Best Blues Guitar – Buying Guide & Reviews

If you’re reading this I’ll assume you love blues music and are looking for the best blues guitar. Fortunately for you, you’ve stumbled upon one of the most comprehensive guides to buying a blues guitar on the internet. In this article we cover the key things you’ll want to look out for when buying a blues guitar, and we look at both acoustic and electric guitars.

acoustic and electric guitars for blues

If you’re in a rush, here’s the products we review further down the page. If you’re new to all this, I advise you read the whole article as you’ll get a really good grounding on the subject.

Best Acoustic Guitars for Blues

PREVIEW PRODUCT FEATURES

Fender CP-60S Right Handed Acoustic Guitar - Parlor Body - Natural

Fender CP-60S Parlor Acoustic Guitar
  • Mahogany neck and body
  • X bracing
  • Solid spruce top
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Gretsch G9511 Style 1 Single-0 Parlor - Appalachia Cloudburst

Gretsch G9511 Single-0 Parlor
  • X bracing
  • Solid Sikta spruce top
  • 12 fret neck
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Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar, Natural

Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar
  • Laminated mahogany back, top and sides
  • 12 fret neck
  • Aluminium resonator
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Eastman E20 Parlor Traditional Flattop Acoustic Guitar

Eastman E20 Parlor
  • Hand-carved X bracing
  • Solid Adirondack spruce top
  • Solid Rosewood back and sides
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Martin 000-15M - Natural

Martin 000-15M
  • 14 fret neck
  • X bracing
  • Solid mahogany
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Taylor 522e 12-Fret Grand Concert

Taylor 522e Grand Concert
  • 12 fret neck
  • Solid mahogany top, back and sides
  • Pickup and preamp
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Best Electric Guitars for Blues

PREVIEW PRODUCT FEATURES

Fender Vintage Modified Telecaster Electric Guitar Custom - 3-Color Sunburst - Maple Fingerboard

Fender Vintage Modified Telecaster
  • C-shaped neck
  • Volume and tone controls
  • Single coil and humbucker pickups
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Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO
  • Mahogany neck and body
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Volume and tone controls
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Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO Electric Guitar Cherry

Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO
  • Maple body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Humbuckers
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Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst

Fender American Special Stratocaster
  • Tremolo
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 5-way toggle
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Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Hollow Body Guitar with Bigsby - Orange

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Hollow Body
  • Tremolo
  • Humbuckers
  • Rosewood Fretboard
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Ok, here’s what we cover in this article. We start with a brief look at where it all started, then look at the features you commonly find with acoustic blues guitars. From there we looking at considerations when buying one of these and finally we review our favourite blues guitars.

The Blues Guitar – How it All Began

It’s good to look back at what the original blues players used to help inform you when buying a new blues guitar. First, let’s remind ourselves how good ‘real’ blues sounds. Here’s Son House’s Death Letter Blues:

Blues music originated in the Deep South of the United States as early as the 1870s. Plantation workers, brought over from Africa as part of the slave trade to work in dreadful conditions, has suffered a profound cultural dislocation. Blues music came to express those struggles.

Purveyors of the style such as Charlie Patton, Willie Brown and Son House combined skilled rhythmic playing with techniques such as slapping the guitar’s body and playing it in unconventional positions. Some of the earlier blues played guitars by manufacturers Stella, Gibson (their ‘Kalamazoo’ line of acoustic guitars were popular, as were their L series) and of course Martin guitars.

Buying an Acoustic Blues Guitar – Key Considerations

There are some things to consider before you buy an acoustic blues guitar.

Which Type of Blues Guitar?

Traditional blues guitars have much smaller bodies than your standard acoustic guitars. Smaller bodies produce less sustain than larger bodies, giving you a down-to-earth, clean sound. They also bring out high end frequencies, producing piercing notes which can cut through and make you feel. The smallest bodied guitars are called ‘parlor’ guitars, whilst the next size up is a ‘Size 0 concert’ guitar. Both of these sizes are well suited to acoustic blues music.

Another type of acoustic blues guitar is the Resonator guitar. These use metal cones to amplify their sound and are often favoured by bottleneck/slide players due to their high action and distinctive tone. They are often played in ‘lap steel style’, where the guitarist lies the guitar across their lap before using the slide. However, they can also be held conventionally.

Ladder or X Bracing

Ladder bracing is when the wood that supports the guitar’s top is arranged inside the body like a ladder. This way of bracing the top leads to a spacious, airy top-support, which results in a higher, top-end tone. It’s a cheaper way of bracing the guitar than the now-common X bracing, and was how 1920s and 1930s Gibson guitars managed to produce low-end products which could compete with cheaper brands (who were also using ladder bracing). If you’re looking for an authentic 1920s/1930s blues sound, finding a guitar with ladder bracing is key to achieving that.

X bracing is more commonly seen today, on flat top guitars and other acoustics. Like ladder bracing, its name is descriptive. The wood to support the guitar’s top is arranged like an X shape, which enables a tighter, more focused mid-range sound. These guitars also give out a louder sound than those which use ladder bracing. It has become the norm for us to consider this volume to be the natural volume of an acoustic guitar, although the impact of the bracing on this amplification is often overlooked.

Mahogany Tonewood

Guitars used for playing the blues often have a mahogany back. They also frequently have mahogany sides and a mahogany top. Mahogany is a high-quality wood which is favoured for its punchy qualities and delivers a dark sound. It brings out mid-range tones, giving your guitar sound more clarity, and it tends to get better as it matures with age.

12-14 Frets

These guitars often just have 12 frets before the neck reaches the body. 12 fret guitars can suit people with a smaller frame as there’s less far to reach when playing in open positions. These guitars also have lower bridges than usual, which enables them to sound full and warm. It was mainly 12 fret guitars which were used in early blues music, so those seeking to recreate that sound will be best opting for one of these. 14 fret guitars offer a brighter sound, with a greater emphasis on high frequencies. They also have the obvious benefit of easier access to higher frets, which is a must for players who might want to slide from fret 12 to 14. These guitars are often preferred by larger players, or those who just love the brightness that they offer.

If you want something that’s a bit more versatile, to play blues and beyond on, you might be best opting for a ‘normal’ guitar (e.g. a sturdy dreadnought which is made of mahogany and has a wide neck).

Slotted Headstock

Traditionally, acoustic blues guitars also have a slotted headstock like the ones you typically see on classical guitars.
They’re called ‘slotted’ headstocks because the strings go through bars which are slotted into the headstock. Some people believe that this produces a crisper tone than a solid headstock, however, this tonal difference is debatable, and many people choose slotted over solid for aesthetics alone. Solid headstocks can be sturdier, and many people actually prefer the way they look over slotted ones.

Nut Size

Guitars’ nut size varies from 43mm to 51mm. Acoustic blues guitars usually have a nut width of 44-47mm, with 47mm being especially suited to raw blues playing. This wider neck gives you easy access to each string and lends itself to fingerstyle playing as well as techniques like hybrid picking or ‘chicken pickin’’.

Will You be Playing Live?

Some acoustic blues guitars also include a pickup, making them electro-acoustic. If you’re planning on playing in front of an audience, this can be a really handy feature to have already fitted. Without one, you will be required to either stand still and close to a mic, or to fit a pickup after buying the guitar. If you’re planning on playing live, you might also require strap buttons. Although these guitars are very small and lightweight, the support of a strap can be very useful, so it’s worth checking whether or not they’re included.

Another thing to look out for if you’re planning on taking your guitar out to gigs is whether or not it comes with a gig bag or hard case. These can be expensive to buy separately, so it’s worth making the most of a bundle offer.

C or V Shaped Neck?

Acoustic blues guitars usually come with either a C shaped neck or a V shaped neck. C shaped necks are most common, and have a comfortable ‘C’ shaped design which is shallow and easy to get small hands around. Some players prefer V shaped necks, and these are more in keeping with vintage guitars. These can come as soft Vs which are rounded or hard Vs which are pointy. The pointy ones suit players who like to have their thumb over the edge of the fretboard, to play D/F# chords and other thumb-demanding shapes.

Laminate or Solid Top?

Something else to consider before you get excited by the fact that a guitar is mahogany is whether or not the top is solid or laminate.

Laminate mahogany can still offer a good quality sound, but it’s less pure as it combines other materials with mahogany to create the same amount of material by using less wood. It’s commonly found on cheaper guitars and offers a sound that’s inferior to solid tops. If a guitar has a solid mahogany or sikta top, it is of higher quality, is better crafted and will have a superior tone.

Buying an Electric Blues Guitar – Key Considerations

There are also certain considerations you’ll need to make before you shop for an electric blues guitar.

Electric guitars have been used in blues music since the 1940s. Muddy Waters bought his first electric in 1944 and quickly hit the clubs, asking for an amp everywhere he went with his band.

“Can’t nobody hear you with an acoustic,” he used to say, as he electrified Chicago.

In the 50s, solid bodied electric guitars were introduced. These offered amplification without the feedback problems of hollow bodied electrics. 1952, blues player Les Paul produced the first solid body guitar by Gibson. These solid body guitars were quickly embraced by players including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Keith Richards, and they’re what most people think of when you mention electric guitar today.

What sound are you going for?

Due to their different shapes, pickups and designs, one electric guitar can sound very different from another.

Stratocasters

Stratocasters offer the most versatility in sound. They are usually fitted with three single coil pickups, though they sometimes have a humbucker pickup.

Having three pickups gives you excellent tonal flexibility, meaning you don’t need to switch guitars to achieve to entirely contrasting sounds.

They’ve been popular amongst guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour, due to their versatility, playability and durability.

As the neck is bolted to the body, these things can take a whack or ten, unlike the similarly popular Les Pauls.

Les Pauls

Les Pauls offer more sustain than Stratocasters, due to their set necks. This means that the neck is set into the body, rather than bolted on, enabling increased vibrations which last for longer after a string is struck. (It also means that the neck is more likely to snap if you drop the guitar.)

They also usually use humbucker pickups, encouraging this warm, chunky tone even further and have a smoothness which is well suited to modern blues and heavier playing.

They’ve been favoured by guitarists including Slash, Jimmy Page and Peter Green.

Telecasters

Telecasters offer a harsher, often ‘jangly’ tone, that cuts through a bit more than a strat can, and sounds very different to a warm Les Paul.

These guitars are usually fitted with single coil pickups, though they sometimes have a humbucker to reduce feedback or to offer extra tonal options.

They don’t sustain particularly well – making them suited to authentic blues playing – and like the Strats then can take a bit of a bashing, thanks to their bolt on necks.

They’ve been used by Jeff Beck, Syd Barrett and Mike Campbell to achieve striking sounds.

Gretsch and other Hollow Bodied Guitars

Hollow bodied guitars such as Gretsch’s are often a choice for blues guitarists.

These instruments are more often associated with rockabilly or jazz styles, but their lack of sustain and boomy low end can be perfectly well suited to the blues.

They are great for clean, acoustic tones and will suit those who don’t want their electric sound to be distorted at all.

Brian Jones, Neil Young and George Harrison have all been seen with a hollow bodied guitar in their hands.

How Versatile do you Need the Sound to be?

If you need versatility of tone, to play in multiple styles as well as classic blues, it’s best to go for a guitar that has 2-3 pickups and 3-4 control knobs.

Some guitars have four knobs: two tone and two volume, making them exceptionally flexible even if they only have two pickups.

Strats have three pickups, and often a five-way toggle, giving you extensive tonal options.

Do You Need a Tremolo?

Will you be wanting to wiggle your notes after playing them, giving you an extra element of expression and having fun in the process? Perhaps you’d rather not complicate playing the guitar?

If you think that you’ll use a tremolo, a stratocaster or a hollow bodied guitar like a Gretsch might be most suited to you.

Les Pauls and Telecasters rarely have tremolos.

Will You be Playing Slide?

Most guitars are suited to slide, but you might need to adjust your technique, action and/or slide material before you play on different guitars.

Many popular slide players – such as Bonnie Raitt, Lowell George and Ry Cooder have used a stratocaster for slide guitar, so if you’re looking to sound like any of those players then it could be the way to go.

Before you use a slide on a guitar, make sure the action is high enough so that you’re not hitting the actual frets.

What About Looks?

When it comes down to it, blues sounds great on most guitars. If you’re really not sure whether you want it to sound warm or bright, there’s nothing wrong with choosing which guitar you’ll use to play the blues based on looks.

Do you want something small and petite? A Les Paul might be right for you. Have a larger frame, and want something bigger? Hollow bodied guitars tend to be significantly more chunky.

Perhaps you love the classic looks of a Stratocaster, or can’t resist the Telecaster’s quirkiness.

Go for what feels right for you, and enjoy!

Product Round-up & Mini Reviews

So, now you know what to look out for in acoustic blues guitars, let’s have a look at some of the best ones currently on the market.

To make it easier for you, we’ve split this into budget, mid-priced and high-end guitars.

Best Acoustic Guitars for Blues

Fender CP-60S Parlor Acoustic Guitar

Fender CP-60S Right Handed Acoustic Guitar - Parlor Body - Natural

The Fender CP-60S Parlor is a parlor-sized guitar with a 14-fret neck (before it reaches the body). It is made of mahogany, making it true to the original blues guitars and meaning that it sounds rich and smooth with well-balanced tones.

It has a rosewood fingerboard with rolled edges, and a new ‘easy to play’ neck shape. There are also strap-buttons, which make the guitar easy to handle whilst on stage or multitasking.

It has a solid spruce top, which makes the notes ring brightly and is especially suited to fingerpicking or flatpicking. There is also X bracing, which helps the small guitar to release significant volume and gives it a focused, mid-range tone.

The headstock is solid, with the Fender logo on it and it adds to the sturdy quality of the instrument.

It will be suited to those who want a high-quality instrument that is true to original blues guitars in terms of looks and tone but also includes more modern design features.

It will be less suited for people looking to play slide guitar, or for those who prefer the aesthetic of a slotted headstock.

PROS

  • The neck and body are all mahogany, which is in keeping with original blues guitars and enables a rich, smooth sound.
  • X bracing boosts the dreadnought’s natural resonance, making a powerful guitar for both rhythm and lead playing.
  • Solid spruce top enhances the resonance even further.

CONS

  • Solid headstock isn’t true to some original blues guitars.
  • There are no built-in electronics.
  • 14 frets before the body rather than 12.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Gretsch G9511 Single-0 Parlor

Gretsch G9511 Style 1 Single-0 Parlor - Appalachia Cloudburst

The Gretsch G9511 is a 12-fret guitar which has laminated mahogany backs and sides with a solid sikta spruce top.

The sound is rich and resonant, with a surprising amount of volume owing to its X bracing. The low bridge also gives it a fullness which is silky as well as clean.

There are open back tuners which give the guitar a more vintage appearance, and there’s a larger lower bout than upper bout like the L series Gibsons.

The fingerboard is Rosewood, guaranteeing a smooth playing experience and adding to the silkiness of the tone, and it has a slim, C shaped neck which makes it easy to handle and comfortable to play.

There are no strap-buttons, which some players might miss but the guitar is so light that you don’t really need them.

It will be suited to players who like the richness of a 12-fret guitar and have a smaller frame.

It might suit larger players less, and it’s not the most appropriate guitar for slide/bottleneck style playing.

PROS

  • X bracing boosts the mid tones and makes this instrument sound both full and pristine.
  • Solid Sikta spruce top and laminated mahogany backs and sides deliver an excellent resonance.
  • 12 fret neck enables a warmer, more rich sound.

CONS

  • Laminated back and sides.
  • No strap buttons.
  • No built-in electronics.

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Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar

Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar, Natural

The Gretsch G9200 is a resonator guitar which also has two f holes.

Its body, back, top and sides are all made of laminated mahogany, giving it a tone that’s consistently rich and reliable.

The neck shape is a soft V, making it seem extra old-school, and it has a long body design which is in keeping with 1930s resonator guitars.

The resonator cones are made of pure aluminium, giving them an impressive volume and quality and making this an excellent choice for players wishing to play slide guitar.

There are no strap buttons, but it’s unlikely that you’d need them if you’re playing with the guitar across your lap. The headstock is also solid, with ‘GRETSCH’ written in huge letters to proudly exhibit that you’re playing an instrument of quality.

Whilst it’s perfect for slide guitarists, the G9200 will be less suited to guitarists who are looking for an instrument to play fingerstyle acoustic blues on.

PROS

  • Laminated mahogany back, top and sides give the guitar a rich resonance.
  • 12 fret neck enables a warm, rich sound.
  • Aluminium resonator cone delivers an impressive volume and exceptional quality of tone.

CONS

  • No strap buttons.
  • Not as versatile as some other blues guitars.
  • No internal electronics.

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Eastman E20 Parlor

Eastman E20 Parlor Traditional Flattop Acoustic Guitar

The Eastman E20 Parlor has solid rosewood back and sides, giving it a warm, smooth and high-quality sound. There is also hand-carved X bracing, which gives it an organic richness and encourages precision of tone.

There are 12 frets before the neck reaches the body, so it’s true to original blues guitars and comfortable to hold. There’s also a c-shaped neck.

There’s a solid Adirondack spruce top which makes this guitar really sing and the fingerboard, bridge and bridge pins are all ebony.

This guitar also has a slotted headstock, so it really looks true to those vintage blues guitars.
It comes with your choice of LR Baggs, SL or Element electronics, so you can plug this guitar in on stage and it’s well suited to the professional musician who wants to do just that.

It will be less suited to those on a budget or to musicians looking for something more suited to slide guitar.

PROS

  • Solid Adirondack spruce top offers a superior resonance and fine craftmanship.
  • Hand-carved X bracing is well-built and produces a sound that’s precise yet rich.
  • Solid rosewood back and sides gives it a warm, smooth sound.
  • 12 fret neck and slotted headstock make it true to original blues guitars.

CONS

  • No strap buttons.
  • Very expensive

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Martin 000-15M

Martin 000-15M - Natural

The Martin 000-15M is made entirely of solid mahogany giving it consistency with its rich, warm tone.

There’s a 14 fret neck on this one which increases your fretting options and gives the guitar a brighter attack then 12 fret guitars.

There ix X bracing to boost volume and give the sound depth and both the fingerboard and the headplate are made of solid East Indian Rosewood. The neck is a modified low oval shape, so
it’s comfortable to hold.

This guitar looks and sounds smooth, and can come with a premium fitted pickup – though this is a limited edition bonus feature.

With or without the pickup, the tone is both classic and quality and even benefits from a solid sikta spruce top.

Like the Eastman, the Martin 000-15M is perfect for the professional musician who plays the blues. The 14 fret neck might be better suited to those with a larger frame, or those who prefer a brighter sound. It also has a solid headstock, which some people prefer over slotted headstocks.

This guitar will be less suited to musicians who require an exceptionally small scale, or those who are looking for a slide guitar.

PROS

  • Solid mahogany neck, top back and sides give it a rich, warm tone.
  • 14 fret neck gives it a bright attack and increases your fretting options.
  • X bracing boosts the mid tones, giving the guitar a full sound.

CONS

  • No strap buttons.
  • Doesn’t always come with internal electronics.

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Taylor 522e Grand Concert

Taylor 522e 12-Fret Grand Concert

The Taylor 522e is a 12 fret electro-acoustic guitar which is made entirely of solid mahogany.
It has a rich tone both acoustically and plugged in, and the buit-in pickup is designed by Taylor using their ever-improving technology.

There is also innovative bracing on this guitar, designed by Taylor to bring out the best tones for its specific shape.

There is a slotted headstock, making it true to the aesthetic of vintage guitars and a v shaped
neck.

The Taylor 522e is a good looking, excellent sounding, professional guitar which is well suited to the stage as well as in the studio.

It will be less suited to musicians looking for a purely acoustic instrument.

PROS

  • 12 fret neck gives it a vintage vibe and enables a warmer, more rich sound.
  • Solid mahogany top, back and sides gives it a rich resonance.
  • Includes expression 2 pickup and preamp, which provides natural sounding amplification.

CONS

  • No strap buttons.
  • No pick guard.
  • Very expensive.

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Best Electric Guitars for Blues

Fender Vintage Modified Telecaster

Fender Vintage Modified Telecaster Electric Guitar Custom - 3-Color Sunburst - Maple Fingerboard

The Fender Vintage Modified Telecaster is a budget-friendly instrument with a bite.

It has a C-shaped neck which makes it easy to play, so it’s perfect for beginners, and there are volume and tone controls for each of the two pickups, giving you excellent controllability.

There is one single coil pickup and one humbucker, giving you the option of switching between their sounds and the bolt-on neck means that you can trust this guitar to take a knock or two.

The neck is maple, which is less popular than Rosewood due to its brighter tone but it might suit players who are seeking that cutting sound.

It will certainly be suited to players on a budget who are looking for a high quality electric instrument to play blues solos and chord progressions on.

It will be less suited for electric players who are hunting for the sweet sustain of something like a Les Paul.

PROS

  • C-shaped neck makes it comfortable and to play and easier to reach chord shapes.
  • Combination of single coil and humbucker pickups makes it versatile.
  • Volume and tone controls for each pickup gives you excellent controllability.

CONS

  • Basswood tone is inferior to some other woods and might not suit some players.
  • There’s no tremolo or place to put one.
  • Maple fretboard isn’t as smooth as a Rosewood fretboard.

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Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO

Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO offers an excellent sustain, thanks to its set neck and angled headstock.

It’s also made of Mahogany, which gives it a rich, warm tone that is popular in blues music and beyond.

There’s a Rosewood fretboard, offering a smooth playing experience and also contributing to the warmth of this guitar.

The pickups are humbuckers, which gives the sound a Slash-like beefiness and there are jumbo frets to make this guitar a little easier to play.

It will suit rock blues players, who want something beefy and substantial.

It will be less suited to players who are looking for an authentic blues sound, or who want something that doesn’t mind being thrown around.

PROS

  • Set Mahogany neck and Mahogany body offer a rich tone which lends itself to the blues.
  • The Rosewood fretboard gives you a smooth playing experience and warm tone.
  • Volume and tone controls for each pickup give you excellent controllability.

CONS

  • There’s no tremolo, or option for one.
  • All pickups are humbuckers, so you can’t access that single coil tone.
  • Tends to come fitted with cheap strings.

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Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO

Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO Electric Guitar Cherry

The Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 pro is a semi-hollow rock ‘n’ roll guitar that looks vintage and similar to those used in 60s blues music.

There’s a mahogany neck which has a distinctive 1960s ‘D’ shape: similar to a C but a bit wider.

There are four controls to adjust neck and bridge pickup tones and volumes separately, and both of the pickups are humbuckers which reduces the risk of feedback often associated with semi-hollow bodied guitars.

It offers the best of both worlds in acoustic trueness and adaptability to electric sounds due to its semi-hollow body, and its large shape will be well suited to larger players who want something to complement their frame.

It will be less suited to petite players, or to those who are looking for something purely electric or acoustic.

PROS

  • Slim Pau Ferro fretboard offers a similar sound to Rosewood but with an added brightness.
  • Humbucker pickups reduce the risk of feedback.
  • Maple body and Mahogany neck gives it a rich resonance.

CONS

  • There’s no tremolo.
  • The pickups are both humbuckers, so you won’t get single coil sounds.
  • It’s quite big and chunky, so might not suit the smaller player.

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Fender American Special Stratocaster

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst

The Fender American Special Stratocaster is a classic, with good reason.

This is the guitar that you have seen in the hands of Gilmour, Clapton and Hendrix.

This model has a C-shaped neck, making it easy to handle and to get into chord shapes and its Rosewood fretboard makes this smooth and offers a warm sound.

There’s a five way pickup toggle, giving you superior flexibility of tone and there are two tone controls as well as a volume control.

The Fender American Special Stratocaster has a tremolo, so you can express yourself creatively and emotionally, even playing like Hendrix if that’s your style.

The shape of this guitar means that it’s easy to reach frets all the way up the neck, so it’s perfect for those who really want to maximise their possibilities.

It will be suited to professional musicians who want to spend the money on getting a quality product that will last them a lifetime.

It will be less suited to those who are on a budget and need something to learn to play guitar on.

PROS

  • Includes a tremolo to allow for extra expression.
  • Rosewood fingerboard on a C-shaped neck offers a comfortable playing experience with a warm sound.
  • The amount of possible differences in tone gives you exceptional flexibility and versatility.

CONS

  • All of the pickups are single coil.
  • It’s very expensive.

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Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Hollow Body

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Hollow Body Guitar with Bigsby - Orange

The Gretsch G5420T is an excellent hollow bodied guitar which offers a pure and powerful tone.

There are humbucker pickups, which help to reduce the feedback that can be associated with hollow bodied guitars and the guitar is made entirely of maple.

There’s a Rosewood fretboard which ensures a smooth playing experience as well as a high quality of tone and there’s a tremolo to give you extra means of expression in your playing.

There are two tone controls and two volume controls, giving you extra controllability as well as versatility, and there’s a three-way toggle to switch between pickups.

This guitar will be suited to those who are looking for a true transparency of tone and a clean, acoustic sound that is amplified.

It will be less suited to electric guitarists who want to play distorted rock blues.

PROS

  • Includes a tremolo to allow for extra expression.
  • Humbuckers help to reduce the risk of feedback and humming.
  • Rosewood fretboard ensures a smooth playing experience and high quality tone.

CONS

  • Both pickups are humbuckers, reducing your option of having a single coil sound.
  • The large body might not suit smaller players.

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Summary

As you can see, there are several decent acoustic blues guitars on the market, and the one you choose will largely be dependent on your budget, body size and style of playing.

If you’re a slide fanatic, the resonator Gretsch G9200 will be the best option for laying on your lap and running a bottle neck down.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly beginner’s guitar, the Fender CP-60S or the Gretsch G9511 are two excellent acoustic options to choose from, whereas the Fender Vintage Modified Telecaster is an excellent electric option.. If you prefer brighter tones on your acoustic, the Fender’s 14 fret neck will achieve that, whereas the Gretsch offers the classic look and tone of a 12 fret neck.

Those who are looking for a guitar that’s larger in size might be drawn to the Gretsch G5420T or the Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO, as their large bodies feel substantial and the guitars offer a classic, low-sustain sound which is suited to early blues music. Both guitars offer an exceptional clean tone, but the Gretsch even more so as it is hollow bodied rather than semi-hollow.

Those who are looking for something to be used professionally have the acoustic choice between the Eastman E20 Parlor, the Martin 000-15M or the Taylor 522e. The Eastman and the Taylor are both 12 fret guitars, giving them a warmth as well as a vintage vibe. The Martin has 14 frets before the neck meets the body, which some people may prefer as it gives you more options and can be easier to hold for those with a larger frame.

Electric players looking for something professional and versatile can opt for the Fender American Special Stratocaster Guitar, which is a classic that’s been proven perfect for blues and beyond, time and time again.

If you’re after a more heavy-sounding guitar, to play rock blues that kicks ass, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO might be more suited to your requirements.

Whichever guitar you decide is right for you, we hope that these reviews have helped you as you continue your journey into the joys of playing the blues.

Featured image: Jerry Welsh (www.jerrysleftyguitars.com)

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