Stratocaster vs Telecaster: What’s the difference between these legendary guitar siblings?

Collection of Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars
(Image credit: Future)

Fender’s Telecaster and Stratocaster are two of the world’s most legendary guitars, both born in the 50’s from – what was at the time – a small guitar manufacturer based on the West-Coast of the US. As Fender grew into the biggest guitar brand on the planet, the Tele and Strat also became industry stalwarts, gracing countless stages.

In most walks of life, products regularly need to innovate to stay relevant; this is not the case for the Tele and Strat, both of which – barring some minor evolution here and there – have retained their unique qualities that put them on the map all those years ago. Given they’ve remained so similar from conception to the present day, it’s easy to distinguish their key characteristics, including what separates them from each other.

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Connor Godfrey

Connor is a contributor to Guitar World and MusicRadar. Having been a guitarist since the age of 10, he's played bass and guitar in bands across the South West of England. He has a background in audio engineering, having worked in some of the UK’s best studios including Rockfield and Invada, and has a passion for recording guitar. He is always keen to discover the greatest gear for capturing tone, be that microphones, audio interfaces or cab simulators.