The Best Jazz Guitars for Beginners and Pros

Jazz music has been part of the music industry for many years. Some people loudly complain that It puts a large emphasis on improvisation and is often seen in bars and clubs.

One of the instruments commonly used in jazz is the guitar. Guitars are considered one of the most versatile musical instruments that can adapt to almost any musical genre. With that said, here are the best jazz guitars for beginners to professionals.

The Archtop

The archtop is perhaps the most popular and traditional of all jazz guitars. This instrument features a hollow body, and it has a warm tone that resembles a bell.

Many jazz musicians in history have been considered iconic in using the archtop in jazz music. These iconic musicians include George Benson, Wes Montgomery, and Kenny Burell, among many others.

Despite its impact on jazz music, the archtop was initially conceived as a purely acoustic musical instrument in the late 19th century by Gibson. Today, most archtops are now semi-acoustic, featuring a hollowed body and an arched top.

Looking at the archtop guitar from the top, you can see the design’s resemblance to that of the violin family from which it was inspired.

The f-holes placed on the guitar assist in sound projection. This type of design is often found in semi-hollow and archtop guitars to produce that dark and somewhat warm sound ideal in jazz music.

The Semi-Hollow

Seen by many as a combination between a solid body guitar and an archtop, the semi-hollow guitar is widely known for its versatility in several musical genres and playing styles.

Compared to archtop guitars, the solid wood that runs through the semi-hollow body dramatically contributes to the feedback issues that most archtop guitars suffer from. The tone of a semi-hollow retains the archtop’s warmth yet is a little brighter compared to the archtop.

The body of a semi-hollow guitar is also significantly thinner than that of an archtop. Several guitar players find this feature to be convenient when playing the guitar. If you prefer a slightly less warm and somewhat brighter tone, then a semi-hollow might suit you more than an archtop.

The Solid Body 

This is considered to be a standard electric guitar. As the name suggests, a solid-body guitar is made of a single block of wood. You seldom see jazz musicians perform with a solid body guitar since most jazz musicians prefer the warmer tones of an archtop or semi-hollow.

However, some specialized jazz musicians prefer the solid body because of the distinct brightness of its tone.

Because a solid body has no holes, this completely eradicates the archtop’s feedback issues and the semi-hollow. Solid-body guitars also have smaller dimensions compared to their other two counterparts.

They are also the most versatile of the three types of jazz guitars. You can use them for contemporary music, modern music, ballads, and many more. However, this can also be seen as a downside since it strays farther from traditional jazz music.


Choosing a guitar that suits your play and personality style is vital if you want to create beautiful music. It is highly recommended that you choose a quality guitar rather than poorly made guitars.

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