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Who Built the First Electric Rock 'N' Roll Guitar? (2019)

vparikh

Leo Fender and the Fender company gets the credit for making the first successful solid body guitar - the Telecaster.

The common wisdom is the Stratocaster was the successor to the Telecaster - but in my opinion, I think the Telecaster is the superior guitar. The simplicity makes it indestructible, the string through fixed bridge makes more stable in tuning. It allows one to easily use alternate tunings as the Stratocaster whammy would be complete useless in this scenario.

Just take a look at all of the guitars players over the last 15 years or so have re-discovered the Telecaster. Not to mention punk, heavy metal and even thrash meal guitarists are picking them up. The running joke is that Jimmy Page sold more Les Pauls then anyone else playing Telecasters :)

Check out this video that compares the tone of Telecaster vs Les Paul:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sjAiCRemyw

Leo Fender got it right the first time.

midoridensha

>the string through fixed bridge makes more stable in tuning. It allows one to easily use alternate tunings as the Stratocaster whammy would be complete useless in this scenario.

On the contrary, the lack of a floating bridge on the telecaster makes it utterly useless for playing a lot of songs and styles of playing that require it. Floating bridges have huge drawbacks to be sure (maintenance, tuning stability), but they aren't there for nothing.

Gravityloss

Many people set the strat bridge to an end position so it doesn't float and string gauge or tuning change doesn't cause so many issues. I never use the whammy bar but like the tone, the microphone setup and the contour body.

rawTruthHurts

Then, you have Jeff Beck.

wintermutestwin

>the Stratocaster was the successor to the Telecaster - but in my opinion, I think the Telecaster is the superior guitar.

Telecaster flaws:

1. Ashtray bridge is uncomfortable for muting due to the sharp edge.

2. Setting intonation is a pain because each brass saddle covers two strings.

3. The lack of smooth comfort curves (and even modern teles that have curves are not as comfortable as a strat).

4. The body design adds a lot of unnecessary weight.

5. Standard pickup set is tonally limited.

6. Lack of a trem eliminates several playing styles.

Strats have their flaws too, but no where near as many as the tele IMO.

>Just take a look at all of the guitars players over the last 15 years or so have re-discovered the Telecaster.

The paths of nostalgia don't indicate technical superiority.

jcims

Highly recommend guitarist Chris Buck’s YouTube channel for sublime playing and a regular story about the history of the electric guitar in his ‘Friday Fretwork’ series.

https://youtube.com/user/ChrisBuckGuitar

wintermutestwin

Almost all of the most popular rock music was made with Stratocasters, Telecasters, Les Pauls and SGs. Because of the desire of players to emulate their guitar heroes, these guitars (and their knockoffs) still make up the bulk of guitars made and sold.

Unfortunately, it seems that all attempts at significantly improving on these nostalgia laden designs are doomed to be relegated to an "uncool" fringe.

As guitar oriented music seems to be sunsetting, I assume that these tired old designs will continue their dominance. As a guitar player who cares much more about ergonomic design and technical innovation than the trapped imagination of nostalgia, I hope for a new wave of guitar music and a guitar technology renaissance, but I doubt it.

copperx

> As guitar oriented music seems to be sunsetting

What do you mean? That guitar music isn't "charting" is not an indicator of anything, especially with streaming. It's not the 90s anymore. Rock isn't the music of youth since 20 years ago, but guitars still sell extremely well.

kwakja

Agreed, and guitar-oriented music isn't the same as it used to be - or at least from the observations I've made as a sample size of one, that which resonates with newer generations.

Polyphia is one of the big bands that are fully instrumental and also maintain the spirit of virtuosity (more aligned with metal than rock, but the guitar-centric piece is there). There are other amazing guitarists and artists in a fairly interconnected community such as Jason Richardson, Plini, ichika, covet, etc.

I would likely agree overall interest has waned as it's not as mainstream as it used to be. But I'm more inclined to say guitar-centric music seems to be going through more of a transformation to fit the mainstream or certain niches than sunsetting as GP said.

wintermutestwin

I mean that kids are taking up the guitar less and less. The vast majority of guitar sales $ comes from the older generations who will eventually age out of buying guitars.

skyyler

This is strange because the numbers I'm looking at show guitar sales have been rising steadily since 2012.

Where do you get your data?