The Best Guitars For Fingerstyle: 5 Affordable Acoustic Guitars

Best Guitars For Fingerstyle

Fingerstyle guitar playing can be used in all music genres today. We have found the best deals around for the 5 Best Guitars for Fingerstyle.

Fingerstyle occurs when guitar players use their fingers or fingernails to pluck the strings of the instrument instead of a pick.

Once used mainly for performing folk-style music and ballads, fingerstyle playing is now common in all types of music.

In my experience, the best guitar for fingerstyle performance must be extremely responsive with a lighter touch, than guitars played with a pick.

After much comparison, our overall winner is the Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar.

 

Quick Glance: 5 Best Guitars for Fingerstyle 

What Is Fingerstyle Guitar?

Fingerstyle is a form of guitar playing in which each note is played using the fingers instead of a pick. Guitarists playing blues, jazz, classical, and rock music all incorporate this style today.

Fingerstyle enables a guitarist to perform multiple parts of a song or composition at once.

Using this style, the guitarist can play the melody, bass line, and accompaniment simultaneously.

This method of playing makes it possible for a single guitarist to perform an entire piece of music. Without the need for other musicians, one player can play every note of the song or piece, producing full sound.

The Advantages of Choosing a Great Fingerstyle Guitar

The best guitars for fingerstyle playing are designed to help you play beautiful music and produce full sound using your fingers.

These instruments generally feature wider string spacing than other acoustic guitars. On average, this spacing equals 57 mm, and it may be as much as 59 mm.

With this extra spacing, your fingers have more room to play without touching the other strings.

This additional space is especially helpful when you play arpeggios. Many fingerstyle guitars have a nut width of 43 mm., while the average acoustic guitar has 45 mm.

With wider string spacing, guitarists can play music passages with fast alternate thumb and fingerpicking. They can produce base notes, melody lines, and accompaniment without any contact with other strings.

Many guitar players prefer this wider spacing once they get accustomed to it.

There is a drawback to wide string spacing for some guitarists. The fretting hand must stretch more.

At times, stretching can be rather difficult for playing notes in songs or instrumental music. For players with long fingers, this is easier to overcome than for those with shorter finger lengths.

Best Fingerstyle Guitars

Best Guitars for Fingerstyle: Full Review

1. Fender CD-60s Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

fingerstyle guitar

This Fender Mahogany acoustic guitar has a dreadnought body style. It’s design combines a solid mahogany top with scalloped X bracing and mahogany back and sides. A neck scale length of 25.5″, offers a fingerboard with rolled edges for comfortable easy playing.

For producing the tops of acoustic guitars, solid spruce is the top-rated standard tonewood in use today.

Few other wood types can compete with its strength, dynamic range, and tonal brightness. It is excellent for virtually any playing style for acoustic guitar, including heavy strumming, fast-paced flatpicking, and sensitive fingerpicking.

This instrument’s mahogany back and sides create a balanced tone with an abundance of volume and midrange. Its also worth knowing the body wood is made from laminated mahogany, this gives you an all round louder projection.

The fender CD60s also comes in sunburst, natural, and black. They really are beautiful looking guitars.

The best guitar for fingerpicking in all of my review.

Pros

  • This guitar is ideal for fingerstyle by novices and experts alike.
  • Easy to play! Without any adjustment, this guitar plays well right out of the box.
  • This guitar has a beautiful look and sound quality.
  • Fender is a massive leader in acoustic and electric instruments
  • Scalloped X bracing

Cons

  • Fret edges on this model may need some mild filing. 

 

>>Check Price On Sam Ash Music<<

 

 

 

 

2. Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar:  With ART-Based Pickup System

best fingerstyle guitar review

The Yamaha APXT2 acoustic electric is a 3/4-size model of the popular acoustic-electric APX500III. It is compact and well-constructed, making it ideal for taking on the road.

This guitar features an Acoustic Resonance Technology (ART)-based pickup system plus the Yamaha proprietary tuner. These features provide excellent accuracy and sensitivity.

This model also includes mid-boost EQ for use with the chromatic precision tuner, for maximum sound shaping and control.

solid sitka spruce top

Featuring a spruce top, this guitar also has a back and sides made of meranti. It offers System68 electronics as well as tone and volume controls. Also comes with a gig-bag.

Pros

  • This guitar is a great choice for regular playing or tuned up a 4th, to A (as a soprano guitar).
  • The built-in tuner is an excellent feature of this model.
  • This instrument travels well, fitting easily into airplane overhead bins and car trunks.
  • Comfortable easy to play neck
  • Yahama are the leaders in lower-priced acoustic guitars

Cons

  • When strumming, this small guitar may sound a bit thin and tinny.

     

>>Check Price On Sam Ash Music <<

 

 

3. The Loar LO-18-VS Adirondack Top L-00 Acoustic Guitar: Displays Vintage Sunburst

best fingerstyle guitar review

This acoustic guitar model has a top composed of solid Adirondack spruce with a body and back of mahogany.

It offers a 1-3/4-inch nut width and a V neck profile. It is known for its combined responsive bass and fast blues-style decay.

This guitar also has unique volume and resonance due to its solid Adirondack spruce top.

Comfort for multiple playing styles is supported by the thin V vintage neck profile. The top-binding of this guitar and the retro sunburst reflect the style and charm of its earlier era. The bone nut and saddle provide additional style.

Pros

Kluson black tuning buttons contribute to the stylish look of this guitar.
• D’Addario strings lend fashion and flair to this guitar design.
• This guitar is a vintage design enthusiast’s dream at a great price.

Cons

Some players would prefer this guitar in a lighter color.

 

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

 

4. Fender Malibu Player – Acoustic Electric Guitar

best fingerstyle guitars

 

This guitar design features a small body and comfortable feel, this encourages beginner and intermediate players to master new chords and tunes.

The Fender Malibu displays a painted body with a solid spruce top and a mahogany neck, back, and sides. The neck features a slim-taper “C” profile shape, a 24.1″ scale length and the fingerboard and bridge are walnut. 

With its tone balance and articulate sound, this guitar is equally popular in stage performance and in the studio.

best guitar for fingerstyle

It supports all playing styles and offers optimized bracing for superb resonance.

This model has a GraphTech NuBone nut and saddle, a Fishman preamp system to ensure natural sound through an amplifier. It also offers superior playability and an innovative style.   

Pros

• This guitar has a beautiful sound and style.
• This instrument offers excellent playability at a great price.
• As a lightweight guitar, this model offers full acoustic sound projection. 

Cons

You may need to adjust the truss rod to your liking.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Body Size/Shape Malibu, Body Wood Mahogany, Top Solid Sitka Spruce
Bracing Scalloped “X”, Cutaway None, Top/Body Finish Gloss Poly, Neck Wood Mahogany, Neck Shape Slim “C”, Neck Finish Satin, Scale Length 24.1″, Fingerboard Walnut, Fingerboard Radius 15.75″, Number Of Frets 20, Nut Width 1.69″, Bridge Type Walnut Modern Viking, Nut & Saddle Graph Tech® NuBone Nut, Tuning Machines Sealed Gears, Electronics Fishman, Series California Series, Model Malibu Player

 

5. Guild M-240e Acoustic Guitar in Natural: Concert Size

guild fingerpicking guitar

 

This concert-size acoustic/electric guitar has a Sitka spruce-wood top.

Its body, back, and neck are made of African mahogany. It has a vintage-shaped neck with a nut width of 1-3/4 inches, and the scale length is 24-3/4 inches.

This guitar model offers superior balance with a delicate tone and is easy to play. It ships with a lightweight Guild case. 

This guitar design features a fingerboard and bridge made of Indian rosewood as well as bone nut and saddle. It also displays a mother-of-pearl rosette and a tortoiseshell pickguard.

In addition, this model exhibits the Guild Chesterfield headstock emblem that appeared on models in the 1960s. It is currently available in the Natural gloss finish. 

Comes fitted with a Guild/Fishman Sonitone GT-1 Preamp System

Pros

This guitar has a beautiful tone balance and is easy to play.
• The combination of woods and design elements displayed by this guitar make it extra attractive.
• This guitar’s vintage-shaped Guild neck and Chesterfield headstock emblem give it special appeal.

Cons

• Some guitar buyers may not want a concert-size instrument or vintage design elements. 

 

>>Check Price On Sam Ash Music<< 

Category Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Body Style Concert, Cutaway No, Scale Length 24.75″
Number of Frets 20, Top Wood Solid African Mahogany, Body Wood Mahogany, Neck, Wood Mahogany, Fingerboard Wood Pau Ferro, Color Natural, SeriesWesterly Collection
Model M-240E

 

Outstanding Features of Top-Rated Fingerstyle Guitars

Primary outstanding design features and qualities of fingerstyle guitars, aside from wider string width, include the following:

Smaller Body Size.

Guitars designed for fingerstyle have smaller bodies than other acoustics. This feature creates even sound quality and easy instrument playability.

Traditionally, the majority of acoustic instrument designs support a big sound and a heavy bass output.

For fingerstyle guitar playing, even expression of all strings and notes is the desired result.

In addition, for many players, large guitar bodies may be difficult to reach around. They may be fine for open-position strumming. Yet for more involved string playing requiring agile, fluid movement, a smaller guitar body is definitely a plus.

Cutaway Feature.

In guitar designs, the cutaway enables easier access to the strings located above the 12th fret.

This part of the instrument neck is used regularly by electric guitar players. Yet this element is often ignored in acoustic guitar design.

Many acoustic guitar models do not include the cutaway, since this is not the area where the acoustic has the best sound.

However, in fingerstyle, you want the option of accessing this area. The cutaway design is helpful to a fingerstyle guitarist for harmonics, the versatility of arrangements, and solos.

If you’re unsure of whether to follow the acoustic or electric guitar path of fingerpicking. We can help you decide with: ‘Acoustic Vs Electric Guitar: A Complete Beginners Guide’

Easy Action.

In guitar playing, “action” describes the string height and tension over the fretboard.

The action has a significant effect on how much pressure you put on the strings against the fretboard. It also affects the ease with which you can change hand positions. Easy, comfortable fingering of your guitar fretboard is essential.

Wood Type.

Do not underestimate the importance of wood type.

There is a science behind the different types of wood, and which is best in certain parts of a guitar. Far too much to fit into one paragraph, so we’ve got you covered here: ‘The Ultimate Acoustic Guitar Wood Guide: How Does Wood Affect Your Tone?’

How to Select Your Ideal Guitar for Fingerstyle 

To select the ideal guitar that is best-suited for fingerstyle playing, you may want to focus on the following advice and tips:

Playability.

Audition any guitar that you are considering buying. Try it out, covering the entire neck with the notes, songs, or compositions that you know. Particularly for the first frets, try bar chords to see if you get a pure, clean sound.

Tone Quality.

When playing the guitar, does it produce a clear sound projection with color and volume? Be wary of any guitar on which the strings buzz. Listen carefully when playing open strings or fretted notes.

Tuning Quality.

Make sure that any guitar that you may be considering buying stays in tune. Ensure the fretted notes are at the correct pitch when the open strings are properly tuned. Be aware, also, that if a guitar has a badly set neck or mispositioned frets, you cannot hope to play anything in tune on this instrument.

Best Fingerstyle Guitars

Guitar Body Shape.

The three most frequently purchased guitar body types:

Dreadnought Body.

These guitar bodies produce deep bass tones and crystalline high notes. Yet the voice has a fairly even balance across the whole spectrum in terms of tone. A Dreadnought guitar is most appropriate for players looking for a pleasing blend of powerful sound and crisp articulation. Be aware that some low-cost models may produce a brassy or loud, overstated sound.

Grand Concert.

With a smaller body size, this guitar is ideal for fingerstyle. It is especially comfortable to play while seated. It offers a pleasing sound with a greater mid-range and less boomy and overpowering sound.

Grand Auditorium.

The proportions of this guitar are between those of a Grand Concert and a Dreadnought guitar. Particularly in the mid-range, this instrument offers quality balance across the entire spectrum of tonality. It offers notes with good definition and excellent clarity. This guitar is well-suited for fingerstyle as well as strumming.

Many experienced players recommend choosing a guitar designed with a cutaway, especially if you’re a beginner. This enables you to access the entire fretboard easily, including the higher frets.

Here’s one of my favorite guys on the internet explaining body shapes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is A Guitalele? 5 Of The Very Best Reviewed

Guitalele best of

This is our Best 5 Guitalele Review

The Uke and a Guitar had a baby, and the result was The Guitalele. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best little-known Guitaleles on today’s market for you to have a look at.

An amazing option for guitarists looking to travel without the hassle of a full sized guitar. Maybe you’re looking for a way in the door of becoming a musician but need something easy to learn. This tiny little guitar is just what you need.

Playing Guitalele can expand your musical horizons, enliven your songwriting, and add a lot of joy to your life as a musician. 

This buyer’s guide will help you get started with all the knowledge you’ll need to know before parting with your hard earned cash.

After thoroughly reviewing 5 Guitaleles, our favorite was the Kala KA-GL

Read on to find out what the fuss is about…. 

Best Guitalele Mini-Reviews

1- Most PopularYamaha GL1 Guitalele

  • Superbly Made By Trusted Brand
  • Low Price
  • Most Popular Choice For Travellers
 
 
Guitalele

2- Best Budget Aco/Elec Guitalele- Caramel CB904G

  • Beautiful range of Guitaleles
  • Best Set Of Extras
  • Value For Money Pack
 
 

3- Best Midrange GuitaleleOrtega RGL5 EB-CE

  • So Easy To Play
  • Silky Clear Tones
  • Built-In Tuner
 
 

4- Best Budget Kmise Guitalele

  • Super Low Price
  • Superb Padded Bag
  • Enhanced Low End
 
 

5- Best OverallKala KA-GL-E 

  • Warm & Golden Tones
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard
  • Fishman Electronics
 

What Is A Guitalele?

A Guitarlele can also be referred to as a ukitar, kiku or…wait for it…a 6 string Ukulele.

As you can see, it’s a hybrid instrument between a Ukulele and a Guitar. It’s a 1/4 size” guitar, a cross between a classical guitar and a tenor ukulele/ baritone.

It’s a very easy to play, a portable musical instrument which is on offer to very young children right up to seniors.

As it has six string, your limitations are endless, you can play all your favorite tunes just like a full sized guitar.

It’s also the first choice for travelers the world around. Owning a Guitalele is an instrument you can keep in your flight bag and not have to worry about the costs of storing a full sized guitar in storage. 

Guitalele Size

guitalele
guitalele comparison
A Standard Classical Guitar & His Son The Guitalele

Tuning & Chord Differences 

Guitaleles are tuned to the following : A/D/G/C/E/A. A Capo on the 5th fret of a guitar in standard tuning gives you the same notes.

Here the chord charts for the Guitalele:

guitalele chord chart

5 Of Our Best Guitalele: Full Review

1- Yamaha GL1 Guitalele Ukulele 

Most Popular Choice  

icon
  • Superbly Made By Trusted Brand
  • Low Price
  • Most Popular Choice For A Travel Guitar
  • Classic Tobacco Sunburst & Natural Colors

Possibly the most well-known Guitalele on the market. The Yamaha GL1 guitalele is an attractive low priced starter instrument with a quality ‘Yamaha’ build.

I’m a Yamaha fan, I’ve had various acoustics over the years, and you are assured value for money. So straight away I was interested in GL1 and it comes as no surprise, it’s the number one choice of the public.

The guitalele comes with very basic Nylon strings and the intonation is passable, but not great if you’re already at intermediate playing capability.

It weighs about 2.6s lbs, so it’s ideal to carry onto planes or in your bag when traveling. I would make sure you get a gig bag with it though.  

17” scale length and six strings give you that guitar feels although I found the frets to be quite narrow. Bigger fingered players out there take note. 

The headstock tuners again are ok, the Guitalele does go out of tune a lot to start with. My advice would be to get some decent guitar strings and the factory set is dreadful. Stretch your new strings in, and you’ll be fine.

Tone-wise, it sounds about right for the price you’re paying. Like I keep reminding players. Get some good strings and get the instrument set up and you’ll reap the benefits of tone. 

icon

If you’re a Tenor player, it sounds very much like a 6 string Kala. The sounds you get are very close to the ukulele but you’ve got the added bonus of two more strings.

It’s so much fun and fantastic for travelers or guitarists looking for a middle ground. 

If you already are a musician and you’re not too concerned about tone, this is your next instrument. At such a friendly price you can’t go wrong with The Yamaha GL1 guitalele. 

Specifications:

Strings: 6 Strings (3 nylon/3 metal wound | Nylon string set), Finish: Clear matt, Overall length: 70 cm, Gig bag: Yamaha gl1 guitalele fitted guitar bag, Top: Spruce Top, Back/sides: Meranti, Neck: Nato, Fingerboard: Sonokeling (¼ size), Bridge: Sonokeling, Colour: Tobacco Brown Sunburst

 


 

 

2- 30 inch Caramel CB904G Ebony Wood Electric Guitalele

Best Acoustic Electric Guitalele- Budget Option

Guitalele
  • Metal Tuner Machine Heads
  • Adjusstable Truss Rod
  • Acoustic Electric Guitalele
  • Stunning Set Of Colors

The Caramel CB904 Electric Guitalele is my favorite choice for those wanting to plug in and get more from the standard nylon-sounding tones.

An all Ebony body gives this a stunning look to it which will look good anywhere in your house. The beautiful wood grain patterns make this Guitalele the best-looking in the review. 

Unlike a lot of other Guitaleles, the CB904 has a truss rod so you can get the neck perfectly straight to maintain the life and tone of your instrument. 

The tone is rich and woody unlike the others in this review. As you have the ability to plugin you can add reverb and delay. This then gives you so many more avenues of tone to explore. 

The size is a little bit larger than your standard baritone Ukulele but the sound acoustically is warm and resonants perfectly. 

A fairly good build awaits you, with no sharp edges on the wide neck. The silky finish on the fretboard feels smooth and pleasurable. 

guitalele 3

Comes with a bag of goodies too, which will come in handy for a beginner. You’ll get a 1x 30 inch 6 String Guitalele, 1 extra set strings, padded gig bag included(12mm padded, made of 300D 6CD polyester yarn),3x guitar picks,1x cleaning cloth,1x wall hanger,1x strap(with pegs), 2x bridge pins,1x metal nail drawer,1x EQ cable. 

So much fun to be had here with many tone avenues to venture down. Once again, all at a very friendly price. This is my choice for the best electric guitalele.

Specifications:

Ebony Wood body,6 strings, walnut fingerboard & bridge, Buffalo bone nut and saddle, 18 frets, tuned as E-A-D-G-B-E. Size:, 20” Scale length, 30” Overall body length, 3.15” Body depth, 1.9” At Nut. Electronics: 3 Band EQ controls: Bass, Middle, Treble, Chromatic tuner with LCD color display, Low battery indicator, Power supply: 3V (CR2032)X2

 


 

3- Ortega RGL5 EB-CE Guitalele

Best Midrange Guitalele

  • Easy To Play
  • Big Fretboard
  • Silky Clear Tones
  • Acoustic Electric Guitalele
  • Built In Tuner

The Ortega RGL5 EB is a step up in sound quality in comparison to the two previous. A very lush and easy instrument to play. The fretboard is soft a big enough to cater to medium-sized fingers. 

A much silkier clear almost guitar type tone. You still can hear the prominent sounds of a  ukulele though. 

This Guitalele once again offers acoustic and electric capabilities. The Ortega Magnus Uke pickup system with a built-in tuner stops you from having to use cheap and horrible extra tuning accessories. 

The tuner sits on the top of the body and is bright black green and white led. Giving you a clear indication of whether the string is in tune. 

A unique looking instrument with an Ebony top, back and sides, and a natural open pore finish. I must say at this point I’m not overstruck by the look and design of the body. It looks like a chocolate bar!

A much better sounding instrument than the first two and only for a little more in price. This would suit the already guitar playing buyer. And someone who loves chocolate. That’s everyone!

Specifications:

Binding: Tortoiseshell style ABS binding., Cover: Ebony open-pore natural, Radius: 435 mm., Back and sides: Mahogany open pore natural., Saddle and bridge: Bone 48 mm., MagusUke Pickup System with Integrated Tuner and Cutaway, Electronics: Tuner., Tuning Machines heads: gold plated., Strings: Ortega Guitars GLNY-6, Neck: Mahogany., Fingerboard & Bridge: Walnut. Package Dimensions 75.18 x 27.18 x 10.67 cm; 453.59 Grams, Batteries 2 CR2 batteries required. (included), Back Material Ebony, Body Material Ebony

 


 

4- Kmise Guitalele 31 inch Guitarlele

Best Guitalele – Budget Option

  • Adjustable Truss Rod
  • Affordable
  • Superb Padded Bag
  • Enhanced Low End

The Kmise guitalele is another that made the cut due to the substantial sound quality made from the slightly larger design of Guitalele. Bigger in size means a good balance of resonance and a clear string projection.

The bottom 3 strings are of silver wound copper and the top 3 are titanium giving you a great mix of ukulele and classical guitar tones.

The fretboard is a soft-to-touch walnut material. The ‘C’ shaped neck is something I have on my guitars as I find it the most comfortable design. On brushing my hands up and down the outside of the fingerboard I found the finish to be a little on the sharp side. This wouldn’t be ideal for children.  

As we have a 20inch scale, this gives you the possibility to gain extra lows but ensures the overall sound can remain like a Ukulele. 

The manufacturers make a big deal about the gear tuning machine heads that lock tuning into place better than its competitors. I actually agree, it’s a good selling point and obviously serves a very important purpose. Especially if you’re only just getting to grips with tuning. This can be a big help. 

The best Guitalele for lower budgets by far. Comes with a really good protective gig bag, a strap, and some picks. Although it’s a very generic looking instrument, it offers different volumes to the others on show.

 A perfect gift for somebody looking to dip their toe into the Guitalele. 

Package Dimensions 83.82 x 33.02 x 15.24 cm; 2.37 Kilograms, Batteries 1 CR2 batteries required., Manufacturer reference MI2450-KUS, Back Material Mahogany, Material Type Copper, Size Guitarlele, Battery Type Lithium Manganese Dioxide, Item Weight 2.37 kg

 


 

5- Kala KA-GL-E with Built-in tuner Preamp and EQ

Best Overall

  • Warm& Golden Tones
  • Pau Ferro Fingerboard
  • Ease Of Playability
  • Fishman Electronics Pickup
  • Built-In Tuner

Kala is one of the most recognizable Ukulele brands in the world. A perfect beginner instrument for children as young as 5 years old. Big sellers and manufactured to a high standard. 

Glossy mahogany featured finish that enhances a simple but professional-looking Guitalele.

The best way to describe the tone would be a warm golden sound. Not too loud and seems to resonate perfectly whether you’re strumming hard or fingerpicking your heart out.

The 17” scale mahogany neck and Pau Ferro fingerboard are the reason this instrument stands way out front in comparison to the rest. The nut is 1.78” which, in my opinion, is a perfect size. Any smaller than that I find my fingers in a car crash. 

The ease of playability made this Guitalele stand out instantly. As it’s a tenor size it fits really snuggly into my body as I sit down. Little features like this will make you want to play the guitalele more and more.  

There’s more, Kula Compatible with Fishman Electronics pickup and tuner built-in is not just better than any other added pickups in the market. It’s by far the best results in pro tones through your amp. 

If you care about your sound you want an instrument that’s going to last. The Kala KA-GL-E is the best on the market. If you’re already a guitarist I would suggest this is your next purchase above the rest. 

guitalele kala

There is so much difference in tone than the rest of the reviewed guitalele. You are paying a bit extra, but you’re getting brands like Kala, Pau Ferro, and Fishman all in this one Guitalele. 

Item Weight 2.79 pounds, Product Dimensions 8.5 x 3 x 22 inches,ASIN B07GH1V7N1, Batteries 2 AA batteries required, Is Discontinued By Manufacturer No, Date First Available August 9, 2018, mahogany back and sides, Back Material Mahogany, Body Material Mahogany, Neck Material Type Mahogany, Number of Strings 6

 


 

Did You Realize?

As a Guitalele is tuned to a 4th higher than a standard guitar. The chord shapes remain the same, but if you’re playing with other musicians you’ll need to work out what the difference is.

It’s basically like playing the guitar with a capo on the 5th fret!

For instance, if the band is playing an E chord, you’ll need to play an A chord on a Guitalele.  A is a 4th higher than E. E1-D2-C3-B4-A5, got it? 

The reason why the Guitalele is tuned up a 4th is it sounds dull and dreadful tuned to the same pitch as a standard guitar, so they’ve tightened the strings up a 4th!

What Strings Do I Need?

The biggest string brands supply ‘Guitalele sized nylon strings’, which in essence are classical guitar strings. So when you’re next in your local music store, simply ask for a set of nylon strings. Obviously, don’t buy Ukulele strings as there are only 4!

That being said, you need to look at your Guitalele and see if it has bridge pins, if it does then you’’ need to purchase some ‘ball end strings’. 

Here is our top pick for ball end strings:

D’Addario EJ32C Folk Nylon Guitar Strings Ball End Silver Wound/Clear Nylon Trebles

If you have the classical guitar thread type bridge you’ll need these strings:

D’Addario EJ45-3D Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings

The Sound

Heres soome super skills on The Guitalele

What You Should Know About Wood Type

When looking at the materials of a Guitalele, you have two types of wood construction

Laminated wood: Layers of wood glued together. This type of construction offers low prices but doesn’t resonate with a high standard. Laminated Guitaleles usually have mediocre tones but are tough. 

A Solid Wood body has much superior quality in tone and lastability. The majority of instruments are made from solid mahogany wood bodies.

The most common types of wood used are:

  • Mahogany, Koa, Spruce, cedar for the soundboard
  • Mahogany, Koa, Maple, and rosewood for the bottom and sides
  • Mahogany and Maple for the neck
  • Rosewood and Ebony for the bridge

Important: Set Up

As a guitarist of 25 years myself, I cannot stress how important a good set up is.

Make sure your new Guitalele is set up properly. It’s worth paying a professional to give it a full health check. Give yourself the best chance of moving forward without any future issues. 

All musicians regularly set up their instruments. This definitely helps avoid fret buzzing, constant tuning, and snapping strings.

If you’re a beginner, having an instrument with a poor set will lead to you quitting 100%. 

The constant tuning and high action will make the whole playing experience so unenjoyable. You’ll actually be working harder than you need to be.

best guitalele , worst set up

So get your new instrument set up and look after it, and it’ll last you years. 

Check out our: 10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care

Guitalele Benefits To Consider

Guitaleles can be used in numerous musical genres just like the classical guitar or ukulele. If this is your musical flavor, then you’ll love it. 

Another major factor for travelers wanting a Guitarlele is the nylon strings. Unlike normal steel-stringed guitars, nylon strings can’t rust in more tropical climates around the globe.

It’s tuned exactly the same as a guitar, but a 4th higher. So you’re kinda getting an advanced Ukulele with 2 extra strings. 

The low price is a major plus point. A half decent Guitalele starts around $99!

There aren’t a lot of Guitaleles on show in today’s world, so if you want to be different in your musical approach, then here is a perfect way to achieve that. 

The Best Guitalele-Bottom Line

The Kala KA-GL-Efor me was ‘much more’ than a cut above the rest. The comfort factor, the tone, and the hardware is worth every penny.

You maybe are stretching your budget a little further, but think of it in terms of longevity. if you buy a cheap one and you don’t like it after 6 months, you then have to buy another resulting in the original cost of the Kala!

If you’re learning, being comfortable is the key to success. The Kala for me was easily the most comfortable to play.

The Kala is perfect for children, due to its size and Pau Ferro finger-friendly fretboard. It’s a great choice for an already guitar player as it has a wide range of tonal options.

Best Short Scale Bass 2021: Essential Guide To 6 Of The Best

Short scale bass header

Is it fair to say the most famous bass guitar in rock n roll history, is a short scale bass guitar?

After a boom in sales, short scale bases are flying off the shelves. But Why?

We thought it’d be a good time to assist you with our in depth guide for the best short scale bass. We’ve considered some essential points, which will help you before making any decisions.

What Is A Short Scale Bass Guitar?

Generally, A short scale bass guitar is 4 inches shorter than the standard size bass.

This means closer frets, faster fingers, less weight, no back ache or wrist pain, and, a lot less overstretching due to the shorter scale length.

Technical playing will now become that little bit easier due to the shorter frets. 

So in terms of size, the average short scale bass is 30”. Any bass under 31” is seen as a ‘Short Scale Bass’.

If you can imagine it being bigger than an electric guitar, but smaller than a standard bass guitar. Right in the middle.

The sound of a short scale bass is also different compared to the standard size. They give you a much lower, fatter tone, as the length of the strings have decreased. This in turn has lower amplitudes in its higher overtones.

So, if you are looking to get low down and dirty, a short scale bass is for you. 

Quick View: 6 Best Short Scale Basses

 

How Do I Choose A Short Scale Bass?

The big brand names that produce the short scale guitar are surprisingly affordable. This means you can get a better quality of bass for your budget (compared to the same brand on an electric guitar).

When browsing through our extensive list of best short scale bass, take a moment to check out the brand of hardware that’s been fitted.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the type of wood that’s been used on the body, neck, and frets. Believe it or not, these factors make a big difference to the overall sound quality and life of the instrument.

Consider the weight of the instrument. If the bass is for a child or a senior, it’s important to ensure you’re buying an instrument that fits the player. All instruments should have the weight specifications on the product page. 

Obviously, the best option is to pop into your local store and try a few out. Stand up, get used to the feel and the tension of the strings. You’ll know which one works best for you, it’s like trying on a pair of gloves. 

If you don’t have the store option, find something of similar weight from the house. Hold it for a while, close to the body. Seems daft I know, but it gives you an idea. 

The lightweight feel of these instruments is why a lot of people are opting for the short scale bass option. 

Being comfortable is king.

10 Advantages Of Playing A Short Scale Bass

  • Physical size is shorter, right in the middle of guitar and electric bass size.
  • You get a deeper, fatter sound quality
  • They’re very light, it’s so much easier playing a 3-hour gig without backache
  • You can play faster than using a standard size, as the notes are much closer together
  • If you suffer from hand/forearm fatigue and back pain over long sets, a short scale guitar is for you. It’s a real issue with some players
  • Less of a reach for smaller hands and technical bits become easier 
  • Aging musicians with carpal tunnel or arthritis can divert to a short scale bass. Also a wise preventative option
  • Easy to play, plain and simple. If you already a guitarist or bassist, short scale basses will be a walk in the park
  • Easier to learn on, child friendly. Aids the beginner no end
  • With a recent explosion in the sales of short scale bases. Children, seniors, beginners, bassists, and guitarists are all drawn to them for the above reasons

AuthorityGuitar: The 6 Best Short Scale Bass Review

Fender Squire Mini P Bass Guitar

Best Beginner Short Scale Bass Guitar

Mini P

 

 

 

Pros: World Famous Brand, Helpful For The Complete Beginner, Child Friendly Size, Chunky Tones, Single Coil Pickups

Cons: None

Ideal for the complete beginner, or somebody looking to dip their toe in. Weighs in at 8.35lbs, so it’s very light but durable.

The Mini P is the child to the ‘Legendary’ Fender Precision Bass. Split single coil pickup configuration with both tone and master volume controls.

The body is made from Poplar wood, the hard-tail bridge ensures longer lasting tuning. The neck material is made from maple wood. Fingerboard radius is 9.5″ and the scale length is 28.58″ (very short).

Perfect size for kids or a player with smaller hands. It’s almost 3/4 the size of the original size precision electric bass.

With any Fender made instrument, you’re going to get that classic punchy tone and a trustworthy durable build. For the low price, look no further for your entry bass guitar.

‘Squire’ belongs to the biggest guitar manufacturer in the world ‘Fender’. The Squire short scale basses are an inexpensive option to the real Fender range. Just be aware, buying Fender guitars is very addictive!

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Category Solid Body Electric Bass, Number of Strings 4, Body Style Mini Precision Bass,Scale Length 28.6″,Number of Frets 20, Body Wood Poplar, Neck Wood Maple, Fingerboard Wood Indian Laurel, Pickup Configuration S, Orientation Right-Handed, Series Mini, Model Mini Precision Bass

Get your ears around this funky groove: The Squier by Fender Mini P

Fender Mustang Bass – PJ – Pau Ferro Fingerboard – Aged Natural

Most Accomplished Short Scale Bass Guitar

Best Short Scale

Pros: Easy Play-Ability, Value For Money, Stunning Colors, Reliable Fender Build, 3 Way Pickup Switch, Medium Jumbo Frets

Cons: None

The real deal. the Fender Mustang bass has a beautiful selection of three colors that you gotta have a look at (aged natural, sienna sunburst, and a firemist gold).

30” scale length; “C”-shaped neck. 9.5”-radius Pau Ferro fingerboard with 19 medium jumbo frets.

A four-saddle bridge and vintage style tuning machines are the classic Fender hallmark. A big step up from the Squire series in build and engineering.

The Mustang series began in 1964 and hasn’t looked back. Top notch original Fender hardware, beautifully crafted pro-level finish. Full size pickups with three position tone controls to create and discover various tones of your own.

The Pau Ferro style fingerboard is stunning. The four saddle hardtail ensures you get perfect intonation and resonance. The overall tone and comfort of the Mustang bass is arguably the best on the market.

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Category Solid Body Electric Bass, Number of Strings 4, Body Style Mustang Bass, Scale Length 30″, Number of Frets 19, Body Wood Alder, Neck Wood Maple, Pickup Configuration P-J, Orientation Right-Handed, Series Player, Model Mustang Bass PJ

This video is just damn dirty, you’ve been warned: Fender Short Scale Bass, The Mustang PJ

Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Pearl White (GSRM20PW)

Most Popular Short Scale Bass Guitar

  • Pros: Affordable, Nice Finish, Lightweight, Slim Neck, Very Popular, Affordable Price
  • Cons: Not Good For Drop Tuning

The highly-rated ibanez gsrm20 Mikro short scale bass comes in 9 different professional slick colors. Check out the natural walnut. This short scale bass is 29.6″, it’s one of the shortest but i like that.

It’s compact and you can literally play it like a guitar. Whether you’re sitting on a stool or standing up, this light weight guitar can serve the beginner right up to a good player.

The body material is made from Poplar and the neck is made from Maple. With a Rosewood finish fretboard the ibanez gsrm20 ticks all the right boxes on the build.

My only slight criticism, if you’re planning on tuning down to C for metal, this bass isn’t ideal. It’s due to the length of the neck but the strings become too loose. The tuner struggles to detect the notes. Even dropping the bottom E to D is borderline.

I would suggest this bass is for players who are going to play in standard tuning only.

On reviewing many short bases, I must admit, I like the shape of this bass the best. It feels like a nice snug fit, and definitely doesn’t look like what it costs.

A very popular and affordable electric bass, you really can’t do any better within this price range.

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Series Mikro, Features 28.6″ Scale, Model GSRM20, Number Of Frets 22, Scale Length 28.6″, Body Style N/A, Neck Type Bolt On, Neck Wood Maple, Body, Wood Agathis ,Bridge Pickup “J” Style, Neck Pickup “P” Style, Bridge Type B10, Orientation Right-Handed

 

Here’s a helpful run through in the video: ibanez gsrm20 Mikro

Hofner IGNITIONSB Electric Violin Bass Guitar – Rosewood Fingerboard, Sunburst Finish

Best Alternative Short Scale Bass Guitar

  • Pros: Instantly Resemble A Beatle, Mellow, Natural, Low Price, Excellent Sustain, Acoustic Resonance, Vintage Style
  • Cons: Not Made In Germany, Unlike The Other Standard Hofners.

The resonance you get from the Hofner Ignition is among the best in this review list. As it’s a semi-hollow body build, you get a warm woody, almost acoustic tone.

Comes in a traditional violin bass shape and sunburst color. Spruce top and staple humbucker pickups, it looks exactly like the old school Paul McCartney bass.

This alone is a major selling point for Hofner.

You have the ability to create lots of sounds with the traditional 500/1 style tone controls.

Each pick up has its own volume controls, this is really handy in band situations. Switch from a big heavy fat sound, to a ‘Drive My Car’ riff mode in one click.

A rosewood fretboard, 30inch scale, and a trapeze tail bridge, which keeps you safely in tune.

If you’d like to get yourself a piece of history, you can do it with the versatile Hofner Ignition.

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Product Dimensions 114.3 x 12.7 x 30.48 cm; 3.11 Kilograms, Item model number HI-BB-SB, Back Material Maple, Colour Sunburst, Fretboard Material Rosewood, Guitar Pickup Configuration H, Scale Length 30.0, Top Material Spruce, Neck Material Type Maple, Number of Strings 4, Guitar Bridge System Adjustable, Item Weight 3.11 kg

 

Get a look at how beautiful this bass is. This guy really gets many tones out of The Hofner

Cordoba Mini II Bass MH-E, Small Body, Acoustic-Electric Bass Guitar

 

Best Acoustic Bass/Home Player

Pros: Truly Beautiful To Look At, Low-End Sound Sublime, Affordable, Child Friendly, Top Choice For A Complete Beginner

Cons: Small/ Quiet Acoustic Type Bands Only

I had to review a Cordoba Electric Acoustic bass guitar, as their a highly thought of manufacturer in the Ukulele world. I also wanted an acoustic version of a short bass, for the players in acoustic type bands or quiet home situations.

The Cordoba Mini II features a (22 7/8”) scale length so it tunes perfectly to Standard E. This is the shortest in the review, yet has a completely different use in mind.

Plugin its MB103 pickup configuration, and you’ll be surprised by this rich robust tone.

Beautifully built with all mahogany woods, gives you a unique mellow soft tone which the other bases cannot create.

The strings are a coated phosphor bronze, nylon core. The low end you get from the Cordoba is just sublime. Clear and resonates true, no boggy, distorted buzzing sounds. Check the clip below to see what I mean. Gorgeous.

So, if you’re looking for a way into playing bass, and you’re unsure you can do it, this would be the perfect 1st purchase because of its small friendly size.

It may assist you onto bigger instruments, as the Cordoba is extremely comfortable to play. If you’re leaning towards a quieter bass or an instrument for an acoustic band, look no further than the Cordoba Mini II.

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Body Size/Shape Cordoba Mini, Body Wood Mahogany, Top Mahogany, Cutaway None, Neck Wood Mahogany, Neck Shape C, Scale Length 22-7/8″, Fingerboard Composite, Number Of Frets 19, Nut Width 45mm, Electronics Cordoba MB103, Orientation Right-Handed, Series Cutaway & Electric, Model Mini II Bass MH-E

Just listen to how clear the low end is! Cordoba Mini II

Epiphone EB-3 Electric Bass Guitar, Cherry Red Finish, Mahogany Body and Neck, SG shape

 

The Beast

  • Pros: Flawless Live Instrument, Gibson SG Shape Is Classic, Tough As Nails, Mahogany Body, Low Price, A Ground Vibrator
  • Cons: Limited Range Of Tones

You have probably heard of Gibson guitars and basses before. They are one of, if not the biggest manufacturers in the guitar world.

Gibson owns Epiphone, so you can guarantee a certain level of quality, just like Fender does with Squire. This means they can use all the statistics to produce a lower priced Gibson (made outside the U.S.).

This already should have your ears pricking, especially when you see the low price range.

I played in a cover band with a guy who played one of these for 2 years, they are so powerful. Really chunky and fat. When we hooked up on riffs, the Epiphone EB was an absolute beast. You could feel the ground move.

So, if you’re in a band situation playing rock or metal. This Epiphone EB-3 has to be in your arsenal.

With a single sidewinder humbucker (you won’t need more!), chrome hardware including a fully adjustable three-point bridge, 30.5 inch scale length, and mahogany top and neck material finish.

A reliable instrument and superb value for money in mind.

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Product Dimensions 129.54 x 50.8 x 17.78 cm; 5.44 Kilograms, Back Material Rosewood, Body Material Neoprene, Colour Cherry, Fretboard Material Rosewood, Guitar, Pickup Configuration H, Scale Length 30.5 Inches, Top Material Mahogany, Neck Material Type Mahogany, Number of Strings 4, Guitar Bridge System Adjustable, Country Produced In USA, Item Weight 5.44 kg

Told you the Epiphone EB 3 short scale bass guitar is a great live instrument, check the proof!

The Long And Short Of It: Review Winner

The Best Short Scale Bass

 

Fender Mustang Bass – PJ – Pau Ferro Fingerboard – Aged Natural

 

Best Short Scale

The bottom line: 

The Mustang PJ series is easily the most versatile of all the basses reviewed.

They look fantastic and are built by a world-class leader. This does reflect in the price, but you’re buying a short scale bass that will last you.

If you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, the mustang suits all. The other short basses cannot play certain types of music due to their unique sound.

The Fender mustang can handle jazz through to metal. I cannot think of another bass that can cover so many avenues on the spectrum.

Go get yourself one, you won’t be disappointed.

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Don’t Forget-Wood Types

Alderwood

A strong, clear, full-bodied sound, with beefy mids and excellent lows

Ash

Ash comes in two types: Northern Wood (Hard) produces extra treble and a good sustain, with less warmth than other guitar woods. Swamp Ash (Soft) has a much warmer feel than hard ash.

Maple

Dense with extended sustainability. Very popular because of its bright tones. Plenty of bite and a good level of sustain

Poplar

One of the softer hardwoods, nicely resonant with a meaty tone. Many guitar manufacturers use Poplar as a substitute for alder body wood, as it is quite similar in tone.

Mahogany

A mahogany body is mainly used on acoustics, for back and sides. Hard wearing, resonant, not as bright, a distinct attractive look

Basswood & Agathis

Basewood is light in weight, bright, and gives off superb resonance, but softer than other woods. Agathis is similar to Mahogany, dark, punchy with excellent sustain

5 Tips Before Buying a Short Scale Bass Guitar

  • Hit your local music store and try a few, There are many types of short scale basses just like guitars, so grab five and see what hits your spot. 
  • Make sure it’s comfortable to play. This is pretty obvious but ask any bass player in a band who plays a 26 song set. The larger basses are very heavy. Your spine will tell you this
  • A Short scale bass guitar ranges from very cheap all the way up to a 1000. Some lower-end guitars have shabby pickups and cheap wood. It can make you sound like you’re playing a toy. Check the details as you can really find value for money in this market
  • Choose suitable strings and a tuner. It makes so much difference. Buy a pack with your bass. The ones that come with the bass are generally poor. 
  • Check for a warranty. Always a good thing if you’re spending your hard-earned wages. 

Did You Know….

Sir Paul McCartney played a short scale bass guitar, in fact its named ‘Beatle Bass’. The Höfner 500/1 Violin electric bass is the bass you probably see when you picture him.

Paul’s association with the Hofner started in Hamburg around August 1960. The Beatles were learning their trade in those days and had no money. They certainly weren’t the power horse they were a few years later. 

The Hofner was purchased simply because it was at an affordable price and McCartney could turn it around (as he was a lefty) and it wouldn’t look odd. The Hofner is symmetrical! He could also play guitar, so the hybrid instrument was a perfect fit for him.

Back in those days left handed guitars were not available as much as today. You’ve seen Jimi Hendrix’s guitars, haven’t you? The same reason applies, it’s upside down. No left handers about like there is today. 

McCartney still plays Hofner short scale basses today. Is it the most recognized short scale ever? If it’s cool enough for Sir Paul, then we should all have one.

 

Paul & George. Paul with his Hofner short scale bass guitar, probably singing “Yeaaah”
Photograph by VARA

Other Heroes To Grace The Short Scale Bass Guitar:

Jack Bruce (Cream), Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Andy Fraser (Free), Glenn Cornick (Jethro Tull), Trevor Bolder (Spiders From Mars, Uriah Heep), Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads), Garry Tallent (E Street Band), Bruce Thomas (the Attractions), Gary Mounfield (Stone Roses, Primal Scream), Mike Watt (Minuteman, Firehose, Stooges) John Entwistle (The Who).

 

Best Baritone Guitar. Deep & Dirty: 5 Dangerous Guitars

Best Baritone Guitar

This is the Best Baritone Guitar review. If you’re looking for more power to play with between your fingers, or a new rabbit hole to disappear down. The Baritone guitar should be something you may want to consider.

I reviewed several Baritone guitars and organized my top 5. As always, I’ve considered the best options for beginners, the best value for money, ease of playability, versatility, best added extras, quality of build, and something for the ultimate enthusiast.

Baritone guitars offer a completely different experience for the musician. With lower and more aggressive tones to be had, it will completely change the way you look at playing the guitar.

My favorite Baritone Guitar was the Reverend Descent W Baritone Electric Guitar.

Let’s take a quick look at 5 of my favorites, then we’ll jump into each guitar’s special features.

Our Top 5 Quick Glance

 


 

Editors No.1 Choice

Reverend Descent W Baritone Electric Guitar

  • Gut Punching Legendary Tones
  • Flexible
  • Value for Money
  • Perfect Starter Guitar

 


 

Best for Low Budget 

PRS SE 277 Baritone Electric Guitar

  • Unique PRS Beasty Tone
  • Great Low Price
  • Mahogany Body with Beveled Maple Top
  • Classic PRS Bird Inlays
  • Coil split available for single-coil tones

 


 

Best Beginner Option

Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone Electric Guitar

  • Adjusto-Matic bridge with V-Stoptail
  • Beautiful Clear Tones
  • Piano like Articulation and Definition
  • Tremolo Bar

 


 

Best For Heavy Metal Riffs & Chaos

ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SC-607 Baritone 7-String

  • Dual Fishman Fluence pickups 
  • LTD locking tuners
  • Easy Access To Upper Frets
  • Lightweight

 


 

Best Choice For The Pro Guitarist/Enthusiast

ESP E-II HRF NT-8 8-String Baritone Electric Guitar

  • EMG 81-8H (Bridge) & EMG 85-8H (Neck) Pickups
  • Hipshot w/ String-Thru Bridge
  • Gotoh Locking Tuners & Schaller Strap lock
  • Classy Build
  • An Absolute Monster

 


 

What Is A Baritone Guitar?

A Baritone guitar has a longer neck and different tuning compared to the standard-sized guitar. A baritone is used to get a lower raunchier tone.

Although some players complain about the long neck, impractical sized frets, and huge strings. These factors also work in their favor.

The neck on a Baritone can have 27 frets, compared to 22-25 on standard guitars. The longer style neck is essential, as it provides the correct intonation for the strings to remain taut. This in essence gives you the fatter lower tones.

Tuning Differences

The tuning is lower than your standard guitar. As you know E-A-D-G-B-E is what we’re used to.

Baritone Guitars are tuned in either ‘Standard B‘ or ‘Standard A’.

  • Standard B = B-E-A-D-F#-B
  • Standard A = A-D-G-C-E-A

So, the Baritone guitar is a 4th or 5th lower than standard tuning. 

The bodies can be larger than a standard-sized guitar, Although Baritones are a part of the guitar family. To be fair, by looking at most baritones, you wouldn’t know the difference.

Traditional Baritones come with single-coil pickups for a clearer all-round sound, some designs carry the humbucker for maximum aggression. Perfect for heavy rock and huge riffs.

Songs You May Know With A Baritone Guitar?

  • “Chain Of Fools” by Aretha Franklin
  • “Minerva” by Deftones
  • “Back in the Saddle” by Aerosmith
  • “Space Between” Dave Matthews 
  • Twin Peaks Theme!

Baritone Guitarists 

  • Devin Townsend & Brian Welch (Korn)
  • Stephen Carpenter (Deftones)
  • John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
  • Robb Flynn (Machine Head)
  • Pat Smear (Foo Fighters)
  • Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys)

Our Top 5 Best Baritone Guitar Winners.

1- Reverend Descent W Baritone Electric Guitar

Best Overall

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  • Super Good Looking
  • Gut Punching Legendary Tones
  • Flexible
  • Value for Money
  • Perfect Starter Guitar

The Reverend Descent is a favorite of mine. Its gut-punching earthy tones are right up my street. Deep down filthy tones and clear low bass thump make this weapon a must.


Not only that, you’re going to look amazing playing this guitar. It reminds me of the Fender Mustang a bit. A how cool did Kurt Cobain look playing that?

Available in Ocean Green or Transparent White. I would definitely say the Reverend is the best-looking instrument in my review. The Rosewood fingerboard gives the guitar a look of a much higher-priced instrument.

The neck is very similar in size to the standard electric guitar. If you’re already a guitarist you’ll notice it has a comfortable medium oval-shaped profile and 22 jumbo frets. With a 12 inch radius, the Reverend is one of the smaller Baritones in my review. This style of baritone would definitely aid the faster player.

The tasty-looking Humbuckers are dual ‘Railhammer Humcutters’. This gives the player a tight low end, rather than a deep wide thump like other guitars in this review. This is a great feature if you’re playing with a bassist. The sound you could create together can be ground splitting.

The Bass Contour knob gives you the option to build many unique aggressive tones that suit your music. This asset alone was why I love this guitar. The contour feature enables a massive amount of versatility, flexibility, and so much aggression. The tone options are endless. This benefit alone will keep you tweaking and exploring for a very long time.

Considering The Reverend is only a little bigger than your standard electric, there is a massive difference in the depth of bass available. The low-down dirty tones I got from it were so satisfying. An extremely comfortable guitar to play and very well made.

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Ocean Green Or Transparent White

Why spend a small fortune when you’ve got all in this affordable package? I just connected with this guitar almost instantly. I didn’t have to try very hard to get comfortable and it’s so easy to play. 

That for me is a massive green flag!

Here’s a great example of the dirty Reverend in action.

Number Of Frets:22, Scale Length: 26-3/4″, Nut Width:1.69″, Neck Shape:Medium Oval, Fingerboard Radius:12″, Body Style:Double Cutaway, Neck Type:Bolt On, Neck Wood:Roasted MapleFingerboard:RoastedMaple, BodyWood:Korina, PickupConfiguration:H-H, BridgePickup:Custom Reverend Nuevo 90, Neck Pickup:Custom Reverend Cleancut, Bridge Type:Wilkinson WVS50 IIK Tremolo, Tuning Machines:Pin-Lock, Orientation:Right-Handed, Other Features:Bass Contour, Series:Bolt-On Series Descent W, Model:Descent HC90 Baritone Electric Guitar

 


 

2- PRS SE 277 Baritone Electric Guitar

Best for Low Budget 

icon
  • Unique PRS Tone
  • Great Low Price
  • Mahogany Body with Beveled Maple Top and Flame Maple Veneer
  • Classic PRS bird inlays
  • Coil split available for single-coil tones

Paul Reed Smith guitars are already a popular choice in the electric guitar world. They are well built, reliable, and meant to cranked up into oblivion, blasting out heavy riffs and power chords. 

PRS Players like Brad Delson (Linkin Park) and Carlos Santana have brought this brand of guitar to the mainstream with amazing unique tones of their own. A stunning looking guitar which to be fair is a great price. 

The PRS has a unique sound that you cannot get with any other guitar in this review. The voicings sit perfectly between an electric guitar and bass. So you’re getting the best of both worlds when it comes to the versatility of tone.

The PRS 227 was definitely the easiest to play, a comforting shape that sits nicely into your body and is generally small in size.

The neck is the same length as a standard guitar with 22 frets (27.7’ scale length). It is easy to play, which might be a major factor for you if this is your first baritone.

It’s a beautiful-looking instrument and gives you the player a wide range of low-end colors to explore and play with.

Perfect for recording sessions or releasing huge riffs live to melt some faces.

The Humbucking setup gives you the raw power, it can be split into single coils if you need to take your foot off the gas and play something intricate and clear.

The PRS is certainly versatile alright. If you need to set a club on fire with aggressive riffs or power chords this is your guitar. If you need to play some beautiful melodies and give your fans a dreamy tone, switch down to the single coils, and away you go.

100% my vote for the best budget Baritone. Many hours of fun to be had with this beast.

Number Of Frets: 22, Scale Length 27.7″Nut Width 1-11/16″Neck Shape WideFat BodyStyle Double Cutaway Neck Type Set Neck Neck Wood MapleFingerboard Rosewood Body Wood Mahogany Top Maple with Flame Maple Veneer Pickup Configuration H-H Bridge Pickup 85/15 “S” Neck Pickup 85/15 “S” Bridge Type PRS-Designed Plate-Style, String Through Tuning Machines PRS-DesignedOrientation Series SE Series Model SE 277 Baritone

 


 

3- Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone Electric Guitar

Best Beginner Choice

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  • Solid mahogany body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • 12″-radius laurel fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays
  • Dual Gretsch mini humbucking pickups
  • Three-position toggle switch, master volume, and master tone controls
  • Bigsby B50 tailpiece
  • Anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge
  • White binding with black/white purfling
  • Chrome hardware

Gretsch guitars are a special breed to themselves. They offer a piano like articulation and definition. Humbucker pickups give you thundering lows and a precise clear sound in the typical vintage Gretsch style. This would suit players who like the shimmering dreamy tones of the 50s and 60s.

A friendly price considering you’ll be getting a very famous brand in Gretsch. Gretsch guitars came in at a time when Rock N Roll exploded and appealed to the youth of the 50s, out selling Fender! That should tell you something.

They’re reliable and well built. The Gretsch would suit a beginner to intermediate as its super easy to play and as clear as a bell.

The G5260T gives you that famous deep growl that’ll have you wanting more.

Squeaky clean shimmering tones and piano-esch bass tones. Added tremolo arm to give you a surf-type 50s effect or a country-style clang. Dial-in some spring reverb and slap back and you’re literally playing back in the 50s

It’s affordable and reliable. I can’t see anyone not liking this guitar, it’s a perfect starter instrument for a player dipping his/her toe into the baritone world. A beautiful-looking addition to your guitar collection.

Go get yourself a part of music history. Ladies And Gentlemen The Gretsch G5260T.

Category Solid Body Electric Guitar Number of Strings 6 Body Style Electromatic Jet Scale Length 29.75″ Number of Frets 22 Top Wood Mahogany Body Wood Mahogany Neck Wood Maple Fingerboard Wood Laurel Color Other Orientation Right-Handed Series Electromatic Jet Model 2506001506

 


 

4- ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SC-607 Baritone 7-String Electric Guitar

Best For Heavy Metal Riffs & Chugging

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  • Dual Fishman Fluence pickups 
  • LTD locking tuners
  • Easy Access To Upper Frets
  • Lightweight
  • An Absolute Menace

If you’re looking for that ‘Deftones’ alternative metal sound, look no further than the Stephen Carpenter ESP.

It guarantees a hard-hitting low end tone fed by the dual Fishman Fluence SC signature pickups with push control. The Fishman are Monster of pick-ups.

The signature pickups give the choice to switch between active and passive voices. Basically, the active voice gives the metalheads among us the chance to really push the pickups hard, without the worry of interference and feedback.

A real player in the Metal/Alternative rock genre, the spec on this axe is far superior to any baritone so far.

The Classic rock neck shape is designed for easy access to higher frets. As it’s a 7 string guitar you have extra octaves to play with, giving you a whole new world of guitar playing and melodies to discover.

The neck is a ‘U’ shape, and purposely built with comfort in mind for people who practice for long periods.

24 Extra Jumbo frets enable you to bend into oblivion and smash heavy power chords until your heart’s content (or the police have been called).

It’s worth mentioning, as I feel it’s a major benefit. The LTD locking tuners are a major plus and well worth the money. It’s a mechanical process that locks the string down, preventing it from slipping, stretching and going out of tune.

This process takes the place of the standard ‘wrapping’ strings around a pole when changing them.

If you’re laying into big bends or chugging away, the strings can loosen or snap. This usually ends up putting the guitar out of tune. If you’re playing live, it’s soul-destroying, especially if you’re in the middle of a song. The LTD process puts these worries to bed. So if you’re a guitarist looking to avoid situations like this, the LTD benefit is a superb addition. 

Category Solid Body Electric Guitar Number of Strings 7 Body Style Double Cutaway Scale Length 27″ Number of Frets 24 Body Wood Mahogany Neck Wood 3-Piece Maple Fingerboard Wood Macassar Ebony Pickup Configuration H-H Orientation Right-Handed Series Signature Series Model LTD Stephen Carpenter SC-607 Baritone

 


 

5- ESP E-II HRF NT-8 8-String Baritone Electric Guitar


Best For The Pro Guitarist/Enthusiast

icon
  • Alder Body
  • Black Satin Finish
  • 27″ Baritone Scale Thin-U 3-Piece Maple Neck w/ Ebony Fingerboard
  • EMG 81-8H (Bridge) & EMG 85-8H (Neck) Pickups
  • Hipshot w/ String-Thru Bridge
  • Gotoh Locking Tuners & Schaller Strap lock

If you’re looking for the ultimate baritone guitar, one that’ll stand up to every challenge. Then look no further than the superb ESP E-II HRF.

With 24 frets and 8 strings, there is no musical direction you can’t go down. Melodies are endless with the added amount of frets strings. It easily covers a wide range of musical genres and every conceivable aspect of playing baritone guitar.

Manufactured at ‘the’ ESP factory, so you’re guaranteed the best possible build. Alder built with a three-piece neck. A stunning ebony fingerboard gives it a sleek devilish look.

The Professional hardware includes Gotoh locking tuners, and a Hipshot fixed bridge with a string-thru-body design. The set of EMG 85-8H (neck) and EMG 81-8H (bridge) active pickups supply you with numerous dangerous tones to start your one-man crusade to guitar destruction.

I was surprised by how comfortable this was, considering it looks like some futuristic space weapon. There’s ample fretboard room to cover, giving you endless possibilities and years of fresh creativity to explore.

Shredding, chugging, massive riffs, or drilling out fast high pitch solos. There isn’t anything the EMG-18 cant do.

If you woke up feeling dangerous, you may need the ESP E-II HRF NT-8 8-String Baritone Electric Guitar.

If you’re a guitar enthusiast or you’re looking for an extreme challenge, the ESP E-II HRF is the weapon for you. Just make sure you warn your local community when you’ve ordered one. They’re dangerous!

Built with pure skill and quality. A guitar for life. 

Begin your domination. 

Number Of Frets 24 XJ Scale Length 27′ Nut Width 55mm Neck Shape Thin U Fingerboard Radius 400mm Body Style HRF Neck Type Neck-Thru Neck Wood 3-Piece Maple Fingerboard Ebony Body Wood Alder Pickup Configuration H-H Bridge Pickup EMG 81-8H Neck Pickup EMG 85-8H Bridge Type Hipshot w/ String Thru Tuning Machines Gotoh Locking Orientation Right-Handed Series HRF Model E-II HRF NT-8 Baritone

 


 

Buyers Guide

Why Would I Buy A Baritone Guitar?

Owning a Baritone guitar gives you a wider musical spectrum to learn within. Not only is it suited to Metal and rock you can also achieve tones from it you cannot reach on a standard guitar. 

The Baritone is perfect for the song writer or band musician looking for something different and fresh. 

Baritones are generally low priced and extremely unique. And we all need to be unique in today’s musical world. 

What Strings Do I Need For A Baritone?

The biggest string brands supply ‘Baritone sized strings’. So when you’re next in your local music store, simply ask for a set of Baritone strings. 

In general, the gauge size starts around 13-72. If you already like a brand of strings, stick to them but buy them from gauge 13.

If you’re unsure, here are our top 3 best baritone guitar string recommendations in the market today:

D’Addario- Click Here

Elixir- Click Here

Ernie Ball-Click Here

 

Best Gifts for Guitarists

Important

If you’re new to a Baritone, I’ll be honest, it’ll come as a shock to play strings so thick and a neck length that may make you feel uneasy.

This may put you off to start with. It is important to know your new Baritone may need setting up by a guitar tech. It’s a cheap but very important step to take. On Average you can get your guitar set up for $25. I get ALL my guitars set up yearly.

In my opinion, new guitars from a store DO NOT come set up (unless the store tech does it for you). They are set up so the average person finds it easy to play whilst in the store. The strings won’t be of any quality so ensure you get yourself a decent set. New guitars come from the factory set up with a high intonation, so this may not help you..

The intonation of a baritone guitar is completely different to a standard guitar, as a Baritone has much heavier strings. So the Truss Rod needs to be spot on, otherwise you’ll struggle to play it and eventually give up.

The last thing you want is strings buzzing or the strings are too high for your style.

Give yourself the best chance of success and get your guitar set up to the way YOU like it.

Depending on your finger strength and what music you play, your guitar tech will take all of this into consideration.

What You Should Know 

You may find it difficult to find a Baritone in your local music store. This is because they’re a limited instrument.

They are produced to a much smaller scale in comparison to the standard electric guitar. So, even the biggest music shops won’t have them hanging around.

Baritones are becoming more and more popular, so availability will change over the next five to ten years.

Ordering your new Baritone online is a safe bet. In today’s current climate, just be aware that there may be a wait, and variations in delivery times due to the instrument being rare.

An Acoustic Baritone and Electric Baritone may come in very different string sizes. For example, Acoustic Baritones will probably come with 16-70 sized strings (which is heavy), electric guitars 13-62. Be sure to check with your supplier. The Baritone guitar links I’ve supplied above give you all the information you’ll require.

Baritone Benefits

Baritones are a very versatile instrument. They can add a diffrent flavor to your guitar playing for sure. They’ve been used in such genres as Rock, Metal, Jazz and Pop.

If you love riff rock. You need a Baritone in your life. The power of the large gauge strings and low deep tones can supply you with ground splitting riffs. Perfect for guitar bands hammering huge chords.

As the frequency of sound is much lower than the average electric guitar. The Baritone can be used in most genres of music. It can aid an acoustic singer who needs a low end. The lower thump may suit a skiffle band right up to heavy metal music and chunky power chords in heavy rock.

With fatter, punchier tones with and alternate tunings. Its time to disappear down the Baritone guitar rabbit hole to search for your soul.

Bottom Line

Best Baritone Guitar: The Reverend Descent W Baritone Electric Guitar

The Reverend isn’t by any means the most expensive guitar, or does the most tricks, or has the best hardware. It was the best in my opinion. Sometimes you just get a gut feeling when trying out a guitar.

Don’t underestimate the power of being comfortable. This will result in longer practice sessions and will eventually bring more results. Sometimes you just know! If you’re considering buying your first baritone, the Reverend is a safe option.

It’s better to spend a little more of your hard-earned cash on something you know you’re definitely going to like. Rather than spending money on something ‘other people like. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I knew straight away which guitar suited me.

It’s not to say The Reverend is the best Baritone out there, but I’ve given you plenty to contemplate depending on your skill level budget, and musical taste.

Good Luck on your journey towards rock god.

Ernie Ball vs D’Addario String Comparison 2021

Ernie Ball vs D’Addario

This is our comparison of the Ernie Ball Vs D’Addario guitar strings.

As both brands of strings are very popular with guitarists all over the world, we’ve dug in deep to find out which is the best.

Im a guitarist of 25 years and still, to this day I use both brands. I thought it would be a good time to choose my favorite string pack as we have a huge amount of variation to choose from.

I’ve included my favorite Acoustic and Electric Guitar strings from both brands.

Read on to see the ultimate guitar strings in today’s market.

Product Range Comparison

The Story Behind Ernie Ball 

Ernie Ball was an American entrepreneur and musician who was born in the 1950s to a guitar-playing family. 

Ball was a local club musician who played beer bars in South Central Los Angeles as a teen. 

In the 1950s he landed a spot playing on KTLA television in LA. This gained him wider recognition and led to teaching jobs and studio work. 

During his teaching days, he noted his students were having trouble holding down and bending the Fender medium gauge strings. 

He approached Fender several times with his issue and a suggestion of a lighter Slinky option to aid beginners. Fender was not interested.

After being turned away several times, he approached Gibson who also showed little interest. It was now time to take matters into his own hands.

Ernie Ball strings and accessories would lead to grossing 40 million US$ a year.  

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Electric Guitar Strings

With names like Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Steve Vai as fans, the Slinky is possibly the most famous guitar string in history.

The Regular Slinky is manufactured from Nickle plated steel wire. It’s wrapped around the hex steel core wire. The plain strings are produced from a distinctive tempered tin-plated high-carbon steel. This is why the Slinky gives you such an all-around balanced tone for your guitar like no other. 

The Story Behind D’Addario 

D’Addario was started by a small family of string makers from Salle in Italy in the early part of the 20th century.

After an earthquake in 1915, two brothers-in-law decided to go to Queens New York, and try to expand the family business. At this point, guitar music saw a huge boom in popularity.  The family back in Salle started producing strings to order for major manufacturers and musicians. With the help of the New York based brothers, D’Addario was born.

D’Addario also produces quality strings for other fretted and orchestral instruments.

It doesn’t stop there, the famous family also distributes other accessories such as cables, capos, earplugs, tuners, straps, humidifiers, picks, slides, and drum accessories.

D’Addario’s European headquarters in Newcastle UK is one of the largest operators in the world today.  

D Addario XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

It’s been said D’Addario strings are the strongest strings ever made.

The unique D’Addario technology offers a high carbon steel core that won’t break as easily as its competitors. The refined frequency response guarantees the player an improved presence and crunch. 

The strings can be bent further and sing louder than any string has before, what else would you need? 

Our Top String Picks 

Ernie Ball vs D’Addario: Best Electric Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball Super Slinky

  • Key Features: Nice balanced sound. Not too punchy, not too muddy. Great feel. Not too grippy, not too slippery. Dependable & Affordable
  • Best For: An all-around balanced tone.

D’Addario Nickle Wound EXL

  • Key Features: Best Sellers, Long-lasting, distinctive bright tone, and excellent intonation. Corrosion-resistant packaging.
  • Best For: All Guitar styles and musical genre.

Sound Difference

From playing both types of strings for many years I found the following to be true:

The D’Addario XLs definitely give you more sustain compared to the Ernie Ball Slinkys. Sustain is a very sought-after addition to any guitar tone (especially acoustic). 

Depending on what type of music you’re wanting to play, greater sustain is a benefit you want in abundance.

I found the D’Addario XLs to have greater volume in most situations. I could definitely tell the difference in the ’attack’ of the XL’s in comparison to the Ernie Ball Slinkys. 

The best way to describe ‘attack’ would be, how long it takes your strings to reach their peak sound and intensity. 

If you’re like me, I love the aggressive Stevie Ray Vaughn style of guitar tone. He reaches the attack stage very quickly. 

Obviously, in this day and age, you have pedals to aid the attack. So again, depending on what music you want to be playing, the Ernie Ball Slinky set takes that little bit longer to attack compared to the D’Addario XL.

The Ernie Ball Slinkys stand out as the best choice for a crisper, clearer sound. In fact, there’s something pure and glassy about the Slinkys that no other brand can come close to.

I have a Telecaster with medium Slinkys fitted, as I love the clearness and slight break up of that guitar. Low chords and funky chopping guitar sounds lush. I couldn’t imagine using another brand of strings on my Tele. 

Slinkys have a massive loyal following of guitarists worldwide for this glassy tone alone.

Notable Build Differences

Ernie Ball strings are available in various alloys. 

These characteristics are an important factor in the sound of the strings. This is very useful to know if you’re looking for a specific tone on your guitar. Here is a general guide of the types of alloy, and what tonal characteristics you’ll be getting.

Allow Types

  • Nickle: Well balanced brightness and warmth
  • Cobalt: A wider dynamic range with a fuller deep end and crisp highs
  • M-Steel: Richer, fuller tone with a dominant low-end response.
  • Pure Nickel: Vintage tones with added warmth
  • Stainless Steel: Brighter, crisper. An Edgy sound with superb anti-corrosion

It’s worth knowing Ernie Ball developed the reinforced ball end wrap with the Slinkys. This is why they’re hugely popular the world over. They’ve also developed newer treatment coatings, which help to make your strings last longer. 

We all want our stings to last longer, especially if you’re a gigging guitarist.

D’Addario

I have to mention, the D’Addario XT range is a game-changer for stringed instruments. 

Since the release of the new D’Addario XT treatment process, I personally think the XT will eventually become as popular as the XL collection. 

You know how guitarists are with change! We don’t like anything new. Why change if you are already satisfied with a product? Especially our strings! 

That being true it’s worth knowing the impressive manufacturing techniques D’Addario now uses for its XT strings

The new D’Addario XT treatment process gives the string a more durable and thinner coating. It offers the player a feel and sound of an uncoated string but still gives you the major advantages of a coated string. One major benefit being endurance from any corrosive materials. We all want our strings to last longer

The D’Addario packaging now gives clear options on the front. Like Instrument/gauge/alloy type. When choosing acoustic guitar strings, note there are various alloy types.

Even after all this impressive sales language, it’s all down to you the player, and what YOU think of the tone qualities. 

 


 

 

Ernie Ball vs D’Addario: Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Alloy

  • Key Features: Natural feel and tone. Used by the Eagles, Elvis Costello, Joe Bonamassa, and Slash
  • Best For: A crisp, bright sound with pleasing overtones

D’Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ16-3D

  • Key Features: Long-lasting tone and comfortable playability, Corrosion resistant
  • Best For:  Warm, well-balanced acoustic tone

Sound Difference

Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Alloy strings

The Ernie Ball Earthwood strings are the set I kinda grew up with. I always remember the superb wood-type artistic design on the packs. They were always the first choice on the house mahogany Yamaha guitar I was learning on. 

They seem to be a perfect match for a mahogany bodied guitar. They bring out the rich woody tone and ring softly. I would say they’re a better choice for those who play either Flatpicking or strumming. The fingerstyle tone sounded a bit dead to me. So maybe consider this before you buy. 

Although I found these much brighter than the D’Addario EJ16s they are still far superior in richness of tone to anything else on the market. 

The high end is clear and glassy and you’re also given satisfactory lower bass sounds. 

The Earthwoods are a sturdy reliable choice. If i were a performing acoustic guitarist, i wouldn’t think twice about using them. The quality of the higher end would sit nicely in the mix of an acoustic type band. The vocals are around this range also. 

My advice would be to start playing around gauge 12 (medium) for the best acoustic sound. If you’re mad, open your open chords and strumming, go 13s. 

At a great low price you cannot ignore the Ernie Ball Earthwood series. Get involved. 

D’addario EJ16s

I don’t know how else to put this but, the D’addario EJ-16s are the best acoustic guitar strings I’ve ever played. That’s it, review over!

The 80/20 Bronze strings are extremely popular for recording artists due to their beautiful heavy warmth, deep end and projecting tone

The traditionalists and vintage players love this kind of sound. You have to try these out for yourself at least once in your life if you haven’t already. 

D’Addario uses only the best bronze alloy and wraps the wound strings with the exact amount of tension. As a result, the strings can breathe and bend much more sufficiently than any other acoustic string. 

As the EJ16s are phosphorus strings, they are probably the ‘go to’ set for millions who love that warm and full sound. That includes me. 

 


 

Ernie Ball vs D’Addario Winner

Best Electric Guitar Strings

The Industry standard D’Addario XL Nickle Wound strings are still my favorite because they are strong and suit the way I play. It’s as simple as that. Does it matter how they’re built and what process they have to go through? 

The XL Nickle wound is wound with nickel-plated steel and suits a wide range of musical styles. The strings in my opinion are longer lasting and can take more aggression. 

The string construction combines strength and durability. The winding and steel core ensures tonal quality and longevity, unlike the competitors. There’s a reason they’re the world’s most reliable guitar strings. 

 

Winner: Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

My favorite acoustic strings are the D’Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ16-3D.  They are both reasonably affordable and they have many of the added benefits that you would get from more expensive strings.

In addition, they tend to have a longer lifespan than their other competitors in this price range, and their tone is a nice middle-ground that isn’t too bright or too warm.

I feel the Ernie Ball Earthwood were a little on the bright side, and I really not a fan of sharp-sounding acoustics when playing open chords.

There’s nothing better than listening to a warm, golden sound of acoustic. The EJ16s do it for me.

Possible the best selling guitar strings in the world. That tells you alot!

Questions Answered

How To Spot Fake Strings (Important)

While it may seem odd for an item such as guitar strings to be counterfeited, there are many reports of such online.

The good news is that there are a few easy ways to spot fakes, so you can be sure you’re getting the best strings from a trusted manufacturer. First, you want to check the packaging of your strings.

Most manufacturers seal each individual string inside the pack in separate packaging. Check to make sure that the markings on each package match the box, and match the information from the manufacturer’s website.

Companies like Elixir and D’Addario also stamp quality control codes on each package that you can look for.

As you open each string, inspect it closely for signs of corrosion and poor wrapping.

Many people complain that the fake strings they receive are poorly constructed and the windings are loose right out of the package, making them difficult to play.

If the strings are properly sealed with quality control stamps, and they appear in good condition before you install them, you have nothing to worry about.

Getting the best guitar strings is easy when you know what to look for.

Ernie Ball vs D’Addario String Comparison

What String Gauge Do I Need?

One of the first things you will notice when shopping for guitar strings is that they come in several different weights (gauge).

Medium gauge strings are the standard, but they tend to be stiffer and more difficult to work with for beginners. On the plus side, medium gauge strings produce a more robust sound with better volume.

By contrast, lightweight strings are easier to press and hold, and they are a bit more flexible if you are going for a modern sound. 

Many beginners prefer lightweight strings until they can build up the finger strength and calluses to handle medium-weight strings.

Beyond the typical light and medium gauge strings, you may also come across extra light or heavy gauge strings while you’re shopping. These types of strings are used less often, but you can always experiment with them to see how they change the sound of your playing.

Carefully consider your string gauge if you’re a beginner and give yourself the best possible chance to succeed, as you’ll be learning easy guitar chords and various guitar exercises when you first start.

One important note: Before you string up heavy gauge strings on your instrument, double-check that the manufacturer has approved that gauge for use. Acoustic guitars use a complex system of braces inside to withstand the tension of fully-tuned strings. 

Using too heavy of a string gauge could cause the braces to crack or warp. This is also a good time to learn how to tune a guitar. 

I Still Can’t Decide Which Strings I Want

There is an easy answer to this issue: Buy a packet of both Ernie Ball and D’Addario strings. 

The reason Ernie Ball and D’Addario guitar strings are so popular worldwide is the low price. 

Buying a packet of both will give you an idea of what YOU like and what you don’t. 

There are a lot of variations of strings from both brands but the Slinky and XL are a perfect place to start. 

When Do I Replace My Strings?


Let’s start with the obvious, don’t wait until they break!

The frequency you should change strings depends on how often you play, how you play, and in what conditions your instrument is played and stored.

Active performers may need to change their strings on a bi-weekly basis depending on the number of shows and rehearsals per week.

Occasional players may take a month to three months to wear out a set.

Most players change strings when they lose their brilliance, sound too mellow, when intonation falters or when their instrument is difficult to keep in tune. Generally, you can see the build-up of grime on the strings.

I can always tell just by listening. The sound becomes dull and the resonance disappears. It starts to sound…well crap!

Changing one string after it breaks is not recommended as the newer string will be brighter sounding than the rest of the set.

Check out our 10 Best Ways to Care For Your Guitar

Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar in 2021. 7 Stunning Guitars For You

Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar

 

This is The Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar review for this year.

I tested seven outstanding Gibson guitars on the market and found the Gibson Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric Guitar to be the best Gibson acoustic guitar for players of all levels.

As an avid guitar player for 25 years, I am very much involved with examining the many different Gibson models. Having become quite familiar with their varied state-of-the-art qualities and features, I am now committed to sharing this valuable information.

All of us need some advice and guidance when shopping for our early guitar brands and models. I am only too glad to share with you what I have discovered through my own experience with these amazing instruments.

My number one reason for choosing the Gibson Hummingbird is its full projection and fluid warmth of tone. This guitar can provide such astounding clarity and precision of tone since it embodies all of the excellent features and craftsmanship that Gibson guitars are famous for.

This ultimate quality guitar design as a limited edition includes a stunning mahogany rounded neck with a Slim-Taper profile that ensures optimal quality playability for all guitarists. Its fine Sitka spruce top and mahogany back produce a warm, luxurious, and engaging acoustic tone. This graceful guitar design offers premium style, elegant tonality, beautiful resonance, and excellent sustain.

Even if you are a newbie player headed for your first jam session or gig, this outstanding guitar will see you through to success. Its easy playability and beauty of tone will inspire you, giving you the confidence to play your best.

If you are an experienced or professional guitarist, you will find this Gibson model equally compelling due to its combination of leading features. The top-tier design and craftsmanship of this guitar make it an exceptional choice for on-stage performances, coffee house jams, and studio work alike.

Keep reading to learn more about the Gibson brand’s innovative, unique and superb quality guitars.

What Is the Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar?

The guitar models described below are my choices for the seven best Gibson acoustic guitars currently available

1- Gibson Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric Guitar Vintage Cherry Sunburst

Overall Winner:

Best Dreadnought for Classic Projection and Warmth

  • Offers the stunning Vintage Cherry Sunburst design.
  • Produces full projection and fluid warmth of tone
  • Square-shouldered body of Sitka spruce and mahogany.
  • Provides excellent acoustic and plugged-in sound quality.
  • Superb-sounding rosewood fingerboard.

This ever-popular ‘songbird’ is high in this year’s lineup of top-quality Gibson models. The Hummingbird’s many classic features include its Vintage Cherry Sunburst finish and its square shoulder Sitka spruce and mahogany body.

Its classic design produces this guitar’s traditional projection and warmth. Other major features are its rounded mahogany neck and its rosewood fingerboard with classic split parallelogram inlays. Another signature component is its unique Hummingbird pickguard.

With its fitted LR Baggs VTC electronics, this Gibson assures you of superior plugged-in sound both in recording sessions and for every gig.

Body Size/Shape: Square Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Mahogany-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer Vintage Cherry Sunburst-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Rounded-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Rosewood-Fingerboard Radius: 12″-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Traditional Rosewood Belly Up-Nut & Saddle: Tusq Nut-Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series-Gibson Model Year: 2019-Model: Hummingbird

 


 

2- Gibson Parlor Modern EC Rosewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar Rosewood Burst

Best Guitar for Acoustic Players on the Move

  • Has a slim-lined parlor design that is perfect for performing on road trips.
  • Offers classic hand-scalloped X-bracing for greater sonic depth and power.
  • Displays beautiful rosewood and Sitka spruce construction that ensures a rich, full tone.
  • Is compact, comfortable to play, and offers rich coloration of sound.

This popular Gibson Parlor Modern EC Rosewood model is a leading parlor guitar. It is ideal for acoustic players who are on the move and offers a streamlined cutaway rosewood body.

This model also includes an Advanced Response ergonomic neck as well as LR Baggs VTC electronics. As a small, comfortable-to-play instrument that produces strong, rich tones, this guitar has it all.

This guitar’s ergonomic 24.75-inch scale neck of rich mahogany wood offers a luxurious, full sound while enabling relaxed, comfortably playing.

The 19-fret richlite fingerboard has stylish mother-of-pearl parallelogram inlays plus a traditional Gibson headstock with gold mini Grover Rotomatic tuners.

Body Size/Shape: J-165-Body Wood: Rosewood-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: Yes-Top/Body Finish: Rosewood Burst-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Advanced Response-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Richlite-Number Of Frets: 19-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Traditional Belly Up-Nut & Saddle: Tusq Nut-Tuning Machines: Mini Grover Rotomatics-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Gibson Model Year 2019-Model: Parlor Modern EC Rosewood 2019

 


 

3- Gibson G-45 Standard Walnut Acoustic-Electric Guitar (Antique Natural)

Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar for Players of All Levels

  • Is an excellent choice for beginners as well as experienced players.
  • Offers a traditional belly-up bridge that prevents the bridge from collapsing below the sound-hole.
  • Provides classic scalloped X-bracing for fine-tuning tone quality.
  • Is equipped with Mini Grover Rotomatic Tuners for outstanding precision tone.
  • Is designed with a top-quality rosewood fingerboard for ease of playing.

This Gibson model continues the ever-innovative G-45 guitar series. It exhibits an outstanding combination of fine tone, high performance, and ultimate style. This handcrafted guitar is produced with fine-caliber techniques, including hide-glued dovetail neck joints and domed top braces.

It also offers slenderized body depths and Advanced Response neck profiles. Other superb features of this instrument are its gloss top finish and rosewood fingerboard along with the top and back binding.

This model also offers Soft Diamond inlays. Its solid walnut back and sides along with a top of solid Sitka spruce deliver precise sound definition with lustrous overtones.

With the Fishman Sonitone pickup, every nuance is caught to facilitate easy plug-and-play.

Category: Acoustic-Electric Guitar-String Type: Steel-Number of Strings: 6-Body Style: Other-Cutaway: No-Built-in Tuner: No-Scale Length: 24.75″-Number of Frets: 20-Top Wood: Sitka Spruce-Body Wood: Walnut-Neck Wood: Utile-Fingerboard Wood: Rosewood-Color: Natural-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Hard Case-Model: RSG4STDR

 


 

4- Gibson J-45 Standard Acoustic-Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst

Best Gibson ‘Workhorse’ with Excellent Tone

  • Provides outstanding fretting hand feel for exceptional playability.
  • Includes advanced LR Baggs VTC electronics that ensure amplified sound with astounding beauty.
  • Has striking Vintage Sunburst finish, adding style to performance playing.
  • Includes attractive tortoise teardrop pickguard to prevent guitar scratches.

This J-45 guitar has been one of the most widely heralded and highest-selling acoustic guitars among all Gibson models. It offers optimal quality tone and exceptional playability.

This round-shoulder guitar and flagship dreadnought model provides the same excellent sound and ease of playing as its legendary forerunners. This model is definitely an ideal instrument for both live playing and recording.

Delivering low-end, earthly warmth and superior projection, this guitar offers a well-balanced tone. It is handsomely designed with a Sitka spruce top with classic hand-scalloped X-bracing, and its back and sides are mahogany.

This model’s shorter 24.75-inch scale neck of pure mahogany has the unique Gibson fast Slim-Taper profile. On top is a smooth, easy-play rosewood fingerboard.

Body Size/Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Mahogany-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer Vintage Sunburst-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Slim Taper-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Rosewood-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Rosewood Belly Up Traditional-Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Gibson Model Year 2019-Model: J-45 Standard 2019

 


 

5- Gibson Limited Edition Parlor Walnut AG 2019 Acoustic-Electric Guitar Antique Natural

Best Guitar for Superior Craftsmanship

  • Offers Advanced Response neck profile for ultimate design for complete fretting ease.
  • Single volume control inside the soundhole to enhance the guitar’s appearance.
  • Includes superb LR Baggs Element pickup for a big, full sound.
  • Provide a 19-fret richlite fingerboard for top-tier playability.

This Gibson Parlor Walnut design offers fabulous tone quality and smooth, relaxing playability for its compact size. Crafted from walnut, this model offers the ultimate comfort for players with its Advanced Response neck and LR Baggs Element electronics.

This instrument is ideal for playing gigs and is easy to carry during road trips. Its cutaway style offers free upper fret use. This model is made of walnut with a Sitka

spruce top, and it offers classic hand-scalloped X-bracing. You and your audience can enjoy warm voicing and outstanding sonic power from this small-size guitar.

With the LR Baggs Element electronics feature, you benefit from large-scale sound from a compact acoustic. In fact, as soon as you plug-in and start playing, you will lose awareness of this guitar’s diminished size. This model’s 19-fret richlite fingerboard makes this instrument a true player’s dream guitar.

Body Size/Shape: J-165-Body Wood: Walnut-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: Yes-Top/Body Finish: Antique Natural-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: 2-Piece Maple-Neck Shape: Advanced Response-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Richlite-Number Of Frets: 19-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Traditional Belly Up-Nut & Saddle: Tusq Nut-Tuning Machines: Mini Grover Rotomatics-Electronics: L.R. Baggs Element-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Limited Edition 2019-Model: Parlor Walnut AG 2019

 


 

6- Gibson Limited Edition J-15 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best Guitar for Pure, Exceptional Acoustic Sound

  • Provides exceptional classic acoustic sound.
  • Offers small yet effective LR Baggs Element pickup for controlled amplifying.
  • Has a classic Sitka spruce top and walnut back that offer graceful style.
  • Includes Slim-Taper neck profile that facilitates smooth, even playing and sound.

This Limited Edition J-15 includes all of the excellent features and craftsmanship that Gibson guitars are known for. It produces a warm, luxurious acoustic tone with its quality Sitka spruce top and walnut back. Its design includes a 2-piece maple neck with a Slim-Taper profile for maximal easy playing.

Traditional hand-scalloped X-bracing provides strong support while the spruce top produces warm, impressive and full-bodied resonance. This model’s mini-Grover Rotomatic tuners enable excellent tone quality.

The neck of this guitar is mahogany with 20 frets and has measurements of 24.75 by 1.725 inches. A stylish rosewood fingerboard displays Mother of Pearl dot inlays. This model includes a Slim-Taper neck profile, which provides smooth playing movement with easy string bending.

This graceful guitar design has an elegant style and offers excellent sustain. Its rectangular closed slot walnut bridge provides support for strings and clarity of sound.

Body Size/Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Walnut-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer-Neck Wood: 2-Piece Maple-Neck Shape: Slim Taper-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Walnut-Fingerboard Radius: 12″-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Nut & Saddle: Tusq-Tuning Machines: Mini Grover Rotomatics-Electronics: L.R. Baggs Element-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Limited Edition-Model: J-15

 


 

7. Gibson J-45 Ltd. Ed. Acoustic-Electric Guitar Heritage Cherry Sunburst

Best Guitar for Streamlined Style and Excellent Tone Quality

  • Has rosewood fingerboard for even playability.
  • Produces beautiful amplified sound provided by onboard LR Baggs VTC electronics.
  • Offers a single volume and tone control for perfecting your sound and tone.
  • Displays stunning Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish for high visual appeal.

Since 1942, this model has been among the most acclaimed acoustic guitars in the Gibson inventory. It displays a streamlined, basic style while offering excellent tone quality and ease of playing. With the traditional flagship dreadnought round-shoulder design, this guitar lives up totally to the top-tier reputation of this limited edition design.

This Gibson model is equipped to provide the exceptional low-end warmth that this design is praised for delivering. It displays a Sitka spruce top with classic hand-scalloped X-bracing for ultimate stability and has handsome mahogany sides and back.

This guitar offers players an outstanding fretting hand feel and the ultimate smooth, easy playability. The ease of playing is also enhanced by the shorter 24.75-inch scale mahogany neck with the Slim-Taper profile.

Body Size/Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Mahogany-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer Heritage Cherry Sunburst-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Slim Taper-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Rosewood-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Rosewood Belly Up Traditional-Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Limited Edition 2019-Model: J-45 Standard 2019

 


 

Buyers Guide for Selecting The Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar

The ‘Legendary’ Gibson Acoustic Guitar Models

Acoustic Guitarists Paradise, this way:

From the Hummingbird to the Dove, the Gibson acoustic guitars often referred to as the Montana range, are in high demand around the globe. Famous guitarists have played all modes of music on Gibson models since the early 1900s, from classical to standard ballads, to folk music, country favorites, gospel, folk-rock, and rock.

The company’s iconic solid-body guitar designs got their start in the Gibson company’s facility in Nashville, Tennessee. However, the famed acoustic range was first produced in Bozeman, Montana. Gibson’s stellar acoustic guitars have played a major part in designing modern music ever since.

Looking back at the Gibson company history, Orville Gibson started selling his mandolins and guitars in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Later, in 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mtg. Co. Ltd. was officially incorporated for promoting and marketing these instruments. As you now know, the rest is well-known history.

Characteristics and Special Features of Popular Gibson Models

Hummingbird

The distinctive Hummingbird Gibson guitar is one of the most widely known designs around the world. Its burst finish and hummingbird pickguard design are easily recognized and remembered.

The first Hummingbird models in the ’60s had Sitka spruce tops and mahogany backs and sides. Later, maple, koa, and other finishes were used, yet today, most guitars of this Gibson line are produced from mahogany and spruce.

The Hummingbird design is still one of the most frequently bought dreadnought acoustics on the market. Famous for its amazing projection and rich harmonic tones, this square-shouldered style is well-suited for playing any genre and style of music. Be sure to check out the harmonic detail of this Gibson line when shopping for a new instrument.

The outrageously stunning Hummingbird Dreadnought

SJ-200 (Super Jumbo 200)

This design was one of the first Gibson flat-top guitars. Originally introduced as the J-200 in 1937, this guitar offered a much larger curved body than other available models. This design produced a bigger booming tone that was unique to the J-200 and took some getting used to.

Since this guitar first appeared on the market, it has received numerous updates. Yet its major characteristics remain the same today. With its maple back and sides, it still has its unique clarity and brightness.

This model’s Sitka spruce top promotes warm sound and pleasing sustain. The overall effect is a heavy yet balanced tone that is equally suitable for hard hitters and easy strumming players alike.

J-45

The Gibson J-45 was the company’s first dreadnought model. It is still the most frequently bought and widely played acoustic. This guitar has a round-shoulder shape, rather than the square-shoulder associated with the Hummingbird.

Although this design offers comfortable playing, it detracts from some of the instrument’s top-end tonal brightness. Strumming players praise this guitar design, and it is very popular among singer-songwriters.

The J-45 is well-known for the subtlety of its burst finish, warm low-end quality and pleasing playing comfort. It has been played by guitar enthusiasts from all genres of music and was first promoted as a less costly choice than the J-200 during the 1940s. It also displays the familiar mahogany and Sitka spruce finish.

L-00

Gibson’s L-00 guitar is the smallest of the brand’s popular acoustic designs. It was first available in the 1930s as a lower-priced instrument that more people could afford during the Great Depression. This guitar has a mahogany body and a spruce top, and it is often called a Parlor (or Parlour) acoustic. However, it is a different style guitar from the Gibson Parlor model.

This small, compact guitar has always been ideal for playing on road trips and for guitarists with little space to store their instruments. The L-00 produces surprisingly full volume with a fair amount of low-end tonality.

For this reason, it is ideal for both traditional and current-day playing styles. Finger pickers often like this guitar’s middle-range projection, and singer-songwriters are attracted to its overall warm, engaging sound.

G-45 and other Generation Line Guitars

Gibson introduced the Generation line of acoustic guitars in 2019. Made in the USA, these guitars include the G-45 Studio and Standard styles. Created for the next generation of guitar-playing enthusiasts, these instruments combine classical and modern features. These models are priced reasonably to make them available to more players.

Gibson’s G-45 models are handcrafted in the company’s Bozeman, Montana factory. They are made using traditional Gibson methods with dovetail neck joints that are hide-glued and domed top braces. They display slim body depths and round-shouldered profiles like the J-45 models.

Questions Answered

Q. Are there other Gibson models that I should consider buying when searching for the best Gibson acoustic guitar?

There are some other lesser-known styles and models to consider aside from these Gibson flagship guitars, including the following:

The Dove

The Gibson Dove guitar came out in the ’60s as an alternative flat-top mode to the famous Hummingbird. The Dove displays maple for the back and sides and offers a longer scale for a brighter tone. It also has a greater mid-range projection.

In terms of visual design, the Dove exhibits a distinctive mixture of reddish and natural back and top finishes. It also features a pickguard that was carved by hand and displays a Dove design.

The Avant-Garde Range

Gibson introduced the Avant-Garde range of guitars to their inventories in 2017. The high-performance (HP) acoustic models display state-of-the-art design and offer the ultimate modern playability. Their features include Advanced Response neck profiles, multi-piece neck styles, and Richlite fingerboards.

Q: What is my most important step in selecting a new Gibson guitar?

The most important thing for you to do is to audition different guitars thoroughly. By visiting stores that sell a good selection of Gibson models, you can take the time to play different ones. This will help you narrow your choices down to a few and then pick your favorite guitar.

Q: What are the most important aspects of each different model to consider before buying my best Gibson acoustic guitar?

Pay careful attention to your perception of each guitar’s overall sound, tone quality, fretting hand comfort, and playing ease.

Good luck in your search for your next Gibson Acoustic, they really are some of the finest instruments you’ll ever play. No doubt about that.

  Header Pic by John W. Tuggle

Looking For An Electric Guitar Starter Kit? The 5 Best Starter Packs For You-2021

best electric guitar starter kit

This is our review of the Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit

I began ‘playing’ guitar many years ago with a starter pack. In fact, the amp I used is in this review!

It’s very important to choose a reliable starter pack. Buying nasty cheap products will ultimately end up in the beginner guitarist quitting. Cheap guitars won’t stay in tune, they’re set up badly and some woods bend after a year or so.

…but that’s what I’m here for.

After reviewing many starter packs for the electric guitar, my recommendation for the best beginner guitarist starter pack is the Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack

I’ve made my decisions on the following criteria:

  1. Budget
  2. Quality
  3. Essential Extras
  4. Longevity
  5. Suitability 

Now there are hundreds of packs out there today, and 85% of them are garbage. I understand we all have different needs and budgets to think about. So, I’ve whittled my review down to 5 trustworthy starter packs that will see you on your way. 

Quick View-The Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit

  1. Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar PackBest Overall
  2. LyxPro Electric Guitar Starter PackBest Budget Deal
  3. Epiphone Les Paul Electric GuitarBest Sounding
  4. Ibanez IJRG220Z Electric Guitar PackageBest Midprice Pack
  5. Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul-PerformanceBest Premium

8 Tips To Consider For Beginner Buying

  1. Pay attention to the neck size and weight. Look out for the term ‘Slim Neck’. This is perfect for children and beginners. If the guitar is too heavy a child won’t be comfortable.
  2. Look out for poorly made guitars, you’ll end up buying twice. We’ve reviewed plenty of suitable guitars for your needs above. 
  3. You don’t need to spend a small fortune but set aside some money for essential extras like spare strings and a decent tuner
  4. Online Lessons vs Tutor? If you can’t stretch for a personal tutor then that’s the perfect option, but use all resources available. There are some good beginner guitar videos online at justinguitar.
  5. Have a place in mind for practice. A decent upright chair, with no arms. A quiet place away from distraction (if possible). If you’re starting out, give yourself the best chance to succeed.
  6. Get the best guitar for your budget. Don’t go any lower. Poorer quality instruments often don’t stay in tune and won’t last long. They may end up bending or becoming completely useless. 
  7. Stay away from the overly decorated guitars, the more paint, and rubbish they’ve splashed over it, it’s probably hiding the cheap nasty build. If it’s too good to be true, IT IS.
  8. Check for Warranty, in general, my recommendations have a safety net in case something happens. Click my links to check for the Warranty.

Let’s get on with the reviews:

1 – Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack 

Best Overall Electric Guitar Starter Kit

The Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit
  • Free 3 Month Fender Play
  • Rights to Use The Real Fender Strat Build Specifications
  • Comes with Awesome Fender Frontline Amp
  • Perfect For Rock, Blues, Country, Folk & Funk
  • Great Build Quality and Lastability

Beginners can now get their hands on the legendary electric guitar without having to spend big money on a ‘Fender’. 

There are lots of Stratocaster-shaped copies out there on the market, but none are in partnership with Fender. Squire is ‘true value for money’. 

Squire provides budget versions of Fender guitars. Squire has the rights to use the real Fender Strat specifications. So, although you won’t be getting the hardware and perks of the authentic Fender Strat. You’ll still be guaranteed the outstanding build quality and blueprint of a real Fender guitar. This in itself is why Squire is the most popular entry guitar in today’s market.

“If you’re looking to take the guitar seriously, then this Fender Squire guitar is hands down your best choice”

A major benefit for me is the inclusion of the Fender Frontman Amp. These are by far superior to any other ‘starter pack amp’. With the combination of the amp and the Squire, and this pack is within your budget. I would strongly recommend it. 

Authority Guitar have a more thorough review on the Fender Frontman 10G Electric Guitar Amplifier here if you’re interested? See no. 7 in our 12 Best Low Priced Reliable Mini Amps.

With an added FREE 3 month Fender play lessons, you can’t go wrong. What a superb package to start your journey with. 

Pack Includes: 

Stratocaster Electric Guitar/ Squier Frontman 10G Amplifier/ Padded Gig Bag/ 10′ Instrument Cable/ Fender Guitar Strap/ Fender Guitar Picks/ Free 3-Month Fender Play Subscription

 


 

2- LyxPro Electric Guitar Starter Kit

Best Starter Guitar on a Lower Budget

  • Great For A Tight Budget
  • Lots Of Accessories
  • 20W Meaty Amp
  • Solid Wood Build
  • Comes In Black, Blue, Natural, Pink, Red & Sunburst

If you are looking for the ideal ‘straight outta the box’ gift for a budding guitarist, then the Lyx Pro guitar pack is an easy option. Six stunning colors in which to choose from, with a bag full of essential extras. All this for a very affordable price. 

As the body is produced from solid wood, it’s easily my no.1 choice of starter guitar around this price. Solid wood gives the player so much more depth in a tone that no other manufacturer can compete with.  

The tones of the amp are of good quality. The clean channel is crystal clear and carries pretty well. The drive switch allows you to get your heavy riffs out and act like the Rock God that we all want to be. 

A real nice gift for the beginner guitarist looking for a foot in the door. A very popular product in today’s market. It’s no-nonsense, straight out of the box, plugin, and play starter kit.  Fun value=10/10.

Note to any parents: The 20W amplifier is LOUD! 

Pack Includes: 

39 inch Electric Guitar/ Lyx AGL 20W Amp with Cable/ Tuner (Clip On)/ Instruction Book (Teaching how to tune)/A Pack of Strings/ x2 Picks- Shoulder Strap 

 


 

3-Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Pack

Best Sounding Guitar At Mid Range Price

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  • Free Online Lessons from eMedia
  • Epiphone Electar 10-watt amp with a 6” speaker
  • Suits: Rock, Blues Rock, Punk Players
  • Big Seller
  • Great Dual Humbucking Tones

This standard Les Paul Epiphone kit is among the most popular and almost came out as my favorite overall. 

A Beautiful looking sunburst guitar that also comes in ebony with a good array of extras.

You’ll get a 10W ‘Electar’ 62 speaker amp, which is more than enough to smash out those meaty rock riffs. A clean and overdrive button for different styles of playing when the household has had enough of your beefcake riffs. 

The guitar itself is an Epiphone Les Paul Special II and is famous for its monstrous tones thanks to the double humbuckers and its solid wood body build. 

It’s worth knowing the humbuckers are pretty damn good considering the cost of this overall package. The Epiphone Les Paul can cover a variety of styles and tones. It’s the workhorse of the Rock World.

You can see the classic Les Paul body which is one, if not the most popular guitar shape in guitar history. If you love rock music, Les Paul rock music, this is where you start.

Epiphone is a reliable and huge manufacturer in the starter to intermediate guitar world. Definitely my favorite sounding guitar in the review. 

Pack includes:

Epiphone Les Paul Special II LTD electric guitar/ Epiphone 10 watt Electar Guitar Amp/ Guitar Lessons downloadable from eMedia-Covering every style of guitar/ Easy to carry Gigbag/ 10 foot Guitar Cable/ Clip on guitar tuner/ Guitar Strap/ Medium Picks

 


 

4-Ibanez IJRG220Z Electric Guitar Package

Best Guitar Pack For: Punk Rock, Chugging, Heavy Metal & Rock 

  • Sweet 10W Ibanez IBZ1G amplifier
  • Value For Money
  • Trem Bridge & Whammy Bar
  • Great Looking Guitar
  • Jumbo Sized Frets

This is by far the best looking guitar in the review. An absolute slab of rock guitar in the form of this classy glossy black, well-built ideal starter kit for the heavy rock ax-wielding riffmeister.

As far as getting your money’s worth the Classic double-cutaway RG bodied style guitar comes with a 10 watt Ibanez IBZ1G Amp. Comes with a headphone jack so you can play as long as you like into the night without upsetting anyone. 

Unlike the guitars before, the Ibanez comes fitted with smoking humbuckers which are suited for the player who loves the lightning-quick power chords, overdriven riffs, and face-melting lead solos. 

Don’t forget the tremolo Bridge and whammy bar. This allows you to bend and create some pretty space-like guitar sounds. The Jumbo frets are ideal for complete beginners and will aid big-fingered players. 

The jump start package is more than a convincing starter package for the beginner who’s into punk rock and metal. 

Pack Includes: 

Electric Guitar10-Watt Amplifier/ Gig BagTuner/ Strap/ Cable/ Picks/ Accessories Pouch

 


 

 5-Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul Performance 

Best Premier Starter Guitar Pack

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  • Designed By Slash Himself!
  • Flamed Maple Veneer Finish
  • Upgraded Accessories 
  • Amp has a Mid Control
  • Built-In E Tuner

The Slash AFD (Appetite For Destruction) is inspired by the custom Les Paul (which is one of the Daddies of the Les Paul electric guitar). The stunning amber finish, maple veneer finish and single layer of ivory binding, and dark cherry back and side are the same as the original. 

The ceramic plus zebra coil humbuckers are modeled on the late 50s Les Paul and sought-after vintage models. Unlike any other guitar in this review,  the bridge pickup mounting ring has a built-in E tuner. This will certainly be a benefit for a starter player. You won’t be needing to unplug and get your handheld tuner out between every song.

Built-In Shadow E-Tuner 

The Epiphone AFD features premium all-metal hardware with the legendary tune o matic bridge and tailpiece. By far the best-made guitar in my article. But that reflects in the price of the little beaut. 

The amp is also not to be ignored. With the Custom designed ‘Snakepit’ logo, this 15watt, 8” speaker can deliver a cool midrange crunch, just like you get on many Guns N Roses tunes. It also supports some pretty chimey clear tones and the full-on ‘lets go mental’ classic over-driven sounds. 

A superbly made, tasty looking RIFF machine. Another big seller and reputable Epiphone guitar if you’re looking for that something a little more special.  

Pack includes:

Electric Guitar15-Watt Combo Guitar Amplifier/ Premium gig bag with Slash’s “Snakepit” logo3/ Dunlop Tortex Slash signature picks in three colors (white, black, and purple)/ Guitar strap/ Epiphone 1/4″ standard guitar cable/ Free online lessons from eMedia

 


 

Something To Remember

Are Starter Packs Worth The Money?

Yes!  they serve a purpose most definitely. 

These days the quality of build of starter kit equipment is improving all the time. A starter pack is an ideal way to get a beginner into making some noise and enjoying learning the guitar. 

Bear in mind, guitar starter packs are generally low in price. You shouldn’t be expecting amazing tones of equipment worthy of a more expensive model. But they’re certainly good enough for live shows and move you forwards in the correct manner.

Buying an expensive guitar doesn’t automatically mean you’ll succeed any quicker.

It’s like anything, you have to build your gear up as you go along. Buying a decent starter kit is the first step to succeeding.

Give yourself or a loved one the best possible chance of succeeding from the very start. 

How Do I Choose The Right One For Me?

Within the first few seconds, you’ll know if you like the guitar visually. You get that gut feeling.

What guitar do your heroes play? You can find a less expensive version of their guitar. Playing the guitar you really like the look of is very important. You always want to get to the stage where you can’t walk past it without picking it up. That’s how you get good at guitar.

What type of music do you like? If you want to sound like a certain genre or style, do some research and look at what brand of guitar is being played on that record. For instance, here are some basic examples of guitars that play certain genres best:

Blues: Stratocaster, Les Paul

Rock: Stratocaster, Les Paul, Ibanez,

Heavy Metal: Ibanez, Les Paul

Punk: Stratocaster, Ibanez

Don’t Overlook The Small Print

Pay attention to what people are saying about a certain guitar. Watch videos of ‘real people’ playing that guitar. Do you like the tone?

You’re looking to play this guitar every day in the beginning, so make sure you do your research before parting with your hard-earned cash (that’s what we’re here for!).

The Guitar is the most expensive part of the pack, so make sure that is the one you want. The extras aren’t generally great in starter packs but can be replaced for a small price at a later date. Don’t be swayed by the number of accessories in a kit.

Overall

Find a balance between what you can afford, what you like, and what you think suits your needs.

Go with your gut instinct, thats how ive always decided.

The Easy Way, But Not The Smart Way

The easy route would be to save up enough money to buy a well-known branded guitar, visit the local store and buy it. Surely this is the best way, as I’m paying for a quality branded instrument? Actually no! just because a manufacturer produces the best most popular (adult) guitar. That doesn’t automatically mean they build a good beginner or child’s guitar.

Is It Better To Buy The Guitar And Amp Separately? 

Buying a kit separately will cost more. I would recommend buying a ‘starter kit’ to see if the player is going to stick to the task of learning the guitar first.

There’s no harm in looking around and comparing amplifier prices. But this might become a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. 

Generally, the starter kits are ideal for you to plug in and play. Not having to worry about anything else. No hassles, just concentrate on learning and having fun.

 After 6 months if you fancy a tone upgrade, then look around for a better amp. I would safely say buying a starter pack is definitely going to be cheaper in the long run. 

Dreadnought Vs Concert: 8 Beautiful Guitars, But What Are The Differences?

Dreadnought Vs Concert Header

This is my comparison of The Dreadnought Vs Concert Guitars

There are some distinct differences and playing qualities you may be unaware of.  

To tell them apart, I’ve analyzed 8 truly beautiful acoustic guitars to give you the best idea of what to look out for before buying. 

I’ve been playing both types of guitar throughout my 25 years of strumming. They both have very different unique uses.

I’ve got some really stunning acoustic guitars for you to look at

Let’s get straight into it…

At A Glance

Let’s start off with the main differences in appearance. Here are two classic types of Dreadnought and Concert Guitar:

Dreadnought Vs Concert

Although you may not see much between the two models, there really is a lot to consider. 

Here are the different characteristics between the Dreadnought and Concert guitars:

The Dreadnought Guitar

Guitar Body Shapes

The Dreadnought is the more common style of guitar on the market. It’s larger in size and exhibits a boxy shape. 

This is a major factor when considering the tonal values of both types of guitars.

Tone

The Dreadnought shape gives the player a nice delicate midrange scoop. You get more depth and low end. The top-end mid-tones are notably much snappier than a Concert. 

There is a great deal of difference in clarity between the guitars. The Dreadnought has a far more transparent sound due to the straighter body shape. This results in a wider proportional EQ.

A Dreadnought Guitar is suited to:

The benefits of the midrange scoop on a dreadnought are ideal for singer-songwriters or acoustic guitarists in bands. This is exactly where the vocal frequencies sit in the mix. 

As a Dreadnought can project its volume more efficiently in comparison to the Concert models. This attribute makes it perfect for the chord strummer and live musician. 

The Concert Guitar

Guitar Body Shape

The main difference you’ll notice is the size. A Concert guitar is smaller than a Dreadnought. It has a more rounded shape and a much deeper waste taper. 

The dreadnought on the other hand has a wider waist and displays a straighter longer body style.  

Tone

The Concert sized guitar is suited to more complex chords and voicings. As it’s smaller in size, it has a more controlled bottom end.  

The Concert gives you a better mixture of mids and treble tone. It’s coherent and more expressive with chords, especially higher up the fretboard. 

A Concert Guitar is suited to:  

As a Concert guitar is lighter and shorter, it instantly appeals to smaller players. In a sitting position, it is considerably more comfortable than a dreadnought. Especially for children and beginners. 

Concert guitars are suited towards a finger playing style or the articulate chord guitarist. A perfect choice for the musician looking to play alone. 

Dreadnought Vs Concert Acoustic: Pros n Cons

Dreadnought GuitarConcert Guitar
Louder Lighter & Shorter
Far More TransparentGreat For Fingerpicking Style/ Articulate Chord Playing
Ideal For Singer/Guitarist or BandsMore Expressive with Chord Sounds
More Depth and Low EndPerfect For Children & Beginners
Top-End Mid-Tones Much SnappierGentle Bottom End
Better Suited For The Chord StrummerVery Comfortable

Getting your ‘Value For Money’ is Important when considering purchasing a guitar.

Dreadnought Vs Concert Cost Chart

Our Product Review: Dreadnought vs Concert Acoustic Guitar

The Best Dreadnought Guitars

Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Best Entry Level Dreadnought Guitar

This stunning all-mahogany easy-to-play Fender acoustic guitar is a very popular choice for beginners.

Its design combines a solid mahogany top with a laminated back and sides (also mahogany). The Fender ‘easy to play’ neck offers a fingerboard with rolled edges to aid the child or complete novice. Both the fingerboard and bridge are made of Rosewood.

Few other competitors at this price can compete with the Fender CD-60s strength, dynamic range, and tonal brightness.

It is an excellent start for virtually any playing style for acoustic guitar. Including heavy strumming, fast-paced flatpicking, and sensitive fingerpicking.

The CD-60S mahogany back and sides create a balanced tone with an abundance of volume and midrange.

The Fender CD60s comes in sunburst, natural, and black. They really a beautiful style of guitar, and a friendly price range that is great for any starter player.

Absolutely my no.1 choice of starter dreadnoughts in the market today.

Key Features

  • Ideal for chord playing for novices and experts alike.
  • Without any adjustment, this guitar plays well right out of the box.
  • Has a beautiful look and sound quality.
  • Fender is a massive player in acoustic and electric instruments
  • A very popular choice for a reason.

The Electro-Acoustic version of this popular guitar was also reviewed by us. Take a peek The Fender CD 60SCE.

Spec

Body WoodLaminated Mahogany
TopSolid Mahogany
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss
Neck TypeSet Neck
Neck WoodMahogany
Neck ShapeFender® ‘Easy-to-Play’
Neck FinishGloss Urethane
Scale Length25.5″
FingerboardRosewood
Fingerboard Radius12″
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1.69″
Bridge TypeRosewood
Nut & SaddleCrème Plastic Nut
Tuning MachinesChrome Die-Cast
ElectronicsNone

Guild USA D-20 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar (Vintage Sunburst)

Best Standard Dreadnought Guitar

The best bang for buck dreadnought guitar you’ll find around this price tag.

With Martin leading the way, it’s difficult to fit in any other brand of guitar. With the famous Martin D-15 coming in at a similar price point, why did I add the Guild USA D-20 in its place?

Sometimes brand reputation succeeds the quality. Not always, but in this case, the Guild D-20 has a hand-fitted dovetail neck joint, which is why I preferred it.

It’s in line with the traditional American building process. There’s so much more care that goes into a guitar that’s been hand-built. Amazingly, I don’t know how Guild managed to still keep the cost down.

Everything on this model is made from mahogany, bar the rosewood fretboard/bridge, and spruce bracing. This in itself is superior to the Martin D-15.

A beautiful light satin finish really adds to the magnificent look of this vintage classic acoustic guitar.

As the build is of high quality, you’ll get a huge tone and fuller bass resonance. This is a thoroughbred dreadnought. It packs substantial power in comparison to its close competitors.

An extremely playable instrument with has a rich history. What more can you need at this price?

Key Features

  • Built way better than its price tag suggests
  • Big dark tones
  • Versatile and practical
  • Loud and balanced
  • Vintage appearance

Warning! Press play at your own risk. Beautiful tones await.

Spec

Body WoodSolid Mahogany
TopSolid Mahogany
BracingScalloped X
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishSatin Varnish
Neck WoodMahogany
Neck ShapeC
Scale Length25-5/8″
FingerboardRosewood
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-11/16″
Bridge TypeRosewood
Nut & SaddleBone
Tuning MachinesVintage Style Open-Gear w/ 20:1 Ratio
ElectronicsNone
Other FeaturesMade in California

Martin D-28 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Best Pro Dreadnought Guitar

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Martin company acoustic guitars have been the crown jewels for over eight decades. It’s difficult to say otherwise with owners ranging from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Johhny Cash, Neil Young, just to name a few.

They’ve remained faithful to their stunning playability tone and versatility. This should give buyers confidence when considering parting with their hard-earned money. You’re assured of a well-built, traditional-sounding style acoustic guitar.

The Martin D-28 is an enhanced version of the old classics. They still seem to restore their innovation and heritage perfectly.

The new neck design comes after player demand called for it. A new slimmer oval design of neck. Wider nut width and string spacing. This makes for a much more pleasurable playing experience for the simple reason, players want more space.

You get the complete spectrum of a true Martin guitar tone. Crystal clear sustain, booming low end, high mids, and trebles that ring true.

This would make a great studio acoustic as you won’t get let down in any department of tone or projection.

Key Features

  • The classic historical acoustic guitar brand
  • Lightweight
  • Full-spectrum of sound
  • Clarity and Balance
  • Modified Low Oval Neck with High Performance Taper

Heres a helpful video, go on, you know you want to hear it!

Spec

Body Size/ShapeD-14 Fret (Dreadnought)
Body WoodSolid East Indian Rosewood
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BracingNon-Scalloped Forward Shifted X with 5/16″ Sitka Spruce Braces
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss with Aging Toner Top
Neck TypeDovetail Joint
Neck WoodSelect Hardwood
Neck ShapeModified Low Oval with High Performance Taper
Neck FinishSatin
Scale Length25.4″
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-11/16″
Bridge TypeEbony Modern Belly with Drop-In Saddle
Nut & SaddleBone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle
Tuning MachinesNickel Open-Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs

Martin D-41 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Best High End Dreadnought Guitar

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The Martin D-41 dreadnought is both elegant and traditional. Featuring breathtaking curves, using only the finest East Indian Rosewood and Sitka spruce top. Hand-carved scalloped deep bracings for guitarists who crave powerful and deep-bodied tones.

Martin dreadnought acoustics have become a standard tool for professional musicians. With players like Elvis Presley, Joni Mitchell, and Michael Hedges gracing these iconic guitars back in the day.

The neck gives the player ample room for accurate silky fingering with its 2-inch string spacing (saddle end).

This body style has sometimes been criticized for being too boomy, but not the D-41. The treble sparkles over the deep full bass. The first thing that grabs you is the richness and perfect balance in tone.

A real treat if your love is acoustic guitars. Nobody does it quite like Martin.

Key Features

  • Updated High Performance Neck Taper
  • Rich & powerful voice with exceptional clarity
  • exceptionally comfortable
  • High Build Quality

Just listen to that tone!

Spec

Body Size/ShapeD-14 Fret (Dreadnought)
Body WoodEast Indian Rosewood
TopSitka Spruce
BracingScalloped Forward Shifted X Bracing with 5/16″ Sitka Spruce Braces
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss with Aging Toner Top
Neck TypeDovetail Joint
Neck WoodGenuine Mahogany
Neck ShapeModified Low Oval with High Performance Taper
Neck FinishSatin
Scale Length25.4″
FingerboardEbony
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-3/4″
Bridge TypeEbony Modern Belly with Drop-In Saddle
Nut & SaddleBone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle
Tuning MachinesGold Open-Geared w/Butterbean Knobs
ElectronicsNone

The Best Concert Guitars

Yamaha AC1M Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best Entry Level Concert Acoustic

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Yamaha is a very well-known brand for manufacturing excellent affordable acoustic guitars.

The reliable Yamaha AC1M is a perfect guitar for someone looking for an entry route into playing.

A well-built, sturdy, user-friendly acoustic guitar. It boasts a warm, all-around tone that follows in the footsteps of the old school Yamaha tradition.

The neck is fashioned from African mahogany. This is a dense wood that gives off a warm superior sound. This feature alone surpasses any guitar within this price category for sure.

Rolled fingerboard edges on the tapered neck ensure total player comfort when moving up and down the fretboard.

The guitar top is made from Sitka spruce. This is the wood that’s selected on guitars on the higher end of the cost scale.

Built with the Yamaha custom-made scalloped bracing pattern. Giving the guitar a powerful yet expressive tone. Perfect for wanna-be fingerstyle players.

The Electrics consist of a three-band analog preamp. SRT Piezo pickups give you the studio-quality sound, great if you’re considering hitting the live stage.

Yamaha has a fantastic reputation for building easy-to-play friendly concert guitars. The AC1M is priced with the beginner or lower-budget guitarist in mind. A very popular choice that won’t be letting you down.

Key Features

  • Very Popular
  • Fantastic value
  • Sturdy
  • Great sounding Piezo Pickups
  • Powerful Sounding

Spec

Body Size/ShapeYamaha Concert (AC Type)
Body WoodMahogany
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BracingScalloped
CutawayYes
Top/Body FinishGloss
Neck Wood3-Ply African Mahogany
Neck ShapeHigh Comfort Profile
Neck FinishMatte (Satin)
Scale Length25-9/16″
FingerboardRosewood
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-11/16″
Bridge TypeRosewood
Nut & SaddleUrea
Tuning MachinesDie-Cast Chrome (TM29T)
ElectronicsSYSTEM72 + SRT Piezo Pickup

Yamaha FS Red Label FS5 Concert Acoustic Guitar

Best Standard Concert Guitar

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The eye-catching FS Red Label Concert acoustic guitar captures the true aspects of the Gakki Red Label guitars from the 60s.

It features the classic V-Shaped headstock and tuning fork logo. Built from solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and side gives the player a vibrant tone and excellent projection.

The silky and comforting Concert body style offers a newcomer or lower-budgeted player a reliable guitar. The Solid mahogany side accommodates you with noteworthy bass and powerful punch tones.

Yamaha boasts the Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (A.R.E.). This feature manages heat, humidity, and atmospheric pressure to speed up the aging of the wood. This procedure delivers a rich vintage quality tone as if you’ve been playing it for decades.

The dynamic Yamaha FS Red Label FS5 provides a home player or gigging guitarist a safe versatile option that can be relied on.

Growing up, I always remember there being a Yamaha acoustic around the house. They seem to last forever, as they’re built to such a high standard. This is a real quality feature I’ve always liked.

You’ll be getting your moneys worth with The FS Red Label Yamaha.

Key Features

  • Striking semi-gloss finish
  • V-Shaped headstock
  • bass and powerful punch tones.
  • Yamaha’s Acoustic Resonance Enhancement
  • vibrant tone and excellent projection

Spec

Body Size/ShapeConcert
Body WoodSolid Mahogany
TopSolid Sitka Spruce
BracingScalloped
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishSemi-Gloss
Neck WoodAfrican Mahogany
Neck FinishMatte
Scale Length25″
FingerboardEbony
Fingerboard Radius15.75″
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width44mm
Bridge TypeEbony
Nut & SaddleBone
Tuning MachinesOpen Gear Chrome
ElectronicsNone

Martin 00-28 Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar

Best Pro Standard Concert Guitar

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The Martin 00-28 Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar is yet another accomplished masterpiece.

Once again, Martin shows off their legendary luthiery skill in a Concert sized guitar. A perfect combination of classic and modern manufacturing.

East Indian/Sitka spruce construction will have you dribbling at the mouth. The fretboard has a beautiful silky feel to it as you whizz up and down the neck.

An extremely comfortable small-sized concert guitar that doesn’t skip on the rich compact tones. This Martin model really characterizes the word ‘chime’.

I was surprised how this type of body shape can provide you with such rich deep lows which you should be getting from a dreadnought. If you close your eyes, you really start to question what guitar you’re playing.

The top-end shimmering tone is a joy to the ears. You cannot get this kind of attribute from any other guitar around this price. Scalloped bracing provides a nice resonance and superb projection.

The 00-28 Grand Concert is on another level. Beautifully built and sings like a bird. You wouldn’t expect anything less from the heavyweight manufacturer in acoustic guitars.

Is it time for you to shop for a Martin?

Key Features

  • East Indian/Sitka spruce construction
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Nice resonance and superb projection
  • Rich, deep lows that you should be getting from a dreadnought
  • The King of chime

Spec

Body Size/Shape00-14 Fret
Body WoodEast Indian Rosewood
TopSitka Spruce
BracingScalloped X Bracing with 1/4″ Sitka Spruce Braces
CutawayNone
Top/Body FinishGloss with Aging Toner Top
Neck TypeDovetail Joint
Neck WoodSelect Hardwood
Neck ShapeModified Low Oval with High Performance Taper
Neck FinishSatin
Scale Length24.9″
FingerboardEbony
Number Of Frets20
Nut Width1-3/4″
Bridge TypeEbony Modern Belly with Drop-In Saddle
Nut & SaddleBone Nut/Compensated Bone Saddle
Tuning MachinesNickel Open-Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs
ElectronicsNone

Taylor Guitars Builder’s Edition 912ce Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Best High End Concert Guitar

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Incomparable playability and master luthiery set this guitar apart from any other on the list.

The stunning ‘Taylor Builders Edition’ is Royalty of the Concert acoustic guitar world. For players with exquisite taste. A real treat for the guitarist looking for a first-class ride.

Crafted from top-notch rosewood and spruce. The frets are a shorter 24-7/8″ scale length. This gives you a smooth and slinky way of moving around the fretboard without having to try very hard.

Incredibly responsive to touch, while offering a surprising sustain and midrange warmth.

Handles like a true champion, exceptional and luxurious. The Taylor has a super-fast response which puts me in mind of playing an electric guitar.

An absolute joy to play due to the skill and mastery of Luthier Andy Powers.

The Taylor 912ce makes a great guitar in most genres, from rock to jazz to fingerstyle acoustic. The tonal response also translates into an easily shapeable amplified sound with the onboard ES2 electronics.

An absolute must if this beaut is in your budget range. You’ll never need another style of acoustic!

Key Features

  • Frets are a shorter
  • Incredibly responsive
  • Built from top-shelf materials
  • Exceptional and luxurious tone
  • Prime midrange warmth

Spec

Nut Width: 1 3/4”

Neck: Tropical mahogany

Fretboard: West African ebony, 24 7/8” scale

Frets: 20 (14 frets clear of body)

Tuners: Gotoh

Body: Grand Concert shape. Indian rosewood back and sides, Lutz spruce top

Bridge: West African ebony with micarta saddle

Electronics: Expression System 2

Controls: Volume, bass, treble

Weight 4.72 lbs.

Built In USA


Carefully Consider Build/Tonewood 

The quality of construction all depends on the cost of the guitar and the manufacturer behind the build. The tonewoods used in the assembly become better quality the more money you spend on the wood type.

Tonewoods all have their unique strengths and weaknesses. Authority Guitar has a helpful in-depth guide to all tonewoods here: The Ultimate Guide to Acoustic Tonewoods and How it Affects Your Tone

There are two types of wood construction that you may need to take note of:

Laminate

Laminated parts of a guitar are various layers of wood glued together. This type of construction is more affordable but doesn’t give the player the resonance and tone a solid wood body has to offer. 

A laminate build gives the guitar a tougher physique. But what you make up for in lastability, you lose in a higher caliber of sound.   

That’s not to say by any means laminate is not a good choice of soundboard material. It has the ability to stand up to various climates much better than a solid wood build. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about personal taste

Solid Wood

A ‘solid’ wood guitar is made with single cuts of wood. Some solid woods (spruce) will improve over time, giving you a better vintage tone. When the wood dries out, the resonance then becomes even better. 

In comparison, laminate wood does deteriorate over time (a long time!).

Solidly constructed guitars hold their price and may sound better. One thing to remember is; if you run into trouble and require a repair to the body. Luthiers may find solid wood harder to work with. This will obviously cost you more if it takes them longer to fix. 

If you’re going to put the money into a beautiful solid wood acoustic, it needs to be looked after with your life. 

Questions Answered

Is a Dreadnought too big?

It all depends on your arm length and hand size.

A dreadnought is the most popular size in the acoustic guitar world. My advice would be to go to your local music shop and sit with a dreadnought. See how you find the length of the fretboard and how the body sits into your middle position.

Children generally work their way up from 1/2 size. A dreadnought guitar is seen as a Full-Size guitar. Children from 10 years old start using full-sized guitars. Click our size guide here: ‘Find The Right Guitar For Kids’

Here is an approximation of Dreadnought guitar size:

Body Length: 20″

Body Depth: 4.8″

Standard Neck Size: 11/16″

Waist Width: 10-3/4″

Lower Bout Width: 15-5/8″

Are Dreadnought acoustic guitars good for beginners?

Absolutely! Dreadnoughts possess ultimate acoustic power and focus of tone due to their unique build.

If you’re looking to get into strumming chords, a dreadnought is a perfect guitar for you.

Dreadnoughts are used by singer/songwriters and live band musicians. As they carry their sound better than any other style of acoustic. The mid-range scoop is also where a vocal sits. So this fits nicely into the mix with solo artists who like to play and sing.

What does Dreadnought mean in guitars?

The Dreadnought body shape was initially presented in 1916 by Martin Guitars

The name dreadnought alludes to the shape and size of the acoustic guitar body style. A dreadnought guitar is one of the largest body shapes available.

It’s distinctive simply because it’s so popular, yet it has relatively indistinct features.

Other acoustic guitar shapes, like the grand auditorium and classical guitar, have additionally striking features, thanks to their narrow waist.

The upper and lower episodes of a dreadnought guitar are similar in size because the waist doesn’t get excessively meager

What is a Concert size guitar?

A concert guitar is slightly smaller than a dreadnought guitar. This gives the smaller hands musicians and children a chance to learn how to play the guitar without having to overstretch.

Here are some approximate concert guitar measurements:

Body length: 19.5″

Lower Bout Width: 15″

Upper Bout Width: 10″

Body Depth: 4.6″

The upper bout is the part of the guitar body that is nearest the neck.

The lower bout is the largest part of the guitar that is nearest to the string termination at the bridge.

What is the difference between a Dreadnought and Grand Auditorium body shape?

In general, a Grand Auditorium guitar has a similar body style to a dreadnought, yet the auditorium has a tighter waist.

Playability is very similar. In many ways, dreadnoughts are designed to be used with medium gauge strings and grand auditoriums, light gauge strings.

A Grand Auditorium can be ideal for a fingerstyle guitarist. If you’re looking to play lead or rhythm parts in a duo, again, the auditorium is suited better to you rather than a Dreadnought.

The dreadnought is the workhorse and backbone

Auditorium Size:

Body Length:19-3/8″

Body Depth: @ End Pin4-1/8″

Upper Bout Width: 11-1/4″

Waist Width: 9-3/16″

Lower Bout Width: 15″

 

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Fender Guitar Sales Boom. The Strat is Back! Fender Stratocaster Buyers Guide: 10 Models Compared

Fender Stratocaster

After Fender’s biggest boom ever in sales in 2020, guitars are back! A 17% rise in sales of the classic guitar as people look to learn guitar with Fender.

We’ve decided to compile an essential list of the most famous guitar in history, The Fender Stratocaster. What is the best Strat to buy?

Which Is The Best Fender Stratocaster To Buy? 

If you’re considering buying a Strat, you may be scratching your head over the number of variations there are. And there are a lot!

My name is Lee and I’ve played some form of Stratocaster for the last two decades. If I could (or if Fender would like to sponsor me?) I’d own one Strat from each evolution. I cannot get enough of them. I could literally sit here looking at them all day. I’m guessing you’re here because you feel the same?

There’s definitely something special about the Strat. But over the years it’s difficult to keep up to date with the number of models being released.

Let’s Look At 10 Best Models Of The Fender Stratocaster. 

*Although some of the following guitars aren’t in production any longer. They’re still in mass-circulation as second-hand instruments. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular Strats over time, as some have had such a positive effect on guitarists all over the globe.

Fender Stratocaster
  1. Squire Stratocaster
  2. Player Stratocaster
  3. Deluxe Stratocaster
  4. Classic Series ’60S Stratocaster
  5. American Standard Stratocaster
  6. American Special Stratocaster
  7. American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster
  8. American Professional Stratocaster
  9. American Elite Stratocaster
  10. Custom Shop 

1.Squire Stratocaster

Squire Affinity Strat HH FSR CGS GRN

Don’t underestimate a Squire. They are ideal for a first-time player, a child, or somebody with a lower budget. A perfect guitar as an introduction into the Stratocaster world.

Squire provides budget versions of Fender guitars. Squire has the rights to use the real Fender Strat specifications. So, although you won’t be getting the hardware and perks of the authentic fender strat. You’ll still be guaranteed the outstanding build quality and blueprint of a real Fender guitar. This in itself is why Squire is the most popular entry guitar in today’s market.

Beginners can now get their hands on the legendary electric guitar without having to spend big money on a Fender.

There are lots of Stratocaster-shaped copies out there on the market, but none are in partnership with Fender. True value for money.

This particular Squire I’ve chosen is a good starting point. The Affinity HSS Stratocaster is lightweight and possesses an incredible resonance. The ‘C’ neck profile is similar to the more expensive fender models. The beautiful Indian laurel fingerboard, race green poly finish, and medium jumbo frets really look the part.

You have two single-coil pickups in the neck and middle positions, so you can carve out some classic punchy strat tone. The humbucker at the bridge position gives you power and growl when you want to go a little heavier with riffs or face-melting solos.

I chose the Affinity series over the Bullet, as the hardware is of much better quality. With the added humbucker you have a much wider scope to enjoy classic strat tones and meaty solos.

*Did you know Kurt Cobain and Jack White were known to play a Squire now and again?

Notable Features: 

  • Body Material: Alder
  • Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
  • Color: Race Green
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Radius: 9.5″
  • Number of Frets: 21, Medium Jumbo
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Material:l Synthetic Bone
  • Bridge/Tailpiece: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
  • Tuners: Standard Die-cast

2.Fender Player Strat Series

Fender Player Stratocaster – Buttercream, Maple Fretboard

Many of the price tags beyond this strat are over the thousand dollar mark. So, Fender has given us a chance to play the legendary electric guitar at an affordable price. Whilst having the hallmarks of its more expensive cousins. Built with the same specifications as the ‘real thing’.

With a comfortable contoured shape of the alder body wood, this allows you ideal armrest whilst you get into learning the guitar. This series of strat provides the player with either a maple or a Pau Ferro fretboard.

The Player Series comes fitted out with three single-coil pickups, just like the vintage classics. This model features the Alnico Y pickups, they seem to be so much more powerful than the Alnico II and III. Especially on the bridge pickup, that’s where I found it to be most notable.

In the past budget guitars have suffered from tinny, thin, and shrill-sounding pickups. Not The Player Series. The Alnico V range pickups will give you that trademark Fender tone without sacrificing the butter smooth bass shading. The build quality, choice of fretboards, and superior pickups are a big leap up from the Squire.

If the ‘Player’ Stratocaster is a little more than your allotted budget, I’d strongly recommend trying to stretch that budget to a Player Series guitar. A worthwhile addition to the Strat family.

Notable Features:

  • Made in Mexico
  • Alder body, bolt-on maple modern C neck
  • Pau Ferro 9.5” radius fingerboard
  • 22 medium jumbo frets and synthetic bone nut
  • Standard cast/sealed tuners, two-point Synchronized vibrato bridge with bent steel saddles
  • 3x Player Series Alnico V Strat single-coil pickups, 
  •  Scale Length: 25.5”/648mm
  • Neck Width: 42mm at nut, 51.8mm at 12th fret
  • Neck Depth: 21.1mm at first fret, 22.3mm at 12th fret
  • Weight: 8.5lbs/3.8kg

3.Deluxe Stratocaster

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Maple Fingerboard Vintage Blonde

The beautiful Deluxe series are Mexican-made guitars. Truly wonderful looking instruments. It has all the bells and whistles an American elite strat possesses.
Whereas the more expensive American Strats have that classic sound on the old records. The Deluxe has more of a modern sound in comparison. Far away a better all-round sound to the lower-priced guitars. You get a comprehensive wider choice of tones and all at a great price.

Fresh mouthwatering looks, modern electronics, and a contemporary vibe set the deluxe apart from the rest. Giving you character and unique functionality you’d expect from an electric guitar with a higher price tag.

Special modern S-1 switching can unlock pickup combinations, for when you need that mule to kick your solo through the band Into the audience. This classy feature gives you the use of all three pickups at once, all just by pressing down on your volume knob. A benefit you won’t find on a ‘Standard Strat’. Vintage noiseless pickups put a stop to that unwanted hum or buzz from the amp. This is a godsend for some players..
I feel Fender produces these tiny tweaks over the years on purpose to appeal to players on all levels.

A very, very good guitar considering the price.

Notable Features:

  • Vintage Noiseless Strat pickups
  • Made in Mexico
  • 12″ Fingerboard Radius
  • Push/Push Mini-Switch
  • Two-Point Tremolo Bridge with Vintage-Style Bent Steel Saddles
  • Double cutaway electric guitar
  • Three Vintage Noiseless™ Strat pickups
  • Push/push mini-switch adds bridge pickup in positions four and five
  • Two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with bent steel saddles
  • 12”-radius fingerboard; contoured neck heel; locking tuning machines

4.Classic Series ’60S Stratocaster

Fender Classic Series 60’s Stratocaster (Lake Placid Blue)

The Classic 60s Series oozes class with its unmistakable authentic features and finishes. Every part of this guitar takes the player back to the creative and wild days of this era. Rock music arrived and flourished with the Strat being a huge part of that. The 60s Strat served psychedelic bands, surf, and rock music.

Guitars from the fifties and the sixties attract a massive level of interest from guitar buyers. The Classic 60s strat is a very desirable guitar and has all the hallmarks of that era. Collectors and vintage guitar lovers all should have this axe in their arsenal.

Fender Custom Shop has a number of master builders who put their skills and knowledge towards a selected number of ‘limited’ guitars. They also have a smaller team who continue the production of tribute models and one-offs. The vintage-style 60s strat is one of those.

The Classic 60s Strat has a bright and rather thin tone, matching those of the early 60s. A jangly bluesy rock sound. Straight out of a Tarantino movie is the best way to describe the tone of these beauties. A mix between The Shadows and trend-swamprock country!

Here’s your next guitar if you want to emulate the sounds of the sixties

Notable Features:

  • Vintage-Style Single-Coil Strat Pickups
  • 7.25″ Maple “C” Neck Profile With Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 21 Vintage-Style Frets
  • Aged Control Knobs
  • Vintage-Style Tuning Peg
  • Neck Material: Maple.
  • Neck Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer.
  • Neck Shape: “C” Shape.
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood.
  • Fingerboard Radius: 7.25″ (184.1 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21.
  • Fret Size: Vintage-Style

5.USA Standard Stratocaster

Black 1996 50th Anniversary USA Strat

This is my guitar! Photo by Freddie Bennett

-The USA Standard is the guitar where you start to take things seriously. An American-made Stratocaster is the most iconic of electric guitars. It’s as simple as that.

Fender launched an update in 1987, the ‘standard’. Notably having a flatter fingerboard, a thinner neck profile, and an improved tremolo system. This was tailored around the more modern player. Amazingly, this model has been continuously improved and remained in production until late 2016.

The ‘standard’ can be used by players all the way up and down the skill scale. A superb rich thick tone and at a value that other instruments around the same price cannot compete with. Value for money without a doubt. You’re getting the best of both worlds, quality build, and classic strat tones.

A tough sturdy and warm sound. A vintage tone that the newer version of this guitar just doesn’t seem to have.

Built with unmatched proficiency, backed up with Fender’s tradition of superb innovating instruments.

Fender released this Stratocaster with a 50th Anniversary coin on the back of the headstock. Three Vintage single-coil pickups (Custom Shop Fat 50s). Only 2,500 of these were produced.

The USA Standard is a one-man army. It can put its hand to any style of music, all thanks to its wide variety of classic and modern tones. It’s a beast!

Notable Features:

  • Released 1986/87
  • FretBoard Radius: 9.5.
  • Neck Shape: Slim C.
  • Number of Frets: 22.
  • Body: Alder.
  • Neck: Maple
  • Standard Single-Coil Strat Pickups Custom Shop Fat 50s
  • Modern “C” Neck (Available with Maple or Rosewood Fingerboard)
  • 21 Medium Jumbo Frets

6.American Special Stratocaster

Fender 2014 Stratocaster American Special-Tobacco Sunburst

The American Special is light and looks impeccable in its finish. The body shape is vintage and curvy.

A guitar that fits nicely between the Standard and the Highway One.

The Urethane finish requires a lot less labor than a nitro finish. Less sanding between coats results in the wood being sprayed a lot less, as not to stifle the wood grain. Unlike the thick syrupy type 70s coating polyester. This really is a step up in quality compared to the guitars lower on this list. Making it a more pleasurable experience for the player.

The ‘grease bucket’ tone circuitry gives you the option to roll off those highs without adding extra bass frequency. This is a classy touch. The guitar comes with Texas Special Pickups to give you a hotter SRV tone. You can break up a little earlier than the custom fat 50s.

This is for the guitarist who is looking for that timeless Fender Style and leading-edge features. The American Special delivers a modern tone and performance, bringing the player the full Stratocaster experience.

  • Texas Special Single-Coil Pickups
  • “Greasebucket” Tone Circuit
  • Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
  • Large, ’70s-Style Headstock
  • Jumbo Frets
  • US Made

7.American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster

Fender American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster-Sunburst

The American Vintage ‘65 replicates the tiniest details from Fender’s early history. Using re-tooled hardware you’re guaranteed to get that vintage look and the same feel if you were to buy it in 1965. That’s a pretty special feature by Fender. You can only applaud them for re-creating an already successful vintage range with this old classic.

Super thin Nitro lacquer ensures the body can breathe and age naturally, just like the originals did. If you are looking for the natural road-worn look in time, you’ll definitely get that with the 65.

The tone is meaty and full. I’ve not known a strat with as much depth as the 65 reissue. This is exactly what you get if you listen back to the late 60s Stratocaster-based music. If you’re looking to get close to anything from Hendrix, The Shadows, or Pink Floyd. This is your instrument.

The neck is the thick ‘C’ 60s style. The 65 single-coil pickups are wound exactly like the original spec. Fingerboard edges are rolled beautifully in comparison to the newer square edge style. Even the nut is a proper ‘bone nut’, this all adds up to an outstanding reissue. Fender has gone full whack into authenticating that Vintage 65 Stratocaster. A very desirable guitar if this era of music is your thing.

Notable Features:

  • American Vintage ’65 Gray-Button Single-Coil Pickups
  • 6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • “Mid-’60s C” Neck Profile
  • “Round-Lam” Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 21 Frets
  • Flash-Coat Lacquer Finish
  • 3-Ply Pickguard With Vintage Bevel
  • Bone Nut
  • Aged White Plastic Controls

8. American Professional Stratocaster II

Fender American Professional Stratocaster-Olympic White

The Fender Professional II is for the enthusiast or ‘strat addict’. If you’re looking for a durable guitar to see you through years of live shows and hours on end of home practicing. Then this is your next guitar.

It’s beautiful to look at. It’s evolved from the mark Pro 1.
The fretboard is now slightly rounded and it feels far more broken in (another great feature in my eyes). The neck becomes thinner as you get nearer the nut. The bridge is now constructed from a ‘cold rolled steel’. Fender quotes that this upgrade gives you a beefier tone due to the thicker metal.

I really like the tiny little tweaks Fender make over the years. Always trying to improve, yet keeping the classic shape and feel to the original Fender Strat. They always seem to be changing some aspects, but always to aid us, guitarists.

One very different feature comes in the pickups. The pickup poles are now made from different magnetic alloys. It’s now based on what’s considered to be optimal for each pickup position. This is essential as it gives you a balanced volume when playing the low and high E strings. It now has a more proportional all round tone. Outstanding!

Another impressive small perk fender has improved is the bridge pickup boost. When the furthest tone pot is pushed, it adds some tasty warm bassy tones into your sound.

(Adds neck pickup to positions 1,2 and 3). This is definitely my favorite ‘extra’ you get with the Pro II.

The American Professional II Stratocaster may be one of the most complete evolutions since 1954. It really is an outstanding upgrade and I would highly recommend it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEVgtHauqK0&feature=youtu.be

Notable Features:

  • Body wood: Alder
  • Body finish: Gloss Urethane
  • Neck shape: C
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Neck finish: Satin Urethane
  • Material: Rolled-edge Maple
  • Radius: 9.5″
  • Fret size: Narrow-Tall
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Nut width/material: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm) Bone
  • Configuration: SSS
  • Special electronics: Tone bypass
  • Bridge type: Tremolo/Vibrato
  • Bridge design: 2-point Fulcrum tremolo Individual saddle
  • Tuning machines: Sealed High-ratio
  • Color: Nickel

9. American Elite Stratocater

Fender American Elite Stratocaster (3 Colors Sunburst)

At first glance, you may be thinking ‘yet another strat’. It may look like all the others, but you’d be wrong to think it’s anywhere near the same. Underneath that classic strat-shaped body, you’re given over a dozen new and interesting extras for the modern-day guitarist.

As soon as you plug-in and play, you know you’re playing something special. Exceptional tones and a beautifully built modern strat. It’s kind of a (super) rejuvenated version of the older Strats. Lots of updates. At this point, it’s safe to say the vintage Fender purists fans among us won’t like this. I feel Fender are always trying to improve their range and appeal to everybody. Well done to them.

Ok, the updated perks:

The pickups are the Fourth Generation Noiseless Pickups. These are a fantastic addition.

The volume pot can be pushed in, giving you further tones to play with (S-1 Switch). This fancy inclusion enables the player to achieve more scope and become more dynamic in their playing. The S-1 switch adds subtle colors to your playing. In the bridge pickup positions, the difference in tone is very noticeable. Middle positions are less prominent but darker in tone. The Middle and neck are warm and snappy. The neck pickup is creamy, fat, and bassy. With a quick tap of the volume switch your back to that classic crisp sound.

I can only imagine how suitable the Elite is for the gigging guitarist. The push-button option to cut in and out with lush tones is far quicker and a lot less hassle than using a pedal. I love the S-1 switch!

The Double-Action Truss Rod Adjustment Wheel is now at the bridge end of the neck, rather than behind the nut. It actually makes so much more sense positioned at the bottom of the fretboard. When you’re adjusting the truss rod, you’ll have the guitar in the ‘playing’ position. This feature makes it so much easier, rather than reaching up to the headstock for every small tweak.

If you don’t mind spending top dollar and you want all the new features and trimmings Fender has to offer. The American Elite is for you. The ultimate live guitarist Stratocaster.

 

Notable Features:

  • 4th Generation Noiseless Pickups
  • S-1 Switch — Offers five additional pickup configurations
  • 9.5″-to-14″ Compound-Radius Neck
  • 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo With Pop-In Arm
  • Double-Action Truss Rod Adjustment Wheel
  • Locking Tuning Pegs
  • Soft-Touch Controls

10. Custom Shop Stratocaster

Fender Custom Shop Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Stratocaster 

‘Number One’

The Fender Custom Shop produces special order guitars. Creating a limited edition high-quality guitar. If you love the road-worn relic look, the Custom Shop assembles some real mouth-watering pieces.

In 1987 the Custom Shop was born. The initial master builders were John Page and Michael Stevens. Since then the team has expanded and produced some of the most sought-after guitars ever made. Their passion and first-class approach towards reproducing guitars is unparalleled.

Stevie’s ‘Number One’ Stratocaster was, according to him, ‘his first wife’. Stevie also dated the guitar as a 1959 model, as the pickups had this date on them.

The neck has an Oval C shape 60s profile. A two-piece select alder ’63-style body and hand-wound Custom Shop pickups. Just like the storied original. This guitar bears an American Vintage left-handed synchronized tremolo bridge for Hendrix-style access.

Other features include a 10”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard, 21 #6100 frets, a five-way pickup switch, custom wiring, 3-ply Black pickguard, vintage-style chrome tuning machines, bone nut, and wing string tree.

With Texas Special single-coil pickups, you get scorching tone. Overwound for that unique SRV sound. They offer a dynamic response and a focused mid-range. If you’re looking to get anywhere near that famous SRV tone, go get yourself some gauge 13 strings or some thick galvanized steel! How anyone plays 13s as Stevie did is beyond me!

Ladies and Gentleman, The Holy Grail of guitars.

Here’s the man himself. Just listen to that tone!!!

Notable Features:

  • Select Alder Finish
  • Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Rift Sawn Maple Neck with a Special SRV Oval “C” Shape and 12” (305 mm) Radius
  • Frets: 21, Jumbo Hardware Closet Classic,
  • Gold Bridge 6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
  • Pickups: Custom Shop Hand-Wound Texas SpecialTM Single-Coil Strat® (Bridge, Middle, Neck)
  • Wiring: Vintage Controls Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Middle Pickup)
  • Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Neck Material: Maple Rift Sawn
  • Neck Shape: ’60s “C”
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Fingerboard Radius: 10″ (254 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Fret Size: 6100 Jumbo
  • String Nut: Bone
  • Nut Width: 1.650″ (42 mm)
  • Neck Plate: 4-Bolt
  • Neck Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
  • Fingerboard: AAA Rosewood
  • Position Inlays: Micarta White

Features You Need To Consider Before Buying A Strat:

Fingerboard Radius

  • The Smaller radius fingerboards are more curved. In general, players perceive this better for playing chords.
  • A Larger radius is seen as a better option for playing lead and bending, as the radius is larger.  

Fret Size

  • Deluxe and the American Professional feature narrow tall frets—currently very popular with players
  • Classic Series ’60s Stratocaster and the American Vintage ’65 Stratocaster feature vintage-style frets (smaller and narrower in size compared to Jumbo frets)
  • Standard and Elite models feature medium jumbo frets
  • American Special Strat features jumbo frets

Neck Shape

Most of the guitars covered in this article follow these basic neck shapes. Check Notable Features. 

Bodies

Alder

Alderwood gives the guitar a higher resonance. The upper mid-range pushes through nicely, giving you that extra sustain for attack. Red Alder is used by Fender as it is fast-growing and readily available. Bodies made from Red Alder are constructed from two to four pieces glued together. They feature a tighter more consistent grain than that of ash.

Ash

Ashwood can give you a more rounded and slightly mellower tone. The highs of Ashwood are not too bright in comparison. Ash has a more inconsistent but straight and visible grain that looks great with natural and transparent finishes.

Maple Or Rosewood Fretboard

The Standard Strat, American Professional, and American Elite models are available with maple fingerboards or, for a small additional cost, rosewood.

The Deluxe, Classic Series ’60s and the American Vintage ’65 models are only available with rosewood fingerboards.

The American Special Strat is available with both maple and rosewood for the 2-Color Sunburst model, maple-only for the Olympic White model, and rosewood-only for the Sonic Blue.

Apart from the difference in color between the whole piece of maple makes up the neck as well as the fretboard. Rosewood on the other hand is normally glued to another piece of wood to make up the fretboard.

When it comes to tone, some people claim there is a big difference. Rosewood is known for being more mellower and has a spongier feel to the fingerboard. Whereas a maple neck is harder in tone but feels very smooth under your fingertips. I’ll be honest, I’ve got both two guitars with both types of neck. There isn’t much in it at all. It’s all down to the player. It’s best to try it out for yourself.

25 Legends Who’ve Graced The Stratocaster

  1. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. Nile Rodgers
  3. Hank Marvin
  4. Yngwie Malmsteen
  5. Mark Knopfler
  6. Ronnie Wood
  7. Eddie Van Halen 
  8. Pete Townshend 
  9. Bonnie Raitt
  10. Hank Marvin
  11. Buddy Guy
  12. John Frusciante
  13. Dick Dale
  14. Ry Cooder
  15. Joe Bonamassa 
  16. Kurt Cobain
  17. Robert Cray 
  18. Jeff Beck
  19. Ritchie Blackmore
  20. Eric Clapton
  21. Rory Gallagher
  22. David Gilmour
  23. George Harrison
  24. Buddy Holly

…….Oh, and Jimi Hendrix

Did You Know?

Fender sold more guitars in 2020 than any other year in its history

 

Conclusion

I hoped you’ve liked our review on the evolution of the Stratocaster. It gives you a much better understanding of what to look for when buying the classic guitar.

If you want to see which Strats made the ‘Best Selling Albums of All Time’ click here

 

 

The Fender CD 60SCE Electro/Acoustic Guitar Review

This is our review of the very popular Fender CD 60SCE Electro/Acoustic Guitar.

I’m a guitarist of twenty-five years, I’ve played hundreds of guitars. Good and Bad! I’ve done all the hard work to assist you in finding an excellent guitar to start your journey.

I’m taking an in-depth look at the big seller: The Fender CD 60SCE Acoustic Guitar. An excellent and affordable acoustic made by a huge, trustworthy leader in the industry.   

I’ve taken into consideration the cost and player requirements when starting out. What makes this acoustic guitar so popular? What makes the CD 60SCE better than its competition?

fender-cd-60s

Although you may think Fender is better known for their classic range of electric guitars. The Fender CD 60S series also goes quietly about its business as a huge seller for Fender. The Fender CD60 is basically the same as the CD60SCE, only the SCE can be amplified with a built-in pre-amp. I chose the electric/acoustic over the standard acoustic as it has a built-in tuner, a preamp for the possibility of playing through an amp or P.A. As the difference in price wasn’t a lot I personally felt the CD60SCE was a better all-round guitar with these extra features.

A perfect entry guitar for those wanting to learn quickly, plus with a price tag that’s affordable. 

The CD 60 Acoustic series gives you, the player, a comfortable route forward into learning without the hassle of cheap and nasty alternatives. 

The lightweight dreadnought style sits comfortably in your lap. The ‘Vintage Style Frets’ is great for a beginner, as they’re wide and spacious. With a soft touch mahogany fretboard, this really does give the player a strong element of comfort. 

No other manufacturer can compete with the build quality and spec at this price. In fact, you would end up paying a lot more for a guitar made as well as the Fender CD 60S series. It’s also an electro-acoustic which is another huge bonus at this price.

There is a reason why this series of acoustic guitar is so popular. 

First Impressions: The Action 

When I got to play a CD 60SCE, my initial feeling was: the action has been set up properly to play!

The action is the distance between the fretboard and the string, which determines how easy or difficult it is to put pressure on the strings and make a sound. 

Although my comments may sound ridiculous at first, not all guitars come ready to play. In fact, hardly any suit me at all. 

Some guitars take a lot of tweaking and tightening up in various places in order for you to start playing. Even a visit to the local guitar tech for set up is in order. Not so The Fender CD 60SCE. It comes ready to strum. I was quietly surprised by this. Well done Fender!

At this point, it’s fair to say The Action is a very, very important factor.

The Feel

It’s irrelevant if you’ve just paid $3500 for a lovely new acoustic. If it’s not been set up properly, you won’t be able to play it. If the setup doesn’t suit your playing style or finger strength, then you’ll be trying twice as hard to make a guitar sound like you want it to.   

My first thoughts were: It was soft on the fingertips, the ‘C’ shape neck and low action make it comfortable, and built with ease of use in mind. 

Now, comfort is a major factor you should take into consideration. If you’re just starting out, the last thing you need is a guitar that’s hard to play as the set up is a mess. 

If the action is too high, your fingers and wrist will take a lot of punishment pressing down harder than if the guitar was set up properly. In the early stages of learning, you require your instrument to be ready every time you pick it up.

Build

Some lower-end acoustics around this price doesn’t always give you the build quality, like a Fender. Hence why they’re probably the most famous guitar manufacturer in history. 

As the build specifications are taken from the real Fender classic acoustics, you’re getting the professionalism and workmanship of the more expensive Fender models. 

In my opinion, my first thought was that I really liked the setup and all-round comfort value of the CD 60SCE. 

Our Top Tip: Get yourself a decent set of strings when you purchase your new guitar. Here’s an ideal set we’ve found work for us:

Tone

As the CD60SE is a dreadnought style acoustic, it gives you a nice midrange scoop. This is why this particular model is very popular with vocalists. The vocals also sit in the midrange. 

The fat, bold low end is ideal for powerful bar chords and riffs. It’s not overpowering and ‘boomy’ like its cousin the Jumbo style acoustic. When using a pick you can really get some snappy clarity. 

Dreadnoughts are generally quite a big boxy shape, which, in my opinion, is more comfortable than a jumbo or baritone acoustic. They give the player a larger resonant sound, compared to a classical or parlor guitar. A superb choice if you love strumming big open chords. 

The large dreadnought shape sits back into your body giving you somewhere to lean whilst playing. After all, comfort is key when playing any instrument. 

Value For Money?

There is no acoustic guitar that compares within this price range, and the amount of quality on show. Although I wouldn’t be expecting a top of the range beautiful, crisp sounding acoustic to record an album with or perform at your local football stadium. You’re simply guaranteed a well made excellent guitar to begin your musical journey with.  

The Fender CD60SCE is a perfect entry guitar or a great option for an experienced player with a lower budget. 

The CD60SCE comes in a plain Natural color and black (also full mahogany but costs a lot more). Nothing strikingly beautiful here but still good enough to show off in front of your friends and family. 

The Dreadnought is also the most versatile of shapes when it comes to the different styles of playing. It suits the flatpicker, strummer, chord master or the lead guitarist. It’s the all-round workhorse. 

Our Top Tip: If you are considering this guitar for a child, we have a very helpful article to assist you in purchasing the correct size guitar for your child. There’s more to it than you may think. 

Check out our guide here: https://authorityguitar.com/best-kids-guitar-find-the-right-guitar/

Complete Build Specifications

Fender CD-60SCE

Body

Top Material:Spruce Wood
Body:Spruce, Mahogany
Body Finish:Gloss
Back & Sides:Mahogany Wood
Shape:Dreadnought
Body Binding Multiple:(Laminate)
BracingQuartersawn Scalloped “X”

Neck

Neck:Mahogany
Fretboard:Mahogany
Fretboard Edges:Easy to Play ‘Fender’ Rolled Fret Edges
Fingerboard Radius:12 Inches (305mm)
Fingerboard Material:Walnut
Scale Length:25.3 Inches (643mm)
Strings:6
Neck Finish:Gloss Urethane
Nut Width:1.69 Inches (43mm)
Nut Material:Plastic
Number Of Frets:20

Hardware and Electronics

Bridge:Walnut
Bridge Pins:White with Black Dot
Hardware Finish:Chrome
Tuning Machines:Chrome Die-Cast
Pickguard:1 Ply Black
Special Electronics:Fishman® CD Preamp

Anatomy Of An Acoustic Guitar

Note: This Guitar is not the Fender CD-60S

Alternatives

If you’re looking for an acoustic with similar attributes to the Fender CD-60 series of acoustics, we have reviewed some for you. Take a look:

Ibanez AW54 Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic/Electric Guitar – Open Pore Natural

Ibanez produces good acoustics. They’ve been at it a very long time too.

Nowadays they are one of the leaders in the market for entry-level guitars. They have a huge range of electric and acoustic. 

The AW54 Dreadnought is beautiful and will fulfill your needs if you steer away from the Fender option. 

Washburn Harvest Series Acoustic Guitar, Matte Cherry Burst

Once again, Washburn makes some pretty tasty guitars, especially higher up the budget scale. 

Some guitar techs swear by Washburn as they’re built very very well. Definitely value for money here. You won’t be disappointed.

Great sounding and sturdy acoustics. 

If you have a little more budget to play with, we strongly recommend:

Takamine GF30CE-BSB FXC Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Sunburst

Takamine guitars are both beautiful to look at and rich in sound. If you can stretch your budget to the GF30CE, they are an instrument that can take you from beginner to a serious guitarist.

They have the power and elegance to perform live but you are paying a bit more for that privilege. 

I had a Takamine for 11 years, a real reliable guitar brand.