The bridge pickup, the neck pickup, and the middle toggle position. I'll take the middle position on a Tele over the annoying quack of the in-between Strat tones any day. Oh, and the looks and simplicity. I guess everything.
it's funny... when I was a kid, I was a "surfer" dude... ya know... Strats, Jags, Jazzmasters, we would have nothing to do with the Tele. it Waaassss the hillbillies guitar (we weren't old enough to know we WERE hillbillies, just with bleached blond hair.. 'n a Conn surf board)
So the only time we ever saw a Tele was if the TV was on the one of the 3 channels we had that Porter Wagoner was on... Tele, Sequined Jacket.. and that Girl Dolly Part something... sangin' those hill billy tunes with Buck Trent in the back ground... Nope... No Teles, nada... and No damm fat necks....
Jump forward to the mid 90's.. the Tele is exploding in popularity,,, I'm starting to wonder what gives.... so a fella that plays with some high end Jazz greats calls and wants a Tele, and one with the fattest neck I can do.... I roll my eyes 'n say, sure...
Well a few weeks later, the thing's done, and now I'm curious enough to spend a little “quality time” after I get it set up…. well first thing… the sound… damn, this thing sounds good… I’m lovin’ that twang… so I’m staying with it… half hour, an hour, a couple of hours…
then it dawns on me… all these years, playing those skinny necked surfer guitars, ’n my left hand always started getting cramps after about a half hour… I never really though about it… I just figured it was “part of the deal” gonna play guitar, gonna hafta live with a cramped up left hand… but, I could play that dawggone fat necked tele forever… no cramps…. could it be that easy….
So after all this time, I’’ve come to appreciate the Tele kinda like if ya had a lotta AKC registered “hi-brow” doggies…. but the one puppy that’s the most loyal, your best friend, is that old mongrel that took up with ya a couple of years ago, seems like even though he doesn’t have any “papers”.. he’s your best friend…
so here we are, darn near 20 years later… no fat necks, no surf guitars, and no darn cramps.. But, I still will not wear a sequined jacket though…
And about Dolly, I agree with Johnny Carson. I’d give a month’s pay to see whuts under . . .
I realized that suddenly the strings on my MIM tele weren't centered. The low E was closer to the edge of the fretboard.
Took it to my tech expecting him to say he'd need to dowel fill and refill the neck screw holes or something.
He said "looks like it took a bump". He banged the neck with his palm and tightened the neck plate screws. Fixed
Favorite thing- durability.
My other tele has a Jazzmaster neck and neck pickup and a Bigsby
Other favorite thing- versatility.
When I first started playing I thought Teles were just for country. Then in 1972 I bought a Roy Buchanan record. Then there was Muddy, Keith, Albert and a crowd of others who obviously knew far more than I did. I listened. I liked. I bought.
It's the feel, for me. I like the squared-off body with a chunky neck, if I have that then the rest is all negotiable...pickups, paint, hardware etc. can all be changed for different looks and sounds. But the physical feel is why teles are my favorite.
I never liked the Fender sound, ever. Too thin, too tinny...I was a Les Paul guy. I was playing with these two guys, and one of them had a Tele. One night they came to my house to work on some songs, and for the hell of it I asked to swap the LP with the guy's Tele, thinking what the hell is this country guitar going to sound like with me playing it, I am a humbucker player.
I'll never forget that moment, because it was like there was a raging electrical storm flying off the thing, all this stuff I'd never heard before, all these pops, squeals (harmonics?), savage clarity, etc.
What was really interesting is that I had this Marshall amp, and of course with the LP I got the sound I'd always loved (ABB, Santana, Cream, etc.) from that combo, but holy $hit, the TELE through that amp was the sickest thing I ever heard.
So I got a Tele shortly thereafter, and it really helped me improve. I suck sort of, but it helped me suck less and less. Made me improve and not be so sloppy.
I love how it is indestructible, how I don't have to baby it, how there is one volume and one tone, and how it has a range of sound and not some distinct positions. I like it best of all because it works so good in a band, whether I am playing soft or loud, it just seems to fit in so well. Great tool.
Still would take my '61 SG R.I. over it though...but the gap is narrowing a bit.
I have a Fender custom tele and it's a well made solid guitar. Plays like butter.
I installed a 4 way switch and the diversity in tone is great.
With a Weider Big T in the neck & Fralin blues specials in the bridge.... sounds amazing!