Searching for the best acoustic guitars for country music isn’t just about hearing something that twangs. It’s actually about finding an instrument that sounds and plays the right tones.
The best acoustic guitars for country music should naturally produce loud sounds and warm tones, as and also be easy to play in any position.
There’s no shortage of good choices to pick when looking for the right guitar for country music. Finding the perfect model will also depend on what sound and style you are looking to emulate.
With suitable guitars made from iconic brands as well as more niche offerings, it can be difficult to select your weapon of choice. So just what are the best acoustic guitars for country music?
The Best Acoustic Guitars for Country Music Revealed
- Top: Solid Cedar
- Back, Sides and Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Electronics: CT-4B
- Features: Gold tuners with amber pearloid buttons; Guitar shaped soundhole
- Includes: Takamine Hardshell case
No one does country quite like Garth Brooks. With over 170 million sales worldwide, his sound is recognizable anywhere you go, and his signature model from Takamine lets you recreate it yourself. The Takamine GB7C sounds exquisite thanks to a solid cedar top with a rosewood body to solidify loud and warm tones as you play.
There’s a slight twist on the dreadnought shape too, with an elongated sound hole guaranteed to increase volume when strumming chords. It’s all brought together with a sturdy mahogany neck and dovetail joining.
As a signature edition, there are plenty of fine details to enjoy on the instrument itself. The GB7C comes with a homemade pickup to give added variation in sound and allow it to link up with electric setups. Furthermore, it also has Takamine’s premium CT-4B pre-amp jack to allow it to shine as an excellent-sounding acoustic-electric hybrid.
You can also see the care taken in its craft, shown by the amber pearloid inlays on the bridge and gold tuning keys. It’s an instrument that is worthy of bearing the name of a genre-defining icon.
- Designed for natural sound projection
- Exquisite details
- Excellent construction
- Electronics hinder natural sounds.
- The Indian Laurel fretboard has dot inlays
- a standard 25.5” scale
- a 60s era Epiphone “Dovewing” style headstock
- a 2-way adjustable truss rod for excellent playability
For anyone wanting to channel their inner Hank Williams, the Epiphone FT-100 Songmaker Deluxe is your way to go. Sporting a larger and wider body, the FT-100 is designed to be strummed loud and heard across the campfire. It’s exceptionally easy to play thanks to its large body and the cutaway joining maintains excellent balance.
You will get some great natural sounds when strumming due to the all-mahogany body that naturally projects chords as you play. There’s also easy access to reach all frets on the laurel fretboard, making it just as well suited for picking individual notes.
What also makes the Songmaker Deluxe shine is the entire look of the piece. Replicating models from years past, it has a darkened sunburst finish that looks fantastic. There are also options to get the FT-100 in a natural or darkened ebony finish too should you opt for a different style. Despite all these finish options, it doesn’t stop the FT-100 from sounding exquisite no matter where you play. A great call-back to artists of yesteryear.
At a 25.5″ scale, it also makes for a great beginner guitar, due to it’s easily accessible fretboard, lightweight body, and low cost compared to other models.
- Well-balanced design
- Suited for all playing styles
- Classy finish styles
- Cost Efficient
- Strings feel dirty when first played
- High-gauge intonations need altering
- Body Body type: Three-quarter Cutaway: Non-cutaway Top wood: Hawaiian Koa Back &…
- The Baby Taylor has maintained is a legitimate musical instrument that anyone…
- The three-quarter-size Dreadnought helped touring musicians like Taylor Swift…
- This limited-edition version features a beautiful Hawaiian koa top
- All Baby Taylor models ship with a durable travel-worthy gig bag made by Taylor…
When you have pop-country superstars such as Taylor Swift sporting your brand, you know you are onto a winner. That’s the case in point with Taylor’s BTe-Koa acoustic guitar.
It’s a compact model, with its 3/4 body making it easy to play seated as well as standing. You get some rich tones from the BTe thanks to its all-koa body giving a balanced mix of sounds that suit all styles of country. This is particularly notable when playing chords further down the neck. On top of this, its darkened natural finish gives it a unique look that is unrivaled across the industry.
Taylor has designed the BTe to be a guitar that shines on all fronts. This means it also comes with electric options. This includes Taylor’s premium ES2 pickups and the pre-amp system, as well as a digitized automatic tuner. These features allow you to get warm tones to beef up a performance or get your instrument in sync before you start a show.
- Easy to play in all settings
- Easy to transport
- Great range of sounds
- Small buzz when using pickups
- Strings vulnerable when highly stressed
- Fender-exclusive Malibu body shape
- Painted solid spruce top; painted mahogany back and sides
- Fishman pickup/preamp system
- Mahogany neck with slim-taper “C”-shaped profile; walnut fingerboard and bridge
- Matching painted 6-in-line headstock
Should you want a light and breezy sound, then look no further than the Fender Malibu. As its iconic name suggests, the Malibu is all about playing light and breezy tones. These sounds are projected through the spruce top and mahogany body that project lighter notes easily when you strum along, without sacrificing volume.
It also looks like it belongs on a beach too with the body available in a range of pastel finishes such as a stunning aqua blue or a midnight satin. The finishes are matching on both the body and headstock, further adding to the character of the instrument too.
With it being a Fender, you will see a range of trademark features that the brand is recognized for. This includes the classically shaped headstock that mimics the early design seen on classic Stratocaster models. Furthermore, there is also the inclusion of Fishman pickups that link with external gear should you want to modify the overall sound. Overall, the Fender Malibu proves itself to be yet another famous addition to the company’s impressive back catalogue.
- Suited for easy sounds
- Lots of finish variations
- Maintains classic Fender designs
- Top E string is quieter than others
- Takes lots of adjusting to find ideal sounds
- Basswood body with X-bracing
- 12th fret, 24”-scale nato set neck with 12” radius walnut fingerboard
- Gretsch Deltoluxe soundhole pickup with gold/white rosette rings
- 1950s-style vintage open-gear die-cast tuning machines and vintage end-pin strap buttons
- Available in Smokestack Black with aged white binding and nickel hardware
When it comes to finding that southern sound, you won’t find anything that replicates it quite like Gretsch’s Gin Rickey G9520E. The Gin Rickey produces huge natural tones that are beautifully amplified by an X-braced basswood body.
All the tones are also influenced by a specially crafted Deltoluxe pickup across the hollow body to allow for even more variations within the overall sound. These are all influenced by the inclusion of a bone saddle on the bridge joining to give notes a crisper hit as a string is plucked.
One thing where Gretsch has shined is in the construction of the guitar itself. The G9520 is joined at the body via the 12th fret to give maximum stability when playing multiple shows. You can also see the craftsmanship shine through the pearloid inlays on the neck, and through the diecast tuners that allow for extra precision in finding your desired sound.
- Great natural sounds
- Loud projections
- Finely detailed
- Not suited for studio use
- Bridge needs lowering when first played
- Made in North America
- Select Pressure Tested Top
- Double Action Truss Rod
- Tapered Headstock for precise and stable tuning and great for open tunings
- Tusq nut and compensated saddle for better intonation
Canada has its fair share of success in country music, and this shines through in the Seagull Artist Studio 12. Used by artists such as British chart-topper James Blunt, Studio 12 delivers a rich sound that eclipses many other acoustic models.
The rich sounds are generated through some excellent design choices. For example, the tusq nut and adjusted saddle are altered to suit performers strumming repeatedly and generate big sounds as they play. It also has a rosewood body and spruce top which aims to pick up resonant low notes while still promoting lighter and top-end notes.
Seagull have put a lot of thought into the performer too when creating the Artist Studio 12. This includes a tapered and narrow headstock to keep the instrument in tune for longer. The satin finishes are also buffed and polished to prevent them from wearing quicker when performing on a long tour.
- Extremely durable
- Great for strumming
- Lots of care in overall design
- No electric inclusions
- Only one finish available
- Auditorium cutaway shape Body with solid Spruce wood top, sapelli wood back and sides
- Mahogany neck with rosewood Fingerboard; rosewood Bridge
- Bone nut and saddle with compensated tuning; black and White rosette, White ABS neck and Body Binding
- B-Band under saddle transducer and cbl-4 equalizer with volume, bass and Treble control, built-in chromatic Tuner, phase control, low battery indicator and 1/4 inch output jack
- Black with highgloss finish
When it comes to finding a more refined sound, nothing shines more than the James Neligan Bessie Auditorium. The Sapele and Spruce body is perfect for picking up individual notes and resonating with them as each one is strung.
Matched with a sturdy neck, the Bessie Auditorium is perfect for finger-picking or playing more complicated melodies. Its bone-nut construction gives a sturdy platform to work on, allowing the player to ensure they can focus on moving up and down the frets with no worries about slipping as they play.
The Bessie Auditorium is also an acoustic model that comes loaded with extra tech on it as well. This includes having a 4-way equalizer to modify sound levels and a chromatic tuner to set the tones you want to generate. These electric features give players more ways to customize their sound as they look to show off in front of fans.
- Suited for picking notes
- Lots of additional gear
- Easy to tune
- Small buzz even when played acoustic
- Neck can be tricky to hold
- Soundboard: “AAA” Grade Solid Sitka Spruce; Rosette: Herringbone; Inner Binding: White / Black / White / Black; Outer Binding: Blackwood
- Back: Solid Queensland Maple; Sides: Solid Queensland Maple; Neck: Select Queensland Maple; Headstock: Blackwood / Keyhole / MOP Maton Logo
- Inlay Bridge: Ebony; Finish: Satin; Pickup: APMic; Machine Heads: Gold Grover Rotomatic
Australia has shipped its own major country stars, such as Olivia Newton-John and in recent years, Keith Urban, and now they are now doing the same with guitars.
Used by stars like Urban and Eric Johnson, the Maton EBG808 is a guitar suited for all levels of players. What makes the EBG808 stand out is that it has an excellent balance between treble and bass notes, generating a warm and loud sound unmatched by other guitars. The body is made from a combination of Sitka spruce and Australian Blackwood, allowing for all these sounds to be naturally projected without the need for any amplification.
Alongside the excellent construction, a lot of thought has gone into etching fine details within the guitar itself. This includes a tortoiseshell gold pickguard to protect the satin finish during prolonged use. There are also gold rotomatic tuning keys that are sturdy and can keep the instrument in tune for prolonged periods of time.
- Well put-together
- Good balance between treble and bass notes
- Unique look
- Only one finish available
- Acoustic version only
How To Find the Best Acoustic Guitars for Country Music?
For some people, trying to define how a guitar fits a specific genre can be tricky. After all, a guitar should suit all styles, right? Well, that’s not always the case as certain features and points can define the character of an instrument itself. So what should you look for when searching for the best acoustic guitars for country music?
Let’s be honest. The best country songs are based on getting a good rhythm going. This often comes from just sitting and strumming between several chords. To get the best sounds then, the guitar itself needs to naturally project sounds well enough to capture the listener’s attention. This can be done in two ways – the use of tonewoods and the body design.
In acoustic guitars, using the right tonewoods defines exactly what the guitar will naturally sound like. When making flagship models, guitar manufacturers will opt to go for a particular combination.
You will find that the sides and back of the body will be made from a hardwood like mahogany or rosewood to increase how vibrations resonate from inside the hollow. Meanwhile, the top will be made from softwoods such as spruce or cedar to let sounds escape in a balanced manner. This blend gives a good balance of sounds without overdoing any particular aspect.
Understanding Body Design
Alongside selecting the right materials, it’s also about how the guitar is shaped too. In finding the best acoustic guitars for country music, bigger is not always better. You will first find that many of the top models used by country stars are more compact.
This is for two reasons. Firstly, it makes them easier to transport when playing in the studio or at home. Secondly, their smaller size makes it easier to play the guitar both seated or standing up. It makes a huge contribution to the artist’s sound and style.
There’s also the shape of the instrument as well. You will find that many of the best acoustic guitars for country music will have a cutaway body close to where the neck joins the body. Again, this helps maintain a good balance when performing seated. It also makes it easier to reach some of the frets should, someone decide to pick notes rather than strum chords. It’s why almost all top models are either dreadnought or auditorium models.
Do all country stars use acoustic guitars?
Yes – you will find that almost all country music stars will have an acoustic guitar in their collection. It might help with songwriting or add to their stage presence, but it is a key tool to have in their performing arsenal.
Do all acoustic guitars double up as electric models?
No – not all acoustic guitars will have electric features. You will find that many of the best acoustic guitars for country music may have some basic electric features such as a preamp or one pickup built in for support. However, some other models will be solely acoustic to maximize the projection of natural sounds.
Are all acoustic guitars designed for strumming?
While strumming is the easiest way to play an acoustic, it isn’t always necessary to play like that. Some models may have a cutaway body deliberately included to suit those looking to pick notes instead. Checking out the design style and the body shape will suggest whether a guitar is better for strumming or picking notes instead.
Deciding the Best Acoustic Guitars for Country Music
As you can see, there are plenty of choices to investigate when searching for the best acoustic guitars for country music. The search is of course aided by many of the world’s leading guitar makers creating instruments that perfectly suit the genre.
Some of these choices come from unlikely locations with Canada’s Seagull Guitars and Australia’s Maton Guitars, showing this through the Artist 12 and EBG 808 respectively. Alongside that, major heavyweights such as Fender also provide worthwhile options as seen in the Fender Malibu.
Some guitars are also better suited for certain styles. The James Neligan Bessie Auditorium is an excellent option for those looking to pick notes. Meanwhile, the Epiphone Songmaker FT-100 works wonders should you want to belt out chords across the campfire.
However, the best option is Takamine’s Garth Brooks GB7C Signature Model. Sporting the iconic singer’s name, it is great for producing a wealth of sounds as well as being particularly well-made. It’s all these features that make it one of the best acoustic guitars for country music for musicians to try today.