When you pick up your first guitar, you usually use a guitar pick to learn the basic notes and chords. Beginners usually skim through the basic chords, learn the basic strumming patterns and then get right into playing their favorite songs.
There's nothing wrong with that if you are playing the guitar for fun. However, if you are passionate about learning this instrument, it is important to learn the fingerstyle technique in the best guitars for fingerstyle.
What is fingerstyle? It is a technique where you pluck the strings with your fingers instead of using a pick. Fingerstyle guitar is used in many styles of music including flamenco, classical and rock.
The main advantage of playing the fingerstyle guitar is the ability to play solos because, with this technique, you can play the harmony, melody and bassline all by yourself. Sometimes it gets boring to just strum the chords so the fingerstyle technique can add flair and dimension to your music. Do you want to know which are the best guitars for fingerstyle? Then keep reading!
10 BEST GUITARS FOR FINGERSTYLE REVIEW
1. DONNER DAG-1C - BEST BUDGET GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
Donner is a fairly new brand in the guitar industry but they know how to create professional-grade guitars while making it affordable at the same time. But is the DAG-1C worth buying? Read on and you will get to know!
Firstly, the guitar has a laminate construction which you will find in most budget guitars. However, Donner does have an extensive aging process for its tonewoods. The C-shaped neck is attached to a beautiful yet simple headstock. You will get a full-size 41 inches dreadnought body with a single-cutaway.
Honestly, cutaway bodies add a lot of flair and oomph to guitars, giving some dimension and depth to an otherwise classic body. The slim neck provides comfort and good playability. Moreover, the chord distance is optimal making it easy for you to glide your fingers across the frets.
This alone makes the Donner DAG-1C one of the best guitars for fingerpicking style. The tuning knobs and the frets are of good quality, making it easy for you to tune it.
Don't like steel or brass strings? Not an issue! The unique bridge design allows you to change your strings easily so switch to nylon if need be. Moreover, you get tons of accessories like a gig bag, capo, four picks, a tuner, a polishing cloth and an extra set of strings.
Although, the stock strings are not really of good quality. You can find different types of guitars for fingerstyle, but I would highly recommend this guitar to all beginners out there.
2. YAMAHA FG800 - BEST SOUNDING GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
When you are buying an entry-level, you have to make a difficult decision between choosing a laminate guitar or solid wood guitar. The Yamaha FG800 proves that you don't always have to choose between playability and affordability. The guitar costs around $200, making it a budget-friendly option for beginners.
The design of the Yamaha FG800 is practical and efficient. It has a solid Sitka spruce top which helps to deliver a warmer and fuller sound. It comes in a glossy finish with black bindings which look natural and elegant. The strings are not up to the mark, so choose a branded metallic string to replace it.
On the other hand, this is definitely not a toy guitar. It is a full-fledged acoustic guitar that you can take to unplugged gigs. It has a high string action so it might be difficult for beginners to handle it at first. Moreover, you cannot access the truss rod without using a special tool, so it would be best if you leave it to a professional.
On the other hand, the 43mm nut width lets you play complicated chords without stretching your hand too much. For this reason, Yamaha FG800 is one of the best guitars for fingerstyle. Overall, if you are looking for something affordable yet do not want to compromise quality, then the Yamaha FG800 is the best fingerstyle guitar.
3. CORDOBA C5-CET - BEST ELECTRIC ACOUSTIC GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
Cordoba CS-CET is a decent looking guitar with a natural finish that has a traditional touch to it. The back and the sides are made from mahogany. The body is comfortable to hold and it is lightweight, owing to its Thinline design.
The neck is made from mahogany and has a thinner depth, which will cater to the needs of modern players or those who play the electric or the classical guitar. Moreover, if you like fingerpicking, then this is one of the best guitars for fingerstyle in the market.
This electric-acoustic guitar is equipped with a good preamp system. You will find a simple control panel on the side, offering two-band EQ, one for bass and one for treble. Along with that, you will find a master volume knob, a built-in tuner and a phase switch. The headstock has gold tuning machines with pearl buttons.
The Indian rosewood bridge rests on a bone saddle which comes strung with high-tension strings. This makes tuning a walk in the park. You won't find a gig bag with this guitar, which is a downside. The sound is characterized by a wonderfully rich and warm sound that gets better with age. If you are a beginner looking for a guitar with good playability, then this is for you!
4. FENDER CD-60S - BEST ACOUSTIC GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
Fender produces guitars that are beginner-friendly and yet surpasses the expectations of its customers. The Fender CD-60S is an all-mahogany guitar with a solid top. It has the traditional dreadnought style design and comes with a slim neck that is easy to hold. Therefore, it is perfect for adults with smaller hands and older children.
The fingerboard is flat, with cornering around the edges, giving a smoother feel while fretting. Can this be one of the best guitars for fingerstyle? Definitely. The mahogany neck adds durability so that is a big advantage.
We sometimes overlook the hardware quality. Having an expensive guitar with bad tuners will be the same as having no guitar at all. Bad quality tuners do not keep your guitar in tune. It's not rocket science. The CD-60S is equipped with chrome die-cast tuners that feel sturdy. However, they do not feel stiff either so you can rotate them smoothly for precise tuning. After that, the guitar stays in tune for a long time.
The sound of the guitar has a good depth and the highs are pretty crisp. The spruce top succeeds in delivering a high amount of sustain. Moreover, the guitar comes with a useful bundle of accessories which includes a gig bag, straps, strings, guitar picks and a chromatic tuner. This probably covers everything that you would need to start playing the guitar. All in all, it is an excellent acoustic guitar within a reasonable price range that wouldn't disappoint you.
5. SEAGULL S6 FULL SIZE GUITAR - BEST SEAGULL GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
The Seagull S6 is one of the best guitars from Seagull. I would be underestimating this guitar if I call it an entry-level instrument. It is way more than that. It is obviously not a Fender or a Gibson, but it is an amazing instrument with unique features.
At first glance, the guitar looks unimpressive. It does not have any cutaway, exquisite inlay pattern or chrome-cast tuners. But do not judge a book by its cover! The guitar is made of high-quality materials.
Usually, you'll find a spruce top in beginner guitars. But the Seagull S6 has a solid cedar top. This tonewood helps to create a distinctive tone which improves as the guitar ages. Moreover, cedarwood is sturdy and light so you can feel secure about the guitar's longevity.
Honestly, this guitar sounds best when played with fingers than a pick because of the tonewood. This is probably why the Seagull S6 is one of the best guitars for fingerstyle that is within a reasonable price range. I wish the neck was a bit thinner since it would be difficult for players with smaller hands to hold it.
The saddle is made of cherry wood which holds the strings in place. The sound of the guitar is harp-like with a bright, warm and rich tone. In short, you are getting so many high-end features at a pocket-pinch price so what are you waiting for? Grab this best fingerstyle guitar under 1000 now!
6. YAMAHA C40 II - BEST CLASSICAL GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
The C40 II comes with a laminate wood construction with a spruce top and meranti back and sides. The fretboard is made of rosewood topped off with a stained ebony finish. This is a drawback since many users have complained of getting black smudges on their fingers after playing for a long time.
On the other hand, the sound is commendable. It delivers smooth and glassy tones that are well-balanced and resonant. The Yamaha C40II has the potential to become the best guitar for fingerstyle so if you want a simple guitar at a reasonable price, this is it!
7. IBANEZ IJCV50 - BEST LIGHT GAUGE GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
The Ibanez IJVC50 is a nifty guitar bundle that comes with all the accessories that you would need to jam on your brand new guitar. So if you're a lazy person like me who does not like purchasing the accessories separately, then you're at the right place!
The Ibanez IJVC50 has a spruce top. The downside is the use of Meranti for the back and sides. Now, I don't hate this tonewood with a burning passion like the rest, but I wish they at least invested in a good mahogany tonewood.
However, if you are a beginner, this would be a minor flaw. The guitar comes with an electronic tuner which is a huge bonus. The guitar has a decent sound, albeit with some buzzing. Overall, this is a good, if not one of the best guitars for fingerstyle. It has an uncomplicated design, good performance and a humble price-tag.
8. WASHBURN BELLA TONO ACOUSTIC GUITAR
The Washburn Bella Tono looks like something out of a fairytale. The elegant design features a laminated side and back, an ebony fretboard and a textured body. The fretboard has an intricately etched Wood vine inlay coupled with an attractive rosette and purfling.
The Okoume neck makes the body lighter and easier to carry. It has a full 25.5-inch scale with a well-balanced tone. It offers a sound that is characterized by focused mids, clear highs, and tight lows. Pretty neat right? Beginners with a tight budget would love this guitar since you are getting the best value for money.
9. TAYLOR FINGERSTYLE GUITAR (GS MINI-E RW)
The Taylor GS Mini is a scaled-down version of a Grand Symphony. Even though it is scaled down, it does not look like a toy guitar. The rosewood body, Sapele neck, a simple three-ringed rosette and the plain satin finish give it an appearance of a high-priced instrument.
The body shape of the guitar is such that it delivers a sound that has a rich bass, good volume and big range. You will also get a sound that has strong mids and thick trebles. However, it is not suitable for aggressive players since the GS Mini has a low action. But when you ask us to decide between Martin vs Taylor, we would say the latter is the best fingerpicking guitar that will satisfy beginners.
10. OSCAR SCHMIDT OGHS-A-U - BEST HALF-SIZE GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
The Oscar Schmidt OGHS-A-U is a ½ size dreadnought guitar. If you are looking for best guitars for fingerstyle for children, then you can consider taking a look at this petite beauty. The guitar has a nice spruce top and the neck is made of mahogany.
The materials used in this guitar is not exactly the best, but a child won't notice any difference. Besides, at this price point, what can you expect?
On the other hand, the size and design of this guitar make it easy for children to hold it. Since it has a dreadnought style, you can teach your child the correct posture to play the guitar. The sound is decent but lacks the tone of a full-size guitar.
Moreover, since it has high action, it would be difficult for children to press the strings down. However, with practice and effort, they will master it in no time! So you can easily play good fingerstyle songs with this guitar.
BUYING GUIDE FOR THE BEST GUITAR FOR FINGERSTYLE
You must consider a few factors to know whether a guitar is perfect for finger style or not. So while choosing a fingerstyle guitar, check the guitar size, nut width, top wood, and action height. We have elaborated on these factors below.
Most professional guitarists prefer lightweight guitars for fingerstyle because your hand will constantly be moving while fingerpicking and guitars with smaller bodies are easy to handle. So even professionals who use full-sized guitars tend to opt for small ones for fingerstyle playing.
The nut refers to the bit of bone or plastic present at the top of the fretboard. This part helps in providing ample space between the strings so that it allows easy picking. That said, fingerpicking one 3/4-inch nut is fairly enough. The wider the nut width, the more easy the guitarist would find using more complex chord voicings, specifically when coupled with a C-shaped neck with a thin profile.
This factor must not be overlooked. If the top wood is lightweight and responsive, then it paves the way for easy fingerstyle. This is because if the guitar is lighter, it tends to provide the good resonance, and it can capture the note clarity without sounding isolated. Check if your guitar has a solid wood top to sound better than a normal laminate top. The two most common top wood materials are cedar and spruce.
The action height in a guitar refers to the distance between the fretboard to the strings. You will find it easy to fingerpick if you lower the action. And this also depends on how the guitar feels when you play it. In the case of classical guitar, you will have high action, which gives you enough room to change the action height. However, if your guitar has lower action from the beginning, then you need not change the action height.
1. Difference between fingerstyle and fingerpicking?
Fingerstyle and fingerpicking mean the same. The fingerpicking refers to a technique, whereas the fingerstyle refers to the guitar playing style that uses fingerpicking as its main playing technique.
2. Is fingerstyle guitar hard?
The straightforward answer is yes. Fingerpicking is quite challenging because you need to pick every note individually, and the more experienced or advanced as a guitar player, the easier the fingerpicking will be.
3. What strings are the best for playing fingerstyle guitar?
Gauge strings are much preferred for fingerpicking styles. This is because the fingerpicking styles are much easier to play with the lighter gauge strings. If you tend to play more strumming, then medium gauge strings are always a good choice.
Fingerpicking can change your life as a musician. Imagine being this one-man band who has the superpower to play harmonies and basslines all at once! But when you are searching for the best fingerstyle guitars, you should look for certain characteristics that will let you have a smooth fingerpicking journey.
Firstly, get a guitar that has good projection so that you do not have to put too much effort into playing. The string action needs to low so that you can easily move across the frets. Lastly, don't give up and keep practicing!
Hello readers, welcome to my blog! I’m Stefan. I’m in hard love with the music and used to collect all kinds of musical instruments at my garage. While looking for the best instruments, initially, I’ve struggled a lot. Like me, some of you might be struggling to choose the best musical equipment. So, keep reading my articles and get the best musical instrument that is worth your pay.