PDA

View Full Version : ES-335 as serious Jazz instrument?


TooManyToys
08-22-2007, 09:14 PM
I've recently started studying Jazz formally (finally!), but all I own are solid body guitars. Certainly, my Les Paul will suffice for the present; however, I would like to look into getting a more "jazz-worthy" guitar.

I don't have much experience with hollow bodies or semi-hollow bodies, but I've always wanted to try an ES-335, and I'm impressed with the variety of sounds I've heard from various 335 players. I've always heard that its versatility does lend itself to jazz as well.

Anyone here who would make an argument in favor of or against the 335 as a serious jazz instrument?

Much thanks!

jackaroo
08-22-2007, 09:17 PM
Not the most traditional choice, but it can be done-

It's more about feel, note choice and style (no bending) than the gear.

BTW...the 335 is my favorite guitar and is to me the most versatile one made.

jzgtrguy
08-22-2007, 09:44 PM
I would have to say yes. I have heard the great Canadian Jazz guitaist Ed Bickert on a Tele?!?! I have heard Art Johnson play solo jazz guitar gigs on a Tele.

I went out a couple of months ago and heard Mike Moreno on a ES-335 and he was amazing, absolutely amazing. Check out
http://myspace.com/m_moreno
or
http://www.mikemoreno.com/

As Pat Metheny said, "one of the best collections of 'right' notes I've heard in a long time"

A 335 will not have as much punch or pop as a real big box arch top but still a 335 can do an awesome job.

IMHO

dkaplowitz
08-22-2007, 10:08 PM
Set it up for and put a set of .013 flatwounds on that puppy, turn the tone knob 90% off and you'll be all set for a straight ahead sound. Or don't listen to convention and play whatever you want.

Keld
08-23-2007, 12:19 AM
Or don't listen to convention and play whatever you want.


+1000

:AOK

OOG
08-23-2007, 12:47 AM
naw
it's much better for non serious jazz

Ritualee
08-23-2007, 01:34 AM
As Pat Metheny said, "one of the best collections of 'right' notes I've heard in a long time"

I'm sure he didn't mean it this way, but that could be a real back-handed compliment for a jazz player. Sounds just like something a friend of mine would say and it would be funny as hell.

JimH
08-23-2007, 01:50 AM
Jazz is a broad church and also depends how accurate you need to be and whether you mean trad or fusion. To me a 335 is the perfect instrument for the guy who plays some jazz like myself. I think if I were more serious and in a 100% trad jazz band I might use something else - L-5 or something. But it's certainly good enough for me now. Get the neck pick up on, roll back the tone knob, nice old style amp and you're pretty close.

Jose Luis Garci
08-23-2007, 02:10 AM
I think it is pretty good for nice electric jazz tones.

Also, it is one of the most versatile guitar you can have. I often use mine into a Cornford, and it is great for distorsion also.

gitman
08-23-2007, 03:30 AM
yes, i get really great tones out of mine for funny jazz - nothing touches it for getting laughs !!.... or is it me, i get that mixed up sometimes.....

on an unserious note : play what feels good, listen to the great players of the past and present and practice. seriously.

strattitude
08-23-2007, 03:42 AM
You can play jazz on most guitars, but a 335 will be fine for classic and more modern jazz tones.
I have also studied jazz at a music conservatory, and I don't agree with the previous poster who said, "no bending" in jazz. It is all about how YOU play jazz and finding your own style. It is true that all the old classic players didn't bend and that is what is known as a "classic jazz" style, but that doesn't mean that you can't impart bending into your own style.
That said, it might be a good idea to try not to bend notes in the beginning
to get a more jazzy phrasing, if you are more used to playing blues and rock.
In the end it is all about musicality!

jackaroo
08-23-2007, 06:49 AM
The no bending thing is a joke...

but most jazz guitar that I've heard shies away from bending more than a half step.

Play whatever you like

daddyo
08-23-2007, 07:26 AM
Larry Carlton, John Scofield, Emily Remler - all serious on ES335 or derivative guitars.

Funkwire
08-23-2007, 07:57 AM
Larry Carlton, John Scofield, Emily Remler - all serious on ES335 or derivative guitars.

Don't forget Grant Green.

I have the Washburn HB35...I strung it with flatwounds and played briefly in a jazz trio. It sounded great. I now use it in a classic rock/blues band. I have to agree with the previous posters who pointed out the versatility of 335-style guitars. It will work in pretty much any style.

kingsleyd
08-23-2007, 08:21 AM
TMT, you can find examples of "jazz players" playing pretty much any model/style of guitar you could think of. If you're just getting into the jazz pool, I'd recommend taking your time and listening to all sorts of "jazz guitar players" and learning what model/style of guitar makes what kind of sound -- and try 'em out to see how they feel and what sound they make in your hands.

It's best to develop a sense for your own self of what sound it is that inspires you and what you want to do rather than basing your decision on what is TGP-approved or Jazz-approved.

That said, I am a big fan of the ES-335 as an instrument period, regardless of the style or genre. I happily use it to play music in the jazz genre, although I'm not generally into serious jazz. Or serious anything for that matter.

RickC
08-23-2007, 08:28 AM
Okay, so I'll sort of go against the flow here. No argument that 335s are great and versatile guitars; in fact, they are my favorite model. And yes, you can get a good jazz tone from them. And yes, as has been stated, great players can and do play jazz on almost anything.

But try playing one side-by-side with something like an L5; there *is* a difference and you will notice it. It may be an important difference to you, and it may not. Personally, I'd lean more towards something like the L5, but that's just me.

/rick

KRosser
08-23-2007, 08:30 AM
Amongst the younger crowd of players in the post-Metheny/Scofield/Frisell crowd, that has become the instrument (or at least instrument type) of choice for jazz-

Ben Monder
Adam Rogers
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Steve Cardenas
Wolfgang Muthspiel
Brad Shepik
Adam Levy
Bruce Saunders
Dave Gilmore
John Schott
etc.

Not to presumptively throw my name in with that crowd, but it's alwasy been my favorite instrument for jazz playing as well.

jzgtrguy
08-23-2007, 09:42 AM
OOG,
Listen to the clips on Mike Moreno's myspace page and tell me the kid is not a "Serious" jazz player.

Ritualee,

It was a complement.

dkaplowitz,
What you said!

strattitude
08-23-2007, 02:36 PM
I went to a clinic with Kurt rosenwinkel, and he said 335's were originally ment as a blues guitar, but if you were lucky, you could find one that had a really STRONG tone, and that is what he goes for in a guitar. He played one of these expensive D'Aquisto (or something like that), that according to him had a strong tone.
That's just his opinion though...

Pa'ani
08-23-2007, 03:46 PM
By all means a 335 type guitar, may it be a Gibson, Epiphone, Yamaha, Ibanez, Washburn any many more other brands.
Will serve you well for Jazz, Blues, Rock, Fusion, Country, R&B, and all other styles of music.
I believe it's one of the most versatile guitars ever made.
Just go and try as many as you can until you find that special one that feels right and speaks to you.
Good Luck.

Jose Luis Garci
08-24-2007, 03:41 AM
To me, the question is how many guitars you have in mind to have ...

If the answer is one or few, a 335 is an excellent choice.

If you go for many more, an L5 at any time is the best thing for electric tones, you can also look for a good 18" body for acutic jazz tones, etc ...

mprvise
08-24-2007, 06:29 AM
Right before I went to college my parents got me one good guitar for high school graduation. This guitar would have to serve all my needs through college, including union gigs, occasional rock gigs, pep band, and jazz band. My choice was a 335 and I'm not sure I could have chosen better. 21 years later I still have that guitar and still use it on gigs occasionally.

guitplayer0321
08-24-2007, 08:48 AM
KRoser: You cite some examples of players using ES-335 or ES-335 style guitars. Since only part of the sound, what amps and strings do they use? I'm particularly interested in the strings since I'm experimenting with flatwounds (11-50) vs. roundwounds (11-49).

************************************
Amongst the younger crowd of players in the post-Metheny/Scofield/Frisell crowd, that has become the instrument (or at least instrument type) of choice for jazz-

Ben Monder
Adam Rogers
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Steve Cardenas
Wolfgang Muthspiel
Brad Shepik
Adam Levy
Bruce Saunders
Dave Gilmore
John Schott
etc.

Not to presumptively throw my name in with that crowd, but it's alwasy been my favorite instrument for jazz playing as well.[/quote]

Jose Luis Garci
08-24-2007, 11:59 AM
I met a guitarrist in New York, who was playing in the Charlie Haden big band, using a 335 into an Acordeon amplifier ... :eek::crazy:)

Incredible smooth jazz tones, believe me.;)

dkaplowitz
08-24-2007, 12:02 PM
There's a rumor that if you say TAG's name three times in one post, he will appear in a thread to inform us what "serous jazz" is, and possibly what a "serious jazz instrument" is. :D

TAG, TAG!

stratzrus
08-24-2007, 12:31 PM
Kind of a rehash, but the 335 is fine for jazz and is ideal if you want to use it to cover a variety of styles.

If you only want to play traditional jazz, a L5 or other big jazz boxes (i.e. Buscarino) have a vibe that can't be beat.

If money is at all a factor the 335 is by far the best deal.

stratzrus

Scafeets
08-24-2007, 02:29 PM
Set it up for and put a set of .013 flatwounds on that puppy, turn the tone knob 90% off and you'll be all set for a straight ahead sound. Or don't listen to convention and play whatever you want.

+1 I play a 63 335 and have it set up for jazz. In fact,you don't have to go to heavy cable. A good set of 12-52 round wounds and a quality amp will do the trick, at least with the old (pre- 72) ones. You really hear the wood on these, so every one has its own personality. I've heard a lot of 70s-era ones that sound like crap, and some great new ones. With Gibson, it's the luck of the draw. Also consider the Heritage and Collings 335-style if you're going for a new one.

Will it sound like a $20,000 archtop? No. But you'll get a variety of very usable tones and an instrument that is way easier to practice with for the required hours it takes to develop jazz chops.

AndrewSimon
08-24-2007, 02:43 PM
I've recently started studying Jazz formally (finally!), but all I own are solid body guitars. Certainly, my Les Paul will suffice for the present; however, I would like to look into getting a more "jazz-worthy" guitar.

I don't have much experience with hollow bodies or semi-hollow bodies, but I've always wanted to try an ES-335, and I'm impressed with the variety of sounds I've heard from various 335 players. I've always heard that its versatility does lend itself to jazz as well.

Anyone here who would make an argument in favor of or against the 335 as a serious jazz instrument?

Much thanks!

I think you should just start with the LP, once you will be involved with Jazz, you will know exactly what you need.

:)

aram
08-24-2007, 02:59 PM
Okay, so I'll sort of go against the flow here. No argument that 335s are great and versatile guitars; in fact, they are my favorite model. And yes, you can get a good jazz tone from them. And yes, as has been stated, great players can and do play jazz on almost anything.

But try playing one side-by-side with something like an L5; there *is* a difference and you will notice it. It may be an important difference to you, and it may not. Personally, I'd lean more towards something like the L5, but that's just me.

/rick

Have to say I agree with this.

That being said, I would still get the 335. You can do so many things with it.

My buddy John Madof has one and it sounds killer.
Check out all the different sounds he gets with it:
http://myspace.com/rashanim

most of these tracks have more of a rock sound.

But the last track could be a fairly straight ahead sound with a little of the treble turned off.

slopeshoulder
08-24-2007, 03:03 PM
I was you in '78. I bought a 335 and it's been my main axe ever since. String with 12's for more trad jazz sounds. Versatile as hell. Not the same as L-5, but you can fake it. More modern sound. Listen to to VERY early Scofield.

kram21
08-24-2007, 10:41 PM
I believe that you can get great jazz tones out of any guitar.just use the neck p/u and roll off the tone control to the desired effect. By the wat try pricing a gibson L-5--very expensive.

Jim S
08-24-2007, 10:50 PM
If you consider the Gibson, then look at the Sadowsky line, esp the Semi Hollow. Play one and you'll never consider a Gibson again. http://www.sadowsky.com/guitars/archtops.html
.
.

pdouds
08-25-2007, 07:44 AM
I would have to say yes. I have heard the great Canadian Jazz guitaist Ed Bickert on a Tele?!?! I have heard Art Johnson play solo jazz guitar gigs on a Tele.

I went out a couple of months ago and heard Mike Moreno on a ES-335 and he was amazing, absolutely amazing. Check out
http://myspace.com/m_moreno
or
http://www.mikemoreno.com/

As Pat Metheny said, "one of the best collections of 'right' notes I've heard in a long time"

A 335 will not have as much punch or pop as a real big box arch top but still a 335 can do an awesome job.

IMHO Mike kind of reminds me of adam rodgers or andy greene. new school, cool stuff!

slackandsteel
08-25-2007, 09:33 AM
335 - great guitar for just about anything.

I've owned mine since 1966.

That being said, I picked up a cheapo archtop a few months ago (Epiphone Emperor Regent), strung it up with Thomastik flatwounds, and have been having a ball playing jazz on that thing (mostly without an amp).

There's something very inspiring about that archtop tone that makes you want to play through those swing and bebop changes.

Jim Soloway
08-25-2007, 11:40 AM
I'd suggest that before buying a guitar specifically for playing jazz, you get a little deeper into the music. Your jazz voice could develop in a lot of different directions, so why not wait until you see where your playing goes first and then buy the guitar that works the best for that direction.