Why do people say Telecasters show a player's true ability?

Family Man

Supporting Member
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1,323
FWIW, I did search this in various forms and didn't find any relevant threads.

I've seen dozens of times here, in interviews, and in magazine articles where the claim is made that Telecasters "expose" a players weaknesses and true ability.

I own a Telecaster and play it fairly frequently. I suck at playing my other guitars just as much as I do playing the Telecaster.

So what's up with the saying?
 

Tweedledee

Member
Messages
1,287
It is a strangely pervasive assertion. My guess is it's probably Telecaster players who either want to feel better about themselves ("I play the tough guitar!") or want an excuse for their own poor playing ("It's not that I'm terrible at guitar, it's just that I use a Tele so you can hear all my mistakes!") j/k ;)

I've never bought it. I can reveal or hide my terrible playing with any guitar. :D
 

TaoInMotion

Member
Messages
3,423
Because it's total and complete nonsense.

The setup on the guitar is the single most important element in terms of how "hard" it is to play and how likely it is to expose weaknesses. That's true for every single style ... acoustic or electric.
 

Jazzandmore

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,904
Yeah there are just way too many people, including myself, that sound quite lame on any guitar. Can’t buy the idea that somehow a Tele reveals weaknesses, but on another guitar the same person sounds awesome.

Put any player (with their favorite guitar) on stage with great players in that same genre for song after song. May only take a few bars of the first song, or may just take one or two songs, and a player’s abilities will be readily apparent.
 

Jedi

Member
Messages
1,454
Over the years it has been said in the guitar community that you had to have your chops down to play a Tele as your main axe because it exposed your playing more than other guitars. I guess on some level it could have merit, but any F-style guitar I believe would fall into the same category. Guitars with a shorter scale like Gibson have always been touted as easier to play and because of the higher output of humbuckers were more forgiving. YMMV

By the way, many artist over the years including Jeff beck have made the comment that a players personality comes through more with single-coil pickups vs humbuckers. I have to say that to my ears there is some truth in that. Of course there are exceptions to everything. YMMV
 

Ps28

Member
Messages
2,382
Over the years it has been said in the guitar community that you had to have your chops down to play a Tele as your main axe because it exposed your playing more than other guitars. I guess on some level it could have merit, but any F-style guitar I believe would fall into the same category. Guitars with a shorter scale like Gibson have always been touted as easier to play and because of the higher output of humbuckers were more forgiving. YMMV

By the way, many artist over the years including Jeff beck have made the comment that a players personality comes through more with single-coil pickups vs humbuckers. I have to say that to my ears there is some truth in that. Of course there are exceptions to everything. YMMV
Jeff Beck never sounded as good as he did using Les Pauls and humbucker guitars. I think his single coil tone, specifically his strat tone is dreadful and I'm not even a humbucker guy.
 

BrokenRomeo

Member
Messages
2,145
I think the type of guitar somebody uses is overrated...I've got tons of guitars, of all different flavors, and when I play with the band, I can use most any of them and still sound like me. I say pick what you like, feels good and what you're in the mood for...and play.
 


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