Fantasisk Jazz mick
Contrary to popular belief, there are other types of music other than rock, metal, blues, and country. While not as popular as it was, say, 40 years ago, there is still a sizable jazz guitar community out there. Of course, jazz has been played on many types of guitars, and archtops, while they are wonderful, still remain the traditional choice. However, great jazz has been played on solid bodies, semi-hollowbodies, and thinline guitars as well. We cannot forget the offshoots of jazz, like jazzy blues or fusion, or any type of improvised music which can use just as many broad types of guitars to get their music to our ears. This article will feature the pickups Seymour Duncan recommends for the jazz players out there.
What is the jazz sound?
Jazz is such a broad term. Certainly, jazz can be as varied as Charlie Christian, up through Tal Farlow, through the octaves of Wes Montgomery, and the burning fusion of Allan Holdsworth. There isn’t any one jazz tone, but there are some things we can point out about each one. Certainly, in the era before people replaced pickups in their guitar (and before Seymour Duncan was even born), people stuck with stock pickups. So, the classic jazz players from the turn of the 20th century stuck with whatever pickup came in their guitar. Charlie Christian was one of the first to really play amplified electric guitar in a jazz context in the late 1930s, and the pickup on his Gibson ES-150 was a single coil, as that was what was available at the time. Later players like Joe Pass and John Mclaughlin used humbucking pickups, while Ted Greene used single coils. Any pickup that can produce a clean and clear sound is fair game. Generally, jazz players stick to vintage output pickups, and if they want to overdrive the amp, they do so via pedals or amp distortion. The idea is to keep the pickups from compressing the signal, and keeping dynamics in tact. Traditional jazz tends to go for cleaner, darker sounds, while in modern times (like in many genres), there is a split between keeping that traditional sound alive and forging new sounds. With this in mind, there are several choices for the modern jazz guitarist no matter if you are improvising over the changes to Misty or forging new sounds using music notation you had to invent yourself because there is no other way to transcribe it.
All the Things Bob and Seymour Are
Bob Benedetto is not a new name to those who love classic and modern archtop guitars. While many people might take issue with the high cost of some mass-manufactured instruments, they probably haven’t priced a great handmade archtop lately. Bob’s instruments are worth every penny. Bob Benedetto and Seymour Duncan have collaborated on a handful of pickups that imbue any archtop with a little bit of Bob’s magic.