What if… the telecaster was not the first 6 string guitar Fender made?

LowCaster

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Maybe Leo got it right the first time, but wat if he made a Strat first? Would you have been asking for only two unbalanced pickups, only three saddles, no upper horn for balance, no comfort body contours, a simpler headstock, no trem? I mean, if history is set aside, what are the features that make a Telecaster so special for you?



(And if your answer is « twang » , please explain how to implement it into a strat.)
 

mandoloony

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I certainly would be asking for no body contours. They make a Strat harder to hold in place. And I have no use for a vibrato, so that can go, to. And no middle pickup, as I'd only be using the neck and bridge and would miss having the two together.

But most importantly, I could deal with any kind of pickup in the world except for an original Strat pickup. I'm not the biggest fan of vintage Tele pickups either, but vintage Strat pickups are like ear sandpaper - a low grit.

I find a Tele is great primarily as a testbed for other pickups and wiring schemes.
 

ChicknPickn

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As I recall, Leo was 1) pragmatic, and 2) not ashamed to take other people's ideas. Or their lead, if you prefer.

Look at this, from the late forties. See anything that looks familiar?

1668982166465.png


Over time, Leo would have continued to develop the Tele. Just as Fender has since his passing. The quick-change neck and straight-pull string setup were destined for greatness.
 

dougbgt6

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My favourite at the moment is a Tele has a belly cut. My Teles without, not so much. Which makes me think it's a no brainer, why didn't they have them from the beginning?

Doug
 

2HBStrat

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As I recall, Leo was 1) pragmatic, and 2) not ashamed to take other people's ideas. Or their lead, if you prefer.

Look at this, from the late forties. See anything that looks familiar?

View attachment 1053049

Over time, Leo would have continued to develop the Tele. Just as Fender has since his passing. The quick-change neck and straight-pull string setup were destined for greatness.
It's pretty obvious that both Fender and Gibson borrowed from Paul Bigsby when they built their first solid body electric guitars.
 

zhyla

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Musician nostalgia is a powerful drug... but sorry, the Strat has never been my thing. I don't like the sound, don't care for the body shape, can't really get behind 3 pickups with 5 combos.

I'm not opposed to more modern designs. I've got a Revstar now that I'm quite fond of and is very contoured but shares a lot of the simplicity of the Telecaster.
 

Bucster752

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I own and play both a Strat and a Tele. While the Strat is really good.....comfortable, versatile......the Telecaster feels like home. Simply built, simply voiced, it's just a straight ahead full-tilt-boogie six string that, in my opinion has yet to be improved upon. Leo did get it right with this design. He got it right with the Strat as well......however, that being said, the Telecaster is boss.
 

Robert Booker

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It's a simple guitar that plays extremely well and has a ton of tonal versatility. There's always been a market for that.
 

Jakedog

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Maybe Leo got it right the first time, but wat if he made a Strat first? Would you have been asking for only two unbalanced pickups, only three saddles, no upper horn for balance, no comfort body contours, a simpler headstock, no trem? I mean, if history is set aside, what are the features that make a Telecaster so special for you?



(And if your answer is « twang » , please explain how to implement it into a strat.)
It’s all based in tradition. All of it. If there had never been a telecaster, ever, and something else had been there, we wouldn’t revere the Tele the way we do.

Roll with me- if the entire guitar industry had gone another way, and the telecaster just came out today for the very first time, in 2022, we’d all be wondering what the hell whoever made it was thinking. It would be a weird thing for them to do. For anyone to do.

There was a time when the electric guitar was new, and players en masse embraced new ideas. That time is not now.
 
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