How Cool is the Fender Jazzmaster?

Is the Fender Jazzmaster the Coolest Guitar in History?


This is an oft debated theme and I’m going to do my best to argue my point to you, and to my missus! I talked before about getting my hands on a Fender Telecaster but a friend recently said to me “Bazza, you know the Fender Jazzmaster is the coolest guitar ever, right?” I did not, but I do now!


The Alternative Rock Heroes who Loved to Use a Fender Jazzmaster:


Elvis Costello used a Fender Jazzmaster and he is a big hero of mine. Oliver’s Army is one of my favourite songs of all time and Costello really rocks ut with the Fender Jazzmaster on that one.  Likewise, whilst playing with Modest Mouse, Johnny Marr used a Fender Jazzmaster.  One of my favourite bands of all time are Portishead. Adrian Utley, the Portishead lead guitarist has been using his Fender Jazzzmaster since the band formed back in 1991 in Bristol.  Utley know a lot about guitars and he plays lead for one of the coolest bands ever to exist. My ultimate musical hero is, however, Robert Smith from the Cure and he does tings with a Fender Jazzmaster that I’ve never witnessed before. The man is a musical genius! And let us not forget, everyone’s favorite front man, Thom Yorke. The fender Jazzmaster is a regular instrument used at Radiohead shows. Just check out nme to discover more indie rock legends who use the Fender Jazzmaster.




The Jazzmaster’s Unique Sound:


The Fender Jazzmaster is hailed as the epitome of cool amongst the alternative rock industry and it’s hardly surprising.  The sound this guitar produces has a real unique indie sound to it.  The string vibrations between the tailpiece and the bridge provide harmonic overtones and the guitar is user friendly in terms of its strummability. It’s also possible to create some fantastic rock “wobbles” when using the Fender Jazzmaster.  Extremely talented guitarists have beens said to be able to distinguish the sound for the Fender Jazzmaster blindly. When I say blindly, I’m not talking about Ronnie Milsap. What I mean is that, without seeing the guitar these individuals have claimed to be able to distinguish the Fender Jazzmaster from other guitars, owing to its unique sound. I’m becoming quite excited just talking about now.


Heavy Strings or a Light Touch:


One issue with the Fender Jazzmaster is that heavy strings are required because of the bridge design. Either that or a light touch, which I don’t have. So if, like me, you like to go heavy on the strings you’d have to source the old style big thick strings, or end up endlessly replacing the more modern skinny ones.


An Arm and a Leg:


The Fender Jazzmaster is a higher quality, and far more expensive, version of the Fender Stratocaster. Therefore, if you’re interested in buying one and have a budget like me then a used Fender Jazzmaster would be preferable.  To buy a brand new one you really do need to be raking in the cash like some of the indie rock gods I mentioned above. But finding a decent used Fender Jazzmaster is perhaps not as difficult as it appears. There are also some bargains to be had here when looking for a used Fender Jazzmaster.


How Can I Get My Hands on a Used Fender Jazzmaster from the 1960’s?


In some ways I’m a little disappointed that I decided to buy the Fender Telecaster.  I’ve managed to find a 1965 American vintage used Fender Jazzmaster for sale at a really good price. When I say a really good, it’s actually reaching into the thousands and I’d have to sell some of my other instruments to be able to afford it, but being the owner of not just any old used Fender Jazzmaster but a 1960s vintage one would really rock my world. Scuse the pun!




The Lengths I May Go To:


I can’t imagine there’s a guitar enthusiast on the planet who wouldn’t want to get his or her hands on a vintage electric guitar. In 1968 Jimi Hendrix was using a Fender Jazzmaster. What I would do to get my hands of Hendrix’s used Fender Jazzmaster. What a beauty it was, as can be seen in the photo below. You may find in my next blog that I’ve re mortgaged the house, bought myself a 1960s vintage used Fender Jazzmaster and my wife has left me! I’ll keep you posted.