Best guitar pickups for playing Jazz music

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If you’re an aspiring jazz musician looking to get the most out of your guitar, then you know the importance of having the right pickups for the job.

Picking the best guitar pickups for playing jazz music can be tricky, as there are a lot of factors to consider, from the type of sound you’re trying to achieve to the materials used in the pickups.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the types of pickups available, the materials they’re made from, and how to make the right choice for your jazz playing.

So, let’s get started.

1. Gibson P90 Guitars

The Gibson P90 guitar is renowned for its clarity and warmth, making it an ideal choice for jazz music.

With its signature single-coil design and open-sounding tone, its pickups provide a smooth, articulate sound that’s perfect for the style.

The P90 pickups are also highly versatile, allowing for a range of tones depending on the amp type and guitar settings.

Additionally, the bridge pickup offers a midrange punch and a nice balance between brightness and warmth, making it well-suited for jazz solos.

Thus, get the best p90 pickup guitars for your jazz music today.

2. Vintage Humbuckers

Vintage humbuckers provide jazz guitarists with several benefits that make them a great choice for amplifying their sound.

For starters, these guitar pickups offer a warm and rich tone. Plus, its mellow attack and clear articulation will allow you to bring out the nuances while maintaining an impressive level of clarity.

The vintage humbuckers also provide a large dynamic range to create unique sounds.

With the wide frequency response, they have enhanced sustain and a full-bodied sound, making them well-suited for jazz improvisation and can capture every nuance in the music, giving you a greater range of expression.

Finally, vintage humbuckers are quite versatile, allowing you to switch between different genres easily. From blues to funk to rock to jazz, these pickups can handle any style you throw at them.

3. Gibson Classic 57

The Gibson Classic 57 is one of the best guitar pickups for playing jazz music.

This guitar has a high output of 14K ohms, making it easy to push your amp into overdrive or distortion territory when needed. This makes them ideal for achieving jazz music’s clean and clear tones.

The ceramic magnets provide a balanced frequency response with great clarity and presence. As a result, you’ll be able to hear each note of the scale clearly when playing complex jazz licks.

Regarding tonal versatility, the Classic 57s offer plenty of options to help you shape your sound.

With their adjustable pole pieces, you can fine-tune your sound to your personal liking.

Whether you’re going for a more traditional jazz tone or something more modern, the Classic 57s will have you covered.

Overall, the Gibson Classic 57 pickups deliver amazing vintage-style tones perfect for jazz musical theory. Their high output, adjustable pole pieces, and classic design offer an unbeatable combination of power and versatility that will take your playing to new heights.

So if you’re looking for an unbeatable instrument pickup to help you stand out as a jazz player, look no further than the Gibson Classic 57s!

4. Benedetto S6

The Benedetto S6 is considered one of the best guitar pickups for playing jazz music. This humbucker pickup uses two hand-wound coils and features an even balance between the treble and bass tones and a low-end response unique to jazz playing.

Additionally, the guitar is made with a combination of Alnico V and Alnico II magnets, providing added clarity and dynamic range. The clarity it provides will let you hear every detail of your playing, making it great for intricate jazz solos.

Therefore, the Benedetto S6 is an excellent choice for any jazz guitarist looking to enhance their playing.

5. Seymour Duncan SH-55

The Seymour Duncan Seth SH-55 has unmatched versatility, allowing you to switch between different tones and levels of gain depending on what kind of sound you are trying to achieve. In addition, the guitar has a very responsive attack, giving it an “alive” sound.

Furthermore, the tone produced by the Seymour Duncan SH-55 is clear and articulate, which is great for playing complex chords without sounding muddy or distorted.

Plus, it can handle high volumes without losing its tonality and clarity, making it perfect for live performances.

So, if you’re looking for a set of pickups that can give you the tonal flexibility you need to play jazz music, then the SH-55 pickups are definitely worth considering.

6. DiMarzio

DiMarzio has long been a leader in guitar pickup technology, and their commitment to quality and innovation makes them a clear choice when looking for the best guitar pickups for playing jazz music.

With DiMarzio Jazz model pickups, you can amplify the unique tonal characteristics of your guitar to create a sound that is warm, bright, or anywhere in between.

It’s also highly responsive, so it can accurately capture the nuances of jazz playing, from delicate finger-style passages to aggressive strumming.

Thus, if you’re serious about playing jazz guitar, you must check out DiMarzio’s jazz collections.

DiMarzio’s commitment to quality and innovation makes them a trusted name in jazz guitar pickups.

7. Lollar Imperial

These hand-wound pickups are made with high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail that is both precise and reliable. Not only do these guitars sound great, but they also offer superior tonal response due to their unique design.

The Lollar Imperials feature a powerful bottom end, clear mid-range, and a warm top end that provides an authentic jazz tone.

The construction of the Lollar Imperials involves winding the coils precisely and consistently to ensure maximum efficiency and power. This ensures that your sound will remain clear across all frequencies, giving you the perfect jazz tone.

Additionally, this construction technique also helps reduce unwanted noise from other electronic instruments or external sources of interference.

These pickups are also noted for producing minimal noise, so you won’t experience any crackling or harsh bounce when playing.

Furthermore, the Lollar Imperials provide excellent string separation, allowing you to pick up on the subtlest nuances in your playing.

Overall, the Lollar Imperials should be on your list if you’re looking for a pickup with superior craftsmanship and tonal clarity that is perfect for playing jazz music.

Their combination of quality materials and intricate design ensures that these pickups deliver a truly remarkable performance every time you plug them in!

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Guitar for Jazz Music?

Many factors go into choosing the best guitar pickups for playing jazz music. The style of guitar, the type of music, and the player’s preference all play a role in determining the best pickups for a given situation.

However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you choose the best pickups for jazz music, including,

It is crucial to consider the kind of guitar you are playing. For example, if you are playing a hollow-body guitar, you will want to choose pickups with a warmer sound. On the other hand, if you are playing a solid-body guitar, you will want to select pickups with a brighter sound.

You should think about the type of jazz music you will be performing. For example, if you play bebop jazz, you will want to choose pickups with a more articulate sound. On the other hand, if you are playing swing jazz, you will want to select pickups with a smoother sound.

When selecting pickups, keeping your personal music tastes in mind is crucial. For example, some players prefer pickups that have more of a vintage sound, while others prefer pickups that have a modern sound.

Ultimately, the best pickups for playing jazz music are the ones that sound good to you and help you create the type of music you want to play.


The best guitar pickups for playing jazz music are those that provide clarity and accuracy of sound. In addition, think about the kind of instrument you have and the tone you want to produce.

For example, single-coil pickups tend to have a brighter, clearer sound, while humbucker pickups are usually darker and fuller sounding.

The ideal guitar pickup will ultimately depend on your particular preferences and the type of jazz music you play.

With the right pickup, you can get a smooth, mellow tone that will add a unique flavor to your jazz playing.


Why do you need specific pickups for Jazz?

Jazz pickups are designed to provide a broader frequency range than traditional pickups, allowing them to pick up the wide range of sounds essential to the genre.

In addition, jazz pickups are designed to minimize noise and interference, helping to create a clean tone essential for jazz playing.

Can you play jazz on a single coil?

While some may assume that the only instrument suitable for playing jazz is a double-coil electric guitar, this is not the case. Single-coil electric guitars can also be used to play jazz, allowing for a unique sound many jazz musicians appreciate.

Single-coil electric guitars offer a brighter tone than double-coil models and are also great for playing rhythm parts.

Can you play Jazz music with an Acoustic guitar?

Yes, you can play Jazz music with an acoustic guitar. However, the guitarist needs to understand jazz’s basic harmony, scales, and rhythms. It is also important to have a good ear for improvisation and to learn and incorporate new chords, progressions, and melodies.