Is a Telecaster more versatile than a Strat?

LoopyBullet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,088
Player A, who is an exceptional and versatile guitar player (however you personally define that) is A/B'ing a Telecaster and a Stratocaster. Do you think that he will find a Telecaster any more versatile than a Stratocaster? Or will he find that the Telecaster is only as versatile as he is as a player? Why or why not? In your own, very subjective TGP definitions of exceptional, versatile, or anything else that can be dependent on the person speaking about it. Yes, there's another page about Telecaster versatility, and this is one geared toward the Stratocaster in particular.

I've heard people argue that Teles (the simple tool) are more versatile than Strats (more knobs, pickups, and switches). I feel that there might be a truth to this since the Strat has such a focused sound and playability that you're almost pulled toward the blues when you play it, whereas that invisible blues hand isn't necessarily there for the Tele. Maybe that's all untrue. Just want some other opinions between these two fantastic tools. :phones
 

Dunzie

Member
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1,625
Personally I disagree. I play only Strats and Teles these days and I don't think there IS a more versatile guitar than a Strat with a bucker in the bridge. Of course nothing really does that recognizable Strat quack quite like a Strat, but they can do a lot more. Love my Teles too, but just think the Strat can do a little more overall. YMMV.
 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
12,082
The trem makes strats more versatile. When I play a strat I don't get pulled to the blues, just some guys opinion with a closed mind. I used to do an electronic music gig with a DJ and synth....THE STRAT was the only guitar for that gig.
 

Stratburst70

Member
Messages
5,781
Apples and oranges, honestly. I do find a Strat more versatile in that it can speak in more musical genres but there's nothing wrong with a Tele. IMO, a Tele's more aggressive but a Strat has a softer, sweeter tonality that draws me in a little more. And the whammy is a huge plus.
 

MartinC

Member
Messages
3,154
From my perspective:

  • Strats (SSS) cover more ground tonally than Teles (T-style SS)
  • The Strat has my single most favourite tone of them all (neck pickup).
  • A Tele with standard Tele pickups (T-style SS) has a nicer bridge and middle position tone than a Standard (SSS) Strat has ... I'm referring to the Strat 2,3,4 and 5 positions where 5 is bridge only. For this reason, for me, a standard Tele would actually be more versatile.
  • Luckily, there are pickup choices in both S and T styles. My Strat has HSS, which makes it much more useful for me.
  • If I were to order a custom T/S style guitar, mine would be a Strat body with a Strat neck pickup and a mini-humbucker in the bridge ... no middle. Controls would be a set of standard Tele controls (3 way up front, volume next, then a single tone)
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,050
A strat will give you more sounds, but a tele is more adaptable.
No disrespect, but see it exactly opposte of that because teles are not near as forgiving and a strat just sorta fits into anything smoothly. Granted, you do pay the price of not having the aggressive in your face quality of the tele, which is what we love about them. But the strat, for me at least is much more adaptable. They have more varied tones that will work for many things. They just don't have the intensity of a tele, but it's what allows them to adapt to anything.
 

skronker

2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions
Messages
5,398
the strat is more versatile
3 pickups
5 five different sounds
tremelo
and a body design that is far more ergonomic than a tele

you can disagree but you know you'd be wrong, lol
 

kiwicanuck

Member
Messages
1,532
Trem and 3 pickups definitely sounds more versatile to me. I don't find any given Tele to have that much range, but what they do they do well.
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,278
The trem actually make the Strat a tad LESS versatile in some situations. If you have to retune (lets say you play some stuff in Drop D or open G for slide) you can go rapidly back and forth on a Tele. They're both very versatile instruments though, but for me the Tele by a nose.
 

Pewtershmit

Member
Messages
775
Versatility huh?

How about being able to change tunings easily?

Tele wins!!

And if you respond saying you deck your strat against the body, your doing it wrong.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
The strat has a very distinguished and recognizable sound, albeit as useful and applicable as the person holding it wills it to be.

But a telecaster is almost like a blank page, you can literally go any direction from ground zero with little to no effort.

Granted, it may not have as much quack, or a vibrato arm, but it'll make up for that by having the most malleable tone crafting capability that you could comprehend.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
Further, an Esquire is more versatile than a Telecaster.
I believe that both the Esquire and the Telecaster are only as versatile as the player is.

Therefore, both will force the player to adapt, rather than the instrument, making the player much better themselves.

Sink or swim, so to speak.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,050
Versatility huh?

How about being able to change tunings easily?

Tele wins!!

And if you respond saying you deck your strat against the body, your doing it wrong.

I see.....so if you do ANYTHING different than stock you're doing it wrong. Chances are you've changed pickups, wiring, and number of things. YOU'RE doing it wrong !
 






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