introduction to the Tele Guitar

Steve_U1S

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That body is gorgeous (guitar, not yours, lol)…I admire anyone who has any woods carving/woodworking skills.
Thank you - I appreciate that. Regarding the guitar of course; myself, I'm all too aware...

The mahogany body I made from scratch in grade 9 wood shop class.
That's faux leather applied to back and front (I didn't know the original was fully jacketed - I knew very little then, and not much more now...), and I carved it in as close a tribute to Waylon's #1 as I could at the time, based on the limited photography I could get my hands on - I was a teenager with limited resources at the time.
Now I'm as you see in the photo - much older, and still with limited resources =]
 

Tommy Biggs

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My friend’s dad was a nyc studio guy, and my pal’s older brother Mark was super talented, kind of a prodigy. He had a really nice 60’s Tele that was always lying around the house. I was banging away on a silvertone acoustic.
My initial electric guitar moments were playing the Tele through some sf twins that were also ‘lying around’. Mics drums, a cool old hagstrom bass…
We kept on playing, big bro Mark would go out on tours playing keys so the Tele stayed home. We had a lot of fun, and 45 years later I wish he still had that Tele. Tobacco blonde with a maple neck, dinged up to hell, with some “contact paper stained glass” on the back.
I bought my own Tele a few years later, also in nyc, and am still playing it today.
 
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Gary in Boston

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Ive told this story before but I'll tell to again.

Sometime in the mid late 1950's my neighbor announced that he had the first electric guitar and would we kids like to see it.

I think we were in the middle of a heated game of four squares but our interest was piqued so we all trotted over to my neighbors back yard and waited patiently for him to emerge from the house.

Out he walked and in his hands was what we all now call a black guard Telecaster which even though it was probably a fairly new instrument for then was in "much loved" condition.

We all sat in a circle on the grass and the guitar was passed around. When it was my turn I held it and had two thoughts. 1) This thing is pretty light weight, much lighter than if looked all cut out with those right angle edges etc. 2) With the way this looks my Dad could make one of them for sure.

I now know that of course my neighbor didn't mean he owned "The First" electric guitar he probably said he had the first massed produced electric guitar so in that way it was the first.

However, it did make an impression on me.
 

Jay Jernigan

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Feb 11, 2013
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I bought a white blonde, white PG Fender Tele from a musical associate in about 1980. It was one of those dawgs that suffered from low E wolf-itis. At the time, there seemed to be no way to fix it; could NOT use it for anything, so, that didn't last long. Went back to Strats, pretty much exclusively for 25 years or more.
Then, about 2009, Squier dropped the CV series, got a WB, which I still have, and it is still a great guitar. I may be missing out because I don't own a higher price or grade Tele, but I'm happily rolling along with several bottom feeders, including a partscaster or three, so I'll probably never know.
 

57joonya

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I've told this story before... I was in the Marine Corps and had just got back from being overseas. While deployed I had been listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley and had also learned that Jimmy Page played one...

Anyway I got back to base in Hawaii and I had a fairly large wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket, having not spent any of it. I knew I wanted a Tele, so one day while in downtown Honolulu I thought I'd stop by a guitar shop. The guy behind the counter informed be they were closing in 5, I said it won't take that long. I asked where the "Mexican Teles" were, he pointed out a handful on the wall. I walked over, decided I liked the sunburst finish the most, so I took it down and said "this one please", totally unplayed. Then I asked for a cheap combo amp and he suggested the Fender GDEC. Sure! I had a new rig and it took all of three minutes and I think $900 or so out the door.

The first time I plugged it in was back on base and man, it was just so different from my humbucker guitars! I don't know how I went 10 years without really playing single coils, but it was instant love. My induction into the church or 60 cycle hum.

Anyway, I did sell that guitar to a friend, but it started the love affair with "the plank" and is the reason my number 1 for the past 5 years has been an Esquire with... drum roll please... A Don Mare 2-Speed StangRay!

View attachment 1044427
Edit: The friend I sold her to was kind enough to snap a pic of my first Tele, so here she is!.
View attachment 1044759
Sweet esquire .Glendale saddles ,looks like? Good taste
 

That Cal Webway

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Seeing Clarence White twice playing with the Byrd's 100% inspired me. Alot.
Late 1960s very early 1970s.

Got my first Telecaster in August of 1969.
F hole with a Bigsby.
 

TwangerWannabe

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Jun 25, 2019
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West Coast
Mine is pretty simple...

First guitar was an MIM Standard Strat in arctic white.

I got Radiohead's first record, Pablo Honey and saw that Jonny Greenwood played was playing a Telecaster in the. photo of them playing in an empty swimming pool. I already had a Fender Deluxe 85, and amp very similar to the one he played and had to have a Tele. I saved up, sold the Strat and bought a brand new Sunburst American Standard Telecaster.

Before then I always thought Teles looked weird and wondered why anyone would play one with it's goofy looking headstock and two pickups when you could have a Stat that just looked better and had more options with three pickups.
 

Hodgo88

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Sweet esquire .Glendale saddles ,looks like? Good taste
Yep! Actually all of the hardware is Glendale "raw deal". I didn't want to necessarily buy a "relic" up front, so I went with a thin nitro finish and unplated hardware so that the guitar would age more quickly on its own.
 

GuitarGeorge

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Mar 17, 2003
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Long Island, NY
I was only playing maybe a year or so when I became infatuated with Strats. But, alas, I couldn’t afford one. But I could afford a Tele. It was probably around 1965 and no, I no longer have it.
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
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Well:

A longtime Takamine nut, I bought my first electric guitar, a Takamine GX-200T, in I think 2008. I was then a frequent poster on the tiny but nice (RIP) Takamine Forum, which fueled my searches for and purchases of 'way too many old "lawsuit" Takamines, but then which led to my "lifer" acoustic as well, my EF340S BG.

At the time I was increasingly bothered by carpal tunnel syndrome, and the SBG's wider neck, with a 1 3/4" nut, offered significant relief when I played it. I got to wondering on the forum whether necks like that were available on electric guitars. George, the tech at our local guitar store, suggested I build one, at about the same time another Takamine Forum member steered me to TDPRI, and I began lurking around TDPRI, soaking up information about parts and casters. George gave me a 2" x 8" rough-cut board, Phillipine mahogany he called it, that he'd had for 30 years or so.

I was skeered to do it myself, so I talked my eldest son into making a body for me, using the awesome T Downs blueprint from the Tele Home Depot, and at George's suggestion I asked him to put a belly cut on it. While he was doing that, I devoured the various parts and finishing options from threads about the great builds by all the skilled builders here.

I ordered a neck from Warmoth that was the closest reproduction of my SBG's neck I could make: mahogany, 1 3/4" nut, ebony board, gradiated radius. I ordered a set of "Green Onions" pickups from a winder who was all the rage around here at that time, guy name of Mare.

I decided on a tung-oil finish, something I could do myself, and thought it would look good with all-black hardware, which turned out to be a bit of a pain to find, but luckily the Grover Minis are pretty good tuners, and they had 'em in black. I followed George's other suggestion--reverse the controls--and I've been plenty happy with it, and used it on the rest of the guitars I built later.

An old friend of mine had a leather shop in Coquille, and he made a very nice tooled strap with the name of my imaginary band, Hank Stank and the Think Tank (all the words rhyme). We had to use a screwdriver to put it on, and it would take at least that to take it back off.

It's silly to name cars and guitars, I know it is, and I don't call them by name out loud, but this guitar's name is Simple J. Malarkey, Ol' Simple for short, after the character in Pogo comics from the '50s. It's a great-playing, great sounding instrument, and a pretty good hat rack. I wouldn't sell it for any amount.

hatrack.jpg
 

Bill

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The San Francisco Earthquake...

of 1989.

A guitar store near me had a refinished '66 Tele. I'd never played a Tele before. Plugged it in, played it, and immediately knew I wanted it because of how it sounded and felt. Unfortunately, it was out of my price range.

So I went back home and a few weeks later there was a big earthquake. A few days after that I returned to the guitar store and they'd lowered the price to $550 as part of an "Earthquake Sale" they were having.

I bought the guitar and still have it. And a couple years later bought a matching ‘66 Deluxe Reverb that I still have as well.

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telel6s

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Spring/Summer 1979. My first guitar teacher had a 50s tele with a custom leather cover over the whole body. I got to play it once or twice (although at 13 years old it was just a cool old guitar to me). Typical of my youth and that time, I wanted to learn things like Stairway to Heaven, Roundabout and My Sharona. It was three or four years later that I caught on to that guitar teacher being one of the Washington DC area's finest musicians who made his way into the Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame.


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Maguchi

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Lalaland
Bought a new Fender American Standard Strat in 1987 and played in a blues band. I was really pleased with the Strat.

I was watching and "borrowing" things from some of the more experienced blues players. There was one technique I kept seeing an older guy with a Tele do where you'd bend and hold one string and hold and play another unbent open or fretted string. And with a Strat with a trem the unbent string would be out of tune.

In the late '80s, the Tele was a popular and often seen guitar on stages and vids in popular music, not just country. So in 1989 I traded in the Strat for a new Fender American Standard Tele and never looked back.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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Christmas 1979 our next door neighbor and best friend Robbie got a Sears SG from Santa. Of course I had to have one as well. A close family friend lent his 1968 Telecaster to me. A few weeks later Robbie's grandmother told us that we could take the Gibson tweed amps and 50's Stratocaster that his deceased cousin left in his bedroom closet. Those were just used guitars back then. Wish I had any of them now (except for the Sears SG).
 

greenhornet

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wv
I'm a Strat lover first and foremost, but in 1983 Guitar Player Magazine did an article on Ray Flacke with an incredible meats and potatoes photo (which I still have) of Ray playing his 19667/68 Telecaster. From that moment on I always wanted a Telecaster. At that time he played through a Gibson Lab amp with a Memory Man. This was at the start of the Big Hair Band era and Ray and his gear cuould not have been more different.
 

FenderLover

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Like a lot of Les Paul fans, I couldn't like Fenders in general, because of the screw-together nature of the things. This was all pre-internet, late 70's, from an ignorant teenager's perspective. I was exposed to Roy Buchanan (Livestock) through some hippie friends of a high school girlfriend and I thought well, if that's the guitar he used, they can't be all that bad. Fast forward, I only have one Les Paul but 6 Teles, and a medium pile of others.
 

Tom Grattan

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It was sometime in early 1954 and the family was watching TV. The Gary Moore show was on and they had a new talent, and up and comer. Everyone was talking about Elvis and here he was. Behind him was the guitar player playing an solid body electric guitar (Scotty and Tele). As soon as I saw that I knew I wanted to play guitar. I didn't know what a Telecaster was but it pushed all the right buttons for me. Drove my folks nuts but I'm still playing.
 

CinPA

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Around 2002 I had a Les Paul Custom, MIJ hardtail Bullet Strat, and Epiphone FT-149 (cheaper version of The Texan) and just sold my 27’ RV so I had a little cash. So I bought a MIM Tele and Ibanez Artcore semi-hollow body. Friends said to get a “real” Strat but I was happy with my Bullet and wanted something differently. For many years the Tele became my main guitar but for the past few years the Ibanez has seriously grown on me - it is so light and resonant! The Tele now shares second place with my Les Paul.
 




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