Are you a big fan of jazz and are wondering if you too can strike up a jazzy tune?
Some people say that any good electric guitar should be able to play jazz – or any other genre for that matter. As we all know, there is no such thing as “the perfect guitar” – but there are guitars that have special features that outshine their imperfections.
The same can be said about electric guitars for jazz. You have your versatile guitars that can play jazz, blues, or rock but do not have all the components that make the perfect jazz sound.
And you have guitars that are built specifically for the jazz scene, but may not have the same flexibility as other options have. It all comes down to your personal taste and the type of jazz sound you want to produce.
So if you’re ready to take on jazz, we’ve got a rundown of some of the best electric guitar for jazz. We hope that you can find the perfect one for you within this list.
10 Best Electric Guitars for Jazz (2021 Reviews)
- Epiphone DOT ES Style Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar
- Ibanez Artcore AF55 Hollow-Body Electric Guitar
- Yamaha RevStar RS420 Electric Guitar
- Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special
- Gretsch G5422TDC Electromatic Hollow Body Electric Guitar
- Ibanez AF75BS Full Hollow Acoustic Electric Guitar
- The Loar LH-302T-CVS
- Ibanez 6 String AS53 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar
- Epiphone BROADWAY Classic Hollow Body Electric Guitar
- GROTE BRAND Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow Body
The brand Epiphone is best known for its original semi-hollow body guitars – the Epiphone DOT ES being one of the models in that catalog. A lot of other guitars may come close with the vintage style of the DOT ES but none can compare to the craftsmanship involved in its production.
This beautiful guitar is made with only the best of the best materials in the world. From its full size 1″ 500k Ohm potentiometers, down to its metal pickup switch, everything about this guitar screams top-notch.
But apart from its hardware, the best thing I love about this guitar is its sound. Although we don’t always believe in the idea that premium quality materials equals better sound, the DOT ES surely showed us that sometimes, quality can make a big difference.
- Versatile guitar
- Plays anything from jazz to hard rock
- Minimal setup needed
- Easy tuning
- Excellent workmanship resulting in a gorgeous eye-catching design
- Produces a clean sound but tones may not be everyone’s taste
If you want to get the best of both worlds, here’s a guitar that sounds great both as an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. The Ibanez Artcore AF55 doesn’t just have a beautiful body, it has an amazing fretboard that guarantees easy playability.
What I love most about the Ibanez Artcore AF55 is its quiet sound – less buzz, more clarity and smoothness, and that’s something musicians of all genres can appreciate. I also like how this versatile this instrument is. So if you love jazz as much as you like all other types of music genres, the Ibanez Artcore AF55 is for you.
Worried about the sound quality? Don’t sweat it. Like the Epiphone DOT ES, the Ibanez is built for flexibility. It doesn’t just sound great for jazz, it can do other music genres as well.
- Lightweight but packs a lot of tones to experiment with
- Sounds great both as an acoustic and electric guitar
- High-quality sound for a moderately priced guitar
- Case not included
Inspired by classic vintage Japanese and American motorcycle designs, you bet that the Yamaha Revstar RS420 was built to impress. If the cool design doesn’t inspire you to play this guitar, you might be impressed with its outstanding performance instead.
From its custom hardware and custom wound pickups to that special Yamaha-only Dry Switch, the Yamaha Revstar was also designed to produce a beautiful sound. Its contoured body also promises ease and comfort when playing.
In my opinion, the Yamaha Revstar RS420 is all about a balance of all the right things – and who isn’t looking for a guitar that has a little bit of everything in it?
- Excellent craftsmanship and a beautiful unique design
- Top-notch sound quality for a moderate price
- Tuning work may take some time to accomplish
- Knobs turn too easily and may disrupt consistency of sound
So I heard you’re looking for a guitar to play jazz? The most frustrating thing about looking for this type of guitar is that people will often tell you that most guitars can play anything. But really, all you want is that one that does the job right, am I correct?
Well, if you’re in this dilemma, you’ll be pleased with the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special. True to its name, this guitar was born for the jazz scene – even its pickup is named Hot Jazz. Getting this guitar would mean you also get access to a full range of jazz tones.
- Comes in a head-turning timeless vintage design
- Has a neck pocket with a back angle for stability
- Lack of versatility
- This guitar lives and breathes jazz
- Nothing else
Looks aren’t everything but you can’t deny how beautiful the Gretsch G5422TDC is; its gorgeous finish on its semi-hollow maple body should be enough reason to want to this guitar.
But that doesn’t stop there – the Gretsch G5422TDC can also produce a sound that is as beautiful as it looks. Thanks to Adjusto Matic bridge with Bigsby B6 vibrato.
My favorite part of this guitar is how comfortable it feels while playing it. One might think that the cosmetic design of this guitar might compromise the comfort and easy playability, but that wasn’t the case at all.
This guitar shows that you don’t have to sacrifice appearances for comfort at all.
- Super attractive classic design with distinct hump block neck inlays
- Produces a unique punchy and twangy jazz tone
- Case not included in the package
- Pickup placement may hinder some users while playing
There’s a lot of controversy going around about full hollow-bodied guitars. A lot of other brand names claim “full acoustics” but everyone knows that full hollow bodies are the real deal – especially if you are looking for that rich and complex tone.
The Ibanez AF75BS boasts itself as a truly full hollow-bodied guitar, promising a sound quality that is incomparable to others that claim to be a full acoustic guitar.
Although this guitar is on the high-end category, I personally love the fact that this guitar has large fast frets – a perfect companion to its great quality sound. Because of how easy this guitar is, beginners can feel more at ease spending their cash on an expensive ax.
- A true full hollow-bodied guitar that can produce a true jazz sound
- In comparison to most guitars on this list
- Fret buzz may be an issue but can be easily remedied
If you want to perform jazz in front of a large crowd, you need to at least look the part. To do that, you need a guitar that knows style and the Loar LH-302T-CVS definitely delivers. The Florentine design on this model was a popular look in the 1960s, so if you love that timeless vintage look, you should give this guitar a try.
But if you ask me, this guitar has a lot to offer in terms of jazz music styles. The dual P-90 pickup design provides a full range of tones as well as neck positions. Now you can create different sounds of jazz from clean to blues.
- Offers a wide range of jazz styles
- Giving the user a lot of room to experiment
- Comes in a classic 1960s design for fans of that vintage look
- Rough frets that need to be remedied although it is quite an easy fix
Are you an acoustic guitar player looking to try your hand at playing an electric guitar? Here’s an option that can help you make that transition an even better experience. The Ibanez 6 String AS53 is a simple and elegant looking guitar, but it has everything you need to strike up a jazz tune.
I personally think that this is a great guitar to start with for beginners, simply because it has all the right stuff in one package. Although the sound quality could be a bit better, and there are a few minor issues, this guitar is still perfect for practice – primarily because of its fast and easy frets and its no-frills features.
- Perfect for beginners and for first-time electric guitar users
- Super lightweight and portable
- Color may be slightly off from the photo
- Issues with tuning have been reported
Go big or go home. Don’t be fooled by its subtle color and design, the Epiphone Broadway Classic is all about loud open tones with excellent sound quality. If you are looking for a simple guitar that is focused on sound, this is the right ax for you.
Even though it is considerably large at 17″, this guitar has frets that are fast and easy to play even for beginners. It doesn’t come with a lot of fancy knobs or switches, making it the less intimidating option for first-time players.
- Elegant but packed with everything a beginner might need
- Big and clear sound
- Not a lot of buzz going on here
- Limited control
- Not a lot of knobs or switches to experiment tone and styles
If you ask me what I like about this guitar, it would have to be that pocket-friendly price. It’s not every day that you could get a guitar this good for that price. This Grote Electric Guitar is a recognized brand all around the world and even at a lower price range, it has a lot of competitive features.
This guitar has a maple body and a rosewood fretboard. It also has a 3-way switch and 2 volume controls – great for anyone who wants to experience the features of a moderately priced guitar at an affordable price.
- Great quality with an affordable price tag
- Considerably durable
- Still remains its tune after wear and tear
- Volume quality and gain controls may be an issue
How To Choose The Best Electric Guitar For Jazz
Jazz is one of the world’s most loved music genres, and so there may be a lot of pressure trying to reproduce that classic jazz sound.
The key is to choose the best electric guitar for jazz – but we don’t just mean the best in quality. It’s more about looking for the best guitar that suits you. To do this, you just need to remember a few things:
It’s all about comfort and sizing. Yes, size matters. Guitars aren’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Every guitar will feel different to each person, and so we recommend that you get to know your guitar in the flesh. And when that isn’t possible, it is best to pay attention to its measurements.
The next thing you must consider is comfortability. A lot of guitars look good but if it doesn’t feel good to hold, that could adversely affect the way you play and the sound you produce.
This roundup includes an impressive list of the best electric guitar for jazz. But the cream of the crop title goes to the Epiphone DOT ES Style Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar mainly for two reasons: it is the Epiphone version of the Gibson 355 Dot and it is an exceptionally flexible guitar.
Whether you agree or not, Gibson is still seen as the world’s leading guitar brands out there. Patterned after such a venerable model, one can only expect the best from the Epiphone DOT.
Well, that and because the Epiphone DOT ES has a long history of its own. It was first released about ten years ago and since then, it was considered to be one of the best guitars in the jazz scene.
But, that doesn’t mean that this guitar can only be used when playing a jazz tune. As we always suggest, you should buy a guitar that has room for growth. Although there may be better guitars out there for jazz, the Epiphone is the closest to the perfect jazz ax that can also play other music genres.