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As a long term Strat guy, what attracts you to the Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by FluffyDog6, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Telekaster

    Telekaster Tele-Meister

    May 10, 2004
    Next to a Fender amp
    I am a Strat guy since I am 16 (I am 57 now), I own several Masterbuilt Strats and I am the second owner of a real '56 Strat. In 2003 when I ordered my first Masterbuilt Strat from the Fender CS, that's where I met Chris Fleming. He made me three Strats over the years he worked at the CS. After the third one, he told me "you need a good Tele ". Since he is a Tele guy, I asked him to build me what he thinks is a "good Tele". It arrived and it became my #1. I still love Strat's and always will, but this Tele is my "go-to" guitar since.
    fatcat, Owenmoney and brookdalebill like this.
  2. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Tele-Meister

    Dec 30, 2014
    Would a guy be wrong thinking tele guys tend to live on the bridge pickup? [emoji6]

    I say that to say this...IMO both guitars have their strengths and their weaknesses (yes a tele has some weaknesses--albeit subjective I suppose). I'm of the camp that there is simply not one guitar out there that can do it all. But there are guitars that can do exactly the thing some players need them do to and that is simply enough for many players.

    I couldn't just live with having a tele as my sole guitar. Same goes for strats, les pauls, semi hollows, etc.

    I've noticed a lot of semantic justifications in this thread and I'm not saying that's a bad thing per se. The question is being posed in a tele forum after all. But I consider myself a diverse player who enjoys playing all kinds of different genres. To have only one guitar, regardless of make and model, would not fulfill the needs I have as a player.
    Kojoflo and StrangerNY like this.
  3. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 14, 2009
    innsmouth, MA
    doesn't beck mainly play cheap pawnshop guitars?
  4. El Jeffe

    El Jeffe Tele-Meister

    Oct 4, 2009
    I used to play my Strat almost exclusively until I wore the frets out. That's when I started to play the Tele all day every day. Now I can afford to have the Strat refretted (it's at the luthier right now) and it will be interesting to see which one I play more. It's gonna be like having a brand new Strat. Can't wait. At first I thought the Tele was too brash.... but once you learn to tame the Tele it becomes a fkn awesome guitar.
  5. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Spring, Texas
    Same story here as most others. Was a strat guy until a guy here in Houston took my strat in for a set up. I had to use a Chinese/Mexican partscaster for 3 weeks, and that's when it happened, fell in love with everything about it. I now own 4 teles, but that Chexican, is still no. 1.
    AngelDeville likes this.
  6. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 6, 2010
    Somewhere out on that horizon
    Beck Hansen, maybe.

    Jeff Beck, on the other hand...

    EDIT: I'll just note that I saw Jeff Beck on the 'Loud Hailer' tour last spring, and for the first time I saw him play a Telecaster! So even the hard-core Strat guys come arond every once in a while.

    - D
  7. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    I was a Strat guy for many years. I have 2 Strats; the oldest is from 1970. The other is from 1990, and it is the best Strat I own, and it killed GAS for more Strats. I tried out a Baja in 2007 because it was the demo guitar for a few pedals I was interested in. So I played about ten different peadls and as many songs, and I soon knew I wanted one real bad. Back then GC was awash with Teles. I tried Squiers and a Nashville, too. I tried some Nocasters, with those tiny frets and big necks. The necks were good, but the vintage frets reminded me of the 1970 Strat which needed a refret. I hate vintage frets. But I really fell for the Baja neck.

    So I went to a Mom and Pop guitar shop and ordered it sight unseen, because they could beat the price that GC had. To me, as this is the only Tele I'll ever need, the Tele is more expressive and versatile. I like the shimmery neck bends and ultimate clarity of the sound I get over a Strat. Hell, I was doing behind the nut bends! While I could use the Strats for some smooth Jazz, I found I could use the Tele for Jazz and blues. A Strat now sounded mushy to me, AT(after Telecaster). I played mine for 7 years straight and wore out those medium jumbo frets, in a band that disbanded because our drummer died.

    So I take it to our local luthier, named Luther (actually his name is George), who now decides to work @ GC, because he's getting old and doesn't need the headache of running his own shop. He tells me that he setup all the guitars from that Mom and Pop shop, and this thing is well intonated, despite the lack of compensated saddles. So he did a crown and level on the Tele, and now Nellie is made better again. She is the only guitar I've named.

    I don't need another Tele. But since then I'm using a lot of guitars as surgical tools for what the music and the players demand in the current outfit I'm in. I now play a lot more jazz-funk and I find that the ES-347 and the Strat Ultra meets those needs. In the prior band it was dance music, and in NE PA its a lot of late 50's and early '60's music which packed the house with retirees, perfect for Nellie the Tele, with occasional need for a Strat and LP clone for the humbucker sound. I'm finding a new love interest in the Strat and Gibsons, now. But I can't forget Nellie.
  8. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charlotte NC
    Like many above, I never found the Strat to be more comfy than a Telecaster. I own and play my Strats now and then but not very often. Why the Tele ? just like a several above, my right hand has a "home" , it fits me , the Volume and Tone knobs are in the exact right place to use with the pinky finger without moving my hand.

    The Tele tones are 'zactly what I am looking for whether it's front pup or bridge pup along with some tone roll-of or mid switch position .

    The Strat does indeed offer TWO things that I like but I don't abuse, being the 5 pos switch with the 3 pups and the Tremelo arm. Each of my Teles only has TWO pups, not three.

    I like the Strat tremelo arm for extended sustain of chords but it's not something I miss .

    Overall the Tele , the right hand HOME and where the knobs are located are of primary importance, with no MID pup getting in the way.
  9. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

    Sep 28, 2016
    There are only 3 Electric Guitars in the whole world.

    1: Stratocaster.
    2: Les Paul.
    3: Telecaster.

    Everything else is a variation on a theme.

    With these three guitars, I feel as if I can do anything, play anything in any style. I feel as if I can create future forms of music.

    I'd probably reach for the Tele first to explore new musical lands.

    This instrument holds mystery, and is a joy and a pleasure to just look at, let alone, hold, or even better, play.

    There's a lot more to go on this one yet...

    And believe me, I love the Strat, I worship the Les Paul, but the Tele... it's new to me, after all these years. I know we will be friends for life.
  10. adam_laybourn

    adam_laybourn TDPRI Member

    Dec 31, 2016
    United Kingdom
    While I'm a proud owner of one of each of what I consider to be the big 5; Tele, Strat, LP, SG, and 335, 9 times out of 10 I'll pick up either the Tele or the SG.

    And honestly the Tele is my favourite. Primarily because it sounds fantastic clean and driven with a bright, clear twang. Is straightforward forward to adjust sound while playing whether flicking between pickups or tweaking volume / tone. And stays in tune. Obviously it looks stunningly cool too.

    The SG has other advantages; broader neck and vastly easier access to higher frets (Tele neck can feel cramped when alternating during a gig), but biggest frustration with it is the 4 knobs - not as immediate to tweak during performance.

    Strat is most comfortable to 'wear', but like the SG presents near option-paralysis when faced with 5 way switch and 3 knobs.

    Just my two pennies ...
  11. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Tele-Holic

    Apr 28, 2016
    The bridge pickup.
  12. 1952stuff

    1952stuff TDPRI Member

    Apr 21, 2015
    on my old tele...me too...bridge pickup...strat can't get that. on my recent tele..the amer st HH...came with 2 humbuckers to imitate les paul.....total joke...swapped both pickups for lollar.....now has its own sound....

    when i play...home or out...i usually only use 1 or 2 sounds...i can pedal any sound in the universe with any guitar ever made...i like things as simple as possible.

    a tele and a good speaker powered by some tubes......i have 2 pedals i sometimes use...all the rest...unless in the hands of a guitar genius which i definitely am not...or a studio genius...which i'm not either.....is mainly just stuff to sell to aspirants and wanna be's who haven't figured out yet that 99.9999999% is up to the head and hand and soul and talent of the person holding the thing...Hendrix could have made a broom stick strung with rubber bands sound better then I could make a million dollars worth of state of the art gear sound.

    the only question is ...how much natural dna talent do you have, how much do you love the music...and are you willing to invest the tremendous effort and hard work involved in making that piece of wood and metal an organic extension of your body and to give it a beautiful voice of its own.....
  13. GeoCaster

    GeoCaster TDPRI Member

    May 19, 2007
    I love my strat, but I really really love my tele. For me the strat is smooth, with beautiful sounding tones, but my tele has more bite. A little bit of grit, with a tube amp, overdriven a touch, and a tele sings to me. Strats are wonderful and capable of bite and grit, but to me a tele rings like no other guitar. That's just my opinion :) I don't have a lot of that natural DNA talent, but I still love playing:)
  14. Mantaray14

    Mantaray14 TDPRI Member

    Sep 18, 2015
    New York
    I played my strat (a 1997 California series) for enjoyment for over ten years. I was really into Hendrix and SRV style music. Now I have 2 Teles (a AVRI 58', and a 2015 MIM Standard), which are voiced differently but both killer guitars. I play them both on a regular basis. Teles have a raw feel and do the beautiful Fender thing with some Gibson tone thrown in. You have to find the right Teles though, there's a lot duds, especially on the cheaper end. It's hard to explain what makes a good one, but I can tell within a few minutes of playing it. I have an Epi Es-339 I like too.

    With regard to Strats, when I played one exclusively, I tended to play the same style songs over and over. There's only so much "Little Wing" and "Lennie" you can play before your wife starts yelling at you. I don't even own a Strat anymore, but I do play MM Silhouette Special that is kinda like a smaller Strat with some Tele twang thrown in. I'd like a vintage-modern Suhr Style strat one day, but regular off the shelf Strats, I notice I go right to Hendrix mode, which is a rut it took me years to break....
  15. birv2

    birv2 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2010
    Charleston, SC
    I was strictly a strat guy for years until I got an Affinity Squier tele, just to have one. That was about 8 years ago, and I've hardly picked up the strat since! Added a couple other tele's.

    Hard to say exactly why. I'd agree that there's nothing like that back pickup! Also simplicity, a wide range of sounds which can cover just about anything, the look.... I'm not anti-strat, but it just hardly ever gets used anymore.
  16. old soul

    old soul Tele-Meister

    Nov 11, 2015
    terra firma
    Always preferred the tele, only got a strat bc I couldn't find a tele I wanted.
  17. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    After playing trumpet for a few years, I started guitar, briefly in high school, switching to drums in the early '80's. Then in the early '90's, I decided to pick up guitar. A Guitar Player issue featuring a Telecaster Shootout, inspired a custom guitar order from Stephen's Stringed instruments. I took some features from the shootout, starting with SSI, in Seattle, using their Thinline model as the build platform, (it features their brilliant, extended cutaway, as featured on some Washburn guitars).
    * no f-hole, B.B. King inspired, although I've considered Dremelling my own?
    * a rosewood fretboard, 1 11/16" nut width, chunky, slight, offset "V"
    * Tom Anderson stacked humbuckers, with coil taps, for versatility. They got a great review in the shootout.
    I went with a classic, blackguard & tung oil finish, keeping the cost down + I prefer thin finishes, where I can feel & see the ash grain + I like natural/blonde type finishes

    The guitar turned out great! It has probably my favorite neck profile, (wish it was all maple, now), sustains forever, is light, resonant & versatile!
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  18. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    2 pickups / 2 knobs - nice and simple and it looks great.
  19. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Jan 23, 2007
    Yeah , its so nice and simple , it just works...... I play 3 styles of guitars , Strat, Tele and Les Pauls......I tend to use the same guitar all night , I don't need a Strat to play Little Wing , or whatever
    Its kind of funny , but I don't really care what guitar style of the three mentioned I'm playing , I like them equally. But , I don't play acoustics , I absolutely won't play a hollowbody , or an SG , I guess I'm just weird..
  20. GreatGaudy

    GreatGaudy Tele-Meister

    Jul 13, 2016
    Teles are perfect because they look stupid and unplayable when upside down.
    Graham Peterson and Bradley-Jazz like this.
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