A Telecaster or Stratocaster for Jazz ?

Well today saw even more snow fall here in the East Neuk of Fife and of course that means everything on the transport network stops. So I have been doing some exercises in Jazz standards tosay, specifically a tune called ‘The A train’. I have tested different phrasing to the AABA standard Jazz chord sequence but also tested different guitars to see which one I could get a of my guitars I could get an acceptable Jazz tone from. I have made one recording on a Semi Acoustic guitar which I guess you could say is the standard Jazz guitar played by the Jazz greats such as Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery etc. The other two videos are on guitars made here in my workshops. The first video features the Solberg Sonic which has Sonic 60’s pickups which I generally find to have a sweet tone. Here I just play the melody to the tune i.e. standard phrasing. The second video is on my 1984 Hohner professional SE35 with Humbuckers from ‘The Creamery’ Manchester, these pickups are very clean. The last video features my Walnut Telecaster. The pickups in this one are Fender custom shop Texas specials usually associated with a more country style guitar sound. However this guitar does not have a normal tone pot, it is basically a frequency cut. The effect of this is that it removes all frequencies, no mix or blend ! The result is a guitar that is great for recording and use with effect pedals. Question is do there perform better for a Jazz ?

The Sonic Stratocaster

This is the Solberg Sonic. Just playing the standard melody line for ‘The A train’

The Hohner SE35 semi acoustic

Solo over the AABA chord progression using the Hohner SE35.

The walnut Telecaster

This is the walnut Telecaster where I have change the solo lines to fit more with the chord changes in the tune.

So the question is which one has the better Jazz sound given the choice of guitar /pickups ? It is of course generally excepted that you a have to play Jazz on semi acoustics but I beg to differ. What do you think ?

Published by Filip Solberg

Bespoke built custom guitars in the East Neuk of fife Scotland. We build high quality guitars to exact details of the customer. Pick ups, woods and all hardware are specifically chosen based on tone and play-ability required. We do not have any stock guitars these are built for order only.

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