Have you ever wondered which is the difference between all those types of guitars??, I mean, you have several different models to choose from, (Stratocaster, Les Paul, Telecaster, etc). In this series of articles, I'll be writing about the best known ones, including some interesting info about them, please if I am forgetting about anyone, just remind me of it. (have in count that I'll be developing them in more than one article, so wait until the last one or just say which one you would like to read about next, I wont be covering special designed ones that work in just a few bands, like the fender mustang or the ones that are just a bit different than the others like the Jackson sharktail).
So, lets get started, this articles model is the well-known Telecaster
The Telecasters genesis started in 1950, when Leo Fender launched the Esquire electric spanish guitar, a Telecaster with only one pick-up. In 1951, a second pick-up was added to the model in the neck, and, to avoid confusions, it was named Broadcaster. Unfortunately for Mr Fender, the gretsch company had already registered that name for its drums, so Fender decided to sell his guitars without writing the model on the head. These guitars are now known as the No.Caster, But the year after, the guitar had its own name, the Telecaster. So, that's enough of history for now, lets get into it.
Keith Richards, Danny Gatton, Albert Collins, Jerry Donahue, Bruce Springsteen, Muddy Waters, Sheryl Crow and many, many more have used this good-looking guitar for a long time now, why is it that they have chosen them? Lets see:
First of all, as I can't post pictures I'll have to give a little description.
The best Telecaster manufacturer is Fender, so it is very similar to the Stratocaster design, it has two single coils pick-ups, one in the bridge, and one in the neck, this one is a bit weird, 'cause it's covered with a steel cover that gives more bright to its sound, but believe me, it's a single coil! The bridge is solid, so there's no whammy bar here, and the strings go from the back of it, to the tuning machines, not trough the body as in the Stratocaster model. It's got a 3-Position Blade (01. Bridge Pickup, 02. Neck Pickup with Tone Control and 03: Neck Pickup with No Tone Control) a master volumen and a master tone.
What really characterizes this model is its bright sound, the Telecaster was designed to imitate the bright sound of the banjos, mainly in country music, where it was firstly successfully-introduced, but was also used in rock music a couple of years later.
If you know anything about types of pickups, you'll probably think that this guitar wouldn't suit anyone who uses distortion often, well that's not precisely right, Kurt Cobain, used this guitar occasionally, and he is not a country guy at all is he?, the thing about this guitar, is that its sound is not the most versatile of all, in fact it woks better with clean, bright sounds or with a little amount of overdrive/distortion, I'm not saying you can not put distortion to it, as I said before, it has been done before, but if you're a Metallica, AC/DC, Stratovarius or any other noise-loving guitar player you'll probably get rid of this guitar easily.
The genres that have welcome this guitar with arms wide-open are, ska, pop, soft rock, country and of course, Rock N' Roll!
It's not difficult to use at all, it's mainly a guitar of plug-n-see, strings are replaced easily and in a few seconds, and if you have bought a good one, you wont have any problems with tuning, its not too heavy and it will keep you company for many years, well, at least if you behave properly and take care of it, I mean, it will put up with many bumps, but don't try to drop it from the top of a building or anything like that.
What more can I say about it?, there are several models in the market, not only the ones built by fender, though some companies make really awful copies, but hey! That happens to any model. I've seen people all around the world playing them, and creating very different sounds, I've seen Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden play with a Telecaster in an instructional video, and Shakira pretending she was playing it in a live concert. It is no excuse if you don't sound good with it, because you can, just don't be lazy and practice a bit.
If you think you can not sound properly with it, just listen to the solo in stairway to heaven, although Jimmy Page used his own signature Les Paul almost always, I heard he recorded that solo with a Telecaster, strange isn't it?
The B Bender
The telecaster has a very strange gear which, if installed on it (its commonly bought apart from the guitar) provides an interesting bend to the B string, it works like this: the pins where you tight the strap are connected to the B string through the body of the guitar, so that when it is hanging from your body, you pull down the guitar and generates a lap steel effect to the note, like a hawaian guitar. Guitar players such as Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Ron Wood (Rolling Stones) and many more have used this in a couple of their solos. It is highly recommended that you have this system put into your guitar by a professional, because if not an excellent guitar may be wasted.
Well, to finish this article, I must strongly recommend this guitar for the ones who like to play and watch people dancing in the other side of the room, or just to keep a warm tone in their bedrooms, if you have the chance, try it and see what happens, it's one of the cheapest professional guitar in the market, and you won't get disappointed easily with one of these in your hands.
Links?? Ok. Hope that works