The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Firstly I just wanna say a huge thank you everyone thats been commenting on my other thread.

    Had a super productive day today bouncing round a few stores I'm a lefty beginner ish player that's loved blues an now fell in love with Jazz My favourite players are Wes Montgomery could listen 24/7 Charlie Christian and I love anything Chet Baker on his trumpets wow! Also liking a bit of grant green to and on a journey learning about Jazz players. I usually play a lefty avri 56 strat with a 7.25" radius and a soft v that I prefer to my 1999 epi les paul slim neck as I'm really tall with a netball n figure skating figure advantage of having a Danish mum.

    Tried quite a few righty guitars flipped upside down a few D'angelico premiers but didn't quite get on with them neck wise again wasn't quite my cup of tea glad I got to play one as in my head that's what I was thinking of initially.

    Tried a Joe Pass again righty upside down loved it very Mellow but found the tone very even maybe a bit boxy if that's the right word very much may have been the store as the room was huge. The controls were also jabbing me constantly in the arm.

    Next up was the Godin p90 warm tones for days loved the tone but the neck was constantly tripping me up like the last time I played it so decided she's not for me great guitar though.

    Then I clocked a archtop peaking out a Broadway hmm had been reading about them being similarish to a L5 ish so decided to have a go having not tried a 17" flipped it upside down plugged in and fell in love probably helping by this point that I'd got used to doing the first bits of impressions n round midnight with the strings reversed.

    Whether it's cause it was a 25.5" neck or I'm not sure if it's the bigger body but the sound seemed to resonate in a way I didn't expect almost like the notes were blooming with extra over tones. N it'd go from Mellow to quite snappy dependant on my playing with my thumb absolutely smitten that was a 2017 mic playing it upside down the controls missed my arm comfortably bar the one tone control if I wanted right over the front pickup so could always relocate that to a thumb wheel control on the pickguard. The tone was warm n full and really dynamic just didn't expect that much of a difference which ties in to what everyone was advising go play them even if they are 3 hours away well worth it.

    What's the difference in made in Korea construction and Made on China.

    I'm not sure if the difference was down to the Neck / scale length or the body size or a combination of both its fascinating

    The last guitar which I played the other day but wasn't sure if it was suitable for Jazz it was the G5420 with the older style tail peice this was an actual lefty that had the same snappy response that the Broadway had but I didn't have enough of a chance to try dial in a Mellow tone. Gonna go and play another one tomorrow. The neck was really special on that.

    The big choice I've got to make at the moment is do I get a righty and switch my playing to upside down strings I belive Doyle Bramhall II does it that way and Albert King does I'm not sure of any other players that do, I could quite easily alter my epi les paul to that stringing I fixed a ruined setup n nut from a shop that went out of business once. N change my strat to that stringing to n then playing vintage L5's or L7's or epis which are my dream guitars would be a case of just flipping the guitar n not risking damaging it by restringing lefty.

    Or I leave my lefties how they are an grab one of the Gretsches which are lefty.

    Has anyone got any experience of playing both the Epiphone Broadway / the Gretsch?

    Also with the construction of the Gretsch does anyone know if the soundposts braces etc would allow righty stringing on a lefty if I was to start playing strings in that direction.

    Massive thanks in advance again for the continued help and advise.
    Last edited by Lucy; 08-02-2022 at 08:06 PM.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    Hi Lucy, not sure where in UK you are based (I',m in Cornwall,) but Guitar Guitar have several stores and quite a few LH Gretschs, Hagstroms, Epiphones and others upto Gibson ES 335s. Very few L5s about (as you probably know) and no LH ones that I'm aware of. Richards Guitars of Stratford-on-Avon carry a lot of stock and he often has (or will get in) LH guitars. Guitar Village in Farnham, Surrey are worth a visit if within reach. Good luck with the search.

  4. #3

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    Stay Lefty

    Try one of these if possible
    Ibanez AF55L-TF – Thomann UK

  5. #4

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    You’ll eventually regret either purchase. The flipped guitar will eventually get on your nerves with the knob and cable position. The gretch isn’t really a "jazz guitar". Might as well get a LP if you’re gonna do that.

    Keep saving for a used Peerless, or an Eastman. Also the budget Ibanez suggestion above is worth considering.

  6. #5
    Thanks everyone really appreciating the replies big help an thanks for the dealer suggestions actually moving down to East Devon later this year up north at the moment, the only other guitar I keep thinking about is a lefty Joe Pass. Gonna go play a right handed one tomorrow again an try play it through a fender amp as the last dealer I tried a Joe Pass at didn't have any fender amps on the floor.

    The Eastman and Peerless options are gonna be past me for quite a while.

    Ideally after playing all the different ones I'm absolutely in love with the tone n feel of the broadway the 17" body and the depth + the 25.5" neck really really suited me as I've got quite long arms the controls were actually sat within the crook of my arm and the lead was no where near just a shame they never did a lefty. Would the equivalent in the Peerless range be something like the Peerless Jazz City? Hopefully one day Gibson/Epi get there act together an give us some lefty Broadways or L5 copies I have emailed them suggesting it

    I did see a Eastman 372 but it was double the ideal budget n just waiting to hear if the dealer still has it after some bills that came in it's dropped the budget a bit an the Eastman/Peerless seem tricky to find in the UK.

    Appreciate the advice on the Gretsch Guessing the Joe Pass epis edge it? I was reading about some of the gretsch jazz players an the design of the falcon as a rival to the L5 (such a shame they are so much!) before was fascinating

    It's such an interesting and exciting journey learnt so much about my playing trying so many different guitars been invaluable really as it's narrowed me right in on what I like and don't like quite a bit.
    Last edited by Lucy; 08-02-2022 at 07:59 PM.

  7. #6
    Thanks guys means alot all the effort you are all putting in, I had a real think about it last night an I'm gonna stay lefty lefty strung as if I ever come across a lefty with a cutout archtop I'd then have the same issue in reverse if I used a righty strung one upside down as my main guitar, actually popped Gibson/Epi an email emploring them to make some left handed archtops again as I'm sure I'm not the only one who would spend money with them but can't.

    It's a shame the masterbilt range wasn't better tone wise or that they didn't have a propper pickup the necks on those gosh utterly amazing n the bridge was straight so not to bad to convert unlike the Broadway which had an angled one so guessing those are impossible. Just such a shame they didn't do the Broadway lefty as that's totally the tone I'm chasing was so amazing

    I also saw this although it's way out of the budget.
    Gretsch Tim Armstrong

    Parallel braced 17" 2.75 but it's not a 25.5" scale so spending that much I'd probably wait n go eastman or similar in the future. I quite liked the look of the peerless Jazz City spec wise for the future at least there's a few good higher end lefty archtops out there.

    Budget wise at the moment though it's probably between the Joe Pass which come up lefty have seen a few at the moment an the two Gretsch 500 series guitars there's 0 lefty eastmans in the uk I spoke to every dealer. Just on the way to play a rh Joe pass and a lefty Gretsch again.

    Being in the uk and lefty everything is a compromise I guess.

  8. #7

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    When you get to Devon, there are Mansons and Project Music in Exeter - worth checking out. Project Music are main Eastman dealers, and have quite a bit of stock. Cornwall is pretty much a dead loss as far as shops go, but there is a Gretsch reissue New Yorker on FB marketplace for £380 currently. Quite a few used Gretschs too.

  9. #8
    Just played a Joe Pass for a few hours kindly at a local store who left me to it couldn't get on with it

    So off to try a few lefty Gretschs including the 17" Tim Armstrong one exciting.

    The only other thing that crossed my mind is getting a Broadway from a cost point of view the controls didn't bother me an look into getting a bridge made for the inotation but I'm not sure if that's possible with it being on an angle. The gretschs are leading the way at the moment that's for sure ^_^ an sometimes it's good to be a bit different like wes was in his playing

    Really looking forward to getting down to East Devon looks like there's a few jazz nights in Taunton to which I didn't expect.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    Stay Lefty

    Try one of these if possible
    Ibanez AF55L-TF – Thomann UK
    Great choice

  11. #10
    Just flicking specs at the moment the G5420's are looking most likely be interesting to try this bigger 17" bout Tim Armstrong though on the way at the mo to a few more dealers

    NEW G5420LH
    Bracing trestle block
    2.75" depth
    Arched laminated maple
    11-49 string
    Laurel board
    Maple neck
    Classic c
    1.68" nut
    12" radius
    Ft5e filtron
    24.6" scale
    Set neck

    G5420LH old version
    5 ply maple laminated
    Parallel tone bars
    Sound post
    24.6" scale
    1.68" nut
    Black top filter tron pickup
    Body depth 2.75"
    16" bout
    Neck joint dove tail.

    G5191BK Tim Armstrong
    Laminated maple
    Parallel tone bars
    5ply Arched maple top
    2.75" body depth
    24.33" scale
    1.68 nut
    Black filtron.
    12.5" board
    Glued neck
    17" bout

    Body depth 2.25" prefer deeper
    24.6" scale

    Falcon ml bracing
    2.50 " deep
    U neck
    Ft67 pickup
    12 board
    25.5 inch scale hello there :3

  12. #11
    It's like bringing you all along on the journey haha played the Tim Armstrong n it sounded quite flat not my cup of tea so going back to try the G5420 that I loved if I can make the shop n the broadway.

    Does anyone know what bracing the modern epi broadways use? Gonna have a look into the possibility of restringing it n modifying the bridge. If I don't like the Gretsch a n b'g it would love both lol.

  13. #12
    Decided to record a tiny bit of Impressions with the verb down on the amp same loudness in the room neck pickup on both was a Fender Blackface valve amp. Eq on the amp was all half way, and I tried the tone control off and open on both guitars. The gretsch was a propper lefty and the Broadway was a mic 2017 right hander I was playing upside down so the bass e was on the bottom top e on the top.

    I've decided to go for the Gretsch from the fact it's a true lefty really showed when I was playing and it covered some of the bluesy stuff I play super well as well. One day I might try and get an Elitist Broadway to been reading up about those.

    The Gretsch v the MIC Broadway

    Personally I thought the epi was a way fuller and warm sounding compared to the gretsch but the Gretsch had a singing quality once the verb was up should have recorded that! Both felt really dynamic to play and no complaints on either an if it wasn't for being a bit short on money at the moment I'd buy both just the fact the Gretsch being a lefty has swung it + I loved the extra dynamics it seemed to pick up with me playing with my thumb + the neck lush.


    That's interesting I didn't realise the entire bridge assy is floating on the Broadway thought it was pinned to the body like on a les paul learning all the time wouldn't be to hard to string it lefty then. Gonna sleep on it trying to scheme a way to get both lol most likely the Gretsch but gonna sleep on it an decide in the morning.
    Thanks again to everyone that commented
    Last edited by Lucy; 08-03-2022 at 07:58 PM.

  14. #13
    Quick question on the Broadways been up reading trying to find out, does anyone know what the changes are between the MIC or the MIK ones? Know the board changed but we're there any other changes in favour of one or the other? I'd read something about F holes but was there any difference to the Neck or the rest of the body shapes or how they are put together

    It's really interesting to get a understanding of the difference I've got no complaints about the MIC one I've played in the slightest but just curious really. Was the pickguard different? An does anyone known if either were soldered wiring?

    Thanks in advance,


  15. #14
    Choice made! Gretsch 5420 lefty with the rosewood boards just off to play a few more ^_^ n decide on one. Kept thinking about the fact gretsch are making the lefties and that the way to vote is with funds so to speak an you never know if anyone from Gibson / Epiphone reads this if you did a lefty Broadway or a Lefty Wes Montgomery you would have got zee money

    Thanks for all the help everyone very much appreciated an in the long term I'm gonna save up n get an acoustic l7 none cutaway or a lefty Falcon really excited to start my Gretsch Journey.

  16. #15

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    thanks for your enthusiasm.

    happy Gretsch journey to you then.

  17. #16

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    I have a Broadway. I play it every day and I love it. I had a Korean Joe Pass and Casino. There is no difference is build quality that I can notice. I’ve played many Gibson arch tops and never thought they were 10x better to justify the cost.

    I try to focus my efforts into playing what I have instead of searching for a white whale. So some of the minutia of Chinese vs Korean factories is probably lost on me.

    P. S. Check out Bill Jennings he was a lefty to, played flipped arch tops as well.

  18. #17

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    I have a Gretsch Jet Club G5421, made in China, and I think it's a great guitar. It sounds good and plays well.

    Congratulations on your Gretsch!

  19. #18

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    The 5420 is a very good guitar and easy to mod if you want to bring it into the 6120 league. Yes, there is a quality difference between korean and chinese made guitars. And forget about terms like „Jazzguitar“.

  20. #19
    Can let the cat out of the bag a bit now woop!

    Got my first Gretsch thank you to everyone thats advised.

    Ended up with a Gretsch Left Handed G5420TGLH-59 Electromatic Vintage in orange with the USA bigsby in silver and gold hardware like Chet Atkins guitar apparently there's was only 100 lefties worldwide super happy with it played amazing at the guys house just so happy I can't put it into words woop! Just on the way home ill let her acclimatise an take some pics tomorrow :3

    Played like butter when I tried it at the guys house super amazing an goes to show how good they are consistency wise as it was as nice as the others I played.

    Gretsch Left Handed G5420T Limited Edition Electromatics

    Thanks again for all the amazing help n look forward to being part of the forum going forward

    Thanks for the recommendation Allan I'll check Bill Jennings out.

    N yep totally agree loved the Broadway I tried that was mic was one of the sweetest guitars I'd played (my tele is made out there an that's got a beautiful neck) would have loved to have bought the Broadway as well but when this came up gosh fell in love really covered a lot of ground sound wise. Hopefully in the future I can get a Broadway to as I really loved the big archtop.

    Actually quite interesting how many Jazz players played Gretches to an Mary Osborne played a White Falcon.

    Gonna get some flat wounds for it over the weekend woop.

  21. #20

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    get Thomastiks, they are worth the little extra expense.

  22. #21
    Thanks Filmo will do

  23. #22

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    If over time you feel like you are nor getting a warm enough or mellow enough sound out of the all-maple Gretsch with trestle bracing, I highly recommend you do a few pickup swaps. I don't recall if the 5420's pickups are Filtertron-sized, or Gibson humbucker-sized? For Filtertron-sized pickups:

    Guitar Pickups and Bass Pickups for your electric guitar or bass.

    TV Jones is the king of filtertron-sized pickups. He has a wide range, and makes a T-90 (his version of a P90) that would be great for jazz tones.

  24. #23
    Thanks Ruger ace info

    Gonna have a fly out for some flatwounds if anywhere has any if not I'll order some online just been playing this morning absolutely in love with the tone an playability gonna upload a lil clip later.

    Here's the NGD piccies ^__^ hope you all enjoy

  25. #24

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    ^^ way sweet guitar, I have only admired these from a distance so far.

    be sure to buy the "right" size of strings, as in not too thin.

    maybe a start with JazzSwing #12 is fine ?

    they might sound "funky" at first , don't let that scare you off, they should well tame

    the brightness of that guitar.

  26. #25

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    Nice guitar.
    Left hand players have real difficulty to find left hand jazz guitar.
    my advice is to be patient and you will find a very good axe, and not inverted a right hand model, excepted for symetric (without buttom) model.
    I'm a lefty player and had very good (and rare axes).
    And to reply on the last post, a broadway is very intersting guitar but I didn't find interested on Joe pass.

    ps: I'm almost certain that Wes sound is more due to Thumb than L5