Friday, January 20, 2012

1963 Fender Jazzmaster

Introduced in 1958, the Jazzmaster was Fender's attempt at competition within the Jazz guitar market, specifically targeting competitors Gibson and Guild. while the Jazzmaster never made it as a jazz guitar, it has become a guitar that is virtually synonymous with certain fringes of guitar playing. The guitar is far more versatile than as a fringe dweller, and in this writer's opinion sounds every bit as great as the more univerally loved Telecaster and Stratocaster.

This particular example, built in 1963, has been well used in its nearly 50 years of service, and is full of honest wear and heavy soul. Compare it with my '66.

Notice the arm area wear; the black area of the sunburst finish is worn away to the base coat, which is the color seen in the center of the sunburst target. Fender finishes of the time are of extremely thin lacquer, applied with incredible skill.

When introduced initially and until 1960, Jazzmaster cases were covered in tweed. Following the tolex covering change to amplifiers, cases became brown in 1960 until mid-1963 when the white case (seen here, in poor condition) was used for a short time until mid-1964.

Fender guitars came with a simple leather strap, seemingly from the early '50's and well into the 1970's. Here's a period strap draped over the guitar.

guitar images courtesy of the author, c2012 Derek See.

1 comment:

  1. Nice guitar. I'm still undecided about the early thin-necked JMs. I have pretty thick fingers and I find myself concentrating a lot more as that neck can be unforgiving. Still, my '64 JM is the one guitar that I would want to be buried with, etc.

    Photos of it here: (and a family picture here: )