The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by valriver40
    i play a epiphone joe pass sunburst. as the fret brd. is a shorter scale, it is easer to play for me, due to an accident to my pointer finger.
    I too have one of these except that I've had Gibson pickups installed - a friend was upgrading his Les Paul Studio with new Screaming Death Metal Crazyhead pickups - or somesuch - so I took the old ones off him for a sensible price, and they give the Epi a much fuller, warmer sound. Only problem is that with short, fat fingers, I find some chords a bit of a struggle on that fingerboard. More work needed I'm afraid (on me, not the guitar!)


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    I also play a Joe Pass with GIbson pick ups. Isn't the fretboard the same as any Gibson/Epiphone. I haven't noticed a difference.

  4. #53

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    the epiphone specs list the broadway, all their acoustics as 25.50 scale and the joe pass as 24.75 scale which includes the les pauls ect. i do have a broadway and with only 3 fingers the joe pass is easyer to play.

  5. #54

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    I play mostly Fender Stratocasters, Mustangs, Jaguars, and Telecasters. I find these guitars to be my favorite. I also have played several guitars like an Ibanez designed in the style of a Gibson 335. I seem to always return to the Fenders.

    Unlike most jazz players or jazz influenced players, I use the bridge position to get a jazz tone, but adjust my amplifier to make the tone warmer.

    Terje Rypdal
    Last edited by frisellfan19; 10-28-2008 at 02:47 AM.

  6. #55

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    Let me say that I can get just as good of a tone, if not better, with a Fender Stratocaster. In fact, what puzzles people is the fact that I play in the bridge pickup position instead of the neck pickup position. I also have both tone knobs all the way up. I just adjust my amplifier accordingly and I have all the warmth of a Telecaster in the bridge position. I have found my tone and I can't do this with any other guitar for some reason.

    Archtops are always going to sound good, but most of them, for me, lack the kind of playing a solidbody guitar has. If I play an archtop it's just for single-note lines, because chord voicings are hard to grab on them. That's why I like the Stratocaster for it's playability, tone, and versatility.

  7. #56

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    Thanks to this thread I bought a Telecaster and love it. I'm also thinking of getting a semi hollow guitar to round out my collection. The 335 is too big. The ES 339 and the CS 336 are smaller semi guitars that I'm considering.

    Does anyone have experience with these guitars for jazz, or can you lead me to pro's that use these guitars?

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by nic
    Thanks to this thread I bought a Telecaster and love it. I'm also thinking of getting a semi hollow guitar to round out my collection. The 335 is too big. The ES 339 and the CS 336 are smaller semi guitars that I'm considering.

    Does anyone have experience with these guitars for jazz, or can you lead me to pro's that use these guitars?
    Nic, I have a CS 356. It's basically the same guitar as the CS 336, but with a little more eye candy (i.e. gold HW, flame maple top etc), think of what the ES 355 was to the ES 335.

    I absolutly LOVE this guitar. I traded a ES 355 for this. I didn't use the 355 much. The CS is very comfortable to play & sounds fantastic with the solid routed mahogany body. You can get a great jazz sound, but also don't need to worry about cranking it up and getting feedback. Very versatile, I highly recommend it.


  9. #58

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    I use a Tele ,HW1 body ,Baja neck,with a Seymour Duncan Alnico II neck pickup .Sweet and warm but clear but will go very soft and vintage jazzy if required .I have a Tonerider hotter bridge pickup and it s great for blues .I also have it wired up with a four way switch and its a very versatile instrument indeed .I mainly play Ed Bickert type chordy finger style for Jazz .i keep meaning to fit a rosewood neck but never get round to it .The maple neck is OK but a bit ringy .I also Have an Epiphone Dot SE with hardware upgrades and Tonerider Rocksongs .These also will give a good jazz tone through a valve amp .Of course it is great for overdrive and rock but will give good tones clean as well .Not sure which I would grab in a fire .The Tele probably though more work has gone into the Dot .

  10. #59

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    The perfect jazz guitar is a Gibson L5.

    Unfortunately it requires the perfect amp in the perfect room at the perfect volume with the perfect phrasing from the perfect player, or there's going to be trouble!

    For the rest of us mere mortals who must somehow get heard over the imperfect drummer in an imperfect room playing imperfectly on tunes that nobody wants to hear (between announcements about whoever left their headlights on in the parking lot), while avoiding the drunk chick -who wants to sing along's- BIG and drunk husband...

    ...a Tele is the weapon of choice (and I do mean weapon).

  11. #60

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    Nothing sounds like a hollowbody...nothing. Even 335 style axes, while workable and close, cannot get what you get from a 175, L5, Super 400 and the like. Strats, Teles, LPs etc. can sound great but they can never approach what you get from a big hollow body in my opinion.

  12. #61

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    I own a George Golla model guitar made by MATON here in Australia. One of the best guitars I ever played with and thats what George golla says always. By aussie made not one of these cheap asian made imports.

  13. #62

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    If you want to imitate a traditional jazz sound then you probably need a good archtop hollow body. But to me JAZZ means a progressive style of music open to experimentation and new ideas and whatever guitar suits your style and sensibility would be acceptable.

    I mentioned earlier in this thread that I bought a Tele. About a month ago I bought a Gibson Johnny A. These two guitars cover it all for me.

  14. #63

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    I bought an unexpensive acoustic Ibanez (150 Euros) a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover Neck Pickup, build a pickguard and a set of flatwounds and: voila!. the combo is also made by myself, bought an Celestion Greenback speaker, build the box and put in an inexpensive Yamaha MS-202 monitor amp (after I removed the original speakers and half of the outer box). Sounds great, Roland Jazz chorus type. I use a MXR Phaser. I think you can't talk about the perfect jazz guitar without mentioning the amp you use.(except the case when the guitar is completely acoustic, unplugged)

  15. #64
    I play on a msc650 from ibanez. mostly it's sold as a western guitar, but in fact it is not. It's a hybrid guitar, which means it is neither an accustic nor an electric guitar, but something in between.
    The pros are, that it provides a rich spectrum of different sounds, with and without effects, with and without distortion out of the box.
    It is propable not comparable to a high-end archtop. But you can configure a nice warm sound and can play it without amp, too. I do not play over an amp any more, but use the xvamp of behringer and from their into my powermixer. My old Marshal is standing in the edge and remembers me of my youth. That way I can use almost infinite different sound-setups, that obviously also match for Jazz.
    The guitar was not too expensive - it costed about 450 to 500 $ (550€), comes with a guitar-case and looks quite nice. I think it is absolutely useful for any gig, though I did not try it on one yet (I just have it for a month now).

    At least it is a very good setup for beginners on the jazz area, because it enables you to play almost every sound, you like.

    And if I have got enough motivation to practice for the next years and get famous one day, I still can buy a really excellent archtop

  16. #65

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    May I respectfully add a little curved ball to your recommendations on Jazz guitars? I would like to offer up my own little beast for nomination. It's loaded with new york mini-humbuckers which someone mentioned they were looking for in a guitar, further more it comes out of a very reputable stable even today, it's very high on looks (you can put away the funny beret and beard to turn a girl's head), it was produced in a limited edition and is no longer produced now so you're not going clash with anyone at the battle of the bands and finally it was designed rather than cloned. Ladies and Gentlemen, charge your glasses and stand for the toast. I give you the Ephiphone FlameKat Limited ! A beast in its own right and of course an archtop with the advantages of being a thinline! Check it out if you can.

    Fast Eddy

  17. #66
    I bought a gen-yooo-wine Gibson ES-335 for jazz. Perfect guitar for jazz, right? Well, it's certainly been used alot for jazz, and it also plays rock, blues. Perfect. I was in heaven. I had MY guitar.

    Trouble is, I've had it 8 months, and I don't like it. Sounds great. Neck plays very well. Pickups sound great.

    But it's uncomfortable to play...ergonomically (I play seated). No matter how I sit with it, whether resting it on one or the other thigh, or strapping it on with a strap, with foot propped or not, with the guitar at various angles, it just doesn't feel right. I'm either hunching or twisting somehow, or one or the other arms is in an uncomfortable spot, or the guitar is unbalanced and I'm holding it up with one or the other arms.

    My wife bought me a $350 MIM Strat for Christmas. I love it. Not quite as warm or airy as th 335, although, as someone said, you can get there pretty nicely with amp eq'ing. But it sounds fantastic. I use the neck or the neck/middle position, and it's comfy, light, it's perfect.

    The 335 is up for sale and I'm replacing it with a synth guitar.

    I think you can play jazz on any guitar. The only thing I really, really believe is that guys who are playing jazz archtops, or ES-175s, or similar guitars, look more like traditional jazz players. But the sound is whatever you make. Every guitar poses different challenges in technique, but I really believe you get the tone from your left and right hands. A good amp helps, of course, but there is a way to make jazz on any guitar.

  18. #67

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    I've got a D'Aquisto Centura in the rare violin-burst finish (see my avatar pic paid 2K for her...) ready for an even trade if you're interested. It's never been out of my home studio and is just as special as the other Centura I have. Every note is just as loud as the next on this acoustic and it's perfect for adding a floating pup to, which was my original intention when I bought it, just never got around to it. Or, we can exchange and try them if we pay our own shipping. I know I'm a newbie here, but we can do it through PayPal if you like. I've got 100% favorable on eBay if that helps...

    Got a pic of your 335?

    I've got plenty more of the Centura if you're at all interested just let me know!
    Last edited by Squint; 02-19-2009 at 06:59 PM.

  19. #68

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    It's the one on the right...

    Last edited by Squint; 02-19-2009 at 06:58 PM.

  20. #69

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    Great! Best thing about the Centura is that the luthiers at Aria's custom shop in Japan made her with the sonic forethought of adding a floating pup later. At least this way, YOU get to pick and choose exactly what you like that sounds best. Chances are, though, you might be so impressed with the sound while miked, you might just want to keep it acoustic. I was personally going to make another ebony fingerrest to be able to switch out from floater to full acoustic, but as I said... too many guitars, too little time.

    Of course, we could always agree to return the other guitar if EITHER of us changes our minds over a week or two...

    Look at me.. I don't even KNOW you guys and I'm already bartering my CHILDREN with you! LOL!!

    What the hey... it's worth a try.

  21. #70

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    I also did the custom pickguard/fingerrests on the J9's in the center... It's very easy to take a Benedetto rest and shape it just like the original D'Aquisto as I did for a pal's Hofner Verithin...

    Last edited by Squint; 02-19-2009 at 07:35 PM.

  22. #71

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    And after all my crowing about the Centura, I think I am going to look for an ES-345 instead. I know they're out there. That's a beautiful 335, JP and worth every penny you're asking for it. It won't be around for long, that's for sure.

    And as for the 335 in a sitting position... next time you get a chance to watch a rerun of Hee Haw on Direct TV, or even the Porter Wagoner show.... do it! You get a lot of info watching those old Nashville pros at work. I noticed, stopped and rewound, a guy with an ES 335 sitting with it positioned with the lower bout between his knees, not on them, and the neck up at about a 45 degree angle, like a classical player. He kept the neck up with a shoulder strap and seemed to be quite comfy. I tried this position today at Guitar Center comparing the new 335's and a few Gretsches and even a Martin CM1 with my Electra X410 and they didn't come close. The chinese Gretsches were especially disappointing. And the Electra was made in 1977, so it does have it's advantages. But the 32 yr/old pups were still hot and I think I now have a case of AMP GAS! Playing through headphones is now dull after trying so many amps today. CRAP! I'm going to go play and crank my little VOX AC30 headphone thingy up to eleven!
    Last edited by Squint; 02-20-2009 at 06:27 PM.

  23. #72

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    Try a Stromberg.They ask all sorts of questions about the amp you use,action you need,and will send the guitar to you fully set up with the strings of your choice,too.No trips and $$ to your local tech.It arrives readyto play.

  24. #73

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    Good morning. I have just joined this site and find the content extremely interesting. I have recently played several Eastman Jazz boxes and each one sounded better than anything I have played. This guitar is probably one of the best buys available today. The 803CE is my favorite.

    With regards to an inexpensive jazz box, several years ago I purchased a Washburn Wes Montgomery J6. I paid about $600 for it and am pleased with the tone and overall playability. Last month I swapped out the neck pick-up for a Gibson '57 Classic Humbucker. The improvement in tone was substantial. The J6 is no longer being produced, however, I would suggest checking the used market to see if you can get your hands on one.

  25. #74

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    A really good option would be Epiphones Joe Pass. Generally they are very well built and can be bought used for about $450 with hsc. Later you could upgrade the pick ups. I put in GIbson 57' classics and the improvement was substantial.

  26. #75

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    There's something about Gibson pickups. I played many Eastmans, and loved the workmanship, action, etc. However, their pickups just don't (to my ears) have that sweet rich sound you get from a Gibson.