The 5 Best Bluegrass Guitars Reviews

Bluegrass is a type of music that’s really fun to play, especially with other musicians. To get the best results, though, you need the best bluegrass guitars.

It’s a magical experience to gather bluegrass fans in a bar and then have them play what’s often described as folk music on steroids.

This is the type of music that won’t fail to give you a large smile on your face. You just need to make sure you find the best guitar for this music, and you’re good to go!

Top 5 Bluegrass Guitars : Comparison Chart

Name
Type
Dimensions
Weight
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Dreadnaught
20.7 x 42.5 x 6.1 in
6.7 pounds
Dreadnaught
18.1 x 45.7 x 5.9 in
16.7 pounds
Dreadnaught
18.1 x 45.7 x 5.9 in
16.7 pounds
Grand auditorium
40.2 x 15.8 x 5.9 inches
4.41 pounds
Dreadnaught
47.24 x 9.25 x 20.47 in
18.79 pounds

Best Picks of Bluegrass Guitars Reviews

#1: Yamaha FG840 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Flamed Maple

This is the most affordable of the guitars on this list, and yet it’s a terrific guitar. It’s a quality that has made the Yamaha FG series a classic since it was first launched in 1966. Now the 800 series of the FG is available, and you can reap the benefits of decades of tweaks and innovation.

While it is certainly not expensive, it does look a bit pricey. It actually has that exotic appearance that many guitar players like.

Yamaha FG840 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Flamed Maple
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Flamed Maple Back & Sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Rosewood Bridge
  • Diecast Tuners
  • this guitar has an adjustable truss rod

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

It features a western-bodied dreadnought design, with a solid spruce top to go the flamed maple back and sides. This tonewood combination gives you that transparent sound you seek along with quick note decay. The highs are also quite bright.

You’ll find that when you strum a chord, somehow you can hear each note clearly. This also features an innovative bracing pattern that brings an overall boost for the lows and richer harmonic overtones for the mids.

The neck is made from solid mahogany, and with its thin and fast profile you’ll find it easy to play as you move your hand to change the chords. You get a smooth feel due to the binding on the edges of the rosewood fingerboard, and it looks very clean too.

The tuning will also be accurate as well as stable, so you won’t have to worry about sounding out of tune. That’s due to the premium sealed die-cast tuners.

Highlighted Features
  • This has solid Sitka spruce for the top wood.
  • The back and sides are made of flamed maple.
  • The fingerboard is made of rosewood.
  • You have Nato wood for the neck.

#2: Blueridge BR-140 Historic Series Dreadnought Guitar with Deluxe Hardshell Case

It is true that the fame of the Blueridge brand based in San Francisco doesn’t quite match the fame of other brands like Martin, Gibson, and Taylor guitar for bluegrass. But they’re making a name for themselves nonetheless, due to the terrific value you can get from their guitars. For most guitar brands, the choice is often between incorporating modern guitar production technology and sticking to traditional materials and design. Blueridge somehow manages to be both classical and modern.

Blueridge BR-140 Historic Series Dreadnought Guitar with Deluxe Hardshell Case
  • Solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped braces gives you clean articulation and a crisp, bright tone
  • Solid mahogany back and sides for robust, warm resonance
  • Slim mahogany neck offers fast, easy action and inherently long-lasting stability
  • Choice East Indian rosewood fingerboard ensures silky smooth playability
  • Nickel-plated 14:1 tuners are smooth and precise to always keep you in tune
  • Superior CD-1510 deluxe hardshell case included for maximum protection
  • To learn more, please see our Product Description below

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

This has mahogany wood for its back and sides, while the top wood is Adirondack spruce. That’s a combo that gives you a robust midrange that offers nice results when your fingers are picking at the strings. You also get a nicely warm resonance for your sound.

The craftsmanship is also impeccable, and it feels like it’s been made with great care. The mahogany neck is slim enough to allow you to play quickly and easily, and the mahogany makes it stable for the long-term. The nickel-plated tuners are precise and smooth, and they keep your strings in tune. The East Indian rosewood fingerboard makes you that your guitar-playing remains silky smooth.

Highlighted Features
  • The top wood is solid Sitka spruce and it features scalloped braces. This gives you a bright crispy tone and clearer notes.
  • You enjoy a strong and warm resonance due to the solid mahogany in the back and sides.
  • The East Indian rosewood finger board lets you play much more easily.
  • Tuning isn’t a problem with the nickel-plated tuners.
  • It’s very affordable, but its quality is terrific. It’s one of the better options for Bluegrass Guitars for beginners.

#3: Blueridge BR-180A Historic Craftsman Series Dreadnought Guitar

This guitar costs double the price of the BR-140, and that should tell you something about the high quality materials used for this particular guitar. Like many of the top Bluegrass Guitars, it uses Adirondack spruce for the top with along with scalloped braces. This gives you very clear notes as you pluck the strings, and they’re nicely resonant. You also get a nicely deep bass along with impressive cutting power.

The mahogany neck is quite slim, so it’s easier to hold and to move your hand quickly as you play. The slim design also makes it a lot more stable in the long run.

Sale
Blueridge BR-180A Historic Craftsman Series Dreadnought Guitar
  • Solid Adirondack spruce top with scalloped braces provides you with superior note clarity and volume to spare
  • Solid Santos rosewood back and sides guarantees deep bass and strong cutting power
  • Slim mahogany neck offers fast, easy action and inherently long-lasting stability
  • Premium ebony fingerboard gives extra durability and striking good looks
  • Every Blueridge now comes with an exclusive sturdy, padded Blueridge logo bag

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

The fingerboard is made from premium ebony. This wood makes for a very durable guitar fingerboard. Besides, it does look way classy too.

The tuners are even gold-plated, and they’re very precise and smooth to move. This will help make sure that your strings are in tune for a long while. If you’re looking for the best Blueridge guitar for bluegrass for your money, this could be it.

Highlighted Features
  • It’s very beautiful, and somehow its looks make you sound better. You even feel better playing it.
  • The articulation is fantastic and you get really clear notes. That’s true for bass, mid, and high.
  • The size and design makes it very comfortable to play. This will encourage you to spend long hours practicing on the guitar so you can really jam in your impromptu bluegrass sessions with friends.
  • The woods chosen for the guitar are excellent in quality.
  • It’s a steal at this price, because you’d have to spend a lot more if you want a genuine prewar guitar of this quality.

#4: Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium w/Electronics – Sunburst

Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium w/Electronics - Sunburst

While most guitars that people use for bluegrass has the dreadnought design, the Taylor 214ce body shape is a bit different. That’s because in the Grand Auditorium version, you have a cutaway that makes it easier for your fingers to reach the top frets. Also, the waist of the GA is somewhat narrower than what you get from the Dreadnought shape.

These differences make this guitar much easier to use and play. That’s especially true if you’re somewhat smaller and therefore your hands aren’t huge. The narrower waist and the cutaway allow you to keep up with the more frenetic pace of blue grass music. You’ll be able to play more easily, and you’ll be more comfortable as well.

Also, another difference with the majority of acoustic guitars is that here you can adjust the action far lower. If you play electric guitars as well as the acoustic, you’ll enjoy this advantage. When you switch to the acoustic from the electric guitar, the feel is much more familiar.

The use of the Sitka spruce for the top wood helps make sure that your music is heard even when you’re playing with other instruments. The use of the layered rosewood for the back and sides also somehow makes the tone sound just a bit sweeter. With its onboard electronics, you can plug up and play on stage or at your PC.

Highlighted Features
  • You get Sitka spruce top wood and layered rosewood for the back and sides.
  • The cutaway is very convenient, as it allows you to reach even the top frets more easily.
  • The tones you produce are rich, detailed, and very balanced.
  • It comes with electronic components built-in so you can plug it for your PC or for the stage.

#5: Martin D-28 – Natural

Martin D-28 - Natural

This is the brand and the model to which every other acoustic guitar is compared with. That’s especially true when you’re looking for the best Bluegrass Guitars for rock. This is genuinely versatile, as you can make it whisper or scream.

Basically, it’s the guitar for “American” music, as the model has been used by Hank Williams Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan. But it has also been used by the Beatles.

However, this particular model of the D-28 has a wood combination that makes it eminently suited for bluegrass. You have solid Sitka spruce for your top wood, while the back and sides are made from East Indian rosewood.

 

 

The History of Bluegrass Guitars

For the longest time, the main bluegrass instruments were the fiddle, the mandolin and the banjo. By the 1920s, however, the guitar made its first appearances in bluegrass music performances. They mainly provided the background rhythm for the signer or for the lead instruments.

Perhaps no other musician influenced the growth of bluegrass than Kentucky’s Bill Monroe. In fact, the term “bluegrass” wasn’t used popularly until the 1950s and it was used to describe the invigorating country string band music that Bill Monroe played in the 1930s. Monroe’s band was even named The Blue Grass Boys.

By the late 1940s, guitars were main components of a bluegrass band. Though mostly it stayed in the background, by the 1960s some musicians were even using it as a lead instrument as well.

Now you may think that these guitars are only made in the American South. As you will learn in the next section, that’s not quite true.

Where Are Bluegrass Guitars Made?

Since many types of acoustic guitars can be used to play bluegrass, it’s fair to say that bluegrass guitars are made everywhere. One of the most famous guitar brands that bluegrass players like is Martin, and their guitars are made in the US.

Technically, however, today’s Martin guitars are labeled as “Crafted in Nazareth from components sourced from around the world.” That’s because they import some parts and bolts from all across the globe. With other famous worldwide brands like Yamaha also making guitars that work well with bluegrass, it’s safe to say to bluegrass guitars can come from anywhere.

However, not all bluegrass guitars are equal. Some are better than others. If you’re lucky, you can find one that’s worth your money. Find out how in the next section…

What Makes the Best Bluegrass Guitars for the Money?

If you’re new to the world of bluegrass (or guitar-playing for that matter), then it’s just sensible to watch your budget when you’re buying you’re first bluegrass guitar. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the best bluegrass guitars for the money. You just need to make sure that your bluegrass brand guitar has certain traditional features.

  • All bluegrass instruments, including the guitar, are generally acoustic. There really aren’t too many electric guitars in this musical style, since many of its fans tend to play in spontaneously in places where electrical sockets and amplifiers aren’t just hanging around.
  • You’ll need a 6-string guitar. For most people, the strings are medium gauge in 80/20 brass or phosphor bronze.
  • It’s also common to use a flattop guitar. This design features a round sound hole and a bridge that’s glued directly to the top of the instrument. You won’t find f-holes, a tailpiece, and a carved top which are features of an archtop guitar.
  • You’ll want to use the dreadnought shape for the body style, and is exemplified by the traditional Martin D-28. However, the smaller body of the Orchestral Model style is also quite popular.
  • The tone woods (back and sides) are usually rosewood with its resonant deep bass response, or mahogany with woody sound and clear bright trebles. Some use maple, as it’s more resistant to feedback in amplified playing situations compared to rosewood or mahogany.
  • The top wood or soundboard is usually spruce. The most common is Sitka spruce, which is stiff and comparatively lightweight. The rare Adirondack (red spruce) is also renowned for its clear tone, volume, and stiffness, but it’s a lot more expensive.

Final Verdict

If you really want the best, go for the best according to the vast majority of musicians over the years. That’s the Martin D-28. It’s not considered the gold standard for nothing. Read the Bluegrass Guitars reviews on this guitar from newbies and pros, and you’ll notice that just about all of them rave about it.

Yes, it may be a bit more expensive (it’s the priciest on this list) but you sure do get a lot of bang for your money. This will provide you with the punch and the power you want for your sound. It’s what makes it ideal for rhythmic strumming, which is what bluegrass guitar playing will be mostly about. On the sustain, the tone will be quite resonant and sweet, and you can make sure that your playing will truly shine.

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