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Are Jazzmasters the most versatile guitars?


Senior Member
.... I'm of the school of thought that you can play almost any guitar for any type of music......
While I agree with you, that's not what the OP is about. He is asking if the Jazzmaster is the most versatile guitar, and I say no. I agree with smallstoner below. A HSS Fender with a HB that spilts would be the most versatile.

Most versatile, I'd have to say a Strat with an HB bridge pup that splits. Not nearly as pretty as a JM, but in terms of tonal variety, yes.


david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
sorry, but.....
real versatility comes from the musician;
the tools are great tools, but still secondary.
They are pretty versatile...I wouldn't play Black Metal on one but they can cover a bunch of stuff.

As for the useless rhythm circuit...I use mine all the time. I switch between that and both pickups on the normal circuit all the time...big range of tones there.

But MOST versatile? Maybe not. Most awesome? Most definitely. Giant pain in the ass? Absolutely. :)


I LOVE my 65 JM and very much like Jazzmasters unless they're imports-those aren't in the same league as AVRIs or vintage JMs.
JMs are nowhere close to the most versatile guitar I own. I'd give Teles the nod there, although I've had some other guitars that are extremely versatile (exponentially more than any JM).


I'd argue that most good "Metal" shredder-type guitars aren't versatile either-- they are great for distortion and 'okay' at clean. Are there exceptions? Of course.

So what does "The Most Versatile Guitar" win? A trophy? When I play my Jazzmaster I think "this sounds great," not "this is versatile." :)


As cool as jazzmasters look, they all sound kind of weak or lacking output to push old amps for hard rock. I know that they weren't intended for that but I wouldn't consider them all that versatile because of that. I always wanted one but it wouldn't be practical for me.


Platinum Supporting Member
One of the great things about a jazzmaster, to me at least, is that they aren't really defined by anything, except for maybe indie bands / avante garde players, and what kind of definition is that really? It's more of a catch all for a clump of things we can't put in other categories.
i'd say that was the "niche" for jazzmasters, people trying to not sound like the bands that use truly "versatile" (and thus typical) guitars like strats and LPs.

jazz/jags might be one of the least versatile guitars out there, which is what makes them cool! by trying to push them into doing stuff they aren't ideal for, you can find more "uncharted territory" sonically, and that's where creativity happens.

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