When it comes to choosing an electric guitar, your decision on what to buy may be influenced by what you have played before – you may want something similar or different, the sound that you want to achieve, or perhaps an idol with whom the guitar has an association. The Ibanez JEMJr is one of the most iconic guitars of all time – the favored instrument of guitar legend Steve Vai.
What sets it apart
The JEMJr has a mahogany body and a 24-fret maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. It features a quantum neck humbucker with a quantum single coil middle pickup and a double-locking tremolo. The frets are punctuated with the famous ‘tree of life’ design and the upper body features the iconic ‘monkey grip’, enabling you to pick up the JEMJr in a manner unique to this guitar.
How it plays
It plays smooth and fast and allows you to do the same. The 24-fret neck – a real rarity before the JEM – makes it possible to play in ways which would not be possible on other guitars and adds to the JEMJr’s unique sound. The humbuckers give you the powerful, crunching sound you want when playing powerchords, while the single coil pickup sounds especially beautiful when undistorted and fingerpicked.
There is not much difference at all, when playing the JEMJr and the original JEM. Most people say they can’t hear the difference either, with both guitars giving great sustain. When a guitar is still famous, still making aficionados drool and still selling almost 30 years after its release, it’s clear that the formula is a winning one.
The components of the JEMJr are not all the same as those of the JEM. For example, the pickups of the JEMJr are designed by DiMarzio. However, this is merely a point of interest and one that might affect the monetary value of the guitar, but has very little affect – if any at all – on the way the guitar plays and the way it sounds.
If you’re not a big fan of the Steve Vai sound, then it’s unlikely that you would be considering the JEMJr as a guitar for yourself. If you’re unsure, trying playing some of his music now. Like it? That’s great – you’re reading a review of the guitar he designed. Don’t like it? That’s no problem, it’s not for everyone! You’ll find the right sound for you with time!
There are people who would choose this guitar over any other in the world. Go to TheInstrumentReviewer and check out all the fantastic guitars featured there. That’s right – to many, the JEM (and therefore the JEMJr, as its younger brother) is the cream of them all. If this sounds like exaggeration, then just consider the average rating currently given by Amazon reviews to the JEMJr – a humbuckin’ mighty 4.9 stars out of a possible 5! (Who says people only leave bad reviews on the internet?)
Hopefully this review will have given you an idea whether the JEMJr is the right choice for you. I look forward to reading your feedback!