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.

Take Anywhere: Designed with a built in rechargeable battery, the Waza Air offers up to 8 hours of continuous play time on a single charge! It also comes with an AC adapter for unlimited playing time.

Why is this the Best Portable Guitar Amp?

The Boss Waza Air headphones are a great addition to any guitarists arsenal.  I find them particularly useful when then rest of the people in the house are asleep, but I still want to play guitar with that amplifier tone.  It is no fun playing electric guitar not plugged in.

These would very easily fit in any suitcase or carry on bag.  So they can go with you on trips.  They can be your amplifier in hotels.  You won't need to disturb anyone.

These have been known to be particularly useful for people with newborn children.  Since the kids are sleeping at weird times of the day, you never know when it's okay to be loud, and when it isn't.

What is the Best All Around Guitar Amp?

The best all around guitar amp is the Fender Blues Junior.  It has been proven for decades, it can be used in many genres, and it comes at an affordable price.

7 Best Cheap Guitar Pedals (2021 List)

best value

Mooer Envelope Filter

Lowest Priced
 

Amazon Basic's Distortion

Cheap guitar pedals that actually work well are hard to find.  Often times they just make your signal sound like absolute garbage.  There are a few exceptions though.  If you look hard enough you can find the diamonds in the rough.  The cheap guitar pedals that actually do what you want them to, and alter your sound in a pleasant way.  

For this list I will be including both ultra cheap and moderately cheaply priced pedals.  This is because sometimes you just simply cannot get the sound you want for under $50, but none of the pedals on this list will be super high priced like the Strymon Big Sky that comes in at about $500.  They will all be moderately cheap.  Something that the vast majority of people can afford.  

I will also put an emphasis on if these pedals are something that can last you for your whole life, or if they are low quality and known to break.  Because no one wants broken gear, and you are going to save yourself money by buying higher quality pedals anyway because otherwise you would likely upgrade anyway.  

We also just published an article about the best clean amps for pedals.  Click here to read!

A lot of pedals.  Best cheap guitar pedals

Must Have Guitar Pedals List

Mini Tube Screamer

7 best Cheap Guitar Pedals

The Tube Screamer is one of the best guitar pedals of all time, and is an absolute must have guitar pedal.  Guitarists like The Edge, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark Jr, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Steve Vai all have used one form or another of a tube screamer.  If that many of the greats have used something, you know it has to be of good quality.  

The Tube Screamer is a classic overdrive pedal.  It is often used for the dirty and gritty blues sound that people like Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer are famous for.  

Why I really like the Mini Tube screamer is multi faceted.  The first reason is that its cheap.  This pedal comes in at a price that almost anyone can afford.  It is really awesome to find a pedal for a reasonable price that can be a staple in almost anyone's playing.  

The next reason is that it is nice and compact.  The Mini Tube Screamer can fit on a pedal board in the smallest of crevices.  It is really great for maximizing the amount of space you have on your board.  There are some overdrive pedals that take up 5 to 6 times the space of this one.  Why use one that big when you can get a pedal that does the same job, and lets you put more cool pedals on your board?

One thing to note about this pedal is that it is not true bypass. We explain more about true bypass, and exactly what it is in the FAQ section of this article.  

Overall though this is a very high quality pedal that comes in at an affordable price.  It can last you your whole life, and it is super small to maximize your pedal board.  One of the best cheap guitar pedals on the market.

Amazon Basic's Distortion Pedal

7 best Cheap Guitar pedals

For the price this pedal is pretty killer.  The amazon basic pedals are some of the best cheap guitar pedals on amazon.  It is probably the cheapest possible distortion pedal you can find that could actually be used as a functioning pedal.  There really isn't much to this pedal it just creates a pretty classic distortion sound.  

Some negatives I have noticed about these pedals include that sometimes the knobs don't really do much.  You can turn them all you want, but the sound doesn't really change much.  Another issue with them is that the distortion sound they create is a little muddy.  Which isn't great, but for the price is totally okay.  It really isn't that big of a deal.  

There isn't much else to say about this pedal.  For its price it absolutely get the job done.  Amazon has a whole line of these pedals and they all are pretty good.  This one in particular though is one of the two best ones.  

Amazon Basic's Delay Pedal

7 best Cheap guitar Pedals

The Amazon Basic's delay pedal runs about $15 more than their distortion pedal.  With that being said, it is still super affordable.  On the pedal it says "timer" which is a little strange.  I have never really heard that term, but it's just a delay pedal.  

All the upsides and downsides of this seem to be very similar to the upsides and downsides of the distortion pedal they offer as well.  Sometimes the knobs don't really do anything.  Because of that it is kinda just a what you see is what you get kind of pedal.  Obviously the overall quality is a little sketchy.  They are prone to issues mechanically and electrically.  

Even though they certainly have issues, you cannot really beat the price of these pedals, and of course the simplicity of them.  These things make it the best cheap delay pedal.

Dunlap Cry Baby Wah

7 best Cheap Guitar Pedals

This cry baby wah has kinda become an industry standard.  It is THE wah.  Almost every guitar player has one, and for good reason.  They are well made pedals that do their job, and they don't cost a whole lot.  This is another pedal that you won't ever really have to upgrade.  It is a top of the line product.  but yet comes in as a budget guitar pedal.

There is also a Cry Baby Mini available.  Normally the mini pedals cost less than their full sized counterpart, but that is not the case with these pedals.  The mini wah runs anywhere from $20 to $50 more depending upon where you purchase it from.  So if you are really looking to save some space on your pedal board, looking into the mini could be a good option for you.  

There isn't much unique about these pedals, they are kinda just a standard wah.  They are meant to emulate a more vintage sound.  This makes them great for emulating Hendirx's sound.  Although Jimi himself did use a Vox wah.  These wahs are able to capture his sound very well.  

Overall I think this is a super worthwhile pedal to buy.  The Dunlap Cry Baby Wah has been proven to be a great pedal year over year.  It comes in at an affordable price, and is a pedal you can use for the rest of your life.  Just a great all around wah pedal.  A very good cheap guitar pedal.

Tiny Tune Pro Stage

7 best Cheap Guitar pedals

The Tiny Tune Pro Stage guitar tuning pedal is a great cheap option for guitar players that play live, or simply want a tuning pedal for the convenience.  Every guitarist that plays any sort of live music needs a tuner pedal.  There is simply too much noise going on during a live performance to ever tune properly.  That is where a tuning pedal comes in handy.

The great thing about tuning pedals is that they are almost all relatively cheap.  This one finds itself in the midrange of prices for tuning pedals.  Even though it isn't the cheapest pedal on the market, it is still super affordable.  I always think that if you can afford the extra $15 to get something of much higher quality, you should.  That is exactly the case with this pedal.  There are cheaper alternatives, but they simply wont be as accurate or as reliable as this pedal is.  

This pedal also is true bypass which is super nice because then it won't mess with your guitar's tone at all.  

Overall this is a great tuning pedal, and almost everyone needs a tuning pedal eventually, so why not get this one?

Mooer Envelope Filter

7 best Cheap Guitar Pedals

This is about as close to a perfect effects pedal there is.  The sound it produces is so authentic to what an envelope filter.  It is actually kinda crazy the sound you get out of this pedal for its price.  The only reason this is rated as 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because it isn't true bypass, and some people a big sticklers about that.  Other than that it is the perfect weird cheap guitar pedal.

 I for one, am not always.  If you stack 8 or 9 pedals together that aren't true bypass then you will begin to see some tone loss, but just one or two in your chain isn't a big deal.  You won't experience any tone loss with just a few pedals in the chain like this.  

The sound that comes from this pedal is so funky, and is right up there in terms of quality with the Qtron.  The Qtron is an envelope filter that costs about four times as much as this pedal does, but creates almost the same exact sound.  

If you don't know what an envelope filter is, it is a type of pedal that is almost exclusively used in funk music.  They are also called auto wahs.  They create a sound that is kinda like if you very quickly pushed your toe down on a wah, and then lifted it back up again.  I will link a video below so you can better understand what an envelope filter does.  

Donner Compressor Pedal

7 BEST CHEAP GUITAR PEDALS

The Donner Compressor Pedal is a run of the mill, standard, compressor pedal.  Some people tend to be a little confused as to what a compressor pedal does, so I'll explain.

A compressor pedal simply takes your low volumes and boosts them a little bit, while taking your higher volumes and lowering them a little bit.  This makes your playing much more dynamically consistent, so they aren't crazy loud things, and super quiet things happening within your playing.  

Many people like compressors while soloing because it brings the lower volumes up.  This makes notes ring out longer which is a really cool, but simple effect for solos. 

This pedal is a true bypass pedal which is pretty sweet for such a low priced pedal.  We explain true bypass more below in the FAQ section.

FAQ:

7 BEST CHEAP GUITAR PEDALS

What is a True Bypass Pedal?

A true bypass pedal is a pedal that does not use a buffer to alter the signal coming from the guitar when the pedal is not engaged.  

Buffers are used in pedals because the guitar outputs a high impedance signal while the effect pedal likes low impedance signals.  So pedals have whats called a buffer within them to alter the signal.   The buffer changes the signal from high impedance to low impedance.  This allows the pedal to work.  

True bypass pedals are seen to be more desirable because they wont alter the guitar's sound at all while the pedal in disengaged.  

They also tend to be more expensive though.  True bypass pedals are more expensive because for the pedal to be true bypass the circuitry has to be done in a way so that the buffer comes after the switch.  This typically requires more complicated work, and more expensive parts.  

In non true bypass pedals the circuit goes like this:  Input to buffer to switch to the effect circuit to the output.  This means that the buffer is always on, and always altering your guitar's sound.

In a true bypass pedal the circuit goes like this: Input to switch to buffer to effect circuit to output.  This way if the switch is not activated the signal will bypass the buffer, and the guitar's sound will not be altered.  

What should be your first guitar pedal?

This really depends on what type of music you like to play.  However, the most common is a drive pedal.  Something like an Ibanez Tube Screamer or a Boss Blues Driver would both be great first pedals.

This is because they are pedals that can be used in so many different genres.  Also they are both high quality pedals that can last you for your whole life.  

A drive pedal is also just an exciting pedal to get.  Something like a compressor is awesome and super useful, but it isn't a very exciting pedal.  You turn it on and now your louds are just a little quieter, and you quiets are just a little louder.  Not too grand.  A drive pedal though is super exciting.  It completely transforms the sound into something super different and cool.

That's why I think a great first pedal to start off with is a drive pedal.  

Are cheap guitar pedals worth it?

For a beginner they are a great way to explore tonnes of different sounds without having to spend a lot of money.  Because of that I would say yes.  However, if you are an experienced guitar player that is looking to get pieces for your rig that are permanent.  I wouldn't recommend going for cheap guitar pedals.

You want to buy high quality items that create the best sounds, and will last you a very long time.  Although it can kinda suck to pay $200-$400 for a simple pedal, if you want the highest quality gear, you'll need to.  With that said, affordable quality guitar pedals are not impossible to find.

Conclusion

7 Best cheap guitar pedals

Cheap guitar pedals are an awesome tool for beginners or someone that just wants to dip their toes into new sounds.  You can find every effect under the sun for under $100 as long as you look hard enough.

We hope we were able to help you find a pedal that you like.  Let us know in the comments below.

7 Best Clean Amps for Pedals (2021 List)

Best Value
 

Fender Blues Junior

Best Low Price
 

Bugera V5

The best clean amp for pedals is something that really comes down to a matter of opinion.  With so many different players wanting to achieve so many different sounds, it is incredibly difficult to say for certain that one amp is the best.  

With that being said, there certainly is a consensus amongst most guitar players that the best clean amp for pedals is likely an amp in the style of a Fender or a Vox.  

Fender and Vox amps are known for being the perfect blank slate to create a sound on top of.  The sounds they can produce range greatly, and can be an integral part of almost any sound.  

I personally have always gravitated towards amps that are built in the Fender or Vox style.  I think this comes from my heavy Soul, R&B, and Funk influences.  

If you too find a lot of your influences in those genres this list is perfect for you.  Also many players that are into country music use these style amps as well, so we hope to help you out too if you are into that style as well. 

Best Clean Tone Amps List

Fender Twin Reverb 
BEst clean amp for pedals

We are starting off with the king of clean amps.  The Fender Twin Reverb is THE Fender amp.  It seems like for the really high level players I have encountered over the years these amps have been the standard for them to have.  They are certainly the best pedal platform amp.

Even if you don't want to use pedals.  This amp has a killer natural overdrive.  It has one of the best overdrives for a clean amp.

These are a reissues version of the classic model manufactured from 1963 to 1982.  In their day they didn't really catch on, but after many years they became beloved by those who still hung on to them.  

Luckily for us, in the 2000's Fender starting making reissue models with the same circuity, but some improved hardware, and just general modernizations of the amp.  

This amp is for the professional musician that spends lots of their time gigging, and making a living playing, or just someone that wants to have an absolute top of the line rig.  

This amp is also mentioned in our Best Jazz Guitar Amp for You list.

Fender Twin Reverb best clean amp for pedals

The first time that I played one of these guitars was at my private guitar lesson instructor's house when I was in music school.  I fell in love with the sound that came out of it, and I knew then that someday I would need to own one myself.  At the time I owned a Fender Mustang modeling amp, which don't get me wrong, is a great amp.  However, it simply doesn't compare to an amp like this.  I think within a week or so I went out and upgraded to a Fender DeVille that gave me a little more of that awesome Fender tube tone.  Just because I wanted to get a little closer to the sound I got out of the Twin Reverb.  

Regardless, If you get this amp there is almost no way to be disappointed.  They are the holy grail of clean amps, and provide the perfect canvas to use pedals on top of.  Whether you're chasing a jazz sound, funk sound, blues sound, or whatever else.  This amp will get it done for you.

Vox AC15C1
BEst clean amp for pedals

The Vox AC15C1 is a great upper middle price range amp for clean sounds and pedals.  The real specialty of Vox is that vintage sound.  They were the sound of the British invasion.  Bands like The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and The Animals were all known to use these amps.  

What really sets Vox style amps, and Fender style amps apart is that omission of negative feedback within Vox amps.  The omission of negative feedback in Vox amps makes them much more midrangey than a traditional Fender amp.  

These midranges make the amp more bell or chime like.  They cut through a mix very well, but can sometimes be too much for some people.  Personally I enjoy the mid scoop that Fender style amps offer, but that is just a preference thing.  

But again because these amps were the sound of the British invasion there is something about them that just sound classic.  They also have a lot of head room before they break up, so that the genuine nature of the pedal can shine through without the amp first being overdriven itself.  Even more so on the AC30, but that is a bit more pricey.

If you are looking for a vintage sound to use your pedals on top of this could very well be the best clean amp for your pedals.  

Fender Blues Junior
Best clean amp for pedals

The Fender Blues Junior is another iconic Fender amp.  It has been used by many as a great recording amp, and has been used live by the likes of Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and The Edge of U2.  Because of that you can assure this is a professional level amp.

The best part about the Blues Junior is its price.  As we just stated, it is surely a professional level amplifier, but it comes in around the middle of the price range of amps.  These are the perfect amp for most intermediate players that are in to genres like soul, rock, or the blues.  

This amp, just like most Fenders, has a lot of headroom.  This means they need to really be driven before they begin to create a breakup tone.  This is what makes them great receptors for pedals.  They let the pedal do the work.  Rather than distorting the sound the pedal is attempting to achieve by breaking up.  

This amp is only 15 Watts, but don't let that deceive you.  It absolutely can pump out a ton of sound.  Also it is kinda nice to have such a wonderful sounding tube amp in a smaller package.  The Blues Junior weighs about 30 pounds.  Compare this to a larger Fender tube amp like a 55 pound Hot Rod DeVille 410, and the Blues Junior seems like a feather.  It is nice to have one of the best small clean amps, but still be able to deliver a ton of tone.

Roland JC Jazz Chorus 
Best clean amps for pedals

This is the first non tube amplifier on this list.  I personally think that tube amps almost always sound better, but this amp is an exception.  The sound that comes out of this amp is magnificent for the price.  There is a reason these amps have been around for decades and decades.  They have proven over and over again that they are one of the best values on the market.  

This amp comes with a few different effect built in.  These include digital reverb, vibrato, and a chorus effect.  This amp also comes with a "distortion knob" that blends break up tone directly into the clean channel.  This amp cannot get super overdriven just by itself, but if you are reading a list of the best clean amps for pedals, I would imagine you aren't looking for that anyway.  

As I mentioned before, this amp comes in at a great price.  Roughly $150 less than the Fender Blues Junior.  Which is already pretty affordable.  This makes great tone accessible to almost anyone.  

This amp is also great if you want to throw pedals on top of it.  The Roland JC series are some of the best solid state amps for pedals on the market.

This amp is ideal for anyone looking to get a great jazz or blues tone.  Here is a video review of the amp, so you can learn more about it.  

VHT AV-SP1-6
Best clean amp for pedals

This is probably the most unique amp on this list.  It is a super affordable little tube amp.  They are hand wired in China, and come in as one of the cheapest amps on this list.  

The VHT AV-SP1-6 has some special features not seen on a lot of amps.  These include a wattage dial.  This makes it so that you can have a true break up tone at a low volume.  As someone with neighbors, I find these extremely useful.  On a traditional amp it is difficult sometimes to get the right sound at a low volume, but this amp certainly does the trick.  

Some other unique things this amp include is a pull push switch on the volume knob.  They call it normal and boost.  This acts kinda like a channel select.  The boost setting obviously just give the amp a little bit of extra kick.  

This is another amp that is super portable because of its size and weight.  It is the smallest amp on this list and comes in at around 25 pounds.  This along with the tubes makes it the best practice amp for pedals on the market.

The wattage dial can be used to give the amp extra headroom to allow the pedals to breathe more, and do their thing.  We mentioned it before, but headroom is how far the amp can be pushed before breaking up, and if the wattage is all the way up, it will take a lot to overdrive this amp.  

The VHT AV-SP1-6 is the second lowest priced amp on this list, so if you are looking for a low priced clean tube amp.  This certainly could be the best clean amp for pedals for you.

Bugera V5
BEst clean amp for pedals

The Bugera V5 is a little amp that can best be used for practice.  It is ideal for someone that lives in an apartment because the amp comes with a switch that can change the amp from 5 watts to 1 watt, or even 0.1 watt.  This allows the amp to get awesome breakup tones at super low volumes.  

Or if you wanted a little more headroom to let your pedals breathe you can use the 5 watt setting, and allow the pedals the proper room to function.  

This amp comes with a few controls right on the face of the amp.  These include volume, tone, reverb, and gain.  The reverb on this small amp is pretty good for the price you are paying.  

As I mentioned before this amp is likely best used for just practice, and not gigging.  It is a little too small for gigs.  With that being said, it is still a great tool to have in your arsenal.  A great sounding practice amp that you can take anywhere is a super awesome tool.  Sometimes I find it hard to practice with normal practice amps because the sound is so garbage, but not with this one.  This one gives you all the classic tone of a tube amp that you desire.  All of it within a super small package.  

FAQ:
Best clean amp for pedals

Can pedals break my amp?

To put it simply.  No they cannot.  This myth arrises from the idea of overdriving your amp too much.  This just cannot happen with pedals.

Do Vox amps take pedals well?

Vox amps are known for taking pedals particularly well.  This is due to the high amount of head room built into their amps.  Their amps are designed to stay clean for a long time.  Not until they are really pushed do they begin to break up.  

Vox is known for creating amps that replicate that classic vintage sound.  This is because the amps that many classic bands were using were Vox amps.  

Vox amps were called the amps of the British Invasion.  Bands like The Beatles, The Animal, and The Yardbird were all famous for using Vox amplifiers.  

What amp has the best clean tone?

The amp with the best clean tone is obviously an opinionated matter.  Many people agree though that the Fender Twin Reverb is the king of clean tones.  It is kinda the standard for many high level players.

It seems whenever I see someone that is really killing it during a blues, funk, jazz, or soul gig.  They are almost always using a Fender Twin Reverb.  They are just the industry standard.

Fender mustang. Best clean amp for pedals

Are tube amps really better?

Not always, but the general consensus is that tube amps normally sound better.  Now if they are worth the price markup is a whole other question.  The thing is that almost no one but guitar players can tell the difference between a tube amp and a solid state amp.  

Personally I love the sound of tube amps, and rarely play without one.  The sound of a solid state amp just always seems to be lacking to me.  Other people are completely fine with a solid state amp, and that's completely okay as well.  Whatever floats your boat.  Ya know?

Conclusion
BEst clean amp for pedals

There are a ton of different amps to choose from that all have different characteristics and price points.  Figure out what it is that you want out of an amp, and then go from there.  

I always have known I love the Fender amp sound, so most of the amps I have accumulated over my life have been Fender amps, or Fender style amps.  

Figure out what works for you, and go from there.

We hope we were able to help you.  Let us know what you think in the comments below.  





Best Clean Amp for Pedals - Colin J
Best Clean Amp for Pedals - Dwane's Music

5 Best Electric Guitar For Small Hands (2021 List)

Finding a guitar that fits your physical abilities and limitations is extremely important.  It is super easy to pick out a guitar that does not fit your body at all because it looks cool, or because one of your favorite guitarists plays that guitar.  There are many different factors in determining what the best electric guitar for small hands could be.  

These factors include scale length, fretboard radius, overall guitar size, and neck shape.  All of these things are important things to look into while determining what the best electric guitar for small hands is.  

To start we will get into what all these jargony words mean, and help you better understand what it is you need to look for if you have small hands.

Whether you have super tiny delicate hands, or manly paws with short fat fingers, we can help you find the guitar for you.

Fender mustang.  Best electric guitar for small hands
Scale Length
Best electric guitar for small hands

The scale length of a guitar is simply how far it is from the bridge of a guitar to the nut of a guitar.  The two most common scale lengths are 24.75 inches, which is also known as "Gibson Scale", and 25.5 inches, which is known as "Fender Scale".  These are both obviously named after the two biggest electric guitar companies, Gibson and Fender.  

So to put it simply, a smaller scale length would be better for those of us with small hands because small hands have a difficult time making the same stretches that larger hands do, so if you have a shorter scale length, you can reach notes you otherwise could not reach.  

Luckily enough for people with smaller hands, guitar companies have developed a standard short scale length of 24 inches.  Many different guitar companies including Fender, Music man, Jackson, and Epiphone all make short scale 24 inch scale length guitars.  

The difference between a 24 inch scale length and a 25.5 inch scale length is not very significant, so don't allow that to influence your decision too much.  If you find a guitar you really like, but it isn't a short scale guitar, don't fret it.  It doesn't make too big of a difference.  

Random Strats Best electric guitar for small hands
Fretboard Radius
Best electric guitar for small hands

The fretboard radius is a big deal for people with small hands because the fretboard radius directly effects how thick the neck of the guitar is.  Many people think that a full sized guitar is too big for people with small hands, but in reality, the size of the neck is really the biggest factor as to if the guitar is playable for them or not.  

The fretboard radius is basically "how curved is the fretboard?"  Fretboards are not perfectly flat.  They all have a little bit of a pitch to them.  Just like a road or a football field.  That curve is called the fretboard radius.

So fretboard radius works like this... The bigger the radius, the thinner the neck.  Pretty simple, right?  For example, A fretboard radius of 7.5 inches is a pretty small fretboard radius.  That means the neck is going to be thicker than most other guitar necks.   

An example of an average fretboard radius is around 9.5 to 12 inches.  Some guitars go all the way up to 16 inches or so, but that is about where they stop.  

Typically guitars with super high fretboard radius are made for genres like rock or metal.  Genres where people will be playing a ton of notes super quickly.  

That is why brands like Ibanez and Jackson feature high fretboard radii.  They are brands that are more positioned within the rock and metal realm, so they have higher fretboard radii.  

So to end it simply.  A higher fretboard radius is a requirement when looking for the best electric guitar for small hands.  

Les Paul.  Best electric guitar for small hands
Overall Guitar Size
Best electric guitar for small hands

This one is more so for smaller people as a whole, not just people with small hands.  We put this on the list because we are assuming that most people with smaller hands are just smaller people in general.  

If you are a smaller person you really will want to shy away from massive guitars.  Something like a big ole hollowbody jazz guitar is going to be really difficult for a small person to play and learn on.  

It just comes down to "it feels awkward".  The big guitars are so hard to control, and they aren't comfortable to play.  Because of that I would recommend staying away from them.  A common guitar model that comes to mind when thinking about big and bulky guitars is the Gibson Les Paul.  Although many people love Les Pauls and swear by them.  Everyone has to admit that they are very awkward to play.  They just a simply not comfortable to play.  Not to mention they weigh a ton, so maybe stay away from a Les Paul if you are a smaller person.

To put it simply, make sure you buy a guitar that feel comfortable when you are playing it.  

Tele Headstock. Best electric guitar for small hands
Neck Shape
Best electric guitar for small hands

There are a bunch of different terms relating to the neck shape of a guitar, but the most basic ones are C shaped, D shaped, V shaped, and U shaped.  Of all of these shapes the D shape is likely the best for people with small hands because it is often times the thinnest of all the neck shapes.  

A lot of times guitar companies will throw on other words like "chunky", "thin", or "slim".  Anything labeled as "thin" or "slim" are great options for people with small hands.  We want as little as possible between you and the fretboard.  

Electric Guitars for Small Hands List

Fender Duo Sonic

The Fender Duo Sonic is certainly the best fender for small hands for a few reasons..  The first reason is because of its 24 inch scale length.  A shorter scale length like that allows for players with small hands to make stretches that they otherwise would not be able to reach since the frets are closer together.  

The next reason would be the Duo Sonic's "thin C shaped neck".  A thin neck is great for people with smaller hands because it allows them to get their hands around the neck, and on to the fretboard far easier.  

Other than those detail this is just an all around solid guitar that offers a lot of versatility.  It comes with a humbucking pickup in the bridge position, and a single coil in the neck position.  This allows for both crunch and pokey rock tones while still leaving room for mellow and lush R&B/ Soul tones.  

This guitar has a 9 and a half inch fretboard radius which isn't ideal for small hands, but it isn't terrible either.  9 and a half inches is about average for fretboard radius.  

This is a model that is made in Mexico.  Many people, including myself, think that the made in Mexico Fender guitars are the best bang for your buck.  The American made Fenders might be a little nicer, but not double the price nicer.  These are overall great versatile guitars that will last you a super long time.  This is a great smaller guitar for adults that have the pocketbook to spend a little cash, but still want a good deal.

PRS Se Custom 22

The thing that makes PRS Se Custom 22's so perfect for players with small hands is the super thin neck.  As someone who has rather small hands, I have never had any issues with my PRS Se Custom 22.  The specs don't paint the picture of the perfect guitar for small hands, but it certainly gets the job done. 

The super thin neck of this guitar is really the only reason it is on this list.  Other than that the PRS Se Custom 22 is a pretty normal guitar.  Electric guitars with thin necks can make a world of difference for people with small hands.

It comes with two humbucking pickups and a three way selector switch.  This give the guitar a wide array of sounds it can produce.  The pickups in this guitar are pretty hot, so you can really get some heavier tones out of these guitars.  Also though you can get really beautiful melodic phrases out of the neck pickup when it is played cleanly.  

PRS is known for their amazing build quality.  There are not many guitars with the PRS name on them that perform poorly.  PRS guitars are almost always some of the greatest value guitars you can get.  Especially these Korean made ones.  The quality is still extremely high, but you get it for a mid level price.  

Overall this is just a great guitar for a great price with a neck that fits small hands well.

We have a review of a guitar very similar.  The PRS Se Custom 24 here:  PRS Se Custom 24 Review

Sterling By Music Man Cutlass

Sterling is essentially like Squier is to Fender, and Epiphone is to Gibosn.  Sterling is the more affordable version of music man guitars. 

This guitar is very similar to the Fender Duo Sonic.  It has a 24 inch scale length, but 12 inch fretboard radius compared to the Duo Sonic's 9.5 inch radius, and it has an overall small and compact body size.  All of these things make it the perfect beginner electric for people with small hands.

This guitar comes with just two pickups.  A humbucking pickup in the bridge position, and a single coil pick in the neck position.  Just like the Duo Sonic, this makes this guitar pretty versatile.  It allows for harder rock tones from the bridge, but still warm, round, and mellow tone from the neck pickup.

I think that the Duo Sonic and this guitar are super comparable.  It isn't that one is flat out better than the other, but more of a preference thing.  I don't have much experience with Sterling guitars, but when I have played them, they always played well.  Maybe go try to get your hands on each of them to see which is best for you.  

Ibanez GRG

Aside from being one of the coolest looking guitars out there right now, the Ibanez GRG could very well be the best electric guitar for small hands as well.  The neck is one of the thinnest electric guitar necks on the market.  It comes in with a fretboard radius of 16.9 inches.  That blows away every other guitar on this list.  

A super thin neck like that is ideal for small handed people.  The only issue is that the rest of the guitar isn't perfect for small handed people.  It is a pretty averaged sized guitar.  It has a 25.5 inch scale length, and a rather normal body size.

It comes with two humbucking pickups, and a three way selector switch.  This guitar is just a metal/rock guitar straight through.  Its even pointy.  Everyone knows that the pointier the guitar, the heavier music it can produce.  

Overall it is a pretty good lower priced guitar that would work well for someone with small hands.  Especially if they were into heavier music like rock or metal.  

Jackson JS Minion

The Jackson JS Minion is very similar to the Ibanez GR in terms of what it is used for.  These guitars are ideally for harder rock and metal music.  Again you can tell this because the guitar is pointy.  Pointy guitar means heavy music.  

This guitars is even shorter than shortscale though.  All the other short scale guitars on this list have 24 inch scale lengths.  This guitar has a 22.5 inch scale length.  Super super small.  A scale length like that should really help people with small hands reach frets that they couldn't before.  

This guitar also comes with a 12 inch fretboard radius.  This isn't as big as the Ibanez that comes in at 16.9 inches, but it still is a higher than average fretboard radius.  

This guitar comes with two humbucking pickups and a three way selector switch.  Just like the Ibanez.  This guitar is way pointier than the Ibanez though, so maybe the pickups are even hotter.  Who knows...

Conclusion
Best electric guitar for small hands

There is no perfect guitar for one person.  Read up a little on all of your options before you make your decision.  We hope we helped you find the best electric guitar for small hands.  Let us know if you learned anything in the comments.




Best Electric Guitar for Small Hands - Colin J
Best Electric Guitar for Small Hands - Dwane's Music

D’Angelico Excel EX-1 Review

The D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 is a guitar that I became acquainted with about a month and a half ago.  Within that time I have been playing it religiously, and have used it a few times at jam sessions.  I think this is a great archtop jazz guitar, and that you can't really get much better for the price.  

Within this review we will go over a few different topics relating to the D'Angelico Excel Ex-1.  These will include:

  • Specs
  • Sound
  • My Personal Experience

D'Angelico Guitars

Specs
D'angelico excel ex-1 review
The D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 is an extremely simple guitar.  It only comes with one pickup.  This Seymour Duncan Johnny Smith mini humbucker pickup is in the bridge position.  Because there is only one pickup, there is no need for things like a pickup selector switch.  That makes the controls of the D'Angelico Excel EX-1 wildly simple.

This guitar simply comes with one master volume knob and one master tone knob.  That's it.  

Keeping with the theme of simplicity, this guitar has a C shaped neck with 22 frets.  The inlays on the pau ferro fingerboard are split block inlays, giving the fingerboard a little extra special touch.

The scale length of the D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 is 22.5 inches.  This is also known as "Fender scale" it is the scale length of most Fender guitars.  For comparison, Gibson scale length is 24.75 inches.  

The body of the D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 is made of multiple woods.  The back and sides are maple wood, while the top is spruce.  

The bridge is made of ebony wood, and has two mother of pearl inlays on either side of the saddle.  

Some other notable things about this guitar include that it is roughly 17 inches wide, and three inches deep.  

Some extra aesthetic details of this guitar include its Grover Super Romantic Machine Heads, the fingerboard scroll bevel, the tortoise scalini pick guard, and the aluminum gold skyscraper truss rod cover.  

D'angelico excel ex-1 review
Sound
D'Angelico Excel ex-1 Review

The sound of this guitar is very distinct and specified.  It creates a super great mellow tone.  This tone can be used in a ton of different ways, but the ways we see it being used most effectively is within the Jazz, R&B, and Soul realm.  

The pickup within this guitar is a great top of the line pickup, and acoustically the guitar sounds great.  It brings that classic fully hollow body sound.  

Although there is only one tone knob, that singular knob has a lot of control over the sound of the guitar.  With the tone all the way up, this guitar begins to feel very very bright and pokey.  Almost like that of a solid body.  Because of that this guitar has reasonable amount of versatility to it.  

Although I do love the capabilities of the tone control of this guitar, I would consider it to be more of a master of one guitar rather than a jack of all trades.  

So if you were looking for one of your first more expensive guitars, and you were hoping to find something that can do a lot of things really well, I would not recommend the D'Angelico Excel Ex-1.  We really love it within the realms of Jazz, R&B, and Soul, but this guitar offers no where near the versatility and potential of something like a simple American made Stratocaster, or a Les Paul.  

D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 Review
Personal Experience 
D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 Review

My personal experience with the D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 has been almost nothing but positive.  I was looking for an awesome jazz guitar that I could use for jam sessions that aren't priced in the few thousand dollar range. 

That is one of the biggest issues with jazz guitars.  The industry standards are so expensive.  For instance, one of the most popular jazz guitars for real hardcore jazzers is the Gibson L-5.  Gibson L-5's are north of $10,000, so by getting this guitar for roughly $1,500 it seems like you are getting an absolute steal.  

I really love the mashup of classic sound with new age design and playability.  That was kinda the whole inspiration for this guitar.  To make a classic sounding guitar while making it as playable as the modern guitars on the market today.  I think D'Angelico totally succeeded with that mission.  This guitar plays wonderfully.

The only issue I have had with the guitar is that when I first bought it some strings where buzzing, and it sounded kinda gross.  After a few adjustments the buzzing went away, and now I really have no complaints about the instrument.  

Conclusion
D'Angelico Excel ex-1 review

Overall I am a big fan of this guitar.  I think it is a great option for someone that is getting into the jazz world, but doesn't want to spend a fortune on a guitar.   I hope this helped you! Leave a comment below about what you think of the D'Angelico Excel Ex-1.



Other Single guitar review we have include:

PRS SE Custom 24 Review

Taylor 110e Review



D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 Review - Dwane's Music

How to Teach Yourself Guitar

Getting guitar lessons with a private instructor can often times be too expensive for our budgets.  Because of that many people opt to learn guitar on their own time by themselves.  While I do believe private lessons with an experienced guitar teacher is the fastest way to improve quickly, teaching yourself is certainly manageable.  It may even fit some peoples lifestyles better.  Here is how you teach yourself guitar.

Your First Steps

How to Teach yourself Guitar

1. Get a Guitar 

I would assume most of you are already past this step, but I just gotta make sure we are all on the same page.   : )

If you don't already have a guitar here is a good beginner electric guitar, and acoustic guitar.

This is the Squier Affinity series Stratocaster.  It's a great beginner guitar because it offers high quality at an affordable price, and produces a sound that is synonymous with many guitar legends.

Click the image for link!

This is the Yamaha FD01S.  Similarly to the Squier it offers high quality sound at a beginner's price.  It is a fastball down the middle.  Exactly what you should expect from an acoustic guitar.

Click the image for link!


2. Make Sure the Guitar is Playable

This mostly just means to change out old strings.  Many people that want to pick up guitar use that one old guitar that is just lying around their house.  The strings on that bad boy are super old, and make playing far harder than it needs to be.  

Changing strings is a super easy process, but can be confusing for someone that has never done it.  Thankfully we have guides on how to change strings for both electric guitars, and acoustic guitars.

CLICK HERE FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR STRING CHANGING GUIDE

CLICK HERE FOR ACOUSTIC GUITAR STRING CHANGING GUIDE

If you do not want to try that, going to a friend that plays guitar, or a local music store to get the strings changed would be great alternatives.  

Here are a good pack of electric guitar strings for beginners!

Click the Image for link!

And here are a good pack of acoustic guitar strings for beginners!

3. Learn to Understand Tab

Tab is a way that musicians can put the music down on to paper, so that other musicians can see the music and learn it quickly.

Tab is a system about reading where your fingers are put on the fret board to play songs.  A tab could look like this E: ----1-----  That would mean to put your finger on the first fret of the E string. 

Often times tabs are structured so you can see what all the strings on the guitar are doing.  Like this:

E: ---3---

A: ---2---

D: ---0---

G: ---0---

B: ---3---

e: ---3---

That is how a G major chord would look like in tab.

Understand tab is very important because it is a way that you can communicate musical ideas to other guitarists quickly and easily.  It is also important because it is likely how you will learn your first songs.  

4. Learn Songs that You Like

Now that you can read tab, it is time to move on to learning songs!  Learning how to play songs is one of the most simple and effective ways for beginners to learn how to learn to play the guitar.

It teaches new guitarists about timing, musicality, being in tune, and tonnes of technical skills.  

Pick out a few songs in your head that you would have fun playing, and see if you can find a tab of them online.  The two most classic songs to start out with are "Smoke on the water" and "Seven nation army". Both are super iconic riffs that almost everyone knows, and both are great starting points for new guitarists.  

Another place you can find tab is in songbooks.  If there is a particular artist or band that you really like, and you want to be able to play their songs.  You can buy a songbook of theirs.  Songbooks can be bought online or in a music store.  These songbooks will give you almost exactly 100% of what your favorite guitarists are playing.  

5. Learn Songs in Other Ways

Tab is a really great tool, but relying on it too much is something that far too many musicians get in to, and that limits you as a musician.  

Try to learn a few songs by ear.  It may be super annoying to go through, but it is worth it.  This is another step in developing your ear.  What are you going to do if you need to learn a song for a gig, but you can't find a tab for it?  You'll need to learn it somehow, and likely that 'somehow' is to sit down and learn it by ear.  It is far better to already have this skill developed than to try to develop it when a gig is on the line.

Another way you could learn new music is through sheet music.  This is not a realm that many guitarists travel into, but it is certainly a part of being a well rounded musician.  Gigs that might require you to learn off of sheet music include playing for musicals and jazz ensembles.  Although these may not be what you really want to play in, they will help you develop a wider sense of musicality.

How to teach yourself guitar

6. Challenge Yourself

There have been many times while playing guitar that I wonder if there's any possible way I could play what I'm about to begin learning.  The speed, timing, or technique seems nearly impossible to replicate, but then after a few short hours of practice later I have this concept, lick, or idea down super well.  

Finishing a task like that gives you a massive sense of accomplishment.  Being able to do something that you thought was impossible a few hours or days ago is an awesome feeling.  It is one of the most rewarding parts of playing guitar.  

So start trying to learn some things that seem super difficult to you, but still within the realm of possibility for you to do.  After you complete your first big task you will have a new appreciation for the art of concentrated practice on something that is difficult.

7. Enjoy the Process

The pursuit of becoming the best guitarist you can be is a journey without end.  There is no true destination.  Just stops along the way.  Make sure you enjoy these stops.  If you are constantly thinking "I just need to be this good, and then I'll be content".  You'll never be content with your playing.  There is always something you'll find that is flawed.  If you simply love the craft and getting better every day, you'll feel much more content.  Sometimes enjoying the process is stepping away from the guitar too.  Although making yourself practice most of the time is good.  Sometimes it makes you resent and dislike the instrument.  It is supposed to be fun.  Have all the fun you can have with it!


How to teach yourself guitar

Be in Tune

How to teach yourself Guitar

Always tune up before you begin.  This is for a few reasons. 

  1.  Being out of tune is frustrating, and will make you not want to play
  2. Being in tune trains your ear, so you know when you are out of tune

Reason number one is the biggest reason to always tune up before you play.  You cannot teach yourself how to play guitar if you don't want to pick up the instrument.  

Training your ear is an extremely important part of a well rounded musician, and the simplest way to do that is to think "does this sound good (in tune) or bad (out of tune)?"  The more you think about it the more your ear will become refined, and you will be able to hear if you're out of tune by just a little bit.

Setting Goals

How to teach yourself Guitar

The very most important thing in knowing how to teach yourself guitar is knowing what level of playing you can realistically achieve, and what level of playing you want to be at. 

Maybe your goal is simply to learn a few chords and strum along with your favorite song.  Great!  Another person's goal could be to become a professional musician.  Awesome! Both of these are worthwhile goals, but the paths to achieving them are very different from each other.

To figure out the path to your goal, you must figure out what small things will help you get to your goal.  Work on these small tasks consistently, until you reach your ultimate goal.  

A teacher is very helpful in this regard because they see the weaknesses in your playing, and see where you want to go.  Then they attack your weaknesses, and this is how you get better at guitar.  However,  if you have the discipline to work on your weaknesses by yourself, more power to you.

The lesson of this is to give yourself something to work towards.  Always be trying to improve.

how to teach yourself guitar

Outside Help

How to teach yourself Guitar

Although this is called "How to Teach Yourself Guitar" no one really teaches themselves guitar.  Everyone needs to learn from someone or something.  

An important thing to remember is to not let your ego get in the way of you getting good help.  Many players want to continue being "self taught" because it has some sort of cool status to it.  In the end though, denying good outside help for your ego's sake is going to make you a worse player with a bigger head.  No one wants that.

Buying an online course, or going to private lessons once in a while aren't things you should completely rule out.  These resources will clearly show you how to improve in specific areas of your playing, and will help you immensely on your journey.

Maybe your source of outside help is a friend or an acquaintance that is a little above your playing level, and can show you a few new things.  It doesn't need to be something that is paid for.  Just drop your ego about being "self taught",  and allow for as much help as possible. 

Play Everything

How to teach yourself Guitar

Many people like to put themselves in a box.  They say "I'm a punk rock guitarist" or "I'm just a jazz cat".  Although it is perfectly okay to have a specialty, purposely limiting yourself to one style negatively impacts your playing.

Purposely shunning a genre or style gives you less to use in your musical tool kit.  Techniques and styles differ from genre to genre.  Not playing multiple genres limits your technical knowledge, and makes you less well rounded. 

This is massively impactful if you hope to gig eventually.  It is hard to make a living playing one style of music.  There are only so many jobs in one specific genre.  Being able to play a little bit of everything is far more practical for a working musician.  

There is something to learn within every genre that you can take into your own playing to help create your own sound.  

Country music helps me learn how to write simple, but effective songs.  Soul music helps me learn to play everything with feeling.  Metal music helps me bring my chops and technique up to par with others.  Jazz helps me practice my theoretical knowledge, and pushes my limits of understanding.

Not only is this impactful in gigging, but also in developing your own personal sound.  Hearing different techniques and styles may influence you to incorporate those into your own style, and help you craft something that is all your own.  

The important lesson to learn here is that pigeon holing yourself as only a metal player, or only an R&B guy will be detrimental to both your bank account and your artistic pursuits.  

Telecaster Headstock. How to teach yourself guitar

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

How to Teach yourself Guitar

This point kinda goes hand in hand with the last one.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve.  One of my first gigs ever was with a country band.  I am by no means a country guy.  I was absolutely terrified when I got sent a list of 60 songs to learn within a month.  This was way outside of my comfort zone.  Not only musically, buy also just because I had not gigged much up until that point.  

I showed up to the first rehearsal so prepared.  It went great.  Through this experience I learned a whole bunch of intricacies within country music.  This helped me expand my musical pallet, and become a much better guitar player.  Not only that, but it also helped me learn how to perform in front of an audience.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone can be extremely stressful and mentally taxing, but if you take it seriously.  It will pay off extremely well for you in the future.  

Conclusion

The beginning of learning to play can be super overwhelming.  There are so many different roads to go down, and so many different things to learn.  No matter what though, there are tenets that stay true within any style of guitar playing.  I hope we were able to teach you some of those today.  The importance of things like stepping outside of your comfort zone, playing in tune, and playing with new musicians cannot be overstated.  

I hope our article helped you learn how to teach yourself guitar.  Have a lovely rest of your day 🙂

Best Electric Guitar for Country Music

Tele best guitar for country music

The answer to "What is the best electric guitar for country music?"  Can have a few different answers depending on what era and style of country music you enjoy.  Although it would be great to list all the guitars that have been big fads throughout Nashville.  There has been one single guitar that has reigned supreme for the past 4 or 5 decades.  

This guitar shouldn't surprise you.  It is an absolutely classic guitar model that is so closely associated with country music that you can't tell the tale of one without the other.  

The best electric guitar for country music is of course the. . .

Fender Telecaster - The Best Electric Guitar for Country Music
Fender Tele best electric guitar for country music

The Fender Telecaster was first released in 1951.  It was the very first widely produced solid body guitar.  At first many thought it was a silly idea.  A guitar guitar that cannot be played acoustically?  What a stupid idea, right?

That is what many doubters thought until they got their hands on it.  Many instantly noticed how easy it was to play.  The big and bulky fully hollow body guitars of that era were massive and could be very uncomfortable to play.  The new Telecaster was nice and compact.

The best thing about it was that the Telecaster delivered a sound that not many people had heard before.  A bright and punchy sound that brought the guitar to the forefront of the band.  Rather than the rhythm section.  

Because of all these factors every guitar company from here to Timbuktu was designing solid body electric guitars, and thus a guitar revolution was born.  

Why is it the Best electric Guitar for Country Music?

Fender Telecaster Head Stock Best electric guitar for country music

The Fender Telecaster is the best electric guitar for country music because it has an unmistakable twang to it that is perfect for country music.  There is almost something magical about the bridge pickup of a Fender Telecaster.  That is why if you were to take a trip to Nashville, you would see tele's in almost every single band you watch.  They are everywhere in Nashville.

Chicken pickin is a style of guitar that is almost exclusively played on a Telecaster in the bridge position.  Here is a video of Brad Paisley chicken pickin.  Before you think that Brad Paisley is just a "pop" country artist.  You should look at this.  The dude can fricken play.  He's one of the best country guitarists you'll ever see.

That is pretty fricken cool...  And it shows how a Telecaster reigns supreme as the best country electric guitar   Besides maybe fancier Telecaster copies.

Another reason why they are the best electric guitar for country music is that they are on all the country records you a listening to.  Almost every country song made in the last 20 years has a telecaster on the track somewhere.  If you hope to replicate the sounds of those great records then getting that type of guitar is a good start.  

Best Telecaster guitarists list

The first one we will mention is the player we already have talked about.  

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley is a super underrated country guitar player.  He can play with the best of them, but is often times written off as a "pop country artist".  Say what you want about the guy, but he can certainly play.  He's been rocking Fender Telecasters, or Telecaster copies, since he was coming up in the Nashville scene, and still is to this day.  

Brad Paisley is so well known for playing a Telecaster that he has his own signature model produced by Fender

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters shows that although the Telecaster might be the best electric guitar for country, country is not the only thing the Telecaster can do.  

The Telecaster is a killer blues guitar if utilized correctly.  Just listen to the telecaster in song.  It is the perfect sound for this deep delta blues.  It is a very similar sound found in country music, but is just in a new context.  Again there is something magical about the bridge pickup no matter what genre it is within.  

Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard is mostly known for his songwriting.  That doesn't change the fact that he wrote and performed some of the most iconic country licks of all time.

Who doesn't know the intro lick to mama tried?

Keith Richards

Keith Richards shows once again that although the Telecaster is great for country, it can also be used for other genres as well.  As the guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards innovated the guitar, and brought new sounds to the forefront of popular music.  

The guitar he is most known for playing is, of course, his Fender Telecaster.  Here is a recent video of The Rolling Stones performing "Paint it Black".

Best Electric Guitar for Country for Everyone

Something great about the Telecaster, and really all Fender guitars, is that they come in a wide range of prices.  They start at around $230 and can go all the way up to $5,000.  There is one in the price range of almost anyone.  Here are our favorite ones, and who they would be best for.

Best Country guitar for Beginners

When we are looking for a good beginner guitar we are looking for a guitar that plays good, feels good, and is low in price.

 We really want a guitar that plays and feels good because learning guitar is already hard enough.  We do not need the instrument fighting against us.  When you are just starting out is when you are most likely to quit playing, and because of that we want to make your first playing experiences as good as possible.  An instrument that fights you is going to upset you and make you want to quit more.  

We want a guitar that is lower in price because beginners are far less inclined to spend a lot on a guitar.  They are very easily deterred by a price tag that says $500 or $600 on it.  

Lower Priced Option: Squier Bullet Telecaster

The Squier Bullet Telecaster is the best electric guitar for beginners looking to get into country music.  It is everything you need to start out, and not much more.  The best part about them is that they are extremely cheap, so almost anyone can afford one. 

The downside of this guitar is its quality control and quality of parts.  Obviously when you are buying a guitar for a super low price, odds are that the guitar is not going to be the highest of quality.  This makes playing a little more difficult, and it creates a sound that is not as pleasant as the other guitars on this list.  Also it means the guitar will have more issues with its electronics than the other models.  

Even with these issues though, the guitar is a great beginner guitar that will help you on your way to playing more and more in the future, and maybe not having the budget for a different guitar is totally okay!  Any guitar is a good guitar when you are starting out! 

For beginners without a big budget it certainly is the best electric guitar for country music.

Higher Priced Option:  Squier Classic 60's Vibe Telecaster 

The Squier Classic 60's Vibe Telecaster is a great guitar.  Not just for beginners, but for anyone that is interested in a great playing well made Telecaster.  I was recently hired to play in a country band, and I no longer had a Telecaster.  I went and picked up one of these, and I love it.  

Since I am just using it for a few gigs, it is great.  It isn't my main guitar, but I figured if I was going to be in a country band I would need a Telecaster.  I am very happy that I chose to buy this Telecaster rather than a more expensive one because this one absolutely gets the job done that I need it to get done.  

If you are a beginner looking to buy a good quality guitar, this could be the guitar for you.  It is an extremely great value for the price.  I cannot emphasis how much of a great value this guitar truly is.  Seriously a guitar you can play for your whole life.  

Here is a review left on Amazon about the guitar.  

Simply put, Fender got it right. I would recommend this guitar to anyone playing electric country music. The classic vibe series is hands down one of the best. If you are on the fence about either the Strat or the Tele there is no need to be. Fender knocked it out of the park. I own both of them and I am the worst critic of guitars. If you were to upgrade the pickups ( really no need ) you would have a guitar that will keep up with any $1000 Tele or Strat. The folks who Paid $1000's for their guitar would probably never agree but, I'm telling you straight, Even though the guitars are made overseas the attention to detail is amazing. The only question I would have is, where were these guitars when I was learning??? Got to get you one!!!

Mick Dodd

Verified Amazon Purchaser

The Intermediate

Intermediate guitarists are looking for guitars that are high quality, but maybe not made in the U.S.A.  Guitars made in the U.S.A. tend to be super expensive for realistically not that much difference in quality.  I think intermediates should be looking in the $500-$900 price range.  This gives you guitars that are made in countries like South Korea, Mexico, and Japan.  

These Guitars tend to be great guitars that can last a lifetime, but maybe just don't have the, tip top, highest quality parts and electronics.  

Fender Player Telecaster - Best Electric Guitar for Country Music

This guitar is very similar to the Classic Vibe Telecaster mentioned before, but simply made with higher quality parts.  These guitars have a few advantages over the Classic Vibe Telecasters though.  

The first is that they will stay in tune better.  These guitars have higher a higher quality bridge than the Classic Vibe Telecaster, as well as higher quality tuning machines.  These overall greatly increase the tuning stability of the guitar.  

These guitars will also have more reliable electronics.  One of the worst things is when you plug in your guitar, and it just doesn't work.  You have no idea if it is shot, or if it is a simple 15 minute fix.  Buying a higher quality instrument will allow you to feel that terrifying feeling far less.  

Here is a review left on Amazon for this guitar.

I’ve been looking into getting a Tele for awhile now. I was a little skeptical of going with the new Player series since I was already sold on picking up one of the MiM Standards, but after reading a handful of favorable reviews (and there weren’t many since it was so new) I chose the Player. I’m so happy I did. This thing is gorgeous, aesthetically and tonally. It’s surprisingly light and feels really solid. Didn’t have any issues with shipping or handling. Had to adjust the saddles a tiny bit after I played for the first hour or two, but since then I haven’t had to adjust anything. My first Fender, and it certainly won’t be my last

geddy

Verified Amazon Purchaser

Advanced Players

Advanced players are looking for top of the line instruments.  The best guitar you can buy.  Most of the time advanced players make some of their living by playing music, or simply have played for a long time, and want to upgrade to a very high quality instrument.

Most of the top of the line guitars you will see, will be made in the U.S.A.  Along with that they use the highest quality parts.  These normally make the guitar stay in tune better, play better, and have less electrical issues.  

American Professional II Telecaster - Best Electric Guitar for Country Music

American Professional II Telecasters are made in... you guessed it, the United State of America.  This guitar is a mix of the classic Telecaster and modern innovation.

Fender says "If we were able to improve it with a new design or modern materials we did; if it didn’t need improvement, we left it alone". 

They essentially took the classic Telecaster and beefed it up with all the modern technology they have available to them.  The modernized features include newly designed skinny tall frets, this is said to make bending far easier, newly wired pickups, these are supposed to replicate the sounds of the classic Telecasters of decades past, and finally also small adjustments to the saddles to make the intonation more accurate.  

Here is part of a review for the American Professional Telecaster.

The Pro Telecaster’s calling card is the sonic possibilities and sound quality. It’s made to be a gigging warrior, providing modern and vintage sounds to suit whomever picks up this wonderful Tele. Personally, I don’t think there is any sound change with the switch in tone woods, with all the classic Telecaster tones pouring out of this guitar. Snappy chords and arpeggios in the bridge, smooth country twang in the neck, it’s all there.

matt dunn

Guitar for Idiots Writer

Conclusion
Our final word on the matter is that we believe the Telecaster to be the best electric guitar for country music.  Whatever your price range is.  You can find a Telecaster for you.  





Best Electric Guitar for Country Music - Colin J
Best Electric Guitar for Country Music - Dwane's Music

How to Change Electric Guitar Strings

Changing strings is something that every guitarist needs to learn eventually because it simply just needs to be done.  Otherwise your strings will become old and grimey.  This makes playing far more difficult than it needs to be, and they make your sound far worse.  That is why I made a step by step tutorial on how to change electric guitar strings.

I am changing the strings on my Paul Reed Smith Custom SE 22.  You can read a review of that guitar right here: Click Here to Read Review

Benefits of New Strings

How to change electric guitar strings

The reasons to change your guitar strings come down to a few basic things.  Tone, feel, and durability.  

As strings age the will loose the brightness in their tone.  You could also say that the strings loose a lot of the treble side of their sonic range.  Once this happens your playing begins to sound kinda like a big mush.  Nothing sounds all too special, and the expression within the music is hard to find.  It all just sounds "Blah".

The feel of the strings is the biggest factor for myself.  As the strings age they will often times build up a sort of film on their surface.  This film makes playing far more difficult than it needs to be.

In some spots your fingers get kinda stuck, and in others they slide super easily.  It creates a very inconsistent experience around the neck of the guitar.  Also sometimes the frets where in to the strings, and this creates weird texture differences they make it harder to play as well.

Finally the durability of the strings also wane off drastically.  Older strings are far more likely to break on you than newer strings.  As they age the likelihood of them breaking only grows faster and faster.

Here is the step by step guide of how to change electric guitar strings.

Materials Needed

how to change electric guitar strings
materials needed. how to change electric guitar strings

The materials you will for sure need are a pack of strings, a wire cutter, and a guitar that needs a string change.  I am changing the strings on my PRS Custom SE 22.  The wire cutter is to cut the strings to the desired length.

The strings I use can be found below

Optional Materials

How to change electric guitar strings
Optional materials. How to Change electric guitar strings

The optional materials include a string winder, lemon oil, and guitar body polish.  String winders are used so that you can put the new strings on quicker and more efficiently.  Lemon Oil is to keep your fretboard in good playable condition.  Finally the guitar body polish is quite self explanatory.  It is to polish the body of the guitar so it looks nice and pretty.

Optional Materials:

String Winder
 

Step One

How to change electric guitar strings

Step one is to take the old strings off.  You do this by loosening the strings a ton.  Until they are so loose they are rattling all over the place.  Then take your wire cutter and cut them one by one.  I like to cut the strings near the third fret or so.  That is just personal preference though.

Cutting strings.  How to change electric guitar strings

After you cut the string, you are then going to feed the string through the back of the guitar, and pull it out.

Pull the string out the back. How to change electric guitar strings

The other part of the string will still be dangling around the tuning peg.  Simply unwrap the string and take it off.  Be careful though.  Sometimes these ends of the strings can get sharp and poke you, and sometimes that really hurts.

Once you have done this to all 6 strings it is time to move on to the next steps.

Step Two (Optional)

how to change electric guitar strings

Step two and three of this guide are optional, and they involve the lemon oil, and guitar body polish.  

To begin step two you are going to grab the lemon oil and dab a little bit on a few frets at a time.  The neck should look like this:

Oiling the fretboard.  How to change electric guitar strings

If you would prefer a video tutorial on how to use lemon oil click here: Lemon oil tutorial

One by one take a cloth or rag and spread the oil around all the wood of the fretboard.  Once all the frets are oiled, flip the cloth over and wipe away any excess oil.  You cannot really see much of a difference when you do this, but it keeps your fretboard from being too oily and slippery when playing.  

Oiling your fretboard is beneficial because it keeps the wood from drying out.  This keeps the wood from warping, and makes it prettier.  Here is what the owner of Taylor Guitars has to say on the matter.

"I’d have no worries about using lemon oil on my fretboard. It’s safe. Use it only on the unfinished wood like the fretboard and bridge. The wood can dry out over time, and an oil like this, or linseed oil, or even mineral oil, can protect the wood and beautify it as well. Don’t overdo it. Once a fretboard has been oiled a few times, you can slow down the frequency. The nice thing about lemon oil is that it cleans while it oils, so it won’t build up as easily, but be sparing. I don’t think your fretboard will need oiling more than twice a year, and eventually, once a year." - Bob Taylor

Step Three (Optional)

How to change electric guitar strings

Step three of this process is to clean the body of your guitar.  This really serves no purpose besides making your guitar nice and pretty.  The first thing you will need is some guitar body polish, and a nice polishing cloth.  

Take the body polish and spray two to three spritz on to the cloth.  Next wipe down all the finished wood on the guitar.  I would avoid the back of the neck however because the polish could mess with the feel of the guitar while playing it, so I avoid polishing the neck.  This is a good opportunity to get into places that you normally can't access that collect dust like underneath the strings, and on the headstock.  

Polishing Guitar

Step Four

How to change electric guitar strings

Step four is putting the new strings on.  You will start by taking the low E string out of the pack.  Make sure you have the correct string.  I like to use color coded strings because I have put the wrong string in the wrong spot too many times, and we really want you to not have to go through the same mental anguish.  

So after you have selected the right string, you will feed the string through the corresponding hole on the back of the guitar. 

Feed string through back of guitar.  How to change electric guitar strings

Pull the string all the way through, and then pull it taught up to the correct tuning peg.  Cut the string about an inch or an inch and a half above the tuning peg.  Like this:

String Cutting

Then you are going to feed about a cm of the string through the hole within the correct tuning peg, and turn the tuning peg the same way you would when the pitch of a string needs to go higher.  

The first wrap around will go above the hole, and the rest will go below.  Like this:

Wind string on top then on bottom.  How to change electric guitar strings

After this tighten the string, and make sure it is sitting in the correct slot within the nut.  Then bring it all the way up to the correct pitch.  

After I put the first string on I like to then put on the string on the opposite side of the fretboard.  What I mean by this is after I put on the lowest guitar string, I will put on the highest guitar string.  This ensure that there is not too much pressure on one side of the guitar neck, and helps prevent the neck from twisting and warping.  

putting on opposite strings

It is hard to see, but both the highest and lowest string are on this guitar right now.  After that alternate back and fourth until all the strings are on the guitar.  

It'll take 10 minutes of playing or so before the strings are fully stretched out.  This means that for the first 10 minutes you will have to constantly retune because the strings are changing lengths, and that makes their pitch different.  

We hope this guide was helpful for you.  Let us know if it helped you or not in the comments!




How to Change Electric Guitar Strings - Colin J
How to Change Electric Guitar Strings - Dwane's Music

5 Best Electric Guitars for Fingerstyle (2021 List)

The answer to the question "What is the best electric guitar for fingerstyle?" is a super subjective answer that depends upon what you are looking for.  

What sound are you looking for?  Fingerstyle can be played in a jazz style, a country style, an R&B style, or any style you choose.  

When trying to figure out the best electric guitar for fingerstyle let the sound guide you.  

What are the Best Electric Guitar Strings for Fingerstyle?

There is no best set of strings for fingerstyle.  Whatever strings feel the best to you are the best electric guitar strings for fingerstyle.

Because of the emphasis on sound and personal style we are going to break down these guitars by telling you exactly what genres they shine in, and what genres are not the best for them.  We will also reference some famous players who have been seen using these guitars, so you can go listen to what they sound like in action.

Here are The Best Electric Guitar(s) for Fingerstyle

Best Electric Guitar for Country Fingerstyle

This guitar is synonymous with country music now-a-days.  If you take a trip down to Nashville you will see one of these guitars in the hands of almost every performer.   It, of course, is the...

#1 Pick: Fender Telecaster

Fender Tele

The Tele is the best electric for fingerstyle, and the absolute best choice for country music.  It creates such a great classic country sound.  The bridge pickup of a Telecaster is really where you really find the country magic.  In Nashville you'll see everyone's Telecaster switched to 1st position to get that classic bridge pickup twang.  

A technique that is often times used on a Telecaster in the country style is chicken pickin.  Chicken pickin is a technique found in country music a lot that involves picking with both a pick and your fingers.  This is also known as hybrid picking, but chicken pickin has a special sound to it that makes it what it is.  Hybrid picking can be found in all genres, but chicken pickin almost exclusive to country music.  

This guitar is great for fingerstyle because it is a super easy guitar to play.  There is not much weird about it.  It is a fast ball right down the middle in terms of how it feels in your hands.  No surprises or tricks.  Exactly what you would expect.  Because of all of this it is super easy for any guitarist to pick up and begin to play.  

If you listen to any country music made within the past 30 years, odds are that they is a Telecaster somewhere within that mix.  It is the quintessential country guitar for both finger style and any other play style.  

If you are trying to find the best Telecaster for fingerstyle, just know it's whatever Telecaster best fits your price range.

Some notable Telecaster players include: Keith Richards, Keith Urban, Albert Collins, and Muddy Waters.

Best Electric Guitar for Rock Fingerstyle

Within rock and roll you won't find a lot of pure fingerstyle music, but you absolutely can hear tonnes of fingerstyle picking parts in the background of songs.  In rock music fingerstyle is often used as a way to create another layer within the song.  Rather than just simply strumming the chords, finger picking them brings a new texture and feel along to the song. 

For a rock guitar you need a few things.  You need a solid body, humbucker pickups, and 22 or 24 frets.  This guitar has all of those and it also looks super cool.  (Which shouldn't be important, but we all know it is).  

PRS Custom SE 22/24
PRS Se 22 best electric guitar for rock fingerstyle

We have a review of the Custom SE 24 right here: PRS Custom SE 24 Review.  PRS Custom SE's come in both 22 and 24 fret varieties.  Both come with great humbucking pickups that can be switched to single coils by pulling out the tone knob.  (For those of you who don't know, Humbucker pickups are heard in music like rock and metal.  They have a darker and richer tone.  Single coil pickups are heard in genres like funk and souls more often, and have a brighter and lighter sound that humbuckers).

These guitars are great for rock and roll because they are exactly what you need for the genre.  The PRS Custom SE's come with powerful pickups that give you an absolutely classic sound while having a modern design that is easy to play.  Not only that, but the SE models are super affordable.  They sit at the price range of most other intermediate guitars.  

PRS is known for their incredibly build quality at any price point, and these guitars are no exception.  For their price point they are absolutely top of the line.  

Why we chose this guitar for the best electric guitar for fingerstyle list is because, similarly to the Telecaster,  this guitar is super easy to pick up.  It is another guitar that is just a fastball down the middle.  It plays just like every other guitar.  Nothing weird to throw you off.  It is exactly what you would expect. 

Notable players of similar PRS guitars include: Carlos Santana, Mark Holcomb, and Zach Myers

Best Electric Guitar for Jazz Fingerstyle

Similarly to how rock guitars have certain prerequisites, so do jazz guitars.  Typically the two biggest things required for a jazz guitar include the guitar being a hollowbody, and having humbucking pickups.  

Because a lot of jazz guitars go up to the $10,000 range I am going to pick my favorite reasonably priced jazz guitar because although the Gibson L-5 may be the best jazz guitar, almost no one has the money for it.

D'Angelico Excel EXL-1
D'angelico excel

The D'Angelico Excel EX-1 is a jazz machine.  It is almost the perfect jazz guitar for my preferences.  It creates that classic fully hollowbody tone, and not much else.  It is another guitar that is just exactly what you would expect.  It comes with one pickup, a tone knob, and a volume knob.  That is it.  Super simple.  It is certainly not a jack of all trades, but a master of one.

This guitar is of high enough quality to last someone a lifetime, but still is super affordable for a jazz guitar.  

This is another guitar that just feels good to play.  Nothing is too weird about it, or super different than your normal electric guitar.  The position of the strings on your picking hand might be a little strange at first, but it would be that way with any fully hollowbody guitar. 

I have created many jazz reharmonization and chord melodies on this guitar, and it always creates the exact sound I am looking for.  For jazz guitar I think this is the best electric guitar for fingerstyle.  It also isn't as crazy expensive as all the other jazz guitars out there.  I think all of this is what makes the D'Angelico Excel EXL-1 the best fingerstyle electric guitar for jazz.

One famous player I have seen using this guitar is Tomo Fujita.  Berkley college of music guitar professor.

Best Acoustic Electric Guitar for Fingerstyle

Acoustic guitars are the most popular style of guitar for fingerstyle playing.  Everyone from Dave Matthews Band to the Foo Fighters can be heard using fingerstyle acoustic guitar.  

Acoustic guitar just has a special comfort and feel to it that electric guitars cannot often times replicate.  

For acoustic guitars to be ideal for fingerstyle they need to have enough bass to create a full sound, but not too much that it is overbearing on the rest of the sound.  

Taylor 214CE
Taylor 214ce

The Taylor 214CE is the perfect acoustic electric guitar for fingerstyle.  The first reason is because it is super comfortable to play.  These guitars feel amazing in the hand, and seem to play effortlessly.  Playing one of these is what turned me into a Taylor fan boy.  I don't think they make many "bad guitars".  

The second reason they are perfect for fingerstyle is that the sound they create is very balanced.  There is enough bass for solo fingerstyle, but yet not too much that it is overbearing, and bogging down the rest of the music. You can play light and skippy feeling lead lines, or really dig in for a big sound.  The reason this guitar can do that is because of its body shape.  The bigger the body, the more bass you will have.  This guitar has a nice medium sized body, and can really do it all for an acoustic guitar.  The Balance it creates is a trademark thing to look for when choosing a fingerstyle guitar.  This unique balance makes it the best Taylor for fingerstyle.  

As mentioned before, I am a big Taylor fan boy.  Part of that is because of their build quality.  Everything from their bottom of the line guitars to the super expensive higher end guitars all play super well, and sound great too.  This guitar is right around their middle price range.  It is a quality guitar that can last a lifetime.  

Notable players of the Taylor 214CE include Myself and my old guitar teacher Rick  🙂   Rick is an absolute animal.  Probably the best player I've ever played with.  Do not doubt him.

Most Versatile Guitar for Fingerstyle

Having a trusted guitar that you can play almost anything on is a super valuable tool that cannot be underestimated.  Unfortunately guitars are often times super specified for exactly what a specific player wants.  So not many guitars are made to do it all.  

There is one classic guitar model that has done it all over the years, and it cannot be excluded when speaking about the best guitar models for a specific purpose.  It is just that great and versatile that it is in the conversation for so many different genres and playing styles.  

That guitar of course is the...

Fender Stratocaster
Fender strat  Best electric guitar for fingerstyle

The Fender Stratocaster is the king of versatility.  It has been used it almost every genre and style effectively.  They can do it all. 

It isn't just the sound of a strat that makes it so versatile, but also its customization potential.  You can get a Stratocaster with humbuckers in all three, only two, or only one pickup position.  

My favorite of all these are the HSS Stratocaster that comes with a humbucker in the bridge position.  I leave the bridge pickup exclusively for higher gain genres like rock and metal.  Everyone knows that a humbucker is just kinda what you need for most rock and roll/metal sounds.  

So you can have that humbucker for heavier tones, while keeping the middle and bridge pickup single coils for John Mayer style blues, and Cory Wong funk.  The best of both worlds.

Stratocaster are a great pick for anyone because they have a price range from $180 all the way up to north of $5,000.  Every player can find a Stratocaster within their price range.  That is why we have mentioned them on so many other lists.  Like our Best Guitar Under 300 list, and our Best Guitar Under 1000 list.

This is another guitar that is great for fingerstyle guitar because it is just so easy to play.  Really all that you need for a fingerstyle guitar is a comfortable guitar.  A Stratocaster should feel good in the hands of any guitarist because they pretty much set the standard for how a guitar should feel.  In the realm of versatility this is the best electric guitar for fingerstyle.

The final word on the Strat is that it is a legendary guitar that can almost do it all.  It's versatility makes it one of the best electric guitars for fingerpicking.

Notable Stratocaster players include: Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, and Cory Wong.

Why Should I Play Fingerstyle?

Fingerstyle guitar is a special way of playing the guitar that transforms the instrument, and brings it into a whole new realm.  Playing fingerstyle arrangements is probably the quickest way to up your guitar playing with your fingers.  

Fingerstyle arrangements can get incredibly complex and can teach you a ton of new techniques that you never knew existed.  They best way to advance your playing is to push yourself to do new things, and techniques.  You're not gonna get any better playing the same things over and over again.  We explain this in deeper depth in our How to Get Better at Guitar Article.

The bottom line is that learning new and challenging styles is a good thing that can greatly aid in your development as a guitar player.  

Conclusion

A "fingerstyle guitar" is really just any guitar that fits the genre and is comfortable to play.  That is why you see a ton of classic models of guitar on this list.  There is no need to mention lesser known guitar models because the classics get the job done.  

As we always end up saying.  There is no right or wrong answer.  If you really dig a guitar, but you don't see it on the "Best Electric Guitar for Fingerstyle" list.  That's okay.  If you really dig it, you should get it.

You know you, and no one else does.  

I hope you can get the chance to go out and get your hands on some of these guitars though.  Currently the Covid-19 pandemic is still going strong, and many guitar stores have made it more difficult than it used to be to come in and play their guitars.  Especially in certain states.  

Most of the guitars on this list wont absolutely break anyones bank, so you could most likely feel comfortable buying them online, and receiving a bitchin guitar in the mail.  

Have fun and good luck!

Let us know what you think about this article in the comments! Did it help answer your questions?




Best Electric Guitar for Fingerstyle - Colin J

How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings [Ultimate Guide]

Learning how to change acoustic strings is something that every guitarist needs to learn eventually because it simply just needs to be done.  Otherwise your strings will become old and grimey.  This makes playing far more difficult than it needs to be, and they make your sound far worse.  That is why I made a step by step tutorial on how to change acoustic guitar strings.

I am changing the strings on my Taylor 110e which I wrote a review of right here - Taylor 110e Review

Benefits of New Strings - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings

The reasons to change your guitar strings come down to a few basic things.  Tone, feel, and durability.  

As strings age the will loose the brightness in their tone.  You could also say that the strings loose a lot of the treble side of their sonic range.  Once this happens your playing begins to sound kinda like a big mush.  Nothing sounds all too special, and the expression within the music is hard to find.  It all just sounds "Blah".

The feel of the strings is the biggest factor for myself.  As the strings age they will often times build up a sort of film on their surface.  This film makes playing far more difficult than it needs to be.

In some spots your fingers get kinda stuck, and in others they slide super easily.  It creates a very inconsistent experience around the neck of the guitar.  Also sometimes the frets where in to the strings, and this creates weird texture differences they make it harder to play as well.

Finally the durability of the strings also wane off drastically.  Older strings are far more likely to break on you than newer strings.  As they age the likelihood of them breaking only grows faster and faster.

Here is the step by step guide of how to change acoustic guitar strings.

Guitar String Order

Just to be certain we all know the order of how the strings are going to go on the guitar.  The guitar string order is as follows

E String - Highest up - Lowest in pitch

A String - Second from top - Second lowest in pitch

D String - Third from top - Third lowest in pitch

G String - Third from Bottom - Third highest in pitch

B string - Second from Bottom - Second highest in pitch

E String - Bottom string - Highest Pitched

How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings for Beginners

This tutorial is going keep the beginner in mind, and explain things very thoroughly, so anyone can understand it.

Materials Needed - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings
required materials to change acoustic guitar strings

The materials you will for sure need are a pack of strings, a wire cutter, and a guitar that needs a string change.  I am changing the strings on my Taylor 110e.  The wire cutter is to cut the strings to the desired length.

The strings they I use are linked below.

Optional Materials - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings
optional materials to change acoustic guitar strings

Materials that can help you while changing strings, but are not needed include fret board oil, a cleaning cloth, and a string winder.  Of all of these a string winder is the most useful.  It makes the whole process far more efficient and faster.  The fretboard oil and cleaning cloth are just for basic maintenance purposes.  Making sure your fretboard doesn't dry out, and making sure the guitar is nice and clean.

Acoustic Guitar: How to Change Strings

Step One - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings 

You can either do this one at a time or all at once.  In this photo I am just loosening one string at a time.

Loosened string

It does not really matter where on the string you cut it.  Different people have different methods.  I have a specific way I like to wrap used strings up, so I cut the strings around the 15th fret.

Pull the corresponding peg out of the bridge and take the rest of the string out.  This is best done with a string winder, but can also be done by hand or with a fork.  Please be careful if you use a fork or any other tool though.  The pins are fragile, and have been known to break.

Repeat this process on all of the strings.

Also put the pegs back into the hole you got them from.  The pegs form to fit the specific holes.  This is not a super big deal, but it can help save some headaches. 

Step Two (Optional) - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings

Oiling your fretboard is beneficial because it keeps the wood from drying out.  This keeps the wood from warping, and makes it prettier.  Here is what the owner of Taylor Guitars has to say on the matter.

"I’d have no worries about using lemon oil on my fretboard. It’s safe. Use it only on the unfinished wood like the fretboard and bridge. The wood can dry out over time, and an oil like this, or linseed oil, or even mineral oil, can protect the wood and beautify it as well. Don’t overdo it. Once a fretboard has been oiled a few times, you can slow down the frequency. The nice thing about lemon oil is that it cleans while it oils, so it won’t build up as easily, but be sparing. I don’t think your fretboard will need oiling more than twice a year, and eventually, once a year." - Bob Taylor

Fretboard oil
Get a few dabs of oil on your fretboard, and then with a cloth rub it into all the wood.  Go fret by fret and lessen the amount you use as you are going because obviously the amount of wood per fret is getting smaller and smaller. 


Here is a video tutorial that teaches you how to use the lemon oil - Lemon Oil Tutorial

cleaning headstonk

Along with this being an opportunity to oil the fretboard.  It is also a good opportunity to clean all the spots you normally cannot reach while strings are on the guitar.  Because of this I take a slightly damp rag and wipe down areas like the headstock, and between the bridge and soundhole.  These are places that dust likes to build up, and it is just nice to get the dust off your guitar.  

One more thing that this is an opportunity to do is to tighten the nuts on the tuners.  After a lot of playing sometimes these loosen, and if they loosened enough they would simply fall out of your guitar.  To prevent this just tighten them a little whenever you change strings.  

Step Three - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings

One thing you really really want to make sure of is that, when you put new strings on an acoustic guitar, you are putting the right string in the right hole.  I have put the A string in the place of the E string far more times than I would like to admit.  So just double check you are putting the correct strings in the correct places please.  This is another small thing that will save you headaches.  

put new strings in
Put the bridge pin back

Place the ball of the string into the bridge and then insert the bridge pin.  The Pin will have a little ridge within it.  This ridge should be facing the neck and headstock of the guitar.  The Idea is that the strings rest within the ridge.  

Once you do this you are going to take the string and pull it through its tuning peg until it is reasonable taught.  Then cut the string about 1-2 inches above the tuning peg.  Pull the string back so that about a centimeter or so is poking through the hole.

cutting strings. How to change acoustic guitar strings
pull the string back

Now you need to wind the string by turning the tuners until the string is tight enough to make the desired pitch.   

Often times I will alternate how I put the strings on.  Meaning that After putting on the low E string I will put on the high e string.  Followed by the A string, and then the B string.  As seen below.

String alternation

Doing this keeps the neck from being pulled too much in one direction or another.  This is another tip that is not super important, but if you want to be extra careful, it is something to be considered.

After this you just keep going until all the new strings are on, and the guitar is nice and tuned.

Keeping the Guitar in Tune - How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings

We would recommend just strumming away on the guitar for a few minutes right after you change the strings.  When you restring an acoustic guitar the strings will keep going out of tune for a few hours of playing before they finally settle in.  The strings just have to stretch out to their proper length, and this makes the strings go a little flat.  

One way to make this process go quicker is to bend the strings up and down a few times right after putting them on.  This will get a lot of the stretch out of the strings, and will make them go out of tune less.  

Now that you've learned how to replace strings on an acoustic guitar, go try it for yourself.



How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings - Colin J
How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings - Dwane's Music