Long-time listener. First-time caller. Forever admirer of the classic Telecaster sound, but never could jump all the way in. At least, until now.
The Tele and the Strat are so popular that we know them by their nicknames. We’re familiar with the crunch, the reliable sound, the feel.
So how do you update a classic? And who would you update it for?
For songwriters like me, I guess. Self-taught, acoustic mostly, but always dreaming of unleashing their inner rock alter ego.
From the start, opening the soft carrying case felt like something new unfolding (err, unzipping?). The result, a Nashville Telecaster in Aged Candy Apple Red, prompted guttural squeals of joy. And while the three thousand foot view was certainly beautiful, the Telecaster’s details along with the new changes are what make it truly gorgeous. The New Nashville Telecaster Player Plus offers a combination of elements that make both the Telecaster and the Strat signatures: The new top features the semi-curved body of a strat while the tail end still offers the fatter classic body of the ‘Caster.
As a songwriter, it is serendipity when you pick up a guitar that seems to fit perfectly and instantly boosts your confidence. The smooth neck seemed tailor-made for me; no uncomfortable fretting here. I placed the Tele in Open D, and off we went into a new version of an older song. That is exactly what you want with a guitar. Within 20 minutes, I had an updated version of an older tune. It turns out we were both revamping a classic.
The Nashville Telecaster Player Plus is an anomaly in the best way. It simultaneously moves forward and backward. It treks toward the future with its electronics while paying homage through its vintage look. It is both grand and small. It is a mixture of Stratocaster tones and Telecaster tones, that you can cycle through. It’s a fun mix of the new and the old. It allows you to solo, strum, or make new sounds all your own, all at the same time. You can channel both your inner Band of Horses or Explosions in the Sky. It’s an embarrassment of audio riches as the combinations of pick-ups and tones is exponential. It probably shouldn’t be called a Player. It should be called Playtime.
“Artists are at the center of everything we do and the products we create to fuel their creative expression,” Evan Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, Fender, shared with us by email. And fuel does it, mightily.
The sound, and combination of “old and new,” is not limited to the technical and visual elements of the instrument. Turns out you can continue to teach the old Dog new Tricks, right Fender? Welcome to TikTok!
A new platform for a classic? Sounds like a new place to inspire fellow songwriters. And as for folks starting their creative journey, Fender is here for them too.
Jones, CMO at Fender, shared with us how Fender will help artists and the many ways in which they will assist their creative work: “We understand how crucial support can be to artists in the early stages of their journeys as they work their way from independent acts to established performers. It’s why we are always happy to showcase new talent on our channels and introduce resources such as the Fender Artist Playbook. It’s also why we’re invested in programs like Fender Next, and the Player Plus sessions that we’re launching this Fall which we hope will serve as high visibility platforms to help artists rise in the industry.”
There are two elements you may want to look into, Fender, in case you’re looking for feedback. One is with the guitar (of course) and the other is with an accessory. While the Nashville Telecaster Player Plus boasts noiseless pickups, I found that when I plugged it directly into my audio interface (Focusrite 2i2), a hum corresponded with my playing. So if you, like me, are into clean feeds, and evaluating sounds, it may be worth looking into.
I, and others, will want to protect my newest muse; and with a guitar that is this meaningful, a hard case should be considered. The soft one that comes with the Tele not only offers minimal protection, but the shoulder straps are painful (I know, a tiny detail, but as I’ve noted, this guitar is all about the combo of details).
Fellow readers, if you’ve tiptoed on the edge of the Telecaster water, the Player Plus may convince you to jump into the multi-colored pool. It will be up to you what the Plus stands for. For me, it invigorated life into new songs and invited a new world of imagination. I knew it would set off a new stage of my writing. My music bucket list includes playing with a loop pedal, and this guitar inspired me to do so, and, not just that, but nail it on the first go. So this Tele helped me check off a new element, and inspired me too.
And isn’t that what you want a guitar to do?
So, thanks, Fender, for creating a guitar that invites creators like me into the Fender Telecaster journey.
Fender announced the launch of its global goodwill program, the Player Plus Studio Sessions: Powered by Fender. As lockdowns forced many artists to innovate ways to RFH (record-from-home), it’s no secret that time spent in the recording studio has been missed, which is where Fender comes in.
Starting today, Fender is helping to fulfill the creative aspirations of independent artists throughout the US (Los Angeles, NYC and Nashville), England, Scotland, Ireland, Mexico, Australia and Japan, by funding and donating over 260 hours of time with professional recording studios to rising talent.
How It Works: Independent artists can apply by submitting a recent single or music video on Fender submission page. Submission period will begin today, Monday, September 27th and end on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021.
How To Win: After review by a global panel of Fender execs, industry professionals, artists and producers, winners will be announced November 10th, 2021. Notable panelists include legendary singer-songwriter Nile Rodgers, country-music star Ashley McBryde and Emily Kokal of Warpaint.
Grand Prize: Winning artists/bands will have recording studio access to a selection of first-class studios around the world, including LA’s MDDN Studio & EastWest Studio, Nashville’s Welcome to 1979, and NYC’s Flux Studio.
Additionally, the winning artists will receive a $500 credit toward mixing their song, mentoring from top industry professionals, like Ari Herstand (author of How To Make It In The New Music Business), and the high-performancing guitars and basses from Fender’s new Player Plus range, so that they can focus on creating the best sounds hassle-free.