The Telecaster is a classic electric guitar introduced in 1950 by Fender, initially known as the Broadcaster. However, after a trademark dispute with Gretsch, a competing manufacturer, the guitar was renamed as the Telecaster in 1951. The name was inspired by America’s hottest new pastime of the era – the television.
Notable Telecaster Guitarists
One of the most distinctive features of the Telecaster is its twangy sound, which has made it a widely used guitar in country music. Notable Telecaster players include Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Brad Paisley, Muddy Waters, Keith Richards, John 5, Steve Cropper, Eric Clapton, and Elvis Presley sideman James Burton. Jimmy Page famously used a Telecaster for his solo on “Stairway to Heaven.”
Unique Guitar Designs
The Telecaster also features several unique design elements. The guitar’s “ashtray” bridge cover was inspired by Hawaiian steel guitars, while the tuners are all located on one side of the headstock, an idea borrowed from 19th-century Istrian folk guitars and Viennese Staufer guitars.
The body of the Telecaster is typically made of ash or alder, with a combined neck and fingerboard carved from a single piece of maple. The guitar’s neck is bolted onto the body, rather than being glued in, which was an innovative design at the time and has since been used on many other Fender models.
Telecaster’s Impact on Electric Guitars
Overall, the Telecaster has had a significant impact on the history of electric guitars and continues to be a beloved instrument for musicians and guitar enthusiasts around the world. Its unique design and iconic sound make it a true classic in the world of music.