[SOLVED!] Telecaster With No Pickguard: Is It A Good Setup?


Designed to prevent the surface area of guitars from being scratched by the picks, pickguard is a common feature on modern guitars including Telecaster (Fender). Still, despite the usefulness of pickguard, many people find it redundant and opt to use their Telecaster with no pickguard. If you also consider removing the pickguard on your Telecaster and need some information on the final result, you have come to the right place. Down below is everything you must keep in mind about the setup.


For your information, unless you use your picks in an aggressive manner while performing, there is no need to keep the pickguard around. When a need arises, you may get rid of the pickguard and your Telecaster will still work like usual. In fact, once the pickguard is out of the way, the aesthetic value of the instrument should increase as the surface area is now visible in its entirety. If you care about look, Telecaster with no pickguard should suit you well in most of the cases. 

 How To Remove The Pickguard 

Note: If you lack confidence, you should take your Telecaster to an instrument store and have the pickguard removed there. The last thing you want to do is to damage your Telecaster as you attempt to remove the pickguard. 

  • Step 1: Remove all the strings.
  • Step 2: Unscrew all the screws. 
  • Step 3: Slide the pickguard toward the bridge. If something gets in the way (for example, neck pickup), don’t hesitate to remove it. Next, lift up the pickguard once its neck is free to take it out. Last but not least, put everything back together, strike some chords and see how things turn out. 


How do I protect my guitar from scratches and keep its surface area visible at the same time?

If you put aesthetics above all else but have concerns about scratches caused by picks, invest in a translucent pickguard. Featuring see-through materials, translucent pickguards simultaneously prevent the surface area of guitars from being scratched and provide an unobstructed view of their body. Nowadays, instrument stores offer translucent pickguards in all shapes and sizes so you only need to find one that fits your Telecaster.  The cost varies depending on the model but you won’t have to pay too much. 

Is the presence of pickguards make a big impact on the tone of guitars?

To put it plainly, for most of the time, pickguards have next to no impact on the tone of guitars. At Fender, the production of Telecaster makes extensive use of wood owing to its resonant properties: wood increases the sustain and depth of the tone. Meanwhile, pickguards usually feature plastic which is not exactly good at facilitating the travel of sound vibration. That being said, compared to guitars, pickguards simply prove too small to affect the tone in a considerable fashion. 

What is the best Telecaster model on the market?

All in all, the differences in preferences meant the community is at odds once it comes to the best Telecaster model available for purchase. Still, if you prioritize all-around performance, it’s suggested that you give the following models some thought:

Fender Player Telecaster ($699.99)

Boasting everything that people expect from a guitar, Fender Player Telecaster never fails to please in use. The fit and finish of Player Telecaster is spot-on so it’s by all accounts a joy to look at. Besides that, the well-rounded single-coil pickup permits guitarists to adapt the instrument to a multitude of settings. Last but not least, since the Fender guitar is available at an affordable price, you don’t have to scale back your spendings to grab it. 


  • Balanced 
  • Versatile and flexible


  • Not everyone like the bent-steel saddles

Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum ($1,299.99)

Released as a neck-humbucking variant of Performer Telecaster, Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum receives favorable reviews from all sorts of guitarists. The incorporation of the humbucker delivers warmth, sustain and depth to the tone. Moreover, thanks to the Greasebucket tone circuit, American Performer Telecaster Hum lets people roll off the treble and avoid adding bass at once. The clarity is also good if you prefer to soften the top end. 


  • Aesthetically pleasing 
  • Up-to-date specs


  • Tricky to set up

Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster ($824)

For novice guitarists that worry about playability while shopping for guitars, Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster is a solid choice. The no-nonsense layout of features on Deluxe Nashville Telecaster means people can get used to it in a matter of moments. From the Noiseless pickups to the bridge saddles, everything on the Fender guitar should help you strike chords as you see fit. In terms of affordability, while Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster cost a bit more than other models, its values justify its price tag.


  • Second-to-one playability
  • High endurance


  • Sporadic complaints about quality control