I should reach for my Tele when...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by ArdeliasTele, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    Ok, this is going to be a challenge to articulate, so bear with me, and please ask questions to clarify...I fully expect I won't communicate what I'm looking for clearly the first time; it's just too esoteric.

    For those of you for whom a Tele isn't your go-to guitar (all 5 of us), when do you find yourself reaching for it?

    Or, if a Tele is your go-to (the other 18 million of you), any tips for integrating my Tele into my rotation in some spots I might not be seeing?


    Background:

    When I buy a new guitar, price point (I own nothing above $800 yet) tends to dictate that they're "niche" use guitars. My Schecter C-1 (with an EMG 66/57 combo), a generic middle-of-the-road hard rock guitar if ever there were one, is my current go-to, and it's likely to stay that way for the near future. Everything else I buy has something unique about either the tone or the features that tell me "I would switch to this guitar when playing this".

    The Tele is a big challenge in this regard...it's arguably the most unique set of tones I own (and I love those tones for what they are), but those signature tones tend to fit music I don't often play.

    At the same time, Teles are so damned versatile that it could, arguably, cover any niche I'm trying to explore. It could legitimately be my go-to...except for the fact that as of today, the Schecter feels more like home, and I'm leaning into that rather than forcing a change I don't need.

    I could start just picking up the Tele on a whim instead of reaching for something else, and work on making the Tele fit what I'm doing as a way to avoid ruts (which is largely what I've been doing). I could expand my concept of where the Tele would fit and use it to cover more niches, because it can. I can also just noodle more on the Tele, let it be what it is, and use that to nudge me more toward genres, styles, and techniques I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

    Any of those 3 are technically a "correct" answer, of course. Arguably, a mix of all 3 is the "ideal" answer.

    The Tele is so...well, Tele that I want to start deliberately integrating it more. I love the guitar. But where, when, and how is a little overwhelming, so I figured I'd toss the question up to people who know this specific instrument and its profile much better than I do, and just get a discussion going that might spark a direction for me.

    (Side note: joke answers playing off the Tele's versatility are fun and welcome, but I am also looking for any serious answers I get.

    I'm also already aware that "there are no wrong answers, it depends on what I want"...I agree, but any advice or direction to consider is welcome)
     
  2. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I reach for a Tele whenever I want a sound that my Strat doesn't cover. Between those two Fenders, I have what I need for any gig.
     
  3. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    I'll add that I own a Positive Grid Spark, which is a phenomenal practice amp, and a really great, cheap way to access a ton of tones and effects I wouldn't have access to otherwise. It's a great tool I'd recommend to anybody.

    But it also makes the phenomenon where these days, "you can make anything sound like anything" even worse, and I don't want to lean into that too heavily or use it as a crutch...I want to explore the Tele for what it is, rather than just over-effect it and make it sound like everything else.
     
  4. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    And which sounds are those for you? What specific use cases do you run into where you're like "the Strat won't get me there, but the Tele will"?

    If it's just a feel/experience thing, that's cool...I'm not trying to badger you. Just looking for as many specifics as I can get.
     
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  5. Mike_LA

    Mike_LA Tele-Afflicted

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    You should reach for your tele when someone walks up behind Mick on stage ....lol

     
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  6. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    Some legends never die...especially when they're true :)
     
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  7. sloppychops

    sloppychops Tele-Afflicted

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    "I should reach for my Tele when...

    - When you want to bend the B or G string on a double stop to imitate a pedal steel guitar
     
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  8. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    I use my Tele's for 1) all open tuned songs and 2) when I want it straight and tight as an alternate to my Strat.
     
  9. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    I want my Telecaster for the bridge pickup with a flat pick. I also get jazz tones I like with the pickups in series. I find my Strats more versatile and there’s no middle pickup equivalent tone on a two pickup Telecaster but this is why we have a collection.

    There have to be more than five of us. Aren’t there? :lol:
     
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  10. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    Lol. Discretion is the better part of valor, especially when using overstatement for humorous effect ;)

    And when do you find yourself wanting that bridge tone (like...any particular song, genre, or "feel)? Honestly, that's the tone that sold me (like a lot of us, I'd bet), but I'm having a hell of a time deciding where I wanna use it, if that makes sense.

    (If some of these questions sound basic, bear in mind I don't know everyone well enough yet to know who plays pro or semi-pro, who's just a hobbyist, who tends toward which styles, etc)
     
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  11. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    That apply equally when you're using an alternate tuning to make something mostly open?
     
  12. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    I'm not sure what you mean, but I'll take a shot at responding. My Strat has been my main a long time, and it is always in normal tuning, half-step down. For open tuned rock songs I keep a Tele in Open G and one in open E. And I have one Tele in normal tuning.

    For other open tuned songs where I play slide I use a Dean resonator, or Gold Tone resonator, or a hollow-body kit I am setting up better for slide(heavier strings and a nut-lift).
     
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  13. ArdeliasTele

    ArdeliasTele Tele-Meister

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    That pretty much covered what I was asking so...good translation.
     
  14. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Whenever I want to play guitar.
     
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  15. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    There are other guitars besides teles? :confused:

    Seriously, I would encourage you to explore all the switch positions and really explore the range of tones available on the tone control, the volume control and various combinations of both. Also, if you haven’t explored the 4-way switch mod, I highly recommend it. :cool:
     
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  16. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    if i'm in a more raucous mood (rock, r&b, noisy stuff) i grab the tele. basically for "loud gigs." or just when i want to noodle/try something out.

    if i'm playing standards or chet-y things or doing my best derek bailey impression, i grab my archtop. basically for "quiet gigs." often play it unplugged too.

    my 335 or SG i mostly only pull out for certain projects these days. valuable tools to have though.

    i try to mix up practicing on both the tele and the archtop since they're different scale lengths. but right now with me i only have my tele. going to bring the archtop over here soon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
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  17. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    I grab a Tele when I'm sitting around the house and just want plug in and mess around with a guitar:)
    Or whenever I'm gigging with the band and don't care whether I look like a real jazzer or not:cool:
     
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  18. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Hah!
     
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  19. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Use that tone knob. Use that volume knob. Use that pickup selector.

    That’s when a Tele shines. To me more versatile than a strat. (Love strats but the Tele has the edge. )
     
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  20. Gimble

    Gimble Tele-Meister

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    I only have a Tele so I have no choice.

    But besides that the reason I only have a Tele is because it can do most anything reasonably well.

    Its a desert island guitar after all.

    The important thing to remember is that there are knobs and a switch for a reason, so use them, and you’ll be surprised what it can do.

    The idea of having a specific guitar for a specific genre and/or sound I think is rather recent.

    Back when I played in bands I had a Kramer Focus 3000 with a licensed Floyd Rose. But it wasn’t my shredder or hard rock or heavy metal guitar. It was my guitar.

    I’d play Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal and even Thrash on the same guitar and it worked.

    I think consumerism has gotten the best of many of us.

    Rig rundowns of some of the star don’t help either.

    You know the different guitar per song, etc.

    Sometimes self imposed limitation are the fertile ground for inspiration.
     
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