The Top 5 Acoustic Guitars For Blues Reviewed
Music is nothing without the right instruments, and that’s especially true for the blues.
To make a gorgeous soulful melody you need a capable acoustic guitar that can carry a melody well. The problem is, with so many acoustic guitars on the market now, how can you tell what’s good and what isn’t?
Thankfully, we’re here to help you to find the perfect acoustic guitar, and we’ve also written a handy buyer’s guide to help you to make that all important decision.
Stay tuned for our top pick…
Best Acoustic Guitars For Blues
If you want something that relatively light, you won’t get much better than this.
The Blueridge BR-40T comes in at only 3lbs, which makes it a dream to play. It has a fantastic sound which is aided by a lush solid mahogany frame.
Any blues song you play or write will sound like heaven on earth with this guitar.
The Blueridge comes with a relatively slim neck and a fingerboard constructed of East Indian Rosewood. This makes it easy to play, and it offers a lot of precision in the played notes too.
It has spacious frets that are ideal for even the largest of fingers, and it’s very comfortable to hold. It has a wonderful tone and even has a lot of clarity on both the high and low notes, providing a huge boom in sound for the bass end of the range.
The guitar comes at a very affordable price with a great premium level sound, and a crack resistant laminate wood coating.
You can rely on this guitar to be a companion for many years whether on the road or at home.
- Mahogany construction on top that adds to durability
- Easy to carry and lightweight
- Easy to play
- Narrow neck can be a bit of an issue for some players
- Solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped braces gives you clean articulation and a crisp tone
- Mahogany back and sides for a robust sound and resonance
- Slim mahogany neck offers fast, easy action and inherently long-lasting stability
- Choice Santos rosewood fingerboard ensures silky smooth playability
- Every Contemporary Series Tenor/Baby guitar now comes with a sturdy, padded Blueridge Logo ProTour BV-1102 Tenor Guitar Gig Bag
Creating some of the best and most well known guitars on the market, Cordoba presents their C9 edition of their acoustic nylon stringed guitar.
This guitar is made entirely of solid wood which creates a wonderful sound. It comes with a 2-way truss rod that will help you adjust the guitar easily.
The guitar has a very thin neck and a rosewood fingerboard. Both of these aspects help the user easily reach all the strings, which can be a bit of a challenge when you have smaller hands!
It has lots of room in the soundboard, providing a welcomed loud sound that’s ideal for performing in large rooms or areas. The guitar also comes with a poly foam carry case that will help to keep the guitar safe, and a 3 year warranty for peace of mind.
The guitar can really achieve a lot for any blues guitarist and it has a beautiful traditional sound that will make your music sound great.
- Lovely traditional sound
- Polyfoam case
- Fairly affordable considering the features that come with it
- To be honest, there aren’t really any downsides to this guitar
- Offers a new spin on a Cordoba classic, the original C9
- Crafted with solid Canadian cedar top and solid mahogany back and sides
- Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl "Esteso" Rosette
- The main standout feature is the guitar`s steel-string style neck
- Includes Cordoba polyfoam case
If you’re looking for a good guitar on a budget, the Ibanez AW540PN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar is your go-to!
This guitar is a fantastic choice for people that just want to start out playing guitar, but don’t have the money to spend on a super expensive model. It comes finished in mahogany which gives the feel of a premium product.
The guitar provides a lovely warm tone and a lot of projection. It comes with an x bracing which adds to the warm sound achieved. In addition, the dreadnought shape helps you to achieve a lot of volume, which is especially beneficial for playing in large rooms.
The guitar has a traditional look, and will be a great choice no matter where you are in your journey as a guitarist. If you’re looking to play delta blues, this guitar is also especially helpful.
- Comfortable to play
- Warm sound
- Can become untuned fairly quickly
- Dreadnought body
- Solid mahogany top
- Mahogany back & sides
- Mahogany neck
- Rosewood bridge and fretboard
The Taylor GS mini is perfect for beginners who just want a comfortable guitar to help them learn easily.
It’s a small guitar, as the word ‘mini’ may suggest, and it has a wonderful bright sound and a lot of clarity in the whole range of the guitar’s notes.
The guitar is very comfortable to play for people of all ages, and it’s enhanced by the NT neck which helps to make it even more playable.
While being quite expensive can be an issue, it’s worth it for a good guitar with a great dynamic range, a beautiful sound and a fun playing experience that should last you years.
The guitar is easy enough to play, with an accurate tuning machine for convenience. It’s also a good option if you’re travelling a lot and want to take your guitar with you wherever you go.
- Provides a good sound quality
- Long lasting tuning
- Easy to carry
- It may be considered a little too expensive for a beginners guitar
- "Body Body type: Taylor Grand Symphony Mini Cutaway: No Top wood: Solid Mahogany Back & sides: Layered Sapele Bracing pattern: GS Mini With Relief Rout Body finish: Matte 2.0 Orientation: Right-handed Neck Neck shape: Taylor GS Mini Profile Nut width: 1-11/16"" (42.8mm) Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony Neck wood: Sapele Scale length: 23-1/2"" Number of frets: 20 Neck finish: Matte 2.0 Electronics"
- "There's something undeniably inviting about the Taylor GS Mini's scaled-down size, yet a single strum reveals the impressive voice of a full-size guitar
- That mix of portability and musicality has proven to be a winning combination that fits into so many scenarios in life, from the couch to the campfire to the concert hall
- It's not too big, it's not too precious, and it's not too expensive
- That broad-based accessibility has given it a resounding universal appeal, not to mention a built-in fun factor
This all-mahogany acoustic guitar is a fabulous choice to play the blues.
The guitar is ideal for players that are of a slightly smaller stature. As far as aesthetics are concerned, it also looks great thanks to its beautiful East Indian rosewood fretboard.
You can feel confident using this with the guitar’s consistent tone, and the sheer amount of vibrancy and clarity that it provides.
It’s a fairly small guitar too, so for a sound of this level it’s pretty impressive. There’s also a lot of dynamic range, with some good sounding bass notes as well. It doesn’t come with any on-board preamps though.
The guitar is easy to carry around in a portable hard case. It’s also relatively cheap as far as the Martin 15m range is concerned. It’s definitely worth a try for those guitarists who really want to buff up their bluesy sounds.
- Consistent tone
- Looks sleek and modern
- Sounds good in both tenor and bass ranges
- No preamps included
- The body size is 000-14 FretTop is solid genuine mahogany rosette.
The Best Acoustic Guitars for Blues: A Buyer’s Guide
Blues should be felt in the soul, as it’s a genre built upon the hardships of life. For that reason, it’s imperative to find a guitar that will give you the right sweet melancholic sound you’re looking for.
But what are the fundamental elements of Blues music, and how can you choose the right Blues acoustic based on that information?
Just like there’s not just one shade of blue in the color spectrum, there’s also not just one style of Blues music. Knowing what kind of style of Blues you want to play is important to know what guitar you should buy. Here are a few of them:
The Traditional Country Blues
This style revolves around the country life and the experience of living in the American South. More often than not the songs in this style tend to be about African American struggles, often during railroad work.
This style is much more up-tempo, with a lot of jazz parts added in. Usually this style is played with the addition of a full band and a saxophone.
The Chicago blues became popular during the ‘40s and ‘50s era, and they’re usually accompanied with brass instruments or a full blow horn.
This type of blues music is designed to relax and calm the listener.
West Coast Blues
Designed by Texas musicians, the West Coast Style is characterised by a heavy swing beat.
This is influenced a lot by slide music. It’s most well known by the song Memphis Blues by WC Handy.
St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues are made up of piano blues, ragtime and jump blues.
How can you tell the difference between a blues guitar and an ordinary acoustic guitar?
Usually, there are a couple of things that distinguish a blues guitar from an ordinary acoustic. Firstly they usually have a much warmer and brighter tone.
They are usually concert shaped, or some will have a more cutaway profile. They also tend to have slimmer necks, and will have a very small string gauge of 0.042 or lower.
Using these guidelines, you should be able to find a good guitar that will help with making Blues music.
Considerations when Selecting a Blues Guitar
There are a whole range of Blues guitars, and so the prices can massively vary. Ultimately you need to decide on the kind of features that are important to you and the amount that you’re willing to spend.
Do you want a high-end brand name attached to your guitar? If so, it will likely cost more.
If you haven’t played guitar much before and you’re just starting out, then you can easily get a beginner’s acoustic guitar for less than $500.
If you want something more mid-level, they can be up to $1,500, whereas high end models tend to be $2,000 and up.
Weight and Size
As with any other instrument, acoustic guitars can come in a range of shapes and sizes. What size your guitar is will determine how easy it is to play, as it’s important to be able to hold it comfortably, and it will also influence the kind of sound you’ll get out of the guitar.
As a rule, bigger guitars tend to have more natural amplification so this is ideal for playing in larger rooms and in front of big crowds. With that being said, you should consider a slightly smaller sized guitar if you will be moving it around a lot.
You should also consider the weight of the instrument. This is even more prominent if you have a smaller frame.
For example, don’t go and give a child a massive adult sized guitar because they simply will not be able to play it. If you have a bigger body, then go ahead and get a larger instrument. Sounds simple, but consider what will feel and look best for you.
Style of the Body
There are a few different body styles to consider when trying to buy an acoustic guitar.
Grand Concert and Concert
These types of acoustic guitars are usually best for people that have smaller bodies and smaller hands. They’re more comfortable for these kinds of people, and they tend to have a brighter sound. The mid-range is especially good on these guitars. Usually, the grand concert guitar tends to be larger.
Auditorium and Grand Auditorium
These types of guitars are usually known for their large amounts of volume. They tend to have a smaller waist which can make them more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
Dreadnoughts usually have big soundboards. Their necks usually consist of 14 frets and they have square bouts.
If you want loud, you’ve got it with a jumbo. These guitars have oodles of projection for those large concert halls.
Travel and Mini-Acoustics
If you have children, these are the best kinds of guitars for them. These are also a good choice if you’re moving around a lot as they’re fairly portable. They maintain a good sound quality while still being compact enough to carry around with you.
This is one of the biggest factors that influences how the guitar will sound. The top will determine how much the sound amplifies, and the main component of this is the type of wood that gets used. Usually, they’re made of laminate or wood.
Usually ones with more wood tend to vibrate more which creates a more full sound at a good volume. It’s usually a bit more expensive than laminate, so laminate tends to be better for those just starting out.
Most Blues guitars tend to be made using mahogany on the majority of the guitar. It’s usually got a snappy quality and it has a much darker sound, so it’s ideal for really enhancing the mid-range tones.
Shape of the Neck
Most Blues acoustic guitars tend to have a V-shaped neck or a C-shaped neck. C-shaped necks tend to be the most common of the two, and they’re usually better for those with smaller hands. You usually see V shaped necks on more vintage guitars. This is better if you like to have your thumb right on the edge of the fretboard.
The piece of wood that goes along the neck is a fretboard, whereas frets are the metal pieces dotted across the fretboard.
For the most part, most acoustic blues guitars tend to have 12 frets. On occasion, you will find some that come with 14 frets total.
Usually the 12 fret guitars tend to be a little better suited to smaller people, and they usually tend to have a bridge that is a little lower down. This gives the guitar a rich sound with lots of warmth to it.
If you want a brighter sound, you’re better off going for a 14 fret guitar, and they’re also easier to access for the higher frets. They are slightly bigger, however.
Your main choice for strings comes down to either nylon or steel strings. What strings you opt for will come down to personal preference. You’ll need to consider what kind of sound you want to achieve. Usually you’ll get a much more calm tone that sounds soft with nylon strings, and this works better for playing more classical types of music.
Steel strings tend to create a much louder sound with a deep sound. Usually for this reason steel strings tend to be better suited to playing Blues music.
Do you want your guitar to come with additional features and accessories? Usually, you may expect to find just a case, and some come with a humidifier.
Some guitars can come with things like stands, or a polishing strap for example. You will need to buy some accessories yourself anyway but these are some nice additions, you just need to consider whether it’s important enough for you.
A warranty should always be included with your guitar in the event that it breaks. Always check what your warranty covers so you’ll be protected if something happens to the guitar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Would it be better to choose an acoustic or electric guitar to play blues?
Either! Thankfully both an acoustic and electric guitar can provide a fantastic blues sound. The main difference between the two is that it’s possible to amplify one and not the other.
It can be easier to learn to play guitar on an acoustic usually, so if you’re a beginner it’s worth opting for an acoustic to help you properly develop as a guitarist. Electric guitars on the other hand require being plugged into a socket, and it can seem a little complicated initially to set up. You can get the best of both worlds in an acoustic electric. It’s all down to personal preference.
To get started playing blues on an acoustic guitar, watch this video: