Can a Telecaster Play Metal?

littlebadboy

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Guitar: Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster Butterscotch Blonde

I had to do some mods. The original pickups were fine but I was not convinced with how they drive as they were not meant to play the metal I wanted.
Modifications:
Artec Giovanni custom single coil sized rail humbuckers with full 64mm rails, Alnico 5
GFS Overwound Repro Vintage Alnico Tele Neck Pickup
Fender 500k vol pot,
Fender 250k tone pot but has no-load option - goes straight to output
OG 4-way for:
1st - neck
2nd - neck+bridge south
3rd - bridge south
4th - full bridge humbucker

Effects and Interface: Boss GT-100

Thanks!
 

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guitaardvark

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As someone who has a tele to play rock and metal, I love the idea but when most people think "tele," they're thinking a twangy single coil. I would argue that it stops being a tele once a bridge humbucker is introduced since it loses its defining sonic characteristic. I say this as someone with a DiMarzio Tone Zone T in my partscaster.



Kmac had a similar idea, which to me just proved almost any guitar with dual humbuckers can play metal with some degree of success.
 

USMarine75

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As someone who has a tele to play rock and metal, I love the idea but when most people think "tele," they're thinking a twangy single coil. I would argue that it stops being a tele once a bridge humbucker is introduced since it loses its defining sonic characteristic. I say this as someone with a DiMarzio Tone Zone T in my partscaster.



Kmac had a similar idea, which to me just proved almost any guitar with dual humbuckers can play metal with some degree of success.


Exactly.

It's not a Tele without Tele pickups.

Can a Mayones 8 string play SRV? Um yeah... put split coil vintage humbuckers in the guitar (aligned with the top 6 strings) using the bridge single, through a Fender blackface with a TS in front.
 

Thaeon

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Split coils would work just fine at any output. Just turn the gain down on the amp or the volume down at the guitar. Unmodified Teles work just fine in metal. I used to use one in a Death Metal band. I actually use a single coil for overdubs with recording for the definition.
 

777timesgod

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Interesting mods and yes you can play metal on anything given that you dial the correct settings and use the right pedals/effects and gear. However, unless there are humbuckers build for high gain situations you will always lack compared to the other guitarists who have the right gear for the job.
 

watson503

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"You can't play metal with a Fender!"

Just unearthed in 2019 Mortician Rehearsal from the early 90's at my old studio and rehearsal place that I owned called "The Crypt". Line up is me (Roger Beaujard) on guitar (a loaner Fender courtesy of Luke Carretta right after my old Ironbird died and right before I got the red Rich Bitch), Will Rahmer bass/vocals, and Mike Maldonado on drums who also played in what would become Primitive Brutality in the early years and was in Mortician for a minute around 1991-92ish best I can remember. This was filmed from behind the glass at the studio, audio is mono from the board, and It's super raw! Really hope you enjoy it!
 

777timesgod

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"You can't play metal with a Fender!"


Mortician are brutal but their LPs sound is so shitty that I cannot believe that they once released a live album...

John 5 does just fine with Rob Zombie

I think the point of the OP was to keep the single coil pickups and not go humbucker like Jim Root (Slipknot), Meegs (Coal Chamber) and John 5 (Rob Z) did. Basically, they have metal guitars with just the telecaster shape. The experiment is to stick with Alnico / vintage choices while reaching molten metal style.
J5-EXCELLENT-live-Photo-by-Ronan-THENADEY.jpg
 

USMarine75

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Mortician are brutal but their LPs sound is so shitty that I cannot believe that they once released a live album...



I think the point of the OP was to keep the single coil pickups and not go humbucker like Jim Root (Slipknot), Meegs (Coal Chamber) and John 5 (Rob Z) did. Basically, they have metal guitars with just the telecaster shape. The experiment is to stick with Alnico / vintage choices while reaching molten metal style.
View attachment 68267

Exactly! I LOVE John5's guitars, but that is NOT a "Tele".
 

Nicki

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Exactly! I LOVE John5's guitars, but that is NOT a "Tele".
If you're defining a telecaster being a telecaster by it having a telecaster body and only single coil pickups, then you're missing the point of a telecaster. The telecaster is the most versatile guitar platform on the planet because it's so bare bones and basic. It can be transformed and customized to do any style of music and do it very, very well. There's so much wood to work with on a telecaster that it can be customized in almost any way you can conceive. THAT is the point of a telecaster and what makes a telecaster a telecaster.

If you think only the telecaster "twangs", you're wrong. Strats do it too - on the bridge pickup. You almost never hear it from strat players like David Gilmour, Clapton, Eric Johnson & Hendrix because they almost never use the bridge pickup. In Pride and Joy, you clearly hear the twang on passages where SRV uses the bridge pickup.
 

KnightBrolaire

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If you're defining a telecaster being a telecaster by it having a telecaster body and only single coil pickups, then you're missing the point of a telecaster. The telecaster is the most versatile guitar platform on the planet because it's so bare bones and basic. It can be transformed and customized to do any style of music and do it very, very well. There's so much wood to work with on a telecaster that it can be customized in almost any way you can conceive. THAT is the point of a telecaster and what makes a telecaster a telecaster.

If you think only the telecaster "twangs", you're wrong. Strats do it too - on the bridge pickup. You almost never hear it from strat players like David Gilmour, Clapton, Eric Johnson & Hendrix because they almost never use the bridge pickup. In Pride and Joy, you clearly hear the twang on passages where SRV uses the bridge pickup.
No, you're missing the point. A trv tele has single coils and it has a very specific spank/twang to it that isn't easily approximated. Strats typically don't have the same spank/twang for whatever reason imo.

All the other variants are just other guitars masquerading in a telecaster shape. Not that I have a problem with mixing and matching specs, I love cabronitas and more modern super teles with HH or HSH configurations, it's just that they deviate wildly from what makes a tele special, which is that very specific spank/twang. Teles have been used by Danny Gatton, all of nashville (see nashville tele configuration), Brad Paisley, Jerry Reed, Jerry Donahue, Keith Richards, Clapton (yes he had teles), etc.
I would argue that Brad Paisley is the best example of what a tele can do. He plays blazing higher gain riffs, Van Halen/other hard rock staples and modern country all on single coils during his concerts.

As far as the clickbaity bullshit of CAN ____ DO METAL?
At the end of the day many tools can get the job done. Can single coils work for metal? yes (see Iron Maiden/Yngwie/Polyphia).
Can P90s? yes (see Black Sabbath/John Browne).
There's an apt line from the Book of 5 Rings where Musashi quips that "all weapons have a place and purpose, do not fixate on one way or one weapon".
 

USMarine75

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If you're defining a telecaster being a telecaster by it having a telecaster body and only single coil pickups, then you're missing the point of a telecaster. The telecaster is the most versatile guitar platform on the planet because it's so bare bones and basic. It can be transformed and customized to do any style of music and do it very, very well. There's so much wood to work with on a telecaster that it can be customized in almost any way you can conceive. THAT is the point of a telecaster and what makes a telecaster a telecaster.

If you think only the telecaster "twangs", you're wrong. Strats do it too - on the bridge pickup. You almost never hear it from strat players like David Gilmour, Clapton, Eric Johnson & Hendrix because they almost never use the bridge pickup. In Pride and Joy, you clearly hear the twang on passages where SRV uses the bridge pickup.

Derp.

:lol:
 

Nicki

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No, you're missing the point. A trv tele has single coils and it has a very specific spank/twang to it that isn't easily approximated. Strats typically don't have the same spank/twang for whatever reason imo.

All the other variants are just other guitars masquerading in a telecaster shape. Not that I have a problem with mixing and matching specs, I love cabronitas and more modern super teles with HH or HSH configurations, it's just that they deviate wildly from what makes a tele special, which is that very specific spank/twang. Teles have been used by Danny Gatton, all of nashville (see nashville tele configuration), Brad Paisley, Jerry Reed, Jerry Donahue, Keith Richards, Clapton (yes he had teles), etc.
I would argue that Brad Paisley is the best example of what a tele can do. He plays blazing higher gain riffs, Van Halen/other hard rock staples and modern country all on single coils during his concerts.

As far as the clickbaity bullshit of CAN ____ DO METAL?
At the end of the day many tools can get the job done. Can single coils work for metal? yes (see Iron Maiden/Yngwie/Polyphia).
Can P90s? yes (see Black Sabbath/John Browne).
There's an apt line from the Book of 5 Rings where Musashi quips that "all weapons have a place and purpose, do not fixate on one way or one weapon".
You and I can argue our points all we want. All it does is prove how subjective it is.
 

USMarine75

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You and I can argue our points all we want. All it does is prove how subjective it is.

No.

You're point is what makes a Tele great is it can be whatever you want. That's an objectively dumb point. A Strat can also be whatever you want. See Iron Maiden, Jim Root, Van Halen, etc.

And a Tele bridge is not the same as a Strat. A Tele bridge has way more punch and is fuller than a Strat bridge which is more ice pick sounding (when stock vintage). Many players think Tele bridge sounds closer to a Gibson LP than a Strat.

Tl;dr you're listening to music with your eyes not your ears which is objectively dumb.
 
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Nicki

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No.

You're point is what makes a Tele great is it can be whatever you want. That's an objectively dumb point. A Strat can also be whatever you want. See Iron Maiden, Jim Root, Van Halen, etc.

And a Tele bridge is not the same as a Strat. A Tele bridge has way more punch and is fuller than a Strat bridge which is more ice pick sounding (when stock vintage). Many players think Tele bridge sounds closer to a Gibson LP than a Strat.

Tl;dr you're listening to music with your eyes not your ears which is objectively dumb.
K there bud. You do you.
 

USMarine75

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You almost never hear it from strat players like David Gilmour, Clapton, Eric Johnson & Hendrix because they almost never use the bridge pickup.

Almost never...

Black-Strat-David-Gilmour-Fender-guitarra-guitarriego-portada-1.jpg 06e940eeabdb8966bbb7460bc23255ec.jpg Qk33vWfUXNpFmdq9vXpyyM-1200-80.jpg jimi-hendrix-stalker.jpg
 

Drew

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No, you're missing the point. A trv tele has single coils and it has a very specific spank/twang to it that isn't easily approximated. Strats typically don't have the same spank/twang for whatever reason imo.
This evidently has a lot to do with the metal plate under the bridge pickup, which for whatever reason it was originally added, makes the pickup a fair amount more punchy.

It's also a pretty huge part of what makes a tele a tele, the singlecoil with a metal plate in the bridge, and while I can go back and forth on a neck humbucker or P90 in a Tele, once you've swapped out the bridge pickup and ashtray bridge for a humbucker, you're really talking about a "tele-shaped singlecut" more than a Telecaster.

Now, all that said... I don't own a Telecaster myself (thinking about changing that, it's a pretty notable gap in my arsenal, especially for the stuff I play), but I've LONG been a fan of singlecoils for "metal" sound, simply because their dynamic response is SO much more open than a humbucker. A humbucker is thicker and chunkier, and a singlecoil will never do that... but the impact of a singlecoil is just huge. I've long been a fan of layering either singlecoils or split humbucker sounds over humbuckers to add some presence and impact to a rhythm part, doubly so with lower-tuned stuff where otherwise things can get pretty muddy.

I don't know if it would be my go-to for chuggy stuff, but if you were doing a riff or playing in a band/genre with a lot of fairly percussive playing, then yeah, singlecoils would probably kill for that, and a Tele bridge humbucker might be awesome.
 


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