Guitar: Is a Telecaster Good for a Beginner?

If you are a musician you will definitely have heard about Fender Telecaster guitars, an instrument that has been used by many recognized players throughout music history and is currently desired by a lot of guitarists. 

This amazing guitar comes in distinct models and has also shown its versatility to suit many genres.

Today we will break up the most relevant characteristic of Telecaster guitars, from their playability, explaining if they are easy or hard to get used to it to what brand or music styles you can play with them. 

Are Telecasters as versatile as thought? Does it matter which brand of Tele you choose? Are these guitars good for beginners? If you keep on reading, you will find the answers.

Telecasters are a perfect choice for first learners, the way they are designed provides a comfortable experience while playing. Their weight, body shape, and thin neck plus their tonal options make Telecasters one of the best options for beginners.

although you may think that you know everything about this guitar, you will be surprised about how much a Telecaster can offer. 

Through this article, I will try to explain every feature that makes a Telecaster the best option for starters, continue reading till the end and you will learn everything regarding this issue.

What makes a good beginner guitar?

Learning a new skill always takes time, to incorporate an ability you have to put in the hours and do your best, therefore, when choosing a guitar as a beginner you should focus on certain aspects that will help the learning process. 

The main features to bear in mind are comfort, playability, and fun; some people will also add “price” as a relevant issue but although the cost is important as well, not everything has to do with how much you will spend.

First learners quite often deal with frustration, that cruel mistress that prevents you from progressing, that’s why it is important to feel comfortable while playing. 

Furthermore, a good beginner guitar should suit the player’s comfort, and shouldn’t be hard to understand, mods such as coil-split or even phase-shift could be the beginner’s worst enemy.

Are Telecasters good for beginners?

Teles are very famous models, they are instantly recognizable due to their shape, and what is more, Telecasters were the first electric guitars. 

This amazing instrument is pretty desired by first learners because presents certain characteristics that make it comfortable and easy to play.

This piece of wood has a solid single-cutaway body that improves the fretting hand movements when playing higher frets, it has a pretty light weight plus a flat body. 

Regarding the feel, the neck is thin which provides pleasant playability plus you will feel alright playing it in a stand-up or sit-down position.

Furthermore, Telecaster’s config is two single-coil pickups, one in the neck position while the another is in the bridge but the interesting aspect is that although it doesn’t have a middle pickup, the switch offers three positions, giving the Tele a particular tone. 

However, I must mention that as the pickups are single coils, they will be hard to deal with at the beginning due to the interference and noise they make, it will trip beginners up but you will get accustomed to it.

Because of all the mentioned aspects, Telecasters are a very good choice for starters, it is a nice instrument to give your first steps and they will provide you with a notorious range of tones. 

Another remarkable characteristic is that Teles come in a broad variety of prices and although is not the most important feature, you can find a Telecaster at really low costs.

Are Telecasters easy to play?

This Fender model doesn’t present further difficulties while playing, what I mean to say is they aren’t hard to play at all. 

Telecaster’s thin neck plus the cutaway make it easy to noodle along the fretboard, and you won’t struggle to hold this guitar due to its low weight. 

Besides, this kind of guitar only has two knobs, one for the master volume and one for the general tone, making it easy to understand and get used to its sound. 

The only drawback that this model presents is the back part of the body, which is flat.

Because of that, some players will feel unpleasant mainly when playing in a sit-down position. 

Nevertheless, after some time playing it, I guarantee you will get the hang of it, you have to put in the hours and get to know well your guitar.

What music genres are Telecasters good for?

In the same way as its partner Stratocaster, the Telecaster is a truly versatile guitar used in many music genres

Many players claim that it would be easier to point out the styles you couldn’t play with this instrument.

In my view, I think there is no music genre you couldn’t play with a Tele apart from those which require high gain such as heavy metal. 

As this electric guitar has two single-coil pickups plus a three-position switch it provides a lot of tonal options to fit almost every style.

Telecasters are commonly used in country music, when you see this guitar you will instantly think of this style. 

That is because of the strong twangy, poping tone of the instrument plus its lovely brightness in the thinner strings.

Due to the same reasons explained above, Telecaster will perfectly match funk music, the bridge and neck pickups will provide the punchy attack needed for this genre. 

Besides, Telecaster’s tonal versatility will allow you to play blues, jazz, pop, or even reggae and punk.

Does it matter what brand of Telecaster or model you choose?

Up to this point, you will know that these instruments were the first electric guitars, their first models were created in the 1950s, and although Fender Company first named them ‘Broadcaster’, they were popularized with the name ‘Telecaster’ due to copyright issues with the huge company Gretsch (the latter had drums with the same name). 

However, through the years Telecasters became famous among guitar players so many other trademarks built their own versions of these guitars.

Consequently, the market offered a wide variety of different kinds of Teles, which was really good for first learners because more price options were available. 

In response to this, Fender bought a company called ‘Squier’; the instruments crafted by this brand are the same as Fender’s but of inferior quality, resulting in cheaper pieces.

Having said that, I’d like to mention that it doesn’t really matter what company made your guitar, there are brands that construct instruments as faithfully as Fender’s and although they might vary from company to company, in the end, they will have more similarities than differences. 

When choosing a Tele, the rule of thumb is a two-pickup config plus a three-position pickup selector which is the standard for Telecasters.

Squier, for instance, is a subsidiary company from Fender that makes a wide range of affordable Telecaster models.