Not all beginners need a Les Paul or Stratocaster copy — a few desire something a bit different, a bit more mellow, a bit more… jazzy. And that is where this very affordable Jazzmaster from Fender’s subsidiary Squier comes in. While it is not explicitly marketed as a guitar for novices, the simplicity and playability of this Jazzmaster ensure it is well worth exploring for anyone just starting. Let us take a closer look…
Body & Neck
There is something about the Jazzmaster that is very relaxed. The overall style is incredibly appealing, using a solid alder body finished in glistening white and a’68 Stratocaster headstock including some vintage to it. The iconic Jazzmaster/Jaguar contour particularly is a nice change from all the Strats and Les Pauls you see in the beginner market, as it matches that identifying asymmetrical body providing full access to all 22 frets of this rosewood fretboard.
This sits on a very comfy one-piece bolt-on C shaped maple neck, and this is satin-finished, very hardy and typical of all versions associated with Fender. In reality, this is the prime reason we select this guitar on the chart of the finest electric guitars for beginners — the unbelievable playability. Beginners want a comfortable and glossy neck, and this Jazzmaster actually delivers.
Squier has removed the old switching system on this Jazzmaster variation and stripped down things, meaning it’s easy for novices to get to grips with.
Elsewhere, Squier has chosen for a six-saddle hardtail bridge using this Jazzmaster rather than the traditional tremolo bridge. On that note, the headstock is fitted with a pair of nickel tuners, which can be nice to use — nothing special, but very acceptable.
If you know anything about the Jazzmaster, then you may be expecting a mellow classic tone, perfect for surf-rock and similar genres. On the other hand, the 2 humbuckers are surprisingly sexy, so this seems better suited to heavier rock and metal — that looks a bit odd for this particular model. However, for novices practicing and jamming, it’s not a bad thing in any way. They are rather clear and have a decent overall output, though they could be worth upgrading as you improve.
Squier’s affordable Affinity Jazzmaster is somewhat different to what you might have expected in terms of hardware and tone, but it is a big winner in our eyes. Additionally, it’s very affoaffordable sounds and looks pretty cool, which is a fantastic bonus!