Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Les Paul as a jazz guitar  (Read 7849 times)

Offline laughinglarry

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1060
    • http://www.myspace.com/larrysmithmusic
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« on: February 01, 2008, 11:11:30 PM »
Okay, so I've had a hankering for a NICE jazz box for a while.  I can't afford an extra ration of refried beans at the moment (been on quite the buying binge since '08 started), but I DO have a gorgeous Les Paul Custom hanging from my wall (basically gathering dust, as I'm not working on any recordings and that's the ONLY time I'll use it).  So I got to thinking - "Hey, this really IS a jazz guitar" (or at least its daddy's a jazzer [;)]). Oh, and when I say gorgeous, I really MEAN it.  This is a guitar that almost demands a dinner jacket and snifter of brandy... [:)][8D][:D]

So what's the best setup for making my '92 Les Paul Custom into a jazz box?  I'm assuming heavy strings; either flatwound or half-round, with a wound G.  I'd also assume that I'll keep that action rather low.  I usually favor the neck PU anyway, so I'll probably stay THERE for the most part (though the bridge pickup sounds great with the tone control turned down too).

Any tips for the sacriligious?  (No Simon, I'm NOT going to sell it for another Fly! [:0][:p][;)])

Larry

2000 Fly Deluxe Single 2, '97 Fly Deluxe (with GK-2A), '07 Steinberger GM-7TA, '04 Steinberger GLB-2S, '89 Strat Plus, '92 Les Paul Custom, Ibanez Silver Series (Strat), Epiphone Dot, '65 Mustang, Yamaha BB3000AF, Peavey Foundation, Hamer Cruisebass
http://www.myspace.com/larrysmithmusic
www.myspace.com/karmagenerator

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline jazzrat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 644
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2008, 12:08:35 AM »
I get some Thomastik Bebop nickel roundwounds or their jazz flats. I personally wouldn't go too heavy. The set I use on my archtop is 11-47. Nice low tension and warm tone. Ought jazz that LP right up.
I'm sure you know this but your pick can have a huge impact on tone.
I use a Clayton Acetal 1.52mm pick that sounds really warm and fat even on the 9's I have on my Fly

'02 Fly Classic Hardtail,'07 NiteFly Alder, Carvin Bolt Hardtail, Eastman 805 CE Archtop,  MIM jazz bass, Takemine '95 SC-132EC
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 12:10:35 AM by jazzrat »
Fly Classic, Ibanez AS-193, Eric Johnson Strat, Eastman AR403-CE, Cordoba Fusion 12 Maple, Fretless Jazz Bass

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline loumt123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2700
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 09:33:47 AM »
any guitar can be these nu-jazzer's jazz box....they roll of the tone so much it doesn't matter if your guitar is acoustic or solid.
 

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline laughinglarry

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1060
    • http://www.myspace.com/larrysmithmusic
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 10:36:05 AM »
Well, from being self-taught, and growing up a new-waver and punk-rocker, I KNOW I've got some habits that are genuinely UN-JAZZY.

Mainly, I bend too much and use too much vibrato.  At least that's what Jeff Berlin kept trying to purge my system of when I took his one-week intensive class in '99.  At the time I was in a blues band, and I couldn't get through a passage without a bend or vibrato.  Of course Jeff also tried to break me of thinking in scales; he's all about chord tones.  (If you don't read music and need an injection of humility, I HIGHLY recommend the Jeff Berlin Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida.  All the instructors there are MONSTERS, and it's worth the time and money just for the after-school jam sessions that the teachers hold!  Then again, I didn't pay anything for the class... [:p][:D])

So I was thinking that if I went to something like 12-52 semi-flat wounds with a wound G that I might get over the bends more quickly.  [:I]

And for picks, I use the Everly Star 1.14mm (same as Dunlop Tortex Purple's).  I've tried some SUPER FAT jazz picks, as well as teardrops (also super fat), but I think I'm gonna stick with what I use everyday.  I dont' want a new foray into unknown territory to mess with my already atrocious technique.  [:0][:I][B)]

Larry

2000 Fly Deluxe Single 2, '97 Fly Deluxe (with GK-2A), '07 Steinberger GM-7TA, '04 Steinberger GLB-2S, '89 Strat Plus, '92 Les Paul Custom, Ibanez Silver Series (Strat), Epiphone Dot, '65 Mustang, Yamaha BB3000AF, Peavey Foundation, Hamer Cruisebass
http://www.myspace.com/larrysmithmusic
www.myspace.com/karmagenerator

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline prjacobs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 03:45:59 PM »
Personally, I think that you should try a set of flat wound strings, including the G string.  It's such a clean sound for jazz; the pick as well as your fretting hand glides over a flat wound string. Also, the flat wounds are kinder to your fingers, should you decide to abandon your pick.  I used to set up my old Fender Jaguar with flat wounds and I'm considering doing it again.  It's a great jazz sound and probably a total departure from what you're used to.  In terms of gauge, I feel that's an individual choice.  I do love my friend's old L5, with .012 flat wounds on it.  That was the traditional string for the old rockabilly players.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 03:52:23 PM by prjacobs »
 

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline cy2989

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
    • http://chrisyoungportraits.com
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 07:29:52 AM »
Just because the subject of jazz guitars was broached, I just ordered this Eastman El Rey and it's my first archtop and I'm very excited!


Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline jazzrat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 644
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 09:30:19 AM »
Nice Chris! The El Rey is a killer guitar. Sounds way fatter than the body size would lead you to believe.

'02 Fly Classic Hardtail,'07 NiteFly Alder, Carvin Bolt Hardtail, Eastman 805 CE Archtop,  MIM jazz bass, Takemine '95 SC-132EC
Fly Classic, Ibanez AS-193, Eric Johnson Strat, Eastman AR403-CE, Cordoba Fusion 12 Maple, Fretless Jazz Bass

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline loumt123

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2700
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2008, 12:06:31 PM »
The el rey isn't an archtop, but it is beautifully hand carved and howllow inside. You're gonna get some great jazz tones out of it, and it will serve you well for other generes of music.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Eiug9KeyBfM here's a pretty good demo of it. You can really here the percussive nature of the strings....it actually has almost a nice woody, airy tone to it even though the body size is small and there aren't any F-holes. It's a really great sounding guitar, so be sure to post some clips when you get it.



that also reminds me, jhale does customs of a few eatman models. Here's the El rey variations. http://jhalemusic.com/pages/jHaleCustElRey.html look at that gorgeous light blue. wow!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 12:07:49 PM by loumt123 »
 

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline cy2989

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
    • http://chrisyoungportraits.com
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 12:25:08 PM »
Eastman calls it an archtop and so does Otto D'Ambrosio, its designer.  The top is arched, and it is carved and graduated.

The video is Jack Zucker.  He's a good player but he is also the nephew of the late Monte Zucker who was a very famous portrait photographer.  I used to study his teachings and techniques.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 12:34:14 PM by cy2989 »

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline jamrcat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3137
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2008, 03:23:39 PM »
Chris, I think your going to be very happy with your new girl. She's beautiful, and has a great voice I'm sure!!! [:p]

98' Fly Artist w/RMC (Thanks Dayn!)
93' Parker Fly Deluxe hardtail RP "Blackie" KP Signature (Thank You! Bob & Ken)
2FlyBob (Thanks Paul!)

jamrcat
Butte, Montana
"A Fly for each hand!"

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline cy2989

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
    • http://chrisyoungportraits.com
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2008, 04:42:16 PM »
these guitars are very reasonably priced too. Almost ridiculous.

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline TREVORT

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 551
    • http://www.soundclick.com/trevorthompson
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2008, 08:46:38 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by cmpkllyrslf96

The el rey isn't an archtop, but it is beautifully hand carved and howllow inside. You're gonna get some great jazz tones out of it, and it will serve you well for other generes of music.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Eiug9KeyBfM here's a pretty good demo of it. You can really here the percussive nature of the strings....it actually has almost a nice woody, airy tone to it even though the body size is small and there aren't any F-holes. It's a really great sounding guitar, so be sure to post some clips when you get it.



that also reminds me, jhale does customs of a few eatman models. Here's the El rey variations. http://jhalemusic.com/pages/jHaleCustElRey.html look at that gorgeous light blue. wow!



Interesting.. I talked to him some years ago(Jack Zucker). He lives in the cleveland area. I wanted to take some lesson's from him.
I still have his card on the frig.[:p]
Trevor



2007 Parker Nightfly Mojo w/PRS pup's
Mesa lonestar  Traynor 50Blue
Mesa Triaxis tube pre. 20/20 Mesa tube amp
Mesa road series dual 12" v30 closed/C90 open
(on the way)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 08:47:27 PM by TREVORT »
 

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline prjacobs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2008, 09:32:04 PM »
Larry,
Again..... Try some flat wounds.
 

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline uburoibob

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3262
    • Bob Martin 11:11
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2008, 09:32:31 PM »
Lou, The El Ray is a bonafide archtop. Perhaps more so than a press-top like an ES175 would be (which Jim Hall and Joe Pass were famously associated with).

Larry, as far as jazz - your Fly is a pretty incredible jazz guitar. I'd say it's capable of getting you closer to an archtop jazz sound than a solid body like your Les Paul. Don't get me wrong - I played an LP Custom for many years. But the sounds I can get out my Fly Classic are just gorgeous for jazz. Pat Martino used a Fly in the mid-90s and sounded just like himself... amazing.

Bob

2001 Parker Fly Single 2 Silver  â€¢ 1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch -   2000 Fly Standard Classic in Cherry Red - http://bobmartin1111.com

Les Paul as a jazz guitar

Offline cy2989

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
    • http://chrisyoungportraits.com
Les Paul as a jazz guitar
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2008, 09:52:15 PM »
Trevor,

does that mean you are in Cleveland?  I'm in Columbus and I also spoke to Jack about lessons via web cam.  We were going to try a lesson or two to see how well it works.

Chris