5 Best Guitars for Playing Jazz

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, we may receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for the best guitars for playing jazz?

Ready to bring your jazz sound to the next level?

There’s a wide range of jazz guitars in the market today so it’s very important to know what kinds of jazz guitars are suitable for you. There are those that favor the seasoned players and also there are those that are friendly to beginners.

The guitars can also be classified into three major groups. There are solid body guitars which are best suited for modern jazz and are easier and straightforward to use. There are also the hollow body guitars which tend to be bulky but have a more retro and bigger sound. The last type is the semi-hollow body guitar. These tend to be somewhere in between the solid body guitars and the hollow body ones.

Ready to learn more? Below we’ll give you our list of the very best guitars for playing jazz.

Best Jazz Guitars – Quick View

1. Fender American Special Telecaster

Buy Now on Amazon

Top Fender Guitars For Jazz

The first Guitar on our list is the Fender American Special Telecaster. When it comes to popularity, you can always count on the Fender Telecaster. This is due to its versatility and different tonal features it possesses. Due to this, several companies have taken its model and then gone ahead to make their own versions of it.

Apart from jazz alone, the Fender Telecaster can also handle rock and country. Famous players like Ted Greene use this guitar. The Fender Telecaster is also very famous when it comes to solid body guitars. It is also ideal for those people who play guitar as a hobby and do not want to spend a lot of money on a guitar that is overly specialized.

The biggest advantage of this guitar is that it is affordable and at the same time maintaining its status as a very good quality guitar that can play jazz. It is also one of the best guitars for any beginner wanting to play jazz. It’s versatile and simple and you’ll always know what to expect from it.

2. Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic Classic

Buy Now on Amazon

Cool Jazz Guitars

The Epiphone Masterbilt Olympic Classic is one of the best guitars for playing jazz that you’re likely to find. This is the model that helped Epiphone in establishing itself as one of the major manufacturers back in the 1930s. This guitar an attractive design with a solid spruce top with its sides and back made of laminated mahogany.

Due to its great build coupled with solid hardware, you can always be assured of great sound. When played acoustically, this guitar is bound to produce a sweet and well-balanced tone that can be airy and also resonant. It is also very easy to use this guitar. This is great for beginners as it has few controls that are limited to just a master tone and volume.

The fact that these controls have been hidden just under the lower f-hole makes it very easy for them to be accessed. This also helps in maintaining the vintage look of the guitar.

3. Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar

Buy Now on Amazon

Best Guitar For Jazz

The Hagstrom Tremar Viking Deluxe is another one of the top jazz guitars around. This guitar has made a lot of appearances in the jazz scene and is known to be associated with Jimi Hendrix and Elvin. It originated from Sweden and it was loved by a lot of people before it disappeared. This made it become a sought-after guitar that was not easy to find, hence it would be regarded as a luxury guitar.

Recently, the production of this guitar was resumed and now it is available to most guitar players. The Viking has a very stable neck and has a low string action thanks to its H-expander truss rod innovation. Quality materials and great craftsmanship help to give the guitar its sleek look. Its 22 fret neck has been built by the use of Canadian hard maple. The body has been built using a laminated flamed maple.

This guitar also features a set of distinctive turners, a great Hagstrom, a Tremar vibrato and a pair of Hagstrom Hj-50 humbuckers.

By the way, we like this guitar so much that it even takes the top spot on our under $1000 list of the best semi-hollow body guitars.

4. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012

Buy Now on Amazon

Best Guitar For Jazz Guitarists

The Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 is the next guitar on our list of the best guitars for playing jazz and packs quite a punch. This is a great instrument for jazz players who are looking to improve their sound. This guitar features a 5-way toggle switch, tone and volume control knobs that are used for the adjustment of its tone.

When it comes to beginners who are looking for a great guitar for playing jazz, then this is the best guitar for them. This is one of the most affordable jazz guitars you’re likely to find.

The guitar features six strings that are friendly to newbies and it makes it easy to adapt to different styles for both beginners and seasoned players. A beginner who has this instrument along with a great music theory book would likely have no trouble bringing their jazz skills up quickly.

Overall, this is another great option for jazz enthusiasts who want to sound better playing the genre. This is well worth a look if you’re in the market for a great jazz guitar.

5. Gibson ES-175

Buy Now on Amazon

Best Jazz Guitars

The last jazz guitar on our list is the Gibson ES-175. Famous jazz guitarists like Wes Montgomery are known to have played this guitar. Even with a single chord, this guitar is capable of producing remarkable sounds that are appealing to the ear.

Due to its hollow nature, the Gibson ES-175 produces a great, fat tone that is loved by a lot of jazz listeners. It also feels comfortable to play due to its comfortable neck and it also boasts two ’57 classic humbuckers. This guitar produces a rounded sound that is reminiscent of a bell and it is also very articulate.

When it comes to taking distortion, overdrive, and compression, this guitar excels. While this is one of the best guitars for playing jazz available, it can be quite expensive. However, the results you get by using it are worth its price tag.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best guitars for playing jazz, you really can’t go wrong with any of the above selections. Having the right guitar is essential if you’re serious about the instrument. The right guitar can help bring your playing to higher levels and make your sound better than you could have imagined.