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View Full Version : I've really tried to like a Tele, but I can't.....


crosse79
10-11-2011, 09:29 AM
Help me guys? I love the sounds I hear on records but the teles I've been trying doesn't seem to add up. They are Fenders. Can someone tell me which Tele model has "it"?

Elias Graves
10-11-2011, 09:49 AM
What is "it?" There are many different variants.
You looking for old school tele tones?

I shopped around for a long time looking and finally just had one built.
(This one is actually my son's. Mine is still under construction)

http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv134/EliasGraves/tele13.jpg

Fender original vintage tele pickups. Bakersfield sound all day long.

EG

Eskimo_Joe
10-11-2011, 09:53 AM
Help me guys? I love the sounds I hear on records but the teles I've been trying doesn't seem to add up. They are Fenders. Can someone tell me which Tele model has "it"?

I know what you mean. It took me a while to find one that I connected with. That said, just keeping picking them up until you find it. Personally, I don't think the Fender standard stuff is all that great. Some other builders make teles that are much better IMO. Good luck.

tbonesullivan
10-11-2011, 09:55 AM
which "sound" are you looking for? how you have the volume/tone and the amp you use has a lot of effect on what kind of sound you'll get.

Johnnytone
10-11-2011, 09:56 AM
What's your budget?

dazco
10-11-2011, 10:19 AM
I had a maple neck thinline and a 60's style alder with rosewood neck. I could not bond either. I took the maple neck off the TL and put it on the alder body. That was the trick IMO.....a tele sorta needs a maple neck IMO to truly cop the subtle details of tele tone, and alder or ash for a body IMO. It still took me a bit to get it right as far as pickups and bridge. the bridge can make a big difference on a tele. Once i got it like i wanted it took me a bit of playing to "get it". But once i did it was all she wrote. Now i rarely touch the strat i have loved for 10 years. All I ever played was strats till now. I tried to get on with other guitars like gibsons and some others, and a few stints with teles years ago. But this recent tele experience was the one that finally had me understanding it. Also note that the dynamics and feel are a big part of it, not just the tone. Once you get it it will make you play differently a bit too, because it makes you feel phrasing a little differently, but in a good way. Thats my experience anyways.

But to really get it and bond with it you have to get the right one and mod your way if necassary....IE: pickup, bridge. That is assuming there are tonal changed you feel you need. I found that on a tele that was ultra important compared to my strats. on those i could get by stock if i had to. but with the tele i felt i really had to get it just right and went thru a couple bridges and 5 or 6 pickups.

fisticuffs
10-11-2011, 10:23 AM
Buy 4 or 5 more.

monty
10-11-2011, 10:28 AM
The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.
I agree, although I can be guilty of it too with LPs, but I just try them in the shop once in a while.

Leonc
10-11-2011, 10:29 AM
Man, I love Teles...all kinds. I prefer maple necks but one of the best ones I ever heard had a rosewood board...go figure? But over the years, there have been plenty of guitars that I couldn't bond with either. I hear other guys play them and just love them..then I try one and it just flat doesn't work for me. It happens.

:dunno

BedroomRockStar01
10-11-2011, 10:31 AM
No foul in not liking them. I love the sound of SGs, but I can't stand playing one, and the same thing goes for most Gibson products. Me and Gibson just don't get along.

If you're desperate to bond with a tele, I'd look beyond Fender. You won't find much to love in their newer stuff. I've played a '53, '56, and '57 tele that I'd kill for though.

jpervin
10-11-2011, 10:45 AM
I went through a bunch of production Fender Teles and at least one homebrew one before my #1, which I built outta parts. The Telecaster is a guitar that is very easy to modify, and once each part was in place that I was happy with and I'd played it for awhile, I really started to bond with this guitar. When I'm on my deathbed, it'll be the last one to leave me.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v341/jpervin/BlackTele9.jpg

Average Joe
10-11-2011, 11:00 AM
The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.

I'll second that. I love teles, but there are many many ther instruments out there that wouldn't work for me. Variety is good. Play what what you like

wilblee
10-11-2011, 11:05 AM
A lot of my favorite music was recorded with a Les Paul, but I have been completely unable to bond with any one of the dozens I've played, many of which were the treasured possessions of the folks that let me try them. I like Tele's fine, but prefer Strat's and like Larrivée RS-4's even better. Not to mention the PRS DGT that's currently rockin' my world. Derek Q is right. Don't try and make an icon work for you just because it's iconic. Find guitars you like and play them.

peskypesky
10-11-2011, 11:08 AM
i'll never understand any guitarist who says he doesn't "get" a particular guitar, especially a well-established model like the Tele. If you don't "get the Tele", the problem is in your head and/or hands.

i play strats, teles, les pauls, semi-hollows, hollows, classicals, acoustics, 12-strings, bass and a lap steel. they all have strings. they have frets. they make sound. what's not to get?

Dale
10-11-2011, 11:18 AM
What tele sounds do you like? I have a dual bucker tele clone that is very different than a traditional tele. What amps are the people you like using? Are tehy hitting them wit a pedal as well? Many like Brent Mason generally do, Brad Paisley does as well. So the pedal is important in that case as well.

blam
10-11-2011, 11:22 AM
i love teles. i have one. i love how it sounds. i have no idea how to use the tones it makes. i'm more of a les paul guy.

Paul Anderberg
10-11-2011, 11:28 AM
I'm the exact way with SG's. Love the tone, hate playing the guitar. It doesn't add up.

For tele's, I find the "it" factor comes from AVRI 52RI's, but that's because I like 50's style teles with a maple board and AlNiCo III's instead of the 60's style (rosewood board, AlNiCo V's). Some people prefer the latter. Everyone is gonna have their own "it" factor based on their musical tastes and genres that they play.

buddaman71
10-11-2011, 11:32 AM
Personally, I don't think you can get the "real" Tele sound with the modern, heavy steel 6-saddle bridge.
It fixes some the Tele's inherent quirks, but also eliminates much of it's charm and sonic signature as well.
Just my opinion.

michael patrick
10-11-2011, 11:34 AM
Help me guys? I love the sounds I hear on records but the teles I've been trying doesn't seem to add up. They are Fenders. Can someone tell me which Tele model has "it"?

I'm with you. Owned a number of them over the years but just never bonded with them. And that's cool, there's plenty of other guitars out there...

Paul Anderberg
10-11-2011, 11:37 AM
Personally, I don't think you can get the "real" Tele sound with the modern, heavy steel 6-saddle bridge.
It fixes some the Tele's inherent quirks, but also eliminates much of it's charm and sonic signature as well.
Just my opinion.

+1. There are variations which need the 6 saddle (like the Cabronita), but for authentic tele sounds, I totally agree.

TD_Madden
10-11-2011, 11:39 AM
The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.

:agree

baimun
10-11-2011, 11:48 AM
I didn't "get" the Tele for a while either, but many of my favorite guitarists used them (Jeff Beck, Andy Summers, Prince) and so I dug into them a bit more, tried a wide variety, and figured out what worked for me and what didn't.

I ended up with this:
http://baimun.home.comcast.net/~baimun/esquire7.jpg

To me, the 3 brass saddles and the metal plate over the bridge pickup have a lot to do with the distinctive sound and feel. The added pressure of two strings on each saddle along with the bridge pickup being physically connected to the bridge itself. I didn't care for the thin underwound, so went with a fatter overwound Duncan Quarter Pound, but it's tappable down to a vintage single as well.

I didn't care for the 7 1/2" vintage radius on a narrow neck, so I went with a warmoth neck (all rosewood)... didn't care for the tele neck pickup so Esquire it was... and I found the shape cool to look at but uncomfortable to play, so I went all "Jeff Beck" with the contours.

Paul Anderberg
10-11-2011, 12:13 PM
The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.

I would agree with this to some extent. If you have put in your time and effort and tried a bunch of different kinds of tele's (especially similar to the ones you identify as "good tone" on recordings), then your quest might be nearing an end and it's a square peg into a round hole situation.

But on the other side of it, I have a buddy who tried a couple cheap Les Pauls (faded kind) and now he doesn't like Les Paul's. Years later, now that I have a Limited Edition Standard, I had him try it and he's rethinking his position on them.

Moral of the story is: if you've done your due diligence in research and trying out many different kinds then the above advise is solid.

coldfingaz
10-11-2011, 12:50 PM
Help me guys? I love the sounds I hear on records but the teles I've been trying doesn't seem to add up. They are Fenders. Can someone tell me which Tele model has "it"?


I love Teles, especially Esquires, but man... life is too short.

Go for whatever turns you on.

Windup 43
10-11-2011, 01:44 PM
If you're desperate to bond with a tele, I'd look beyond Fender. You won't find much to love in their newer stuff. Fender's making some of the best guitars they've ever made :huh

Dale
10-11-2011, 01:48 PM
If you want a nice double bound it is either CS, 62 custom or Squire.

goodwater
10-11-2011, 01:52 PM
nobody's perfect

John Thigpen
10-11-2011, 02:45 PM
The classic Telecaster configuration is the blackguard with ash body and maple neck and three saddle bridge. If you can't make that sound right, you're doing it wrong. Fortunately, there are several price points, depending on your budget:

Nocaster - $2k+
52 Reissue - $1,200 - 1,600
Squier Classic Vibe - $349 (pine)

I'm not sure there's a traditional Tele in the $1,000 range. I think the Squier would be a great way to check out a Telecaster. If you still can't get the tones you're after, you can unload it for very little loss, or upgrade to a higher end model if you feel the need. The CV's get a lot of praise for incredible bang for the buck, though.

Johnnytone
10-11-2011, 02:53 PM
The classic Telecaster configuration is the blackguard with ash body and maple neck and three saddle bridge. If you can't make that sound right, you're doing it wrong. Fortunately, there are several price points, depending on your budget:

Nocaster - $2k+
52 Reissue - $1,200 - 1,600
50s Classic - $649 (ash)
Squier Classic Vibe - $349 (pine)

I'm not sure there's a traditional Tele in the $1,000 range. I think the Squier would be a great way to check out a Telecaster. If you still can't get the tones you're after, you can unload it for very little loss, or upgrade to a higher end model if you feel the need. The CV's get a lot of praise for incredible bang for the buck, though.

...

Jahn
10-11-2011, 02:55 PM
a "dead" Tele is a sad thing indeed. don't let that scare you off from that awesome day when you find "The One" that's alive in your hands, it's a beautiful thing.

briwinters
10-11-2011, 02:57 PM
Help me guys? I love the sounds I hear on records but the teles I've been trying doesn't seem to add up. They are Fenders. Can someone tell me which Tele model has "it"?

Is it you can't get the sounds you've heard on records on the guitars you've tried? Or that you just don't bond with the guitars when you play them?

One simple trick when dialing in an amp with a Tele is to not dime the Tele tone control when you use the bridge pickup. If it's just dialing it in that gives you problems start there.

MisterTV
10-11-2011, 03:40 PM
Not liking Teles is allowed. So is feeling sort of guilty for not wanting to play certain iconic guitars... I get that, too.

John Thigpen
10-12-2011, 11:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Thigpen http://img.thegearpage.net/board/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?p=11606992#post11606992)
The classic Telecaster configuration is the blackguard with ash body and maple neck and three saddle bridge. If you can't make that sound right, you're doing it wrong. Fortunately, there are several price points, depending on your budget:

Nocaster - $2k+
52 Reissue - $1,200 - 1,600
50s Classic - $649 (ash)
Squier Classic Vibe - $349 (pine)

I'm not sure there's a traditional Tele in the $1,000 range. I think the Squier would be a great way to check out a Telecaster. If you still can't get the tones you're after, you can unload it for very little loss, or upgrade to a higher end model if you feel the need. The CV's get a lot of praise for incredible bang for the buck, though.

...

Good catch on the Classic 50's. I forgot about that one. Pretty decent MIM model.

tonecontrol
10-12-2011, 12:04 PM
I myself am a Tele nut from past experience you gotta try all of `em until you find the "one" then go from there!
I found the "one" in my Melancon artist Pro T

BAN
10-12-2011, 12:23 PM
For me, the sound was always there, but I couldn't find a neck that suited me over the long haul. I finally found what I was looking for in a tele made by Jason Hilbourne (jaydawg76 on TGP). It's more or less a Broadcaster copy and vintage in most specs, right down to a pine body and the Don Mare Broadcaster pickup set, but one completely non-vintage thing it has is the neck.

And it turns out that was the missing ingredient for me. The neck on mine a vintage looking maple, but look closer and it is a big, 50s les profile carve with a 12" radius and medium jumbo frets. It made all the difference in the world for me. Now I have that classic tele sound, but with a neck that feels as comfortable as my Les Paul.

So yeah, that "it" telecaster is as variable as we all are as guitarists. Don't be afraid to work some non vintage features in there to make it a better fit --- you'll still get that classic tele sound and you'll have something that actually works for your style.

sonicD
10-12-2011, 12:31 PM
... I'm the exact way with SG's. Love the tone, hate playing the guitar. It doesn't add up...

... I love the sound of SGs, but I can't stand playing one, and the same thing goes for most Gibson products...

Wow! I thought I was the only one. One of the best looking guitars ever made. Can't stand playing 'em. Frets are too big, weight distribution's all wrong, just nothing I like about playing an SG. If I was going buy one just to hang it on the wall, then maybe... but generally, I buy to play.

I'm skipping the whole "Best Tele" thing. Too many variations and flavors. The OP didn't say what it was exactly he didn't like, so hard to point him in any particular direction. I hope he finds the right one someday.

---

dazco
10-12-2011, 03:25 PM
Check out a fender pawnshop '51. Like a cross between a strat and tele. I think i will be getting one myself, as they are fantastic. neck thats so amazing It is the best i have played, strat style body so no body edges digging into your arm or ribs like a tele, but with a string thru body strat style hardtail bridge that will get a very tele like tone. HB in the bridge pos and SC at the neck. Splittable bridge pup. i think this guitar is the ultimate "tele" fr those who have had a hard time bonding with them.

ssdeluxe
10-12-2011, 03:29 PM
tough love ;) I agree, that there is the secret :aok (hey what happened to the "cheers" emoticon ?)


The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.

Boris Bubbanov
10-12-2011, 04:08 PM
The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.

+1

You could keep one around and mess with it from time to time. Something may come of it. Don't force it, if it isn't meant to be.

p.j.
10-12-2011, 04:21 PM
The best advice I can give you, FWIW, is to quit "trying to like" stuff and play what you do like. Life's too short. Teles are probably not your bag and there's nothing wrong with that.

Derek Q is speaking the truth!
Teles, Parkers, and Danelectros work for me. Les Pauls, SGs, 335's and Strats... not so much. Whatever tool you feel comfortable with is what you should use. If it was ice cream would you be consuming a flavor you don't like? Rum Raisin...I don't thinks so!

=-) PJ

webe123
10-12-2011, 04:25 PM
Help me guys? I love the sounds I hear on records but the teles I've been trying doesn't seem to add up. They are Fenders. Can someone tell me which Tele model has "it"?

You know I have the EXACT same problem....when I play a tele...for some reason I automatically come out with a "twang" somewhere. I simply go into "country music" mode when I play one....not intentionally, but in my subconscious (http://www.google.com/search?q=subconscious&start=0&spell=1)....I think country!

I had two...one was a asian made Fender tele and one was a USA made Fender tele. I could not get anything out of BOTH but "twang"!

But what is really strange, is that I have a japanese video of The Eagles playing "Hotel California" in 1976 and Joe Walsh is USING A TELE! The other guy uses a doubleneck Gibson 6/12 string. And when they do the solo...it sounds exactly like the record! Does not sound country at all! Sounds fantastic. But I do not know what amp/ pedals combo they are using either.

Here is the video I was talking about:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1av8n_eagles-hotel-california-1976-live_music

But for some reason, even when I play with distortion, I come out "twangy" sounding! Don't ask me why. I think tele's are really cool guitars, but for my main playing, I will probably stick to my Fender 57 reissue stratocaster. I do not seem to have the same trouble on that. And I can go from a rock music sound to a country music sound effortlessly! It may be the string scale length between the two types of guitars. (tele and strat)

So don't feel like the lone stranger when it come to playing other styles of music on a tele...you are not alone.