Best Telecaster Colors – Popular Classic & Modern Color Options!

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

The Telecaster is one of Fender’s best-selling guitars. It started life as the Fender Broadcaster in 1949 but was renamed the Telecaster in 1950. It would go on to become the best-selling electric guitar of all time.

The Fender Telecaster originally came in a butterscotch blonde color with a black pickguard, and that is still the favorite for many buyers, even in modern times.

There are plenty of other options available, though. Unlike the best-selling popular colors of the Stratocaster, the Telecaster is often produced in brighter and more unusual color combinations.

The Classic Telecaster Colors

Butterscotch Blonde with Black Pickguard

When it was officially released as the Telecaster in 1951, the guitar finished with a semi-transparent butterscotch blonde color and a black pickguard. From the moment of its release, this color scheme has stuck with the Telecaster and become instantly recognizable and is popular to this day.

Fun Fact: Telecasters in this color scheme are often known as Fender Blackguard due to the black pickguard and a lawsuit from Gretsch over the original ‘Broadcaster’ name!

3 Color Sunburst with Various Colored Pickguard

Just like the Stratocaster, the sunburst color design is often seen on Telecasters, and for good reason. It is a timeless look that gives off cool vibes and a slick, stylish appearance.

When it first debuted in the ‘50s, sunburst was popular right away and has never really fallen out of fashion.

In classic sunburst fashion, the Telecasters lacquered in this style will be a light golden yellow in the center, often painted with a semi-transparent or fully transparent finish, so the wood grain is visible, fading to dark brown, then black around the edges.

Often, the pickguard is white on a sunburst guitar, but also common are black and tortoiseshell color schemes.

Unusual but Popular Telecaster Colors

Daphne Blue with White or Black Pickguard

The Telecaster comes in a variety of colors, and one of the less common but more popular choices is Daphne blue, which is a light but heavily saturated blue.

Paired with a black or white pickguard, the contrast is really something! It’s easy to see why this color is one of the most popular Telecaster colors, with both longtime and new fans of the Tele.

Seafoam Green with White Pickguard

Similar to the Daphne blue, seafoam green is another bright and bold color that is growing in popularity in the guitar-playing community. Seafoam green is similar to mint green in shade, with both falling under the blue-green classification of colors.

This color scheme is more popular with a white pickguard for a lighter style but often found with a black for a more striking high-contrast look.

Sonic Blue with White Pickguard

Often confused for daphne blue, the sonic blue shade is found on Telecasters less frequently but is still a popular and eye-catching color.

Slightly paler than daphne blue, sonic blue is a more subtle and refined shade and is often used by musicians who want to retain a look of cool and collected style. For this reason, sonic blue is usually used by players in R&B and soul groups.

Shell Pink with White Pickguard

Pink is a bold choice for any instrument, but if any guitar can pull it off, it’s surely a Fender Telecaster. Shell pink is a bright statement color, and is sure to make an impression either on stage or in the studio!

Normally paired with a white pickguard to tie together the carefree and lighthearted style, this look is perfect for any player who wants to ooze confidence on stage!

Shell pink is one of those colors that works well with either a black or white pickguard, and the black can offer a high-contrast look that suits pop-punk and emo bands perfectly

The Basics

The basics are basics for a reason – they’re standards upon which to build something more interesting that grows and changes over time. And in the case of the Fender Telecaster, that has definitely happened, as you can see from the wide array of unusual colors that made their way into the most popular list.

However, these basics are still in demand!

Olympic White with Black Pickguard

Unlike the Stratocaster, the white Telecaster is usually paired with a black pickguard. Perhaps in homage to the classic butterscotch blonde and black ‘Blackguards,’ perhaps just for aesthetic reasons.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, this white and black combo has proved a steady seller for Fender over the years, and it shows no sign of stopping, despite being outsold by other colors.

Other pickguard combinations are found, too, such as white on white or tortoise shell, but they are less common.

Black with Black Pickguard

Again, the all-black look makes it onto the list! Just like the Stratocaster, and certainly many other instruments from many other brands, the black-on-black look will never really fall out of fashion.

Sleek, stylish, cool, sophisticated. As they say in the fashion world, black goes with everything, and that rings true for the music industry too! An all black Telecaster wouldn’t look out of place on any musician playing any genre.

To Summarize

So which color should you pick to make sure you’re getting the best looking Telecaster?

As you can see, Telecasters come in a wide range of colors, and many of those louder and brighter colors seem to strike a chord with Telecaster audiences more so than the Stratocaster fans.

Maybe because the Telecaster has been around fractionally longer, maybe because it’s one of the best-selling electric guitars ever, but something has inspired music fans and guitarists all over the world to splash out and make an impression with the color of their Fender Telecasters.

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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