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  1. #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am new here. And, this is my first post.

    I understand that jazz can be played on any instrument. But, I was curious on some input of a guitar that I already have lying around.

    I have played a bit of fingerstyle blues and have been wanting to get into playing jazz.

    I just so happen to have a National Collegian like the one pictured, that has a Lollar Charlie Christian pickup in it (there are no volume or tone knobs). Some of my favorite sounding guitarists as seen on YouTube seem to prefer this particular pickup.

    I have never plugged this guitar in. I don’t own an amp. But, I was wondering if this would make a decent jazz guitar? Or, would the metal body negatively impact the pickup as far as getting convincing jazz tone?

    Also, on a side note, is there any way to edit my user name? I just noticed that I spelled it wrong!

    Thanks for the input!

    Playing jazz on a National Collegian with a Lollar CC pickup?-c3409ffa-4950-47aa-b20f-875826768cd9-jpeg

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    You could certainly play trad jazz convincingly on your National. You won’t sound like a hollowbody archtop or a telecaster playing bebop or later styles, let alone bossa, but give it a whirl anyway. You probably won’t need the pickup for rhythm playing or even for single line solos in a small combo but it might come in handy in a larger setting. Good luck!

  4. #3
    I should add that I am really only interested in playing solo chord melody.

    Thanks for the input!

  5. #4

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    No, you’re not allowed to play chord melody on this guitar. You need to sell it asap to a certain forum member …. Just kidding :drool:

    Seriously:

    You won’t need the pickup for chord melody, either, unless you want to drown out the acoustic sound… but anyway the pickup won‘t make it sound like an old L5.

    First of all, I‘d ask myself if the neck is okay for chord melody. A flat and rather wide fingerboard - as I surmise the guitar has - might just be the ticket.


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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melodius Thunk
    Hi everyone,

    I am new here. And, this is my first post.

    I understand that jazz can be played on any instrument. But, I was curious on some input of a guitar that I already have lying around.

    I have played a bit of fingerstyle blues and have been wanting to get into playing jazz.

    I just so happen to have a National Collegian like the one pictured, that has a Lollar Charlie Christian pickup in it (there are no volume or tone knobs). Some of my favorite sounding guitarists as seen on YouTube seem to prefer this particular pickup.

    I have never plugged this guitar in. I don’t own an amp. But, I was wondering if this would make a decent jazz guitar? Or, would the metal body negatively impact the pickup as far as getting convincing jazz tone?

    Also, on a side note, is there any way to edit my user name? I just noticed that I spelled it wrong!

    Thanks for the input!

    Playing jazz on a National Collegian with a Lollar CC pickup?-c3409ffa-4950-47aa-b20f-875826768cd9-jpeg
    Discreet inquires through my sources in the Jazz Police indicate you are free to go.
    Seriously, that is a fine instrument for making music, which jazz iz. Have at it!
    Pro tip: That resonator is louder than you think. Amplification may be optional.

  7. #6
    Thanks for the input.

    I know I didn’t make it clear in my original post, but I would like to be able to get a decent jazz tone out of an amp. I was just wondering if it may be possible with this guitar. Or, if I should just scrap the idea because it would always leave me wanting something else. I own a few nice acoustic guitars for strictly acoustic playing.

    The fretboard on my Collegian isn’t flat. But, the neck is very wide and thick. I absolutely love the neck on that guitar.

  8. #7

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    Jazz is an evolving state of mind and heart and fingers. Tal Farlow is dead, long live Tal Farlow. Your guitar isn’t a Tal and you’re not Tal. Whew, what a relief! Make melodious thunk jazz on the guitar you love.
    Last edited by rhl-ferndale; 10-20-2021 at 08:14 PM.

  9. #8
    I happen to own a Collegian Deluxe like the one in the photo that you provided. I previously owned a 2001 Fender Nocaster that had a Lollar CC in the neck position. I had played them side by side through a Fender Princeton Reverb. Besides the acoustic sound of the resonator bleeding/blending in with the Princeton, I was surprised that I was able to get the National to sound very close to the Nocaster. My Collegian is one of my favorite guitars. I also love the neck. I play mostly play blues these days. The Collegian with the Lollar CC pickup is an awesome combination for that. A new Collegian with a Lollar Charlie Christian pickup currently sells for just under 4K. So, if you decide that you need an archtop, you could probably get a decent guitar in a trade. If for some reason you do end up selling it, please let me know. I am interested in buying another one.
    Last edited by westsideryan; 10-20-2021 at 07:48 PM.

  10. #9

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    I love the name Melodious Thunk! So, you must find a way to change to the correct spelling. It might require quitting the forum, then starting again.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by westsideryan
    I happen to own a Collegian Deluxe like the one in the photo that you provided. I previously owned a 2001 Fender Nocaster that had a Lollar CC in the neck position. I had played them side by side through a Fender Princeton Reverb. Besides the acoustic sound of the resonator bleeding/blending in with the Princeton, I was surprised that I was able to get the National to sound very close to the Nocaster. My Collegian is one of my favorite guitars. I also love the neck. I play mostly play blues these days. The Collegian with the Lollar CC pickup is an awesome combination for that. A new Collegian with a Lollar Charlie Christian pickup currently sells for just under 4K. So, if you decide that you need an archtop, you could probably get a decent guitar in a trade. If for some reason you do end up selling it, please let me know. I am interested in buying another one.
    Thanks for the information!

    I hope to bring the guitar to a guitar shop sometime in the future and try out some amps. Unfortunately, because of certain health issues I am unable to get vaccinated. So, it will be a while before I feel safe going out and about for things that I absolutely do not need.

    As far as selling or trading the guitar goes, I wouldn’t be interested. I love this guitar and will not be parting with it anytime soon.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I love the name Melodious Thunk! So, you must find a way to change to the correct spelling. It might require quitting the forum, then starting again.
    Thanks! I hope to get this corrected.

  13. #12

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    I am the happy owner and player of a resonator guitar made by John Morton (R.I.P.) which I recieved from him last summer. I'm using it to play rhythm
    in my Oldtime Jazz bands when the plectrum banjo is not needed or wanted. Works like a charm, makes an acoustic archtop obsolete for me (and it's louder, too !). For amplification I use a cheap "Feather" mic on a gooseneck (pointed inward towards the cone) plugged into my ancient AER Acousticube or directly into the PA. It's strung with heavy strings and asks for a little more effort from the fretting hand but that's ok - the neck is comfortable (no "V" !!!) so I can endure a normal gig without any problems. For playing "classic" chord solo style with single lines etc. I would def. choose another guitar.
    Attached Images Attached Images Playing jazz on a National Collegian with a Lollar CC pickup?-john-morton-jpg 

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    I am the happy owner and player of a resonator guitar made by John Morton (R.I.P.) which I recieved from him last summer. I'm using it to play rhythm
    in my Oldtime Jazz bands when the plectrum banjo is not needed or wanted. Works like a charm, makes an acoustic archtop obsolete for me (and it's louder, too !). For amplification I use a cheap "Feather" mic on a gooseneck (pointed inward towards the cone) plugged into my ancient AER Acousticube or directly into the PA. It's strung with heavy strings and asks for a little more effort from the fretting hand but that's ok - the neck is comfortable (no "V" !!!) so I can endure a normal gig without any problems. For playing "classic" chord solo style with single lines etc. I would def. choose another guitar.
    I have to respectfully disagree with you. Maybe your particular guitar doesn’t work for such things. But, based on the limited experience I just had playing my Collegian through an amp, I think the Collegian actually works quite well. I also love “V” necks. I know many do not care for them, but I personally find them to be super comfortable.

    I’ll report back early next week after I’ve had more of a chance to mess around with my Collegian. And, the archtop and amp that just happened to show up on my doorstep yesterday afternoon.

  15. #14

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    Never having heard one of these amplified, I can't offer anything intelligent other than "of course you can play any music on any guitar. It only matters whether you like the sound." The CC pickup by Lollar is an outstanding thing, so why wouldn't it sound great?

    Oscar Aleman played jazz on resonator guitars in the 30s as a contemporary of Django Reinhardt, but the typical sound of jazz guitar was quite different in those days pre-amplification. Bob Brozman plays a lot of blues and jazz on resonator guitars with at times a really remarkably warm sound. There are some other folks out there doing it too, a fair number of videos on YouTube if you search for "resonator guitar jazz." There seems to be a tendency, however, to play in old-fashioned (swing era) styles on those instruments. It would be interesting to hear somebody play in a modern fashion on one.

  16. #15

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    I did a whole 3 hour solo guitar gig, all 30's style chord-melody playing, on my National Style 1 Tricone last weekend.
    It was marvelous. The extra natural reverb of the guitar really made it easier to play the outside gig.

    No ideas about what a magnetic pickup of any kind would sound like on a National.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melodius Thunk
    I have to respectfully disagree with you. Maybe your particular guitar doesn’t work for such things. But, based on the limited experience I just had playing my Collegian through an amp, I think the Collegian actually works quite well. I also love “V” necks. I know many do not care for them, but I personally find them to be super comfortable.

    I’ll report back early next week after I’ve had more of a chance to mess around with my Collegian. And, the archtop and amp that just happened to show up on my doorstep yesterday afternoon.
    Of the guitar "works for such things" , no question. It's simply my personal taste : I very much prefer to play my solo-arrangements on an archtop or my Tele. The sustain these guitars offer makes it easier and I have much more tonal/timbral variation under my fingers, not alone due to the stiff strings on my Resonator.
    After close to 50 years of playing the guitar and having tried countless specimen I really know what I like and what works for me - I'd never assume that my personal preferences would apply to anyone else - I'm just reporting my findings.YMMV

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    I did a whole 3 hour solo guitar gig, all 30's style chord-melody playing, on my National Style 1 Tricone last weekend.
    It was marvelous. The extra natural reverb of the guitar really made it easier to play the outside gig.

    No ideas about what a magnetic pickup of any kind would sound like on a National.
    Congrats on this achievement - it's a testament (among other things) to the extraordinary strength and stamina of your hands !!! I've done some 4 hour solo gigs playing a
    nylonstring guitar and it was real WORK .... and I was so proud of myself after I was done ;-)

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by campusfive
    I did a whole 3 hour solo guitar gig, all 30's style chord-melody playing, on my National Style 1 Tricone last weekend.
    It was marvelous. The extra natural reverb of the guitar really made it easier to play the outside gig.

    No ideas about what a magnetic pickup of any kind would sound like on a National.
    I would have loved to have seen and heard that!

  20. #19
    My friend dropped off his ‘66 Deluxe Reverb and a Collings archtop for me to play around with over the weekend. His archtop has the exact same Lollar CC pickup that my National does. So, it was really cool to be able to compare the two guitars through the amp.

    I am very happy to say that the Collegian sounds fantastic through an amp. I didn’t originally want a Collegian with a pickup in it. I basically settled for the one that I have because otherwise there would have been a 14 month wait for one without a pickup. Anyway, I am super happy that I got one with a pickup. This thing sounds so good. I can’t believe how versatile this older pickup design is. In order to better balance the string volume I did have to swap out the phosphor bronze strings for some nickel strings.

    I can get a very useable jazz tone tone out of the Collegian. I can actually get it to sound very close to the sound of the Collings archtop through the amp. It also sounds so good with a little bit of gain.

    Now I need an amp!

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Of the guitar "works for such things" , no question. It's simply my personal taste : I very much prefer to play my solo-arrangements on an archtop or my Tele. The sustain these guitars offer makes it easier and I have much more tonal/timbral variation under my fingers, not alone due to the stiff strings on my Resonator.
    After close to 50 years of playing the guitar and having tried countless specimen I really know what I like and what works for me - I'd never assume that my personal preferences would apply to anyone else - I'm just reporting my findings.YMMV
    Have you ever tried lighter gauge strings on your resonator? I generally use a set of 12’s (light gauge). The sound coming out of my Nationals doesn’t suffer at all.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melodius Thunk
    Have you ever tried lighter gauge strings on your resonator? I generally use a set of 12’s (light gauge). The sound coming out of my Nationals doesn’t suffer at all.

    Since I use the Resonator guitar in an acoustic band setting I need the extra kick in cutting power that the med. heavy strings offer - were I to play with a mic all of the time it would be a different story....

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    Since I use the Resonator guitar in an acoustic band setting I need the extra kick in cutting power that the med. heavy strings offer - were I to play with a mic all of the time it would be a different story....
    Not to get too far off topic… but, have you ever tried 12’s? I know our guitars are of different makers. And, yours appears to be a bit smaller than mine. And, I am guessing it is brass. But, I’ve played acoustically with horns and have had no problems being heard using 12’s. And, I really didn’t notice much of a difference in volume when going from mediums to lights. I’ve had the chance to play with and/or hang out with many great resonator players throughout the years. I found that most of them actually use 12’s. People who come to mind are who use 12’s are Paul Rishell, Mike Dowling (on his El Trovador), Ari Eisinger, and Mamie Minch. I realize that the people that I just listed often play plugged in or mic’d. But, I have also spoken to resonator players in bands with horns that often play on the streets. And, they also play 12’s. The guy from the The Vaudevillian actually uses 11’s. Sorry for the long rant on string gauge. I have just found that there seems to be this preconceived notion among many that you must play at least 13’s on a resonator guitar. Please keep in mind that I am not insinuating that you personally hold this notion.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Melodius Thunk
    My friend dropped off his ‘66 Deluxe Reverb and a Collings archtop for me to play around with over the weekend. His archtop has the exact same Lollar CC pickup that my National does. So, it was really cool to be able to compare the two guitars through the amp.

    I am very happy to say that the Collegian sounds fantastic through an amp. I didn’t originally want a Collegian with a pickup in it. I basically settled for the one that I have because otherwise there would have been a 14 month wait for one without a pickup. Anyway, I am super happy that I got one with a pickup. This thing sounds so good. I can’t believe how versatile this older pickup design is. In order to better balance the string volume I did have to swap out the phosphor bronze strings for some nickel strings.

    I can get a very useable jazz tone tone out of the Collegian. I can actually get it to sound very close to the sound of the Collings archtop through the amp. It also sounds so good with a little bit of gain.

    Now I need an amp!
    I told you so!

    A Deluxe Reverb would be a great all a round amp to consider. The reissues are good and reasonably priced. If you’d like something lighter there are some great solid state amps that would be worth trying out. I have a couple amps made by Quilter that are super light, sound great and don’t break the bank.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melodius Thunk
    I just so happen to have a National Collegian like the one pictured, that has a Lollar Charlie Christian pickup in it (there are no volume or tone knobs). . . I was wondering if this would make a decent jazz guitar? Or, would the metal body negatively impact the pickup as far as getting convincing jazz tone?
    Doug Wamble plays some pretty convincing jazz on a steel guitar. If you haven't found him yet check this out:


  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Doug Wamble plays some pretty convincing jazz on a steel guitar. If you haven't found him yet check this out:

    Thanks for posting this. He’s an interesting player. I’ll have to check out more of what he does. It is also interesting that he (or his luthier) choose to mount what looks to be a Fishman acoustic sound hole pickup to his resonator.