Our task today is to list you eight contenders for the best fingerstyle guitar, including both acoustics and electrics. At the end of this buying guide, we will give you some tips on what to look for a good fingerstyle guitar.
Acoustic guitars and guitars as a whole can sound very different depending on how you play them. Fingerpicking style has been around for centuries and has always been among the most expressive forms of playing acoustic guitars.
The popularity of this particular style has reached its peak in recent years, as many popular artists are turning to the good old sound of layered chords.
In general, all acoustic guitars can be fingerpicked. However, some models are definitely more suited for this purpose than others.
If you are in a hurry these are our TOP 5 Picks:
- All Solid wood Construction
- Single Piece Mahogany Neck
- Solid sapele back, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard with wood "dot-in-dot " inlays
- Gold tuners with amber buttons
- Orchestra size with cutaway and Fishman Sonitone pickup
- Solid Sitka Spruce top with Solid Indian Rosewood back and sides
- Three Custom Shop Fat 50's pickups deliver the full spectrum of classic Strat tones.
- The combination of bent-steel saddles, high-mass bridge block and a thinner finish undercoat contribute to this model's exceptional resonance and sustain
- ype/Shape: 6-String 15/16 Size Dreadnought
- Back & Sides: Layered Sapele
Best Finger Style Guitar Under $2000:
In this price range, your options are more or less limitless. We are talking about top brands and high-quality instruments. With this type of budget, finding the best guitar for fingerpicking style is pretty easy.
We are going to start with a very impressive model, that fits just about every requirement you would want to be met for a guitar that fits our standards.
Larrivee is no stranger when it comes to solid acoustic guitars. Their models are not what you consider to be entry level instruments by any means.
The one we have picked for this purpose is a very fine choice. The shape is right, as well as the materials used to construct it.
If you are choosing a fingerstyle guitar that will keep you satisfied, both in terms of performance and reliability, this is the one you might want to go with.
Larrivee L-03R is an orchestra type acoustic guitar. The tonewood Larrivee chose for this model is a great combination of a very rich sounding solid top made of Canadian Sitka spruce and Canadian maple body.
The neck is also a maple design, and it features a nice rosewood fretboard. As you would expect from a guitar in this price range, the build quality is impressive, to say the least.
In terms of performance, Larrivee L-03R has a lot to offer. Especially for our fingerstyle application. The neck is just the right shape with a nut that is barely falling under what is generally preferred for a fingerstyle guitar.
The sound is by far the best selling point of the L-03R.
- Sound 97%
- Quality 98%
- Value 90%
Takamine has been the choice of professionals for decades now. Their guitars have always been held at a high regard for their excellent quality and impressive performance.
The one we have for your today is a perfect example of a good midrange acoustic guitar that is perfect for performing best fingerpicking guitar songs you can think of.
When it comes to optimal body shapes for fingerpicking acoustic guitars, Orchestra and Grand Orchestra are the way the go.
This Takamine features that exact body style, plus it comes with a nice cutaway that allows you to reach those high notes.
This is a solid top model that is made of cedar and solid Sapele back.
The neck is a mahogany design with a rosewood fretboard, so nothing out of the ordinary there.
However, the width of the nut is great for fingerpicking style, as well as the profile of the neck itself. Finally, this is an acoustic electric guitar.
The preamp you can expect to see is very respected CT4B II unit that comes with a three band EQ.
Some would think that a cutaway reduces the tonal properties of a guitar, especially one that is supposed to be played with fingers, but that is not the case with this Takamine.
The tone is there, and it is beautifully rich with a lot of overtones to boot.
With that said, electronics deserve a special mention. CT4B II has been known as one of the best onboard preamps for a while now.
The way it is able to reproduce the color of this guitar’s tone and the overall richness is impressive.
- Sound 97%
- Quality 98%
- Value 100%
For our last guitar that falls between $1000 and $2000, we have chosen this Guild OM-150CE. This particular guitar is very similar to the Takamine we have just talked about, but it has a different tone.
Depending on who you talk to, Guild guitars are not as popular as some other brands on the market. However, the level of craftsmanship they offer in their instruments is worth every praise.
This Guild is another OM shaped guitar that features a cutaway. What makes it particularly interesting is the choice of tonewood it offers.
The top is a solid design that is made of Sitka spruce, which is pretty much an industry standard by now. However, back and sides are made of solid rosewood.
We will explain later how this affects the tone of this guitar. The neck sports an older Guild profile, with a nut width of 1 3/4″. Guild OM-150CE is an acoustic-electric model, and the electronics you get are very reliable Fishman unit.
There is a reason why a lot of players say that this Guild is the best guitar for fingerstyle and strumming in its price range. That combination of solid Sitka spruce top that produces a resonant warm sound and hard rosewood body is the reason for this type of reputation.
- Sound 98%
- Quality 97%
- Value 99%
Best Electric Guitar For Fingerstyle:
When it comes to electric guitars which are great for fingerpicking, the good old Strat comes on top every single time. This thing is just so smooth and responsive that you will rarely find a better electric solid body guitar for this style of playing.
The action is set just low enough, which is often an issue with Les Pails, or other guitars which have a Tune-o-Matic bridge instead of a standard fixed tail one.
The performance of this guitar is well known, so we won’t go into detail.
With that said, you can definitely count on the Strat to take you where you need to go.
- Sound 99%
- Quality 97%
- Value 96%
Best Fingerstyle Guitar Under $1000:
Once we drop below the $1000 mark, the instruments available won’t be as refined as the ones we just talked about. With that said, you are still looking at some very capable instruments that are more than adequate for both fingerpicking or strumming.
We will begin this segment with a pretty popular model that deserves no special introduction.
No list of best guitars for fingerpicking style can be complete without at least one Martin in there somewhere. The type of impact this company has had on the industry, and just how good their instruments are is common knowledge at this point.
Martin GPCPA5K offers a great balance of price and performance that carries all the experience and knowledge Martin has to offer. For this reason, we simply had to place it on our list.
One of the things you can count on seeing on ‘cheaper’ Martins is the use of HPL on the sides and back of the guitar. That is the case with Martin GPCPA5K Performing Artist models.
This is an OM style guitar with a cutaway and a solid top made of fine Sitka spruce. The neck is brown Stratabond with a Richlite fretboard and nice white inlays. Since it’s an acoustic-electric model, you have Fishman’s F1 on board setup present as well.
Despite them using artificial materials on this guitar, Martin GPCPA5K plays and sounds like a charm. Tonal range is preserved for the most part, and the HPL body holds up pretty nicely even compared to some solid sides/back designs on the market.
For more about Martin GPCPA5K, check out customer reviews on Amazon.
- Sound 96%
- Quality 95%
- Value 96%
Since we covered one Martin, it’s only fair to name one good Taylor that is also a good guitar for fingerstyle. Taylor’s Big Baby Taylor has been around for a while and has become a very popular choice in the mean time.
A lot of players who want a proven sound with a trusted brand’s logo slapped on top of it choose this very model.
Now, this guitar stands out from our criteria a little, but it’s such a tremendous value that we couldn’t skip it.
What you’re looking at here is a Dreadnought style acoustic guitar that is a bit smaller than your regular Dreadnought. The top is a solid Sitka spruce design that is accompanied by spruce back and sides.
It comes with a Sapele neck and a nice African ebony fretboard. All the materials on this thing are high quality, and the bracing is standard Taylor stuff you can count on.
In terms of performance, you are looking at a great tone that has that typical Dreadnought flavor. This would usually be a deal breaker in terms of fingerstyle guitars, but this particular Taylor guitar is simply too good for the money you’re asked to pay for it.
- Sound 96%
- Quality 94%
- Value 95%
Things To Look For In a Fingerpicking Guitar:
The criteria we have used for this guide is pretty simple and can be deducted to four main factors. We wanted guitars that preferably feature an Orchestra type body. This body shape has turned out to be optimal for fingerpicking.
Secondly, the neck profile and nut width needed to be slimmer and faster than what you find on most acoustic guitars. Next, we were looking for tonewood combination that was mostly revolving around Sitka spruce of some type since that wood provides a very rich and warm tone.
Finally, action has to be a bit lower, or at least adjustable. The lower action is simply more user-friendly for fingerpicking.