7 Best Punk Rock Guitars (2021 List)

Punk rock doesn't exactly have one particular sound or vibe to it.  That's kinda the point.  It doesn't care what your standards for it are.  Finding the perfect punk rock guitar is really a matter of personal preference and self expression.

  As stupid as it sounds, it would be so punk to play punk rock with a big ole jazz guitar.  Because who gives a shit?  It's what you want to play, and everyone else can go suck it.  

Because of that we are going to be discussing a wide array of awesome guitars. From classic punk rock guitars to guitars you might never think of as a punk rock guitar.  

We hope you can find the best punk rock guitar for you.

Best Guitar for Punk List

Fender Stratocaster
Best punk rock guitar for you
Fender Stratocaster best punk rock guitar

We are starting off with classic punk rock guitar.  The Fender Stratocaster has been used by some of the best punk guitarists ever like Billy Joe of Green Day, Mark Hoppus of blink-182, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.  

The reason the Stratocaster has been used as a punk rock guitar time and time again is because of the signature sound a Stratocaster produces that makes it perfect for pop punk, ska punk, or anything inbetween.

Most times is typical rock music the guitars will be equipped with humbucking pickups.  These create a super powerful and deep sound that you can hear on almost any classic rock or metal record.  

What's different about the Stratocaster is that it has single coil pickups on it.  They create a much brighter and thinner sound than humbucking pickups.  These single coil pickups with a lot of overdrive on them is what creates one of the most classic punk rock guitar sounds of all time.  

Another thing that makes Stratocasters perfect for punk rock is that they come in almost any price range.  You can buy a Stratocaster online for almost dirt cheap, and you could also buy one for thousands and thousands of dollars.  This is particularly great for people looking for their first beginner electric guitar. 

For most we would recommend the Squier classic vibe series of Stratocasters because they are super affordable, but yet have great value.  

Gibson Les Paul
the best punk rock guitar for you
Gibson Les Paul punk rock guitar

The Les Paul is kinda on the opposite side of the punk rock spectrum from the Strat.  Les Pauls come equipped with humbucking pickups.  As we explained before, humbucking pickups create a much more powerful, and deeper, sound than guitars like the Stratocaster.  

The Gibson Les Paul was instrumental in shaping the early punk rock of the 1970's. When most think about punk rock they think of the late 80's and early 90's, but the Les Paul had been there since much before those times.  

Guitarists that rocked the Les Paul back in the 70's include Mic Ronson and Marc Bolan.  Both of these guitarists were critical in building the foundation that all the great punk rock, that we remember, was built upon.  

If you were hoping to chunk out some punk rock chords, but want a more powerful sound than a single coil guitar offers, then the Les Paul may be the best option for you. 

Here is a great Les Paul that has a middle of the range price tag.

Fender Mustang
the best punk rock guitar for you
Fender mustang punk rock guitar

The Fender Mustang was popularized as a punk rock guitar by Kurt Cobain.  He used in mostly in Nirvana's later days.  He can be seen using it many times around the time of their album "In Utero" 

Watch the video below to see.

The Fender Mustang is a kinda unique guitar.  I like them a lot for not only punk, but also for blues music.  You can get a nice delicate warm sound from the neck pickup, and that more spanky blues from the bridge pickup.  

Even though this article isn't about if the guitar is versatile or not, I thought it was worth mentioning that this guitar is not just one dimensional.  It is one of the best electric guitars for punk rock, and for tonnes of other genres.

Another thing about this guitar is that they are not very common.  For every 1 Fender Mustang you see someone playing you'll see 25 Stratocasters.  They are not super popular.  Not because they are bad guitars.  They just don't get the same shine as the other classic Fender Models.

Here is our pick for the best value Fender Mustang.

Fender Telecaster
The best punk rock guitar for you
Fender Tele best punk rock guitar

The Telecaster is very similar to its brother the Stratocaster.  They both come with single coil pickups, 22 frets, and a classic Fender sound.  

When most people think of Telecasters they think of country music right away, but that same "twang" can be used in punk rock as a crisp edge rather than a country twang.  The naturally bright tone of a Telecaster lets it scream out in a way that not many other guitars can.  This made it a staple of the skate punk scene in the early 90's.

The bridge pickup of the Telecaster is where you would find the magic.  There is something super special about the sound that comes from the bridge pickup of a Telecaster.  It can be used greatly in many different genres from country to blues to punk rock.  

An added benefit of the Telecaster is that it is a super versatile guitar.  As mentioned before it is a killer country and blues guitar.  It can also be used in soul music and even jazz.  So if you are looking not only for a great punk rock guitar, but also a great versatile guitar.  The Telecaster won't disappoint.  

Here is a video talking about how to dial in the perfect punk rock guitar sound with a Fender Telecaster.

As you can see in the video.  It doesn't take a whole lot to get that great punk rock guitar sound with just a Telecaster and an amp.  There is a reason the Telecaster has been around for years and years.  It is a guitar that is great at so many different things, including punk rock guitar.

Here is an affordable Telecaster that we would recommend 

Gibson SG
the best punk rock guitar for you
SG Punk rock Guitar

A cherry red Gibson SG instantly makes guitarists think of one name.  Angus Young.  The Australian guitarist brought this guitar more in the forefront of popular guitar culture throughout all of his success with AC/DC.  

This guitar is going to be similar to the Les Paul in the fact that it comes with two humbucking pickups that will create a rich and powerful sound.  A sound that the Fender guitars cannot really make.  Because of that you might want to evaluate if the punk rock sound you enjoy comes from guitars with humbuckers or guitars with single coil pickups.  

The Gibson SG not only can sound super punk, but it also looks pretty sweet.  By far the pointiest guitar mentioned so far.  Everyone knows that the pointier the guitar, the more hardcore of music must come from it.  So it fits the bill by being pointy.  

Here is an affordable SG.

Ibanez GRX
The best punk rock guitar for you
Ibanez best punk rock guitar for you

Ibanez's always deliver great playability and quality for the price tag they ask.  I remember buying one of my first guitars.  I went in with the intention of buying a strat because that is what all of my guitar heroes played.  After picking up a cheap $400 Ibanez, I was very very close to purchasing the Ibanez instead.  I think I actually liked the Ibanez more, but I came in to get a strat, so a strat is what I bought.  

Regardless I tell you this story so you understand that Ibanez guitars are nothing to scoff at.  They are super respectable awesome guitars.  

These guitar come with humbucking pickups, so they will sound a lot closer to the Gibson guitars on this list rather than the Fender guitars on this list.  

For punk rock they are awesome.  They are cheap and effective.  What else could you ask for?

Jackson JS
the best punk rock guitar for you
Jackson JS Punk Rock Guitar

Jackson Guitars are often times tightcast as rock or metal guitars, but they actually are great for a whole bunch of different genres.  One in particular is funk.  John Mayer played a hot pink Jackson guitar on most of his funk tunes off of his record "The Search For Everything"

Here is a Video of him playing it.

When one of the best guitarists out there is using one, you know the brand must make quality instruments.  

These guitars come with two humbuckers, just like a lot of the other guitars on this list.  That means the guitar will have a more powerful sound than single coil guitars.  They are perfect for bashing out power chords on.  

My Jackson is what I will normally pick up if I need a punk sounding guitar.  I just think they embody the style very well, and they can come super cheap.  What's not to like about that?





Best Punk Rock Guitar for You - Dwane's Music

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