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Played a '61 Telecaster, am I wrong for not liking Teles?

natmiss

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,818
Some of my favorite guitar players play Teles. I've played in bands where another member played a Tele and sounded great. I can never get a thing out of one that I like. I worked in the music store business for 30+ years. I've played hundreds of Teles in my life. They just defy me! Same with locking trem shredder guitars.
 

TelePlayr

Member
Messages
288
This year, I played my first vintage Fender. A friend's dad has a 1961 Tele that someone in the family had bought new and it's been both been taken care of and played almost daily ever since. Very little checking, all the hardware in tact, no problems with the electronics, just a 100% ideal vintage guitar.
And I didn't like it that much.

The guitar was set up alright, the pickups definitely sounded like a Telecaster, but I just couldn't enjoy it the way I thought I would. The whole time I was playing, I was picturing the things I would personally change to get along with it.

My two pathways of thought weren't exactly original. The first was to make the upper "horn" more prominent, get rid of the odd bridge plate to put on something with 6 adjustable saddles, add in some pickup in the middle for more single coil tones and move the controls somewhere farther back.

Lo and behold, some wise guy did that in 1954 and apparently people really like it.

My other train of thought was that if it was gonna only be 2 pickups, they might as well carry more bulk. I don't just wanna make it a Tele Deluxe, so maybe soapbars for some more output and bass. And while we're at it, it might as well have a shorter scale length to go with the pickups. And these 3 saddles feel like a knockoff in-between between no saddles or 6. So lets either make it a one piece bridge without adjustment or make it more like that Gibson-y bridge that has the two pieces.

Wait a minute, who's this Les Paul fellow and why did he get a signature that has the specs I want? Are any of my thoughts unique anymore?

Am I blasphemous to TGP and the guitar community as a whole for not finding a Tele to be my desert island/swiss army guitar? Is there anyone else that would belong in Anti-Tele Anonymous (ATA)?
Nah! Its not illegal to not like Tele's! Why should any guitar be a "must like"? I loved my Tele most when I was playing a lot of funk and R&B. (I'm a rhythm player). I wouldn't want to be playing jazz on it though...
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
11,110
I've played way more guitars over my lifetime than I could even begin to remember.
One I remember the most, the only guitar I can remember playing and regretting not buying, as a '60 tele. Through a BF Vibrolux Reverb. Just wonderful.

But even though I am a strat guy by trade, I've always liked teles. I play a lot of country and blues and it is a great guitar for that.

That doesn't mean you have to like teles. It is fine. I had a Les Paul for a couple years back in the 70s, haven't touched one since. I love 335s though. Play what you like, as long as you enjoy the gig and you get paid at the end, it was successful and whatever guitar you use is a good tool.
 

fitz

Member
Messages
2,711
There are many guitar choices out there and no reason to settle. By my Tele story is this:

I was building up my guitar collection 25+ years ago. I had an American Strat, Hamer Artist G&L, Legacy, and Martin acoustic HD-28. I saw a 52 Reissue Tele at Sam Ash for $750 in almost new condition. I got it because "I needed a Tele". But I didn't really play it that often. Over time I started playing it through my Princeton, Super and other Fenders and I really grew to love the tone, sturdiness and the butterscotch and black guard looks. I also found its so versatile "as is". The other thing is that mine is setup perfectly and the brass saddles intonate with no issues. I honestly have only adjusted the neck once to experiment with a straighter neck. As time goes on, I cant do without my 100% stock 52 RI Telecaster.
 
Messages
270
There are a lot of very picky Tele, Strat, Les Paul, ES-series, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, and SG players out there. They can't all be right.
 

Jerrod

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,896
This year, I played my first vintage Fender. A friend's dad has a 1961 Tele that someone in the family had bought new and it's been both been taken care of and played almost daily ever since. Very little checking, all the hardware in tact, no problems with the electronics, just a 100% ideal vintage guitar.
And I didn't like it that much.

The guitar was set up alright, the pickups definitely sounded like a Telecaster, but I just couldn't enjoy it the way I thought I would. The whole time I was playing, I was picturing the things I would personally change to get along with it.

My two pathways of thought weren't exactly original. The first was to make the upper "horn" more prominent, get rid of the odd bridge plate to put on something with 6 adjustable saddles, add in some pickup in the middle for more single coil tones and move the controls somewhere farther back.

Lo and behold, some wise guy did that in 1954 and apparently people really like it.

My other train of thought was that if it was gonna only be 2 pickups, they might as well carry more bulk. I don't just wanna make it a Tele Deluxe, so maybe soapbars for some more output and bass. And while we're at it, it might as well have a shorter scale length to go with the pickups. And these 3 saddles feel like a knockoff in-between between no saddles or 6. So lets either make it a one piece bridge without adjustment or make it more like that Gibson-y bridge that has the two pieces.

Wait a minute, who's this Les Paul fellow and why did he get a signature that has the specs I want? Are any of my thoughts unique anymore?

Am I blasphemous to TGP and the guitar community as a whole for not finding a Tele to be my desert island/swiss army guitar? Is there anyone else that would belong in Anti-Tele Anonymous (ATA)?

Blah blah blah.
 

joebloggs13

Member
Messages
3,781
This year, I played my first vintage Fender. A friend's dad has a 1961 Tele that someone in the family had bought new and it's been both been taken care of and played almost daily ever since. Very little checking, all the hardware in tact, no problems with the electronics, just a 100% ideal vintage guitar.
And I didn't like it that much.

The guitar was set up alright, the pickups definitely sounded like a Telecaster, but I just couldn't enjoy it the way I thought I would. The whole time I was playing, I was picturing the things I would personally change to get along with it.

My two pathways of thought weren't exactly original. The first was to make the upper "horn" more prominent, get rid of the odd bridge plate to put on something with 6 adjustable saddles, add in some pickup in the middle for more single coil tones and move the controls somewhere farther back.

Lo and behold, some wise guy did that in 1954 and apparently people really like it.

My other train of thought was that if it was gonna only be 2 pickups, they might as well carry more bulk. I don't just wanna make it a Tele Deluxe, so maybe soapbars for some more output and bass. And while we're at it, it might as well have a shorter scale length to go with the pickups. And these 3 saddles feel like a knockoff in-between between no saddles or 6. So lets either make it a one piece bridge without adjustment or make it more like that Gibson-y bridge that has the two pieces.

Wait a minute, who's this Les Paul fellow and why did he get a signature that has the specs I want? Are any of my thoughts unique anymore?

Am I blasphemous to TGP and the guitar community as a whole for not finding a Tele to be my desert island/swiss army guitar? Is there anyone else that would belong in Anti-Tele Anonymous (ATA)?
Is that a PRS in your avatar? I don't like those guitars. Never have...never will. Is that wrong? Nope...it's just my opinion, that's all. :dunno
 

Jimmy MAck

Member
Messages
828
When I really wanted a Tele, and I had the funds, I tried a bunch of older models. In stores, I had a hard time finding anything I would pay money for. This was 35 years ago. New models didn't do it fo me either. Bad setups, unsatisfactory tone, just a hard time making music on them.
Then I found a mid 50's beater for not a lot of money that I loved for its junkyard appeal. Sold it for college money. Then in the 80's, a cheap Squier Tele did much the same for me! A friends' real '52 just doesn't do it for me!
I now own a '72, and it's fine. You just have to find the right one.
 

daveanto21

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,200
Well, those other guitars exist for a reason....when I'm playing a vintage style Tele I'm just enjoying what it does and I find that it generally does what I want very well. I don't often feel the need for a different guitar when I'm playing a Tele.

When the Tele doesn't do what I want, I reach for a Strat or Les Paul or some other guitar that will give me what I want.

If playing a Tele makes you want to play other guitars, you should just play those other guitars.

You nailed it. It is hard for me not to appreciate a guitar. I just let it do its thing and I just listen. The problem is I have a very big collection now. Lol. But it is so enjoyable to appreciate what a guitar does, not be turned off by what it doesn't.
 

Bach88s

Double Platinum Member
Messages
668
This year, I played my first vintage Fender. A friend's dad has a 1961 Tele that someone in the family had bought new and it's been both been taken care of and played almost daily ever since. Very little checking, all the hardware in tact, no problems with the electronics, just a 100% ideal vintage guitar.
And I didn't like it that much.

The guitar was set up alright, the pickups definitely sounded like a Telecaster, but I just couldn't enjoy it the way I thought I would. The whole time I was playing, I was picturing the things I would personally change to get along with it.

My two pathways of thought weren't exactly original. The first was to make the upper "horn" more prominent, get rid of the odd bridge plate to put on something with 6 adjustable saddles, add in some pickup in the middle for more single coil tones and move the controls somewhere farther back.

Lo and behold, some wise guy did that in 1954 and apparently people really like it.

My other train of thought was that if it was gonna only be 2 pickups, they might as well carry more bulk. I don't just wanna make it a Tele Deluxe, so maybe soapbars for some more output and bass. And while we're at it, it might as well have a shorter scale length to go with the pickups. And these 3 saddles feel like a knockoff in-between between no saddles or 6. So lets either make it a one piece bridge without adjustment or make it more like that Gibson-y bridge that has the two pieces.

Wait a minute, who's this Les Paul fellow and why did he get a signature that has the specs I want? Are any of my thoughts unique anymore?

Am I blasphemous to TGP and the guitar community as a whole for not finding a Tele to be my desert island/swiss army guitar? Is there anyone else that would belong in Anti-Tele Anonymous (ATA)?


I love the two I have. The Gatton is my favorite right now because of the neck radius. I like the set up better then my strat for the controls and no middle pickup. The body routing with no relief cuts leaves more wood and the bridge plate and solid brass shared saddles add to the tone. Thats what gives it the vibe. It's my g_nslinger guitar :)



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joebloggs13

Member
Messages
3,781
I think you missed the point.

He doesn't like telecasters, even expensive vintage ones. And that's really important.
No, I didn't miss the point. I don't like PRS guitars, even expensive ones, but I don't go around advertising that fact. That's what I was trying to convey with my post. To each their own. The OP isn't wrong for not liking a vintage Tele, or Teles in general. It's just his opinion that's all. I've got nothing against that. :beer
 
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spacevato

Member
Messages
594
The charm of a beautiful guitar from such an iconic era was undeniably strong. It was definitely cool, similar to if you sat a kid learning to drive into a '66 Mustang.
I played through an early 70s Twin Reverb. It's more or less sat under a sheet since its purchange. My friend's father inhereted it a few years back and still only fires it up once every few months. I played it at about 3, playing around with tremolo and reverb. It was loud enough for me to face the amp away and sit about 10 feet back, I admittedly can't stand being in proximity to an amp that loud. It was loud enough for me to get a feel for what it'd be like to play it for a small audience, which added to the charm. It sounded exactly how you'd picture a low output tele through a loud, clean amp. It was a perfect sound for most people, but it didn't feel right for me. I did do my best to match my playing to the guitar and amp, I wasn't completely rigid with my preference in that respect. It just didn't click with me.

How were your settings when playing through that Twin? I can feel the brightness just thinking about it.

PS If it's been sitting for many years and only occasionally fired up, your friend ought to have the electrolytic capacitors checked.
 

Average Joe

Member
Messages
12,144
No you're not, though I will say that a sample of 1 isn't much to base an opinion on. I also tend to think that teles sound much better in a band mix than on their own

I know this is the Tele Worship Page, I always much preferred a strat bridge pickup w a tone control hooked up for bridge sounds, and a strat just in general. A good strat is all the charms of a Fender single coil sound with all the excesses taken out.

It's all good, play what you like.
 

Jimmy MAck

Member
Messages
828
Well just because it's old, and because that makes it expensive, doesn't mean it's a great guitar - or even a good one!!!
They are NOT ALL the SAME. Dogs are dogs, even in the Gibson family. Maybe that '61 just needs to get out of the house more often - and Plaaaaaayed. Old guitars need to be woken up.
 




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