Jazz guitars are exceptional in each of their features. Even the strings are specially tailored to jazz fashion. This is essential since jazz music is one of some kind, requiring a lot of commitment and know-how to understand and excel in this field. If you’re dedicated to this process, you will want the perfect jazz guitar from your side to ease that process.
However, what’s the ideal jazz guitar, you inquire? A well-made guitar should be comfortable to play and sturdy enough to require a while from extended hours of training. If you are still looking for the one, keep reading Fidlar’s post, we will show you the Best Jazz Guitar 2021.
Table of Contents
- 1 The History Of Jazz Guitar
- 2 Best Guitars For Jazz: Buying Guide
- 3 Best Jazz Guitar For The Money
- 3.1 1. Fender Standard Telecaster – Best Solid Body Guitar
- 3.2 2. Gretsch G100CE Synchromatic
- 3.3 3. D’Angelico EXL-1
- 3.4 4. Epiphone ES-335 Dot – Best Epiphone Guitar
- 3.5 5. Ibanez LGB30
- 3.6 6. Ibanez AKJ95
- 3.7 7. Gretsch G6118T Players Edition Anniversary
- 3.8 8. Godin 5th Avenue Jazz
- 3.9 9. Guild Starfire II – Best Hollow Body Guitar
- 3.10 10. Gibson ES-335 Premiere Figured
- 4 FAQs
The History Of Jazz Guitar
Jazz is one of the most significant genres around. Boasting a rich cultural and musical heritage with origins that could be traced back up to the late 1800s jazz dominated popular music during the 20th century. But it is reasonable to state that you may not immediately associate the electric guitar with all the genre.
Throughout the first days, the electric guitar has been seen as more of the accompanying tool. Brass, woodwind, and percussion dominated the jazz scene; the guitar has been initially utilized to complement the brass department, providing a rhythmic structure that enabled these other tools to glow.
It was not until 1923 that we watched among the earliest electric guitars specializing in jazz: the Gibson L5. This trailblazing tool started to substitute the banjo in jazz bands and orchestras due to more elastic and pioneering styles. However, the guitar was underutilized, and it might take a couple more decades before the tool climbed to prominence.
Post-WW2 marked the first significant shift. This time signaled the development of this guitar within jazz on account of the revolutionary jazz guitar players of the moment.
Django Reinhardt put a new precedent for what had been possible using this tool. He completely altered the guitar’s understanding due to his cutting-edge songs like Djangology and minor Swing.
Progress from then on was speedy. The’70s further afield jazz guitar because of its unique design, together with legendary musicians such as Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin indicating it firmly on the musical map. It has gone from strength to strength ever since, using a modern concrete landscape growing worldwide.
Best Guitars For Jazz: Buying Guide
Before you buy a jazz guitar or perhaps pick on a single, you will find a couple of questions you will need to ask yourself. You have to settle the shape, design, and tonal selection in a means that’s by your budget.
Every guitar style has some inherent demands connected with that. You are going to need to jot down your needs and determine which type matches them best.
As a guideline, archtops provide an organic jazzy tone, solid-body forms lean towards the digital side, whereas semi-hollow body boosters fall someplace in the center.
I have made sure to incorporate several budget-friendly possibilities, which may be convenient if you are new to the area of jazz guitars. And if you are a veteran player, I have added pro-grade selections from the round-up too. If you want to read about other excellent guitar versions, look at our most recent post.
There are three distinct guitar styles you can pick from. Let us explore every one.
Archtop, or hollow-body guitars, have been timeless retro devices and have been in existence for some time. They have a very long history with legendary jazz musicians also feature a set of f-holes that are thought to aid with audio projection.
Despite their warmer bodies, Archtops are more comfortable performing than the other two styles. Furthermore, they produce that jazz tone, making jazz guitars exceptional.
A drawback to this type is that the comments may be lessened but can not be removed. And as you may have guessed already, these dogs are not affordable. They are also awkward to deal with and provide next to no tone variant.
The size of the jazz guitar falls somewhere between the tight Archtops and solid body guitars. Where Archtops are restricted for their genre, semi-hollow bodies are a lot more versatile. They are famous for producing that smooth and warm tone unique to jazz songs.
They also provide you with the natural jazz tone you crave, at more than strong body ones. Additionally, it is worth noting that this fashion budget-friendly.
Even though they’re bigger than Archtops, their dimensions may still be somewhat too large for some gamers.
While solid-body guitars are not technical, they are frequently played with jazz guitarists. They have a beefier quantity and are free in the comments you notice at the other two types. They are more commonly associated with country and rock genres since they supply tone variant.
The only possible drawback to sound body guitars is the absence of this jazz tone, which I said previously. Consequently, if that is something that you can not do with no conventional Archtop will be the ideal match for you.
While it might not matter to everyone, the aesthetics of the option also may not interest you if you’re searching for a guitar that appears more jazz-like.
Best Jazz Guitar For The Money
1. Fender Standard Telecaster – Best Solid Body Guitar
I would be remiss if I did not include a Fender within this rundown. Their iconic style, superb electronic equipment, and unique playability distinguish them from the rest, and this familiar Telecaster is no exclusion.
This guitar is made of solid alder and comes in a couple of different end versions. You are considering Black, Arctic White, Butterscotch Blonde, and Candy Apple Red. You can not go wrong with one of these choices, each of them drop-dead stunning timeless classics.
It features two reputable Standard Single-Coil Tele pickups that make this guitar flexible. It’s flexible enough to manage not just jazz but virtually any genre.
The tones are crispy, understated, and mellow. The asking price is much less steep as the American-made version, either. There is nothing to dislike about this product, but for the tinkering involved in setting up the neck and neck appropriately. And this is the best guitar brands under 1000.
- Clear and vivid tones
- Appealing aesthetics
- Tried-and-tested electrics
- Takes a while to set up
2. Gretsch G100CE Synchromatic
Let us begin with the look. You are taking a look at a layered walnut body and an arched top layout with a refined matte finish that reminds you of guitars in the early 40s. And to add to this retro appearance, it features a classic jazz pickguard and curved f-holes. Long story short, this pup is a wonder.
When most guitars from this course feature double pickups, Gretsch chose to proceed with a single-coil pickup to keep matters straightforward, also, you get control knobs for tone and volume and a cable jack when you want to plug.
The tones are rich, well-rounded, and have loads of volume. The choice to ditch the two pickups in favor of a single-coil pickup slightly restricts the flexibility. This is the very best guitar to buy.
- Vintage-themed Appearance
- Fantastic noise
- Adequate craftsmanship
- Single-coil pickup
- Infinity R pickups feature warm, balanced articulation and excellent response for various music genres
- Art-St Bridge provides tuning stability
- Easy access to higher notes
3. D’Angelico EXL-1
John D’Angelico is admired as the leading archtop guitar manufacturer of the jazz era. Depending on the first Excel cutaway, the EXL-1 is a Korean-made big-bodied attractiveness.
The neck feels unnaturally old-school using a thickly asymmetric-feeling C profile; the EX-SS’s channel features an identical personality. As an acoustic guitar archtop, the EXL-1 does not just kick out a massive volume amount. Still, it is instantly characterful, having a neatly trimmed and very straight tonality and short-ish, however adequate to sustain.
Plugged in, the EXL-1 adopts a stately tonality. Knock the tone back, and a gorgeous, clear bell-like sound emerges. There is no massive selection of sounds but enough to go out of old, darker jazz musicians to more modern clarity.
The EXL-1 remembers a genuine bygone era once the jazz guitarist ruled the roost, and when that is where you place your sights, it is among the very best of its kind we have struck at this cost.
- Bell-like jazz tone
- Actual character
- Nicely made
- As a jazz box, it does not offer a Massive array, tonally.
4. Epiphone ES-335 Dot – Best Epiphone Guitar
Close to the start of Epiphone’s Thinline semi-acoustic array is the Dot’, depending on the classic and mythical Gibson ES-335. The Dot feels comfortable to hold and play with, as well as also the neck, while by no way clunky, feels substantial in your hands, probably on account of the 43mm width at the nut.
Its slightly flattened C-profile increases in thickness further up the throat, making for a suitably classic feel of the acoustic issues onto a lovely, resonant ring.
We would bet Dot’s all-maple construction has something to do with this, but obviously, the hollow pits fortify the acoustic tone, causing wry smiles to people listening.
Before plugging in, listen to Ronny Jordan, subsequently Noel Gallagher, later BB King, afterward George Harrison, and John Lennon. It becomes immediately evident that this kind of guitar is hugely flexible.
This Dot is no exception: the pickups, although not packing the punch of USA PAFs, provide everything from smooth and darkened, front-position mellowness to screeching, bridge ranking rawk. It is among the most excellent electric guitars for jazz at this price point, also. The Dot seems nice, sounds great jazz, and performs excellently. To our heads, that is the best inexpensive guitar.
- Well-built and cool-looking
- Versatile with entirely usable tones
- It is not a real’ Gibson
- Some gamers can find a more modern-feeling neck.
- New Epiphone ES-style Design
- Three P-90 Pickups
- Gold Hardware and Bigsby
- SlimTaper D Profile Neck
- Maple Body
5. Ibanez LGB30
Despite its reputation for shredder tools, Ibanez’s first big-name signature guitarist was George Benson, whose GB array has enjoyed near some 40-year lifespan. The LGB30 (LGB means Small George Benson) sports a laminated spruce top with laminate maple sides and back.
The walnut’s fire is subtle and seems trendy and timeless beneath the Vintage Yellow Sunburst complete. The set neck is a three-piece laminate with 2 outer veneer strips and an interior slice of walnut. Plugged in (we used both a Fender Blues Junior and AER Compact 60), it is intriguing to learn how the Super 58 pickups get on.
Beginning with all the LGB30’s neck pickup, there is a rich, warm tone, definitely improved from the flat-wound strings. Tweaking the controllers yields everything from emotion to get chime-y chords or bitter individual notes along with a roster of jazz legends springs to mind, from Wes Montgomery and Grant Green into (obviously ) Benson and contemporary Lee Ritenour.
There’s no lack of f-hole guitars available on the market at sub-par 1k costs. However, the LGB30 holds its own: it is merely a fantastic Hollowbody with tasteful pricey appearances and has lots of potential in jazz, jazz, or Americana fashions. A one-trick pony that isn’t. These are the top guitars to buy.
- Superb build quality
- Impressive, elastic tones
- Fantastic value for money
- The body might be too large for some.
6. Ibanez AKJ95
Ibanez has corned the grassroots jazz marketplace. The AKJ95 stocks a comparable thickness, scale span, and pointed Florentine cutaway because of its Gibson ES-175 inspiration, the entire body is a little smaller; 400mm (15.75 inches) compared to 413mm (16.25 inches) across its curved lower spells.
Acoustically, it is a tiny light and glowing but plugged in, the Super 58 humbuckers, together with flat wound strings, produce a bright-edged, ultra-modern jazz voice till you back off the tones.
Through an acoustic amp, a velveteen smooth jazz feel appears; if shown on the front end of a crunchy valve amp (see the comments ), the depth is striking and perfect for more modern grit. A fantastic start-up jazz box to the critical student – or even cool-toned, evocative-looking electrical for the rest of us.
- Fantastic jazz tones
- Beautiful finish
- Ideal newcomer archtop
- Speed knobs are not the most traditional.
- Infinity R pickups feature warm, balanced articulation and excellent response for various music genres
- Art-St Bridge provides tuning stability
- Easy access to higher notes
7. Gretsch G6118T Players Edition Anniversary
The G6118T Players Edition features bracing, a trapped Rocking Bar bridge,string-thru Bigsby, strap locks, locking tuners, and Tusq XL nut, and those Squeezebox caps, a treble-bleed circuit, No-Load tone baskets, and thinner 2.25-inch body. Gretsch’s very own Alnico-loaded High Sensitive Filter’Trons.
Beautifully made and with a few lovely period-correct details combined with more new concessions, there is little we do not like here. Considerably reduced in price, the Players Editions are near cousins into Gretsch’s current reissue versions and would be ideal for people for rockier, less Gretsch-style excursions the brand new string-thru Bigsby alone will fix what many people locate a chore: restringing.
- Workingman’s Gretsch with Fantastic updates
- Locking tuners
- String-thru Bigsby
- Might require a treble elevator to Acquire the right twang
- None for jazz purists
8. Godin 5th Avenue Jazz
The 5th Avenue Jazz also includes a Venetian cutaway and an all-laminate body, constructed entirely from wild cherry onto the all-black model or, as here, with additional flame maple facings.
The activity is a bit on the broadside from the box, but we’ve got a very playable guitar with a generally laminate archtop-like pushy mid-range projection. Plugged in, the humbucker drops us the right to that timeless jazz land using a full-bodied voice, which has just the ideal amount of clarity to reproduce complex voicings correctly.
However, not too much, so that more splendid series runs and pops sound thick and powerful, not lean and stringy. The Jazz is undoubtedly aimed at the experienced jazz participant.
Yes, that neck toss and bridge appear on the broadside, and the general lightweight and elegant build, and of course decent playability, a new fingerboard with lots of atmosphere to the series spacing, a playful acoustic, and quite jazz-specific plugged-in voice all tick the right boxes.
- Luxuriant construct
- Classy feel
- Jazz-specific tonality both acoustically and plugged in.
- The neck pitch/bridge elevation is a little steep; the side-mounted jack socket can operate loose.
- Made in North America
- Double-Action Truss Rod
- Canadian Silver Leaf Maple Neck
- Cut-away Body
- 2 Godin Kingpin P90 single-coil pickups
9. Guild Starfire II – Best Hollow Body Guitar
The Newark St Collection remembers a few of Guild’s classic’50s and’60s guitars but assembles them in Korea. The Starfire variety released in 1960 has been enormously successful, attracting gamers like Duane Eddy and George Benson. Of course, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Lightin’ Hopkins, and Robert Lockwood Jr.
The Starfire II is a 419mm (16.5-inch) overall hollow body with a thin line thickness (48mm in the bottom ) and only ‘Florentine’ cutaway. Though it does not possess a complete center block, there’s a large-ish block that joins top to the rear and can be used to mount the tune-o-Matic-style stud and bridge tailpiece it is not vintage-specific, but if add a bit more solidity and keep to the noise.
The controller setup is pure Gibson without a master volume. However, the knobs might look the part. The LH-1 ‘Small Bucker’ pickups don’t only remember the initial Guild units in look but also catch the’ halfway between one coil and a full-sized humbucker tonality that provide this its virtual calling card.
They seem fantastic, adding clarity to the hollow body frame that is equally important for old-style Jazz since it’s rootsy, alt-rock gain and crunch. Okay, it’s mostly open so that comments can be a problem, but get it done right, hit on a new increase into the front-end of a Fender-style amp as well as the item damn near takes off. Glorious.
- Superb pickups
- Comfortable Hollowbody playability
- Feedback could be a problem.
- None for thicker styles
10. Gibson ES-335 Premiere Figured
A thermally designed center block and bracing create this 335 acoustically louder, open, and with much more clarity. The burst shirt and rear also appear more contemporary than the vintage, whereas the translucent dark brown/ almost-black sides and neck-back completely add contrast that produces an elegant look, together with the nickel components.
Also, we receive a lightweight aluminum stop tailpiece with locking claws, but that is all-very-classic ES-335 fare, like the little block inlays along with the tiny fleur head emblem.
Again, Gibson’s assemble specs inform us we’ve MHS buckers and also here that the Memphis Tone Circuit’ includes matched baskets having a tight five percent tolerance, together with precisely the same orange fall tone caps as the ES-275. Plugged in, it is like most of our Christmases have come at the same time.
As you would expect, there is a more substantial body answer, and it pushes out the noise. It is costly, but as an investment, one of the most excellent electric guitars available on the market.
- Probably the Greatest non-historic ES-335 out there
- Superlative tones
- A Critical investment
- Detailed, intricate design miniature replica magnet
- Will stick to anything metal such as refrigerators
- Made of resin, metal and wood
- Comes in box for easy wrapping if giving as a gift
- Approx. Dimensions: 4 x 1.25 x 0.75
1. Why are Les Pauls so expensive?
Les Pauls are generally more expensive than other guitars due to the construction techniques: set neck, binding, wood species, labor, etc. To put things into perspective, electric guitars are relatively inexpensive compared to other instruments. If you want a Les Paul and don’t want to spend a lot, get a Studio.
2. What AMP does John Scofield use?
On the latest album, Überjam Deux, he also used a Fender Custom Shop Relic’d Strat and a mid-’70s Ibanez T-style guitar. When backline is provided, Scofield requests two reissue Vox AC30TB amps and then chooses to use them during soundcheck. When possible, his preference is for pre-2006 models.
3. Why single coils are better?
Physically narrow with a well-focused magnetic field, they exhibit a higher frequency response than broader pickups. Single coils produce Great Clarity and High-Frequency Response but are susceptible to picking up electromagnetic interference noise known as the 50/60Hz hum.
4. What makes a good jazz guitar?
The Gibson ES-175 has long been one of the most popular and famous jazz guitar on the market. Its playability, consistent, clean tone, and durable nature make it the go-to choice for many legendary players, including Pat Metheny and Joe Pass. They played this guitar at different points in their careers.
Last update on 2020-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API