Is a Telecaster Harder to Play Than Other Guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by erikzen, May 22, 2019.

  1. a_ribbon

    a_ribbon Member

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    my two favorite types of guitar are a les paul and a tele. :p i play mostly sitting down too so... i don't find them hard to play. though i have an sg type guitar as well which seems to be "easier" to play but isn't as comfortable. my tele was my only guitar for like 10 years so it feels like home i guess.
     
  2. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Member

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    Interesting. When I play sloppy it sounds that way no matter what guitar I am playing. My LP or 335 don't make it sound any better.

    I do play through 2 relatively low powered HW Tube amps. That is all I have ever owned. All analog signal.
     
  3. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Member

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    Yes. I have 13's on my 25.5" Martin. Definitely a workout but man, does it sound great.
     
  4. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Erik, I think most of what you're experiencing can be traced to needing a setup AND it is possible your specific example won't be quite as easy as some others. If your Strat is 25.5 scale and uses the same strings, it should be about the same ease of play.

    The G guitar uses a shorter scale and yeah, all other things equal it should be a bit easier to play.

    But these are fairly small increments of difference. Most likely the big gulf you're seeing means this Tele needs a tune up.
     
  5. a_ribbon

    a_ribbon Member

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    should it really be? i have two 24.75 with 10s and one 25.5 with 9s and the tele isn't any harder to play/bend for me than the epis are. they came that way from the factory and i like them as they are so i haven't thought to change them. so i just restring with the same stuff from before.
     
  6. Jonny G

    Jonny G Member

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    Only when you reach for the 22nd fret...;)
     
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  7. killer blues

    killer blues Member

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    When I pick up a guitar to relax and noodle or even to learn new stuff it's always my tele.
     
  8. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    No, well it depends. The nut width varies across guitars, so it could just be the string spacing that is throwing you off, or the overall setup of the guitar. My Tele has a 1.6725" nut width which may not sound like much, but I find it way easier to play on than a 1.65" nut or smaller nut width. My Les Paul of course is 1.69" which feels great too. Combine this with a good setup and it can make any guitar feel good. I have the American Pro Strat which has like a 1.68" nut and I also like it a lot more.
     
  9. JMorgan

    JMorgan Supporting Member

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    You mentioned intonation in the open chording positions. Like many have said before me, this could be a set up issue. Or, if you are accustomed to medium frets in your other guitars and your Tele has tall frets (like the narrow tall ones my American Professional had) then just a little extra left hand pressure, especially noticed in the open chord positions, can create intonation problems. With medium height frets the fretboard prevents most of that from ever occurring. However with tall frets you have more space between the fretted string and the fretboard so it becomes easier to press the string further than necessary and “over fret” a note, thus causing it to go sharp. I know I had to adjust to that when I first played narrow tall frets.
     
  10. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Member

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    HOLY CRAP!!!
     
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  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I agree, it is perfectly logical (and my practice) to use 1 gauge heavier for a 24.75 scale guitar, than for the 25.5 scale guitar. But other than the frets being too crowded together (for many) above the 12th fret on the Gibson scale, the actual play is so simple and intuitive and students take to it so easily. I would argue, this is really not about ease of bending. That's about fretsize and the relationship or ratio of string gauge to scale and IMO that's really not your best metric of ease of play. Remember that you can go through the first 4 Beatles albums and hear only minimal bends. Guitar String Bend Culture was on the margins, and then it took off IMO when Ernie Ball came up with "modern" thin strings. And Gibsons were easier to play before the Ernie Ball Revolution.
     
  12. a_ribbon

    a_ribbon Member

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    ah makes sense. i've never really had an issue with above the 12th fret though as i'm a woman and my hands aren't that large so it doesn't bother me as my fingers are not as large as some 6ft tall mans. lol. though i do understand that for you men that may be an issue. :p
     
  13. sshan25

    sshan25 Supporting Member

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  14. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Only a very few women have large hands with big fat finger pads. But a lot of farm boys or folks who have done a lot of labor have fingers like that. And then there are the fellows with piano players fingers, "spider" fingers like Eric Johnson. I would say over all, men's hands/fingers vary a lot and except for the "shredder" guys this tendency extends into guitar players. Lots of guys play well with hands/fingers that ain't really suited for what they're doing - but they do in anyway.
     
  15. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    The only issue with Tele and T style guitars is the long reach to the cowboy chords compared to a Strat.

    Because of the location of the upper strap button, the guitar hangs further out to my left.
     
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  16. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    As mentioned a properly setup Tele should play just as smooth as any other BUT if it as a rounder fret board radius and a fatter neck, even the best setup in the world wont address the difference you feel. It will definitely feel more challenging to play IMO.
    Regarding intonation though - those 3 saddle setups are a real problem with intonation. Here are two possible solutions:
    1. Gotoh In-Tune Compensated Saddles For Tele
    2. Compensated nut insert
    #2 is something you put right under your nut on the fret board. Takes seconds to install, is completely reversible, and can take the situation where your intonation is on but it still sounds "off".
    https://www.philadelphialuthiertool...-saddles/compensated-guitar-nut-for-electric/
     
  17. Heinz W

    Heinz W Genuine '66 Relic Gold Supporting Member

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    I recently got my first Tele and noticed this too. Not as extreme as an SG, but definitely further left than a Strat or LP. Sitting or standing. Takes getting used to for sure.
     
  18. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Fitting a guitar to the player should be more widespread.
    Wider string spacing at nut and bridge can only help those with larger hands, yet builders stick to the old conventions and players adapt without questioning.
    Would you wear a bra that does not fit?
    Apparently, women did, for many years, just put up with it, until makers and fitters realized that all things do not fit into the same package.
    Guitars need the same attention. Extend ergonomic design principles as the leading consideration in guitar development and aim at individual differences.
    Custom fitting. What a marketing opportunity!:idea
     
  19. Mikhael

    Mikhael Member

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    No, being a Tele doesn't bother me. What does bother me is what neck it comes with. I grew up learning on a classical guitar. 2" wide nut, flat fingerboard. Those skinny 1-5/8" nuts, with a 7-1/4" radius, feels like I'm playing on the surface of a baseball bat. It sucks.

    So, with the right neck on it, it's no more difficult than anything else.
     
  20. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    I've got a Tele, a Strat and a PRS SC S2 all strung with 10's.

    The PRS is the easiest playing guitar due to the comfy neck, excellent setup out of the box and less tension due to the 25" scale length.

    The strat is the next best player: beefier warmoth neck, SS frets, 10-16 radius and a trem which makes bends feel easier because the bridge moves with you giving the feel of less tension even though you have to bend farther to get to the same pitch.

    The 50's style tele is the stiffest of the 3. The tiny nickel frets, 7.5" radius, fixed bridge and fender scale length just make it feel less forgiving than the other 2.

    I love all 3 but my left hand wears out faster with the tele especially if I'm doing tons of bending... which I usually am. As far as tone goes I love all three for what they are and could make all of them work in almost any situation. I never think of Tele tone as "unforgiving". I don't do "Icepick". I can make my tele as thick as I want - Thats what the tone knob is for.
     
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