Fender Modern Player Telecaster Review – 2020 Guide

Craig
| Last Updated: November 11, 2020

The Fender name conveys quality in the world of guitars whether you play rock, country, jazz, or R&B. The modern player series of Fender guitar has a great guitar for the beginner all the way up to the professional.

This Modern Player Telecaster is a solid guitar with some modern features and a great sound. The Fender brand offers quality sound at a reasonable price.  It makes playing guitar affordable for all experience levels.

As with most Fender guitar models, there is a great sound, remarkable style, and a quality guitar not found with many other companies.  

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Equipped with two single-coil telecaster pickups
  • Made with an Alder wood body with gloss finish
  • Uses the hard-tail bridge system
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Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Buttercream

PROS

  • Playability
  • Style & Quality
  • Range of Sound
  • Intonation System

CONS

  • Price
  • Fretboard

Modern Player Telecaster Specs 

The Telecaster Modern Player is a stylish electric guitar with a history dating back to the 1950s when the first telecaster was produced. This newer version came out in 2011 and added some modern tweaks to the classic look. Made in China, these guitars live up to the Fender name.

Type of Guitar: Electric

Body Size and Type: Alder Wood Telecaster body shape

Number and Type of Strings: 6 string with Fender USA, NPS, (.009-.042 Gauges)

Tonewood: Pine tonewood

Orientation: Right-hand orientation

Neck Size: The neck is a C shape with a maple neck fretboard with a radius of 9.5”

Action: Low

Scale Length: Scale length is 25.5”

Weight: 10.15 Lbs

Color: Comes in colors Honey-Burst, Three Tone Sun-burst, Black Transparent, and Charcoal Transparent

Pickup Type: Pickup Types are Humbucking pickup for the bridge, a Strat pickup for the middle, and Tele Pickup for the neck

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar

Pros of the Fender Modern Player Telecaster

Every guitar has its pros and cons. Many of these are due to the personal preferences of the guitar player. However, the Modern Player Telecaster has more pros than cons and is an all-around solid guitar.

Ease of Playability

The style of this guitar is great. Its lacquered C-shaped maple neck also provides good action and quick movement. This type of neck is shorter which is better for beginners over guitars with tapering necks. The solid pine body reduces the response of the bass but overall has a great sound. The sound is balanced and clear even with the single-coil pickup. It has a slightly “buzzy sound” but it fits with the overall tone produced. The easy playability of this Fender guitar makes learning it enjoyable.

Intonation System Keeps Guitar in Tune

This Fender has a Synchronized Tremolo System that has a 6-saddle hardtail bridge with a string-through-body. It allows easy movement and adjusting of the bridge by using the tremolo arm. The reason this is a benefit is that it helps keep your guitar in tune. It means less fiddling and adjusting to keep the instrument sounding on point. It allows for more playtime and fewer adjustments.

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar

Vintage Style & Reliable Quality

This guitar is constructed with good craftsmanship and offers a vintage look. It plays like a quality old-style guitar with all the features of a modern one. The choices of colors give some flexibility to its look but overall, it is a throwback to a time of classic looks. Its high-end pinewood body, beautiful maple fingerboard, and solid chrome components look warm and stylish. Old school style created with solid workmanship.

Range of Sound Fits Many Styles

The Modern Player Telecaster offers a wide array of tones. The triple pickup setup allows the musician to create music that will suit almost any style. A range of tones means that this guitar is going to please any beginner to play along with those who have experience. It offers versatility and an ability to experiment with various styles and genres.

Cons of the Modern Player Telecaster

Along with the pros, there will always be some cons. But, as with the pro players, many issues are based on personal preference rather than an overall issue with the guitar.

Higher Price

The price point on this guitar is high for those just starting to play.  If you are on a strict budget, then this may set you back. The price is strictly for the guitar. You will need to also purchase an amp, cables, stands, pick, and gig bag as well. The overall price is going to rise if you need to purchase all the accessories as well.

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar

Fretboard Feels Different 

Every guitar has a personal style. If you have moved beyond the simple basics of guitar playing, then the fretboard may be a bit different. If you are used to rosewood fretboards, the maple feels different. Its intonation and action may take some getting used to. This is only a negative if you are uncomfortable with the change. It is about personal preference rather than one being better than the other.

Components of the Fender Modern Player Telecaster

Body

The body is solid, and a single cutaway made of pine. The finish is a smooth gloss for good sound and easy cleaning. The pickguard is a three-ply that is black/white/black.

Neck

The neck is C shaped and made of maple. It is bolted on rather than glued. The scale length is 25.5” and has a standard truss rod. The neck finish is a gloss. The fretboard is maple as well with a radius of 9.5”. The 22 frets are jumbo size with inlay dots.

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar

Hardware

The bridge is fixed and a 6-saddle vintage style. The tailpiece is a string-thru body. The tuning machines are vintage as well and are done in a Nickel-Chrome color.

What Types of Music is the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Best For?

This guitar is great for a variety of genres.

Country

The guitar's steely sound is great for the country. Easy to play, with a wide range of tones for support.

Pop

Because the guitar has tone versatility, it can add some pop-styled sound, whether the player is strumming or picking.

Heavy Metal

The steely sound with a good middle tone means the guitar can play metal well. Add a good amp and you are set.

Classic Rock

The clarity of sound means classic rock will be great on this guitar. Its sound is classic just like its look. Perfect for any style of classic rock.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Suitable For?

The Fender Modern Player Telecaster is a full-size guitar so maybe a bit much for younger players. It is a good guitar for anyone starting out, as well as those who are accomplished. The price point is higher than a basic beginner guitar so it may be out of a new player's price range. However, if it is affordable, then it is a good guitar to grow into as the musician progresses in their playing. This guitar is meant for those who are serious about learning and playing. It's not a purchase to try out and then let sit in a corner.

What Makes the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Stand Out from the Competition?

This guitar is a throwback to good craftsmanship and classic style. While there are some great guitars on the market, the Fender Modern Player stands out. It has a good tone, quality components, and clean lines. This all comes for a reasonable price. Fender has found a way to make their product accessible to the whole market. It is not just those who have money or are expert musicians who can play a Fender. The Modern Player Telecaster stands out in a crowded market simply by being a quality class guitar.

Comparison Overview 

Fender Modern Player Telecaster vs Standard  

A significant difference between the two is the addition of the humbucker. It gives a clear and warmer sound over the Standards single coil. It has a split channel function as well, so the sound becomes brighter and stronger. The other difference is the tuning. The Modern Player is not as stable when compared to the Standard and will need adjusting more often. While this is not a big issue, it can be annoying if you are playing often and consistently have to readjust. There is also a difference in price by a few hundred dollars with the Standard being more expensive.

Fender Modern Player Telecaster vs. Squier Classic Vibe

The Modern Player has a good coil tap that the Squier doesn’t have and the pickups have some depth. The size is different as well. The Fender has a slimmer profile and is lighter in weight compared to the Squire which is chunkier. And, while the Modern Player is known for its classic style and play, the Squire is voiced more traditionally. Both are good guitars but should be played before purchase, so the musician picks the sound they prefer.

Conclusion 

The Fender Modern Player Telecaster is an all-around good guitar. It is classically designed and can be played by all levels of musicians. The price range is not outrageous and is perfect for those who want a good guitar without breaking the bank. It is made for the serious student or accomplished musicians who are looking to invest in a quality instrument.

People Also Ask

There are always some extra questions people want to be answered before buying a guitar. Here are some of the more frequent ones.

Is the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Hard to Play?

No. The maple fretboard may take getting used to if you are used to rosewood, but the guitar is easy to play. Good action and works well for all abilities.

How to Care For a Modern Player Telecaster Guitar

Basic guitar care applies to this Telecaster as well.  A light dust won’t hurt, and gentle cleaning of the fretboard is good if the strings are off. It should be on a proper stand or in its gig bag if it's not in use. The room it is kept in should also have proper humidity.

Who Plays a Modern Player Telecaster?

Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, Frank Black from the Pixies, and James Burton are musicians who like the Telecaster.

Why Your Fender Modern Player Telecaster Doesn't Stay in Tune?

Guitars are finicky when it comes to holding their tune. If the pegs are loose, the room temp is extreme, or humidity is present then the tuning can go out of whack. It can also mean that the strings need to be replaced.

How Thick is the Fender Telecaster Modern Player Body?

It is 5” thick, which makes it very easy to handle, even for younger players or those with smaller hands. 

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.