Strat or Tele? Edit: Decision made! See post 66

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by LBS-bass, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    I'm headed to the dark side out of necessity; haven't owned a decent guitar in decades but have the ability to strum a few chords and whatnot. Sometimes I'd like to write music with something that isn't a keyboard, so I'm looking to pick up a relatively inexpensive electric guitar that I can plug into my DAW and make demos with. Have plenty of amp and pedal simulators in there to play with so I'm really just looking for some basic stuff that will stay in tune and play relatively easily. I know nothing much about guitars beyond the basic stuff.

    So, my first thought is perhaps a strat or a tele. I feel like both would give me the basic, clean sounds I want that I can modify in post. Since these are just going to be demos, ultimately I'd hire a real guitarist to finish them off.

    Does it matter what I buy? Should I consider something in the non-Fender world? Would like to keep it under a grand if possible. Thanks!
    El_Charro, J-Bassomatic and Artman like this.
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Background- I managed a guitar store '77-'88, started as a guitar player, have always had at least one since '69, and gigged on guitar for a few months 20 years ago. Either one will work for your purposes and Teles area little less fiddly to the fixed bridge. You can get one with three PUPs to cover a bit wider range of sounds. Personally I'd get one with a 'bucker in the neck position for warm rhythm tones too.
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
  4. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  5. WG Plum

    WG Plum

    Apr 9, 2021
    It was explained once to me this way: Strats bring the ding, Teles bring the dang.
  6. RichterScale


    Feb 21, 2021
    I stopped in GC a few months ago, to pick up a few doodads and took a few pics of some of their used guitars to show my stepson. I'm not recommending any of them in particular, but considering the bits I quoted above, I don't see any reason to spend anywhere near $1000 for what you're doing. All the guitars in the pics seemed well made (and were in mint condition) and are good examples of what you can get for well under $500, for noodlin', learnin' and doing demos.
    KIMG2117.JPG KIMG2118.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  7. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    I'm wary of the really inexpensive ones, only because I've already given away one guitar that was a "deal" but unplayable to my ear. I probably could have fixed that one up to a degree to deal with the intonation and tuner issues, but wasn't sure it was worth doing so it went to a music school that needed some donations. It was an acoustic-electric, so not quite as easy for me to intonate it myself.
    GregC, osonu, Artman and 1 other person like this.
  8. DJWhitJr


    Apr 25, 2020
    St. Louis, MO
    I have played guitar off an on for over 30 years and just over the past 2 have picked up bass. I own both (strat and tele) and always found strats more comfortable to play.

    I'm a big proponent of US made instruments but considering what you looking to do I would consider a used MIM strat with a humbucker in the bridge. Fender's Mexico plant is putting out solid stuff. I'd take the savings and put it towards a coil tap on the humbucker and maybe a blender pot so you have the best of both worlds.
  9. For your needs, I suggest that you want something with at least 3 pickups for greater tonal variety. I also suggest something with a fixed bridge (no whammy bar) so it will stay in tune better. There are many great options out there for $300 to $600 from Ibanez, LTD, Schechter, Squier, etc. that would deliver for your needs.
    Bass4Brkfast, PockySteve and LBS-bass like this.
  10. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    That American Performer would be my pick, since I'd go Tele over Strat every day of the week and twice on Sundays for the purposes that you outlined in the OP.

    But that's me.

    Happy shopping.
    KJMO, REV and LBS-bass like this.
  11. getbent


    Aug 20, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    For your purposes, either will work, shouldn't be too hard to find one in your price range. Make sure you get it properly set up, best remedy for a cheap guitar.

    Teles have fewer moving parts to go wrong, but that slab non-contoured body digs into your rib cage and picking forerarm after a while.

    (I was fortunate to find a homemade Tele replica with a contoured body, in surf green, for $100 on FB Marketplace. Win-Win-Win)
    packhowitzer, DJWhitJr and LBS-bass like this.
  12. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    DJWhitJr likes this.
  13. IMHO I personally would choose either one of the Squier Classic Vibe or Paranormal Series guitars, or, if you want to keep potential resale value in mind, something like the J.Mascis Telecaster. I like Tele Thinlines as well.
    Other than that, either try one in a shop to find out, which one you like to hold in your hands or choose, which ones look you like. I am pretty much a Fenderist, so this or Squier would be my primary choice.
  14. DJWhitJr


    Apr 25, 2020
    St. Louis, MO
    One other thing, if tuning stability is a concern on a strat you can always deck the tremolo. I did that with mine and it's rock solid. Before you make a decision I'd suggest playing both to see which one feels right to you. Also pay attention to the neck profiles.
  15. LBS-bass


    Nov 22, 2017
    This could be an issue, especially since I'll likely be sitting with it in the studio. Doubtful (but never say never) I'd ever feel accomplished enough to play it on stage.
    getbent and westrock like this.
  16. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have both. I like them each for different reasons. The Strat is a little more versatile but the Tele is a little more utilitarian. I think the Strat is easier to play but I still prefer a Tele.
    Adagietto and Wasnex like this.
  17. Tim Craig

    Tim Craig Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Charmin or Angel Soft. Which do you prefer?
  18. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    I'm not a fan of the strat, but they seem to work for a lot of peeples.

    A good tele is tough to beat.
  19. Ostie


    Aug 1, 2018
    Mid MI
    GE Smith says if you can only have one guitar, get a Tele. I tend to agree with him. But you should play them both and see how they sound and feel.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 28, 2021

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