You have a lot to think about when looking for great country guitars. You have to decide whether you want an electric guitar or an acoustic instrument. You may want a combination of them depending upon the individual country style that you play. This guide will help you find the best instrument for country music.
In a Hurry? Here Are the Best Guitars for Country Music
What Guitars Are Used in Country Music?
You will find a wide range of guitars used in country music. It all depends upon the style that is being played. A lot of country music is played with a regular acoustic guitar. This is because the acoustic instrument helps to drive the song. Often in the song, you may find other instruments such as a violin or lap steel accompanying the acoustic guitar. We often referred to new players learning guitar having the ability to play “cowboy chords.” these are the basic open string major and minor chords that are prevalent in musical styles such as country.
Acoustic or Electric Guitar for Country?
Whether or not you choose electric or an acoustic will be up to you and what you want to play. The acoustic guitar is often picked as the beginner country instrument. This allows you to strum a lot of the cords from your favorite songs. A lot of country music is simply strummed chords that fit in well with the acoustic guitar. The downside to the acoustic is it is a little bit harder to play. This is because the strings are heavier and thicker, and it’s not necessarily the best beginner instrument. If you want to strum basic chords for country songs, you should pick up an acoustic instrument.
The electric is used in country music for guitar solos. Many of the top players use the electric guitar such as Brad Paisley or Keith Urban. The electric guitar allows you to branch out a little bit more than the acoustic guitar does. If you are a beginner, I recommend starting with the electric guitar and then going to an acoustic guitar. The electric strings are easier on your fingers, and you have more options available to you, such as the ability to play wild solos. You can still solo on the acoustic guitar, but it is a little bit more difficult due to the thicker strings.
What to Look For
The most important aspect, but you need to look for is an instrument that is going to be easy for you to play. You don’t want something that is going to frustrate you. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
If you’re going with an electric guitar, you have both single-coil pickups and humbucking pickups. I would advise you to go with single-coil pickups for country guitar. This is because the single-coil pickup will produce more of a twangy sound that is suitable to country guitar. The humbucker pickups are great for many styles of music, but they are best suited to styles that use a lot of distortion, which country music does not use often. Any instrument that has single-coil pickups is the preferred one for country music but humbuckers can work, too.
Whether you play an electric or an acoustic guitar for country you should consider an instrument that has a cutaway body which makes it easier for you to hit the higher frets. On the acoustic side, you may also want to try the dreadnought style as the solid wood of the dreadnought will help accentuate the chords in country songs. You may also want to try the jumbo acoustic, which produces even more tone.
You probably want to avoid instruments such as a nylon string guitar because this won’t have enough tone to play country music with. There is also no need for a floating tremolo system like you have with heavy metal style guitar is. These are not necessary for country music. You might want to use a simple tremolo system such as the ones you find on the Fender Stratocaster and similar guitars.
Best Guitar for Country Music Reviews
1. Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster – Best Beginner Country Guitar
One instrument that is used quite often in country is the telecaster. The reason for this is that it has a nice twangy tone which is suitable for country music. A lot of Telecaster style guitars can cost you a lot of money. Fender offers the Fender Squier Series Telecaster which is a lower-cost instrument.
The Squier Affinity Telecaster Offers you exceptional value. It features regular single-coil Telecaster pickups which are perfect pickups for playing country music. It has a top load Telecaster bridge so changing strings are quick and this also helps stabilize the tuning of the instrument. It has a modern c-shaped neck which is comfortable in your hand. You get 21 frets and the upper register is easy to access thanks to the cutaway. There is a tone control, volume knob, and a pickup selector switch. This would make an excellent first instrument for anyone that wants to get into country guitar playing.
- Easy to play
- Sounds great
- Some users had quality control issues
- May need some initial setup
2. Fender Player Stratocaster – Top Pro Country Guitar
Another instrument you might want to consider for playing country guitar is the Fender Stratocaster. This provides an excellent tone and is suitable for many different country songs. You might want to try the Fender Payer Series as it is an excellent guitar for playing this style of music.
The Fender Player Series Stratocaster features three single-coil pickups. These have excellent articulation and a crisp sound which is perfect for country playing as well as other styles. You get a nice mid-range and bass response thanks to these Alnico pickups. There is a two-point synchronized tremolo system and a tremolo arm. You get two tone controls, one volume knob, and a 5-way pickup selector switch. This instrument also has two strap buttons so it’s ready for your guitar strap. It is made out of alder wood which helps promote sustained while you are playing. You can a modern C shaped maple neck which is comfortable to play. This guitar has everything that any country player could ever want in an instrument.
- Great pickups
- Nice neck
- A bit expensive
- You need to buy a case
3. Gretsch Streamliner Hollow Body – Best CLassic Guitar For Country
You may be looking for a classic country tone, but this can be difficult to get with modern guitars. You might want to try and acoustic-electric instrument that features F-holes as this can help you get many different tones suitable for classic country playing. One instrument you might want to try is the Gretsch Streamliner Hollow Body as it has many excellent features.
This instrument features two humbucking pickups which give it an excellent tone and a sound. There are also two F-holes on the front of the instrument which gives it its acoustic-electric tone. it’s made with laminated maple wood and it has a Nato neck which enhances the tone of the guitar. There are two tone controls, one volume knob, and a pickup selector switch so you have plenty of options for the pickups. the bridge is easy to adjust and it has a slanted pickguard to help protect the body from pick scratches. Anyone looking for a big and bold tone for playing country guitar, the Gretsch Streamliner Hollow Body has you covered.
- Big tone
- Two humbucking pickups
- Might be a bit big for some players
- Higher frets are harder to play on the guitar
4. Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster – Best Pro Electric Guitar For Country
For country players looking for high-quality electric guitar, it can be difficult to find ones that suit your needs. you can always rely on the Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster as it’s a superior instrument for playing country.
This instrument has a unique three-pickup design which most Telecasters don’t have. It has a base, middle, and treble single-coil pickup while almost all Ttelecasters have two pickups. You have a lot of tone flexibility with this Telecaster as all three of the pickups are noiseless so you won’t have to worry about extra hum that can be a problem with regular single-coil pickups. You also get a tone control, volume knob, and a pickup selector switch. The bridge is a traditional Telecaster style so the strings will stay nice and stable while you are playing. For anyone that wants to play modern country as well as old traditional style country songs, this Telecaster has you covered in every way.
- Unique Telecaster pickup design
- Smooth neck
- Not a traditional Tele
- No case included
5. Fender FA-115 Acoustic Guitar Bundle – Best Acoustic for Country Beginners
If you’re just getting into playing acoustic guitar, you may not have a lot of money to spend. Send her has you covered with the Fender FA-115 Acoustic Guitar Bundle which has everything that the beginner country player is going to need to get started.
You get a nice full dreadnaught style guitar with his kit. It has a laminated spruce top which improves the tone. There is a Rosewood bridge and it has a compensated synthetic bone saddle which helps stabilize the tuning. The fretboard is made with Rosewood and you get to 20 frets. It comes complete with a lot of accessories such as a strap, guitar picks, gig bag, tuner, and access to a trial subscription of a Fender Play. You can use the subscription to learn the guitar. For any beginner player, this is an exceptional value.
- Easy to play guitar
- Lots of accessories
- The case is a bit poor
- The guitar isn’t as loud as some other instruments
6. Gretsch Guitars G5022C Rancher Falcon – Best Cutaway Acoustic
For those looking for high-quality acoustic guitars for country music, you can’t go wrong with the Gretsch Guitars G5022C. this instrument offers exceptional value with a lot of attention to the details.
You get a full dreadnought style acoustic guitar. It has a nice cutaway so you can hit all of the higher Frets on the 22 fret Rosewood fingerboard. There is a rosewood bridge and you get a compensated synthetic bone saddle to improve the tuning. The top of the guitar is made with laminated spruce wood. The soundhole is a unique shape and there are other appointments on the guitar that stand out such as the gold trim. This attention to the details gives this instrument a nice country flavor and makes it one of the best guitars for country playing.
- Nice details on the guitar
- Deep cutaway for easy fret access
- No EQ or pickup system
- Some may not like the odd soundhole design
7. Martin Standard Series D-18 – Best Pro Acoustic for Country Music
Whenever you see country players on stage they’re often playing on Martin acoustic guitar. The reason for this is that these instruments are an exceptional value. One such amazing guitar from The Martin lineup is the D-18 which is the perfect guitar for all types of country music.
The D-18 is a top choice among country players. It features the classic dreadnought design. You will get full rich sounding chords out of this instrument. The top is made with solid spruce wood. The back and sides are made with mahogany wood. The neck features a low profile so it’s comfortable for you to play. The fingerboard is made with black ebony and easy on your fingers. You get a bone nut and a saddle is compensated. This improves the intonation and a sustained of the instrument. You get diecast machine heads to stabilize your string tuning. No matter what type of country music you want to play, this instrument will perform for you year after year.
- Top-quality wood
- Superior tone
- Quite expensive
8. Ovation CE44P-FKOA Acoustic-Electric – Top Acoustic-Electric
If you want to play country, you can get the best of both worlds with an acoustic-electric guitar. One such model you might want to consider is the Ovation CE44P-FKOA Acoustic-Electric offers exceptional value.
This guitar has a deep cutaway so it’s easy to hit all of the higher frets. It is made with figured koa wood for the top which gives a focussed and clear sound. You also get a balanced bass response through this instrument. There is a unique multi soundhole design at the top of the guitar which Ovation is famous for. The instrument is stable thanks to X-bracing inside which helps to give the guitar more response. you get a 3 band equalizer and a preamp system that contains volume and gain control. There’s also a low battery light and an onboard tuner so your instrument will always have proper tuning. This would make the ideal instrument for anyone that wants to play country music.
- Unique design for the soundhole
- Good preamp and pickup system
- EQ system may confuse beginners
- Some may find the body shape uncomfortable
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to play an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar when it comes to country music. It all depends on your own individual style and preferences. This list should give you some good options for a suitable guitar for any type of country music.
For those looking to play the electric guitar, I recommend the Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster. It is an exceptional Telecaster with three single-coil pickups that are unique for a Telecaster. You’ll be all set to play any sort of country song that uses electric guitar and you will sound great. It’s the best instrument for county style music on our list
For those that want an acoustic guitar for country music, I recommend the Martin D-18. this is a top-quality acoustic guitar that many country players rely on. Martin makes exceptional acoustic instruments and you can’t go wrong with this one.