Should i give up on the tele?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > Should i give up on the tele?

dmartin022

Registered User

Joined: 02/21/20

Posts: 3

Brief background, playing for 8 months. I play about 2-3 hours per day. Almost all of my playing is on a Epiphone Les Paul Standard. Just bought a Fender Telecaster Player. I absolutely love the sound of the Tele but it's frustrating to play. Feels like I'm wrestling a grizzly bear. The Les feels perfect. I want the Tele to feel as natural as the Les, but it doesn't. Is this because I spent so many hours on the Les? If I keep banging away on the Tele will it eventually feel as comfortable as the Les? Thanks for any help

#1

Brief background, playing for 8 months. I play about 2-3 hours per day. Almost all of my playing is on a Epiphone Les Paul Standard. Just bought a Fender Telecaster Player. I absolutely love the sound of the Tele but it's frustrating to play. Feels like I'm wrestling a grizzly bear. The Les feels perfect. I want the Tele to feel as natural as the Les, but it doesn't. Is this because I spent so many hours on the Les? If I keep banging away on the Tele will it eventually feel as comfortable as the Les? Thanks for any help

William MG

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Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 677

I have both and play both with equal ease even though the neck profiles are substantially different. My tele has a big fat neck whereas the Les Paul is flat.

But I'm not sure if that is your issue as no specifics have been provided.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#2

I have both and play both with equal ease even though the neck profiles are substantially different. My tele has a big fat neck whereas the Les Paul is flat.

But I'm not sure if that is your issue as no specifics have been provided.

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5996

Thanks for the background info.

Originally Posted by: dmartin022
I absolutely love the sound of the Tele but it's frustrating to play. Feels like I'm wrestling a grizzly bear.

[/quote]

This is not uncommon. Gibsons are shorter scale length at 24.75", Fenders are a bit longer at 25.5".

It's a small amount, but can make a big difference in the micro motions required in playing. There is also different string tension. And then factor in different neck profiles, setup, action and you potentially get two very different machines!

My advice is to try to get the action on the Tele as close to the Epi as possible, maybe try lighter gauge strings. And keep trying to warm up to it!

I've played Strats for over 40 years. So when I pick up some other guitar it still feels awkward: :). But after a few hours I start to warm up to other guitars.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#3

Thanks for the background info.

Originally Posted by: dmartin022
I absolutely love the sound of the Tele but it's frustrating to play. Feels like I'm wrestling a grizzly bear.

[/quote]

This is not uncommon. Gibsons are shorter scale length at 24.75", Fenders are a bit longer at 25.5".

It's a small amount, but can make a big difference in the micro motions required in playing. There is also different string tension. And then factor in different neck profiles, setup, action and you potentially get two very different machines!

My advice is to try to get the action on the Tele as close to the Epi as possible, maybe try lighter gauge strings. And keep trying to warm up to it!

I've played Strats for over 40 years. So when I pick up some other guitar it still feels awkward: :). But after a few hours I start to warm up to other guitars.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 982

Chiming in. I currently regularly play all three generic electric types, more accurately contemporary variants thereoff. Strat, Tele, Les Paul.

In another forum, we've just been discussing guitar individual preference predilections and why, so your post is timely in a way.


From the information provided we can only guess about variable factors intrinsic within those specific models of each design you're struggling with with that Tele which can have a game changing impact upon characteristic playability or comfort. e.g. Epiphone Les Paul Standards come in several flavours with differing neck profiles, i.e.Std, Pro, Std '50s, '60s. So too do Teles.

In terms of comfort and 'fit', for me any Les Paul is the least enjoyable to actually play of the three generic types, a physically awkward instrument to balance and subsequently attributable to that, fret in any position other than when standing, when inescapably, it's still a backbreaker. That too is the general concensus arrived at from the discussion mentioned in paragraph two.


The Les Paul has some pragmatically dreadful inescapable design characteristics despite its inarguable aesthetic beauty. Playing mine is a perennial love hate/relationship.

Leaving aside irrationality of emotive image association influence of any guitar, my observation is that despite the imbalance and weight factors of the typical Les Paul raised indirectly in the preceding paragraph, perception of fit & comfort is a function of individual physicality in conjunction with psychological conditioning of what you're already used to as the comparative 'norm'.

Despite its accomodation of a modern C neck, Fender's Player Telecaster has a polarising 9.5" radius fingerboard and comes fitted with 9s OOTB. The Standard/Pro LP has a 12" radius fingerboard which is much more the norm these days, a middle of the road radius between flat and curved extremes. String spacing on both should be identical or so similar as to be a non-factor. If I were to hazard a stab in the dark guess at any singular factor causing your neck wrestling with that Tele, I'd suggest it's that altered fingerboard radius you are probably experiencing difficulty adapting to. Albeit marginally, the differing scale lengths also alter the fret spacing, which in conjunction with the other factors, affect overall relationship of finger placement relationship, Christopher's "micro motions required in playing".


Les Pauls with their shorter scale length come fitted with 10s OOTB. Again, necks and bodies (width, weight and relative comfort) vary between the so many sub variants and models these days. I swap beween all three types several times weekly, and don't find transitioning between string gauges or scale lengths present as anything 15-30 minutes warmup and play can't adapt to. E&B 10's at lesser tension on the 628mm scale length are not particularly any more challenging to bend IMESF. Necks and radiuses OTOH are everything, hence I choose my instruments carefully with that in mind.

If you can swap the Player Series for a Tele with a 12" radius fingerboard with modern C or slim taper C neck, you might find it a better matchup/fit with what you're used to. I have two 'Teles', one with a conventional contemporary 12" radius & modern C profile, and another with a 12" to 15.75" compound radius fingerboard and slim C profile. I like playing them both, but adore the Classic TC.

♪A little better all the time♫

#4

Chiming in. I currently regularly play all three generic electric types, more accurately contemporary variants thereoff. Strat, Tele, Les Paul.

In another forum, we've just been discussing guitar individual preference predilections and why, so your post is timely in a way.


From the information provided we can only guess about variable factors intrinsic within those specific models of each design you're struggling with with that Tele which can have a game changing impact upon characteristic playability or comfort. e.g. Epiphone Les Paul Standards come in several flavours with differing neck profiles, i.e.Std, Pro, Std '50s, '60s. So too do Teles.

In terms of comfort and 'fit', for me any Les Paul is the least enjoyable to actually play of the three generic types, a physically awkward instrument to balance and subsequently attributable to that, fret in any position other than when standing, when inescapably, it's still a backbreaker. That too is the general concensus arrived at from the discussion mentioned in paragraph two.


The Les Paul has some pragmatically dreadful inescapable design characteristics despite its inarguable aesthetic beauty. Playing mine is a perennial love hate/relationship.

Leaving aside irrationality of emotive image association influence of any guitar, my observation is that despite the imbalance and weight factors of the typical Les Paul raised indirectly in the preceding paragraph, perception of fit & comfort is a function of individual physicality in conjunction with psychological conditioning of what you're already used to as the comparative 'norm'.

Despite its accomodation of a modern C neck, Fender's Player Telecaster has a polarising 9.5" radius fingerboard and comes fitted with 9s OOTB. The Standard/Pro LP has a 12" radius fingerboard which is much more the norm these days, a middle of the road radius between flat and curved extremes. String spacing on both should be identical or so similar as to be a non-factor. If I were to hazard a stab in the dark guess at any singular factor causing your neck wrestling with that Tele, I'd suggest it's that altered fingerboard radius you are probably experiencing difficulty adapting to. Albeit marginally, the differing scale lengths also alter the fret spacing, which in conjunction with the other factors, affect overall relationship of finger placement relationship, Christopher's "micro motions required in playing".


Les Pauls with their shorter scale length come fitted with 10s OOTB. Again, necks and bodies (width, weight and relative comfort) vary between the so many sub variants and models these days. I swap beween all three types several times weekly, and don't find transitioning between string gauges or scale lengths present as anything 15-30 minutes warmup and play can't adapt to. E&B 10's at lesser tension on the 628mm scale length are not particularly any more challenging to bend IMESF. Necks and radiuses OTOH are everything, hence I choose my instruments carefully with that in mind.

If you can swap the Player Series for a Tele with a 12" radius fingerboard with modern C or slim taper C neck, you might find it a better matchup/fit with what you're used to. I have two 'Teles', one with a conventional contemporary 12" radius & modern C profile, and another with a 12" to 15.75" compound radius fingerboard and slim C profile. I like playing them both, but adore the Classic TC.

♪A little better all the time♫

Just.Trey

Full Access

Joined: 10/01/05

Posts: 28

I have an Sg and a new telecaster and it is quite different. The tele has quite a stretch on some chords while the SG plays easier. I have decided just to strengthen my hand and get used to it. It can be a pain, literally.

Persevere, it will only become easier. That is what I keep telling myself anyway. :)

#5

I have an Sg and a new telecaster and it is quite different. The tele has quite a stretch on some chords while the SG plays easier. I have decided just to strengthen my hand and get used to it. It can be a pain, literally.

Persevere, it will only become easier. That is what I keep telling myself anyway. :)