Telecaster Guitars

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Read the Telecaster Buying Guide on The Hub at Musician's Friend

About Telecaster Guitars

Ever since the Telecaster electric guitar was created in a modest radio repair shop in 1948, it has been a force to be reckoned with. The basic form is so elegant in its simplicity that versions of it have been adopted and produced by almost anyone who builds electric guitars. It is one of the few electric guitars that effortlessly crosses genres. Blues, rock, country, jazz, punk, pop, soul, R&B, reggae, folk and more, bear the distinctive look and sound of the Tele.

There are a few things that make a Telecaster great. Apart from its sheer simplicity, players are drawn to it for the guitar's inherent honesty. A Tele gives you nothing to hide behind. Your sound is always nakedly honest and out front, revealing what you have to contribute as a guitarist with nothing to get in the way. Often, Tele players just plug it straight into the amp.

For country artists like Pete Anderson, Buck Owens and Brad Paisley, it's the twang. For rockers like John 5, Pete Townshend, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards, it's the punchy sound. For jazz players like Ed Bickert, Julian Lage, and the late Joe Pass, it's the mellow, warm sound of the neck pickup. Soul and R&B greats like Cornell Dupree and Prince loved the clarity and cutting voice. For such undefinable talents as Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan, some variation of the Telecaster was the core of their individual sound and style.

One of the defining sounds of the original Tele design comes from the combination of metal ashtray bridge and the unique Telecaster bridge pickup. The pickup is backed with a copper-plated steel plate. Inventor Leo Fender claimed it helped intensify the magnetic field. The plate also transmits additional string vibrations to the pickup via the steel mounting screws. This helps give Telecaster-style guitars the twang Tele players love.

There are currently a phenomenal number of Telecaster-inspired guitars available from almost every builder. Whatever genre you choose, there's a Telecaster to match your style, from stripped-down versions to high-end boutique. Just about everybody offers their take on this timeless form.

For example, Chapman's ML3 guitar style is closely based on the Tele, but adds custom electronics in many models, as well as set-neck options. The boutique guitars Tom Anderson is famed for include multiple variations of his "T" guitar, all with impeccable fit and finish. Schecter Guitars' Retro PT guitars pay tribute to the venerable design. G&L, Leo Fender's final company, created the ASAT guitars, adding refinements to his original design.

Whatever style you play, whatever music you enjoy, you never have to look very far to find a Telecaster nearby. Shop the best selection of Telecaster guitars today at Musician’s Friend.