Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (2022)

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (1)

How do you define what the makes the best jazz guitars? That’s a question for the ages. Perhaps any good electric guitar could do the job, as long as it wasn’t fitted with nuclear-powered humbuckers. Why not, right? Jazz is a style, a sensibility. But it’s also a sound, and even in the improvisational fiefdom of jazz guitar, there are rules – or at least conventions – that have guided the hand of manufacturers and players over the years.

When we think about the jazz guitar, we think of a hollowbody or semi-hollow design. We think of an organic, acoustic earthiness that comes alive when played through a guitar amp. There is an almost piano-esque attack, with a little trebly sharpness to articulate often complex phrases. Maybe that’s the key to a great jazz guitar – finding that balance between the acoustic qualities of a semi-hollow or hollowbody build, and the clarity of an electric guitar; between warmth and precision.

In this guide we feature the best guitars for jazz, covering all budgets and styles, from the traditional to the contemporary. If you want to get straight to our top choices, keep on scrolling. If you would like a little more guidance, hit the buying advice button above.

  • Sound like EVH and Angus Young with the best rock guitars
  • The best blues guitars for budding Bonamassas

Best jazz guitars: Our top picks

You could throw a dart at the D’Angelico hollowbody catalogue and come up trumps with a top-quality archtop for jazz. But the D’Angelico Excel EXL-1, a largely faithful contemporary take on John D’Angelico’s original flagship jazz box, gets our vote. There’s an acoustic openness to it, an evocative tone grounded in a bygone era. It’s great value, too.

Epiphone is enjoying the hot streak of hot streaks, but amidst the fanfare for the return of the Casino and Riviera models, don’t let the Epiphone Broadway (opens in new tab) slip between the cracks. A sweet-looking jazz electric, finished with multi-ply binding and plenty of TLC, it wears its traditional aesthetic well, while offering a contemporary performance via its SlimTaper neck.

Best guitars for jazz: Product guide

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (2)

1. D’Angelico Excel EXL-1

One of the original jazz boxes and still going strong

Specifications

Price: $1,790,£1,299/€1,520

Body: Laminated spruce top, laminated maple back/sides

Neck: Three-piece maple/walnut/maple

Scale: 25.5"/648mm

Fingerboard: Pau ferro

Frets: 22

Pickups: Seymour Duncan Johnny Smith mini-humbucker

Controls: 1x volume, 1x tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: Grover Super Rotomatic stair-step tuners, gold stair-step tailpiece

Left-handed?: Yes (Natural finish only)

Finish: Black, Iced Tea Burst, Natural, Vintage Sunburst

Reasons to buy

+

Magnificent traditional jazz tones

+

Lovely mix of detail and warmth

+

The D’Angelico build and finish are typically flawless

+

It’s a fair price for an exceptional guitar

Reasons to avoid

-

Not the best for modern fusion

A D'Angelico guitar carries with it the weight of history. John D’Angelico was there at the start, building archtops that soundtracked the jazz age. The Excel EXL-1 is made in South Korea and is generously proportioned, with a neck that’s of a more refined era. Ostensibly it’s a C-profile, but there’s an asymmetric feel to it – just like the originals, made when hand-carving would naturally lend itself to such player-friendly ergonomics. If you’ve played the EX-SS, a superb semi in its own right, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

Played acoustically, the Excel EXL-1 gives you a taste of things to come with a forthright character that might lack volume but not attack. When you put the guitar through an amp, that directness mellows out a little, the tone more magisterial. It’s like the dimmer switch on the light has been turned down a tad, and when you take off some of the treble, a bell-like voice gives chords and note-heavy passages a remarkable level of musical detail.

The aforementioned EX-SS is a little more modernistic and arguably more versatile. But for the business of playing jazz and jazz alone, for reproducing traditional styles and putting a modern twist on them, it doesn’t get any better than the Excel EXL-1. Not at this price.

Read the full D’Angelico Excel EXL-1 review

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (3)

2. Epiphone Broadway

This forgotten Epi classic is a big ’n' curvy tone machine

Specifications

Price: $799/£669/€780

Body: Laminated spruce top, laminated maple back/sides

Neck: Maple, set

Scale: 25.5”/648mm

Fingerboard: Pau ferro

Frets: 22

Pickups: 2x Alnico Classic humbuckers

Controls: 2x volume, 2x tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: Adjustable floating pau ferro bridge with Frequensator split-trapeze tailpiece, gold Grover Rotomatic tuners

Left-handed?: No

Finish: Vintage Natural

Reasons to buy

+

Warm, resonant tones

+

Tip-top Epiphone finish

+

It’s a stunning guitar

+

Great value

(Video) 5 Best JAZZ GUITARS under $1000 - Jazz Guitars Review

Reasons to avoid

-

Stock can be patchy. Grab one while you can

The Broadway name dates back to 1931, when Epi Stathopoulo was making non-cutaway acoustic archtops to soundtrack good times with swing beats, but it was not until 1958 that it was released in its single-cutaway electric form. Early versions were equipped with New York single coils, but, as with the Coronet, Epiphone ran out of stock at the beginning of the 1960s and used mini-humbuckers instead, and these would remain on the Broadway until it went out of production in 1969.

The reissued Broadway – which has been out since the late ’90s – is a slightly different proposition. Some might even say it’s an improvement. It has full-sized humbuckers, the V-profile neck of the early models has been updated with a SlimTaper C-profile, and the body is a wee bit thinner (but still a roomy 17”/431mm wide).

Despite these modern updates, it presents a sensational taste of old-school guitar-making at a very attractive price. It’s more luxurious, with seven-ply binding around the body, and multi-ply binding around the neck and headstock – the latter decorated with a pearloid ‘vine of life’ inlay. This, combined with the gold hardware, the Frequensator tailpiece and a tone that spreads hot butter on any chord you care to play on it makes the reissued Broadway one of the best jazz guitars you can buy today, with the SlimTaper neck a more palatable proposition for speedy, note-heavy runs.

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (4)

Vintage mojo on tap with DeArmond Dynasonic single coils

Specifications

Price: $1,099/£999/€1,170

Body: Laminated mahogany with bridge block

Neck: Mahogany, vintage soft U-profile, set

Scale: 24.75”/629mm

Fingerboard: Ebony, pearloid dots, 9.5”/241mm radius

Frets: 20, narrow jumbo

Pickups: 2x DeArmond Dynasonic single coils

Controls: 2x volume, 2x tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: Gold Adjusto-Matic bridge with stud tailpiece, Grover Sta-Tite open-backed tuners

Left-handed?: No

Finish: Royal Brown

Reasons to buy

+

Very classy retro aesthetic

+

There’s nothing like DeArmonds for that early-’40s tone

Reasons to avoid

-

No case/gig bag included

-

No left-handed models

-

Limited finish options

The DeArmond Dynasonic pickups that give this guitar its name date back to the foundational era of rock ’n’ roll – and the Starfire II ST is equally at home in that genre as it is playing jazz. With roundwounds, some drive, spring reverb, slap-back and tremolo to give the tone depth and movement, it’s a formidable choice for rockabilly high-jinks. It makes a fine blues guitar, too.

Jazz fans need only park themselves at that neck pickup, adjust the tone for seasoning, and they’ve got themselves a stylish and playable semi-hollow with a thinline design. We would like to see a few more finish options – and a case will cost you extra – but the Starfire II ST is one of our favourite retro-inspired electrics of recent years, and further evidence that Guild is on a hot streak right now when it comes to quality and value.

Read the full Guild Starfire II ST Dynasonic review

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (5)

4. Gibson ES-335

The world’s most popular semi-hollow electric remains the standard

Specifications

Price: $3,699/£2,599/€3,040

Body: Three-ply maple/poplar/maple

Neck: Mahogany, rounded C-profile, set

Scale: 24.75”/629mm

Fingerboard: Rosewood, acrylic dots, 9.5”/241mm radius

Frets: 22, medium jumbo

Pickups: 2x calibrated T-type humbuckers

Controls: 2x volume, 2x tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge with aluminium stopbar tailpiece, vintage deluxe tuners with keystone buttons

Left-handed?: Yes

Finish: Satin Cherry, Satin Vintage Burst, Satin Vintage Natural

Reasons to buy

+

Wide range of tones for jazz, rock and blues

+

Great neck

+

One of the greatest guitar designs of all time

(Video) First Look at the New 2022 Ibanez Semi-Hollow Guitars!

Reasons to avoid

-

It’s not cheap

-

Some players might prefer ’57 Classic humbuckers or Burstbuckers

Does anyone need more reasons to buy an ES-335? It’s one of the foundational designs of electric guitar – the archetypical ‘electric Spanish’, with the pioneering centre-block design a means of bridging the gap between generations and making it ship-shape for the high-volume styles that came out of the 1950s. And now, it remains as relevant as ever.

You can usually judge a guitar design by the imitations that followed in its wake, and there has scarcely been a more copied design than the ES-335. This era’s version has a three-ply maple/poplar/maple build housing a pair of calibrated T-type humbuckers that are voiced with warmth in mind. Controlling this is a hand-wired circuit that features high-quality 500k pots and orange drop capacitors, effectively guaranteeing that the time-honoured Gibson setup of two volume, two tone and a three-way selector operates as a comprehensive onboard EQ. With that, you can make this a rock ’n’ roll guitar, a hard-rock powerhouse (as Ritchie Blackmore did in the early Deep Purple days), a blues machine or, befitting the subject of this buyer’s guide, a jazz guitar with few peers. The rounded C-profile is for grown-ups, and offers a super-comfortable seat for chords and lead playing alike.

It’s not cheap but then it’s not supposed to be. There’s something aspirational about the ES-335. Whether you pick up a classic Satin Cherry, the blonde ambition of the Satin Vintage Natural or the Satin Vintage Burst model, electric guitars don’t get any cooler.

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (6)

5. PRS SE Hollowbody Standard

The jazz guitar for all occasions?

Specifications

Price: $999/£899/€1,050

Body: Three-ply laminated mahogany top, mahogany back and sides

Neck: Mahogany, wide fat profile, set

Scale: 25”/635mm

Fingerboard: Ebony with ‘birds’ inlay, 10”/254mm radius

Frets: 22, medium, 18% nickel-silver

Pickups: 2x 58/15 ‘S’ humbuckers

Controls: Volume, tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: PRS adjustable stoptail bridge, PRS designed tuners, nickel

Left-handed?: Yes

Finish: Fire Red Burst, McCarty Tobacco Sunburst

Reasons to avoid

-

Only two finish options

Paul Reed Smith isn’t necessarily the first name that springs to mind when you think jazz guitar. After all, the PRS pursuit of excellence fights on all fronts – rock, blues, jazz, even metal. Being founded in the mid-’80s also counts the manufacturer out as having been there at the beginning. And yet, the SE version of the Hollowbody Standard is a great option for the serious guitarist who wants something more from their jazz guitar.

In a sense, you could think of it as an all-original design that performs a similar role to the ES-335. It’ll work gangbusters for rock and blues, and that hollow construction allied to the superlative 58/15 ‘S’ humbuckers makes it a natural for jazz excursions, offering clarity, warmth and resonance right where you need it. The fit and finish are faultless. There are options in the range, with the flame-maple-capped Hollowbody II available for a few dollars more. It also makes an excellent first hollowbody for those migrating from solid builds.

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (7)

6. Ibanez LGB30

George Benson’s signature model is a gem in the Ibanez catalogue

Specifications

Price: $1,099/£969/€1,130

Body: Spruce top/flame maple back and sides

Neck: Three-piece mahogany/maple

Scale: 24.7”/628mm

Fingerboard: Bound ebony

Frets: 21

Pickups: 2x Super ’58 humbuckers

Controls: 2x tone, 2x volume, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: Gold

Left-handed?: No

Finish: Natural, Vintage Yellow Sunburst

Reasons to buy

+

Rich, warm tone

+

Meticulous Ibanez finish

+

Surprisingly versatile

+

Pro-quality but good value

(Video) Jarrod Grgic ft. Joseph Lizzio - Come Together (Beatles Cover) (Music Video)

Reasons to avoid

-

Not much

The wonderful George Benson was Ibanez’s very first high-profile endorsee, and the two parties have enjoyed a happy and fruitful union for over 40 years now. The LGB30 – aka the ‘Little George Benson’ – is one of the more affordable of the chart star’s signature models, representing an excellent opportunity for a first serious jazz guitar.

The LGB30 can also do a neat line in blues and rock ’n’ roll tones, but with a good set of flatwounds it comes alive as the quintessential jazz guitar. It might have George Benson’s initials in its name, but it’s a signature model that invites you to impress your personality upon it.

It’ll cover all eras of jazz. Through a small Fender tube combo, the neck pickup is robust and rounded, warm and musical. But at the bridge and with the treble pulled forward, you can summon some bright chime to find your place in the mix. It looks and sounds more expensive than it is.

Read the full Ibanez LGB30 review

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (8)

7. Guild T-50 Slim

The best old-school jazz box for comping

Specifications

Price: $1,240/£899/€1,050

Body: Laminated maple top, back and sides

Neck: Mahogany, vintage soft U-profile, set

Scale: 24.6"/625mm

Fingerboard: Ebony, 9.5”/241mm radius

Frets: 20, narrow jumbo

Pickups: Franz P-90 single coil (neck)

Controls: Volume, tone

Hardware: Ebony bridge with Guild harp tailpiece, Grover Sta-Tite open-gear tuners

Left-handed?: No

Finish: Vintage Sunburst

Reasons to buy

+

Rich in Guild heritage

+

Nails vintage tones

+

Thin body and neck make it ideal for chords

Reasons to avoid

-

Many players will want a cutaway design

-

Be careful with feedback at high volumes

The only non-cutaway model in Guild’s mid-priced Newark St Collection, the T-50 Slim is a thin-body archtop straight out of the old school. It looks like it was cashing its pension long before the colour TV arrived in people’s homes. But, in fact, this is inspired by a child of the ’60s, the T-50 – albeit with the depth shrunk to 1.75”/44mm.

Purists will love the stylings. And the sounds? Well, a single low-output dog-ear P-90 in the neck offers just enough pep to articulate each note in your chord, its wide-bobbin design and alnico V-magnet ensuring there’s a bit of glassiness in what is inherently a warm ’n' woody, organic tone.

The lack of a cutaway makes this a bit of a challenge for the more extravagant lead players, but that vintage soft U-profile is super-comfortable. Allied to the slimline body, it’s a delight for comping.

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (9)

The best entry-level modern archtop guitar

Specifications

Price: $399/£449/€525

Body: Linden top/back/sides

Neck: Nyatoh, set

Scale: 24.7”/628mm

Fingerboard: Walnut with acrylic block inlay

Frets: 20

Pickups: 2x Classic Elite humbuckers

Controls: 2x volume, 2x tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: Antique gold

Left-handed?: No

Finish: Brown Sunburst, Red Sunburst

Reasons to buy

+

Superb value

+

Very comfortable and speedy neck

+

Makes a good candidate for modding

(Video) 5 of the BEST Guitars UNDER $500!

Reasons to avoid

-

Pickups are not the most exciting

In terms of modernity, the AF75 is about as far away as you can get from Ibanez’s more famous shred-ready designs. But this traditional jazz box is constructed with similar ideals. The 21mm neck depth at the first fret tapers out nicely to 0.9”/24mm at the ninth – perfect for wrapping your hand around a chord, and very comfortable.

The Classic Elite humbuckers make the AF75 a versatile proposition, and if you can work it so that the feedback isn’t too much of an issue at high volumes, this will do a turn playing rock sets. But at this price, the AF75 presents a top-quality first hollowbody that makes an excellent candidate for modding – perhaps swapping out the neck ‘bucker for a P-90 and using something a little more vintage at the bridge? Well, it’s something to think about, because fundamentally this guitar is very impressive.

And if the traditionalism of the AF75 is a little too stuffy to throw complex chord shapes in the digital age, the slightly more expensive AF75G offers the format with gold hardware and more contemporary Black Flat and Rose Gold Metallic Flat colours.

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (10)

9. Collings 470 JL

A stunning boutique singlecut for a special player

Specifications

Price: $8,820/£6,399/€7,485

Body: Honduran mahogany

Neck: Honduran mahogany

Scale: 24.87”/632mm

Fingerboard: Ebony with graduated pearl dots, 12”/305mm radius

Frets: 20, medium, 18% nickel-silver

Pickups: 2x Ron Ellis Ellisonic single coils

Controls: 2x volume, 1x tone, three-way pickup selector

Hardware: Pinned ebony base w/ Tune-o-matic saddle top (nylon saddles), relic nickel Waverly with vintage oval buttons (16:1 ratio)

Left-handed?: Yes

Finish: Antiqued Black, Antiqued Blonde, Antiqued Sunburst

Reasons to buy

+

A modern boutique take on the jazz box

+

Ron Ellis Ellisonic pickups are a gateway to early electric tone

+

Collings build and playability

Reasons to avoid

-

None

New for 2021, Julian Lage’s second signature collaboration with US boutique guitar-builder Collings shows just how inspiration and innovation can drive the design of the jazz guitar further. This fully hollow singlecut comprises a laminated maple top, solid mahogany on the back and sides, and a trestle block underneath.

Eschewing the F-hole designs, the 470 JL nonetheless has some vintage-inspired elements – most notably the pickups, which are inspired by Dynasonics and the early sound of the electric guitar, and custom-wound by Ron Ellis.

Lightweight, with a Bigsby B3, the 470 JL is the guitar you get when you’ve been playing for years and are looking for that special something. It’ll do blues and rock ’n’ roll, too, but it’s hard to think of a more desirable high-end jazz guitar in this day and age. The attention to detail would take your breath away, and it’s lovely to see a fresh design. Just don’t expect it to make you play like Lage.

Best guitars for jazz: Buying advice

Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (11)

Jazz guitars: some history

The electric guitar found its calling in jazz towards the end of the 1930s. A player by the name of Eddie Durham – a member of the Kansas City Six – had discovered its transformative potential, before the concept really took off when Charlie Christian joined the Benny Goodman Sextet and Orchestra, scoring a hit with Down Beat.

In Christian’s hands, the Gibson ES-150 electrified jazz guitar and foregrounded the guitar player as a band leader. It was Gibson’s first successful ‘electric Spanish’ guitar, inaugurating electric jazz guitar tone with a hexagonal blade pickup – aka the Charlie Christian pickup – close to the neck. From its non-cutaway body, it exhibited a naturally warm tone.

Would jazz history have been much different if the pickup had been placed by the bridge? Quite possibly. Gibson had the sound down. To show how little the design had changed from the acoustic archtop models, the ES-150 was marketed as having a grand auditorium body, with a carved spruce top and northern maple back and sides. Yet with ‘an entire tone generator built inside the body’, the ES-150 brimmed with possibilities.

Innovation continued apace. There was a lot yet to be done. Guitar builders such as John D’Angelico could sense which way the wind was blowing. His early archtops were inspired by the Gibson L-5, but he soon established his own style – and a reputation too. D’Angelico had plenty of offers to go to one of the big builders, but stayed independent. A stubborn New Yorker, he had everything he needed at his shop. His designs proved hard to shift, too, with his Excel EXL-1 flagship archtop remaining in production to this day.

During the 1950s, a consensus began to build. The hollow construction plus an electromagnetic pickup established a tone, though feedback remained an issue for the ES models. Gibson took various strategies, trying a thicker body for the Super 400 CES before discovering that a solid centre block would make the ES-335 resistant to unwanted squeal when playing at high volumes.

That the 21st-century jazz guitar remains wedded to the designs drafted in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s speaks volumes about the success of those early instruments. And that success affected how players approached them in the years to come. Many used heavy strings, just as you would on an acoustic. Flatwounds were favoured for a mellower tone.

What makes a good jazz guitar?

History still guides us when looking for a jazz guitar today. Traditional styles still dominate the market. If you are an avowed jazz player, those would be better for you – a specialist player requires a specialist instrument.

But if jazz is just one of many styles in your locker, we would recommend casting your net a little further, auditioning guitars such as the Gibson ES-335 and PRS SE Hollowbody Standard, or checking out the Guild Starfire II ST Dynasonic and Gretsch hollowbodies.

Likewise for contemporary jazz. It’s unlikely that a fusion player whose style abuts progressive instrumental rock would choose a D’Angelico Excel EXL-1, but, again, there are options. The PRS SE Hollowbody Standard is a jazz guitar by stealth – or, if they were prepared to break with the semi-hollow/hollowbody paradigm and go with a solidbody, a Les Paul or an SG could be pressed into the services of jazz.

Think about the pickups you want. The warmth of the humbucker makes it a natural companion for jazz, though it’s a medium that favours low-output pickups, lest it distorts the tone. Clarity is all important, too. There’s no use in warmth, width and depth to your tone if it turns your chords to mud and your leads to wool.

The P-90, which can be found on the Guild T-50 Slim, has a tone that sits somewhere off the axis between single coil and humbucker, but its articulate, rounded heat makes it a popular choice for jazz builds. And as we’ve seen from modern boutique builds such as the Collings 470 JL, the early single-coil designs of DeArmond and co have proven the test of time. Likewise, the tonewoods and builds, where a quick scan through our list of the best jazz guitars will find a preponderance for spruce tops and maple, bright tonewood choices mellowed out a little by the hollow and semi-hollow builds.

Find out more abouthow we test music gear and servicesat MusicRadar.

  • Best electric guitar pickups: top-rated single-coils, humbuckers and P-90s
  • Best guitar picks: top choice plectrums for acoustic, electric and bass
  • Best guitar cables: guitar leads and patch cables to suit all budgets
Best jazz guitars 2022: 9 recommended electric guitars for playing jazz (12)

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

(Video) TOKYO Cafe: Beautiful Relaxing Jazz Piano Music for Stress Relief - Night Coffee Shop Ambience

FAQs

Which electric guitar is good for jazz? ›

The best electric guitars for jazz to buy in 2021 at a glance: D'Angelico Excel EXL-1 Throwback. Ibanez AMH-90. Gretsch G6120T-55 Vintage Select Chet Atkins.

What type of guitar is best for jazz and blues? ›

Gibson ES-335

One of the most ubiquitous guitars in blues and rock is also one of the best guitars for jazz.

What Fender is best for jazz? ›

The Fender Telecaster is the most popular Fender guitar when it comes to jazz guitarists.

What guitar do jazz players use? ›

While jazz can be played on any type of guitar, from an acoustic instrument to a solid-bodied electric guitar such as a Fender Stratocaster, the full-depth archtop guitar has become known as the prototypical "jazz guitar." Archtop guitars are steel-string acoustic guitars with a big soundbox, arched top, violin-style f ...

What makes a good jazz guitar? ›

There is an almost piano-esque attack, with a little trebly sharpness to articulate often complex phrases. Maybe that's the key to a great jazz guitar – finding that balance between the acoustic qualities of a semi-hollow or hollowbody build, and the clarity of an electric guitar; between warmth and precision.

Why is jazz guitar so hard? ›

“The jazz player needs a vast and extensive range of tools, because the music they play is based on sophisticated scales, and those scales are used to generate extremely complex chord structures. There are hundreds of code forms to learn and a great number of scale forms all over the neck in every key.”

Why do jazz guitarists use hollow body guitars? ›

Although some jazz guitarists use solid body guitars, arguably, the better guitars for jazz are hollow body electric guitars or semi-hollow body electric guitars. These guitars are popular in jazz because of their warm tone.

Who is the best jazz guitarist of all time? ›

Wes Montgomery

Wes Montgomery is arguably the most famous jazz guitarist in history and deserves his place at the top of this list for numerous reasons.

Are telecasters Good for jazz? ›

The Telecaster is a great jazz guitar, historically favored by famous Jazz players: Ted Greene, Ed Bickert, and Mike Stern. The Telecaster is popular amongst jazz players is for its 'rich' 'pristine' and 'warm' clean tone.

Are hollow body guitars Good for jazz? ›

They are highly versatile guitars with a unique style and sound – but what separates the two? Here's a very brief overview: Hollow body guitars are primarily used in jazz and blues music. They produce clear, rounded tones.

Can you play jazz on an electric guitar? ›

Getting the Sound: The Right Guitar

Although some jazz guitarists use solid body guitars, arguably, the better guitars for jazz are hollow body electric guitars or semi-hollow body electric guitars. These guitars are popular in jazz because of their warm tone.

Can I use a Les Paul for jazz? ›

The Les Paul makes for a great jazz guitar with the right configuration and amplifier settings. It can sound warm, defined, and produce a dark, rich clean tone ideal for jazz. Even the legendary Les Paul, the inspiration and namesake of the guitar, was primarily a jazz musician himself.

Can you play jazz on a Fender Strat? ›

Strat is great for playing Jazz, in fact as great as any traditional jazz guitar. The thing is, if we need to experiment a lot with sounds, tones and musical character, we should not rely on a single instrument.

Are Fender guitars Good for jazz? ›

Fender Standard Telecaster

In the world of jazz, it's the most popular solid body electric guitar. Famous players include Ted Greene, John Scofield, and Bill Frisell. It's the sophisticated tone and easy fretting that make it one of the best jazz guitars.

What is the jazz scale guitar? ›

The Dorian scale is often used in jazz and the pattern is "whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half, whole." Altogether, there are 7 modes which are derived from the major scale, and each one adds a very different tone or feel to your solo: Ionian: the familiar major scale that is most fundamental and basic to use.

What is a good beginner jazz guitar? ›

Best Jazz Guitar
  • 1 Ibanez Artcore AF75.
  • 2 D'Angelico EXL-1.
  • 3 Gretsch Streamliner.
  • 4 The Loar LH350.
  • 5 Epiphone Sheraton.
  • 6 Squier/Fender Jazzmaster.
  • 7 Epiphone ES-339 P90 Pro.
  • 8 Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster.
17 Apr 2020

What is a jazz box guitar? ›

Jazz boxes are the original electric guitars. As small ensembles turned into larger and larger bands with loud horn sections in the 1930s, the humble guitar got lost in the mix.

How can I make my electric guitar sound smoother? ›

8 Ways To Make Your Electric Guitar Sound Not Suck - YouTube

How do I make my guitar tone smooth? ›

5 Tips to Get the Perfect Tone!! - Guitar Tone 101 - YouTube

What is jazz tone? ›

Unlike classical players who usually strive for a clear, “pure” tone, jazz players strive for a tone that is generally more “vocal” in nature, i.e., jazz musicians will bend pitches, “growl,” “whine,” play “raunchy,” “dark,” “light,” “airy,” “raspy,” “bluesy,” “throaty,” “nasally” (anything the human voice can do to ...

Is it too late to learn jazz guitar? ›

It's never too late to learn anything.

Which is harder jazz or metal? ›

Both are technical in their own ways. Jazz in that it utilizes dissonant chords and more technical melodies. Metal is technical in that it requires speed and good technique to pull off. Generally though, Metal is easier to play than Jazz.

Is jazz music hard to play? ›

There are some things that you can only learn by listening to lots and lots of Jazz music – for example, it's quite hard to teach appropriate rhythm, articulation and phrasing. You really just have to listen to a lot of it, internalise it, and replicate it until you're comfortable with the musical language.

Which type of electric guitar has had the greatest impact on rock and roll Why? ›

The Fender Stratocaster may be the most widely recognizable electric guitar and the one most associated with the rise of rock and roll music.

Why do jazz guitarists use heavy strings? ›

Jazz guitarists use heavier strings partly because of tradition, a supposed increase in tone, and because they're supposed to be able to emulate a horn section better. Another reason is that jazz guitarists don't bend or use vibrato as often as what's seen in other genres.

Can you play jazz on an acoustic guitar? ›

You can play a jazz sound on a regular acoustic or electric guitar, if you are playing the proper chords. The presence of dominant seventh chord is one of the best indicators to identify a jazz song. Seventh chords are one of the most common and important chord progressions in jazz music.

Who plays smooth jazz? ›

Any list of smooth jazz musicians has to include names like Anita Baker, Dave Koz, Chris Botti, Al Jarreau and Norah Jones. These smooth jazz artists are among the most well known names in the genre and with good reason. Their smooth songs, accomplishments, and awards speak for themselves.

Who is considered the best jazz? ›

Miles Davis, the trumpeter whose lyrical playing and ever-changing style made him a touchstone of 20th Century music, has been voted the greatest jazz artist of all time.

Who is considered the greatest jazz fusion guitarist? ›

Regularly listed as the greatest jazz fusion guitarist of all time, Allan Holdsworth has cemented his position as one of the most technically astonishing and important musicians of his generation.

How do I get jazz sound on my Telecaster? ›

How to Get that "Jazz-Tele Sound" - Telecaster Jazz Tone Demo

Who plays jazz on a Telecaster? ›

Remembering Ed Bickert, Who Helped Turn the Fender Telecaster into an Expressive Jazz Voice. Ed Bickert, whose exceedingly modest way in conversation belied a nimble sense of humor, used to tell one story deserving of a permanent place in guitar lore.

What pickups does Bill Frisell use? ›

The pickups are the Callahan units J. Black favors, wired in standard 3-pisition mode. Interviewed about making the "Guitar in the Space Age" album, Bill discussed this guitar extensively: "I ended up playing just one guitar; a Telecaster made by J.W.

Are D Angelico guitars good for jazz? ›

You could throw a dart at the D'Angelico hollowbody catalogue and come up trumps with a top-quality archtop for jazz. But the D'Angelico Excel EXL-1, a largely faithful contemporary take on John D'Angelico's original flagship jazz box, gets our vote.

Do jazz guitarists use pedals? ›

Effect pedals play a big part in modern jazz guitarists tone. Many jazz guitarist today use at least a couple effect pedals. Just like any other guitarist, jazz guitarists use effects ranging from overdrive and delay to crazy effects like ring modulators.

Can you play jazz on a semi-hollow? ›

the only way you can get a traditional jazz tone out of a semi-hollow guitar is to put heavier strings on it IMO. Regarding . 012s, adam rogers uses a modified set of . 012s on his solidbodies and semis and does all kinds of session work where he plays fusion, rock, funk, etc.

How do you play jazz chords? ›

10 Basic Jazz Chords - Guitar Tutorials - JustinGuitar [JA-001]

Can you play jazz on an electric bass? ›

While the majority of jazz and jazz fusion recordings and live performances use either the double bass (or a related instrument such as an electric upright bass) or the electric bass to supply the "low end", there are some exceptions.

How do you play jazz easy guitar? ›

Jazz Guitar Chord Lesson (EASY - FREE Tab & JamTrack) - YouTube

What guitar does George Benson play? ›

George Benson's guitar of choice for decades has been his signature Ibanez GB10 hollowbody electric. Every inch of the GB10 proudly exudes Ibanez's pride in their craftsmanship and attention to detail.

How old is George Benson? ›

How do I get jazz sound on my Stratocaster? ›

Jazz Tone - How To Make A Strat Jazz Sound - YouTube

Why are Strats so good? ›

Generally speaking the Strat is ergonomic and quite comfortable to play for long periods, as long as you get on with the neck. Of the most popular guitars of the '60s, the Strat is more ergonomic than a Telecaster, lighter than a Les Paul and balanced more towards the body than the notoriously neck-heavy Gibson SG.

What are Strats for? ›

“Strats” is an abbreviation for “Strategists.” Strats and modeling jobs are found at sell-side banks and buy-side money managers and regulators. As a front-office quant, you will be involved with structuring, pricing and developing trading tools.

Are Jazzmasters Good for jazz? ›

Yes, the Fender Jazzmaster is a great and versatile guitar. Its robust build and excellent sound appeal to various genres ranging from blues, country, jazz, classic rock, fusion, and indie sounds. Furthermore, put some high gain pickups in, and you have a guitar to play metal with.

Why are Jazzmasters so popular? ›

Fender's Jazzmaster is still popular because of its versatility and use in indie rock and shoegaze. The fact that many “modern” bands (such as Arctic Monkeys and Paramore) use Jazzmasters, only enlarges the instrument's popularity.

What acoustic guitar is good for jazz? ›

Best Acoustic Guitars for Jazz (top 4 picks)
TitleRatedBrowse
Taylor T5z Classic/Pron/aBrowse on Sweetwater Compare
Godin A6n/aBrowse on Sweetwater Compare
Gretsch G100CEn/aBrowse on Sweetwater Compare
Blueridge BR-341n/aCheck Pricing on Amazon Compare
27 Apr 2022

Can you play jazz on an electric guitar? ›

Getting the Sound: The Right Guitar

Although some jazz guitarists use solid body guitars, arguably, the better guitars for jazz are hollow body electric guitars or semi-hollow body electric guitars. These guitars are popular in jazz because of their warm tone.

Can you play jazz on a Stratocaster? ›

Strat is great for playing Jazz, in fact as great as any traditional jazz guitar. The thing is, if we need to experiment a lot with sounds, tones and musical character, we should not rely on a single instrument.

Are telecasters Good for jazz? ›

The Telecaster is a great jazz guitar, historically favored by famous Jazz players: Ted Greene, Ed Bickert, and Mike Stern. The Telecaster is popular amongst jazz players is for its 'rich' 'pristine' and 'warm' clean tone.

Can you play jazz on a Les Paul? ›

The Les Paul makes for a great jazz guitar with the right configuration and amplifier settings. It can sound warm, defined, and produce a dark, rich clean tone ideal for jazz. Even the legendary Les Paul, the inspiration and namesake of the guitar, was primarily a jazz musician himself.

Why do jazz players use hollow body guitars? ›

It utilises a large open body, a higher string action than your modern solid body guitar low output pickups. What makes the hollow body so great as a jazz instrument is its clean, smooth tones. It's also possible to add a little grit when played through a loud valve amp.

Why is jazz guitar so hard? ›

“The jazz player needs a vast and extensive range of tools, because the music they play is based on sophisticated scales, and those scales are used to generate extremely complex chord structures. There are hundreds of code forms to learn and a great number of scale forms all over the neck in every key.”

Why do jazz guitarists use hollow body guitars? ›

Although some jazz guitarists use solid body guitars, arguably, the better guitars for jazz are hollow body electric guitars or semi-hollow body electric guitars. These guitars are popular in jazz because of their warm tone.

How do I get jazz sound on my Stratocaster? ›

Jazz Tone - How To Make A Strat Jazz Sound - YouTube

Why are Strats so good? ›

Generally speaking the Strat is ergonomic and quite comfortable to play for long periods, as long as you get on with the neck. Of the most popular guitars of the '60s, the Strat is more ergonomic than a Telecaster, lighter than a Les Paul and balanced more towards the body than the notoriously neck-heavy Gibson SG.

Are Fender guitars Good for jazz? ›

Fender Standard Telecaster

In the world of jazz, it's the most popular solid body electric guitar. Famous players include Ted Greene, John Scofield, and Bill Frisell. It's the sophisticated tone and easy fretting that make it one of the best jazz guitars.

Videos

1. 9 Years Old Guitarist Taj Farrant WOWS the judges | Australia Got Talent 2019
(Talents World Tv)
2. Best Hollow Body Guitar In 2021 - Top 10 Hollow Body Guitars Review
(Musical Instrument)
3. The Best Guitar for Each Genre (Is NOT What You Think)
(Music is Win)
4. 5 of the BEST Guitars I've Ever Played! - My Top Picks!
(Darrell Braun Guitar)
5. Squier Starcaster: The Best Value Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar
(Alamo Music Center)
6. Understanding Eastman Guitars | These Are Worth Your Attention! | Entire Range Overview
(GAK)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Last Updated: 12/12/2022

Views: 6065

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Foster Heidenreich CPA

Birthday: 1995-01-14

Address: 55021 Usha Garden, North Larisa, DE 19209

Phone: +6812240846623

Job: Corporate Healthcare Strategist

Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.