Best Blues Acoustic Guitar

best blues acoustic guitarGet the best blues acoustic guitar to express your artistic struggle
Blues is a feeling that can only be accurately expressed in music. The impossibility of measuring this feeling is one of the biggest problems when choosing the best blues acoustic guitar. In this article, we will attempt to solve your problem by arming you with knowledge. By the end of the article, you will be better informed about the qualities and criteria that are necessary to select the best guitar that will serve as the conduit for your soul. This will not take long, so pay attention.

Features of the best guitar for blues

Rather than give an endless list of products, we have chosen to focus instead on the criteria by which you should make your choice. You will have to decide for yourself which of these qualities is the most important. A good deal of this judgment will be subjective, so remember that there is no one right choice for everyone. So, here’s how you select the best acoustic guitar for blues.

Best Slide Guitars

best slide for blues acoustic guitarNot everyone is into the use of a slide, but it remains an important part of the blues arsenal. If you are a person who either doesn’t slide at all or who slides very little, you won’t need to consider this factor very much. If, on the other hand, you really like to use that ol’ bottleneck, a good resonator is in order. Sometimes called a dobro, the resonator guitar uses small metal cones to amplify the sound of the instrument. These guitars are uniquely suited to slide work. Mahogany guitars are a good choice, if available. This wood is known to produce a nice high-end tone. The best guitar for slide playing is a resonator, and there isn’t much difference between them.

Not all slide players choose to use a resonator. There is a certain dirty, swanky sound that only comes from an electric guitar as you drag a broken bottleneck or a piece of steel across them. If a steel slide is more to your liking, you will want a guitar with a thicker neck and a higher action, as the steel will be much heavier than its glass counterpart.

Best Acoustic Guitar For Blues Fingerpicking

Best Acoustic Guitar For Blues FingerpickingFingerstyle guitar has a charm that can be recognized from the first note. If this is your preferred method, you will want several qualities to ensure better results when playing fingerstyle blues.

For one thing, choose a guitar with a relatively small body. Since you will be performing much more complex motions with your picking hand, you don’t want your arm in an awkward position. You want to be able to wrap your arms around the body easily for maximum control.
Look for a guitar with a bottom cutaway body for better access to the higher frets. Fingerstyle guitar tends to involve a lot of high notes and harmonics, so maximum access is the goal here. However, the most important thing for any fingerstyle guitar is an easy action. You should be able to depress the frets and get a good sound with minimal effort from both hands. For a fast, light style like this, you want to be able to produce those sounds with minimal effort.
A guitarist should, of course, follow these same rules when trying to select the best electric guitar for fingerstyle blues.

Determine Your Budget For The Acoustic Blues Guitar

Obviously, the more expensive guitars tend to be better. Although there is a question of degree, there is virtually no question that this is the case. The problem is, most of us cannot afford the best. If you could afford the best, you probably wouldn’t need to read this article anyway.

Your first temptation might be to go out and buy the cheapest thing on the shelf. However, you should avoid this pitfall because a cheap blues guitar will rarely satisfy. Most of them tend to have very rough actions, excessively thick necks, flimsy construction, and bad tonal quality. Don’t expect to get a good blues acoustic for less than $300.

If $300 isn’t that expensive, I would advise you to look for something under $1000 overall. Beyond that price range, you will hit a point of diminishing returns. In our opinion, the best blues acoustic guitar under $500 would be the Gretsch G5022CE Rancher. Our choice for the best blues acoustic guitar under $1000 would be the Dobro Hound Dog from Epiphone.

Overall, it isn’t particularly hard to find a good blues guitar for well under a thousand dollars. In fact, it isn’t even difficult to find a good one for less than 500. Just shop around and find the best overall value.

Electric Guitar Or An Acoustic For Blues?

Best Electric Guitar For BluesThis is a division that is almost as old as blues itself. We have concentrated our research on the acoustic guitar thus far, but it is worth looking at their electric counterparts.

For those who are going to perform for a crowd, they will definitely want either an electric guitar or an acoustic-electric guitar. The reason for this is a practical one; the need to be heard over the noise of the crowd and the other instruments. Of course, they can always use a microphone to amplify their acoustic guitar, but that will limit their motion and dull the tone of their instrument for those listening from afar. When purchasing an acoustic-electric guitar, bear in mind that a poor-quality pickup is a deal-breaker. Even if the guitar has perfect tone and sustain and everything from an acoustic perspective, it won’t matter if the pickup is of bad quality.

In our judgment, the best blues electric guitar for general use remains the Fender Starcaster. For a blues electric guitar, this is an old classic that is hard to beat.

Type of blues guitars body

Type of blues guitars body One of the most important choices you will make is body type. Different body types will make a huge difference in the kind of sound that comes from the instrument.

If you do not have any plans on performing or playing with a band, go ahead and get a pure acoustic guitar. The Taylor BT1 is a perfect example of a high-quality pure acoustic. It has the easiest action I have ever seen, and is reasonably priced, especially when compared to the company’s other models. Remember, a poorly-made acoustic is uncomfortable on the hands, but this effect may not be noticed right away.

For guitarists who like a little more twang in their blues, they might want to consider the resonator type. As mentioned earlier, these are niche instruments with a sound all their own. They are perfectly suited for slide guitar work, and also very popular for fingerstyle playing. With or without a pickup, these guitars are significantly louder than a normal acoustic guitar, while still having a tone all their own.

Semi-hollow body and hollow body acoustic-electric guitars are also potentially good choices. The best hollow body guitar for blues (in our opinion) has already been described above. These guitars combine the rich tones of an acoustic with the volume of an electric.

 

Model Brand Body Type Material Acoustic or Acoustic Electric
Gretsch G9200 Gretsch No Cutaway body: Laminated Mahogany, neck: Laminated Mahogany, fingerboard: Rosewood Acoustic
Taylor 114ce 100 Series Taylor Grand Auditorium Top wood: Solid Sitka Spruce, Back & sides: Layered Walnutd Acoustic-Electric
Yamaha APX600 Yamaha APX Thinline Top Wood: Sitka Spruce, Neck Wood: Nato, Back & Sides Wood: Nato Acoustic-Electric
Gibson J-35 Gibson Round Shoulder Dreadnought Top: Solid Sitka Spruce, Neck: Mahogany, Fing0erboard: Rosewood, Back and Sides: Solid Mahogany Acoustic-Electric
Takamine GN71CE-NAT Takamine Takamine NEX Top: Solid Spruce, Back: Rosewood, Sides: Rosewood, Neck: Mahogany, Finger Board: Laure Acoustic-Electric

 


5 best blues guitar reviews

Using the criteria established in the buyer’s guide, we will evaluate 5 guitars to determine which one best fit the blues genre.

Gretsch G9200 – best acoustic for blues

The G9200 Boxcar Resonator marks the return of resonators to the Gretsch product line. Because of its round neck, it is the preferred acoustic guitar for blues based music such as Mississippi Delta blues.

Both the body and neck are made of durable laminated mahogany wood. This construction type enables the Gretsch blues guitar to deliver a rich and warm sound. If you want the delta blues twang, the G9200 is your instrument of choice.

Gretsch G9200 effectively produces high-quality sound. Its ease of play allows both beginners and experienced players to enjoy this unique device.

Key Features:
Body Type: No Cutaway
Material: Body: Laminated Mahogany, Neck: Laminated Mahogany, Fingerboard: Rosewood
Acoustic or Acoustic/Electric: Acoustic

Pros

  • Thicker wood provides enhanced durability over most guitar
  • Perfectly suited for blues; when paired with a slide, the sweet sound of blues come alive

Cons

  • Joins body at the 12th fret, thus short neck.
  • Manufactured in China and sometimes does not meet company specifications. May need full service before you see its best.
  • Better if guitar is part of a collection

 

Blues is emotional. Blues is not crystal clear, meticulous or perfect. The Gretsch G9200 exemplifies all the wonderful qualities of blues that we love and enjoy.

 

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Taylor 114ce 100 Series – best electric guitar for blues

Taylor has continued its heritage in making fine guitars with 114CE. This instrument’s quality and sound surpasses more expensive blues rock guitars in several aspects.

The Taylor 114ce 100 series employs the ES-T internal pickup system. This system controls each string and their corresponding elements. Thus, the guitarist has full control of the instrument.

The Grand Auditorium body shape is great for someone who plays a little of everything like finger-style, strumming and flat-picking. This guitar is an excellent option for players with intermediate to advanced skills.

Key features:
Body Type: Grand Auditorium
Material: Top wood: Solid Sitka Spruce, Back & sides: Layered Walnut (Exterior)
Acoustic or Acoustic/Electric: Acoustic/Electric

Pros

  • Easy to play
  • Smooth neck for low friction
  • Requires little to no adjustment straight from the box
  • Sturdy and solid build

Cons

  • No on-board tuner
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Goes out of tune because material is sensitive to the temperature change
  • Cheap injected plastic used for the peg material

 

The 114CE provides a guitar with a pro-grade feel and tone at an affordable price. This Taylor blues guitar is a versatile stage partner that handles all kinds of performances.

 

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Yamaha APX600 – best beginner blues guitar

Listening to complaints about shortcomings in its extremely popular APX500 model, Yamaha implemented improvements to the bracing system to produce the APX600. These improvements allow an increased bass response. The result was adding a more pronounced tone to an already good blues acoustics guitar.

Beginners through advance players will enjoy the APX600 thinline body type. It delivers a bigger, improve sound as compared to the APX500.

Key features:
Body type: APX Thinline
Material: Top Wood – Sitka Spruce, Neck Wood – Nato, Back & Sides Wood – Nato
Acoustic or Acoustic/Electric: Acoustic/Electric

Pros

  • Abundance of features at an affordable price
  • Stays in tune for a long period
  • Has a great and balanced sound
  • Increased response and acoustic volume

Cons

  • Action is high, need to be setup
  • Sound is not good when unplugged
  • The scale is relatively small

 

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Gibson J-35 – best acoustic guitar for country blues

First introduced in 1936, J-35 was offered as an affordable option to Gibson’s high-end guitars. The brand was discontinued in 1941 in favor of the J-45. Gibson re-issued the J-35 in 2013. The company stayed true to the original but with some enhancements (learned since the original 80 years ago).

The body has the distinctive Gibson “round-shoulder” dreadnought shape. The top is made of Stika Spruce. The back and sides are composed of mahogany. This construction gives the J-35 a warm sound with lots of projection. The instrument is extremely dynamic. The sound ranges from very soft to very loud.

Key Features:
Body type: Round Shoulder Dreadnought
Material: Top – Solid Sitka Spruce, Neck – Mahogany, Fingerboard – Rosewood, Back and Sides – Solid Mahogany
Acoustic or Acoustic/Electric: Acoustic/Electric

Pros

  • Stage ready sound
  • Great for strumming and finger picking

Cons

  • No strap button on neck heel
  • Hot hide glue bit has an odor

 

Gibson faithfully reproduced its iconic J-35. The modern version is a good blues guitar that is so much more. The guitar comes with an excellent LR Baggs pick-up system that brings its voice to life.

 

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Takamine GN71CE-NAT – best electric guitar for blues and jazz

The Takamine GN71CE is an intermediate acoustic-electric guitar. The main goal of the instrument is to be a perfect practice and rehearsal companion. The guitar provides superior sound quality with killer looks. The GN71CE comes with a TK-40D pre-amp (built-in tuner) that realistically recreates its acoustic sound.

The guitar has a single cut NEX body style with a solid spruce top. The back and side are compromised of laminated rosewood. The finger-board gives the guitar a great feel and playability.

Key Features:
Body type: NEX
Material: Top – Solid Spruce, Back – Rosewood, Sides – Rosewood, Neck – Mahogany, Finger Board – Laurel
Acoustic or Acoustic/Electric: Acoustic/Electric

Pros

  • Versatility with pre-amp system
  • Takamine’s strong name brand
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Higher strings somewhat overpower by volume of lower-strings
  • Average sonic performance

 

The GN71CE continues the Takamine’s tradition of fine guitars. It is well constructed, and the sound is second-to-none. GN71CE is a well addition to any guitar collection.

 

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Here we’ve tried to answer on the most popular questions about blues acoustic guitars

 

What is the best acoustic electric guitar for under 500?

Several options are available for good acoustic electric guitars under $500. The Epiphone blues guitar Les Paul Standard is a well sought after instrument. It was created by legendary artist, inventor, and guitarist, Les Paul. The Standard offers Gipson Les Paul quality at fraction of the cost. Other brands (such as Yamaha, Fender, and Ibanez) offer excellent instruments that meet your price range and performance demands.

Which acoustic electric guitar is best?

Good electric guitar brands to concern are Taylor, Yamaha, Epiphone, Takamine and Fender. Two of the most highly regarded acoustic electric guitars we evaluated are the Taylor 114CE 100 series and the Yamaha APX600. The 114CE further demonstrates what a quality product Taylor produces. The APX600 is a favorite because of its strong voice and ease of play.

What is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

As the National Guitar Association appropriately points out, one size does not fit all. Several factors go into determining which guitar you should start playing.

With that said, guitars like the Yamaha C40 and the Fender Acoustic guitar provide outstanding sound quality and are easy to play. These instruments have the dreadnought body style (generally recommended for beginners).

The Yamaha APX600 is instrument of choice for a blues beginner. It serves up a great sound through an easy, top-fret access.


Conclusion – The best blues acoustic guitar is…

The best blues acoustic guitar is the Gretsch G9200. This six-string resonator demonstrates how a great blues guitar should sound. When you hear its wonder voice, you are transported to small juke joints on the Mississippi Delta.

The G9200 is not the only guitar we evaluated that sounded good playing the blues. Other guitars you should consider are:

  • Taylor 114CE: Best guitar for blues
  • Yamaha APX600: Best beginner blues guitar
  • Gibson J-35: Best guitar for country blues
  • Takamine GN71CE-NAT: Best electric guitar for blues and jazz

Enjoy your jam sessions.