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Jazz Archtop Guitars: Which Type Do you Want

Updated on March 20, 2014

It takes but a few seconds using the seek feature on a radio to discover that there are a plethora of music types and sounds from which to choose. From easy listening to country to classical to jazz, rap, pop, alternative and more there is truly something for everyone. And perhaps the only thing more varied than the types of music available, is the myriad of instruments and vocalists that one will hear while perusing the radio waves.

One of those instruments that can be heard is the archtop jazz guitar. It is often an instrument that one might not realize is there….until one hears something where it is not a part of the melody. The archtop guitar is no stranger to music world –whether as a solo or backup- and is a great instrument for one to learn to play. If learning to play the jazz archtop guitar is on your To Do List, then you will likely be purchasing one of these great instruments. But what should you expect to find? Here are some key aspects of a jazz archtop guitar.

When it comes to jazz archtop guitars, there are 3 basic styles, each one being versatile, yet each uniquely designed and being more common in a particular style of music.

Solid body – This particular type of jazz archtop guitar is more commonly found in rock, country or blues music. It has a consistent tone, a high volume output and, unlike the other two types is, generally produces little to no feedback.

Semi-hollow – Considered the most versatile of jazz archtop guitars, the semi-hollow style guitar is more of a mid-size instrument, which produces more of a “jazz’ sound. It has been made famous due to being the instrument of choice for players such as Emily Remler, Larry Carlton and Ben Monder.

Archtop Guitars – This is the most traditional of the three and one that has been used by professional jazz enthusiast for years. In fact, it is styled (and priced) more towards the famous players like Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Russell Malone and Craig Wagner.

Playing the jazz archtop guitar is a great way to add lift and depth to a piece of music. It offers the melody of a song so much and marries the parts of music in such a way that is has long been a favorite musical instrument- especially in the world of jazz. If you are looking for a jazz archtop guitar, be sure to check out the selection at Fine Archtops so you can get the best instrument available for your needs and budget.

Many websites provide additional information on the topic of jazz archtop guitars. One such site worth visiting is

Janet Slagell independently authors articles for, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.


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