Jazzmaster vs Stratocaster: Which is the best?

Further diversification in the realm of guitars leads us to two more of its sub or as done may call it, counterparts. While a guitar, structurally and methodically is relatively an easier instrument to handle, understanding its core parts and figuring out which style resonates the most with you is of vitality.

Understanding of the instrument one yields is what will help them become better at their art of playing. The two different types of guitars that we talk about today are the Jazzmaster vs Stratocaster.

This article will not only provide you a more detailed overview, but alongside it may also help you in figuring out the best fit for you.

What Is The Jazzmaster?

A Fender Jazzmaster, as suggested by the name has been a favourite among the jazz players. It is quite often named as the more expensive counterpart of the Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Do not simply assume that the Jazzmaster is only for those who have a liking for playing jazz music. It did on a later stage become quite the favourite amongst surf rock guitarists, possibly more so.

The guitar lost its popularity for a brief period in between, but that says nothing of its popularity now, and Fender’s wonderful contribution to the world of music.

History of Jazzmaster

The Fender Jazzmaster carries it’s master’s name and reputation quite well. The said form of guitar was built and manufactured by Fender in the year, 1959.

It was mainly created with the purpose of providing jazz players with a solid guitar that could be their lead instrument and produce the desired sound.

Over the years, there have been multiple changes and modifications to the guitar’s design and working.

There was a period in between that lasted from 1980 – 1984. During this period, the Jazzmaster was discontinued from production. In 1984 however, the guitar made a comeback. Better than ever and enhanced. The influence of the Jazzmaster has continued since.

Features of Jazzmaster

  • The Fender Jazzmaster supports a solid body type.
  • It has a bolt – on type of neck joint.
  • Its size can be measured to be upto around, 25.5 inches.
  • The bridge has the property of being a Floating proprietary vibrato.
  • The type of pickups in use are the Two Jazzmaster Pickups.
  • Different type of wood is used for the construction of each of it’s part.
  • Body – Alder, Ash, Basswood
  • Neck – Maple
  • Fretboard – Rosewood, Maple


Alike Fender’s other products, his goal for this one was too, quite clear. He wanted to make a splash with the idea of a solid guitar among jazz players. It was however, a fruitless endeavour.

The Jazzmaster was discarded as an old fashioned looking, not so good model of a guitar. That is the sole reason it had to be discontinued. Later on however, a few players got the Fender Jazzmaster it’s pre planned recognition and deserved admiration.

Notable Players in Jazzmaster category

  • Jim Root
  • Alex Turner
  • Ric Ocasek
  • David Rhodes
  • Grant Nicholas
  • Etc.

Good Products Available Online

Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Jazzmaster Electric Guitar

What Is The Stratocaster?

A Fender Stratocaster is a solid guitar manufactured originally by Fender, with a double cut-out design and an extended top horn for its intended design and sound.

It has been termed as one of the most revolutionary guitars of its time. The body, the design, the sound, it feels as if everything was custom made keeping the customers in mind.

History of Stratocaster

The first ever model manufactured and put up for sale of the Stratocaster was in the year 1954.

The guitar took the market by storm. It was the very first of its kind, in design, in structure and in the way it sounded. The solid body was a contrast to the earliest hollow bodied guitars.

Different to its predecessor, the Telecaster, this now had two cut-outs and three pickups. Since 1954, there have been various changes and additions made to the original design. The popularity for this guitar grows, even to this day.

Features of Stratocaster

  • The Fender Stratocaster supports a solid body type.
  • It has a bolt on style neck joint.
  • Its size is around about 25 inches.
  • Different body parts of it are made up from different types of wood –
  • Body – Most commonly Alder or Ash is used for making this however, the possibility of other wood being used cannot be discarded.
  • Neck – Maple
  • Fretboard – While Maple and Rosewood are used often, the possibility of use of other woods cannot be discarded.
  • The bridge’s property is that it usually uses a six-screw tremolo.
  • Three single coil pickup (SSS) is the most commonly used.


The influence of the Fender Stratocaster was quite widespread. Being the very first of its type, it was loved and recognised widely.

Not only did it offer a wider range, if was also the top tier guitar when it came to comfort. Its solid base provided a strong, distinctive but a really versatile sound in itself. It can easily be termed a revolutionary guitar, when it comes to all the parts of the guitar category.

Notable Players in Stratocaster category

  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Eric Clapton
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Rory Gallagher
  • Etc.

Good Products Available Online

Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Fender Limited Edition Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Main Differences Between Jazzmaster vs Stratocaster

  • There are many notable differences between these both types of guitars. One amongst those is the difference in the way they sound, a Stratocaster has a bright but thin sound, whereas, a Jazzmaster supports relatively sort of more full and warm sound.
  • Other than that, a Jazzmaster produces less feedback and hum sound than the Stratocaster. Some people may find this an important element while choosing a guitar.
  • A Stratocaster has more of a regular shape, on the other hand, a Jazzmaster’s shape is more to the offset side. Alongside that, the former has twenty-two frets, while the later has twenty-one. The pickups on the Jazzmaster are too, larger than those on a Stratocaster. The three pickups on the Stratocaster are in sound and in ability equal to those, that are two in a Jazzmaster. Even when talking about variety in looks, the Stratocaster seemingly has a wider range of colour options, rather than the Jazzmaster.
  • In terms of control, we evidently see that, a Stratocaster has a five-way pickup selector alongside two tone controls and one volume control. On the other hand, a Jazzmaster has a three-way pickup selector, a lead rhythm switch, two tone and two volume controls.

Similarities Between Jazzmaster vs Stratocaster

Even after many differences amongst the two entities, these two Fender products also happen to be similar in quite many ways.

  • Both these Fender guitars have a double-cutaway body. Such a body has been known to be a good fit for someone looking for better grip and comfort while playing.
  • The design of both of these is lightweight and thin. Such a guitar formation is not only an added advantage for the player, but is also a great relief for those playing live as hauling around bulky guitars isn’t an easy task.
  • Supporting a similar C-shape neck in most guitars. Such a similar neck shape helps with the sound enhancement and easy hold on the guitar.
  • The scale length for both the Stratocaster and the Jazzmaster is the same, that is, 25 inches. Such a size as assumed is ideal for a guitar. In aspects of comfort and sound, the size compliments these guitars perfectly.
  • Both the guitars usually have a pickguard. Among their many differences, having a pickguard can easily be regarded as a similarity that not only shows how important of a part this is, but also how Fender’s sole focus with these guitars was to create something that compliments all comfort, style and a good sound.

Get more information on Telecaster Vs Stratocaster


In conclusion to this article there is only one thing to be said. When it comes to jazzmaster vs stratocaster guitars, each one is better than the next.

In a way, but not really at the same time. It all depends on factors such as playing style, and the duration for which someone has been playing. Even after putting these two against each other, one cannot be ranked higher, or superior to the other.

While there may be other factors that dictate one’s choices, after all is known, a Stratocaster is still a better choice for someone who is just beginning out.

As a beginner, not many people are inclined towards spending hefty amounts of money as an investment, when they are still just figuring out how they would like to go forward.

In such a scenario, a Stratocaster is a better option that a Jazzmaster, as not only does it offer a more versatile way of playing, but it is also less costly than the Jazzmaster.

If you have got the first step, that is figuring out the perfect instrument for you right, you might as well proceed further and create music and melodies. Start playing and start creating today.  

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