Guitar DIY: How to perform a basic Fender Telecaster setup

We show you how to tweak your Tele so it plays like a dream.

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Leo Fender’s genius electric Spanish solidbody design may be 70 years old but for many players, it’s still the benchmark.

Fender’s 2019 Vintera ’50s Tele has plenty in common with the original Broadcaster, Nocaster and Telecaster instruments of the early 1950s and here, Matt Gleeson of Monty’s Guitars takes a brand-new model straight out of the box and shares some simple tips to help ensure that your guitar is playing as well as possible before that important gig, rehearsal or recording session.

In the first instalment of a new Guitar DIY video series brought to you in association with our friends at Elixir Strings, Matt walks us through the basics of a great Telecaster setup, from adjusting the intonation of that tricky three-saddle bridge, to setting the action for optimal playability.

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Even if your Tele isn’t a Fender, there are plenty of important takeaways to be found in this basic set-up guide that apply to most Fender-style electric guitars. Watch out for future episodes in which we show you how to set up a Stratocaster, a Gibson Les Paul, restring an acoustic, clean a rosewood fretboard and plenty more besides.

Still think your beloved Tele needs some TLC? Check out our list of 25 killer Telecaster tone tips, mods and upgrades.

Need to bone up on the history of the Telecaster? Read our oral history of the birth of Leo’s first-born electric solidbody.


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