You are currently viewing Telecaster Dimensions – A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

Let’s face it. Teles do feel different. And they are not for everyone. If you want to check some dimensions so that you can make the best choice or you are here just out of pure curiosity…this is the right place. Thank you for entering our world, let’s get started.

Author: Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover.

Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music.

Whenever Santiago is not pouring all that experience and love for the instrument into articles, you can find him playing live shows supporting his music and poetry books as “Sandel”. If he’s not doing either of those, you can also find him gigging with his band, “San Juan”, writing, reading, or enjoying the Sun.

displays Edward Bond and Gibson Guitar

Editor: Edward Bond

Edward has been playing the guitar since 2002. So Edward has over 20 years of experience as a guitarist, has authored 15 guitar books, has written for renowned music blogs, and spent a decade teaching music. He began merging his passion for writing and music in 2020 and has written for big guitar websites such as Guitar Head Publishing and KillerGuitarRigs.com.

Originally from Seattle, Edward moved to Norway in 2021 for a master’s in music. He’s studied at the Jazz Institute Berlin and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and currently resides in Trondheim. His education includes a European Jazz Master’s, a diploma in Film and Game Scoring from Sofia, and a Bachelor’s in Jazz from University of Oregon.

Edward has played in numerous bands and currently, Edward works on his own project Starship Infinity


Leo Fender’s first solid-body electric guitar caused a revolution in the music world of the ’50s. Nowadays, though, the Fender Telecaster continues to write history in the hands of virtuosos, stars, legends, and beginners alike.

But is the Telecaster the right guitar for you? Well, we will talk about Tele Dimensions so you can make an informed decision based on your preferences.

By the way, I’ve been in love with my Telecaster for at least 15 years. Therefore, there’s one thing or two I can tell you about every corner of this gorgeous instrument. Furthermore, I can tell you exactly how it feels to play it for hours.

Ready? It’s my favorite time: Tele time!


Fender Telecaster measurements & Dimensions

Consistency separates you and them.

Fender Telecaster Body Dimensions

Let’s start by talking about the Telecaster’s body dimensions. I have to tell you that although most of us Telecaster lovers swear by our vintage and Custom Shop replicas, modern guitars have contours and reliefs here and there.

That said, Telecaster length, Telecaster body shape, and Telecaster size remain the same throughout most of the Fender catalog. When it comes to Telecaster width, you’ll find thinner bodies from brands like Suhr and also the new PRS NF53. Indeed, these bodies aren’t just slimmer; they also sport contours for added comfort.

image showing Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Electric Guitar finished in Butterscotch Blonde
The definitive telecaster? Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Electric Guitar – Butterscotch Blonde

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂

That said, these are the measurements of a typical Telecaster:

DimensionImperialMetric
Overall Length38.5”97.79cm
Body Length17”43.18cm
Body Width (at Lower Bout)13”33.02cm
Body Depth/Thickness1.75”4.44cm
Scale Length25.5”64.77cm
Weight8 lbs. (average)3.6kg (average)

The Fender Telecaster: A Short History

Telecaster Neck Dimensions

The Fender-approved 25 ½” scale length is consistently the choice of most Telecaster manufacturers.

This might be related to keeping the string tension for the characteristic tele twang and percussiveness. 

Yes, string tension and scale length are directly related.

I went through the four neck shapes available from Fender. What you can see next are the dimensions of the different options.

Neck ProfileNeck LengthNeck WidthNeck ThicknessNeck radius
C-Shape25.39”/64.5cm1.65”/4.2cm0.83”/2.1cm7.25″/18.4cm
D-Shape25.39”/64.5cm1.63”/4.1cm0.85”/2.2cm10-14”/25.4-35.6cm
U-Shape25.39”/64.5cm1.60”/4cm0.94”/2.4cm7.25″/18.4cm
V-Shape25.39”/64.5cm1.60”/4cm0.91”/2.3cm9.5”/24.1cm

These are the models used as reference:

  • C-Shape: Vintera II ’60s Telecaster
  • D-Shape: American Ultra Luxe Telecaster
  • U-Shape: Vintera ’50s Telecaster
  • V-Shape: JV Modified ’60s Custom Telecaster

Telecaster Fretboard Dimensions

How a neck feels is a definite game-changer for how a Telecaster feels. If you pick up a Telecaster with a U-shaped neck (AKA baseball bat), it feels big and bulky in your palm. This is the opposite of a thinner, faster, modern C-shaped neck.

But how a guitar plays has more to do with the Telecaster fretboard radius than with the Telecaster neck shape. The differences in the fretboard radius can mean that a bend dies before reaching the second note. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever bent a string on a 7.25” radius.

Similarly, when the radius is too flat, chords and arpeggios might not be as comfortable. Some guitars have fretboards with a compound radius, making them perfect for doing both.

Neck ProfileFretboard radiusNut WidthNumber of Frets
C-Shape7.25”/18.4cm1.650″21
D-Shape10”-14”/25.4-35.6cm compound radius1.685″22
U-Shape7.25”/18.4cm1.650″21
V-Shape9.5”/24.1cm1.650″21

The models used as reference are the same as the chart above.

image showing Fender Limited Edition Suona Telecaster Thinline finished in Violin Burst
Fender Limited Edition Suona Telecaster Thinline – Violin Burst

Neck and Bridge Pickup Dimensions

Throughout the past decades, Telecaster’s body thickness and body materials have changed, but the company standardized pickup cavities and dimensions. That way, you can buy aftermarket replacements for both pickups.

Let’s see what those dimensions are:

Neck PickupBridge Pickup
Length3.12”2.87”
Height0.68”0.73”
Width0.52”1.5”

In all measurements, the baseplate and cover are included.

How To Make A Telecaster Body… Fast As Lightning!

Key Features of Telecasters

  • Twang: Sonically, Telecasters are famous for their twang. 

But what is twang? Well, it’s the percussive element in a Telecaster’s tone that sits comfortably in the mid-high frequencies. This results from the steel-mounted bridge pickup, the tonewood selection, and the string-through-body construction. Most importantly, you won’t likely find this sound on other guitar models.

  • Reliability & Durability: There’s a common agreement among guitar players: Telecasters are virtually indestructible. 

You can see Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, or any other Telecaster legend playing their fifties models loud and proud night after night. Plus, being so simple makes them as reliable as easy to fix. Believe me, I’ve been the player whose Tele bridge pickup died two hours before the show and played that night with a replacement pickup found in a pawn shop and installed the same day.

  • Versatility: Telecasters can be found on virtually any stage around the world. 

They’re the ultimate songwriter tool and have been used to play rock and roll, country, rockabilly, pop, heavy metal, and any other style you can think of. Furthermore, since it’s such a popular instrument, you can buy mods by third-party companies for any part, from pickups to tuning pegs.

3 Best Telecasters – My Favorites

Best Overall – Fender American Ultra Luxe Telecaster

image showing Fender American Ultra Luxe Telecaster finished in Surf Green with Rosewood Fingerboard
Fender American Ultra Luxe Telecaster – Surf Green with Rosewood Fingerboard

Best Budget – Fender Vintera ‘70s Telecaster Custom

image showing Fender Vintera '50s Telecaster finished in Sonic Blue
Fender Vintera ’50s Telecaster – Sonic Blue

Best Premium – Fender Custom Shop Custom Telecaster ’60

image showing Fender Custom Shop Limited-edition '60 Telecaster Journeyman Relic Electric Guitar finished in Gold Sparkle
Fender Custom Shop Limited-edition ’60 Telecaster Journeyman Relic Electric Guitar – Gold Sparkle

Conclusion

Regardless of body measurements, customization options, and limited-edition models, the Telecaster has remained largely unmodified for the past 70 years.

In other words, Leo and his team got it right at the first attempt.

Later, different slim-C profile necks appeared with various options for string spacing, bridges, and body materials. Yet, the guitar’s essence remains the same: a workhorse for the discerning musician.

There are many models to choose from in the market. We saw some of the best ones and clarified what each measurement means for you, the player.

Are you ready to make your decision and bring a Tele home?

Let me know in the comments below what was your choice and why. Who knows, we can be tele buddies!


FAQs

What are the Dimensions of a Fender Telecaster?

The dimensions of a Fender Telecaster are approximately:

  • Overall length: 38.5”
  • Body width: 13”
  • Body depth: 1.75”

What is the Scale Length of a Standard Telecaster?

The standard scale length for all Fender instruments is 25.5”, including the Telecaster.

What are the Dimensions of a Fender Telecaster Neck?

The most common Telecaster neck shape made by Fender is the C shape. Thus, these are the average dimensions of such a neck.

Neck Profile Neck Length Neck Width Neck Thickness Neck radius
C-Shape 25.39” 1.65” 0.83” 7.25”

Is the Telecaster Good for Beginners?

Yes, the Telecaster is a great guitar for beginners since you can play virtually any style. Also, it’s a great songwriting tool.

What is the Standard Neck Shape for a Telecaster?

Most Telecasters you’ll find in the market sport either C-shaped or D-shaped necks.

Is the Telecaster Heavier than the Les Paul?

Comparing a Les Paul with a Telecaster is common since both guitars were released in the same year, 1952. Telecasters tend to be lighter because mahogany is usually heavier than alder or ash. Also, construction-wise, Les Pauls are archtop guitars that add a maple top to the weight of the mahogany body. In summary, Telecasters tend to be lighter than Les Pauls.

Is There a Short-Scale Telecaster?

Fender made a short-scale Telecaster in 2012-13. The model came out under the name Telecaster Modern Player Short Scale. The company reduced the scale from 25.5” to 24” and reduced the body to match the neck.

Although they’re very hard to find, you might come across one used.

Honey I Shrunk The Telecaster! | Fender Modern Player Short Scale Telecaster

Will a Stratocaster Neck Fit on a Telecaster?

The answer to this question is “yes and vice versa.” Some players, like Keith Urban, prefer Telecaster necks on their Stratocasters. But back to Telecasters, the ’70s Deluxe Telecasters came from the factory with a Stratocaster neck.

These are the ones you can buy nowadays from Fender:

  • American Professional II Telecaster Deluxe
  • Vintera II ’70s Telecaster Deluxe
  • American Vintage II 1975 Telecaster Deluxe
  • Kingfish Telecaster Deluxe
  • Chris Shiflett Telecaster Deluxe
  • Vintera ’70s Telecaster Deluxe

Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Pure Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover. Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music. You can connect with Santiago on LinkedIn or just email him.
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RayNoble

Thanks for the good read, but you didn’t mention rolled edges, which is what I am looking for in a tele.

Teemu Suomala

Thanks for both visiting and taking the time to comment Ray. What would you like to know about rolled edges?