By: Roy Fulton
In this article, Roy Fulton extols the virtues of his favourite model of guitar – the Fender Telecaster.
Sure it’s fun to play a super widdley, free-floating tremburger top of the range one-off custom built guitar through the very latest pre-packed starship enterprised system…BUT nowadays I often prefer to plug in a good basic guitar straight into a combo and just enjoy the natural sound of the instrument without any colouration by effects.
Without any of the latest effects it becomes impossible to hide behind, and rely upon, the sound effects – I find this absence is great for my playing; it becomes just you, and any talent you may have lurking beneath your fingertips. That’s why I like to use my Telecaster – it exposes the good, the bad and the ugly in my playing!
Fender Telecaster Love Affair
There’s something quite beautiful about the Telecaster. I haven’t made up my mind if it’s the simple but ingenious design, its gorgeous stark tones, its uncanny feel of ‘fighting back’ and almost laughing at your efforts – or all of these put together. But there is one sure thing: in the right hands, it has produced some of the finest guitar playing that you could possibly hope to hear.
The Versatile Fender Telecaster
You could be forgiven for thinking that the ‘Tele’ is all thin and twangy in its tones – that’s basically down to a bad press. You just have to look at the spread of Tele users to realise the guitar’s diversity:
Rolling Stone Keith Richards, top jazz-fusion guitarist Mike Stern and America’s number one guitar wizard Steve Morse, not to mention two of my favorite players, Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton.
All of these and many other top players have made the Telecaster their number one choice.
One of my main styles of playing is hybrid picking – using the plectrum, but adding any combination of the remaining three fingers as well to pick the strings. This technique allows me to move effortlessly between sensitive touches and heavy plectrum attack. Of course, the Telecaster is the perfect vehicle for this technique.
It’s plainness and simplicity allows it to be one of the most expressive instruments available. I guess maybe that’s why it suits me.
What is your favourite guitar to play? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.