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Reasons To Use A Jazz Guitar Amp

By Maryanne Goff

The jazz guitar amp needs to be of sufficient quality to able to project the instrument player’s unique sound to the audience with minimal interference. The amp is more usually required to enhance the instruments warmth of tone and sense of intimacy to match the atmosphere of where it is being played.

This is unlike the amp used by a rock player who is more interested in being heard above cacophony of surrounding noise from other band members and the audience. The requirement here is for volume and shredding tone to cut through this interference with either shrill lead breaks or earth moving power chords. Whilst some volume is needed the requirement of the jazz player is quality of sound.

When its time for a rock players solo the guitar amp needs to be able to screech and wail at sufficient volume and tone to get on top of the surrounding cacophony. Country pickers tend to use gear that will scythe through the accompanying sound for more percussive effect. The guitar amp that these players choose will help them get these effects.

Jazz bands in which the guitar features as a prominent instrument often perform in trio and quartet combinations. The main venues tend to be small and intimate spaces where band and patrons are often crammed in almost on top of each other. The band gear is then necessarily small and compact especially if a double bass is part of the line up. This is some contrast to fellow musicians performing in a rock or country band that might be performing on a large stage complete with remote controlled PA systems.

In such situations the jazz guitar amp needs to be small and compact but pack enough punch to allow the guitarist to be heard above the appreciative but often noisy crowd. It is often a fine line to stay loud enough for fellow band members to hear with out upsetting the audience with too much volume.

Again a quality amp should be able to project in the correct sound range with out deafening a table of patrons who may be seated within arms reach from the band. Unlike his fellow double bass player it is often possible for the guitarist to get to the gig by bus, instrument in one hand and the amp in another.

Most amplifiers these days are mass produced in Asian countries and as such can be offered for sale at relatively cheap prices historically. For the learner or cash strapped amateur these are often the best and only alternative. They do what they are designed to do and that is to give the guitarist volume. There are often all sorts of add on knobs and switches to make the guitar not sound like the guitar and this probably fine if this is the desired outcome.

It is ironical then that to buy a jazz guitar amp that will faithfully reproduce the sound of the instrument without the added on bells and whistles can cost quite a sum of money. This is because these units are often hand made, to the customer’s specific requirements, and utilize the finest of components.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Goff, Maryanne "Reasons To Use A Jazz Guitar Amp." Reasons To Use A Jazz Guitar Amp. 16 Apr. 2014. 2 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Goff, M (2014, April 16). Reasons To Use A Jazz Guitar Amp. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Goff, Maryanne "Reasons To Use A Jazz Guitar Amp"

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