1966 Fender Telecaster: Custom Candy Apple Red

This ''66 Tele features a maple cap fingerboard and Candy Apple Red finish

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By the mid-sixties, the Fender Telecaster had become one of the most visible and audible guitars in pop music. It was an especially important ingredient in the sound of Bakersfield Country (Buck Owens, Don Rich, Roy Nichols, James Burton), and Memphis Soul (Steve Cropper, Jimmy King). The Telecaster was also a strong presence on blues and rock ‘n’ roll records (Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, Jimmy Page). The Tele’s affordability, simplicity, durability, and clear sound made it the choice of many working pros.

This month’s featured Telecaster Custom has details common to most Teles of 1966: “double line” Kluson Tuners, “F” stamped neck plate, three-ply white pickguard, “Pat. No” bridge with threaded steel saddles and gold “Transition” Fender logo. Just being a 1966 Telecaster Custom makes this a rare guitar, but adding the maple cap fingerboard (rosewood was standard) and the Candy Apple Red finish (Sunburst was standard) makes it ultra-desirable. The heavy fingerboard wear showcases the shortcomings of the Nitrocellulose lacquer finish used by Fender until 1968. The body wear allows the undercoat of metallic gold (silver was used from 1963 to 1965) to show through. Finally, science fiction fans may be interested to know that the stamped neck date of September 1966 coincides with Star Trek’s television debut.

More detailed information on Telecasters can be found in The Fender Telecaster by A.R. Duchossoir

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All photos credit Tim Mullally
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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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