Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Bad Henry, Dec 29, 2005.
How many use a wound G string? 11's too light for good jazz tone?
c'mon, everyone knows that G strings look silly on boys. i don't care if they play jazz or not.
I generally prefer unwound roundwound 11's. A fellow I study with does too and he gets a great jazz sound out of an old ES 330 with the P90 changed out to a humbucker into a cheap old Roland solid state amp. Definately a lot of sound created by his touch on the instument though.
I just received some GHS flats in 10 with a wound g and its great. I have used them on an old Telecaster which is actually a wonderful sounding jazz guitar.
I like thicker strings (.11-.49, plain 3rd) on my solid body guitars, and since I recently picked up one of Ibanez's nicer Artcores (the lovely AF105NFT jazz box), I am experimenting with .12-.52 wound 3rd sets.
I just like the sound of thicker strings in general, and the way they resist picking. Not sure yet about the wound 3rd, as naturally I had gotten used to bending the 3rd string...especially to modulate minor/major thirds. Tell you one thing, though, they sure intonate a hell of a lot better than plain 3rds!
A work in progress...
I am using 12-56 D'Addarrio flat wounds with wound G on my Sheraton. Combined with the Seth Lover pups and an old fender it sounds fantastic. Damn shame its owner sucks at playing jazz!! Fortunately it has uses in other music
Jazz is a broad term. Mike Stern and John Scofield and Allan Holdsworth and Scott Henderson all use plain 3rds. If you're trying to get a Benson or Wes vibe and play a lot of block chords with your thumb, you need a wound 3rd.
I think you also need a wound 3rd if you're playing a lot of chord melody. The strings need to be stiff enough that you can move from one large chord form to another without worrying about pushing it sharp.
In general I agree although Ted Green and Jim Hall both use(d) a plain 3rd. To me the plain 3rd is so much more expressive but it just doesn't sound "right" for copping the Wes/Benson feel. OTOH, Richard Bornman uses a plain 3rd I believe and he sounds great on the benson stuff and on chord melody. I think it all comes down to the player and not the equipment...
I think he is speaking of real jazz here. In that case, IMO, anything with an unwound G string is for women.
I'm no jazzer, but I rock the TI George Benson flat wound 14s with a wound G on my 175. They just sound so much better on that guitar! I tried the TI Bop 13s round wounds and the squeaking with the position changes was driving me nuts.
Many years ago, I spent an evening with Ted talking guitar. His hands were so much better than mine that I don't think it really mattered what he was playing. His control was incredible. I don't think it matters how long I play or how hard I work, I don't think I could ever get that level of accuracy and dexterity.
Then by your definition, nobody on TGP is qualified to answer him.
Sorry if off topic, but (hi jim!), do you mean he had a genetic advantage, or some innate talent?
Silly, but oh so sexy!
I do not play jazz, per se. I use 12-56's on my L-5, but use a 0.018 wound G and 11-52's on all my electrics. An unwound G just won't stay in tune as well - for me - and it seems to be more consistent across all strings for tension and feel. I like the medium gage for electrics - usually GHS boomers. The heavier strings have more oomph, and if I need to do a lot of bending, I can drop the tuning a half step - or play my shorter scale Lester.
God, I love guitars!
At a certain level, I think those two concepts are very closely related. George Van Eps had the best hands I've ever seen on a guitar player. He was incredibly accurate and his touch was feather light. His hands were also thin and long enough to reach all the way around when he shook my hand. My hands are what they are. They are average length and well above average thickness. I will never be able to reach some of the chords that were easy for him nor will my touch ever be as light as his. That is a case of genetic advantage leading to inate talent.
That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. I've never seen either of those two play live or on video. Will have to keep my eyes peeled. I think I know what you mean. I just can't reconcile that to the whole Danny Gatton thing. But maybe Gatton was more innate talent than genetic predisposal. Interesting stuff.
I believe there is some degree of athleticism involved with playing guitar but I'm not sure hand size is necessarily an advantage in general. There are guys with small hands like Martino, Gambale, Gatton, Bollenback and Benson who flat out fly. Benson has one of the lightest touches I've ever heard.
For long stretch chords and certain hendrixy things I agree that big hands are a big advantage but in general, I think a great player will become great no matter what the physical advantage/disadvantage.
Witness Django Reinhardt, Thumbs Carlisle, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny etc. All with either physical or technical handycaps and yet they are (were) all virtuosos.
Jack, genius is genius. With effort it will always overcome any obstacle, but I believe that what applies to them doesn't necessarily apply to the rest of us.
There's nothing to reconcile. There are many gifts that can lead to greatness. Other than perhaps Charlie Parker, Danny Gatton probably had the most fluid musical imagination I've ever encountered. That's almost certainly the greatest gift of all.