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

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Family Man, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Family Man

    Family Man Silver Supporting Member

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    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?
     
  2. Jimmy R

    Jimmy R Member

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    I think it’s the Tele’s responsiveness and clarity that reveal just how good a player is, although that goes out the window if you add tons of gain.
     
  3. Tweedledee

    Tweedledee Member

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    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
     
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  4. DiAmoroso

    DiAmoroso Member

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    Yeah, I think it's just that you hear a lot more artifacts from your playing on a Telecaster than you would say a Les Paul. It doesn't really mean someone is a lesser or greater player at all.
     
  5. Theorist

    Theorist Supporting Member

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    People say all sort of things, don’t believe everything you hear....
     
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  6. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    I've never heard someone say that...
     
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  7. McGTR

    McGTR Member

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    Country players might claim that in order to reinforce their own sense of identity..
     
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  8. TaoInMotion

    TaoInMotion Member

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    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.
     
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  9. Jazzandmore

    Jazzandmore Gold Supporting Member

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    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.
     
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  10. Jedi

    Jedi Member

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    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
     
  11. Jim Holloway

    Jim Holloway Silver Supporting Member

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    I've heard that and been curious about it as well. Could it have anything to do with Telecasters being prevalent in country music?
     
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  12. singlecutarmy

    singlecutarmy Member

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  13. Jedi

    Jedi Member

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    Elitism? A Telecaster does not = elitist. :facepalm A Tele would be the last guitar to be given that title. LOL.
     
  14. Ps28

    Ps28 Member

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    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.
     
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  15. BrokenRomeo

    BrokenRomeo Supporting Member

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    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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  16. singlecutarmy

    singlecutarmy Member

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    Thinking you're better for playing on one is elitism hands down.
     
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  17. fjrabon

    fjrabon Member

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    I think it’s mostly just because back in the old days you couldn’t distort most amps with a telecaster. Like distortion was literally a humbucker through a dimed amp. So people associated single coils with clean clarity
     
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Member

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    Someone said it.

    Despite being meaningless horseshit, it was repeated by 7 different dudes in their underwear. Which in turn was repeated 1000x.

    At which point it was a “thing”, apparently.
     
  19. ToneDeVille

    ToneDeVille Member

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    I've never heard that. Any guitar will show one's ability.
    But that can easily be masked with effects and overdrive.
     
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  20. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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