In 1950 the first telecaster was released under the name Broadcaster. At the time, Gretsch sold a line of drum kits named Broadkaster. They threatened to sue Fender for the copyright of the name unless they immediately changed it. That line of guitars was dubbed the NoCasters. In February 1951, the same guitar – this time named the Telecaster – was released.
The telecaster’s iconic single cutaway gives it a sense of originality and character. It remains unchanged since the first design. The classic telecaster tone come from it’s dual single-coil pickups and more edgy bridge pickup. It’s sleek design and exemplary headstock makes it looks as good as it sounds! The telecaster is known for a comfortable neck with smooth slides that can be adjusted to suit the player and style. Also the first guitar to introduce three saddles rather than the usual six. Whereas the Stratocaster has one saddle per string, the Telecaster has one saddle between two strings. It’s authentic control plate has two knobs and a switch. The outside knob controls the tone. The centre knob controls the volume and by moving the switch you can control the use of the pickups.
An all-round instrument with one of the best clean sounds from any guitar, the Telecaster is one of the most globally recognised instruments within bands. Suiting several styles of music, this Fender giant has famously been played by the likes of Prince, Jeff Buckley, Tom Morello, Keith Richards and Pete Townshend! It’s versatility means that even a solid body telecaster can play a wide range of sounds and styles from Jeff’s soft style cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah to Townshend’s epic hit with The Who My Generation! Even Tom Morello’s Killing in the Name (also played on his signature strat) from the loud heavy-punk band Rage Against the Machine.
Whatever the style, song or sound, the Fender Telecaster is a distinguished and accomplished instrument that is highly rated across the globe!
Sam Claydon High School (work experience week at Music World July 2014)