Often seen as the less popular choice in comparison to the two main forerunners of guitars that are the Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster, the Fender Telecaster is still a strong seller regardless today.

It developed out of its original incarnation as the Fender Esquire. Leo Fender cleverly thought that more could be done to develop the design and tonal flexibility of that particular model. Initially being called the Broadcaster, the Telecaster name came along after threats of legal action from Gretsch due to their Broadkaster drum kit being already registered. Strangely enough, Fender now own Gretsch.

The Fender Telecaster indeed may have begun the rock revolution that still plays today.

Picture courtesy https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/premier-collector-6-custom-built-strats-and-fender-tube-amps-1

So after a period in which the instrument remained unnamed, the Fender Telecaster came about as a nod to the Television with its own name. The basic instrument remains unchanged today from its original incarnations, and has survived much competition.

The basis of the design of the Telecaster is a simple one. For the most part, the Fender Telecaster is a two pickup alder body and simple design, with one volume and one tone. The necks for the most part were maple with rosewood fingerboard, but later on maple fingerboards were introduced.

It is still a strong and high selling choice of Fender guitars today. Although many different types of Fender Telecaster models have seen the light of day, the history of the guitar has inspired many guitarists, particularly those playing country music or similar styles, such as rockabilly.

Fender are undeniably a leading brand of electric guitars, even to this day.

Picture courtesy https://imjustcreative.com/fender-logo-design-evolution/2013/06/16

When the Fender Telecaster was originally introduced as an electric guitar, the design was so forward thinking that it was broadly mocked by the general public but was quickly realised as a work of genius shortly afterwards when people began to play the Fender Telecaster.

In any case, for the guitar to be examined in its latest and greatest form, one must observe the Fender American Professional Telecaster specifications, courtesy of www.fender.com:

Surprisingly Fender Telecasters with Maple necks are a relatively new addition in its own history.

Picture courtesy https://www.google.com.au/search?q=fender+telecaster&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjo1Ljv1LzWAhVIvrwKHdJ_C2QQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=984#imgrc=P_mb5zEtRiHSEM:


Series: American Professional

Colours Available:

Butterscotch Blonde

Sonic Grey

3-Colour Sunburst


Crimson Red Transparent

2-Colour Sunburst

Olympic White


Mystic Seafoam


Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane

Body Material: Ash

Body Shape: Telecaster®

Body Style: Single Cutaway Solid Body


Fingerboard Radius: 9.5” (241mm)

Fret Size: Narrow Tall

Neck Finish: Gloss Urethane Front, Satin Urethane Back

Neck Material: Maple

Neck Shape: Modern “Deep C”

Number of Frets: 22

Nut Material: Bone

Nut Width: 1.685” (42.8 mm)

Position Inlays: Black Dot

Truss Rod Nut: 1/8” American Series

Truss Rod Wrench: 1/8” Hex (Allen)


Bridge Pickup: V-Mod Single Coil Telecaster

Controls: Master Volume with

Neck Pickup: V-Mod Single Coil Telecaster


Bridge: 3-Saddle, Strings-Through-Body Tele with Compensated Brass Saddles, 6 screw mounting with removable modern “Ashtray” bridge cover.

Control Knobs: Knurled Flat Top

Hardware Finish: Nickel/Chrome

Neck Plate: 4-Bolt

Pickguard: 1-Ply Black

Tuning Machines: Fender Standard Cast/Sealed Staggered


Strings: Fender® USA 250L, NPS (.009-.042 Gauges)


From the basic evolution from the Esquire, to its modern incarnation, the Fender Telecaster has proven worthwhile as an instrument. Although a simple beast, a beast it is.

It has attracted a variety of players, such as Joe Strummer from the Clash and Syd Barrett from Pink Floyd, amongst many others. It is an important part of rock and roll history, along with the two main contenders of rock guitars – the Gibson Les Paul and the Fender Stratocaster. It is well known for its country and clean, twangy like tone.

Make sure that you at least own one Fender Telecaster if indeed you are a professional guitarist. This guitar is a true piece of history and deserves a place in your home.

Leo Fender: a true pioneer of the rock and roll guitar, who is sadly missed to this day.

Picture courtesy http://www.strat-talk.com/threads/happy-102nd-birthday-leo-fender.110520/


  1. http://tonereport.com/blogs/lifestyle/an-abridged-history-of-the-fender-telecaster
  2. https://www.fender.com/articles/gear/the-one-that-started-it-all-a-telecaster-history

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