If you’re looking for the best guitar for playing country music, this guide has some great instruments to consider. I’ve tested and chosen both electric and acoustic guitars, since country music readily uses both. I also considered some of the most famous and successful country artists, and the guitars they use, in order to help make the selections.

I’ve also chosen models that are affordable and accessible in terms of price. I’m assuming most people who search and find this post are more on the beginner side or may even be someone looking to buy a gift, and this guide will point you in the right direction without hurting your wallet (compared to some of the models I could have recommended).

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The 5 Best Guitars For Country Music

1. Fender Player Telecaster SS Electric Guitar

Fender Player Telecaster

If you’re passionate about country music, the Fender Player Telecaster SS Electric Guitar is your versatile companion for producing authentic and high-quality sound. I picked this one because Brad Paisley is known for his absolute shredding chicken-pickin’ licks on his signature tele models.

Pros

  • Alder body with a sleek gloss finish
  • Modern C-shaped neck for comfortable playability
  • Versatile single-coil Telecaster pickups

Cons

  • Might require some setup upon arrival
  • Some users reported minor finish errors

The Fender Player Telecaster SS Electric Guitar, with its iconic Butterscotch Blonde Maple Fingerboard, is a true workhorse for any country music enthusiast. Its alder body with a gloss finish gives it a beautiful appearance, while the comfortable Modern C-shaped neck profile allows for hours of effortless strumming.

Its versatility is a huge selling point, as this Telecaster can handle a range of your creative aspirations. With two Player Series single-coil pickups and a steel-string configuration, this guitar delivers a rich, warm, and true country sound. From the gentle whisper of fingerpicking to the roar of a wailing lead, the Fender Player Telecaster’s trustworthy sound will never let you down.

However, bear in mind that this guitar may need some initial setup to meet individual preferences. Minor finish discrepancies have also been reported by some users, which could be a drawback for those looking for a flawless appearance. Nevertheless, the Fender Player Telecaster SS Electric Guitar remains a reliable and high-performing instrument that’s perfectly suited for country music and offers outstanding value for its price point.

2. Ovation CE44-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Black

Ovation CE44-5

The Ovation CE44-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar is a reliable choice for any country music enthusiast seeking impressive sound quality and balanced playability. This pick is a nod to Glen Campbell, part of legendary Wrecking Crew, who was known to use ovation guitars

Pros

  • Classic mid-depth Lyrachord cutaway body for comfortable playing and clear sound
  • New scalloped “X” bracing design for optimal response and power
  • Ovation Slimline pickup and OP-4BT preamp system for great live sound

Cons

  • The product might require professional setup for preferred action and intonation
  • Gloss black finish is beautiful, but may attract fingerprints and smudges
  • Some users might not appreciate the non-traditional design of the guitar

From the first moment you hold the Ovation CE44-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar, it’s evident that the craftsmanship and attention to detail offer an exceptional playing experience. The combination of the solid spruce top with the Elite multi sound hole design and mid-depth Lyrachord cutaway body provides a clear, high-quality sound that easily resonates.

As you continue to play, you’ll appreciate the satin-finish neck and easily accessible frets which ensure a smooth performance from start to finish. The Ovation Slimline pickup and OP-4BT preamp system not only provide an excellent live sound but also offer a three-band EQ, volume and gain control, onboard tuner, and a low-battery light to keep you on top of your game.

The unique design of the Ovation CE44-5, with its multi-wood epaulets and black binding, may receive mixed opinions from traditionalists. However, the guitar’s performance, sound clarity, and playability undoubtedly stand out in the world of country music instruments.

In conclusion, the Ovation CE44-5 Acoustic-Electric Guitar provides a remarkable playing experience for country music lovers, with its combination of aesthetics and sound quality. If you’re looking for a guitar that offers a unique design without compromising on performance, then the Ovation CE44-5 is definitely worth considering.

3. Fender Player Stratocaster SSS Electric Guitar

Fender Player Stratocaster

This Fender Strat is a fantastic option for country music enthusiasts looking for a quality guitar with a classic, versatile sound. This classic guitar model is in here as a nod to Keith Urban, who I once saw live, where he absolutely handled a strat to the delight of the crowd.

Pros

  • Alder body with a beautiful gloss finish
  • Three Player Series single-coil Stratocaster pickups for an authentic tone
  • Comfortable neck profile with 9.5″ radius fingerboard

Cons

  • Might require some setup adjustments
  • Loose cable input reported by some users
  • Tremolo bridge could take some getting used to

As soon as I took my new Fender Player Stratocaster SSS Electric Guitar out of the packaging, I could feel the quality in its construction. The alder body with its eye-catching gloss finish immediately gave it an air of sophistication. The maple neck felt incredibly comfortable in my hands, and the 9.5-inch radius fingerboard made playing chords and solos a joy.

Plugging in and playing, the three Player Series single-coil Stratocaster pickups delivered the classic, versatile sound I was looking for in a country guitar. Whether I was strumming chords or picking out detailed melodies, this Strat delivered a clear, crisp tone that immediately transported me to the honky-tonk heartland.

The Fender Player Stratocaster SSS is not without its quirks, however. While my guitar came with well-optimized settings, some users reported the need to make adjustments for ideal playability. A few also stated that the cable input felt loose, though I did not personally experience this issue. Finally, the 2-point tremolo bridge was a bit of a learning curve for me but ultimately added a fun new dimension to my playing.

Overall, I can confidently recommend the Fender Player Stratocaster SSS Electric Guitar for country music lovers. Its exceptional craftsmanship, comfortable playing experience, and authentic country sound more than make up for any initial adjustments that might be needed. If you’re in search of a guitar that looks as good as it sounds and opens up new creative possibilities for your country music adventures, this Strat is well worth considering.

4. Takamine GD51CE-NAT Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural

Takamine Guitar

The Takamine GD51CE-NAT is a perfect choice for country music enthusiasts seeking a durable, versatile, and great-sounding guitar. And, you can’t have a list of country guitars and not reference Garth Brooks, who played a far more expensive model, as one would expect.

Pros

  • Big, bold sound from solid spruce top and rosewood back and sides
  • Slim mahogany neck and 12″-radius bound rosewood fingerboard for comfortable playability
  • Built-in Takamine TP-4TD preamp system with tuner, three-band EQ, and gain controls

Cons

  • Slightly heavier at 6.75 pounds compared to some other models
  • May require minor neck adjustment upon arrival
  • Non-solid rosewood back and sides

The Takamine GD51CE-NAT Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar is built for convenience and great performance. Designed with a solid spruce top and rosewood back and sides, it produces a big and bold sound that is perfect for country music. The slim mahogany neck and 12″-radius bound rosewood fingerboard allow for a great feel and easy playability, making it enjoyable for both beginners and experienced guitarists.

Equipped with the Takamine TP-4TD preamp system, you have access to a built-in tuner with three-band EQ and gain controls, ensuring amplified performance and versatility in any setting. The synthetic bone nut and split bridge saddle contribute to the guitar’s overall sound quality and rich resonance. Finished with an elegant natural gloss finish, the guitar looks as stunning as it sounds.

However, the guitar may feel slightly heavy at 6.75 pounds compared to some other models, and it might require minor neck adjustment upon arrival. Despite these minor issues, the Takamine GD51CE-NAT remains a top choice for fans of country music looking for a solid, versatile, and reliable guitar.

5. Epiphone Hummingbird Studio Acoustic/Electric Guitar Faded Cherry

Epiphone Hummingbird Studio Acoustic/Electric Guitar Faded Cherry

This Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is a worthwhile choice for country music lovers, with its solid build and great sound quality. There are countless artists who have used and do use a model like this one. While I’m not referencing anyone specifically here, this is just a common model that I think is affordable and accessible to a lot of people, so that’s why it’s on the list!

Pros

  • Solid spruce top for enhanced tone
  • Mahogany neck and body for durability
  • Fishman Sonitone electronics for excellent amplification

Cons

  • May require action adjustments for personal preferences
  • Battery holder issues reported
  • May not be ideal for complete beginners

The Epiphone Hummingbird Studio Acoustic/Electric Guitar is sure to impress you with its rich and warm tones, perfect for country music. Its solid spruce top, mahogany neck and body, and Grover Rotomatic tuners, give it a beautiful appearance and ensure its longevity. The iconic Hummingbird pickguard adds a touch of elegance to its design.

When it comes to performance, you’ll appreciate how the Fishman Sonitone electronics provide clear and powerful amplification. The guitar’s piezoelectric pickup configuration ensures that your playing will be heard prominently in any setting, making it ideal for gigs and jam sessions.

However, you might need to make a few adjustments to the action according to your personal preferences. Some users reported issues with the battery holder, such as a detached holder or dried-out velcro adhesive. It’s essential to keep these factors in mind if you’re considering this guitar. Additionally, this guitar might not be the best option for complete beginners, as it features an intricate design and advanced electronics that could be overwhelming.

In conclusion, the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is an excellent choice for country music enthusiasts who are looking to invest in a reliable and high-quality guitar. With its robust build and powerful sound, this guitar is sure to serve you well for many years to come.

Buying Guide

Choosing the right guitar for playing country music is crucial to get the sound and feel you are looking for. Here are some helpful tips for finding the perfect guitar for playing country music:

  1. Type of Guitar: Both acoustic and electric guitars are used in country music. Consider what you’ll be doing – acoustics tend to be better for songwriting, and electrics tend to be better for lead playing.
  2. Body Material: The material of the guitar body impacts its sound, weight, and durability. Look for guitars with solid spruce tops and mahogany or rosewood back and sides for a rich and warm tone.
  3. Neck and Fingerboard: A comfortable neck profile and fingerboard radius are essential for hours of effortless strumming and soloing. A Modern C-shaped neck and a 12″-radius bound rosewood fingerboard are great options.
  4. Pickups and Electronics: For electric and acoustic-electric guitars, the type of pickups and onboard electronics are crucial. Single-coil pickups, such as those found on the Fender Player Telecaster and Stratocaster, deliver a classic, versatile sound. For acoustic-electric guitars, a built-in preamp system with a tuner, three-band EQ, and gain controls, like the ones on the Ovation CE44-5 and Takamine GD51CE-NAT, will ensure great live sound.
  5. Action and Setup: The action of a guitar refers to the height of the strings above the fretboard. Some guitars might require setup adjustments or minor neck adjustments upon arrival to suit your playing style.
  6. Weight: The weight of the guitar can impact your comfort during long playing sessions. While the Takamine GD51CE-NAT is slightly heavier at 6.75 pounds, other models might be lighter.
  7. Design and Aesthetics: The design and appearance of the guitar are also important, especially if you will be performing on stage. Choose a guitar with a design that resonates with you and reflects your personal style.
  8. Budget: Finally, consider your budget. While it’s important to invest in a quality instrument, there are great options available at various price points.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are single-coil pickups better for country music?
    • Single-coil pickups, such as those found on the Fender Player Telecaster and Stratocaster, are known for delivering a classic, versatile sound suitable for country music. However, the best pickup for you ultimately depends on your personal preference and the tone you are aiming for.
  2. Can I play other genres of music on a guitar recommended for country music?
    • Yes, most guitars recommended for country music, like the Fender Player Stratocaster SSS Electric Guitar, are versatile and can be used to play other genres as well. However, some guitars, like the Fender Player Telecaster SS Electric Guitar, may not be suitable for heavy metal or high-gain genres.
  3. Is a cutaway design necessary for playing country music?
    • A cutaway design, like on the Takamine GD51CE-NAT Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, is not necessary for playing country music, but it can be helpful for accessing the higher frets on the guitar.