Telecaster Vs Stratocaster: What to choose?

A guitar which is quite widely categorized into the category of stringed instruments, further has sub divisions. While the structure and working of these are quite often the same, knowing about the types of guitar is a vital step for someone who is a beginner and is in the first few steps of figuring out the type of music they would like to play.

Similar sounding sharing the same first name, the history and origin of these guitars is of great interest.

While putting them against each other pointing out the better qualities out of the two is a hard task, this article aims at helping you in figuring out what type of a guitar would be a better fit for you, best suited for your style of playing.

What is a Telecaster?

A telecaster is the type of guitar that is made out of alder, ash, poplar, pinewood etc. The shape of this guitar, unlike the normal guitar that people are familiar with, is asymmetrical in nature. Its structure can also be classified as stating that it is a solid guitar with a body that has a single cutaway.

For further distinct features we note that, different parts of this guitar are made of different kinds of woods. As stated below

  • The neck is usually made out of Maple wood.
  • The body is usually made out of Pine, Alder, Ash, Poplar and Basswood.
  • The Fretboard is usually made out of, Pau Ferro, Maple and Rosewood.

History of the Telecaster

The Telecaster was first designed and made by ‘Leo Fender’ in Fullerton, California in the year 1950. While the period between 1932 – 49 saw no significant progress towards building a solid guitar, Fender was the first one who came out with a breakthrough.

Fender was originally what one might call, an electrician. He owned an electronic repair shop where he then began to experiment and build something that would revolutionize guitar for the world, forever.

His first prototype was actually quite similar to the types of Telecaster guitars that we see today. It had most of the qualities and by the standards of that type, was a good example and inspiration for today’s products.

In 1950, when it was made, a single pickup prototype came to be which was originally named as the ‘Fender Esquire’, even though the single pickup product was later discarded and the double pickup one was brought into use, and existence.

Importance of a Telecaster

The Telecaster plays a lead role in revolutionizing different types of music. Some of these include music from the genre of Rock and roll, funk and country. This guitar changed the ways of musicians forever as it was the first of its type.

The way it was constructed in a solid format, gave the players an option to use it as a lead guitar and play loud. Alongside that, its solid design also made it more sustainable which meant that it could handle stress and pressure.

While in hollow instruments, there is a feedback noise while playing, which some might find utterly irritating while playing, and some may also classify it as the reason for their ruined performances, the Telecaster being solid does not leave around a feedback noise which insures smooth playing.

Some musicians that use the Telecaster

  • Billie Joe Armstrong
  • Phil Baugh
  • Jeff Beck
  • Mike Campbell
  • Bob Dylan
  • Etc.

Good products available online

EART Classic Telecaster Electric Guitar

Fender Limited Edition Player Telecaster Electric Guitar

What is a Stratocaster?

Another subtype in the category of guitars, a Stratocaster is a double cutaway guitar. Even after having a cut-out at each side of it, the guitar is still asymmetrical in nature. It has distinctively an extended horn which helps to balance it out and provide support while playing.

The body of this guitar is carved out of different woods. Each part is made out of a different type of wood. As stated below

  • The neck similar to the one before is made out of the Maple wood.
  • The body of a Stratocaster is most commonly made out of both Alder and Ash wood.
  • In the fret, while there may be other types of woods that are used, most commonly used amongst them are Maple or Rosewood.

History of the Stratocaster

After the Telecaster guitar, comes the Stratocaster in the year 1954. The Stratocaster was and is to this date known to be the only one of its kind.

It had distinctive features such as a contoured solid body, with double cutaways designed purposefully to make playing and positioning the guitar more comfortably.

The first ever made model of the same had a body made out of Ashwood. It had twenty-one frets on the fretboard and was sleek in design which while gripping, felt easier on the hands. From the very beginning, it was made with a three-pickup design.

The original model did undergo many changes, big and small over the years. The model that is available now, is a result of all those modifications made with time, that made it more convenient of an instrument to play.

Importance of Stratocaster

There are many guitars out there which when played, offer distinctive sounds and features. Focusing back to the point of there being multiple such guitars brings me to how a Stratocaster is quite significant.

Not only does it have a comfortable and easy to work with design, alongside that, it has an excellent range and diversity in its way of playing.

The changes made and added to it over the years has done nothing but made it more adaptable, easy to play and added in features that make it a great choice for those, who are looking for more in less.

As the Stratocaster guitar is in possession of a tri-pickup style, it offers 5 sounds which is pretty much the highest range offered by any type of guitar out there.

If you have been playing this instrument for a while, you must be aware of the term layering. While other guitars are not the best option for this niche, a Stratocaster perfectly befits the role and gives the player a chance to layer up sounds to belt out the perfect melody.

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Some musicians that use the Stratocaster

  • Jeff Beck
  • David Gilmour
  • Eric Johnson
  • Mark Knopfler

Some good products available online

Fender Player Stratocaster HSS Electric

Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster


Telecaster vs Stratocaster: What’s the difference?

  • A Telecaster offers more versatility to its players while a Stratocaster offers more range and a broader spectrum of tunes.
  • A Telecaster is convenient when it comes to tuning, as it is relatively easiler to tune whereas a Stratocaster provides comfort, as it is easier to hold and position.
  • A Telecaster has a singular cut while a Stratocaster is designed to have double cuts. Their similarity however, shows in the uneven design supported by both.
  • A Telecaster is good for music genres such as, reggae, rock, pop, folk, soul, blues etc., while a Stratocaster is more suited for, jazz, indie, Modern rock, and classic rock.


While it is difficult to term which type of guitar compares better and is a better option out of the two, the given article makes clear how each of these are better suited for different things.

Learning to play a guitar is yet the easier part. Deciding the type of guitar, you want to play or would like to choose as your lead instrument is harder still. Like two sides of a coin, both Telecaster and Stratocaster have their own fair share of differences but, better still, they are the part of something similar as they both help you in producing music as per your choice.

Both these guitars share the name Fender which they acquire from their inventor. Both of these inventions are a gift to the music world.

None of these can be put up against the other as while one may possess a quality, the other one may possess another. It is their execution in music and the way they are implemented while playing that make them so special.

Now it is solely up to you the type of music you would like to play and the type of instrument that you would like to possess.  

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