As a musical genre traditional Jazz requires a fairly specific Guitar sound generally this has involved a very clean dry
tone with little to no effects (perhaps only a hint of reverb) usually the neck pickup is used with the resultant sound required to be clear enough to pickup the subtle nuances and articulation of the
Jazz Guitarists therefore need to carefully consider thier
Guitar when setting out luckily Jazz has been around for many years
and there is a wide selection of instruments available. Traditionally
Jazz Guitars are hollow body semi acoustics (though not always) and
these have tended to favor P90 or Humbucker style pickups to produce
the required sound as stated there are many guitars on the market
today but here we list 5 classic Jazz guitars that helped shape the
1 Gibson ES150
Made famous to the jazz community by Charlie Christian the
ES 150 became his guitar. The ES150 became one of the world’s first
commercially available electric guitars. With its single coil pickup
fitted at the neck and its acoustic shaped body with f holes the 150
has that sweet warm jazz tone that became a world favorite.
2 Gibson L5
Another of Gibson’s Jazz power trio (the others are the
ES150 and the ES175) the L5 features a large resonant body. With a
history that goes back nearly 90 years the L5 has changed a little over
this time and has featured different pickups (from P90’s to
Humbuckers). As the prestige rhythm guitar it has been played by a
variety of greats including Wes Montgomery.
3 Gibson ES-175
With it’s stylish Florentine single cutaway the ES175
represented a departure for Gibson from their usual design Debuting
in 1949 the 175 has been associated with a variety of Jazz greats
from Herb Ellis to Pat Metheny.
4 Gretsch Country Gentleman/Nashville
While Gretsch are not considered jazz guitars per se both
the Country Gent and the Nashville are able to produce both versatile
and authentic jazz tones. Both guitars offer a range of controls for
adapting the tone of the guitar and can produce some versatile jazzy
results whilst the FiterTron pickups produce something that’s unlike
it’s Gibson counterparts.
5 Fender Telecaster
With it’s sweet and mellow neck pickup tone the telecaster
offers something a little different that the usual Jazz fare –
Traditionally a country guitar the telecaster has been featured with
Jazz artists including Ed Bickert and Mike Stern.
The author runs the blog Jazzbox-Cafe
which offers a lively and fun look at the world of Jazz Guitar - offering tips
on equipment and technique and a forum for those that love the genre.
About the Author
For more information and reviews on Acoustic, Electric and Bass Guitars, Amplifiers, Guitar Strings, Cases, Effect Pedals and other equipment visit http://www.GuitarHeadz.com, the complete guide for anything you want to know about guitars and related gear.