Fender Telecaster
The Specs

Fender Telecaster

Year: 2023
Builder: Fender
Series: Player
Model: Telecaster
Color: Candy Apple Red
Hardware Finish: Chrome
Serial Number: MX22310482
Body: Alder
Body Finish: Gloss Polyester
Body Binding: None
Cutaway: Single
Pickguard: 3-Ply Parchment
Bridge: String-Through-Body Tele
Saddles: Block Steel
Fretboard: Maple
Fretboard Binding: None
Fretboard Inlay: Black Dots
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Modern "C"
Neck Finish: Satin Urethane
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Headstock: Telecaster
Headstock Binding: None
Headstock Logo: Fender "Spaghetti" Logo
Tuners: Fender Standard Cast
Neck Pickup: Player Series Alnico 5 Tele
Bridge Pickup: Player Series Alnico 5 Tele
Pickup Switching: 3-Way
Control Knobs: Knurled Flat-Top
Controls: Volume, Tone
Case: Fender deluxe hardshell case

Body Size/Shape: Telecaster
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Frets to Body: 17/20
Fretboard Radius: 9.5"
Scale Length: 25.5"
Nut Width: 1.650"
Body Width: 12.75"
Body Depth: 1.75"
Strings: D'Addario EXL115 (.011-.049)

The Story:

Many guitarists choose to play certain guitars because those are the ones that their heroes play—and I'm certanly no exception to that. My first love on electric guitar was the Fender Stratocaster, because it seemed like all the guitarists I admired played one.

The other classic Fender electric, the Telecaster, always looked really cool to me—I loved the single cutaway and the elegance of its simple, dependable design—but it wasn't nearly as popular with the blues and rock guitarists I was listening to as the Stratocaster was. And when I tried playing Teles in music stores, I couldn't quite get the sound I was looking for out of them.

I bought my first Telecaster mostly based on the look. I was—and still am—a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen, and one day in the early 90's I walked into my local guitar shop with some money burning a hole in my pocket. My main guitar at the time was a sunburst American Standard Stratocaster, and I think my intention that day was to buy another Strat to use as a backup on stage.

But as I walked in, my gaze was immediately drawn to a butterscotch Fender Telecaster with a black pickguard. The wood grain was visible through the transparent finish, and it was gorgeous. It also reminded of Springsteen's iconic Telecaster. So I played it and quickly decided I had to have it.

I never ended up using it on stage, because it never quite sounded like "me." And by that, I mean it never sounded like a Stratocaster with the pickup selector switch n positions 2 and 4, which I'd come to think of as "my" sound. And eventually that Telecaster ended up getting sold or traded for something else—but I would go on to try many other Telecasters over the years.

For most of that time, I kept getting drawn back by the iconic appearance of the Telecaster, and thinking that I'd find a use for its famous "twangy" voice. But I never fully embraced the sound of the Tele, and would always end up reverting back to Strats.

That all changed fairly recently, when I went through a period where I was mostly playing jazz. I was mostly using semi-hollow and hollowbody guitars with humbuckers (I couldn't get my Strat to sound quite jazzy enough), until someone recommended that I try a Telecaster for jazz. I did, and was amazed at how much I liked the sound of the neck pickup with the tone rolled off.

Then I discovered something else I'd always overlooked before—the tone control on a Tele provides an amazing variety of sounds. I found that I really liked the sound of the middle position on a Tele with the tone rolled back a bit. I finally loved the sound of a Tele as much as I'd always loved its looks. And I find that my Tele is even more versatile than a Strat. I don't think it'll ever supplant the Strat as my favorite, but I don't think I'll ever be without a Telecaster again.

In the summer of 2023, I decided to sell off some of my other guitars and buy a quartet of classic Fender instruments—a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass, and Jazz Bass—all in Candy Apple Red.

© Thunder Moose/Groove Like a Moose Productions