre, and creating/leaving buzz.

    There are lot of good threads on here about how best to abrade off just-enough of your neck's gloss.

    Good luck and post about your discoveries.
     
  7. Seitz38

    Seitz38 TDPRI Member

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    I've got the 2011 Tele Standard (mexi) so that means 9.5" radius and medium Jumbo frets.

    The frets are a big problem for me, my Jaguar has 9.5" radius but vintage sized frets, which makes a world of difference (as well as the 24" scale, which makes chord shapes hella easier)

    I'm sure a 7.25" radius would make things even easier (I rarely bend and play mostly chords and arpeggios)

    Worth noting: I play with .11's. and I've sanded down the neck to be just bare wood on the back, that helped a lot. I love this tele I have, it's not like any other I've picked up. I got it off the used rack at a Sam Ash, it had fallen off the rack several times and had some nice 'character' to it. a lot more comfortable and more heafty than most tele's I play.
     
  8. bchaffin72

    bchaffin72 Friend of Leo's

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    Could partly be in the frets, then. My strat has larger frets than my tele and, when playing the strat, I do kind of feel like I'm running over speed bumps with my fingers. I use 11s too.
     
  9. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Never noticed much of a difference. I prefer the longer scales for the tone, personally. I have relatively small hands, but love thick necks and long scales.
     
  10. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Tele's don't slide all over the place when you play seated..... as I do most of the time.

    your hands just land in the right places when you first grab the thing...your arm just flops down toward the bridge in the best place to play... not neck heavy...sweet...

    I also play a 24" scale Mustang and enjoy the shorter neck on that....
     
  11. niilolainen

    niilolainen Tele-Meister

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  12. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

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    Anyone else "struggle" with Tele's?


    You'll find that if you play in riding chaps only, you'll stop sliding around too, Trev.

    Works for me, pic to follow!
     
  13. degsycaster

    degsycaster Tele-Holic

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    I have the problem in reverse. I'm 6'2", with pretty big hands. I love Les Pauls, but whenever I play one it feels like a ukulele!
     
  14. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    malcolm young is like 4'10" and he did an entire leg
    (pun intended) of a tour with a tele
     
  15. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Some guitars are just more comfortable to play than others. For me, Strats and SGs don't work very well. Teles are immediately comfortable. I have small hands and find that the 7.25 radius and vintage frets are good but I do like necks on the beefy side. I find workarounds for nasty chord stretches.
     
  16. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    Teles. Not Tele is.

    Just sayin'
     
  17. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    If your only problem with Jaguars is the buzz, there are (approximately) a bajillion discussions about alternate bridges for them. I won't belabor the point, but here are two search words: Mastery and Staytrem.
     
  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    It sounds to me like it could be any of a number of things, and responding largely sight unseen it's hard to say what. One of the first things I would check is to make sure that guitar is set up properly and that the frets are are level and even with no high spots. Then I would look at the string gauge you're using as someone mentioned. If those things aren't an issue, or you just don't like the feel of this tele, I wouldn't assume that it's specifically the Telecaster guitar or your size; most likely it's just not the right tele for you. Play as many of them as you can with different neck shapes, radii and fret sizes and find the one that you like best. For me, the neck is the deal breaker. If you like the neck, will usually like the guitar, and you can always change pickups or build a partscaster if worse comes to worst. There was a time, years ago when I didn't like Telecasters either. I didn't like the sound of them or the feel of them. But I realized now I really hadn't played many of them so that wasn't a fair assessment. Hope you get some ideas from here and it helps you solve your problem and find your tele love. Good luck.
     
  19. Plan9

    Plan9 Tele-Meister

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    Or also a buzz stop (pulls strings tighter to bridge) or use heavier strings.

    Personally I'd say try a 7.25" fretboard radius on a tele.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    No. To make a word plural you add apostrophe S.

    EDIT: :oops:
     
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