What are The Best Guitars for fingerstyle In 2020

The Right Guitar Can Elevate Your Fingerpicking From Average To Pro In No Time. Today, We Round Up The Top Guitars For Fingerstyle.

From Folk and Jazz to Pop and Blues and everything in between, finger-picking is a great way to add richness and texture to any performance. Whatever your genre, You want a guitar that sounds great and plays like a dream.

There are so many fingerstyle guitars on the market, and it’s difficult to know how to choose the best for you.

Best guitars for fingerstyle

Our Top 5 Best Fingerstyle Guitars

Guitar
Best Overall
Martin Road Series GPC-13E
Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar
Best Value
Fender CD-60 Dreadnought
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
Takamine Pro Series 3 Acoustic Electric Guitar
Image
Martin GPC-13E Road Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Taylor BBT Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural
FG800 Natural Model Acoustic Guitar
P3D
Price
Price not available
Price not available
£227.00
Price not available
Price not available
Our Rating
4.5
4.5
4.6
4.3
4.6
Best Overall
Guitar
Martin Road Series GPC-13E
Image
Martin GPC-13E Road Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Price
Price not available
Our Rating
4.5
Guitar
Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar
Image
Taylor BBT Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Price
Price not available
Our Rating
4.5
Best Value
Guitar
Fender CD-60 Dreadnought
Image
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural
Price
£227.00
Our Rating
4.6
Guitar
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
Image
FG800 Natural Model Acoustic Guitar
Price
Price not available
Our Rating
4.3
Guitar
Takamine Pro Series 3 Acoustic Electric Guitar
Image
P3D
Price
Price not available
Our Rating
4.6
Great guitar for classic tones with a modern, balanced sound

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

4/5

Sound

4.5/5

Value

4.5/5
Martin Guitars Road Series GPC-13E
Image Credit: Martin Guitars
Martin & Co. Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.5/5

Current price on Amazon:

Price not available

What we like

  • Wider body that amplifies even small vibrations
  • Slimmer neck to enhance playability
  • New Fishman MX-T electronics, making the guitar great for gigs

What we don't like

  • The hardware makes the guitar relatively heavy
  • The price will be prohibitive for many
  • Large body may not suit smaller players

Martin Road Series GPC-13E Review

The GPC-13E sports a wider body and a slimmer neck; two qualities that make it an ideal fingerstyle guitar. Its larger body makes the most of the smallest vibrations when you pluck the strings with your fingers, while the slimmer neck makes it very playable.

The Fishman MX-T electronics further enhance the playability of the guitar when you go for gigs. The hardware, body, and neck are ergonomically placed to make it comfortable for you when you play. Even with the Fishman MX-T electronics, you still enjoy a range of flat settings that preserve the acoustic feel of the GPC-13E.

The tuner and preamp power through a 9-volt battery that you can change very fast.

Features

  • Solid Sitka Gloss Top w/ Solid Mutenye Gloss Back & Sides
  • 14 fret Grand Performance Cutaway Shape
  • Fishman MX-T Electronics
  • High Performance Neck
  • Includes Soft Shell Case
An acoustic-only guitar for guitarists who need rich classic sounds

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

3/5

Sound

5/5

Value

5/5
Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar
Image Credit: Taylor Guitars
Taylor Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.5/5

Current price on Amazon:

Price not available

What we like

  • Ergonomic build for playability
  • Arched back for additional sturdiness
  • Strong mid-tones to carry out your harmony

What we don't like

  • It is acoustic only, so, playing live requires a mic
  • More expensive than the Fender CD-60
  • Quite plain in appearance

Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar Review

If you are looking for a simple acoustic guitar to fingerpick at home or during live performances, this might be a great budget choice.

The ergonomic design of the Taylor Big Baby makes it comfortable to hold on and play for hours. As a fingerstyle guitar, it sports a relatively slim neck and a relatively large body, for playability and resonance.

The body and the neck of the guitar have a smooth finish not to irritate your hand. This guitar offers strong mid tones to carry out your harmony. The only drawback is that it is acoustic only, so, you need a mic for live performances.

A professional-quality guitar at an affordable price

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

5/5

Sound

4.5/5

Value

5/5
Fender CD-60 Acoustic Guitar
Image Credit: Fender
Fender Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.6/5

Current price on Amazon:

£227.00

What we like

  • Comes with a hardshell case, making it an ideal guitar for travel
  • Fretboard minimizes tint to give out crisp and defined sounds
  • Offers consistent tones and stays in tune for hours

What we don't like

  • Rounded fretboard makes it more challenging to play fingerstyle
  • Laminated body lowers the quality of the tone slightly
  • We can't find any other faults with this guitar!

Fender CD-60 Dreadnought Review

The Fender CD-60 acoustic guitar might be a great choice for you if you need a quality guitar without breaking your bank.

The guitar sports a laminated mahogany construction for its top, sides, and back. This construction is great for two reasons; one, it enhances the quality of the sound, and two, it keeps the guitar lightweight. The fretboard sports a rosewood construction to further enhance the resonance and quality of the sound.

You can play this guitar in gigs, thanks to the fact that it sports the Fishman ISYS III System that amplifies the sound.

Every button and every control, including the built-in chromic tuner and die-cast heads, is ergonomically placed for accessibility.

Features

  • Single-cutaway dreadnought body style
  • Fishman Classic Design pickup/preamp
  • Solid spruce top with scalloped "X"-bracing
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Easy-to-play neck with rolled fingerboard edges
A traditional dreadnought guitar, offering rich classic and modern sounds

Neck & Body

5/5

Components

3/5

Sound

5/5

Value

4.5/5
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
Image Credit: Yamaha
Yamaha Guitars Logo

Our Score:

4.3/5

Current price on Amazon:

Price not available

What we like

  • Sitka spruce top produces decent-quality tone
  • Slim neck enhances playability
  • Scalloped bracing improves sound projection

What we don't like

  • Nato laminates do not resonate as well as real wood
  • No on-board tuner or pre-amp
  • High action out of the box, but this is easily fixed

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar Review

If you need an affordable acoustic-only guitar to learn to play, play at home, or perform to a small audience, the Yamaha FG800 might be right for you.

It sports a decent construction with Sitka spruce top and nato wood sides and back. While the Sitka spruce top enhances the quality of the sound, the nato wood enhances the strength of the unit.

However, the nato wood might slightly dull the resonance of the guitar as it does not resonate like real wood. Its slim neck and ergonomic tuners improve the guitar’s playability.

Although it is an acoustic-only guitar, it still produces high volume sounds to entertain your audience.

Features

  • Solid Sitka Gloss Top w/ Solid Mutenye Gloss Back & Sides
  • 14 fret Grand Performance Cutaway Shape
  • Fishman MX-T Electronics
  • High Performance Neck
  • Includes Soft Shell Case
An electric acoustic guitar with rich sounds for beginners and professionals alike

Neck & Body

4/5

Components

5/5

Sound

4.5/5

Value

5/5
Takamine Pro Series 3
Image Credit: takamine.com
Takamine Logo

Our Score:

4.6/5

Current price on Amazon:

Price not available

What we like

  • Solid wood construction for rich sounds
  • High quality preamp system for gig performances
  • Ergonomic build for playability

What we don't like

  • Relatively heavy to use for many hours
  • A little on the pricier side
  • We can't find anything else we don't like!

Takamine Pro Series 3 Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

If you need an electric acoustic guitar for fingerpicking, the Takamine Pro Series 3 might be a great choice.

It sports a solid wood top, sides, and back to enrich the sound it produces. The neck and the fingerboard also sport solid wood that further enhances the resonance and voice projection of the unit.

It is made even better by the preamp system, which is highly customizable to suit the needs of your audience.

For a fingerstyle guitar, it has a wide body and slim neck to offer the rich sound you need.

Last update on 2020-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Top 5 Best Fingerstyle Guitars

What Is Fingerpicking?

Fingerpicking, or fingerstyle guitar, involves playing your guitar by plucking the guitar strings using your fingertips or your fingernails as opposed to using a plectrum, also known as a pick, to pluck the strings. The latter technique is known as flatpicking. However, if you use a pick attached to your fingers, that is still fingerpicking.

How To Play

The fingerstyle technique involves using each of the fingers of the right hand independently to play different parts of an arrangement of music that would, otherwise, be played by different band members. This means that you can play with fingerpicking what a group of guitarists can play with flatpicking.

When fingerpicking, you can play deep bass notes, melody, percussion, and harmonic accompaniment or chord progression at the same time. If you play often, you might need to have acrylic nails or a thumb pick to enhance the quality of tine produced, and to protect your nails from chipping or breaking. There are many top guitarists who favor fingerpicking, including Ani DiFranco, Don Ross, Doyle Dykes, and Richard Smith.

Why?

You do not have to carry a plectrum around when you need to play. However, this also means that you need to maintain your fingernails at the right length if you prefer to use your fingers and not your skin.

You can pluck multiple non-adjacent strings simultaneously. This way, you can play a high treble note and a low bass note at the same time. You can also play double stops, including octave, fifth, sixth, or different other intervals to suit the harmony.

You can play more than one music notes simultaneously with independent musical lines or playing the melody, harmony, and bass parts at the same time. If you are playing as you sing, fingerstyle might be the best technique. It is also great for duos where a guitar accompanies a singer.

Fingerstyle guitar is the style played by Tommy Emmanuel, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Paul Simon, Joan Baez, and Dave Van Ronk among thousands of other really good folk artists when singing folk songs. Fingerstyle guitar is a style passed down from generation to generation. Besides folk, fingerstyle guitar can be used for pop, country, jazz, and slow rock music. It can, however, be used for all music genres, especially when you are playing alone and you have to hit different chords.

How To Choose A Finger-Style Guitar

There are several considerations to make when shopping for the best fingerpicking guitar. For starters, you need to consider resonance. Is the guitar able to produce a full ringing sound when you pluck the strings with your fingers? A guitar that makes the most out of the slightest vibrations is the best for fingerstyle. It is possible to find a guitar that makes great sounds with a pick, but the sounds are dull when you play with your fingers.

You also need to consider the string material. Nylon is the perfect material for fingerstyle, but you can also use light-gauge steel strings. Nylon strings are easy on your fingers and you only need a little pressure to create a melody. Steel and bronze strings are ideal when you need the heavy ringing and resonance of a classic guitar.

The bodies of fingerstyle guitars are wider. This is what gives the guitar the resonance you need when you play, the neck of the guitar sports a slimmer profile, allowing you to play with so much comfort.

Neck And Body

Your guitar needs to have just enough neck relief to vibrate freely, but without a buzz. Neck relief refers to that small bow. You can achieve the bow, either increase it or reduce it, by adjusting the bow. Adding relief increases the distance between the strings and the fret while reducing relief reduces the distance between the strings and the fret.

When the strings are too far from the neck, the guitar feels uncomfortable to play and the intonation feels off. If the strings are too close to the neck, the strings do not vibrate freely and this affects the sound produced too and makes playing challenging.

Neck bow is a fundamental characteristic of every guitar neck and easily adjusted to suit your preferences by adjusting the truss rod, which is part of every guitar neck.

As a guide, cheaper guitars tend to have lower quality finishes (frets not rounded, and the neck/action may need adjusting a little straight out of the box), and more expensive guitars will tend to come with a better quality finish. This is a general rule of thumb, ensure that the guitar you choose has a decent finish. Most guitars have a satin finish that gives the guitar a smooth and shiny appearance. This finish feels smooth on your hands.

If a guitar suffers from these 2 problems, you can take it to a professional guitar tech / luthier who can easily fix them. It’s very rare to find a guitar that is fundamentally flawed in its construction unless you buy really cheap.

Check The Size

The full-size guitar is the largest guitar size. However, different types of guitars have different sizes considered standard. Again, different brands might produce full-size guitars of different sizes. Typically, a full size guitar measures 38 inches long with a scale length of about 25.5 inches; the scale length is the distance between the nut and the bridge. The length varies from one guitar brand, and type, to the next.

You can tell the guitar is full size if it has a scale length of at least 25 inches. Even when the overall length is more or less than 38 inches, a scale length of 25 inches or more indicates the guitar is full size.

If the scale length is less than 25 inches, say 20 inches, this might be a scaled down guitar. A scaled down guitar such as a 3/4 guitar is an ideal travel guitar. Some scaled down guitars are ideal for children. Note that a full size guitar might be scaled down to reduce the overall length, but still maintain a full-size scale length.

Acoustic guitars come in four sizes; a full-size acoustic, a 3/4, a 1/2, and a 1/4. A 3/4 guitar is about 7/8 of the full size guitar. A half and quarter size guitars are not literally half and quarter of the full size guitar. A 1/4 guitar has a scale length of about 19 inches while a half-size guitar has a scale of about 21 inches.

When shopping for a guitar, a full size guitar is the most ideal for anyone 10 years or older, unless you need a guitar you can travel with. Children of up to five years can only play a 1/4 guitar or ukulele. A half and three-quarter sized guitars are ideal for 5-7 year- and 7-10 year-olds respectively.

The scale length of a guitar determines how the guitar sounds and also enhances the playability of the, guitar. It is, therefore, important that you choose the right size of the guitar.

Affordability

Your budget determines the guitar you go for. As with any other musical instrument, high-quality materials mean a higher price. Again, if the design you need is complex, the price will be higher. Even as you consider the price, do not compromise on sound. There is no money worth spending in a guitar that does not produce the sound you need. 

Last update on 2020-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our pick for the best guitar for fingerstyle

If you need a guitar that balances quality construction, richness of sound, playability, and cost, the Martin Road Series GPC-13E is one of the best guitars for fingerstyle. I love its design that enhances its playability and its rich tones. It is also a great guitar for gig performances.