The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-05-2021, 04:31 PM
Clouds Clouds is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 82
Default Strumming Telecaster Electric Guitar

I'm an acoustic player and recently got a Telecaster. Just looking for some advice. When I strum (barre or open) chords, it sounds so rocky yet I've heard people on the tele getting clean tones. What am I doing wrong?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-05-2021, 04:38 PM
raysachs's Avatar
raysachs raysachs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Philly Area
Posts: 3,389
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clouds View Post
I'm an acoustic player and recently got a Telecaster. Just looking for some advice. When I strum (barre or open) chords, it sounds so rocky yet I've heard people on the tele getting clean tones. What am I doing wrong?
Sounds like youíre overdriving the amp. I donít know what amp / settings youíre using, but most amps are capable of clean sounds, although some only at low volumes. Play with your volume and gain settings - you should be able to find something you like...

-Ray
__________________
"It's just honest human stuff that hadn't been near a dang metronome in it's life" - Benmont Tench

Martin CEO-7
Martin 000-28EC
Fender Robert Cray Strat
Epiphone SG Special (P90s)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-05-2021, 04:46 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Kirkland, WA USA
Posts: 1,675
Default

I'll add another possibility: you may be strumming too hard.

The effort needed to trigger notes on an electric is a small fraction of what you need for an acoustic.
__________________
-Gordon

1978 Larrivee L-26 cutaway
1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway
2006 Larrivee L03-R
2009 Larrivee LV03-R
2016 Irvin SJ cutaway
2020 Irvin SJ cutaway (build thread)
K+K, Dazzo, Schatten/ToneDexter


Notable Journey website
Facebook page

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. - Leonardo Da Vinci
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-05-2021, 05:22 PM
egordon99 egordon99 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 625
Default

As someone else asked, what amp/settings are you using?

Also, generally speaking you don't play an electric the same way you play an acoustic. The chord shapes are obviously the same but the right hand's motions will differ significantly.
__________________
Martin:1956 00-18, 1992 D-16H, 2013 HD-28, 2017 CEO-7, 2020 000-28 Modern Deluxe
Santa Cruz OM/PW, Larrivee OM-03R, Taylor GS-Mini Mahogany, Taylor 356CE, Fender American Professional Stratocaster, MIM Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Epiphone ES-339 Pro
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-05-2021, 05:26 PM
Bob Womack's Avatar
Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
Guitar Gourmet
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Between Clever and Stupid
Posts: 24,176
Default

And a further note: most don't strum an electric guitar across all strings and let it go. Why? Because it gets jangly and raunchy. Instead, most will palm mute pretty assiduously and choke off unneeded strings. Like on a rosewood acoustic, sometimes reduction yields a bigger sound than playing full tilt.

Another issue with the Tele particularly is all the overtones the bridge pickup puts out. To help tame it you may want to back off the tone control and the volume control a little to reduce the jarring overtones.

All the best,

Bob
__________________
"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

THE MUSICIAN'S ROOM
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-05-2021, 05:29 PM
egordon99 egordon99 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 625
Default

I feel like acoustics and electrics are almost completely different instruments in the same way a piano differs from a Hammond organ.
__________________
Martin:1956 00-18, 1992 D-16H, 2013 HD-28, 2017 CEO-7, 2020 000-28 Modern Deluxe
Santa Cruz OM/PW, Larrivee OM-03R, Taylor GS-Mini Mahogany, Taylor 356CE, Fender American Professional Stratocaster, MIM Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Epiphone ES-339 Pro
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-05-2021, 06:56 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,353
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clouds View Post
I'm an acoustic player and recently got a Telecaster. Just looking for some advice. When I strum (barre or open) chords, it sounds so rocky yet I've heard people on the tele getting clean tones. What am I doing wrong?
I will not offer the opinion myself that one can't use techniques one uses on an acoustic on a Telecaster. I think otherwise. Of course there are and can be differences, but differences don't mean "it won't work."

I think Telecasters can work very well for this kind of thing. Your exact aims and techniques may very, and not hearing what you played it may be hard for us to suggest what to change. A lot of good guesses already upthread. The most obvious thing is the amp and how much gain you have going on. A nice clean setting gives a tone response more like an acoustic guitar than the kinds of sound useful in a lot of electric guitar playing.

Strings haven't been mentioned. If you are attacking typical electric guitar light strings with a lot of pick attack or a heavy strum you may not be getting a desirable sound. A set with a top E at .011 or even .012 top E will change things. A wound G string may come along with a heavier set. I currently keep a Tele with flatwound strings on it as my "think acoustic, play electric" guitar and I can strum it. Flatwound strings greatly reduce overtones from the wound strings, addressing another possible issue. The chimey overtones and some effects can be useful though--it depends on what you like and are aiming for.

The classic Telecaster design has three great sounds and most Teles have a very useful tone control for dialing things in soundwise. I often use the middle (neck and bridge) setting when playing "think acoustic" but you can try all three positions. Where you strum also has an impact as well things like pick choice and use.

I recently saw an online streaming event celebrating the work of Jeff Buckley, who recorded an fine EP with just his voice and a Telecaster into a clean amp. A large number of the participants used that electric guitar and voice combination as it was done when pandemic restrictions made it more difficult for bands to play together, and as a homage to that element of Buckley's career. Now of course it helps if one has Jeff Buckley's voice, but some of them could produce effective performances in that mode.

Here's a recording of that stream. The whole thing is 2 hours long, and may be overkill if you aren't a Jeff Buckley or modern indie music fan. One can skip around if that's the case. And no, I didn't think every indie (and often young) artist in the event hit it out of the park, but there are examples here of strumming an electric outside of a band context working IMHO.


__________________
Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet over 500 combinations of various words with original music
-----------------------------------
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....

Last edited by FrankHudson; 01-05-2021 at 07:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-06-2021, 06:10 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,691
Default

Here's how your Telecaster should sound :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO2CcGgIeOs

No distortion, no overdrive (or very little). Instead, a fair dose of reverb - partly from the amp, partly from the venue.

Here's more "Jazz Tele":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDuee6blvj8
(There's a touch of chorus effect there, as well as reverb.)

Again, as the others say, check your amp settings. If there is a "master" volume, there will be another labelled "gain" or just "volume" - keep the latter one low (not off, just very low), and use the master to get it as loud as you want. You could also keep your guitar volume knob down a little (not on full).
Of course, if your amp has a "clean" channel (or "rhythm" as opposed to "lead") use that. "Lead" or "dirty" channels are designed to have some distortion applied. (Sometimes the "gain" control will only affect that channel.)

You'll also find your neck pickup has a mellower sound than the bridge pickup. Both should be "clean", but the bridge pickup has a brighter tone which some ears may find harsh. If you can have both PUs on, that gives you the broadest tone spectrum.

Naturally, you can fiddle with the tone controls too - on both guitar and amp.
__________________
"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-06-2021, 06:24 AM
keith.rogers's Avatar
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,113
Default

People approach acoustic and electric guitars differently, but my way of thinking about the electric is that you have to really think of it as you are really playing the amp, and not the guitar. It may not make sense, but it was more of a "drive by wire" kind of experience for me at first. Your "feedback loop" has to be a lot bigger than the intimacy of strumming an acoustic guitar.

Unless you are going for a stadium sound and need to feel your bellbottoms flapping in the breeze of that double Marshall stack, I think low wattage, decent modeling amps (or inaudible latency sims like the Helix or similar) are a good place to help you find a sound that lets you play the amp, without having to stress about the rest of the folks in the building or on the block.

p.s. I always use a thinner pick (medium vs. heavy) and much lighter strings on electric.
__________________
"I know in the morning that it's gonna be good, when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-07-2021, 07:48 PM
Clouds Clouds is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 82
Default

It was the amp. Tried on a bigger amp and it sounds beautiful!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-08-2021, 08:01 AM
keith.rogers's Avatar
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,113
Default

Louder always sounds better to the human ear. At least until you go deaf.

I'm going to [emphatically] suggest you get a dB meter app on your phone and understand where you really need to dial that amp to be safe, and then decide if it's the bigger amp, or just the volume you are liking.
__________________
"I know in the morning that it's gonna be good, when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-08-2021, 09:28 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,321
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clouds View Post
It was the amp. Tried on a bigger amp and it sounds beautiful!

...there you go....a great amp is the best way to get great tone from any electric guitar...now go ahead and strum the heck out of that tele....
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-08-2021, 11:58 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,353
Default

Yup, it's good find the amp that gives you want you want.

Doesn't have to be a big amp always. Here's my "think acoustic/play electric" Telecaster with somewhat heavier flat-wound strings strumming away through a Fender Super Champ.

Long Island Sound

By the way, the lyrics are a poem by Emma Lazarus, the "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..." Statue of Liberty poet.
__________________
Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet over 500 combinations of various words with original music
-----------------------------------
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '16 Martin 000-17, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=