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  1. #76

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    Why do I gravitate towards hollow bodied guitars for jazz (and other music genres for that matter)? Teles are great guitars for jazz (just listen to Bill Frisell, anything the late Ted Greene played, or Tim Lerch - all formidable jazz players), and I really like my Fender Britt Daniel Telcaster Thinline. Teles are the Swiss army knife of the guitar world IMO. But, I like the way hollow bodies look. I also like their sound - a little rounder, and less punchy sounding than solid, or even semi-hollow bodied guitars IMO.

    Also, and maybe its because of my acoustic guitar roots (I started out, playing acoustic guitar), I find the typically larger bodies of hollow bodied guitars to be more comfortable for me - like my dreadnought, and my 00 sized acoustic guitars, hollow bodied guitars have this nice, big surface I can rest my arm on to anchor it (I don't swing my arm up and down like some players do, when I pick or strum) while I play. With most solid bodies, due to their smaller body size, I either have to sling the guitar REALLY high to to rest my arm on them (and I sling a guitar up pretty high as it is in general), or hunch over the guitar (I typically do not like to play that way) while sitting or standing to get the same ergonomic effect. I don't have to do that with hollow bodied (or semi-hollow bodied) guitars.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - in a non-jazz context, I've always been a bit of a heretic when it comes to hollow body and semi-hollow bodied guitars. If you know how to control the feedback (and I do, from 30 years of playing semi-hollow bodied guitars at stage volume, and over a decade of playing hollow bodied guitars loud), you can get this wonderfully throaty sound from a hollow bodied guitar at mega gain/distortion levels, that I love!
    Last edited by EllenGtrGrl; 10-16-2021 at 03:55 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    What has not stuck is the unique neck attachment specified by Johnny Smith. The fingerboard sits on the top and the neck block goes (I think all the way) to the end of it. In many ways that is the key to the tone of that instrument, creating an upper register that remains solid and lively and also increasing sustain. There is some slight cost in terms of acoustic resonance because the neck block is larger.

    Interestingly, except for the neck block itself and the new mini humbucker none of those features were unique to the Gibson Johnny Smith design, but no other guitar that I am aware of had put them all together.

    As for why we play them, I think it's because they "look" like jazz and I feel a little different playing one of those versus one of my Teles, Strat, etc. Maybe that makes me play differently. However, I have found that my 17 inch archtop is just not a practical instrument for gigging, as much as I love the sound and feel of it; my GB10 works well but even there the feedback problem is present.
    Though otherwise quite different from a GJS, my Seventy-Seven Hawk Jazz has a similar attachment. The support for the fingerboard extension (which appears to be part of the neck, not a separate piece glued to it) sits directly on the top for most of its length.

    My 77 is 16" x 3", laminated spruce top, 24.55" scale, and has a set in pickup, so it's difficult to compare to a GJS, but it sustains quite lot.

    Why do jazz guitarists like to play hollow-body guitars?-img_20211013_231549-jpg

  4. #78

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    Pick up a tele, then pick up an ES 175. The choice is yours !!!
    I'm lucky enough to own both, but I always want to play the 175 for some reason.
    I guess I dig the short scale & the resonance.

    But truth be told, I spend 90% of my guitar time on flat top acoustics.
    Electric isn't important to me for practice.

  5. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    Pick up a tele, then pick up an ES 175. The choice is yours !!!
    I'm lucky enough to own both, but I always want to play the 175 for some reason.
    I guess I dig the short scale & the resonance.

    But truth be told, I spend 90% of my guitar time on flat top acoustics.
    Electric isn't important to me for practice.

    I play the tele at night when I'm watching tv, I can hear what they're saying over it unplugged electric and I can still get my scales in.

  6. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    Pick up a tele, then pick up an ES 175. The choice is yours !!!
    I'm lucky enough to own both, but I always want to play the 175 for some reason.
    I guess I dig the short scale & the resonance.

    But truth be told, I spend 90% of my guitar time on flat top acoustics.
    Electric isn't important to me for practice.
    I know where you're coming from. When I get home from work, the last thing I often feel like doing after a long day at work, is spend time (not that it takes that long), plugging in cables, and powering up my my Fender Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb. I usually just reach for my Yamaha LS6M, or Epiphone Inspired by Gibson J-45.

  7. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Why do so many young straight-ahead jazz guitarists wear homburgs and waistcoats when they play their hollow-body guitars?
    Homburgs (hats) - a properly positioned hat brim can usefully direct aural information to the performer. I use a fedora in cooler weather, and a good Panama straw as a warm-weather personal monitor. As for waistcoats - pockets, my good man, pockets!

  8. #82

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    Similarly, in country music, cowboy boots help with pedal switches on a crowded pedal board.

  9. #83

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    Functional reasons shouldn't be discarded. What first crossed my mind was the possibility of hiding a wireless system inside the hat, but currently my thoughts are revolving more around the possibility of a less intrusive alternative to in-ear monitoring (i.e. off-hat monitoring).

  10. #84

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    Historically probably many reasons; I'd say a major one is just tradition.
    Sound/tone should seem like big factors and that may be true for Gibson vs. Fender.
    I think that has as much to do with pickups as guitar body/style.
    I personally like the feel of a bigger bodied guitar, maybe I just am used to it, but usually have found it easier to handle and hold/control than smaller, thinner ones.
    It's taken me a while to get used to a 335 body.
    Last edited by arielcee; 10-14-2021 at 03:34 PM.

  11. #85

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    Some arch-tops are built for jazz, some are not...
    I have a `47 Gibson L7 that just loves complex chords and fast single note runs, a guitar built for the purpose of playing jazz standards. (Works fine for old style country and western too).
    Plug in the McCarty floating pick up, and it makes all other electric guitars sound like toys!
    None of my other guitars (Teles, Strats, Gibson 330 and 335) get close when it comes to making the glorious sound of jazz guitar.
    And I have an old 17" Levin arch-top, made in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1940.
    When I play this guitar it tells me to play big simple chords on the first five frets. It tells me about how it overpowered accordions and fiddles to become king of the open air dances back in the forties and fifties....a true accordion killer but no jazzer!
    Two superficially similar looking instruments that are miles apart in how they function.
    I feel that a really good arch-top will channel you towards playing the musical elements that make up jazz. Extended harmonies ring out clearly, single note and chord melodies sound good.
    Play F#m7-5 to B7-9 to Em around frets 7,8 and 9 on a dreadnought Martin and it doesn't sound as clear as on good arch-top. IMHO.
    Just a few thoughts on an interesting subject.
    And yes, I love old guitars full of history!

  12. #86

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    for the reason heavy rockers like distortion and fuzz and some older men like younger women

  13. #87

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    Have been playing archtops from day one, starting w an ES-175, then a succession of L-5's and Super 400's. I took a 335 in on a trade once but couldn't get used to a thinline, I need to have that big body under my arm, so Teles and Strats are out.
    All you folks that play thinliies and solids, great, more archie's pour moi!

  14. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Have been playing archtops from day one, starting w an ES-175, then a succession of L-5's and Super 400's. I took a 335 in on a trade once but couldn't get used to a thinline, I need to have that big body under my arm, so Teles and Strats are out.
    All you folks that play thinliies and solids, great, more archie's pour moi!
    It's a floor wax AND a dessert topping!
    Attached Images Attached Images Why do jazz guitarists like to play hollow-body guitars?-img_1976-jpg 

  15. #89

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    I am interested in how the internal hollow-body construction influences the price of the instrument?

  16. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFrench
    for the reason heavy rockers like distortion and fuzz and some older men like younger women
    but none of my guitars have ambitions or children

  17. #91

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    Interesting thread. If "the nature of the tonal response" refers to both sound and feel, then maybe agree.

    My preference is for set-pickup, laminated top archtops with wooden bridge. And P90s or Franz p/us. With some - not all - such guitars I've tried, there's this surprising kind of synergy: Compared to teles for example, the archtop lacks sustain, and the dense push so easy to hear with Les Pauls. Somehow, that lowered sustain combines with air, and a woody kind of edge from fretboard and wooden bridge to create a very full, fat sound. Coming from solid bodies, I didn't get the archtop thing at first, as it's so different. Then suddenly it made perfect sense. Different kind of sustain, different presence in the room.

    It's a more delicate, fragile sound than my other favorite guitar, teles. And feels very different too, alive in my hands. That's what keeps me coming back to archtops.
    Last edited by mad dog; 10-17-2021 at 07:48 AM.

  18. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by mad dog
    Interesting thread. If "the nature of the tonal response" refers to both sound and feel, then maybe agree.

    My preference is for set-pickup, laminated top archtops with wooden bridge. And P90s or Franz p/us. With some - not all - such guitars I've tried, there's this surprising kind of synergy: Compared to teles for example, the archtop lacks sustain, and the dense push so easy to hear with Les Pauls. Somehow, that lowered sustain combines with air, and a woody kind of edge from fretboard and wooden bridge to create a very full, fat sound. Coming from solid bodies, I didn't get the archtop thing at first, as it's so different. Then suddenly it made perfect sense. Different king of sustain, different presence in the room.

    It's a more delicate, fragile sound than my other favorite guitar, teles. And feels very different too, alive in my hands. That's what keeps me coming back to archtops.
    Great post!
    I train on Tele, the so-called light touch.
    The strings react differently to hollow body.
    It is really impressive how the guitar inspires the imagination.
    Best
    Kris

  19. #93

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    I’m not much of a piano player, but there is an undeniable difference between playing a piano and a keyboard. I’ve played really really good keyboards. Wow! Better than most pianos —but still different.

    That’s the best analogy between hollow body and solid guitars I can come up with. I have three very nice solid body guitars. Sometimes I prefer the sounds I get from them. Yet, somehow, it’s my 3” deep full hollow I pick up day after day.


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  20. #94

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    I have two new Gretsch hollow-bodies: one with a single cutaway, one with a double cutaway. I think the air inside the instrument has a large influence on the attack, the envelope, the sustain, and the quality of sound. Neither of these is loud acoustically, and both have 24.6" scale: very comfortable, yet roomy enough for the high positions. For me the, Filtertron pickups were a revelation, to finally not sound like an over-compressed, mid-rangy PAF style. There's some sting, chime and interesting growl to those pups, and my playing has changed , I hope for the better. So far, great reactions from bandmates and audiences alike. Not much feedback trouble, but I play through Bose stuff, so that's never been much of an issue. In any event, I still look like a jazzer, except with the white one with gold hardware and Bigsby, but that's for big stages with performers who are not principally jazzers.

  21. #95

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    I like my Epiphone Emperor regent for its great looks, superb neck, and articulate tone. My 2004 ES-175 excels in playability, ergonomic comfort, and tonal flexibility - I can craft exactly the tone I need in a particular sonic context on the fly using one, the other, or both Classic '57 pickups without fuss or bother.