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Considering my very first Telecaster. (Advice sought)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ChiTao, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. ChiTao

    ChiTao TDPRI Member

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    Greetings folks..

    I wonder if I may get the benefit of your experience and wisdom?

    After 35 years diddling with guitar music I have finally grown up and matured to the point where I no longer care about flash looks, gimmicks, gadgets, the latest this or that or any mo0re 7 string pyrotechnic wizardry.

    I have come through all kinds of music beginning with classical, through flamenco, jazz, blues, funk, reggae, extreme dark heavy metal, thrash, African and folk music, many types of fusion and even hip-hip and drum&bass guitar!

    It's time to settle into and focus on what really moves my heart and being. And this for me means focussing on pure jazz and modern jazz fusion styles of musical expression and playing. Mike Stern and John Abercrombie being at the top of my list of all time favourite musicians.

    So, back to the chase... I am looking for a simple no frills instrument that will be my one single workhorse for everything I do from now on. And my research has brought me full circle back to Fender.. and more accurately Fender Telecaster. i used Fender Valve amps and every Strat (even Strat copies) sound amazing on these amps. Full, warm tone, thick body and presence and character which I just love.

    From my research they look real solid, simple, no frills, tough workhorses that will last you a lifetime, won't crumple or cave in after a drop and their very simply humble modesty seem to me very conducive to one being to just focus on the music and playing and nothing else. Apparently you can also get a decent one for under £1,000 :rolleyes:

    In view of the styles I described I'd like to specialise in (dark modern Jazz and fusion).. do you think a Stratocaster or Telecaster would be my best choice? I have never owned either.

    Oh, and if the answer is a telecaster.. what kind? (I do love the darkness and warmth of mahogany by the way)

    Appreciate all views and opinions, thank you. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  2. tomperry12

    tomperry12 TDPRI Member

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    If your mind is made up for a fender and you are going to play jazz, I would go with a strat. It can give you a fatter tone. I favor my teles over my strat but I don't play jazz. The tele will give you greater versatility in tone (strange with only two pickups vice three; but true). Also, if you decide tele, check out the classic vibe Squier. It is much cheaper though I watched 10,000 you tube comparisons and could not find a single one which favored a MIA tele over a classic vibe. Good luck.
     
  3. Ham and Eggs

    Ham and Eggs Tele-Meister

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    A tele with a neck humbucker may be something to look at. Also G&L blues boys are terrific for jazz imho. Are you looking for a more traditional setup?
     
  4. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Two good suggestions.
     
  5. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    Find a used Mike Stern Yamaha.
     
  6. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Most modern Teles have a humbucking neck-route under the pickguard so you get to pick and choose which one to install.
     
  7. TeleCustom2

    TeleCustom2 TDPRI Member

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    A Telecaster Custom with the neck humbucker... and a one piece rosewood neck. It is as versatile as anything I have ever seen or played and will do anything you need it to do. :cool:

    (I may be a little biased but that's a burden I'm willing to bear.)
     
  8. KingM

    KingM TDPRI Member

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    The 50' Reissue Telecaster, made in Mexico. Great sound, put together very well and you can find very nice clean guitars on eBay for great prices. That is all you need.
     
  9. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    We can recommend all kinds of Fenders but it depends on what you are comfortable with. A Strat never worked for me. For you, it might be a revelation. You really should play some and get a feel for what you like.
     
    Ron R likes this.
  10. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    "darkness and warmth" says tele neck pickup to me and not a strat. I'd be looking at the used market and trying to find a pre 2012 American standard telecaster (my understanding is those 2012 teles have more strat like neck pickups)
     
  11. acstorfer

    acstorfer Tele-Holic

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    I don't know why. Teles are very versatile. To me jazz is the one and only genre I can't see a Tele in. I'm sure it's been done, and successfully, still though I just don't see it. I think I'd go cheap and get an Ibanez artcore.


    Kiss My Shiny Nitro Ash!
     
  12. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd Tele-Holic

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    Go to a store and play both for at least an hour. Decide what you like that way. Both are viable options for what you want. Your pickup options these days allow you to tailor either model (or any route therein) with pickups that will assist in finding what works best with you. So many options......
     
  13. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Be sure to--in fact, start with--finding the neck you like most.

    Tele necks can vary a lot, from model to model. And it's usually much cheaper to change one or both pickups than it is to sort out which (usually very expensive) replacement neck to swap in. You can have a great Tele that you end up not much liking or playing because you find the neck shape, and/or radius, and/or frets just don't suit your hand/playing style.

    That said, this is all good advice (as usual) from the other posters. I'm all for made in America and the romance of a MIA Tele. (I have one, in fact.) But a lot of the made-in-Mexico models are great guitars at great prices.

    A good shop with a range of new and used Teles may be the best route to give you hand-on-necks comparisons. A used one in good shape, gone over by a technician whom an experienced player can recommend you, can be the best way to get one you've played and found you liked at a very good price.

    After that, it's amp time! There are many threads on here on the "best" amps for "that Tele sound," but this, too, is very subjective. You'll again have to find what you like best. That's more fun than headache, so post again about your experiences.

    One last thing: strings. If you like thicker Tele sounds, consider 10's or even 11's for your Tele. You'll still have plenty of twang available.

    Good luck!
     
  14. degsycaster

    degsycaster Tele-Holic

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    I would suggest a Baja. The tonal possibilities on those, with the 4 way and S1 switch, make for a very versatile instrument.
     
  15. asax

    asax TDPRI Member

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    72 thinline

    See youtube viedos of nicky tong playing fusion jazz on a telecaster.
    Excellent and sounds right for the music
     
  16. Sean65

    Sean65 Tele-Holic

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    The American Special Telecaster with a rosewood board would be my pick for jazz. Big frets mixed with heavier string (11+) on the neck pickup would sound just great.
     
  17. brogh

    brogh Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    first of all welcome, for th guitar for what you have described why don't you take a look at thinlines as stated above, or an american vintage 72 custom may fit.
    I love mine, but as said you better check out the neck size.

    good hunt
     
  18. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    There are way more guitarists that use a tele for jazz than a strat.Still if you know how to play jazz you can play it with any guitar & amp.So the answer is that you have to go out and TRY BOTH.
     
  19. 10thoufirst

    10thoufirst Tele-Holic

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    Yes, you definitely can play jazz on a Tele, an ideal platform because of its ruggedness and tuning stability. You can get a good jazz sound from any of the models available depending on your amp settings, but something like an original Thinline might have a head start because of its pickups. Having said that, I have a bog standard AV52 which is perfect for playing jazz in my opinion. I would suggest trying 11s, no need for flat wounds unless you like them, but to contradict myself again, I use 10s. Only because I'm a cheapskate and use the same guitar for many different things.
    Have fun!
     
  20. nick-melb

    nick-melb TDPRI Member

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    tele is the jazz guys solidbody. ed bickert, john scofield, bill frisell and more recently julian lage, all tele players. I just bought a hot rod 52 tele and I'm planning on making it my jazz tele. chuck some flats on it when it arrives and it should be good to go.
     
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