11 Best Amps for Gigging

Light Weight

Boss Katana

Low Cost Tube

Fender Pro Junior

Life as a guitar player can feel like you're always on the go. You may spend your days in an office, and then play live shows at night. Maybe you are part of a cover band that plays gigs all over town- or maybe you just want to practice with some friends every now and again. No matter what your lifestyle is, it's important to have the right gear for playing live! This blog post will take a look at 11 amps that are fantastic for gigging musicians. We'll talk about why these amps were chosen, what they offer, and who they might be best suited for.

#1 Best Amp for Gigging: George Benson Hot Rod Deluxe

Pro:

  • Designed to be lightweight
  • More Headroom

Con:

  • More expensive than normal Hot Rod Deluxe

Key Features:

Lightweight: With a weight of only 40 pounds, the GB Hot Rod Deluxe is perfect for gigging musicians, and those who love to travel.

More Headroom: The GB Hot Rod Deluxe's unique design allows it to produce more headroom than other amps in its class. This means that you can crank your amp up without worrying about unwanted distortion or overdrive.

Versatility: You'll be able to craft your own sound with this amp, thanks to its incredible responsiveness to stomp box effects. The GB Hot Rod Deluxe contains all that classic Fender tone, and then some.

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The George Benson Hot Rod Deluxe is the best amp for gigging because it is based off a legendary amp, it was designed to be lighter, and was designed to be louder.  

This amp is the best gigging amp under $1000 for sure.  The addition of extra headroom means that this amp can be pushed further before it begins to distort.  This allows you to get much louder clean sounds than available in the normal Hot Rod Deluxe.  Its sound can fill any bar or theatre.  

Along with that, George Benson wants all his signature amps to be lightweight.  This amp is about 10 pounds lighter than the normal Hot Rod Deluxe, which might not sound like a lot, but your arm will notice it when carrying it to a gig.  Making this one of the best lightweight guitar amps for gigging.

Best Lightweight Amp for Gigging: Fender Pro Junior

Pro:

  • Great Tone
  • Low Price

Con:

  • Super simple

Key Features:

One 10 Inch Speaker: The Fender Pro Junior IV is a 15-watt, 1 x 10" amplifier that delivers the goods with its modified volume circuit and classic tweed appearance.

Simple Circuity: This amp is a straightforward tone machine ideal for performing guitarists who need great tone and remarkably touch-sensitive dynamic response.

Light Weight: At just 22 lbs, this amp's portability makes it an excellent choice for gigging musicians.

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The Fender Pro Junior is one of the best amps for small to medium gigs.  It is loud enough to play with a drummer, but not much more.  The Pro Junior could absolutely be used in venues like bars, or areas of similar size.  

The Simplicity of the Pro Junior can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it.  There are simply three things on top, a volume knob, a tone knob, and the on/off switch.  This allows for you to stop meddling with your settings so much, and get to playing.  This also means that the circuitry of the amp is much smaller than a typical Fender amp, so the tone you get out of it is more pure than any other amp.  

Overall, this amp is killer for small to medium sized gigs, and is certainly not worth overlooking.

Best Modeling Amp for Gigs: Boss Katana

Pro:

  • Super Loud
  • Great Tonal Options

Con:

  • Tone is Obviously Solid State

Key Features:

Two 12 Inch Speakers: This version of the Boss Katana is a 2 by 12 amplifier meaning it comes equipped with Two 12 inch speakers.  These speakers are specially designed by Boss to deliver crisp singing highs and articulate lows while pumping out a ton of volume.

Solid State Amplifier: Solid State Amplifiers are known for generally being a lot lighter than traditional tube amplifiers.  They also require a lot less maintenance than a tube amplifier.

Built in Effects: The Boss Katana includes a wide array of effects that can be applied to your signal super quickly via the smartphone application.

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The Boss Katana 212 is a great option for the gigging musician due to its low price tag, high volume, and great tone.  

The Boss Katana comes in priced well below most of the other amps on this list.  Its low price tag gives people with a lower budget an opportunity for a great amp.

This amp has two 12 inch speakers.  Two 12 inch speakers can pump out a ton of sound.  This amp can get extremely loud, and will serve you well in any bar or theatre.

The tone of this amp is top notch compared to any other solid state amp.  Obviously it cannot quite replicate the tone of a tube amp, but this is about as close as a solid state amp has ever gotten.

This makes the Boss Katana the best solid state amp for gigging.

Best Acoustic Guitar amp for Gigging: Fender Acoustasonic

Pro:

  • Can be used for guitar and vocals at once

Con:

  • Too small to use with a drummer

Key Features:

Two 6 Inch Speakers: The Acoustic 40 amplifier features two 6 inch speakers that deliver a full and balanced sound.

Vocal Amp: This amp allows you to use one of the inputs for a microphone, so you can run your vocals as well as a guitar through the amplifier at the same time.

Simple but Effective:
The Acoustic 40 amplifier is designed to provide clean, clear amplification for any performance situation without all the bells and whistles. It’s perfect for small venues where you need to amplify your vocals and acoustic guitar, but don’t want to carry around a separate PA system.

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The Fender Acoustasonic is a great option for someone that is looking for a portable guitar amp that can allow them to play solo shows with just once piece of equipment.

Since the Fender Acoustasonic can be used for guitar and vocals at the same time, it is a wonderful choice for someone that does small, coffee shop style, shows by themselves.

It also is great for a duo where one sings and the other plays.  It is plenty loud for smaller venues, but couldn't be used in any situation with a live drummer because the drums will simply over power it.

Best Lightweight Modeling Amp: Fender Mustang

Pros:

  • Tonnes of amazing tones 
  • Switch tones in a matter of seconds
  • Super Lightweight

Cons:

  • Just barely loud enough to gig with.  Not very fit for larger venues

Key Features:

Lightweight: Fender's new, innovative design of the Mustang GT makes it one of the lightest and most portable modeling amp ever.

Presets:
The Mustang GT comes with 200 onboard presets that are perfect for any style of music. You can also easily create your own custom presets to store in memory or share with friends.

Low Price: With a street price under $400, the Mustang GT is an incredible value!

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The Fender Mustang is one of the best lightweight amps for gigging because it offers so much all in a great sounding affordable amp.  

The Fender Mustang comes stock with over 200 presets that are all made to replicate classic guitar tones.  They have sounds that replicate Prince, Eddie Van Halen, Hendrix and tonnes more.  Not only do they have they presets, but you can create your own.  With different amps, effects, and cabs to choose from, you will never run out of tones to create.

Overall, the value of this amp is really hard to beat.  Coming in at a price under $400 really sets this amp apart from a bunch of other amps that are considered gigging amps.  Overall this is one of the best modeling amps out there, and best lightweight amps out there today.  

Best Beginner Amp for Gigging: Fender Champion

Key Features:

Tonal Versatility: This amp gives you all the tonal versatility you could want in a small package. You can get clean and overdriven tones, British and modern amp voicings, and various effects including reverb, delay, and more.

Low Price: This amp is one of the most affordable options on the market today. It's perfect for beginner guitarists or anyone on a budget.

Lightweight: This amp is lightweight and easy to transport, making it perfect for taking to gigs or rehearsals.

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The Fender Champion amp is a great option for someone that wants an amp big enough to gig with, but isn't working with a massive budget.  It comes in just around $250, making it one of the most affordable amps on this list.  

Something that is great about this amp is all the different sounds you can create with it.  This amp comes with different voicings and effects.  It comes with voicings for blues, rock, metal, funk, and everything in-between.  Some of the effects include reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, and distortion. 

One final thing to consider is this amps weight.  After I personally spent years lugging around a 60lbs tube amp, I switched to a lightweight solid state amp for gigging, and I couldn't be happier with that choice.  Buying a lightweight amp for gigging will save you a lot of stress and struggle.  Also your back will thank you for not having to carry around such a heavy amp.

Best Cheap amp for Gigging: Fender Frontman

Key Features:

Great for Beginners: If you're just starting out, this amp is the perfect fit. It has a 10" speaker and 10 watts of power, giving you plenty of volume to play with your electric guitar.

Intuitive Controls: The Frontman 10G features an overdrive control that lets you add some grit to your sound. There's also a 3-band EQ so you can shape your tone just right.

Lightweight and Low Cost: At only 7 pounds, this amp is super portable and easy to carry around for gigs or jam sessions. And at only $99, it's great for beginners who are on a budget!

Why is this the Best Amp for Gigging?

The Fender Frontman is a great amp for super tiny gigs.  You might not be able to really play with this amp for a bar gig, but you certainly can play with it in a tiny coffee shop or basement.  

As the cheapest option on this list, the Frontman comes in under $100, making it affordable for just about everyone.  

If you're on a budget, and need an amp for tiny gigs.  The Fender Frontman won't let you down.

Honorable Mentions

Vox AC15

The Vox AC15 is a legendary amp with an iconic sound.  Its tone is often described as "Jangly".  The AC15 gives you that classic British sound heard on records by The Beatles, The Animals, and The Yardbirds.  

It's not only great for classic British Rock though.  Many players use them for jazz and blues.  Whenever I go to a jazz jam, I often times see someone with an AC15.

Vox Valvetronics

The Vox Valvetronics series is one of the best series of low cost modeling amps.  The valvetronics give you an insane amount of tonal options, and really allows you to create whatever sound you need for any gig.  

Marshall MG40

Classic Amp Sound: The Marshall MG40 gives you the sound and feel of a classic amp, without all the extra weight. This lightweight amp is perfect for gigging musicians who need a reliable, versatile amp that can handle any situation.

Affordable and Versatile:  The Marshall MG40 is perfect for any musician on a budget. This amp is packed with features, including a 12 inch speaker, 3 channels, and an emulated headphone output. You'll be able to get the sound you need for any style of music.

Looks Great: The Marshall MG40 looks as good as it sounds. With its black vinyl covering and silver piping,

Orange 35RT

10 Inch Speaker: The Orange Crush 35RT guitar amplifier is equipped with a 10 inch speaker that will deliver the kind of punch and attack you've been looking for in your amplifier.

Onboard Tuner: This feature makes it easy to keep your guitar in tune, so you can focus on rocking out instead of tuning up.

Affordable: If you're looking for an affordable, high quality amp that won't break the bank, look no further than the Orange Crush 35RT. It's perfect for any player who wants to get their hands on a classic sounding amp without having to pay a fortune!

7 Best Pedals for Blues (2021 List)

If you're a guitar player looking for the best pedals to use while playing blues, then this post is for you. We'll go over 7 of the best pedals and what they do so that you can find one that fits your needs. These are all quality brands with good reputations, made by people who know what they're doing when it comes to making guitar gear.

#1 Pick: TS9 Tube Screamer

Pro:

  • Iconic pedal, proven over decades of use

Con:

  • Mid Hump

Why is this the Best Pedal for Blues?

The TS9 is as iconic as a guitar pedal gets.  It's a pedal that found its way on to the pedal board of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, John Mayer, Gary Clark Jr, and Joe Bonamassa, so you know there has to be something special about it. 

The tube screamer is perfect for blues overdrive.  It can range all the way from just a touch of overdrive to add a little warmth, to being driven to the point of classic rock.  Somewhere in the middle is the perfect blues spot.  

One of the Iconic things about a Tube Screamer is that is disproportionately boosts the mids over the lows and highs.  This is a big point of contention for many guitarists because some people find it to be the worst thing ever, and some people like it.  It is all a preference thing, so give the TS9 a listen and decide for yourself.

All of this and more is why the TS9 is a must have guitar pedal and one of the best pedals for blues.

Mini Version

There is also a mini version of the Tube Screamer that costs a little less and takes up less space on a pedal board.  If you want your pedalboard to weigh a little less on your wallet, or you want to fit more pedals on it.  Then this is one of the best blues pedals for you.

Boss Blues Driver

Why is this the Best Pedal for Blues?

The Boss Blues Driver has been the main competitor of the Tube Screamer for decades.  They sound super similar.  The biggest difference between the two is that The Blues Driver doesn't boost the mids at all.  

One of the best things about these pedals is that they last through a lifetime of use.  Because of that you can often to on resale websites and find them for $50 or so, which is a nuts deal for this quality of pedal.  This is definitely the best pedal for blues that you can find for under $50 or $60.

It is overall just a great drive pedal, and this list would be incomplete without the addition of it. 

Fulltone OCD

Why is this the Best Pedal for Blues?

This pedal has a little bit of a heavier sound than the other pedals on this list.  This pedal can border on more of a distortion pedal rather than an overdrive, so if you are someone that really likes the heavier genres of music, but also wants to play the blues, this could be a great pedal for you.

With that said, this pedal would be ideal for someone that wants to play Stevie Ray Vaughan style blues.  This pedal helps create that super overdriven amp sound.

This pedal is great at sounding like an authentic overdriven amp.  If that is the sound you want, then this is the best pedal for blues for you.

Xotic EP Boost

Why is this the Best Pedal for Blues?

Boost pedals are becoming more and more popular within the blues realm.  This is mostly because of their convenience.  It is incredibly easy to just kick on a nice little clean boost to enhance you sound, and get you ready for solos.  

This pedal is not only a boost, but can also be used in an overdrive sense as well.  Once the one and only knob is turned about to about 12 O'Clock, this pedal begins create a tight overdrive sound.  This is great for blues because it boosts your signal enough to get the notes heard, but also it just adds a touch of grit to you sound.

Boost pedals in general are a must, but getting a high quality one like this right away will pay dividends for years and years to come.  This pedal is killer in a blues context, but also works amazing in almost every other musical context as well.

Electro Harmonix Canyon

Why is this the Best Pedal for Blues

The Canyon is a Looper/Delay/Reverb pedal that offers a ton of versatility and a ton of different tonal options.  In addition to the looper, it comes with 11 different types of delay and reverb.  These allow for you to alter your sound to an extreme extent.  

Some people really like to add some delay to their sound when playing the blues because it beefs up your sound a little bit.  Often times blues is played cleanly through a single coil guitar, and sometimes that signal can sound a little weak, so delay is a good way to make your sound a little more powerful.  

Overall, this is an amazingly versatile pedal that can be used super effectively in a blues context.  That makes this the best delay pedal for blues.

Ultraphonix Overdrive

This pedal was created with the intent of getting the iconic sound of a Dumble amp into a pedal.  Dumble amps are the most sought after amps in the entire world.  Used amps regularly go for over $100,000 at auctions.  

This pedal does a super good job of replicating that Incredible sound, but you won't need to sell your house to get it.  

Tommy Castro is one of the guitarists responsible for putting this pedal on the map.  He has been a big advocate for this pedal since he discovered it in 2015.  

FAQ:

What pedals do I need for blues?

The real answer is that you don't need any pedals for blues.  Often times you can get away with just using an amp and its built in overdrive.  However, if you elect to use pedals, something like an Ibanez Tube Screamer is a great place to start.

How do I get the blues tone on my guitar?

The blues tone for guitar is very simple.  Typically just a guitar plugged straight into an amp.  Maybe with a simple overdrive on top of the signal too.  The truth is that the tone of the blues is mostly in the fingers of the player.  B.B. King could make a cheap guitar and an amp sound 100 times bluesier than I could make a super expensive pro rig.

Is a Tube Screamer good for blues?

A Tube Screamer is a great option for blues guitar.  It has been used by tonnes of legends, like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy, and even more modern bluesmen such as Gary Clark Jr, John Mayer, and Joe Bonamassa.  

11 Best Electric Guitars Under 300 (2021 List)

Most Versatile

Yamaha Pacifica

Best Above 300

Squier Jazzmaster

I'm going to show you 11 of the best electric guitars under 300. If you're a guitarist looking for an affordable guitar without sacrificing quality this is the perfect article for you! From beginner to more advanced players, there's something here for everyone.  I'll also be including links to videos so that you can get a better idea of what these guitars are like before purchasing one yourself.

Best $300 Electric Guitar List

#1 Pick: Squier Stratocaster

Pro:

  • Very Versatile

Con:

  • Intonation Issues

Key Features:

Single Coil Pickups: Single Coil pickups are known for their bright and punchy tone.  They work very well in almost any genre.  However, are particularly great in genres like funk, soul, and R&B.  

5 Way Selector Switch: With the pickup selector switch you can choose to use any of the three pickups, or use position 2 and 4 to blend the sounds of multiple pickups at once.  

Double Cutaway: A double cutaway allows for much easier access to the higher frets.  Access to the higher parts of the fret board is absolutely crucial for electric guitar playing.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

This Squier Strat is the best electric guitar under 300 because of its versatility, value, and reputation.

The Stratocaster is a wildly versatile guitar that you can find in genres from opposite sides of the spectrum.  You can find it in classic rock and you can find it in genres like Jazz.  Not only that, but just the 5 way selector switch gives you so many tonal options to choose from.

The amount of guitar you get for the low price of this Strat is really really great.  There isn't much else to say about it.  It simply is a guitar that you would expect to be priced a little higher because of its quality.

Finally, the reputation of the Strat is that of legendary proportions.  The man most consider to be the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix, rocked a Strat for all of his life.  Other legends like Eric Clapton, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Eric Johnson are also known for using Strats.  If you want to be in good company, a Strat is a good place to start. 

Best for Rock: Epiphone Les Paul

Pro:

  • Rich Tone

Con:

  • Not Very Versatile

Key Features:

Humbucker Pickups: The Les Paul features two humbucker pickups.  Humbuckers are known for their larger than life, full and rich tones.

Bolt on Neck: Les Pauls typically have glued on necks. However, this one has a bolt on neck.  This means that if the neck were to wear out, you could simply replace it.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

This is a great choice for someone that is looking for a simple guitar that delivers consistency and reliability at a low price.  

The Les Paul is one of the most iconic guitar models of all time, and this is for a good reason.  The sound of Les Pauls have shaped the sound of modern music for the last 60 years or so.  Players like Jimi Page, Slash, and Randy Rhodes are all famous for using Les Paul guitars.

The Humbucker pickups within this guitar give it a full and rich tone that you simply won't be able to get out of a the stratocaster.  To put it simply, humbuckers are the pickups you want if you are playing almost any form of rock music.  

So if you want a great, low priced guitar for rock and roll.  This guitar is the best guitar under 300 for you.

Best Guitar for Metal: Jackson JS22

Pro:

  • Very Hot Pickups

Con:

  • Tuning Stability Issues

Key Features:

Humbucker Pickups: The pickups on this guitar are hotter than the pickups on the Les Paul by a little bit which makes it great for both rock and metal.

Sleek Design: This guitar just looks super clean.  Although this may seem trivial, I have noticed that beginners are more inspired to practice if they think their guitar looks cool.

Jumbo Frets: Jumbo frets are a must for any metal guitar.  They allow for the notes to be fretted with less effort than typical.  Metal players need this because they play a lot of fast riff and licks, and if they had to press down harder for every note, playing with speed would be wildly difficult.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

This is one of my personal favorite sleeper guitars.  I have always been a guy that sticks mostly to Fender single coil guitars, but there is something about this guitar when I pick it up.  It plays so smoothly.

There have been many times I've picked up a Jackson and been blown away by how good they feel in the hand.  

They also sound pretty good too.  I think this is probably the best value you can find on an electric guitar under 300.

Best for Country: Squier Telecaster

Pro:

  • Tone you can't get from other guitars

Con:

  • Not very versatile

Key Features:

Single Coil Pickups: The two pickups on a Telecaster are very low output, which gives them their own unique flavor and style.

Iconic Tone: There is something magical about the bridge pickup of a Telecaster.  It creates a sound that almost no other guitar can create.  This is the Nashville twang sound.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

When it comes to electric guitars, the Telecaster is up there as one of the most iconic guitars ever.  Dating all the way back to 1950.  Back then it was known as the Esquire, then the broadcaster, and finally then the Telecaster.

There simply isn't a better widely available guitar for country music than the Telecaster.  The bridge position pickup brings an amazing country pop along with it that can be heard on countless classic and modern records.

If you ever make your way to Nashville you will see an absurd amount of Telecasters down there.  It absolutely is the guitar to have for that style of music.

Best Acoustic Electric Under $300: Yamaha APX

Pro:

  • Easy to play acoustic

Con:

  • Very different sound when plugged in

Key Features:

Piezo Pickup: The APX600 features an under saddle piezo pickup system that provides great amplified acoustic sound without feedback or excessive volume levels.

Three band EQ: Use the built in EQ to shape your sound to perfection. Adjust the bass, middle and treble frequencies to match your playing style or venue acoustics.

Eye Catching Design: The design of this guitar is sure to make anyone look twice.  The oval sound hole is unique, yet not too crazy where it seems weird.  Just different and cool.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

This is obviously the choice for those who want to play electric acoustic guitar.  Running an acoustic guitar through an amp has never been easier, just plug and play.  

For the price, this guitar has immense playability, and that is why it has stood the test of time since 1987.  It has been designed to feel like an electric guitar, yet sound like an acoustic guitar.  This pretty much just means that playing is way easier than a typical acoustic guitar. 

Overall this guitar plays and sounds killer for the price.  Also though, I find this guitar to be particularly beautiful.  It's got all three P's of guitar buying: Price, Playability, and Prettiness.  

Best Semi Hollow Body: Squier Starcaster

Pro:

  • Super Unique

Con:

  • Large Body Size

Key Features:

Humbucker Pickups: The Affinity Series Starcaster creates massive tone courtesy of its dual Squier humbucking pickups and is easy to play thanks to its slim, comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile.

Semi Hollow Body: The semi hollow body of the Starcaster gives it a sound that is very unique to itself.  You typically cannot find semi hollow guitars for such a low price.

Unique: This is a guitar that is sure to get some looks when you bring it out.  I have never seen another person playing one in wild.  They are super unique and cool to have.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

The Starcaster could be the best electric guitar under 300 because it has great playability and style.  

There are not many guitars for under 300 that you can buy and it will turn heads.  This guitar will get people asking.  It's awesome to have a unique piece of gear that becomes a part of your sound rather than just having the same guitar everyone else has.

Getting a guitar for under 300 that plays great is already a difficult task, but to get one that plays great, sounds great, and has its own unique look is a super rare thing to find.

Most Versatile: Yamaha Pacifica

Pro:

  • HSS offers extreme versatilty

Con:

  • Quality control issues, specifically with tuners

Key Features:

HSS Pickups: HSS stands for Humbucker, Single, Single.  This means that it has a higher output humbucker pickup in the bridge position and a single coil pickup in both the middle and neck position.

5 Way Selector: The 5 way selector switch gives you access to any of the pickups, as well as the two in between settings in position 2 and 4.

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

The Yamaha Pacifica is a great choice for the best electric guitar under 300 because of its versatility.  

The HSS configuration allows you to great accurate sounds for metal, rock, funk, jazz, blues, and almost any other genre you can think of.  Because of this you can get super round beautiful John Mayer style tone from the middle and neck, while getting nasty and gritty sounds from the bridge position.

Versatility is particularly important for beginners who haven't really discovered what gets them going musically.  A guitar like this allows you to explore tonnes of genres for a low low price.

Best for Kids: Squier Mini Strat

Pro:

  • Smaller body and neck for smaller people

Con:

  • Can be outgrown quickly

Key Features:

Reduced Size: The Squier Mini Stratocaster is the perfect companion for a child that is just picking up guitar for the first time because of its smaller body and shorter scale legnth.

High Quality Children's Instrument: The Squier Mini Stratocaster is an excellent choice for introducing young people to the fun of playing guitar.  Most "Children's Guitars" are nothing more than cheap toys.  This is the real deal.  A fully working and respectable guitar.  

Classic Guitar: The Mini Squier Stratocaster is a smaller version of the legendary Fender Stratocaster.  The Stratocaster was famously played by players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and John Mayer, so your child will be in good company.  

Why is this the Best Electric Guitar Under 300?

The Mini Squier Strat is a smaller version of an iconic guitar.  The Fender Stratocaster.  A guitar made famous by players like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and John Mayer.  These are legendary players.

The Squier mini Strat has some of the highest quality standards you will be able to find for a miniature guitar at this price point.  They always play well, and set your child up on the right path towards musicianship.  

If you are considering buying a guitar for a child, the Squier Mini Strat is certainly something you need to consider.  It is a great guitar built by a reputable brand that has been doing in for decades.  

Best Guitar Under 200: Squier Bullet Strat

Pro:

  • Super Low Priced

Con:

  • Better version available for $50 more

So this Stratocaster is just like the top pick on this list, except priced a little lower.  It offers many of the same parts and build.  However, simple just does not play as good.

These ones are far more likely to have sharp fret edges, and electronics issues.  Overall we think this is a fine guitar for a beginner, but we would recommend spending the extra $50 on a Strat that is much more reliable. 

Best Guitar Under 400: Jackson JS32

Pro:

  • Floyd Rose

Con:

  • Floyd Rose 😉

Key Features:

Floyd Rose Bridge: The Floyd Rose bridge is a huge point of contention for many guitar players some love them, some hate them.  It all depends on your experience with them.  They are a rarely used type of bridge that increases tuning stability.  

Humbucker Pickups:  The pickups on this guitar are some of the hottest pickups Jackson makes.  This makes the JS32 ideal for hard rock and metal music.

Why is this the Best Guitar Under 400?

Keep in mind that this may not be the best guitar under 400 for everyone, but overall we think it is the best value under 400.

To put it simply, it just sounds better and plays better than other guitars in its price range.  We simply think it is better than its competitors from Ibanez and Epiphone.

Best Guitar Under 500: Squier Jazzmaster

Pro:

  • Professional sound and feel

Con:

  • All the knobs and switches are in weird places

Key Features:

Alnico Pickups: Alnico pickups are pickups comprised of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt.  They are known for being single coil pickups with higher than usual output.  This gives them that great single coil tone, while still being able to bring warmth and crunch.

Amazing Feel: I own one of these, and I really think it is one of the best feeling guitars I have ever had.  It plays smooth and butter, and compares to instruments double its price.

Why is this the Best Guitar Under 500?

I really can't begin to describe how amazing this guitar is.  The first time I picked one up at a guitar store is very memorable to me.  Because I was so incredibly surprised.

The sound of this guitar is kinda in between that of a normal single coil guitar and a humbucker guitar, so you're kinda getting the best of both worlds.  It can do the Strat stuff, and it can do the Les Paul stuff.

If you have the extra money to spend I can really not recommend this guitar enough.  

7 Best Guitar Strings for Beginners (2021 List)

Best electric

NYXL's

You may not know much about guitar strings, but this article will tell you what to look for in the best guitar strings for beginners so you can get started with a good set. We'll go over different types of string gauges and materials, as well as benefits to each that may be most beneficial for a beginner guitarist.  We'll also mention the popular brands of strings so you can make an informed decision on which type to buy when it comes time.

Electric/Acoustic Guitar Strings Guide

What is String Gauge? 

The gauge of the string simply refers to how big around the string is in 1000ths of an inch.  The most common string gauges for electric guitars are .9-.42 or .10-.46.  Both of these sets are light enough to bend easily, and they are thick enough that they won't rattle all over the place.  The choice between the two is really a preference thing.  The most common acoustic guitar string sets are .12-.53.  This means acoustic guitar strings are generally a lot thicker than electric guitar strings. 

Heavier gage strings also known as thicker gauge strings are good for things like hard strumming, drop tunings, and jazz.  Heavier gauge strings are advantageous for these things because if you are strumming hard, a thicker string will create more tension which makes the strings less likely to rattle creating an undesirable sound.  They are used for drop tunings for the same reason.  The more tension the less likely the strings will rattle against the frets.  Finally a heavier gauge string is good for jazz because in jazz the guitar is mostly a rhythm section instrument, and its role is to chunk out a bunch of quarter notes.  Not a lot of bending is required.

Lighter gauge strings are better guitar strings for beginners because they will hurt their fingers less, and players that are soloing a lot.  Bending is a super common solo technique and because of that lighter strings are best for soloing.  A strange exception to this is Stevie Ray Vaughn though.  He used thicker strings than most companies even sell, so not every rule is perfect, but generally thinner strings are better for soloing.

String Material

Guitar Strings can be made of a few different things. These include Nickel, Nickel wound steel, steel, brass, bronze, and nylon.  

Of all of these options the best guitar strings for beginners are certainly nylon strings.  Nylon strings are what is typically on a classical style guitar.  They require the least amount of tension to push down.  This makes it much easier for beginners because often times beginners don't have the strength to push down the strings, or their finger tips hurt really bad from playing.  Nylon strings remedy both of those.

For all the other types of strings, they really feel the same underneath your fingers.  They are all made of metal and require the same amount of pressure to push down.

Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Beginners: Elixer Nanoweb Extra Light

Pro:

  • Coating makes strings last longer

Con:

  • Some do not care for the feeling of coating

Key Features:

Prolonged Use: Elixir Strings coats the whole string, protecting more of the string surface than any other brand. This helps your strings retain their tone 3 to 5 times longer than uncoated strings.

Light Gauge: .10-.47 are very light strings for an acoustic guitar.  Light gauge strings are absolutely crucial to beginners because heavier strings are harder to press down, and will hurt the beginner's fingers much more.  

Why are these the Best Guitar Strings for Beginners?

Light gauge Elixer strings are a great choice for the best guitar strings for beginners.  This mostly comes down to three factors.  They are light, they are coated, and they are the easiest acoustic guitar strings to play.

A coated string is beneficial for a beginner because beginners are prone to using a set of strings for way too long.  Strings have a life cycle and once they are on their way out the tone completely alters.  Using these strings will allow for the player to still get great tone out of their guitar for months and months of playing rather than weeks of playing.  

The importance of a light gauge is something we have already stressed a lot in this article.  However, it is certainly still worth mentioning that beginners need light gauge strings so they can press down the strings, and their fingers will hurt less.  So these acoustic guitar strings are great for avoiding sore fingers.

Best Budget Acoustic: Ernie Ball Earthwood

Pro:

  • Super Affordable

Con:

  • Wear Out Quick

These Ernie Ball strings are amongst some of the easiest acoustic guitar strings to play.  Along with that, they are dirt cheap. 

The low price of these strings makes it hard to not at least try them out.  Give them a shot, maybe you'll like them a lot.

Best Electric Strings: D'Addario NYXL

Pro:

  • Super Long Lasting

Con:

  • Pricier than average strings

Key Features:

Prolonged Life: NYXL strings are up to 3x longer lasting than other guitar strings, so you can play more and change strings less.

Stronger Material: NYXL strings are made from high carbon steel, which is harder and stronger than other string materials. This allows them to hold their shape better for a more consistent feel and enhanced tone life.  

Why are these the Best Guitar Strings for Beginners?

D'Addario NYXL's are great strings for beginners and beyond.  They are used by people first picking up a guitar all the way to the tip top upper echelon.  Legends like Nile Rodgers play NYXL's, and modern greats like Tosin Abasi play NYXL's as well.

The NYXL's are the best electric guitar strings for beginners because they get you started off right.  They aren't strings that will hold you back.  Their quality control is impeccable, and you'll never get a set that feels different from others.  

They stay in tune better, break less, and bend easier.  All of these things and more are what NYXL's the best electric guitar strings for beginners.

Best Budget Electric: D'Addario Pro Steels

Pro:

  • Very Inexpensive 

Con:

  • Wear Out Quickly

Key Features:

High Output:  These strings are made for rockers.  These strings have higher output than others and that is part of what gives rock and roll its sound.  

Trusted Brand:  D'Addario is probably the most trusted name in guitar strings.  It seems like everyone I know uses their strings, including myself.  They always deliver on tone and life span.

Why are these the Best Guitar Strings for Beginners?

These are great guitar strings for beginners because they sound great and don't cost much.  

These are probably the most fair priced guitar strings on the market.  They comes in around half the price of most other strings, but yet deliver the same quality.

The sound these strings produce is absolutely top notch.  The low price tag might lead you to think that they wouldn't sound great, but that is simply not the case at all.  These strings sound just as great as you would hope.

Best Nylon Strings: D'Addario EJ27N

Pro:

  • Super easy on fingers

Con:

  • A sound not often found in popular music

Key Features:

Nylon: Nylon guitar strings are great for beginners because they are much easier to play than the steel strings typically found on acoustic and electric guitars.  

Standard: These strings are kinda the standard for nylon string guitar playing.  They get the job done every time.

Why are these the Best Guitar Strings for Beginners?

The EJ27N's are great strings for beginners due to their easy playing nature.  Often times beginners are discouraged by how much their fingers hurt, and how hard it is to push the string down.  A nylon string helps solve both of these issues. 

One thing to be careful of is that your guitar can handle nylon strings.  Guitars are designed to be under a certain amount of pressure from the strings pulling on the neck, and nylon strings have a lot less tension that metal strings.  This lack of tension would make the neck of the guitar all whack.  So just make sure your guitar can handle it.  

Honorable Mention: Ernie Ball Regular Slinky

Pro:

  • Inexpensive

Con:

  • Some Don't like the Feel

Key Features:

Classic: Ernie Ball Regular Slinky strings are a classic set of strings that have been used by tonnes of huge names like Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Steve Vai.  

Simple But Effective: Regular Slinky strings are the epitome of simple but effective.  There is nothing super flashy about them, but if you show up with these strings on, you should have no issue getting the job done.

The only thing holding back the Regular Slinky set from being the best pick is the gauge.  These strings unfortunately do not come in 9's, which is what I would recommend a beginner to start with.  9's are what I use to this day, so for some people 10's are just too heavy in general, even after they are an experienced player.

These strings have a reputation that speak for themselves.  Guys like Clapton and Vai don't play bad strings.  

Maybe these will work for you if you are a guy with big hands.  Then the 10's would be fine to begin on, but if thats not you, I would recommend starting on 9's.

FAQ:

Are light guitar strings easier to play?

Yes, light guitar strings are easier to play.  They require less finger strength to push down.  This is why it is recommended beginners start out with light guitar strings.

Are nylon or steel strings better for beginners?

The real answer is that there is no right answer.  It all depends on what you want personally.  If you have an interest in playing nylon strings, go for it, but if you have no interest at all, don't force yourself to do something you won't like.

7 Best Guitars for 7 Year Old (2021 List)

Are you looking for the perfect guitar for your 7 year old? We've got you covered with our list of 7 best guitars that are perfect for beginners. You'll find a variety of acoustic and electric guitars on this list, with an option to fit any budget of even the most tight-pursed parents. Plus, we also have some great tips and tricks to help teach your child how to play their new instrument! So without further ado, let's get started with our first pick: 

Best Youth Guitars List

#1 Pick Squier Mini Stratocaster

Pro:

  • A great instrument made by a trusted brand

Con:

  • Won't be the perfect style for every kid
Key Features:

Reduced Size: The Squier Mini Stratocaster is the perfect companion for a child that is just picking up guitar for the first time.

High Quality Children's Instrument: The Squier Mini Stratocaster is an excellent choice for introducing young people to the fun of playing guitar.  Most "Children's Guitars" are nothing more than cheap toys.  This is the real deal.  A fully working and respectable guitar.  

Classic Guitar:
The Mini Squier Stratocaster is a smaller version of the legendary Fender Stratocaster.  The Stratocaster was famously played by players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and John Mayer, so your child will be in good company.  

Why is this the Best Guitar for a 7 Year Old?

The Mini Squier Strat is a smaller version of an iconic guitar.  The Fender Stratocaster.  A guitar made famous by players like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and John Mayer.  These are legendary players.

The Squier mini Strat has some of the highest quality standards you will be able to find while buying a guitar for a child.  They always play well, and set your child up on the right path towards musicianship.  

If you are considering buying a guitar for a child, the Squier Mini Strat is certainly something you need to consider.  It is a great guitar built by a reputable brand that has been doing in for decades.  That is why it is the best electric guitar for a 7 year old.

Best For Rock: Jackson Minion

Pro:

  • Humbucking pickups offer a full and rich sound

Con:

  • Intonation Issues
Key Features:

Reduced Size: The Jackson JS1X Dinky Minion is a smaller version of the original JS1. It's perfect for younger players who are just starting out and need an easy-to-play guitar with great tone.

Sharkfin Inlays: The sharkfin inlays give this guitar a unique look that's sure to make it stand out.  Some kids think it makes the guitar look super cool.

Humbucker Pickups: These humbuckers have plenty of power and clarity, making them ideal for heavy rock or metal styles.

Why is this the Best Guitar for 7 Year Old?

The Jackson Minion is a great kids electric guitar for children that want to get into rock and roll music.  The humbucker pickups deliver the perfect amount of punch for genres like that.

Jackson is another brand that can be trusted to always put out good products.  There are too many toy companies trying to put out guitars for children.  The guitar companies are the ones that will do it right.  

This guitar also features a rather thin neck which means it will be easier for a child to wrap their small hands around the neck.  It isn't that big of a difference from all the other guitars on this list, but is certainly worth mentioning.

Best Acoustic Guitar for Kids: Yamaha JR1

Pro:

  • Many people prefer beginners to start acoustically

Con:

  • Acoustic guitars are harder to play
Key Features:

3/4 Size: The JR1 is the best 3/4 guitar you can find for a super affordable price today.

High Quality: Yamaha carefully selects the woods that go into every single guitar they build. You can trust that this instrument will be of the highest quality and craftsmanship.

Acoustic Guitar: The JR1 is an acoustic guitar, which means it doesn't require any electrical components to produce its sound. Acoustic guitars have a very different sound than electric guitars.  Players generally start by playing an acoustic guitar.

Why is this the Best Guitar for 7 Year Old?

The Yamaha JR1 is a great guitar for a child that wants to start out on an acoustic guitar.  One of the biggest advantages of starting a kid out on acoustic guitar is that you won't have to pay for all the other things that you need for electric guitar.  Like cables and amplifiers.  

Another thing that is great about starting a child on an acoustic guitar is that the pressure required to push down the strings is greater, so they develop stronger fingers much faster than children that start out on an electric guitar.

There really is no right or wrong answer for if you should start your child on electric guitar or acoustic guitar.  The best thing to do is figure out what will get your child excited to play, and get them the one that best fits them.

Premium Acoustic Guitar: Mini Taylor

Pro:

  • Will Last a Lifetime

Con:

  • Pricey
Key Features:

Reduced Size: The Taylor GS Mini is a scaled-down version of the popular Grand Symphony body shape. It also offers a shorter than average scale length.  

Plays Very Well: This guitar has an excellent action and plays very well. It has a solid Sitka spruce top and layered rosewood back and sides, which give it a great timeless sound.

Trusted Brand: Taylor is one of the best trusted brands in the acoustic guitar world.  They simply don't make bad products.  Every single guitar Taylor makes is a professional level guitar.

Why is this the Best Guitar for 7 Year Old?

The Mini Taylor acoustic guitar is the guitar for parents that want to buy their child a guitar that will last them a lifetime.  Unlike the other guitars on this list.  This guitar isn't made for children.  It is more so made for a musician that lives life on the road, and needs to save space.  This makes it a tiny little guitar.

Because of this though the Mini Taylor is perfect for children as well, and it gives them an opportunity to play a professional level guitar.  

It may be pricier than all the other guitars on this list, but it will be easier to play, sound better, and will last for decades and decades.  

Premium Electric Guitar: Sterling Cutlass

Pro:

  • HSS configuration allows for more tonal possibilities

Con:

  • Pricier than the rest
Key Features:

HSS Pickup Configuration: The Sterling Cutlass Guitar features a humbucker in the bridge position for maximum output with two single coils in the neck and middle positions. This pickup combination offers flexibility of sound allowing you to switch from a warm clean tone to pokey crisp guitar without changing the amp at all.

Shortscale Neck: The short scale length makes it easy to play for musicians who have smaller hands or those who are just learning how to play guitar. It also allows for easier string bending as well.

Cool Look: I really dig the aesthetic of this guitar.  It has a uniqueness, yet is still within the range of acceptable looking guitars.  Just a super cool looking guitar.

Why is this the Best Guitar for 7 Year Old?

This is a great electric guitar for a 7 year old because it will both allow them to play easily as well as explore different sounds.  

The Sterling Cutlass is the premium beginner guitar for kids.  The two different pickup types allow for beautiful melodies near the neck and harsh rock and roll sounds near the bridge.  Being able to have both is a super useful tool, and can help your child better find what they like about playing guitar.

If you are willing to spend a little extra to get you child started, this is the guitar to do it on.  It will get your child started on the right path.

Best Classical Guitar: Yamaha CGS

Pro:

  • Nylon Strings are easy to press down

Con:

  • Classical guitars are not often used in popular music
Key Features:

Nylon Strings: The nylon strings on these classical guitars are easy to press down, making them ideal for beginners who have not yet developed strong fingers or calluses.

Half Size:
 These small size classical guitars are perfect for children with smaller hands. They also make excellent travel guitars that won't take up too much space in your luggage when you're traveling.

Unique Sound: Because these guitars have nylon stings on them, the sound produced is very different than the sound of guitar you hear on the radio.  Nylon strings are not often used in popular music, but they are great for beginners to get started.

Why is this the Best Guitar for 7 Year Old?

This Yamaha classical guitar is a great choice for a child that is just starting out.  The biggest difference between this guitar and all the other ones on this list is that the strings on this guitar are made of nylon rather than a metal.  

Pressing down nylon strings requires a lot less strength, and this will make playing easier.  This also ensures that your child's fingers don't hurt from playing.  When you first start playing guitar, you fingers aren't used to the constant pressure of the strings, and this makes your fingers hurt. 

Overall this is a great choice to start a child out on, but just be aware that they will likely want a change soon because they will want a guitar that sounds like the ones on the radio.  

Ibanez MiKro

Pro:

  • Sounds great for the price

Con:

  • Poor tuning stability
Key Features:

Humbucker Pickups: The GRGM21M comes equipped with two Infinity R humbucker pickups that provide a full range of tones from warm and smooth to bright and cutting. The Infinity R pickups are designed with ceramic magnets for a higher output while maintaining clarity of tone even at high volume levels.

Low Action: Low action makes playing fast licks easier because there's less distance between strings and fretboard for your fingers to cover in order to reach each note accurately. With low action you'll also find yourself playing cleaner notes more often than not since there's less room for error.

Short Scale Neck: The scale length on this guitar is 22.2 inches which certainly on the shorter side of this list.  That makes this guitar one of the best options for small children hands.

Why is this the Best Guitar for 7 Year Old?

The Ibanez MiKro is a guitar that will be more suited towards genres like rock or metal.  So if that is what your child is into,  you should really consider this guitar.  

Often times rock and metal guitars have thinner necks which makes it easier for children with small hands to play them, and this is the case with the Ibanez MiKro.  

This is another trusted brand making a tiny guitar that is intended for children, so you know you are getting the real thing.  It isn't a toy that is poorly made by someone that has no idea what they are doing.  

FAQ:

Can a 7 year old learn guitar?

Yes, a 7 year old absolutely can learn guitar.  For young children, we recommend finding a qualified local guitar teacher to help.  Guitar lessons will really help get a child started down the right path to musicianship.

What is a good first guitar for a child?

There are many great options for a child's first guitar, but make sure you are taking into account what they want.  Figure out what guitar will get them excited and then go from there.  Read more Here!

What size guitar is best for a 7 year old?

The best guitar size for a 7 year old is a 3/4 size guitar.  They are small enough that the child can play on them, but it also gives them room to grow on it.  That's why the 3/4 size guitar is the best for a 7 year old.

11 Best Portable Guitar Amps (2021 List)

Best tiny amp

Nux Mighty Lite

best bedroom amp

Fender Mustang

I've compiled a list of the 11 best portable amps for guitar. These are great options because they're small enough to take with you on your adventures, and can be used in any setting. Some models even have battery power so you don't need an outlet! I'll go over some features that make these amps stand out from the rest, but if you want to compare all of them at once, Let's get started!

Best Portable Gigging Amps

The first subcategory we are going to go over is amps that are portable, yet you can still take them gigging.  In this category you are going to find a lot of lower end tube amplifiers and higher end solid state amps.

Best Gigging Amp: Fender Blues Junior

Pro:

  • Light weight affordable tube amp

Con:

  • Not a tiny practice amp
Key Features:

One 12 Inch Speaker: The Blues Junior IV is a 15-watt amp that's easy to carry and set up, making it perfect for stage work. It has one 12 inch speaker that delivers classic Fender tone with warm overdrive and surprising volume.

Light Weight Tube Amp: The Blues Junior IV weighs just 31 pounds, so you can easily take it from gig to gig. It also features an external speaker jack for use with an 8 ohm extension cabinet.

Fender Reverb: The reverb circuit in the Blues Junior IV has been modified to deliver more of what guitarists love about vintage tube amps—warmth and smoothness. You'll also appreciate the improved spring reverb tank, which is smoother than previous models.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

This is the best portable guitar amp for gigging guitarists that need a lightweight amp with tonnes of tone.  The Blues Junior is part of the best selling line of amplifiers of all time, the Fender Hot Rod series.  

The one 12 inch speaker delivers Iconic tone at a volume level that is plenty loud for most bar gigs.  If it isn't loud enough for you gigs, just mic it up, and you'll still get that killer tone with a reasonable stage volume.  

For gigging guitarists that need an amp that is easy to carry around, but still provides amazing tone, look no further than the Fender Blues Junior.

Boss Katana

Pro:

  • Low Maintenance

Con:

  • Tone isn't as good as a tube amp
Key Features:

Two 12 Inch Speakers: This version of the Boss Katana is a 2 by 12 amplifier meaning it comes equipped with Two 12 inch speakers.  These speakers are specially designed by Boss to deliver crisp singing highs and articulate lows while pumping out a ton of volume.

Solid State Amplifier: Solid State Amplifiers are known for generally being a lot lighter than traditional tube amplifiers.  They also require a lot less maintenance than a tube amplifier.

Built in Effects: The Boss Katana includes a wide array of effects that can be applied to your signal super quickly via the smartphone application.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

This amp is a great option for anyone that is looking for a low maintenance, low priced gigging amplifier.  This amp comes in at a price that is well under the starting range for most tube amplifiers.

For a solid state amplifier, this amp has some of the best tone you will find on the market.  Obviously it isn't quite the same as a tube amp.  However, for the price and the other benefits of a solid state amp.  It is a great option.

This amp comes with all the built in effects you could ever want or need, and with the smartphone app, you can precisely dial in any tone your little heart desires.

Fender Acoustasonic

Pro:

  • Can run vocals and guitar at the same time

Con:

  • Mainly for acoustic guitar only
Key Features:

Two 6 Inch Speakers: The Acoustic 40 amplifier features two 6 inch speakers that deliver a full and balanced sound.

Vocal Amp:
This amp allows you to use one of the inputs for a microphone, so you can run your vocals as well as a guitar through the amplifier at the same time.

Simple but Effective:
The Acoustic 40 amplifier is designed to provide clean, clear amplification for any performance situation without all the bells and whistles. It’s perfect for small venues where you need to amplify your vocals and acoustic guitar, but don’t want to carry around a separate PA system.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

This amp can be an extremely useful tool in a performer's arsenal.  Instead of having to carry around a dedicated guitar amp and a PA for vocals, you can just have both in one small package.  

Along with that, this amp is plenty loud for a small venues like a coffee shop, or anywhere else you would find yourself playing acoustic style music.

Finally, this amp only weighs 17 pounds, which makes it incredibly easy to take from place to place.  With its compact design, this amp can be taken almost anywhere easily.  This makes it the best portable acoustic guitar amp out there.

Supro Blues King

Pro:

  • Great tone
  • Looks Pretty

Con:

  • Not very loud
Key Features:

One 10 Inch Speaker: The Blues King 10 is a single-channel amp with a single 10 inch special design BK10 speaker.  The controls include: Volume, Treble, Bass and the unique Supro Tone Cut control.

Sleek Design: With its retro look and compact size, the Blues King 10 will fit into any room in your home or apartment, and it'll look good.  That will keep girlfriends/ moms happy.

5 Watts:
The Blues King 10 is a 5 watt amplifier.  Many would think that means the amp is a quiet little amp that can't push a lot of air.  What 5 watts mean is that 5 watts is when the amp begins to overdrive, so therefore this amp will get super crunch super quickly.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

The Supro Blues King is a great portable guitar amp for very simple reasons.  It is light weight and sounds good.  That's all there is to it.

Many amps overcomplicate what they need to be, but not this one.  Simply plug in and play.  It sounds great, and you can take it with you all over.  

Roland JC-22

Pro:

  • Simple Plug and Play

Con:

  • Having two small speakers makes the sound trebley
Key Features:

Two 6.5 Inch Speakers: The JC-22 delivers Roland’s classic clean tone and famous Dimensional Space Chorus effect in a compact amp that’s perfect for playing at home. Offering the essential features of the popular JC-120 in an even more scaled-down size, this versatile stereo amp is also great for intimate performances and recording

Legendary Amplifier: The JC series has been a top choice among guitarists since its debut in 1997. With their signature “chimey” clean tone, these amps are prized by players from all genres for their ability to faithfully reproduce a wide range of sounds with minimal effort.

Easy to use: The JC Series was designed with versatility in mind, you can customize your sound by selecting one of three different chorus types: Wide, Medium or Narrow—or switch off the effect entirely if you prefer.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

The Roland JC-22 is a smaller version of one of the most famous amplifiers ever, the Roland JC-120.  These amps are known for being great high end solid state amplifiers.  

Many are drawn to tube amps by the sound, but don't anticipate the repair costs and other maintenance required to keep it in working shape.  

That is why many opt for high quality solid state amps like this one.  It sounds great, you can rely on it, it is small enough to take anywhere, and it is loud enough to gig with.

This part of the list is going to consist of amps that are too small to gig with, but still not the miniature practice amps.  Typically these amps range in price from $100 to around $400.

Best Bedroom Amp: Fender Mustang

Pro:

  • Tonnes of Preset tones

Con:

  • Difficulty connecting amp to smartphone app
Key Features:

One 8 Inch Speaker: The Mustang I V.2 is the most affordable amp in the series, and features a single 8-inch speaker for authentic guitar tones at any volume.

Built in Presets:
With 30 presets covering a wide range of music, a 'greatest hits' of electric guitar tones, you'll always have the right sound for your song, whether you're playing country, pop, classic rock or something else.

Simple User Interface: Designed to be simple and intuitive so you can spend less time reading manuals and more time making music.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

This is a great option for a bedroom amplifier because it is tiny, versatile, and inexpensive.  

The presets on this amplifier really are quite close to what they are attempting to emulate, and that's really impressive for an amp you can purchase for under $200.  

Along with that, this amp only weighs about 15 pounds, so it is super easy to take it from place to place.  Wherever you might need it. 

Overall, this portable Fender amp is a great small guitar amp that can create a ton of different sounds for you.

Orange Crush 20RT

Pro:

  • Built in Reverb and Tuner

Con:

  • Not as many effects as other amps
Key Features:

One 8 Inch Speaker: The Crush 20RT features a single custom designed 8 inch speaker, delivering a full and balanced sound.

Built in Tuner:
Never be caught out of tune again! The built in chromatic tuner makes sure you always stay in the groove.

Clean and Dirty Channel: Switch between Clean and Dirty channels at the flick of a switch.  The clean channel offers sounds that lend themselves to genres like funk and jazz while the dirty channel can be used more for blues and rock.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

The Orange Crush 20RT, in my opinion, is the best small guitar amp.  I am not one for fancy effects much.  A little reverb is all I need.  I think often times guitarists get distracted with all the options they have to play around with.  

Regardless, the Orange Crush 20RT simply sounds astonishing.  For an amp that comes in under $200 you aren't going to find much better tone than what comes out of this amp.

It also allows you to store one setting on each channel, so no matter what you do with the knobs you can always have your favorite sound on deck, and ready to go.

Yamaha THR10

Pro:

  • Extremely Portable

Con:

  • Small speakers don't have the greatest tone
Key Features:

15 Amp Models: The THR10II offers 15 amp models, including new additions like the Creamer (based on a vintage British model) and Lead (a modern high-gain sound).

Built for Portability: The THR10II packs a lot of tone into a small package. It’s easy to grab and go with its compact size and light weight.

Functions as Bluetooth Speaker: The THR10II is also equipped with Bluetooth® wireless technology that lets you stream audio from your smartphone or tablet device, so you can jam along with your favorite songs.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

The Yamaha THR10 is one of the best bluetooth portable guitar amps out there because it was designed to be.  It's even got a nice little metal handle on it because it was made to be picked up and taken elsewhere.

This amp is great because of all the sonic possibilities with it.  The THR10 has 15 different guitar amp models, 3 bass, and 3 vocal.  So with this amp you can get any sound that you could ever need.

Overall this is a super unique amp that is highly revered by many bedroom players and professionals alike.  So you should have no issues with picking this amp up.

Fender Champion

Pro:

  • Simple, Plug and Play

Con:

  • Not Great Tone
Key Features:

Versatility: The Champion 40's straightforward controls, cool effects and versatile amp voicings make it easy to dial in just the right sounds for rock, blues, metal, country, jazz and more.

One 12 Inch Speakers: You get big sound from one 12 inch speaker.  Not many amps this price have as big of a speaker as the Champion 40.

Built in Effects: Choose from chorus, vibrato, tremolo, delay, echo, and reverb. These built in effects can be used for a wide range of tonal possibilities.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

The Fender Champion 40 is a great choice for someone that is looking for a small amp to take with them to a friends house or on a trip.  

This amp only weighs about 10 pounds which makes it super easy to pick up and take from place to place.

Also this amp is pretty versatile.  It comes with a bunch of built in effects, so you can get whatever sound you desire.

Practice Amps

Practice amps are the little tiny amps you can take with you in a suitcase.

Best Battery Powered  Guitar Amp: Nux Mighty Lite

Pro:

  • Almost fits in your pocket

Con:

  • Strictly a Practice amp
Key Features:

Built In Effects: The Nux Mighty Lite BT has built in effects like chorus, flanger, delay, overdrive, distortion, octaver, and reverb. You can choose which effect you want to use with just one button press on the amp or your smartphone app.

Low Price Tag: This small all-in-one portable guitar amplifier has a low price tag, but still delivers high quality sound. It’s perfect for beginners who don’t have enough money to buy an expensive amplifier or for professional musicians who travel a lot and don’t want to carry around heavy equipment with them all the time.

Smartphone Application: NUX Mighty Lite BT comes with a free smartphone application that allows you to control the amp via Bluetooth. You can connect it to your phone, tablet or computer and play along with your favorite songs, adjust tone and volume in real time.

Why is this the Best Portable Amp for Guitar?

The Nux Mighty Lite is a the best mini guitar amp to take with you to hotels, or anywhere on the road.  It will fit super easily within any suitcase or carry on bag.  

What's great about this amp is how many sounds it can create.  When you hook this amp up with the smartphone application, the sound possibilities are endless.  You are instantly granted access to tonnes of effects and different styles of overdrive.  

You can get a clean funk sound, a crunchy blues tone, or a nasty metal tone.  Anything you need to practice, this amp can get the job done for you.  

Boss Waza Air Headphones

Pro:

  • Play Ultra Quietly

Con:

  • Not Needed by Many
Key Features:

Play Super Quiet: The Waza air headphones allow you to jam out by yourself without disturbing anyone else.  This is particularly helpful for people who find themselves being that last person awake in their households, and don't want to disturb anyone else.

Smartphone App: Easily connect to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth for convenient control of all settings and features including effects, EQ, and more.