I've been playing for about 7 years now, so I still class myself as a novice. I'm from a very small town in the north of
Scotland called Thurso. Got into playing guitar thanks to listening to Nirvana and such early 90's rock bands, although I now take a lot of influence from modern metal and 70's rock.
1999 MIM Standard Fender Telecaster
The first Telecaster I ever owned was bought for one reason only, and that was to rock out on! I've never been into this whole twang sound that
Tele's are famous for, however, I spotted its modding potential very easily. I picked myself up a beautiful Fender MIM Standard Sunburst Telecaster with a maple neck.
I ripped out its bridge pickup right away and
installed a Seymour Duncan Hotrails. I loved how this pickup sounded, but was soon to realise the massive output difference compared to the stock neck pickup. It had to go. I got myself an
Seymour Duncan Alnico II Rhythm pickup and went with that for a while. It was ok, but still wasn't the tone I was after. I looked around for a while and decided that my best bet
was to get a humbucker. I got myself a Seymour Duncan 59 Classic Cover. I had to run after the postman to get that thing! I installed it and it was magical. When I rolled off the volume it
was perfectly chimey, but with it full on, I got this nice blues sound. Perfect!
However, not all was done. I managed to smack my headstock
off of a PA cab. The tuners were damaged so I replaced them with new Schaller tuners. I kept breaking strings at the bridge so I got some Graph Tech String Saver Saddles. The neck
pickup was needed for another job, so I swapped it out for a SD 59 without the cover on it. I replaced the entire control assembly with 500k pots. The guitar needed something new, so
I installed a black pickguard and a black control plate with black knobs.
This guitar is amazing to play. Everybody who's played it is
amazed at how good it sounds. I can get any sound I require out of this guitar. From Beatles style pop to Metallica style metal tones, it manages to cover them all.
2006 Tele-Paul Guitar
The second Telecaster I own is inspired by none other than Brian Mikami. Many moons ago on the Seymour Duncan forum, I
remember the Jeff Beck Tele-Gib being made. I was in awe at that guitar. I wanted something similar right away. However, as it was to transpire, it took me a few years before I got
something that I wanted.
At the end of last year I promised myself that I'd make a guitar in 2006. I started hunting around on eBay and managed to
pickup this body for $195 shipped to where I live in the north of Scotland. Derek (from Big D guitars) was an absolute gentleman and did all the work I required quickly and without fuss. He
supplied the parts I asked of him (bridge, ferrules and backplate) in the cost of the body. It was all routed out to my specs.
I wanted two humbuckers, two volume controls, two tone
controls, a 3-way switch in the upper body(like a Les Paul) and a hard tail bridge.
Took me a while to decide on colour, but after much thought, I
decided to go with red. However, I wanted a 3D effect, so I stained the top of the body black, sanded it back and then applied several coats of red. When I un-masked the body I
discovered that I'd been left with a perfect black faux binding around the maple top. It couldn't of been any better if I tried!!
Things came together fairly quickly. Bits were bought on eBay
and within no time at all (with a lot of thanks going to my girlfriend and her father) everything was ready to go.
I got a birdseye maple neck from my girlfriend for my birthday. I
got a Kent Armstrong Motherbucker for the bridge and a GFS Boutique 59 for the neck. Grover tuners from eBay. Everything else came from WD Music or Axesrus in the UK.
Once all the clear coats of lacquer had cured (I used a Nitrocellulose finish) I stuck it all together over a few days and strung it up. I did hit a couple of problems, but help was on
hand to solve them.
Overall, its a beautiful guitar. I'm very happy with how it sounds and how it looks. Its almost like a Les Paul... in fact, its probably better!