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Jazzmasters in vogue?


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Any of you Chicago area Forumites get to the Pitchfork fest in Chicago this weekend? Whenever I go to a festival, it always seems that over the course of things I notice some sort of guitar trend. At Pitchfork this weekend it was clearly that Jazzmasters appear to be the guitar of choice for much of the indie rock crowd. Nels Cline's influence, perhaps?

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I streamed it on the interwebz, couldn't make it out. Jazzmasters have always been prevalent in the indie rock crowd, but I noticed a bunch of Strats as well.

 

Not so much Nels Cline, tons of bands were using them before him. He only started one because he was influenced by Sonic Youth and some other guy (at least that's what he said in some interview I saw)

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I streamed it on the interwebz, couldn't make it out. Jazzmasters have always been prevalent in the indie rock crowd, but I noticed a bunch of Strats as well.

 

Not so much Nels Cline, tons of bands were using them before him. He only started one because he was influenced by Sonic Youth and some other guy (at least that's what he said in some interview I saw)

 

Could J Mascis have been the other guy?

 

Jazzmasters have been pretty big in the indie crowd since the nineties or thereabouts.

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Any of you Chicago area Forumites get to the Pitchfork fest in Chicago this weekend? Whenever I go to a festival, it always seems that over the course of things I notice some sort of guitar trend. At Pitchfork this weekend it was clearly that Jazzmasters appear to be the guitar of choice for much of the indie rock crowd. Nels Cline's influence, perhaps?

 

 

I've noticed that the Jazzmaster has been popping up all over the place in the last year or so.

 

I doubt it'll ever overtake the popularity of the Stratocaster.

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I was in a country duo/trio with a guy who used a Jazzmaster and a Baldwin amp. With his pinkie on the volume control and a bit of use of the whammy, he could sound exactly like a pedal steel.

 

I never cared for the thing myself because for some strange reason it has a Fender style neck radius that I dislike, but there's no question it can give you good cleans. Again, IMHO after you start heavily modifying guitar pickup signals through stomp boxes and such, it's hard to tell the diff - at least it is to me.

 

m

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BTW, in his early days, jazz great Joe Pass was known to play both the Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster, apparently more frequently the latter. Now memorialized by a nice Epi jazz guitar, most of what you'll see on Youtube will be with a Gibson ES175.

 

But the bottom line in ways is that fads on guitars, and guitarists' choices of guitars often will change as the player grows and as perceptions of different sorts of guitars change.

 

For example, I have two archtop "jazz" guitars, a small body steel string AE cutaway and a semi-hollow and an early 1970s Guild SG clone - and have been known to play and feel comfortable playing fingerstyle "jazz" on all of 'em - and also on my other guitars, albeit not so much.

 

m

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I think it is more about the resurgence in nineties music. Two bands that come to mind that sport Jazzmasters/Jaguars that sound like they are straight out of 1994 are Yu©k (played this weekend at Pitchfork) and Maze. Love both of their sounds.

 

I always like the Jag and Jazzmasters best. They are surely the deluxe Fenders. If Hendrix could have controlled the feedback on his Jazzmaster, mainstream cats would be playing those instead of outsiders like Lee Ranaldo, Tom Verlaine, and Nels Cline.

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I think it is more about the resurgence in nineties music. Two bands that come to mind that sport Jazzmasters/Jaguars that sound like they are straight out of 1994 are Yu©k (played this weekend at Pitchfork) and Maze. Love both of their sounds.

 

I always like the Jag and Jazzmasters best. They are surely the deluxe Fenders. If Hendrix could have controlled the feedback on his Jazzmaster, mainstream cats would be playing those instead of outsiders like Lee Ranaldo, Tom Verlaine, and Nels Cline.

 

Tom Verlaine was the other guy, not J Mascis.

 

The Jazzmaster, from what I have heard, was designed to kill off the Strat, turn the Strat into a beginners guitar and the jazzmaster and jaguar were meant to be the top of the line but never caught on in popularity

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Tom Verlaine was the other guy, not J Mascis.

 

The Jazzmaster, from what I have heard, was designed to kill off the Strat, turn the Strat into a beginners guitar and the jazzmaster and jaguar were meant to be the top of the line but never caught on in popularity

 

Not quite. "upscale" yes, from strat and tele for sure, because most felt that a rosewood board and a few more sounds were "upscale" from either of his first two masterpieces. Never realizing that his first two masterpieces would stay what they were, the sound that everyone, including Leo himself, would spend up until this very day trying to one better.

 

Jazzmaster was designed for, believe it or not, Jazzbos, he wanted to do for Jazz what had happened with Western Swing, Country, and the new Rock And Roll when them genres got hooked on teles and strats. He felt that he could capitalize on the (relatively) simple maintenance and cost that his guitars were, and do it so the jazz guys would buy his instead of Gibsons.

 

So they didn't catch on, the surf guys used them, Fender killed them just as Verlane was making them "cool".

 

To be honest, I, and most of the guys I hung around with in the 70's felt that Jazzmaster and Jaguar were right in there with Mustangs, Melody Makers, and Jrs. Starter guitars, kids guitars, toys.

 

"kill off" the strat? heh. Not over Georges dead body I'm pretty sure.

 

rct

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Not quite. "upscale" yes, from strat and tele for sure, because most felt that a rosewood board and a few more sounds were "upscale" from either of his first two masterpieces. Never realizing that his first two masterpieces would stay what they were, the sound that everyone, including Leo himself, would spend up until this very day trying to one better.

 

Jazzmaster was designed for, believe it or not, Jazzbos, he wanted to do for Jazz what had happened with Western Swing, Country, and the new Rock And Roll when them genres got hooked on teles and strats. He felt that he could capitalize on the (relatively) simple maintenance and cost that his guitars were, and do it so the jazz guys would buy his instead of Gibsons.

 

So they didn't catch on, the surf guys used them, Fender killed them just as Verlane was making them "cool".

 

To be honest, I, and most of the guys I hung around with in the 70's felt that Jazzmaster and Jaguar were right in there with Mustangs, Melody Makers, and Jrs. Starter guitars, kids guitars, toys.

 

"kill off" the strat? heh. Not over Georges dead body I'm pretty sure.

 

rct

 

When I bought my Jaguar back in 1964, (I think), it was the "top of the line" Fender. By buddy had the Strat, and I liked it better than my Jag even back then. I recall the Ventures played a Strat and a Jazzmaster back then, (before the Moserite guitars).

 

My cousin still has his VERY early Jazzmaster. I remember first seeing it about 1962 or 1963, but I don't know exactly what year it is.

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Yeah, I remember in the early '60s the Jag was perceived as "the" Fender. A lotta country and "soul" guys were using them.

 

Rob... was it the short scale you didn't care for on the Jag? I always thought it looked well balanced for playing, but never cared for the necks at all.

 

The automobile-style dome light type switches always seemed a bit odd too, but Fender wasn't at all the only ones using them on guitars.

 

m

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I always read that the Strat was the guitar of geeky white guys like Buddy Holly and then Hendrix came along and everyone had to have one. Trying to think of a pre-Hendrix guitar hero that played a Strat and I cannot. The Monterey Pop Festival in '67 was Strat-less except for Hendrix & Townshend and Townshend doesn't count because their set was on rented gear.

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Yeah, I remember in the early '60s the Jag was perceived as "the" Fender. A lotta country and "soul" guys were using them.

 

Rob... was it the short scale you didn't care for on the Jag? I always thought it looked well balanced for playing, but never cared for the necks at all.

 

The automobile-style dome light type switches always seemed a bit odd too, but Fender wasn't at all the only ones using them on guitars.

 

m

 

Milo, I didn't mind the scale, it was all the bells and whistles. The Strat just seems to be laid out so much better...the pickup select switch is perfect where it is, and how it's used. The pickup select switch on the Jag was laid out so you had to look at it when you wanted to change.

 

What I didn't like about the Strat (back then), was that when you broke a string, they ALL went out of tune. My Jag was better at that. I have a Strat now, but I don't play such that I EVER break a string anymore!

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Rob...

 

Yeah, I think in the old days a lotta folks were trying to figure controls on guitars. Gibson quickly pretty much standardized on the switching and pots it uses today on most guitars; Fender's Tele especially, and Strat controls were actually pretty similar. The rows of switches on others just never seemed to make it.

 

I always wondered, too, if the various switching options on various Gretsches didn't damage their popularity, odd as that may sound.

 

One thing about a master volume where you can play with most of your right hand but run the volume with the pinkie is a super idea that I don't think has gotten enough "play" with more guitarists. It always seemed to me that every style of guitar could benefit from that. Alas, it ain't there and the volume pedal never seemed to be all that popular an option. Heck, I seldom attach mine...

 

EDIT: Windmill... at various times nearly anything has been considered a "junk" guitar. The LP almost ended up on the junkheap of history too. You don't wanna know what I heard about Gretsches in the 70s, either. <grin>

 

m

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It seems that in the past few years the Jazzmaster and Jaguar are having a resurgance in popularity they have even come out with a Jaguar bass-which by the way is fabulous for guitarist turned bassist.I have a '65 Jag and there is nothing on the market that comes near its unique tone and the same goes for the Jazz.Fender has muddied the pool lately with humbucker equipped Jags and Jazzes which don't do anything for a single coil Jag and Jazz purist like me.

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The first time I remember seeing anyone playing either of those two models (Jazzmaster and Jaguar) was Elvis Costello in about 1977.

His was an early-ish (pre-66) dot-inlaid version. I seem to remember it being a rather horrid shade of brown!

 

I never really liked the looks of either of them, especially all the slider switches on the Jaguar.

 

P.

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I like the look of the Jazzmasters, but like Milod, I don't care for the Fender neck. The longer scale is fine, but the short radius drives me crazy.

 

I also don't like the weight of the Jazzmasters. I switch instruments every song or two and I know weight bearing exercises are supposed to be good for you, but picking up and putting down a heavy guitar with my left hand dozens of times per night gets old ;-)

 

I also read that Fender was on the verge of discontinuing the Strat before Hendrix revived the interest in it.

 

And the SG was an attempt to do something about the waning popularity of the LP.

 

They are all great guitars though.

 

And as far as a master volume near your right pinky is concerned, I never realized how useful that was until I modded my ESP. My newest guitar (Parker) has the same feature. And I never want to play another guitar without a master volume near my right pinky.

 

Notes ♫

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The first time I remember seeing anyone playing either of those two models (Jazzmaster and Jaguar) was Elvis Costello in about 1977.

His was an early-ish (pre-66) dot-inlaid version. I seem to remember it being a rather horrid shade of brown!

 

I never really liked the looks of either of them, especially all the slider switches on the Jaguar.

 

P.

 

I played the Jag 'til I switched over to bass.

Boysclub-1.jpg?t=1311084955

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Rob...

 

Yeah, I think in the old days a lotta folks were trying to figure controls on guitars. Gibson quickly pretty much standardized on the switching and pots it uses today on most guitars; Fender's Tele especially, and Strat controls were actually pretty similar. The rows of switches on others just never seemed to make it.

 

I always wondered, too, if the various switching options on various Gretsches didn't damage their popularity, odd as that may sound.

 

One thing about a master volume where you can play with most of your right hand but run the volume with the pinkie is a super idea that I don't think has gotten enough "play" with more guitarists. It always seemed to me that every style of guitar could benefit from that. Alas, it ain't there and the volume pedal never seemed to be all that popular an option. Heck, I seldom attach mine...

 

EDIT: Windmill... at various times nearly anything has been considered a "junk" guitar. The LP almost ended up on the junkheap of history too. You don't wanna know what I heard about Gretsches in the 70s, either. <grin>

 

m

 

Milo, The controls on a Strat are "right there" . Many players play with their pinkie around the volume knob on the Strat.... on the Jag the volume is on the other end of the guitar....retuires you to look for it. I never played lead, so that wasn't as important to me as it might be to others.

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I like the look of the Jazzmasters, but like Milod, I don't care for the Fender neck. The longer scale is fine, but the short radius drives me crazy.

 

I also don't like the weight of the Jazzmasters. I switch instruments every song or two and I know weight bearing exercises are supposed to be good for you, but picking up and putting down a heavy guitar with my left hand dozens of times per night gets old ;-)

 

I also read that Fender was on the verge of discontinuing the Strat before Hendrix revived the interest in it.

 

And the SG was an attempt to do something about the waning popularity of the LP.

 

They are all great guitars though.

 

And as far as a master volume near your right pinky is concerned, I never realized how useful that was until I modded my ESP. My newest guitar (Parker) has the same feature. And I never want to play another guitar without a master volume near my right pinky.

 

Notes ♫

 

If you do like the Jazzmaster sound and look, chek out the Classic Player series. It's a good 2 lbs lighter than any other Jazzmaster I have held. You can find em for about 500 used. The only complaint I have is the tremolo is closer to the bridge and doesn't have as much of the jangle of you play behind the bridge

 

EDIT: Also, so I'm not crazy in having heard that the Strat was on the verge of being discontinued. The Jazzmaster was supposed to be the Cadillac of guitars, as I believe at the time, it was the most expensive guitar available from a production company

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