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I can’t play Strats anymore (not by choice). Teles are tough too!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by BluesHound, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Nope. I almost always use my Telecaster for gigs but I've been starting to use the Les Paul some and played one with it for over two hours without a break. I think I may use it this coming Friday night. I used a Strat exclusively for performing for over 10 years. I still play them at home but haven't used on at a gig in some time. However it's not because they don't sound or feel right.
     
  2. guitarsophist

    guitarsophist Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Actually, I have found that "The Wind Cries Mary" sounds just fine on a banjo. But I digress.

    I find that when I switch from one good guitar to another, I sometimes miss whatever it was that pleasing me in the previous one. It takes a while to get used to what makes the guitar now in your hands sound good. This is especially noticeable when switching from a Fender to a Gibson, especially a strat to an LP because their good qualities are so at odds.
     
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  3. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Once I played a Tele I could never get comfortable with a Strat again. But sometimes I favor single coils, sometimes humbuckers. Give it time, you will come around. Just don't sell all the guitars that are out of favor right now.
     
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  4. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    I am sure many players experience that kind of psychological effect towards the gear they use, but they often put that simply onto the account of a will to change and experience new things.
     
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  5. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Different scale length, and different (rounder) neck profile, that's a lot but it should not be so difficult to adapt. Pickups? Try a strat loaded with humbuckers and you will know.

    But what strikes me the most when I go from Gibson to Fender is the different heigth of the bridge/strings relative to the body. The way you can rest your hand on the body and the clearance under the strings are completely different, and I can see that becoming a problem when you discover which one suits your playing style...
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  6. Deathray

    Deathray Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This is interesting, and timely for me. I have noticed that I’m reaching for my 24.75 scale guitars more often lately. I’ll pick up my strat, or one of my Teles for a song or two, but inevitably go back to my two 24.75 axes.
    I think it’s a phase I’m going through.
     
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  7. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The same thing happens to me, although I haven’t ever gone decades before experiencing it. I think it is psychological. I’m not a psychologist, but I equate it to when you’re wearing a certain scent and by the end of the day, you don’t smell it anymore because your brain has a mechanism that cancels out smells that are constant. This allows the brain to better interpret other smells that are more relevant to a human being experiencing the world. Maybe the brain does the same thing with sound. After a while, the tone starts sounding old and kinda flat. At least that what happens in my case.

    Right now I’m in love with my Tele and Strat tone. My Les Pauls and Carvin leave me uninspired. At this point last year, however, I was playing everything with a humbucker. After some time, and again I mean months not years, I started feeling bored. I took my Tele out of its case, plugged it in, and man how rude! I fell right back in love again. To wit, I think it might just be a phase.
     
  8. Johnkir64

    Johnkir64 TDPRI Member

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    Play whatever you want. Just play music.
     
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  9. cdwillis

    cdwillis Tele-Meister

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    I just recently got an older Gibson faded SG and I'm just kind of over Fenders to a degree. The shorter scale and flatter neck radius make it easier to play. Now if only it stayed in tune as good as my telecaster...
     
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  10. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Tele-Meister

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    Any tune can be played on any guitar but if, at that moment, you really needed to play a certain type of guitar and that has been the case ever since, then, well, that is kind of irrational (especially since we all know Teles and Strats are superior to everything else), but it is also perfectly fine for you to do that.

    At some point, I can almost guarantee you will feel the same about some other guitar (probably a Strat, I'm gonna predict now), maybe 18 months to 2 years from now. It's all perfectly normal, even if it is irrational, and I wouldn't fret too much about it.

    Sent from my Phone using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    Funny you should say this.

    The guitar is a mystical instrument. On the face of it it's just a plank of wood with just some thin bits of metal strapped across the top of it and some basic electrics so it can make some kind of sound.

    And the Telecaster itself epitomizes this philosophy probably more than any othe plank of wood, with...

    But every now and again, you get in to a rut. Sometimes picking up an unfamiliar guitar, maybe even one that is quite 'bad' can inspire in new ways.

    You mention the 335. I'm very lucky, I happen to own one. It's this model:

    [​IMG]

    I was going to buy a very nice Epiphone 335 (it was the same price just about), but something just made me fall in love with this 'black beauty'.

    I bought it mail order and I was not disappointed. I'd never owned a guitar like this before, being mainly a Strat, then Tele, then LP kind of guy. But I'd bought their mini-bodied Jazzmaster and was blown away by the quality of it, so I took a flyer on this one.

    It was almost perfect. But it had a bit of fret buzz around the top couple of frets on the high strings. Nothing a little bit of work couldn't solve. For some reason after a bit of playing, that has just about disappeared now and I haven't even changed the strings since I got it last year. Have hardly played it at all actually. Have hardly played any guitar at all the last year or so.

    So I put some cheap strings on it (.10-46) and gave it a clean up. Just started thrashing it in the kitchen where I cleaned her up. The spice flowed...

    After trying to get back in to playing again, after almost losing all my ability built up over a lifetime, it was fire off the fingertips. The muse comes, the muse goes, but it always returns, eventually, if you have put the 'work' in...

    And I'd been getting close recently too - I bought a 90's China Squier Strat with some real magic to it - and I'd really been getting very very close. I only unboxed that after over a year. In fact, I made the mistake of keeping the thing upside down on its neck (yeah, very very stupid I know) and guess what? The neck was fine after having had the body weight on it all that time (year or more). Beautiful guitar. Exceptional sounding pups.

    But I'd also fallen back in love with my 3 tone-burst Aria Pro II Telecaster. That guitar is just pure silk to play, the neck is just butter, not a bad fret. I put .10's on her too, though I do like to put 'Hybrids' on some Strat/Tele guitars depending. My hand just glides up and down that neck and my fingers just fit perfectly without any extra effort - you know - guitars are mystical.

    But I was not prepared for the mojo coming off that Revelation 335. They stopped selling them after a small run - probably could call it a 'lawsuit' guitar (lol). I must mention also the sweet sweet humbucker sound of those Entwistle pups, pure rich cream. Harmonic. Clear. And a decent enough variation between positions. It looks the part as well. I'm so glad I chose it over an Epiphone (though I heard that run they did was very very good as well). It cost me a little under 300 quid. Saw one going on reverb for 500 bucks I think. Well worth it.

    But I know what you mean about the rigidity of the strings. It's a very different feel to my Gibson LP. And of course different to the leeway one is used to playing a Strat or Tele, where you can not only bend those strings, you can move them around the neck if you know what I mean (sorry can't explain it better than that). It's almost limiting coming from a Strat/Tele background. But it works. Boy does it work. I'm so in love with this guitar.

    I'm picking her up and playing her just like OP with his newfound love of his new 'squeeze'. Nothing against the Strats/Teles though - they are still working for me in a big way. My no.1 guitar is in my sig and no guitar on earth will ever come close to the love I have for that. In fact, I put some Fatter strings on her and that made it quite rigid like the 335, but I can work with that. I put 9's on her, 10's usually and now there is a set of 52-10 (Skinny top, Heavy bottom).

    Just changing strings around (as others have suggested) can give such a radical difference to the feel as we all know, but yet we all seem to forget. Sure, your guitar is probably perfectly intonated for 10's or 9's or whatever your poison is, but really, come on, a guitar is never in tune anyway (not in my hands anyway), so how much does it hurt to play around a little. You can always go back to 'old faithful' once you've played the field a bit. Just don't tell your main 'squeeze'.

    I can understand where the OP is coming from. Don't over think it OP. Go where the spice flows. When it stops flowing, it's time to start digging again.

    I wasn't even unhappy with my new Strat and old Tele - truth be told, I found some strings on ebay for just a few bucks and thought they can't be any good, so lets buy a pack to see, while buying a few packs of my regular Slinkys (46-10) - yeah, I'm an Ernie Ball man pretty much - they're my Gold standard, but I don't mind seeing what else is out there too. These strings that I got for 3 quid (Tigers IIRC) are actually pretty good and you get a spare .10 too.

    But it wasn't about the strings. It was about the incredible feel and tone that flew off this guitar after I had got back in to shape a bit with the Strat/Tele.

    It's true, the Strats, the Teles, they are real workhorse guitars. Gold standards in their own right. In fact, the more I play 'em the more I realise there really isn't that much difference between them feel or soundwise. Now before I start a Holy War, I mean relatively compared to other guitars. Sure a real pro can tell the difference (and there are major differences), but to an old hack like me after a few beers, it's just plug and play and fire and forget...

    After playing this Revelation 335 I realised maybe after all these decades it's time to start taking it seriously and to stop playing around and commit to maybe just a few select guitars. I already have 'The One' - but this one just added itself to the list. I don't think I even checked the intonation on it. No set up at all. Just new strings after a year. And those old strings were still good. Still in tune. I could have played 'em for another six months and they would have been good. But now...


    I'll just repeat your quote one more time:


    If you can, hunt down a decent 335 - doesn't have to be a Gibson or even an Epiphone. I think Revelation are still doing a version of it (just not 335 clone like this one).

    Really everyone needs a 335 in their life. It looks the part. You can actually practice with it pretty good too as it is 'semi-acoustic'. And while you can strum open top chords on it country style, you can still play lead on it down the neck (albeit with a slightly different feel). What I love about this 335 is how easy I can bend up a tone on the E and B strings. I have to bend so much further on a Tele or Strat. Sometimes that rigidity comes in handy. Another reason to use heavier gauge strings as well. But it's the same .10 gauge on my other guitars - as long as you have a certain amount of finger strength, it actually makes it easier and to be able to be more accurate on the 335. I'm in love.

    I got my Gibson LP out the other day. I enjoyed playing that as well. Apart from the fact that the jack socket kept cutting out, and also the 3-way toggle switch as well. It's a mess. And this is after sending back to Dawson's in the UK to fix. It came back in worse shape again than when I sent it in. Next time I'll solder it myself. Jokers. Them and Gibson.

    My Revelation 335 might be China made, but the QC was overseen by Entwistle himself who I believe lives there and takes a major hand in making sure what comes out of the factory is top notch. The Jazzmaster that I have from them is superb as well, but alas that also suffers from the 1/4" jack cutting out too. So it's not just Gibson.

    I have a lot of guitars (coupla dozen now), but after not playing for a while, I feel like I'm really re-discovering what I have. I'm excited about getting back in to guitar again. I feel blessed and privileged to have so many wonderful 'planks' at my disposal.

    But I do need 'one' more: A Maple neck Telecaster. How can I not have a Telecaster with a Maple neck?

    Then that will be the last one ever. I won't need anymore. I'll be set for life.

    :)
     
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  12. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You didn't by chance stumble on the Pick of Destiny did you;)
     
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  13. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Give it time, you will likely get over it. It sure wouldn't be the first time that has happend (Clapton, Knopfler, etc. have all gone back and forth between a strat and a les paul). Ride the present wave and enjoy it, but not rule out a return to your strat. I generally don't like strats because I play sitting down and a strat is like holding a cat in that it always seems to be trying to run away. I like big bodied instruments that stay put, but I still find myself going through stages where I become a strat-guy for a week or two to get a particular sound that has been stuck in my head.

    It is just one of the reasons we all need to keep more than one guitar on hand
     
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  14. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I go through phases where I love a certain guitar. After a while, maybe a couple months, maybe more, I pick up a different guitar and think, "this sounds and feels great, I should play this guitar all the time." After a few months, well, the pattern repeats.

    On a different note, not quite two years ago I noticed that I was losing strength in my hands. During this time I gave up playing my Tele for my LP Special, and bought a small bodied Taylor acoustic, because the Tele and my Martin were physically difficult to play. Scale length seemed to make a huge difference. After months of doctor appointments the cause was found and I went to physical therapy.

    I'm now able to play all my guitars again (although the Martin still doesn't get much use). I even bought a Strat, which is my current favorite electric in spite of the longer scale neck.
     
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  15. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    My Revelation 335 is 25" scale IIRC. So it's got a bit of a different feel again. Somewhere between the standard Gibson and standard Fender scales.

    And if I do remember correctly, I think some earlier models of this guitar might have been made in 25" scale, either by Gibson or Epiphone as things changed hands. But don't quote me on that. So it's not an unusual scale for this guitar. It works very well in fact. Not sure if the Epiphone 335 clones at the time were this scale length as well, or the standard Gibson 24.75 - though I think they were the standard 24.75 scale.

    I believe there were even 335's built with 25.5" scale as well. It could work. That 25" scale for me is a real sweet spot though. A bit easier to handle (you know what I mean) than a typical Fender scale, but not so 'toy like' (you know what I mean) like a typical Gibson scale.

    My first ever guitar was a Gibson LP copy. My first real guitar was a Fender Squier Japanese Strat.

    It was only with the advent of the internet that I worked out (doh) that they were actually different scales. The less you know...


    Also apologies for my overly long blog post. I get a bit carried away sometimes. I'll try to curb my enthusiasm.
     
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  16. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    With a band it’s been primarily a Les Paul. At home, I switch between my R7 Les Paul, an American Standard Stratocaster, and a ‘52 AVRI Telecaster. Depends upon my mood and the music that I’m attempting to play.
     
  17. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank for you the nice read, I’m eventually going to get a 335. Heck, I’m a big BB king albeit BB’s doesn’t have F holes and have a “Varitone” circuit.

    The Ibanez’s are quite nice also.
     
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  18. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Afflicted

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    Exactly right. When I’m in my 80’s and my hands don’t work well anymore I will definitely consider one of those Les Paul thingies.
     
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  19. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I think this is a lot of it.

    My youngest son is just this week began learning guitar. (Kid plays cello and piano, so I didn't lure him, and also knew that guitar was a matter of time.) He wanted to learn the "Blowin' in the Wind" melody. Did so quickly. (Yes, I felt the wheel of time make a happy turn.)

    I come out of the shower 15 min. later and hear someone finger-picking a D(add4) on a great-sounding acoustic. Thought a friend had dropped over--but it was the same son. "Isn't this that really haunting chord that starts 'Kathy's Song'?," he says. How good my everyday guitar sounded surprised me even more than his progress did. Playing that chord that way on my beater acoustic has been my just-fiddlin' habit for 40+ years. But in someone else's hands, coming toward me instead of going away, it sounded fresh and great.

    I think our minds can tire of very familiar sounds and even our own talents gradually or suddenly, so we feel that the thing is limiting us, or is just plain blah. We pick up something that feels and sounds different, and our blahs get bypassed with newly started fun, pleasure, curiosity, sense of achievement and possibility. The neurons get a reset. When the old has been left alone long enough or is unexpectedly coming to you from a new direction, it will sound/play great again.

    Either that, or your poltergeist isn't cleaning your frets of possum greez when he's done with your Strat.
     
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  20. tapollok

    tapollok Tele-Holic

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    Interesting...I absolutely always find the polar opposite.
    I no longer have a "#1"...I pull a guitar off the wall...Strat, Tele, LP, Ovation, Cigar Box, Uke...and immediately find a new pleasing riff and tone in seconds.
    Absolutely EVERY time.
    I play to the instrument in hand...with great gusto and pleasure.

    Q: Is the glass half full or half empty?
    A: Irrelevant...the glass is refillable.

    :twisted:
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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