Who Plays Fender Telecaster Thinline? Legends. That’s Who…

what is Fender Telecaster Thinline

Here’s a list of just some of the guitar icons that have used Fender Telecaster Thinline guitars during the past 50 years or so…



The Fender Telecaster Thinline does not get any way near the credit it deserves. For tones, there’s nothing else quite like it. You get that Tele twang with an added ocean of depth beneath it. That’s cool, right? I mean, WHO wouldn’t want that?

I’ve owned a couple in my time, my current is a cheaper MIM one, and I cannot think of another guitar that sounds and plays quite like it.

You don’t care about me, though. You’re interested in the greats that have used Tele Thinlines over the years to lay down some of the most iconic guitar tracks of all time. The list isn’t extensive. But there’s plenty of big names on there.

Let’s dig in…

Who Plays Fender Telecaster Thinline Guitars?

fender thinline tele

From the country tunes of Buck Owens to the soulful notes of Curtis Mayfield, the jazz rhythms of Bill Frisell to the rock anthems of Thom Yorke, the Thinline Telecaster has proven its mettle as a musical chameleon.

Let’s go into a little bit more detail…

Buck Owens

Buck Owens, the American singer and guitarist, is one of the first names that come to mind when talking about the country music genre and Fender Telecasters.

His love for the bright, cutting tone of Telecasters was evident in his music. The Thinline, with its lighter body and warm resonance, was a tool that enhanced his classic country sound, adding a new dimension to his music.

Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield, a legend in the soul music genre, was known for his distinct sound, much of which was realized on a Fender Telecaster. The Thinline Telecaster’s warm, resonant tones complemented Mayfield’s soulful melodies, providing a rich sonic backdrop for his emotive vocal style.

Bill Frisell

In the realm of jazz, Bill Frisell’s name is often mentioned in the same breath as the Telecaster. The Thinline’s semi-hollow body and clear, articulate tone make it a perfect companion for Frisell’s explorations into jazz and beyond.

The nuanced tones of the Thinline Telecaster allow for expressive phrasing, essential in the jazz genre.

Thom Yorke

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke is a modern-day testament to the Thinline Telecaster’s adaptability. Yorke’s playing on the Thinline Telecaster has showcased the guitar’s ability to rock, providing the crisp, clear tones essential for cutting through the mix in rock music.

You can really hear the iconic sound of the Thinline on Radiohead’s Creep.

Can You Use It For Metal Though?

Plenty of players think you need a specific guitar to play metal and that just simply is NOT the case. The Thinline is a great example of a guitar that, while not traditionally designed for metal, can be used for heavier music with the right setup.

I use a noise gate in front of my fuzz pedal (complete with octave dropper) and I can get some properly tasty tones out of my Thinline.

Chelsea Wolfe does something similar with her semi-hollow guitar: she tunes low (C-Standard) and amps up the fuzz and gain. The result? A seriously thick, dense, organic sound that, when paired with a decent amp, will sound freakin’ huge.

So, yeah, you can use the Fender Tele Thinline for metal and don’t let anyone tell ya you can’t…

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