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Old 11-09-2019, 08:33 AM
MidfieldGeneral MidfieldGeneral is offline
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Default Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II Versus Stratocaster

Dear All, I bought the Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II earlier this year to play jazz guitar. Iím struggling with it because of the shape and possibly the strings. I find it easier to play jazz with my Strat. Iím an intermediate player and can do all the 2-5Ė1 chords and have been playing for about five years.

What makes the Godin a jazz guitar compared to the Strat? I know everyone has their own preference in guitars but what makes a jazz guitar a jazz guitar. What features does it have compared to a Strat or a Tele? I am a reasonable acoustic player so I thought I would grow into the Godin. Thanks for any
Tips. I really enjoy this Forum.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidfieldGeneral View Post
Dear All, I bought the Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II earlier this year to play jazz guitar. Iím struggling with it because of the shape and possibly the strings. I find it easier to play jazz with my Strat. Iím an intermediate player and can do all the 2-5Ė1 chords and have been playing for about five years.

What makes the Godin a jazz guitar compared to the Strat? I know everyone has their own preference in guitars but what makes a jazz guitar a jazz guitar. What features does it have compared to a Strat or a Tele? I am a reasonable acoustic player so I thought I would grow into the Godin. Thanks for any
Tips. I really enjoy this Forum.
What makes a jazz guitar a jazz guitar is how the owner feels playing jazz with it and getting a reasonably "jazzy" tone. I think most guitars can get a very jazzy tone (given the wide variety of tones used in jazz), so it really comes down to how you connect with it for what you're trying to play.

Julian Lage plays jazz on a telecaster, so does Bill Frisell a lot of the time. If you feel better and sound better playing jazz on your strat, believe that...

-Ray
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:33 AM
Raj Raj is offline
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Originally Posted by raysachs View Post
What makes a jazz guitar a jazz guitar is how the owner feels playing jazz with it and getting a reasonably "jazzy" tone. I think most guitars can get a very jazzy tone (given the wide variety of tones used in jazz), so it really comes down to how you connect with it for what you're trying to play.

Julian Lage plays jazz on a telecaster, so does Bill Frisell a lot of the time. If you feel better and sound better playing jazz on your strat, believe that...

-Ray
This is so true. I have a hollow body electric archtop, but I am finding it too big . So I am playing my jazz tunes on a strat with Fender Blues Jr and feel very good about it.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:55 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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Lorne Lofsky (great Toronto based player) has been playing the same Ibanez Strat copy for decades, I think. Jazz is music, it's not a guitar.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:15 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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A jazz guitar is a guitar you play jazz on. I play jazz on my tele, my Heritage 575, a nylon string, a small flat too, whatever guitar I pick up.

That said, if you dig that classic, 50's bop sound, a hollow body is where it's at, and that Godin is a great guitar, maybe dont count it out yet.

Something that might seem odd to do would be to go even HEAVIER with the strings. Heavier strings have a smaller elliptical vibration from nut to bridge, which means you can go even lower with your action than you might on an electric with light strings.

Just a thought.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:00 PM
MidfieldGeneral MidfieldGeneral is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
A jazz guitar is a guitar you play jazz on. I play jazz on my tele, my Heritage 575, a nylon string, a small flat too, whatever guitar I pick up.

That said, if you dig that classic, 50's bop sound, a hollow body is where it's at, and that Godin is a great guitar, maybe dont count it out yet.

Something that might seem odd to do would be to go even HEAVIER with the strings. Heavier strings have a smaller elliptical vibration from nut to bridge, which means you can go even lower with your action than you might on an electric with light strings.

Just a thought.
Thanks to all of you for your answers. Much appreciated! I know itís what ones preference is and I alluded to that in my opening post.

Thanks mr. beaumont for the specific advice. I will work on it! I donít want to sell my guitar.

Iím still struggling to understand why generally jazz musicians veer towards arch tops. Is it the balance between picking, solos and strumming?
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:31 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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Archtops have a very specific kind of attack and decay that just happens to be great for jazz.

Or, the first electric guitars were archtops somebody put a pick up in, jazz players were early adopters of electric guitars (as cats like Charlie Christian stepped out from the 'rhythm guitar only' role), and a whole sound and a style based around the strengths and limitations of that sound emerged and carried on.

And of course, for that "rhythm guitar only" role an acoustic archtop is simply the perfect instrument. But that archtop is a very different beast than what electric "jazz guitars" evolved into.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:27 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Archtops have a very specific kind of attack and decay that just happens to be great for jazz...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
...if you dig that classic, 50's bop sound, a hollow body is where it's at, and that Godin is a great guitar, maybe don't count it out yet....
I own one, and I'll +1 what Jeff said...
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:59 PM
Birdbrain Birdbrain is offline
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Mostly, history and custom lead jazz players to hollowbodies. That's what the originators used, just as Strats are forever associated with Rock. You can go against that, but it's not the default choice.

Once they become adept at jazz, players play faster, complex passages where string definition and quick attack/delay is needed. Long, sustaining notes will overlap and get in each others' way. Archtops are usually voiced that with quick delay.

The Fifth Avenue is such a versatile guitar that you could play any kind of music on one. Your choice might come down to neck differences: the Godin is short-scale and wide; Strats vary, but are always long and usually skinny, with a tightly curved radius. After you've played both, I think the answer is yours, and right at hand.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:09 AM
MidfieldGeneral MidfieldGeneral is offline
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thanks again for all the comments, I found them very useful
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:36 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdbrain View Post
...The Fifth Avenue is such a versatile guitar that you could play any kind of music on one...
Fer sure - I use mine for rockabilly, blues, and jazz comping/chord-solo, as well as backup for my P-90 LP in lower-volume situations...
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Old 11-15-2019, 06:32 AM
MidfieldGeneral MidfieldGeneral is offline
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I had an offer on my Godin and turned it down and itís no longer for sale. I will persist! Thanks for all the tips
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2019, 07:41 PM
Triple Zero Triple Zero is offline
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If it's the size of the body that is uncomfortable for you, there are small-bodied archtops out there. That being said, nothing wrong with a strat if it works for you.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:47 PM
upsidedown upsidedown is offline
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The original question has been more than answered, but I wanted to add an observation.

My kid goes to an arts grade school (and next year, high school) that includes a music department divided into classical and jazz. He's in the latter. What I've noticed in his 3 years there is that most of the young jazz guitarists - and all of the advanced players - are playing solid-bodies. My kid plays a Tele for the jazzier sets, and a Strat for the funkier.

Of course choice of instrument always comes down to personal preference. As does definition of “jazz,” to some extent. But assuming these kids represent the majority of young players; if hollow-bodied archtops are the predominant jazz guitars, they won’t be for much longer.
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