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Who started playing a different guitar and then got converted to the Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by dmarcus30, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

    Apr 11, 2011
    Eastern Iowa
    I'm a rather pathetic case. I got my first guitar in 1986. I was drumming and my bass player showed me some barre chords on her acoustic one day. When the band fell apart, I traded in my drumset on an SG jr and a gorilla practice amp with chorus. I've always thought it was a '72 or '73, but someone recently told me they were pretty sure it was from the early '60s. Anyway, with no one to really teach me anything, I didn't progress very far with it, and then getting married and having children got in the way. I'd pick it up every couple of years and mess with it a bit and put it back away. Cut to 2008 and I began playing drums for a friend's recording project. He had just bought a '52 reissue and I was drawn to it. Whenever he put it down, I'd pick it up and began playing it. I'd never felt a neck that was so easy to navigate and chords that I'd struggled with for years came quite easily on it. The tone was insanely beautiful. I was sold at that point. I still don't have one, but I'm working on it. I began learning to play on my old SG jr in a serious manner, so I could justify the eventual purchase. The Gibson has now outlasted the marriage, so there's no time like the present to really get serious about that Tele. The funny thing is, I went to a GC yesterday to figure out if there were any deals to be made to get me into a Tele and ended up playing both an American Standard and a '52 RI. The standard actually played much nicer and had a really smooth neck. All this time I'd been thinking that I had to have the '52 RI but that doesn't seem to be the case any more.
  2. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    Started out on a really bad Strat copy (Hohner ST57), maybe that's why I switched to bass for a few years...
    The I got an Epiphone Sheraton II from my brother; then I played only acoustic for a while; then I got an Ibanez semi-acoustic with a Bigsby; then a Danelectro 56 Pro RI.
    And only then, about 16 or 17 years after I first picked up an electric guitar, I got my first Tele (a Warmoth partscaster).
    Now I rarely play anything else, almost all other guitars (with the exception of SGs) just feel uncomfortable compared to a Tele...
  3. gitold

    gitold Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 25, 2009
    Greeley Co.
    Went to get a Tele when I was 16 and the guy at the music store talked me in to buying a NOS 65 Jazzmaster at list price. I came home and my older brothers who were in bands laughed at me. It was 1970 and you could'nt give away a Jazzmaster at that time. Anyways I did'nt get a Tele for the next 13 years. Went through a hollow body phase and a Les Paul. Have had 5 Teles since. I have to have a Tele ,Strat, and a Paul.
  4. barney77

    barney77 Tele-Meister

    Apr 5, 2010
    I can't pin point why, but since getting my first tele a year ago, it is the guitar I just go to the majority of the time.
    I finally feel like I've found " my guitar"
  5. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

    Feb 21, 2008
    Left of the Left Coast
    I was slow to take up the electric guitar in any form (although I did try playing bass). It just didn't really appeal to me. Had a Gibson briefly, didn't bond with it. Played other people's Gibsons and Strats, didn't get excited about any of them. I learned about Danelectros from a David Lindley interview, and had to have one. Still have it. The funny thing is that all through these years I listened to Muddy Waters, Roy Buchanan, Joe Strummer, eventually learned about Danny Gatton. The guy I took lessons from at the store where I bought the Danelectro was a Tele player who at one time played with Kenny Vaughan... and yet it still never occurred to me that I should have a Telecaster. Then for some reason about 3 years ago I decided I needed a Telecaster (still hadn't played one outside of a music store) and my research quickly brought me here. Done deal.
  6. bender-freak

    bender-freak Friend of Leo's

    Aug 2, 2003
    springfield, missouri
    first guitar EVER was a Silvertone acoustic in '58, next was a Silvertone black sparkle electric and a home-made amp. can't possibly remember them all thru the years. there were teles sprinkled in there along with strats, gretsches, and gibsons.

    now, it's 2011 and i'm not much different. most of the time when i play (gig or jam) it's a tele with benders, but not always. sometimes i feel like a les Paul, Gretsch, Strat,335, or an Ibanez jazz box.

    but yeah, mainly teles these days. i like the simplicity of the tele, but then i have several teles with the Nashville configuration and also with synth set-ups on them.
  7. TxTeleMan

    TxTeleMan Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 1, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    My first electric was a Ventura copy of a Gibson Barney Kessel model. It wasn't really a very good guitar, and didn't have very good tone, even after I put a DiMarzio humbucker in it.

    After hearing Robbie Robertson's tone on Rock of Ages I decided to get a Tele. I got the wrong Tele, a brand-new 1975 Telecaster Custom. I played it in a Hank Williams tribute band and it sounded OK. I did like the tone of the WR Humbucker, but I didn't like the guitar at all.

    I went through a Music Man Sabre, a very nice new 80-ish Strat (with the smaller peg head) that I liked very much... I played that in a country Gospel band and with a singer-songwriter and really loved that guitar. I put a Duncan Vintage Strat SSL-1 pickup in the bridge position and loved the sound.

    Then I started playing in a praise rock band and the other guitarist also had a black Strat, so I decided to change. I went back to a Music Man Sabre, but that didn't really do it. After hearing Roy Buchanan's Tele tone, I decided to get an older Tele. I settled on a 1966 that I got from Guitar Resurrection. I put a Duncan '54 Tele Bridge pickup on it, and that became a great sounding guitar. I loved to tone it got. The only thing I didn't like about it was the tiny frets, but I left those as is.

    It was that "banana pudding" color with a white pickguard and a rosewood fretboard. A friend told me after a show one time that that was "the ugliest guitar I've ever seen." Perhaps, but it sounded beautiful, and was easy to play. That guitar sold me on the rosewood fretboard; all my previous Fender and Music Man guitars had the one-piece maple neck.

    After going through severe financial difficulties in the '90s, I had to sell my beloved Tele, although I put the original bridge pickup back in it first.

    Now, I have a '98 MIM Nashville Tele (rosewood fretboard of course). I put the Duncan STL-1 in it for a while, but now I have three Vintage Noiseless pickups in there, and it has great tone when played through my Palomino V16. It's my number one Tele

    I still have that 1982 model Duncan Vintage Lead STL-1 pickup, but it's waiting for a another Tele now. Maybe I'll put in it my Squier thinline, or maybe I'll build a partscaster...
  8. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 11, 2010
    Great stories folks. My very first guitar was a mid 60's Montgomery Ward six string acoustic. Wretched piece of junk. Then some nameless six string with action about an inch off the fretboard. First playable guitar was a Yamaha 12 string, gave it away in 1981. Bought a 1975 Gibson SG but the neck was not right and could not get it intonated and tuned all at once. Sounded great but couldn't bond with it. Sold it and played a Conn acoustic 6 string for many years.

    I was sitting in church a few years ago and listening to the lead guitar player rip through a powerful solo on his Strat (yes, we do that stuff in our church) and something stirred in me. My wife said, "see if he gives lessons." He did, so I picked up a Strat on Craigs List. Wow, so much better than the SG. I was in single coil heaven so I got a Tele on Ebay ("for a change of pace"), never had played one before. The rest is history, the strat was pushed to the corner and I have three Teles now. Long journey to this place.
  9. SweeT

    SweeT TDPRI Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    I am just now beginning to see the light

    I am in the van and heading for the commune :lol:

    Started in 79 with a black Hondo II LP copy with a Texas Twister amp. (always loved that name).

    A few years later, the funk took over and switched to base. A Lotus of course. Had many Loti durring this time (80s).

    80s music left me cold and I found country, 60s, surf etc. Traded in one of my guitars for a beat up Epiphone acoustic FT132 (early seventies). I still have it today and it has never been more that a few feet way even through college. It came down to me and my Epiphone in 1990 when I purchased a Fender Squier black strat. This proved to be short lived and traded it for something.

    Then came what I considered to be my first high end guitar. A Peavey Detonator JX (Strat type, 94 I think). Brand new. Still have and cherish. This was the first guitar that shown me what a fast neck and low action is all about. My only regret was that I hated using picks. And when I did, I used those copper "Hot Licks". Those things turned into razor blades and unfortunately the finish on my Peavey suffered a bit as a result.

    Finally after years of finger picking while listening to the Junkies, Ryders and others of similar persuasion, I grew up a bit. First I thought I wanted a hollow body. Then I decided to build my own Tele type guitar. I did and as a result, I realize this is the guitar I have needed all along. Now I just need to make another one that actually looks like a Telecaster and I should be set for quite a while.
  10. Rockergirl21

    Rockergirl21 TDPRI Member

    Apr 1, 2011

    Had an Epiphone Riviera (and a Takamine acoustic, which I still have), got into Teles 3 years ago, and have barely ever looked back (I had a few moments of weakness, wanting an LP or a PRS, but I'm a solid Tele girl, for sure!)
  11. Humbuster

    Humbuster Tele-Meister

    Aug 11, 2009
    en route.
    Yuppers !

    Started with Gibsons, played Gibsons for years and now I have 2 exquisite Telecasters.
    Only 1 Les Paul left and it may be gone soon.
  12. kiefe-caster

    kiefe-caster Tele-Holic

    Oct 2, 2008
    Derry, Northern Ireland
    I started with a Tele, I'll die with a Tele.

    Squier Standard Series, Squier CV50, CVC and Replica Francis Rossi Tele.
  13. Baaford

    Baaford Tele-Meister

    Aug 22, 2010
    I totally had that guitar too, you could fit your head between the strings and the neck.
  14. Duncas

    Duncas Friend of Leo's

    Nov 11, 2010
    Wolverhampton UK
    Started with a Stagg Les Paul copy. i actually love the guitar. the tone is so thick. bought an SX thinline, didnt bond, traded it for an acoustic, bought a MIM Standard tele. Beast of a guitar, pickups i didnt like but i really liked the neck, now i have a Deluxe players strat, to be fair its hard to choose between the two.
  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    R.I.P. 2019
    It was the SOUND of a Tele that made me want to play electric guitar. James Burton on my sister's Ricky Nelson records (not that I knew who he was at the time). But by the time I strated playing guitar, I was more interested in Strat's, SG's and Les Paul's. My holy grail was a Rickenbacker 360-12 in fireglo. Before I had a Tele, I has a Winston (cheapo Japanese guitar), a Fender Jazzmaster, a Les Paul, a couple of Strats (for a short period of time), an Epiphone Riviera and a jetglo Rick 360-12.

    My first Tele was a '68 or '69 that I got for $250. I was listening to the Byrds with Clarence White and James Burton (I now knew who he was) and needed a Tele for "that sound." I later traded it off towards a Travis Bean TB-500 and it was a few more years until I found a sweet used '52 RI that was like new that I still have to this day.

    I still have other guitars, the Epi Riviera, a Les Paul, a Gretsch, a couple of Strats... but I'll always have a good Tele around with a parts-Esquire on the way.
  16. 3 Chord

    3 Chord Friend of Leo's

    Mar 20, 2007
    Billings MT
    Started playing in '76 on a Raven LP copy (I was 10). Around 1982 I got a Gibby LP. In 1987 or so I started liking country more and tried to get a thinner sound by splitting the rear humbucker. Then in 89/90 I bought my first Tele, a 1990 USA model. Ahhh, now that was the sound in my head!

    Tele's have been my main squeeze ever since, even if I am not playing country.
  17. wmsimpson

    wmsimpson Tele-Holic

    Sep 29, 2009
    Greater Puget Sound
    I started out playing classical guitar when I was 12, and for most of my life I played nothing but acoustic (steel string and nylon) or acoustic-electric. Over the years I've owned Gibsons, Ovations, Guilds, a Kalamazoo, and many many Martins including some very nice vintage Martins from the '30s.

    Sometime in 2009 I stumbled on a thread over in the Martin forum called "Telecaster Obsession." http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/1838/Telecaster-Obsession It's now up to 95 pages long and still going strong. That's what got me started, and I've been hooked on Teles ever since! :cool:

    My current arsenal consists of one Classical, one Nylon-Electric, one Ovation steel-string acoustic, and 5 Teles. I can honestly say I've never had so much fun playing guitar!
  18. EllenGtrGrl

    EllenGtrGrl Tele-Holic

    Mar 13, 2009
    Greenfield, WI
    My Tele history is so convoluted, it isn't even funny! Guitarwise when did I start? I can't really count 1969/70 when grandpa (a luthier) made me my first guitar (a small child sized nylon string), because he got sick and died of cancer, and my uncle went into the Air Force, leaving me without anybody at age 7, to teach me how to play the thing (my parents couldn't afford lessons for me). So, I'd have to say 1979 (when I was 15).

    I've went through (figuratively speaking), umpteen million guitars in the intervening years (mainly, I'd go through a lot of guitars till I got the one that satisfied what I wanted playing and soundwise for my situation, and then things would settle down). I wanted a Tele in 1983/84, but the only one I could afford as semi-poor college student, were the Squier SQ series, and nobody had SQ Teles in stock in my neck of the woods. So, I instead, I traded my Memphis bolt neck copy of a Melody Maker, for a Squier SQ Series Strat. It was a decent guitar, with a nice neck (it was certainly a better guitar than the '83 MIA Strat my boyfriend at the time had), but I was never satisfied with the sound - not enough sonic beef for me. Also, I'm not the biggest fan of the Strat body shape. So it was sold for a Gibson Les Paul Signature (basically an ES-335 with a lower Les Paul-style cutaway, and low impedance pickups), which started a decade and a half love affair with Gibbys (although the occasional odd Fender, Peavey or Charvel was briefly owned by me during this time frame). There were only three periods during this "Gibson Girl" time period, when I showed any interest in a Tele:

    1. 1986 - when I almost bought on payments a Fender RI Rosewood Tele - not bad sounding, but I got nervous about being able to make payments on the guitar (I was still a semi-poor college student), so I backed out of the deal

    2. 1990 - I went with my boyfriend to visit a mutual friend of ours in the Twin Cities, and went shopping for a 2nd/backup guitar for the band I was in at the time. I don't know why (maybe it was due to Minneapolis having recently been an alternative rock hotspot), but the Twin Cities were chock full of used Tele Deluxes, at a prices I could afford. The only problem? - the wide range humbuckers in all but one of them (which I could not afford, of course :rolleyes:), were horribly microphonic. That's a deal breaker for me. So, I passed on them. Considering what they're going for nowadays, I could just about kick myself for not taking up the one shop owner's offer to sell me one for $250. :(

    3. I gigged for a few months in 1992 with a Peavey Generation, with two active humbuckers, and a Floyd-type vibrato. It was bought after I waffled on trying out, and buying a Tele Plus with lace sensors (resulting in it being bought by somebody else). The Generation was an OK guitar playabilitywise, but the actives were a little blah sounding to me, and it was a string breaker to boot (the Floyd made it a real pain to change strings). So, it didn't last too long with me (I'm not much of a vibrato user as it is).

    Other than that, I didn't get significantly interested in Teles again, until about 3 years ago, when a money crunch forced me to sell my acoustic, and my Ibanez Artcore AS73, to pay for car insurance (that was kind of creepy in a way - for the first time in 29 years, I didn't have guitar to my name). When I had a few extra dollars several weeks later, I tried out, and bought a candy apple red Squier Affinity Tele. The neck was nice, and the pickups were so-so at best. I figured a pickup swap would do the trick for me soundwise. It didn't (the guitar still sounded kind of ice picky to me), so I sold it. One year later, I decided to give Teles a try again. Since I wasn't sure I would be satisfied soundwise (again), per the suggestions from some of the TDPRI members, I didn't blow too much money on one, and once again, got an Affinity Tele. And of course once again, it sounded too ice picky to me, and it went bye bye. Ditto for the Squier CV Thinline I bought in 2010 (I had no desire to be spending time and money going through different pickups, to hopefully find the sound I was looking for).

    In the past 3 years or so, I've also tried out higher priced Teles (MIM thinline, MIM Standard, MIA Standard, 52 RI), and the best reaction I had for them was "not bad, but I still hear some ice pick (even with the amp's treble on 4)." I'd pretty much come to the conclusion, that while a Tele looks cool to me, and agrees with my playing style ergonomically (I carry guitars up high, like jazz guitarists do), the chances weren't good that I'd find one that I'd like soundwise.

    Surprisingly enough, that seems to have changed as of the middle of this past March. At that time, I figured I was pretty much set guitarwise, but I made a comment on another guitar forum, that I still wouldn't mind having a Tele, if I could find one that wasn't so ice picky soundwise to me. One of the forum members told me that I might want to look into a G&L ASAT, since their MFD pickups are a bit darker sounding than the ones your typical Tele has (without having to go to a humbucker - I really wanted something with single coils). I've been interested in G&Ls off and on since the early 90s (I tried out a G&L Broadcaster in 1992, that in retrospect, I wish I'd bought), so I decided, "why not?", and bought a used G&L Tribute ASAT Classic via Guitar Center's online used gear search. From the moment I plugged it in for the first time, and played the first notes, it was like "yeah!, now we're talking!" All of the zing, and added extre beef/low end I wanted in a Tele soundwise, and none of the ice picky sound I didn't like. Also, it has a nice chunky neck, that isn't like a baseball bat. We have a winner! This was further reinforced by a couple of money crunches I had this month, that forced me to sell off guitars, to pay the bills. I was not happy about selling the Danelectro 7-string, Jazzmaster, or the Ric 360, but was VERY relieved that I was able to hang onto the ASAT. Yes, in a month's time, I've come to value my ASAT very much.

    My money situation has settled down, and I am supposed to get a profit sharing bonus within the next week or two from work. After putting some money aside as a cushion against monetary calamaties, like I just went through, I may have some cash left over to use, for rebuilding my guitar arsenal. This leaves me with a dilemma. I find single pickup guitars to be fun instruments to have (just plug in and play - don't worry about what pickup you're going to use), and have been thinking about Esquires. But, do I go the heretical route, and find an Esquire Scorpion for some humbucker goodness, or get the more typical single coil Esquire? Decisions, decisions.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  19. Power_13

    Power_13 Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2003
    West Yorkshire
    I started off wanting a red maple-neck Strat. The Tele grew on me after a while.

    IPLAYLOUD Friend of Leo's

    Aug 7, 2003
    Long Island, N.Y.
    I started playing in 1972, got an Esquire in 2004.
    My g/f builds Guitars, and at the time, everyone played Strats.
    I figured, to be a little different, I would go Tele...better yet, a Blackguard Esquire.
    She made me a winner that will be my #1 until they bury me.

    3 years ago, we did a 1959-style Custom Esquire with a B16 for my "Surfy / Rockabilly / Country Western" needs.
    That one is #2.
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