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Stratocaster Versus A Telecaster - which is better for a beginner?

By Jasper Vallance 3 years ago 43881 Views No comments

So you’re looking at investing in your first electric guitar. Quite naturally you will consider the Fender range with its long heritage of legendary players and models. And you can pick up a Mexican made Fender for not much over $1000 representing great value. Which makes a great investment in a guitar which will allow you to grow as a guitar player.

But then there is the big question - do you get a Strat or a Tele?

At Big Music we often get asked this question. And we find it ends up being a very subjective choice depending on what you're attracted to, often based on the artist you have an affinity with and the type of music you like to play. If you were a Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd fan you will likely be attracted to a Strat. And if you loved the riffs of Keith Richards or Jimmy Page you may be more attracted to a Tele.

The sound of each is certainly distinctive from each other. Watch the the two videos below to compare the sound of each.

The Strat..

And the Tele...

And the looks are important, right?

In the above videos we have two limited edition guitars which match the look of the originals played by two guitar legends. The butterscotch tele played by Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones and the famous black strat played by David Gilmour from Pink Floyd. You can be the judge of whether you prefer the classic look of the Telecaster or the slick lines of the Stratocaster. And likely your choice will be influenced by the artist you grew up loving and what they played.

But what about playability and comfort?

There is no question the Stratocaster is more comfortable to hold with its soft angles, contours and narrower body. But the Tele is easier to play and tune due to its simplicity.

Because the Strat has its strings resting over the Tremolo system and balanced by the springs as the back of the guitar this creates a challenge when re-tuning your guitar to a different key as you have to re-tune each string a number of times. But with the tremolo you get the subtle to extreme variations in pitch that players like Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck used as a great means of creative expression, creaturing signature techniques in the process.

The advantage of the Tele is that the strings are not on a Tremolo bridge but actually go through the guitar which gives the strings for stability and resonance. So if you wanted to adapt tuning you just need to tune down from your 6th string without worrying if the other strings go out of time.

So the Tele is far easier to keep in tune allowing you to focus on playing. But maybe you love the Tremolo on the Strat to adjust your pitch and sound like Hendrix.

One final point of distinction, which could be important to you?

The extra pick up on the Strat enables 5 sounds as opposed to 3 giving you more versatility to sound like a greater range of artists. It really does depend on what type of music you want to play.

So what do you think?

Fundamentally it really depends on how you feel playing them and what your attracted to. So get down to Big Music and have go in our demo room and we can provide all the expert advice you need to make the right decision for you. Or give us a call on 1300 55 24 20 to talk through the considerations.

But hey if you're a Pink Floyd fan you just cannot go passed this black limited edition strat or if you love tunes like ‘Brown Sugar’ or ‘Honky Tonk Women’ from the Rolling Stones you just have to have Keith Richards Butterscotch Tele. And without busting the bank!

Posted in: First Guitar