6 Best Fingerstyle Guitars For Any Fingerpicking Lovers

By Monica | Product Reviews

Sep 29
best fingerstyle guitars

Guitars can come in different varieties. Of course, some of them require you to learn unique playing styles or discipline before you can harness their musical capabilities. Flamenco guitars, for example, will require you to learn unique chord progressions and little theories for classical compositions.

But right now, I can see a lot of people looking for the best fingerstyle guitar. Well, I guess it is not proper to implicate that all guitarists are into this trend. After all, not everyone is suited for this guitar. Although it is true that fingerstyle can be learned by anyone, mastering it is another story.

Just its name suggests a fingerstyle guitar is suited for those who want to learn the intricacies of fingerstyle further. It can become your main arsenal, even if you are playing classics, rocks, and blues. Those genres usually incorporate fingerstyle on the equation.

I will show you some of the ideal models of fingerstyle guitars on the market today. Each of them has unique designs and builds. However, I can guarantee that they can hone your skill in this particular playing field. Let's start the rundown!

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The Best Fingerstyle Guitar: Complete Review

There is a lot of buzzes when it comes to this brand of acoustic electric guitar. Specifically, the Takamine has been a constant subject in various guitar communities. The brand has been attributed to some of the finest fingerstyle guitars on the market today. One of their major opuses, the Takamine Pro Series 3 P3MC OM, is a highlight reel to be considered. It has great specs and sounding that anyone would certainly love to get.

The guitar has a quality selection of tonewood under its roof. It has an elegant cedar top with satin finish and neck crafted from mahogany. Its fingerboard is made from rosewood, with some noticeable dotted inlays. The instrument also features a handcrafted ivory binding and X-bracing on its top. Meanwhile, the Venetian cutaway that this guitar enables you to play the higher registers easily.

The sounding and playability of the guitar are never shabby at all. As an acoustic electric guitar, the Takamine Pro Series 3 P3MC OM features a high-caliber electronics. The notorious CT4B II preamp system in integrated on this instrument. The latter is accompanied by the three-band EQ, tuners, and an accessible volume control. It is a complete package nonetheless.


Pros:

  • Elegant and premium design
  • Hand-crafted construction
  • Top-tier electronics
  • Smooth and very playable
  • Intonation is flawless

Cons:

  • No drawbacks

Let's take a look at this product...

Takamine Pro Series 3 P3MC OM Body Acoustic Electric Guitar with Case
  • Solid sapele back, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard with wood "dot-in-dot " inlays.
  • Gold tuners with amber buttons.
  • Natural satin finish.
  • Highly acclaimed CT4B II preamp system with three-band EQ, volume control and built-in tuner.

The Guild OM-150CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar is a great choice if you want an alternative. Now, don't get me wrong. As far as my experience is concerned, the Takamine Pro Series 3 is a fine guitar for fingerstyle playing. But I am completely aware the guitar players are quite picky people. They look into small details. And that could make the biggest difference in their efficiency.

I featured the Guild OM-150CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar because of its semblance to the Takamine Pro Series 3. It is an acoustic-electric guitar that features elegant construction and premium electronics. You will love that this orchestra-size instrument highlights an aesthetically appealing cutaway. Moreover, it sports a solid Sitka-spruce top, which is accompanied by Indian rosewood sides and back.

Meanwhile, its guitar neck has a vintage design to improve its playability. It can be played by small-handed players because it has a small and compact layout. When it comes to performance, the Guild OM-150CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar is a great deal. It can produce balanced and smooth intonation, perfect for versatile players. Aside from fingerpicking, the guitar also works well with various strumming styles.


Pros:

  • Natural-gloss finish
  • Comes with Chesterfield headstock
  • Balanced tones
  • Upper frets are easy to access
  • Works well for live gigs and performances

Cons:

  • No drawbacks

Let's take a look at this product...

Guild OM-150CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar in Natural
  • Orchestra size with cutaway and Fishman Sonitone pickup
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top with Solid Indian Rosewood back and sides
  • Vintage shaped Guild neck with 1 3/4" nut width
  • All gloss finish in Natural
  • Includes lightweight Guild case

Well, if you have checked the previous guitars that I featured, you probably have seen their prices. Are you surprised or taken aback? You shouldn't be. They are premium guitars, which is recommended by various professional guitar players all over the world. But at the same time, your options are not limited to them alone. If you want a great fingerstyle guitar that suits your current budget, then try opting the Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar.

This particular guitar, despite its inexpensive price, provides great value to its player. It is a dreadnought type of instrument (which is synonymous to being big) that features a 15/16th-scale cutaway. It features a solid Sitka spruce construction on its back and sides. Meanwhile, there is a sapele bracing pattern integrated on this guitar, which is a tradition for most Taylor instruments. Its neck wood is made from African ebony.

Because of its size and setup, the Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar can produce full and flawless sounds. Specifically, this guitar is not as big as standard dreadnoughts. It is quite shallower by around half an inch. But of course, its sound is still there to keep you present in the mix. I can say that this guitar possesses playability and the proper tonal characteristics for fingerstyle.


Pros:

  • Affordable choice
  • Playable layout
  • Quality selection of tonewood
  • Full sounding
  • It is a portable instrument

Cons:

  • It doesn't have a top wood construction

Let's take a look at this product...

Taylor BBT Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
  • Body Body type: Dreadnought 15/16th-Scale Cutaway: No Top wood: Solid Sitka Spruce Back & sides: Layered Sapele Bracing pattern: Taylor Standard Big Baby X-Bracing Body finish: Matte 2.0 Orientation: Right-Handed Neck Neck shape: Taylor Standard Big Baby Profile Nut width: 1 11/16" (42.8mm) Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony Neck wood: Sapele Scale length: 25-1/2" Number of frets: 20 Neck finish: Matte 2.0
  • The Baby Taylor's scaled-up sibling, the Big Baby (15/16th-size), makes a sleek yet full-sounding travel companion with its svelte four-inch body depth, which is about a half-inch shallower than the depth of a standard Dreadnought
  • Slightly bigger than a Baby Taylor and just shy of a full-size guitar, the Big Baby Taylor is ideal for easy-playing, great-sounding guitar fun
  • The overall size keeps you in the ""portable"" category, yet with an extra dose of volume and fullness
  • Like the Baby, the Big Baby has an arched back that provides strength and contributes to its big tonal output

This one is definitely worth your money. If you have the bucks to get the bang, you should pick this one. Specifically, the Martin 000-15M is not your ordinary fingerstyle guitar. It has a premium construction which is clearly seen from its design and built-in electronics. Many consider this is an excellent arsenal for studio and live gigs. Of course, I can easily succumb to that idea.

The Martin 000-15M has a solid mahogany rosette top. It is a genuine tonewood, which is capable of producing warm and intricate sounds. Of course, the rest of the body is made from mahogany as well. Therefore, the voice of this guitar is guaranteed to be rich, oozing, and captivating. It doesn't matter if you want to play fingerstyle or big chords here. I am pretty sure that this guitar can cater your needs.

If you are seeking for a vintage classical vibe and top-of-the-line craftsmanship, you should really put the Martin 000-15M on the top of your list. Aside from its outstanding performance, it is very playable, too. The size of fingerboard will never put pressure in your hands. All of the components are hand-crafted and arranged. Therefore, you can ensure that this one will never sell you out.


Pros:

  • The main body is made from pure mahogany
  • Easy to play and handle
  • Rich and warm tones
  • Sounding is distinct and clear
  • Great for fingerstyle players

Cons:

  • Price tag is quite high

Let's take a look at this product...

Martin 000-15M
  • The body size is 000-14 FretTop is solid genuine mahogany rosette.

We are not strangers when it comes to the products of Yamaha. In the world of music, this brand has already the pinnacle. From digital pianos down to fingerstyle guitars, Yamaha has them all. In fact, it takes a major competitor to topple any instruments from Yamaha. But let's get a proof for that first.

I know that some of you have heard of the Yamaha L-Series LL6 already. This guitar has been featured in various guitar sites and communities like r/Guitar from Reddit. I can say that this guitar can produce distinct and vocally-clear sounds. It has a top made from Englemann spruce. The latter is even treated with an Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (ARE) which is a Yamaha technology. This particular innovation improves the tonal characteristics of their tonewoods.

Since it is an acoustic-electric guitar, the Yamaha L-Series LL6 features a passive SRT Zero Impact pickup. The sound it creates is full and genuine in all sense. Meanwhile, it has an ergonomic profile that enhances its playability and comfort. With all of these features, this instrument became one of the finest options for a fingerstyle guitar.


Pros:

  • Top is created with Acoustic Resonance Enhancement
  • Comfortable layout and profile
  • Playable even for beginners
  • Premium built-in pickup
  • Quality and distinct sounding

Cons:

  • Some find its sound too mellow

Let's take a look at this product...

Yamaha L-Series LL6 Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Rosewood, Dreadnought, Natural
  • Hand-selected premium solid Engelmann Spruce top treated with A.R.E.
  • A.R.E. (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement) is an original wood reforming technology developed by Yamaha
  • Rosewood Back & Sides
  • 5-ply neck with high comfort traditional profile
  • SRT Zero Impact (passive) Pickup

If you are not yet ready to tackle the big guns, you should start with this instrument first. The Washburn WD7S Harvest Series is a fingerstyle guitar designed for beginners. It has an inexpensive price tag but its quality suits well for practice and leisure purposes.

Amazingly, this guitar features a mahogany construction on its sides and backs. Meanwhile, its top is made from solid spruce that either comes with matte or gloss finish. Usually, you can see this type of construction on other highly-priced guitars. But Washburn WD7S has them, and that should gratify you!

Take note that the Washburn WD7S Harvest Series has a dreadnought body. Therefore, you can expect that the sound it produces is full and rich. Of course, it is a given already that its tonal quality is not as great as the first guitars that I listed here. But for its price and features alone, I can say that this instrument is already an excellent option for those who want to learn the art of fingerpicking!


Pros:

Cons:

  • Some of its parts (such as its tuning heads) are seemingly cheap

Let's take a look at this product...

Some Fingerstyle Basics

It sounds so intricate, but fingerstyle is among the simplest playing techniques that you can learn. When using a guitar, there are two generic ways to play it. The first one is by using a pick. The second one is with your bare fingers. Technically, you can already consider plucking as a form of fingerstyle. As long as you use your fingernails or fingers to do that, it is qualified.

Fingerstyle is quite popular in the folk genres. But its application is pretty vast, as you can hear it in jazz, blues, country, classics, and even rock. This playing technique can come simply. But if you delve too much into it, you will realize its complexities as well.

If you want to pursue this kind of propensity, getting the proper guitar is a must. It is a generally accepted fact that the guitar that you should choose should be acoustic. It is okay if it is an acoustic-electric model, as long as it is downright acoustic to is core. Some even suggest that you should only choose classical guitars. But we shouldn't be too stiff.

The advantage of learning fingerstyle is that it enables you to perform different roles. For example, fingerstyle allows you to do accompaniments, rhythms, melodies, and even bass line.

Fingerstyle Guitar: General Characteristics

Cause of fret buzz

Don't ever think that all acoustic guitars can be compatible with this playing technique. Specifically, fingerstyle guitars have lighter construction compared to their conventional counterparts. There is a reason for this design, of course. Specifically, fingerstyle guitars need to be light so that players will not expend too much force in plucking the strings.

In short, fingerstyle guitars are designed responsive. Even the slightest of touch should allow you to produce sounds at unique frequencies.

Most of the fingerstyle guitars today follow a standardized construction. Usually, you can see it on the spacing of their strings. Some guitars feature 59mm-spacing. However, the average distance is still around 57mm. That is 4-mm more space than ordinary acoustic guitars.

The generous gap between the strings is quite helpful in playing. It allows your fingers to move across the board without having worries of hitting strings accidentally. You can fully harness this benefit if you will learn to play arpeggios already.

On the other hand, the width of the nut of most fingerstyle guitars today is around 43mm. It is 45mm shorter than conventional acoustic guitars.

What to Look for a Fingerstyle Guitar

For me, there are just two things that you need to look for a fingerstyle guitar. I don't want to delve into the construction anymore. I am pretty sure that you have a good idea about them already.

The first thing that you should look for a fingerstyle guitar is a strong and compelling punch. Specifically, the guitar should be able to produce strong mid frequencies. When you are fingerpicking, the licks are always centered on those percussive and rhythmic subtleties. Of course, such nuance is perfectly played in the mid-range.

The second thing is resonance. You can enjoy the sound of the instrument if it will reverberate on volumes. This factor is affected by the tonewood. Usually, mahogany and spruce are the best choices for this. Take note that they might come expensive. But of course, I know that you are willing to pay the price.

Picking the Best

Of all the guitars that I featured, the Takamine Pro Series 3 P3MC offers the best value and performance. It has a solid construction and design, which makes it a premium choice. All of the parts have been hand-picked and crafted. Therefore, you can ensure its authenticity and quality.

Meanwhile, the sound that it produces is warm, resonating, and full. It is a perfect choice for fingerpicking and strumming techniques. You can take this instrument in your live performances and recordings confidently. I can ensure that it won't bring you down.

But for you, which of these instruments is the best fingerstyle guitar? Tell me your answers in the comment section below!

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About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don’t want to drop my zeal–especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!