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Les Paul Special for jazz?


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Hi all,

I have never owned a LP style guitar, but I've been thinking about getting one to use for jazz I play at home. I think a flat-top Les Paul Special, humbucker, with flatwound 12s would sound pretty good, no? The closest thing I have ever owned to this was a Es-175 style; I couldn't get used to the thick hollow body. Does anyone have advice on this?

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Sure, you could play any style of music on any kind of guitar, but is the solid mahogany body and humbucker going to be too much with the flatwounds and low treble? Most people who play solid bodies seem to use a telecaster for jazz, not a Les Paul (Les Paul himself aside).

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I think some guy named les paul played jazz on one.

 

I came here to post this.

 

That said, it's all about your own preferences. I cut my teeth playing jazz on a big hollowbody with 14s. These days, I tend to use a Jaguar or a Silvertone 1448 due to comfort. Any guitar will do.

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Sure, you could play any style of music on any kind of guitar, but is the solid mahogany body and humbucker going to be too much with the flatwounds and low treble? Most people who play solid bodies seem to use a telecaster for jazz, not a Les Paul (Les Paul himself aside).

 

Yes and no. You see, those players that use Teles for jazz, often end up either installing a humbucker in the neck position, turning down the tone control, and/or picking up close to the neck, inorder to keep the high end a Tele can have, under control. If anything, the humbucker will mellow out the highs, which is preferred in jazz.

 

Here's a guy bopping out some jazz on a P90 equipped LP Special. If anything, the 'bucker equipped version should sound even mellower.

 

[video=youtube;GQiKTMr6x20]

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Sure, you could play any style of music on any kind of guitar, but is the solid mahogany body and humbucker going to be too much with the flatwounds and low treble? Most people who play solid bodies seem to use a telecaster for jazz, not a Les Paul (Les Paul himself aside).

 

That's only because, as the longest running continuously available solidibody electric guitar, there were more people playing teles, and probably earlier in their lives, someone they admired played a tele. Or maybe, since the LP was out of production for a while, the teles were more plenteous. Or maybe they started playing when they were young and the tele being the cheaper option, they started on one and decided they liked it best!

 

The real reason most jazzers who play solidbodies play teles and not LPs, is because most of them are old and an LP is too heavy for their bad back (or leg if they play sitting down).

 

OK, OK I'm just pokin' fun... ,maybe. But the reality is a tele is the truth! :cool:

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If you like Les Pauls sound and playability etc then certainly its a good jazz guitar. I prefer SG's over them for jazz and other things, but thats mainly cause Ive never been able to get on with les pauls that well myself compared to SG;s and some others. My fave jazz guitarist is John Mclaughlin from Mahavishnu days and he played doublenecks for most of his career with Mahavishnu.

 

If you want a darker sound Lespaul, just get a all mahogany one rather then one with the maple top.

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I have an LP Special. It has the 490/498 pickups. They are not screaming, high out pickups. The few times that I accidentally play a jazz chord, it does sound real good on the neck pickup.

 

I also used to have a Gibson Explorer with the same pickups. It too, had the flat mahogany body and I could get some good "jazz" sounds out of the neck pickup.

 

I think the LP Special would be a good choice.

 

Surfy

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as to single coils and jazz.....Charlie Christian did well with them.


and i could be wrong.....but i'm almost positive that i remember Larry Coryell playing a Special back in the 70's.
:thu:

 

Yes he did. I've seen photos of him playing them in the early 70s.

 

Edit: upon further examination, it turns out that it was a Hagstrom LP copy with humbuckers.

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