The Unique Guitar Blog: December 2020
Leo Fender had currently made his mark in the world of guitars with the Fender Telecaster and the Fender Precision bass in 1951. After that in 1954 he designed the Fender Stratocaster, which was the 1st guitar to feature a contoured waist style for the comfort of the participant, This same contour was applied the bodies of the 1953-54 Precision bass. By 1958 Fender had come up with a whole new idea that Leo Fender believed would replace the Stratocaster. In his ever improving style, Leo Fender had produced an offset body design for the Fender Jazzmaster and it may be a rhythm device or a lead device by merely flipping a switch. This guitar was included with a back contour similar to the Stratocaster, but the offset body design he put on the Jazzmaster designed that the upper and lower halves of the body are offset from each other to provide added comfort and ease for the player.
Essentially, the body of the instrument leans forwards. The Jazzmaster highlighted an offset body and waist. Prototypes of the Jazzmaster existed as early as 1957, but the guitar was finally wanted to the public by August of the next year. The initial models had aluminium anodized precious metal pickguards as shielding. That idea was scrapped in 1959 and only faux tortoiseshell nitrate celluloid pickguards. The Jazzmaster was equipped with newly designed pickups that were wide and toned and protected in a larger rectangular housing. The intent was to get a wider section of the string hence producing a larger and mellower sound. Who understands? Perhaps a secondary intent was to provide pickups that resembled Gibson’s P-90, which were popular at the time of the Jazzmasters introduction, even though design of this pickup is nothing like the P-90. The wish was to attract jazz players to employ a Fender guitar. The Jazzmaster was the first of the Fender guitar to arrive equipped with a rosewood fretboard. However some early creation and prototype examples came with a one-piece maple neck, others with an ebony fingerboard and/or a dark painted lightweight aluminum pickguard.
Longtime Fender associate George Fullerton possessed a 1957 Fiesta Red pre-production body in conjunction with a unique and experimental fretboard which was manufactured in 1961 using vulcanised rubber - reportedly only one of two ever made. Ultimately rosewood became a standard fretboard material for the Jazzmaster and a yr down the road other Fender models. By 1959 the pickguard became faux tortoise shell nitrate celluloid. And in 1966 the dot markings were changed by pearloid blocks. An optional maple fingerboard with black binding and block inlays was briefly offered in the mid-1970s. The Jazzmaster has generally had a 25 1/2” scale. This was the same size because the Stratocaster and Telecaster. The Jazzmaster bodies have already been constructed from ash, alder, and basswood through the years. Fender has a background of using whatever hardwood was easily available during structure. Originally the Jazzmaster colors were provided in Fiesta Crimson, Blond, Metallic Gold, San Marino Blue, plus some of the various other 1950’s custom colours. You can bank on the fact that Blond Jazzmast