Where Does the Tele Get It's Twang?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by adam79, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    solid saddles be they brass or steel. also the bridge and bridge plate.

    play music!
     
  2. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    Must be the headstock shape
     
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  3. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    As goofy as it may seem, I think the way that the Tele kind of fights you is big part of it.

    It's not particularly comfortable, especially to your picking arm/hand, like Strats and other smoothly contoured guitars are. Even with a picking arm/hand angle, as on a lot of modern Teles, and even with how well-cushioned the American torso has become, it's a sharp-edged guitar, compared to most.

    Add to that the great roughhouse-inviting solidity it has, the solid sounds of its bridge notes, the sharpness of its metal bridge plate (especially if you've got the traditional one with the flanged sides), the fact that on many the saddle screws are uneven and sharp-edged, and it's a guitar that seriously pushes back. Which can mean that the player feels inclined to push its sharpest inherent sounds hard. I find that the more physically assertive the guitar, the more aggressively I play it. Not so much spitefully, but just to honor and enjoy the battle. When the Les Paul gets heavy, my chords get heavier-sounding. With the Tele, I find myself twanging it up a lot until I get used to the grooves it's pushing into my pick arm and guts. Once a happy numbness occurs, I tend to soften my (counter)attack and use both pickups or just the neck pickup a lot.

    Add to this the acoustics/physics of the metal bridge plate, the bridge pickup's specs and the pots, how much we associate it with twang and maybe unconsciously bend our playing that way, etc., and you've got a pretty big portion of its twang factor.

    Its plainness matters too, I think. It's such a simple, unadorned, sturdy, basic design that it's like the pine 2x4 that you don't mind dropping in the driveway for a while, while you hustle that lovely mahogany scrollwork piece out of the rain....
     
  4. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You're welcome, my pleasure.:)
     
  5. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Actually Twangstroms is for measuring tiny amounts of micro-twang which you may or may not find in pointy shredder guitars.
    dB of course is the logarithmic scale to a much greater range and amount of twang that mainly only the Telecaster delivers. ;)
     
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  6. doc w

    doc w Tele-Afflicted

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    Rhinestones were good enough for Buck Owens.
     
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  7. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    Great thread. Twangsylvania is a real place. You can look it up. Watch for people with bolo ties and unusual teeth.

    I agree with those who think the largest factor is the pickup itself. A humbucker in another guitar can get 'twangy,' but it's not Tele twang. It's missing the mojo. And those Gibson pickups are made in Humbuckistan, near Nepal.
     
  8. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    If my accent is any indication, Texas Twang comes from just south of Fort Worth.

    I think it’s a combination of bridge construction and picking technique...

    With picking technique I can twang on my Strat just as much as my Telecaster.
     
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