Few of Fender's models embody the '60s aesthetic more than the Jazzmasters and Jaguars. Their offset bodies, chrome hardware, and colors conjure images of a youthful, carefree California summer...Beach Boys on the radio. Sounds nice, right?
Why We Love This
That spirit is one of the many reasons we love Jazzmasters. Strats and Teles get most of the love, but honestly? The Jazzmaster is equally as cool and well-designed, it's more that you can't really rip licks on them in the same way you can a Strat or Tele - but - that's exactly what makes them so cool (ie, you play different on one). Jazzmasters are their own flavor of Fender's bright, clean fundamental tone, and precisely why it's important to explore one at some point if Fenders are your jam.
As a player, there's a lot to explore here: one of our fave styles of tremolo (a friend once quipped, "This style of trem is like an Olympic diving board!" which is hilariously accurate - these are wonderfully smooth trems. Jeff Beck devotee? Look elsewhere, this won't offer enough control for you); beautiful sounding pickups (somewhat akin to a great Strat's neck pickup); and a rhythm circuit with its own volume and tone controls that make you feel as though you've got 2 sets of pickups to work with (it's a richer, darker...well, rhythm circuit). Remember, the Jazzmaster was added to the Fender line-up in 1958....before the bulk of the most influential guitar music had yet to be even be made!
Player's needs of this era were different - ie, save your best shreddy licks for the Tele, Strat, or LP. These guitars are more about texture, chord work, and melodic playing.
Recommended Jazzmaster listening: Television; Dinosaur Jr; The Ventures; Nels Cline