The 5 Best Acoustic Guitars for Blues Reviews

If you want to play the blues you have to know the right techniques and practice. But no question you also need the best acoustic guitars for blues.

There’s plenty of guitars but only a select few can do blues justice. Skills are essential yes, but if you don’t have the right guitar that song isn’t going to come out right.

If you want to be a guitar god you’ve got to get one that’s been designed for blues. Not all guitars can do that which is why I went out there and chose the top 5.

In a hurry to buy a guitar? I’ve got a chart here that gives you a snapshot of what these guitars can do.

If you want more details please read the detailed reviews below. I’ve also added other information here if you’re totally new to blues guitar.

All right, let’s get on with the reviews.

Top 5 Acoustic Guitars for Blues: Comparison Chart

Product
Guitar Type
Body
Fingerboard
Neck
Electronics
View On Amazon
Electric
Semi-hollow mahogany
9.5 inch radius, maple
Gloss polyester finish, modern C shape, 1 piece maple
2 classic Single-Coil Tele(R) Pickups with AlNiCo V Magnets
Electric
Alder
9.5 inch radius, maple
modern C shape, 1 piece maple, satin polyurethane
3 pickups (neck, bridge, middle), master volume
Acoustic Electric
Stika Spruce top, sapele laminate sides and back
Indian Rosewood
Tropical American Mahogany
Taylor EST
Acoustic Electric
Solid spruce top, mahogany sides and back
12” radius, rosewood
Mahogany with satin finish
Takamine TP-4TD Preamp and Built-In Tuner
Acoustic
Solid genuine mahogany
Solid East Indian Rosewood
Solid Genuine Mahogany
None

 

Best Picks of Acoustic Guitars for Blues

#1: Squier 303035521 by Fender Classic Vibe Thinline Telecaster Electric Guitar

If you’re after the top acoustic guitars for blues you’ll want to give the Classic Vibe a good look. It’s affordable enough for beginners but provides solid performance quality parts.

This guitar has good resonance with a vibe for rock music. It’s also got the power you expect from a Telecaster.

With its maple neck and mahogany body, the Classic Vibe complements these with a black dot inlays and 21 medium jumbo frets and a maple fingerboard.

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster Custom Beginner Electric Guitar - Natural
  • Lightweight Semi-Hollow Mahogany Body with “F” Hole and gloss polyester finish
  • 1-Piece Maple, Modern C Shape neck, 9.5 in radius maple fingerboard and 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 2 Custom Vintage Style Single-Coil Tele Pickups with AlNiCo V Magnets
  • Vintage Style Strings-Thru-Body Tele Bridge with 3 Chrome Barrel Saddles
  • Master volume and master tone controls with 3 position pickup selector switch

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There’s also the Tele headstock and F-hole, features that are available regardless of the color you choose. Sound wise the Classic Vibe is booming, punchy and clear.

3 chrome barrel saddles are set on its thru-body bridge, plus you get a stylish pick guard spread along the front. Its tuning pegs are vintage style.

Fretting is good and the Classic Vibe doesn’t go out of tune as often as other guitars. It can be heavy and sometimes it’s really sharp, but tuning will take care of that.

The Classic Vibe comes with a couple of single coil pickups. These are connected to the volume and control knobs and have AlNiCo V magnets.

If that’s not enough the Classic Vibe has a 3-way pickup selector. It doesn’t seem like the most advanced electronics system but it works.

What you get with all of these is more resonance, a full sound and the brightness characteristic of Telecaster. The sound quality is matched by the striking design expected from S   quire. It’s quite simply an outstanding 6 string.

Highlighted Features
  • Master tone and master volume controls
  • Thru-Body Tele® Bridge
  • 2 Vintage Style Single-Coil Tele® Pickups
  • 21 medium jumbo frets
  • C shape neck
  • MAPLE fingerboard
  • GLOSS polyester finish
  • Semi-Hollow Mahogany Body

#2: Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard

Whether it’s about the best acoustic guitars or the top electric guitars, the name Stratocaster is always held in high esteem. A lot of different Strats have come out among the entry level models and this is a good one.

Anyone who’s seen an electric guitar recognizes the Stratocaster shape as a lot of electric guitars are patterned after it. The alder body is classic Fender as is the 9.5 inch radius neck and the glossy finish.

The Stratocaster comes with either a lacquered maple or rosewood fretboard. Either one however, comes with the same hardware.

The guitar has a tremolo bridge with half a dozen adjustable saddles. It’s way better than the tremolo bridges on other guitars and the range is outstanding.

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst
  • Loaded with a trio of Texas Special pickups, the American Special Strat delivers classic and contemporary tones that are perfect for Blues, Country, Rock, and Pop.
  • With a 9.5" freeboard radius, Jumbo frets, and a satin-finished neck, the American Special Strat offers easy string-bending and a fast, modern feel.
  • Little extras like the Grease bucket tone circuit (rolls off high frequencies without adding bass), and a deluxe Fender gig bag make this an exceptional buy.

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Style wise the headstock is pure Stratocaster and comes with several F tuners. With these, tune retention and intonation is quicker and easier.

The hardware works seamlessly and you can say the same thing about the strings.  Bending the strings doesn’t cause it to go out of tune though it’s what you’d expect considering the brand name.

The Fender American Stratocaster has 3 single coil pickups, and they provide the tone we’ve come to associate with the guitar. The pickups cut down the buzz and the guitar lowers the bass when you do volume roll offs.

As for the sound, well it’s a Stratocaster so it’s great. Even if this is an entry level guitar the tone is full, it’s got dynamic range and warmth that other guitars can’t match.

Highlighted Features
  • Comes with a quality gig bag
  • Contour arm bevel top
  • Back body belly cut for comfortable playing
  • Fender synchronized tremolo
  • Grease Bucket Tone circuit to gain upper frequencies
  • Very responsive string
  • Classic Stratocaster satin neck
  • 22 jumbo frets

#3: Taylor 114ce 100 Series Acoustic Guitar

Taylor has earned a solid reputation for making some of the best acoustic guitars for blues for the money, and the 114ce is a prime example of what a blues guitar needs to be.

The 114ce tone is bright and clear. The body shape is similar to a dreadnought but smaller so it’s more comfortable to play.

The pickup system and onboard preamp are exceptional and easy to control. They also complement the Elixir strings which are lighter than those on other guitars.

The 114ce is considered entry level in the Taylor line, but its performance level is equal to more expensive guitars. The Venetian type cutaway adds a sleek touch and makes it even more attractive.

Taylor 114ce 100 Series Acoustic Guitar, Sapele, Grand Auditorium, Cutaway, ES-T
  • Shape: Grand Auditorium
  • Back/Side Wood: Walnut
  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Neck/Heel: Sapele
  • Electronics: ES-T

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 114ce also scores points for its versatility. Whether it’s strumming, flat picking or finger picking, the 114ce performs very well.

The guitar is well suited for melodic acoustic guitar play regardless of the genre. Part of the reason is the spruce top that gives the tone a boost.

The guitar comes with the standard Taylor X bracing, with the sides and back laminated sapele. Playing the blues here shows just how good the Taylor is compared to others.

Taylor guitars are ideal for blues beginners because they’re easier to play. The tone is good all-around and suits advanced guitarists as well.

The guitar comes with a gig bag so you can take the Taylor with you on the road. The gig bag is made of heavy duty material so it should hold to heavy use. The latest versions of the 114ce comes with ES 2 electronics for better sound.

Highlighted Features
  • High quality sapele neck
  • Stika spruce top
  • Sapele Laminate sides and back
  • ES-2 pickup
  • Excellent tone
  • Full sound
  • Dynamic range
  • Taylor X-bracing

#4: Takamine GN93CE-NAT Nex Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural

Takamine makes some of the best acoustic guitars for blues in the world, and the GN93CE is one of their superior guitars. With its maple back, rosewood sides and solid spruce top, it looks and sounds impressive.

The three-type tonewood function well together, enhancing both the guitar’s tone and looks. The guitar also comes with a pickup system and onboard preamp that Takamine built.

Takamine GN93CE-NAT Nex Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural
  • Solid spruce top, rosewood sides and a beautiful three-piece rosewood/quilt maple back
  • Slim mahogany neck and 12"-radius bound rosewood fingerboard provide great feel and playability
  • Takamine TK-40D preamp system gives you a built-in tuner, three-band EQ and gain controls, mid contour switch, notch filter and EQ bypass switch for the ultimate in versatility and sound quality
  • Elegant Natural gloss finish

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Called the TK4-400, the preamp consists of an EQ bypass, notch filters, mid contour switch, gain control, 3 band EQ and a tuner. With these features you’ll have full control over the guitar’s sound.

The controls on the guitar boost its flexibility so you can play the blues and other genres.   The GN93CE-NAT is particularly suited for the blues because it allows you to go on different types of EQ spectrum.

The GN93CE-NAT has a well balanced tone and applicable for different sub genres.  Guitar solos sound good here as do high pitch riffs and heavy chord progressions.

This level of versatility is only possible because of its preamp. The 3 section tonewood gives the guitar the ideal profile for mid to heavy range tones. That being said it’s also possible to hit the lows by adjusting the preamp.

The GN93CE-NAT is a solidly made guitar. It sounds great and the versatile tone profile allows you to play blues and other genres.

Takamine does not lack for quality guitars, but the GN93CE-NAT is among their best when it comes to the blues. It’s an elegantly made, solidly constructed guitar for blues lovers.

Highlighted Features
  • Exquisite glossy finish
  • EQ bypass switch for enhanced sound quality
  • Feature packed TK400 preamp program
  • Beautiful mahogany neck
  • Quilt/rosewood maple back
  • Excellent sound
  • Synthetic bone nut
  • Notch filter

#5: Martin 000-15M

If you read acoustic guitars for blues reviews you’re going to see the Martin 000-15M gets good feedback. And why not because the 000-15M is the preferred choice of acoustic blues lovers.

The 000-15M is all mahogany – the neck, body, back and sides. What this means is you get outstanding boom, resonance, durability and stability.

By making an all mahogany body Martin made sure the guitar is made only of high quality parts. The craftsmanship is second to none and the shape is that of a classic acoustic blues guitar.

Martin 15 Series 000-15M Auditorium Acoustic Guitar
  • The body size is 000-14 FretTop is solid genuine mahogany rosette.

Last update on 2020-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The neck is very playable and doesn’t pressure your hands the way other acoustic guitars do. The sturdy neck is complemented by the 20 fret rosewood piece.

Its rosewood bridge is as impeccable as the mahogany body, complementing the die cast tuners and the rosette. The 000-15M remains in tune for long stretches so there’s little need to re-tune it over and over.

The twangy and bright tone is perfect for the blues and doesn’t grind the way other blues guitars do. The tone is warm and soft but you can adjust it to be a little harder.

The 000-15M isn’t lacking in other features either, with aforementioned die cast tuners and a pickup guard among others to enhance the sound. The mellow tone is very expressive and suited for different genres.

The 000-15M is also suited for high end acoustics thanks to its excellent low end frequencies.

Through the years Martin has maintained its iconic status by manufacturing one classic guitar after another. The 000-15M is just one of the many reasons for this.

Highlighted Features
  • Excellent build
  • Beautiful mahogany
  • Outstanding sound
  • Well done staining
  • Suitable for different guitar playing styles
  • Hardshell case is provided
  • Lots of resonance
  • Expressive tone

What Makes a Good Blues Guitar?

A lot of factors come into play and one of those is the tone. A good blues guitar is versatile enough to produce, fat, distorted tunes or be warm and mellow.  A good guitar should let you play at mid or full range with varying lows and highs.

Of course it’s not just the guitar but the amps and your own technique. But there’s no getting around the fact you need a high quality guitar to make blues sound good. The more you play, the more you’ll get a feel for what’s right.

Who Makes Best Acoustic Guitars?

Guitar brands are everywhere, but only a few are good enough for the blues.

Fender

Fender is a legend among guitarists, and the Stratocaster is one of the greatest guitars of all time. Their blues guitars are held in high esteem for the warm sound and punchy tone.

Gibson

Gibson is the company behind the iconic Les Paul guitar so it’s no surprise they’re on this list. The Gibson guitars are ideal not just for the blues but every other music genre.

Taylor

When Bob Taylor founded Taylor Guitar in the 1970s, he wanted to put emphasis on quality over everything. That remains true to this day with their excellent guitars.

Martin

There aren’t a lot of acoustic guitar brands that carry the weight and prestige of Martin. Since the company was founded it has set the standard for acoustic blues guitars around the world.

How to Choose an Acoustic Guitar for Blues

Buying a blues acoustic guitar is similar to choosing a classical guitars, but there are differences.

Skill Level

Choose an entry level acoustic guitar if you’re new to blues. All the major brands sell affordable, easy to play guitars so a novice can learn the ropes.

Once you’ve got the fundamentals down, you can look for a blues guitar with a higher quality tonewood for better sounds.

Acoustic vs Acoustic-Electric

The difference between the two is an acoustic-electric guitar has a built in preamplifer and a pickup. This allows you to use an amp without causing distortion.

In other words the guitar plays acoustic, but you can plug it in to give the guitar a different sound. Doing so also doesn’t distort the acoustics either.

Neck Style

Most acoustic blues guitars have a set neck, i.e. the neck and body are glued together. Electric guitars often use a bolt on neck.

Body Style

There are a lot of guitar body styles to choose from, but it comes down to two things. The guitar body must produce the sound you want but still be comfortable to hold.

Among the most popular are:

Concert and Grand Concert

Concert and Grand Concert are similar, the latter is a bit larger. These are ideal for petite individuals and those with small hands. Aside from being comfortable, the mid range is good and the sound’s bright.

Auditorium and Grand Auditorium

These have more volume and balance than smaller guitars. They’re very similar to the dreadnought except the waist is smaller. These are known for balancing comfort, tone and volume.

Dreadnought

The dreadnought has a large soundboard, 14 fret neck and square bouts. Its known for a powerful driving sound.

Jumbo

These guitars have a deep resonance, loud projection and big booming sound.

Laminate vs Solid Tops

The bigger the soundboard the bigger the sound, but the guitar top design also plays a huge role. The top will either be laminate or solid wood. Laminate doesn’t vibrate or generate the full sound that solid wood does.

Advantages of Owning an Acoustic Guitar for Blues

Having the best acoustic guitar for delta blues means you’ll be able to get the tone and range you want. However there are a lot of other benefits to playing an acoustic guitar.

  • Dynamic range, warm tones and bright sound, exactly what you want from blues.
  • These guitars come in different sizes and styles to suit your budget and comfort level.
  • An acoustic blues guitar is less expensive than an electric guitar. You don’t need to buy an amp or cables or other accessories.
  • If you learn to play on a steel string guitar you’ll find it easier to play the blues on an electric guitar.
  • Learning to play the blues on an acoustic guitar strengthens your fingertips. The stronger your fingers are the easier you’ll find it to play complex blues songs.
  • Well made acoustic guitars are stable and durable, essential to play the blues correctly.
  • These guitars produce a harmonious sound that’s soft enough for the blues.

Bottom line is if you know how to play an acoustic guitar, you’ll find it easier to expand your repertoire.

Are Acoustic Pickups Necessary for a Beginner?

Many of the best acoustic guitar for blues fingerpicking have a pickup and a preamp installed. At some point an acoustic guitarist will want to plug it into an amp.

Even if you don’t fancy yourself going electric, it’s still a good idea to at least have that option available. A lot of blues players add distortion to their music and for that you’ll need an amp, a pickup or both.

An acoustic-electric guitar is going to cost more though so you’ll need to factor that in. If you’re an absolute beginner you probably don’t need a pickup and preamp as you’ll focus on learning the basics.

If you are really certain you’re not interested plugging it in, an all acoustic guitar will do fine. But if you have any plans of plugging it in n amp, it is better to invest in an acoustic electric guitar right now.

So is a pickup and amp necessary if you’re starting out? It depends on what type of blues music you’ll be playing.

If you’re going to alternate between electric and acoustic or there’s a chance you’ll need to use an amp, get a pickup and a preamp.

Final Verdict

Let me end this review by saying that all the guitars here are suitable for the blues. Whether you’re new or have been playing for a long time these guitars are going to let you play the way you want.

But as good as these are, the Fender American Special Stratocaster stands tall among the rest. There is a reason why the Strat is considered the golden standard among guitars, and this version shows you why blues players love this.

The classic Strat body does a lot to make this an excellent guitar. The vintage three pickups are here and you’ve got great control over the sound, volume and tone

And speaking of the tone, this is vintage Strat with outstanding range, tone and warmth. It’s easy to pick up and the sound is unmistakably Fender.

In other words, if you’re looking for the best acoustic guitars for blues look no further than the Stratocaster. It’s simply an amazing guitar.

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