Julian Lage on why he chooses to play a Tele: “It’s a very true instrument, all Teles possess that”

Lage decided to let go of any “preconceived notions” that Telecasters weren’t meant to be used by jazz players, and the rest is history.

Julian Lage

Image: Andy Shepherd / Getty

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Jazz guitarist Julian Lage has spoken about where his love for Telecasters began, and how he defied the myth that they’re not to be used by jazz players in a new rig rundown video.

The virtuoso is often spotted playing his Nachocaster model – a vintage replica, which was made by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Baños and his team at Nacho Guitars in Valencia, Spain.

In a new video with Premier Guitar, Lage spoke to John Bohlinger, and shared how he grew up playing Strats, but always admired a T-style guitar. He reflected on how his father used to play one, and how he decided to let go out the myth that a Tele wasn’t the right fit for a jazz guitarist.

“I always loved a Telecaster, I kind of fell for the myth that I couldn’t play one ‘cause I was a jazz player, and then I think at some point I just kind of called it in question and said, ‘that’s not necessarily true’. I started playing them at guitar stores and [thought], ‘God, someday I’m gonna do it’.”

He continued, “I bought one, I bought a Nash, a beautiful Nashville Tele years ago and for one or two songs a night I’d play it with my band. At the time I was playing a Linda Manzer Archtop, that was feeling great. And then it was three songs or four songs, and then I said, ‘you know what? I just gotta let go of any preconceived notions and really let myself fall in love with it.”

Lage concluded by stating, “I’m relatively sparse in terms of equipment or effects and I like an instrument that kinda doesn’t do anything unless you do something. It’s a very true instrument, all Teles possess that, I think.”

Watch the full video below to check out more of Lage’s rig including his Collings Julian Lage 470 JL model, his 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, and a run down of his current amp and pedal board:


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