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

2HBStrat

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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.)
Well, you're exactly right. Nobody would have been clamoring for a stiped down second Fender guitar if the Strat had been first, just like nobody would have been asking for a heavier Gibson if the SG had been first. IMO.
 

loopfinding

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Instead of "belly cut," why not call it a "rib cut," because that's where the Tele top edge gets me.

where i wear the tele (same position as seated w/ leg over), it just sits flat on my ribs. guitars with contours where they angle dig right into them.

the contour was done with the intention of playing guitar sitting down. for that it works great, it puts the thing right up against your breast at a 45, and it also angles the bottom edge forward on your leg, jazz style.

but it doesn't work like that when you stand with it. the bottom edge doesn't angle forward and the angle of that cut sits in a weird place if you keep it as high as it is when you sit with it. so you have to play it lower and sacrifice some left wrist range of motion/play differently than sitting. which you don't have to do at all with most other guitars.

it's not like guitar players didn't ever stand before 1954, and when they did, they wore the guitar high. so IMO it wasn't horribly thought through. rock guitarists playing low is the only thing that made it a non-issue.
 
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2HBStrat

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where i wear the tele (same position as seated w/ leg over), it just sits flat on my ribs. guitars with contours where they angle dig right into them.

the contour was done with the intention of playing guitar sitting down. for that it works great, it puts the thing right up against your breast at a 45, and it also angles the bottom edge forward on your leg, jazz style.

but it doesn't work like that when you stand with it. the bottom edge doesn't angle forward and the angle of that cut sits in a weird place if you keep it as high as it is when you sit with it. so you have to play it lower and sacrifice some left wrist range of motion/play differently than sitting. which you don't have to do at all with most other guitars.

it's not like guitar players didn't ever stand before 1954, and when they did, they wore the guitar high. so IMO it wasn't horribly thought through. rock guitarists playing low is the only thing that made it a non-issue.
People don't wear guitars high any more?
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50hz

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It's irrelevant from a playing standpoint to me what came first. I get along just fine with my Strat but the Tele just ticks the boxes for me and that's what I'm reaching for day in and day out.

I think the heritage/history of guitars is interesting and fun to learn about but idk that it informs what I'm looking for from a players perspective.
 

Wrighty

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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.
Leo always developed the solid body guitar. He saw the Strat as a development of the Tele, not a new instrument.
 

johnnyASAT

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1) Double cutaway gross get it away from me.

2) I play in a seated classical ish position and tele shapes are ergonomically perfect for that. Not the norm, but it’s true in my case.

3) I prefer the darker tele neck pickup and really only use it. If they made a Bizarro esquire id buy it.

The fact is if the Broad/Telecaster were not Leo’s first Spanish guitar design, then it would not be the Strat instead but probably something else. The markets Leo was primarily trying to serve in the beginning were jazz and Western swing, with the Strat being an iteration on his design that was meant to serve an emerging rock and roll market. Likewise the Jazzmaster is born when rock seems to be declining (and Strat sales stall for a bit) and jazz guitar players start becoming more popular again, making Leo take another stab at capturing that part of the market. And I think there would have been a place on the market for a no fuss singlecut from Fender Musical Instruments no matter what came first.
 

msalama

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WHAT "what if"? I wouldn't have even thought about it, because I wouldn't have had any idea of various types of such thingamajigs even existing some day. But in hindsight, yeah, just stick your Strats and gimme a Tele anytime.
 




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