Thinking about your next Telecaster bridge pickup upgrade? Here are a few things to consider.
Telecasters are great… probably my favorite guitar of all. But when your Tele is stock, chances are that it came loaded with vintage style pickups. Depending on your rig and your style of playing, this may translate to noise (i.e. the dreaded 60-cycle hum), or in the case of the bridge pickup, a somewhat brittle tone, and few options. Here is a list of areas to think through before you make your final decision on your next Telecaster bridge pickup upgrade.
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Treat your Tele to the best bridge pickup possible, improve its sound, and extend its possibilities.
Although Telecaster bridge pickups are best known for their famous “twang,” more and more, guitarists are looking to coax an increased array of sounds out of their instrument. If you need to extend what your Telecaster can do, should consider upgrading your bridge and neck pickups. Even if you simply want to improve the quality of your existing sound, an upgrade is usually the best bet. Below are links for the best Telecaster bridge pickups on the market. Which one is right for you depends mostly on your needs as well as taste.
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Telecaster Bodies, Telecaster Necks, Telecaster Hardware… Your 'Everything Tele' links right here.
If you are embarking on a project that involves upgrading or building a Tele, these links might help you to find some of the Telecaster guitar parts you need. All of these companies offer some pretty good stuff at fairly reasonable prices. Warmoth, for example, is probably best and offers the most options for bodies and necks, but of course, they are the most expensive. In each case, though, be sure to explore all the options for Telecaster guitar parts that the company offers, and don’t be afraid to call them if you have any questions before you place your order.
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Guitar pickups that transformed both my playing and my tone.
This is a celebration of my favorite guitar pickups. The title may seem a bit much, but it is true; these pickups absolutely changed my playing style as well as my tone. I am a bit of a pickup nut. At one point I owned over 100 different pickups, but had only about a dozen or so in a guitar. This is a pretty clear indication of obsessive compulsive disorder. But, at the same time, there are many worse ways of spending one’s time and money.
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So you have a stock Telecaster; now what? There are several modifications you can make that will transform your Tele.
Judging by the number of articles related to the Fender Telecaster in this site, anyone can guess that I am a big fan of this guitar. In some ways, the Telecaster is for me, the perfect guitar; it looks right, it feels right, and it sounds right. But out of the box, this guitar might not be equipped for exactly what you had in mind and you may want to consider a few Telecaster modifications. For example, some want more muscle in the bridge pickup, some want more beef in the neck pickup, some want a speedier neck, some want… well, you get the picture. Fortunately, most Telecaster modifications are fairly painless. You can take the modifications to various levels and in some cases, you might want to enlist the help of a qualified guitar technician. So, that said, just use your best judgment.
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If you're looking to upgrade your Tele neck pickup, you're in luck. There are many great-sounding models, at pretty reasonable prices.
Nowadays, between digital modeling and overall great engineering, you can make virtually any guitar sound like just about any other guitar. Except, you cannot make any guitar really sound like a Telecaster. You can try, but it will never really quite smell right. But if you’re thinking about upgrading your Tele neck pickup, you’ll find many great-sounding, affordable models. Here’s a sampling of some of the best Telecaster neck pickups.
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The Fender Telecaster is probably viewed by most as a somewhat specialized guitar, but it is also surprisingly versatile.
Best known for it’s “twang,” this guitar has been used most often for Country, as it lends itself well to chicken pickin’ and other similar sounds. Some players have a Stratocaster pickup installed in the middle position for more tonal options. This is called the “Nashville” setup. Although most associated with Country, the Telecaster also does a lot of other things quite well. Continue reading “Best Music Styles for the Telecaster”