Question I should know the answer to...


J to the R O C
This has been discussed before, but why do Teles hum when you don't touch the body/strings/bridge? I know that this suggests an earthing issue, but in my experience S-type guitars don't hum anywhere near as much as a Tele. I've played a variety of Teles at various price points and they all seem prone to some serious hum when they're not being touched. I can't see why Fender would opt to ground a Strat and not a Tele, so there has to be something more to this, right?


Son of Yoda
I think you should submit to a voluntary rename (NotTelePaul) until we sort this out TP! :D

No idea, sorry. Only ever played a Tele once and it was a pretty noisy beast, so I can confirm that much, on that single guitar, at least.. :(

buzzard bass

Hum is single coils, ground issues are buzzes. My Ric 4001 hummed like a bastard, now it buzzes cause it needs to see the doctor. Warwick basses have hum canceling on board actives so you can really get the most bite out of single coils without the hum. My Dolphin has a killer pup called a twin J where both coils are wound the same direction, without the actives it would likely be unplayable.


J to the R O C
Sure I get that single coils are prone to 50/60 cycle hum, it's the nature of the beast and all that. What I'm curious about is the ground hum that I associate almost exclusively with Teles...I say ground hum because I'm sure that touching the strings/ridge/body of the guitar is acting as some kind of an Earth. Would anyone care to clarify as to whether this is in fact totally normal?


Cosmic Cowboy
My Tele doesn't really hum just because it's a Tele....though it sure can sing! :D ;)

Yeah...stepping close to amps or computer monitors and other electronics will cause hum with single coil pups...but that depends on proximity. Moving a few feet away and/or rotating your position will usually remove all of that.

Sometimes adding a few pedals to the equation can upset the grounding (even with humbucker pup guitars), or certain amps will be worse than others if their grounding isn't right...
...and you get either a low-level hum or it can be real noticeable...but then when you touch the strings it goes away.

Certain lighting fixtures can also cause single-coil pups to hum. The pickup is basically a magnetic antenna...and single-coil design tends to pick up external interference/noise easier while humbuckers are designed to reject it....sorta’ like a balanced audio line does.