A Brief History of the Fender Telecaster

Author: Ryan Christianson 

The Fender Telecaster is one of the World's most recognizable guitars. Simple in design, the Telecaster has been the quintessential guitar for over fifty years. It was also essentially the first recognizable solid body guitar, which provided the inspiration for some of the most recognizable music of the 20th century with regard to folk, blues, R & B, rock, and country genres.

The telecaster has it's origins in early 1940's when Clarence Leonidas Fender (AKA Leo Fender), proprietor of the Fender Radio Repair Shop, started to experiment with guitar amplification. One day Leo Fender fashioned a crude solid body guitar to his test early pickup systems. This crude guitar garnered much attention from local musicians that it prompted Fender to experiment with design and electronics from which the modern Fender Telecaster was born.

Interestingly, the Telecaster was initially named the "Broadcaster," but in 1950 it was renamed as the Gretsch Company claimed that "Broadcaster" was a trademark violation as it was too similar in name to their "Broadkaster" drum line. In 1952 the first production models of the Telecaster hit the market. The guitars made during 1951 were affectionately name "nocasters" and today are some of the most sought after guitars on the market.

The Telecaster or "Tele" for short is the longest running solid body electric guitar still in production. It employs a simple modular design consisting of a solid body, bolt on neck, and two single coil pickups. Its trademark tone is one of the most recognizable in popular music. Played clean, the Fender Telecaster has a bright, punchy tone widely heard on both early and contemporary country music. It's versatility and durability also makes it a reliable choice for blues, rock, fusion, and pop professional guitarists.

The Telecaster has under gone few changes over the past fifty years, and because of this, it remains a favorite for customization. While the original Telecaster traditionally employed a two single coil pickup system, some rock and metal guitarists added a dual humbucker configuration. This produces a tighter tone better suited for rock and metal styles. Many professional stage and studio guitarists have made modifications to the Telecaster such as adding a middle "Strat" pickup and installing a five-way switching system.

These changes dramatically increase the versatility the telecaster, but many Telecaster purists strongly disagree with such a drastic departure from Leo Fender's original design. Fender Musical Instruments have also released many models of the Telecaster throughout the years. The Telecaster American Deluxe, American Standard, American Vintage, Artist, Classic, Classic Player, Deluxe, Highway One, Standard, Nashville, B-Bender, and Vintage Hot Rod are all examples of Telecaster reincarnations. One thing is for certain, however, these guitars still encapsulate Leo Fender's original idea of a robust and versatile guitar.

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. This couldn't be more true for the Fender Telecaster. From it's birth in the early 1950's to today, the Fender Tele has become the go to guitar for professional and novice guitarists all around the world. It is renowned for its versatility, playability, and durability. Be sure to check out this guitar when researching guitars to buy-you will not be sorry.

For more information please visit: http://www.buyguitarscheap.com/Fender/Telecaster

Ryan Christianson holds a Music Degree from The Berklee College of Music. He is an avid guitar player and operates http://www.buyguitarscheap.com 

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