Ibanez Hollowbody Guitars

Guitar Love: Ibanez Hollowbody Guitar

By Anthony Bierman
In Aug 4, 2014
1578 Views

The Ibanez hollowbody guitar and its’ various ranges has a strong grip on the Jazz community of guitar players. When I was looking into getting into jazz and getting a hollowbody, the first place I looked at was the Artcore range.  The price was doable and the guitars were pretty good quality. The first model I owned was an AS 73  and I was really chuffed with it at the time. Although it did have a bit of a more nasal sound to me at that time and that led to me trading it in at a later point.

It came standard with ACH pickups, although I’m more of a fan of the Super 58 custom pickups that come with the Artstar models and some of the Expressionist models and signatures. The Super 58 pickups in particular, are a key role player in the modern Jazz sounds setup. Guys like John Scofield, Pat Metheny, and George Benson are all examples. The AS 73 also came with a maple top/back and sides and a bound rosewood fretboard. I really enjoyed the model! I felt it was well-equipped to tackle Jazz, especially for the lower price in comparison to other models out there.

Ibanez Hollowbody Guitar Players

Many key Jazz/Fusion players have signature Ibanez hollowbodies on the market. Pat Metheny has the PM 200 and the PM 2, John Scofield has the JSM 100 (this is where I originally heard the sound of the Super 58 pickups) and George Benson has the LGB 300, LGB 30 and GB 10. You can view the official Ibanez page to see George Benson review his new signature, but beware though, it has a slight ‘porno’ tinge to it. This is due to the camera work and fusion-jazz background music but, Benson’s demo is great to hear the sound and licks on the model.

Most of the Artcore, Artstar, the Expressionist variations and the signatures come with maple bodies . They either have a bound rosewood fretboard for the Artcores, or a bound ebony fretboard for the Artstars and the signatures. All the models come either with a mahogany or mahogany/maple set-in neck.

My Journey With My Own Ibanez Hollowbody Guitar

I recall I later started moving into rock ‘n’ roll and traded my AS 73 in for an AGR 73T. I’m not sure if they still produce the model, I couldn’t find it on their page. It had a beautiful white finish and was based on a Gretsch design. It came with mini-humbuckers and a vibrato bar. It was quite nice to look at! People would always comment on my guitar before or after a gig, just based on appearance. Apart from the appearance I really enjoyed the sound. It was in actual fact the first guitar that set me off on my current Gretsch path.

I was considering going for the AS 200 at one point, one of the Artstar Prestige models. It has a vintage yellow sunburst finish, which I was quite fond of. I could get a very warm bluesy sound. I saw a demo and the guy got a Robben Ford-ish sound out of it, which I quite enjoyed. Looking back I can really say that Ibanez did a good and affordable – for the most part – job of creating a brand of hollowbody guitar that has actually had a big influence on Jazz guitar players.

Some Cool Ibanez Hollowbody Guitars Links

I have attached a link of Jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield, who discusses Ibanez Artstar hollowbody guitars. He mentions that many of his students at Berklee actually own Ibanez. This goes to show that the brand has a strong grip on many jazz and future jazz players. Check it out for more info on the brand too if you are curious: click here. I will conclude this blog by leaving a video of Erik Krasno (another Ibanez hollowbody signature artist) playing Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughn on an AS 200. This shows the Super 58 pickups sounding great outside a jazz context: click here.

I hope this blog has shed some light for anyone interested in the Ibanez Hollowbody guitar series or looking for a guitar to get started with Jazz.

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* Completed an honours degree in music at University of Pretoria * Currently performs in a guitar and piano duet * Played guitar Hero and nailed it first time * He is a jazz specialist * Has a wealth of knowledge in music theory * Was taught by the world famous Jonathan Crossley * Has 2 years teaching experience

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