best budget jazz guitar

Best Budget Jazz Guitar

Author: Mark at Instrument Geek

Searching for the best budget jazz guitar (much like with any other instrument) can prove to be a confusing task if a person doesn’t know what to look out for. The price is obviously important, but so is quality. So if an individual is on a tight budget (or perhaps if they’re only getting started with jazz guitar and aren’t looking to spend too much) then it’s recommended to get a guitar within the $400-$600 range. This is the sweet spot in which not much is being sacrificed in terms of quality (any less and things can get iffy very quickly) yet at this price an arm and a leg hopefully still aren’t being paid.

Instruments that are quality crafted are also easier to play as their production is carefully overseen by actual luthiers (artisans who specialize in the craftsmanship of instruments). Picking up a $50 squier might sound like a good idea, but the neck will feel uncomfortable, the action will be too high, you’ll have to strain your fingers to play notes, you’ll most likely get a few bum notes and will have to pay someone more than the guitar is worth to fix the truss rod. It’s just a headache that isn’t worth the time. It’s only recommended if you want a beater.

Gretsch G2420 Streamliner Hollowbody - Aged Brooklyn Burst

Gretsch is a guitar brand that will always have a historic place in guitar history; famous for its white falcon. It had the important role of aiding the British invasion’s distinct guitar tones (used by bands such as: The beatles, The yardbirds, the animals, the rolling stones, the who, and The Zombies). Gretsch guitars are more than just one trick ponies though and actually have the perfect tone for playing jazz.

Check price on Amazon

Ibanez AG75BS Artcore Hollowbody Electric Guitar, Brown Sunburst Finish

Ibanez is a company that’s very involved with its musicians and is famous for its signature guitars which are designed and built for many of the guitarists that the company sponsors. One example of this would be with the renowned contemporary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

The Ibanez AG75BS is perhaps the most affordable guitar in this list, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it, we included it for a reason. High quality woods are used to construct this guitar, with maple being responsible for the body, and a beautiful mahogany neck with the classic rosewood fretboard to accompany the instrument.

Check price on Amazon

Ibanez Artcore Vintage Series AGV10A Hollowbody Electric Guitar Tobacco Burst Low Gloss

Here’s another Ibanez that we decided to include on the list. As you should be able to immediately tell from the picture, it has a very intentionally rustic look to it. This functional piece of art would make a phenomenal addition to almost any persons’s den.

This is a great instrument to play when indoors during summer evenings when you’re spending the weekend out on the lake, or snuggled up indoors by a fireplace during the winter and you feel the need to play your heart out. It’s made out of quality material, and has a quality sound & feel to it. This instrument is highly recommended.

Check price on Amazon

Epiphone WILDKAT Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar with Bigsby Tremelo, Natural

Epiphone, the child company of Gibson is a great brand to turn to when on a budget. They simply outsource some of their production, but the quality standards they have are incredibly high. Impressively high. This guitar is a semi-hollowbody which means a lot of its focus is on electric play. It has a quality bigsby tremolo which compliments the guitar's tone. A fantastic and inexpensive jazz guitar.

Check price on Amazon

Godin 5th Avenue Archtop Jazz-Style Acoustic Guitar

The Godin brand is a Canadian guitar company that’s been manufacturing instruments since the 70s. The body is made from cherry and the neck is built from a maple, both woods coming from Canada. This specific guitar is designed precisely for early jazz as should be evident simply by looking at the design. It’s a very nice instrument, phenomenal for the price, it plays well and sounds well. An electric version of this guitar can be purchased as well for a little more money (click here to check it out on amazon) , this means that pickups, volume & tone controls, and a quarter-inch jack are all installed so that you can play this bad boy over an amp.

Check price on Amazon

Washburn HB Series HB15CTSK Electric Guitar

Washburn is a company that’s known for its jazzy guitars. It’s astounding that they’re able to sell some of these great instruments for such affordable prices. This model in particular is one that is highly recommended. It will last you a life-time if you decide to get it and you should never get tired of it. The body and neck are both crafted out of mahogany wood, whereas the neck is made out of the traditional rosewood. Those are expensive materials yet the price on this beautiful instrument is still incredibly low. The one pickup is positioned right up near the neck, as close as possible, which is unusual for most guitars, but this really gives the guitar an amazingly unique jazzy tone.

Check price on Amazon