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Taff Martin

Dorset,  UK

Taff Martin with his TeleHi, my name is Taff Martin from Dorset in UK, and I would like to show off my Tele...

It started out as a bit of a joke, as I had a guitar shop at the time and every Tele I had, someone would buy, so we decided to quickly knock one up over a weekend. Then, as the guitar evolved, everything was replaced...literally.

I got the bridge plate off of a '52 reissue, the neck was from Mighty Mite, but the body was built by a lad called Wayne George, who did a great job, using spalted beech on top and ash on back. The body is rear-routed with a home made B-Bender, which works well and holds perfect tune.

The saddles were 3 angled brass ones, the pickups are '50s Voodoo Tele set (with a Squier Strat one in middle), standard Tele volume and tone with a Les Paul 3-way switch. The tone pot is a Yamaha push-push pot to turn middle p/u on or off, irrespective of the 3-way setting. So versatile, yet so simple!

The body is oil-finished the body with sanding sealer on the neck, which is getting very worn. Not much more to add, except it does everything it needs to, and very well, indeed.

May, 2008 Postscript:
A couple of years ago, I had problems with my hands, i.e., cramps, fingers locking...basically, arthritis. I knew i needed to do something, and this is an important issue. Too many people have never learned to play  guitar correctly, myself included, also Clapton, Hendrix and so on. Now, I don`t mean they play badly, but have never been taught correct posture or fingering and  thumb placement on the neck. Most of the younger generation are learning correctly due to books, the Internet and good quality teachers, but for us "older  generation, we stuck our thumbs over the back of the neck trying to do big bends on heavy strings which all add to wear and tear on your joints and a Tele is not  the most forgiving guitar to play anyway.

Talking to a local luthier in Yeovil, he agreed to make me a new neck and to my specs (which was to make the biggest, fattest Tele neck he could ); the upshot is the new neck is huge and fills my  hands well, giving me plenty of support for my thumb which has improved my playing and is less painful to play for long periods, sets, etc., but also...and this  was a welcome surprise...the tone was much much better; more sustain, quality of  notes were more even and solid and so far everyone who has tried it has said it's huge how can you play it, but twenty minutes later they still haven't put it down as it makes it so easy! So, a big big thank you to Mr. Keith Robbins of Yeovil,  best guitar builder I have ever seen .

Taff Martin's Tele 

You can check out my band here:

I have had approximately 25 Teles, from a `54 to my first one in '79 after watching Albert Lee, and also because of James Burton . One thing a lot of people don't understand (myself included for a long time) is that a Tele will only play back what you put in. To me, it's like a blank canvas, waiting for the character of the artist to emerge.

In some ways, I don't think it should be a player's first guitar, it should be the guitar you have once you have developed and recognised your own style. Most people can plug a Strat into a Fender, or a Les Paul into a Marshall and get an instantly known tone; plug in a Tele, and your tone emerges with that Tele bite, of course. I have always loved it when people say it's just a rhythm guitar; I point them to Albert, James, Roy and all those other Tele masters, all styles and tones. Leo got it right the first time.

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