It is almost impossible to be a musician and not either having played, or been in a band with someone paying a Fender Stratocaster. The Stratocaster (or Strat) is the symbol of electric guitar only rivaled by Gibson. Think of players such as Eric Clapton, Stevie-Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix just to name a few. However, Fender is not just the Stratocaster. Its sibling, the Telecaster is perhaps not as popular, but is very much still a symbol of the Fender brand. Telecasters have been played by greats such as Albert Collins, Keith Richard, Jeff Beck, Danny Gatton and even Prince.


In my opinion, Fender makes awesome guitars. Especially if you can afford high end models such as custom or even master built. However, even Mexican made Fenders are a good deal today. Especially for beginners and intermediate players. A few years back, Fender released the Road Worn series which I thought where a great bargain. They had both Stratocaster and Telecaster models.

I realize that Fender makes a lot of different models including the Jaguar and Starcaster to name a few, but the “Strat” and the “Tele” are the best and most versatile.

The great thing about a Stratocaster is the fact that it can be used for many different genres. You can play Blues, Rock, Jazz, Funk, Country, Pop. Any thing goes. With the proper set up, you could even venture on to Heavy Metal. The Stratocaster has a unique tone. A tonal fingerprint if you will. It is instantly recognizable. It has a sound that when you listen to as song you will be able to identify it right away. In the hands of the “masters,” magic can happen.

The Telecaster is also very versatile indeed. However it has a bit more bite. It has what people refer to as “twang.” It’s a bit edgier and harsh (although not in a negative way.)

Telecasters can also be used for various genres, but is highly favored among country players. But make no mistake, a telecaster will rip even in a heavy rock and roll situation with the correct setup and amp.
So, what is the best Fender electric guitar? Both of course! In all honesty, I tend to favor the Stratocaster. I just love the tone and feel of the instrument. However, I will gladly admit that there are times when the tone of a Fender Telecaster would serve a song, setting or live situation better than the Stratocaster.

Keep in mind, that there are different models of the Strat and the Telecaster. A 60’s Strat will feel different than a 70’s strat. The same goes for the Telecaster models. Some have rosewood fingerboard, some have maple. Some have glossy finishes some have natural finishes. Some are heavier in weight, some are light. Some have specific types of pickups. All these elements are important factors to consider. Personally, Iove the way the 60’s Stratocaster feels. I tend to go for rosewood fingerboard and jumbo frets. However I have played 50’s Strats that I have loved and wish that I owned.

I actually owned a Thinline Telecaster a while back, but decided to sell it. The reason what that it did not sound enough like a Telecaster. This had to do with the pickups mostly, but I never got the Tele “feel” that I was going for. So, be warned. Used your ears and get a feel for the Fender of your choice. On the other hand I played a Custom Telecaster that knocked my socks off. I did not get that as I had my heart set on a, yep, you guessed it, 60’s Stratocaster.



About Fender

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll.

Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors.

One Response

  1. Uelly

    I have an american strnaadd for over 8 years now, I have installed 69 custom shop pickups, vintage saddles , tuning knobs , It sounds better everyday. The only subjectively bad thing (probably ) about the new paint jobs are you can’t relic them just by playing because they’re designed to carry the finish for ages.


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