Why Telecaster?

Kandinskyesque

Tele-Holic
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Dec 6, 2021
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819
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Scotland
I was talking to my neuro guy yesterday around my neurodiversity and we got onto the subject of my opposition to things that either are or become popular. It's always been a natural inclination of mine since a young age: an avoidance of 'the done thing' and the risk of being labelled, which then requires meeting certain expectations.
I was accused of being odd or defiant when I was younger but I've concluded it was about deriving some agency while living a life with an until recently diagnosed invisible passenger.

The session got me on the drive I go afterwards (to process my neuro-psych sessions) thinking about guitars.

Why did I chose a Tele ?

There was Joe Strummer who was a hero of mine and played a Tele but he wasn't one of my guitar heroes. My guitar heroes: Mark Knopfler, Mick Ronson, Stuart Adamson, John McGeoch or John Martyn didn't use them.

They were never popular among my peers, LPs and Strats were. Teles were considered a bit meh. Neither were they popular in the genres of music I played so I conclude there was some defiance/opposition to the popular at first.

Then of course, I developed my own sound so it became integral to my playing.
I've flirted with other electric guitars but around 2000 made the admission to myself that the Tele and me were bound. A few years ago a friend introduced me to a fellow guitar player with "This is (real name),he plays a Telecaster", so it must be part of my identity now.

I can't think of another solid body electric guitar, I would like to own, possibly a better custom built Tele but nothing else hit the spot.

I'm sure every Telecaster player has their reasons for owning one.

What's your reason for choosing the Telecaster?
 

telleutelleme

Telefied
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Jan 15, 2010
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Houston
I have come slowly to it. Strats were my electric instrument of choice as they seemed to have a broader palette. I bought a used American Standard Telecaster and when I got it home it surprised me with the difference between the neck and bridge pickups. It was like two distinctly different guitars. The blend of the two was good, but using only the bridge or the neck was really inspiring to try different things. I still like strats but the Tele and two other T-styles I have are always in my playing rotation. I have to admit I tend to gravitate to the neck pickup and its cleaner sound rather than the bridge. That's my reason.
 

telestratosonic

Friend of Leo's
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Mar 5, 2011
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3,378
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Alberta, Canada
Simple and comfortable to play, with the vintage bridge that is. I'm comfortable with Les Paul-style guitars but not with strats; sometimes hitting the middle pickup and no comfortable rest for my picking hand. On a telecaster, I hook my pinky finger on the lower side of the vintage bridge. Modern tele bridges? No, thanks, and wouldn't own one.
 

Peter Graham

TDPRI Member
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Mar 25, 2022
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53
Location
UK
Simplicity. I have immense respect for handy, practical types, but I'm not one of them. Simply changing the strings risks an attack of the screaming abdabs!

I wanted a new guitar and wanted something more straightforward than my strat. The Tele recipe - fixed bridge, no wang bar, only three pickup options and just two knobs was just the ticket. But the whole country thing put me off for ages. I don't dislike country, I hasten to add. It just isn't something I know much about. So, the lists of great telecaster players a) meant nothing to me and b) confirmed my prejudice that it wasn't the right guitar for an ageing indie boy.

Then I realised the following. Wilko Johnson plays a Tele. P. J. Harvey plays a Tele on her first few albums (despite wielding a pointy Gibson thing on stage). Frank Black plays a Tele. Given that those three take the podium places in Graham's World of Groovy, the way forward suddenly became obvious.

This all happened last year and I'm now like a pious ex-smoker in my Tele-evangelism. What a shame it took half a century for the penny to drop.....
 

soundchaser59

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Jan 30, 2010
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Up The Creek
The Telecaster has everything ya need and nothing ya don't.
I can live with that, that sums it up adequately for me. I bought a thinline and whoever built it got lucky cuz it practically plays itself and sounds awesome. I was stunned when I first played it.

I figure if a guy or girl needs to ask the question then either they have never played one, or they should just get outa the way, go back to their seats, and let us handle it.
 

jays0n

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Posts
1,794
Location
San Francisco, CA
I don’t know how I got to playing Teles. I was given one early (80s teen years) that I did not bond with. But then, whenever I was looking at guitars, I would pick a Tele. Once, (late 80s) I got enough cash to buy a brand spankin new guitar, and could have gotten pretty much anything. Again, I walked out with a G&L ASAT.

Guess I gotta have one.
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
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Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
18,160
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70
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Foat Wuth, Texas
I was talking to my neuro guy yesterday around my neurodiversity and we got onto the subject of my opposition to things that either are or become popular. It's always been a natural inclination of mine since a young age: an avoidance of 'the done thing' and the risk of being labelled, which then requires meeting certain expectations.
I was accused of being odd or defiant when I was younger but I've concluded it was about deriving some agency while living a life with an until recently diagnosed invisible passenger.

The session got me on the drive I go afterwards (to process my neuro-psych sessions) thinking about guitars.

Why did I chose a Tele ?

There was Joe Strummer who was a hero of mine and played a Tele but he wasn't one of my guitar heroes. My guitar heroes: Mark Knopfler, Mick Ronson, Stuart Adamson, John McGeoch or John Martyn didn't use them.

They were never popular among my peers, LPs and Strats were. Teles were considered a bit meh. Neither were they popular in the genres of music I played so I conclude there was some defiance/opposition to the popular at first.

Then of course, I developed my own sound so it became integral to my playing.
I've flirted with other electric guitars but around 2000 made the admission to myself that the Tele and me were bound. A few years ago a friend introduced me to a fellow guitar player with "This is (real name),he plays a Telecaster", so it must be part of my identity now.

I can't think of another solid body electric guitar, I would like to own, possibly a better custom built Tele but nothing else hit the spot.

I'm sure every Telecaster player has their reasons for owning one.

What's your reason for choosing the Telecaster?
I, too, didn't much care for Telecasters for the first thirty or so years of playing.....most Tele players back then (not all, of course) were "country" AND "western" players.(so, not my music of choice) During an involved process twenty+ years ago, I came to appreciate the versatility and straight-forward simplicity of a Telecaster. I modified my first Tele (almost beyond recognition) until I molded it to my will. ;)
I don't like gigging with "complicated" guitars with too many knobs and stuff......I get the sounds I want with two pickups and two knobs.
 

darkwaters

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 14, 2012
Posts
2,872
Location
Newfoundland
My relationship with the Telecaster has been more complex and conflicted than most folks here. My first electric was a classic 50s style MIJ Tele that I bought on a whim 40 years ago. Trouble was, I didn’t like it and sold it about two years later. Don’t regret it for a moment.

A few years ago I thought I’d give Teles another try. Spent several years trying out different ones, but could never find one that I liked. I started thinking more deeply about the features of that long gone Tele that I had frankly hated. That finally led me to the one that I have now. It had at least some of the features that I was looking for and some modding took care of the rest. I finally have the one for me…. and it only took 40 years! Oh, and it’s a Squier!
 




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