ES-335 as serious Jazz instrument?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by TooManyToys, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Guest

    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!
     
  2. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    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.
     
  3. jzgtrguy

    jzgtrguy Silver Supporting Member

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    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
     
  4. Kappy

    Kappy Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  5. Keld

    Keld Silver Supporting Member

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    +1000

    :AOK
     
  6. OOG

    OOG Member

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    it's much better for non serious jazz
     
  7. Ritualee

    Ritualee Member

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    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.
     
  8. JimH

    JimH Member

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    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.
     
  9. Jose Luis Garci

    Jose Luis Garci Member

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    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.
     
  10. gitman

    gitman Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  11. strattitude

    strattitude Member

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    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!
     
  12. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    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
     
  13. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    Larry Carlton, John Scofield, Emily Remler - all serious on ES335 or derivative guitars.
     
  14. Funkwire

    Funkwire Member

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    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.
     
  15. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  16. RickC

    RickC Member

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    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
     
  17. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    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.
     
  18. jzgtrguy

    jzgtrguy Silver Supporting Member

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    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!
     
  19. strattitude

    strattitude Member

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    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...
     
  20. Pa'ani

    Pa'ani Supporting Member

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    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.
     

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