Capture the magic of the ‘master of the Telecaster’, Albert Collins, as we look at his signature soloing technique
One of the original Texas bluesmen, by the age of 18, Albert Collins had discovered the cutting sound he wanted to achieve was most easily coaxed from the Fender Telecaster. This was originally the single pickup Esquire variant (which was cheaper), before moving to the Telecaster Custom for the rest of his career.
Albert’s playing style was unusual as he preferred to use an open F minor tuning (low to high: FC F Ab C F) usually with a capo placed around the 5th to 7th frets – depending on the key signature. This led to a distinctive choice of notes that might not fall under the fingers as instinctively in the guitar’s standard tuning but can be emulated once you are familiar with Albert’s phrasing. For convenience, we’ve used standard tuning for this month’s tab examples – and no capo required.
The first three examples are inspired by Albert’s early 60s playing with a deft touch and distorted tone on a soft sounding neck pickup. The last two are modelled on his late 80s/early 90s era, using a bridge pickup and playing fingerstyle as Albert did, to really ‘snap’ those strings back against the fretboard for lots of bite. A medium drive tone and touch of reverb should give a suitable sound.