Of course, history would vindicate Leo. In the eight or so decades since the Telecaster’s invention, it has been responsible for some of the most magical musical moments of all time. The solo on “Stairway to Heaven,” the crashing chords that open The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and the sweet fingerpicking on Jeff Buckley’s transcendent version of “Hallelujah” all sprang from the fretboard of a Fender Telecaster. Everyone from heady punk rockers like D Boon to avant-jazz cats like Bill Frisell to soul sidemen like Steve Cropper to otherworldly virtuosos like Danny Gatton all adopted the Telecaster as their instrument of choice.
So, what is the source of the Telecaster’s universal appeal across genres and its incredible staying power? What makes it so perfect? Two words: elegant simplicity. The Telecaster is an incredibly simple guitar. It’s a plank of wood with a bolt-on neck, two pickups, two knobs, one switch, a bridge, and six tuners. It’s a completely unpretentious workhorse that cuts a striking figure with its iconic rounded cutaway, clean lines, and curvy shape.
Yet despite its simplicity, it’s one of the most versatile guitars on the planet. You can’t cop a million sounds on a Telecaster, but the ones you can dial in work in just about any musical context. The bridge pickup usually has punchy midrange, cutting highs, and thumping bass, while the neck pickup has broader midrange response, smoother highs, and woodier, warmer bass response. The middle position is a balanced, full-sounding blend of the two. So, Telecaster players have an ideal bright, aggressive sound, a delightfully warm, mellow sound, and a pleasant middle ground between the two at their disposal at all times! When you get down to brass tacks, that’s all you really need as a guitar player. With one three-way selector switch, you can get the right tones for just about any live gig or recording session, and look good doing it!
We’re proud to showcase our selection of Telecasters for our exceptional customers, and we invite you to gaze at the cornucopia of beautiful guitars on this page. After a couple minutes of ogling, we think you’ll agree: eight decades after its birth in Leo Fender’s shop, the Telecaster is still the picture of perfection.