Best Blues Guitars of 2019 – Ultimate Review

Are you a blues enthusiast, but find choosing a blues guitar difficult? Well, you are in the right place.

None of the guitars available on the marketplace have a title specifically saying "blues guitars," but here is a collection of product reviews we put together for you – all about blues guitars!

Comparison Chart of the Best Blues Guitars

Product

Rating

Price

Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar

Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Black

Best Overall

Guild Starfire V

Guild Starfire V with Guild Vibrato Tailpiece Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar with Case (Cherry Red)

Runner-up

PRS SE Custom 22 Electric Guitar

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22 Electric Guitar with Gig Bag, Vintage Sunburst

Best for the Money

Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar

Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar, Natural

Best Blues Acoustic Guitar

Fender American Special Stratocaster

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst

Best Electric Guitar for Blues

How Do Blues Guitars Differ From Other Guitars?

A blues guitar is not necessarily much different compared to other guitars. Blues players used to play whatever they could afford. Influential players have very expensive models, which the average blues player generally cannot afford. 

On the technical side, all guitars are different, and they generate different sounds. However, most of the choice comes down to your personal preference. As a guideline, they are often built around a 12-bar chord progression.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Models

As with any other guitar, a blues guitar is a real long-term investment. Therefore, choosing one out of the abundance of options available right now is no easy task. Here are a few characteristics you should pay attention to before choosing your blues guitar:

Humbuckers vs. Single Coils

Some classical blues players will emphasize the importance of good humbuckers. They are a type of pickup that is often associated with "heavy" sounds. However, it is also used to produce warm tones (especially at low volumes). Thus, if you want to go for a fat vintage tone, humbuckers it is. On the other hand, single-coil pickups offer you enhanced clarity and definition; however, this is least used in the blues universe. For beginners, you should start with humbuckers. 

Tone Stability

Another great characteristic you want in your blues guitar (in any guitar, really) is tone stability. This makes your instrument easier to play, leading to enhanced playability and less stress since you do not have to retune your guitar every 2-3 minutes. All of our models benefit from this, so you can easily play for a long time without worrying about your tuning. 

Affordability

Lastly, it is essential to set your budget. As a beginner, this is extremely important, as at this point you could go with any blues guitar. All that matters is to start practicing, so you can discover your own preferences, tastes, and favorite type of blues. 

Review of the Best Blues Guitars

This section examines the best blues guitar on the market. 

Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Black

PROS

  • Shielded body cavities eliminate hum.
  • Easy setup and adjustable control elements.
  • Professional-level guitar accessible to anyone.
  • Modern fingerboard with a 9.5-inch radius and medium jumbo frets.
  • Superior intonation and sustainability, due to 6-saddle string-through-body telecaster bridge.

CONS

  • Poor quality control.
  • Relatively heavy build.

What Recent Buyers Report

Easy to play, this guitar is perfect for blues. Its long-term tuning highlights the great sounds, and it definitely shines when playing blues compared to other music genres. The affordable price does not mean a compromise on quality, and it also comes in a highly protective package that ensures high-quality delivery.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This instrument packs professional quality with endurance to wear and universal comfort. This is the top pick for blues guitars due to its affordability, great sound, and tuning stability. It is stylish, smooth, and can be used right out of the box. Additionally, it has a fast neck, it is easy to play, and the sounds are unique.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a high-quality instrument; however, it is incredibly affordable and easy to play, making it the best blues guitars even for practicing novices. It has a solid construction and is built to last.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar is our top pick as the best blues guitar. It keeps its tuning for a long time, which is one less thing to worry about while performing. Furthermore, it is well built, sturdy, and made to last. Its sounds have a unique touch, which adds an extra subtlety to any music genre you play, particularly blues. Easy to pick up and perform with, this guitar has good action and a fast neck.

Runner-up:
Guild Starfire V

Guild Starfire V with Guild Vibrato Tailpiece Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar with Case (Cherry Red)

PROS

  • 22-fret rosewood fingerboard.
  • Three-way pickup selector switch.
  • Individual volume and tone controls.
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge and rosewood base.
  • Three-piece mahogany/maple/mahogany neck.

CONS

  • Sometimes it is unavailable.
  • Some consider it slightly heavy.
  • Nut slots too narrow for unwound strings.

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar is thin and semi-hollowed. It sounds great and is perfectly made for warm blues sounds. The delivery standards are high, and the product quality is consistent. It is ready to play out the box and, to put it simply, the sound and feel of the guitar are second to none. Overall, this guitar is a truly valuable acquisition that comes with a hard, durable case.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar stands out from the crowd by allowing you to personalize your performance and play style. This semi-hollow instrument is a graceful, authentic, perfect choice for blues players. Additionally, the elegant ivory white body binding and center-block construction add an extra touch of unity to it.

Who Will Use This Most

Whether you are an aspiring blues musician or a professional, you will be delighted to own this semi-hollow guitar. The sounds are wonderful, the design is brilliant, and it also includes a high-quality case. The sweet, warm tones are perfect for allowing you to have the top-notch performance you aspire to.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Guild Starfire V is the perfect choice for blues players, both novices and professionals. With long-term stability and durability, this guitar is the ideal partner in delivering those warm, harmonious tones. There is no string buzz, and it needs to be emphasized that the tonal range and details are breathtaking.

PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22 Electric Guitar with Gig Bag, Vintage Sunburst

PROS

  • Bridge and Neck pickups.
  • Volume and tone controls.
  • Includes a padded gig bag.
  • Highly playable and durable.
  • Mahogany back, wide thin maple neck and a rosewood fretboard.

CONS

  • Poor quality control.
  • Neck finish has a slight stickiness.
  • Manufacturer’s details are not accurate (in terms of coloring).

What Recent Buyers Report

Solid bridge, adequate tuners, and high-quality construction are only a few of the advantages of this guitar. The instrument just feels right from the first moment, it is incredibly comfortable, and it has enhanced playability compared to other models. The tuning and sustain last for a long time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The PRS SE 22 Electric Guitar promotes a vintage flair, with enhanced mid-range and clarity. This results in a sweet, full tonal base, which is perfect for solo or band play. The mahogany back and the maple top are high-quality, durable, and genuinely superb sounding. It also packs in a series of features, such as PRS-designed tremolo bridge, plus dual humbuckers with tone, volume, and 3-way toggle switch.

Who Will Use This Most

Considering the high playability of this guitar, it is perfect for both novices and professionals, especially those who are concerned with their budget. It is a good start to pick up blues guitars, and you will keep it for some time, as it is long-lasting; once you get used to it, you might not want to change it. For professionals, this can last through numerous performances, and it has a great variety of built-in features that allow you to personalize your performance.

Bottom Line

Overall, this guitar is an excellent option for blues players. It comes with numerous features for enhanced personalization, such as treble pickup, bass pickup, controls for volume and push/pull, tone control, and a 3-way blade switch.

Best Blues Acoustic Guitar:
Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar

Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar, Natural

PROS

  • Tuning stability for long periods.
  • Lightweight and small design (12-fret).
  • Easy to play once you adjust it (see below).
  • Loud (but not too loud) volume, with bright sounds.
  • Light satin finish that perfectly completes the mahogany.

CONS

  • Playability is a little too low (slide work only).
  • You may dress the fret ends to enhance playability.
  • Need to lower the nut and bridge to enhance playability.

What Recent Buyers Report

Playability is great for this guitar; however, players who want to use this resonator for slide work might struggle; otherwise, you can play it with ease. One fix is to lower the nut and the bridge. It is relatively small-sized (only 12 frets), which might be an additional benefit, especially for a novice. The light satin finish gives this instrument a rich, lush design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Gretsch G9200 Round-Neck Boxcar is specially created for blues players. The round neck favors the tones specific to Mississippi Delta blues, ragtime blues, and country blues. Fantastic volumes and the sonic projection are the results of the integrated Fretsch Ampli-Sonic resonator cone, which is hand-spun from almost 99% pure aluminum.

Who Will Use This Most

As previously mentioned, this amazing instrument is specially designed for Mississippi Delta blues, country blues, and ragtime blues. Therefore, if you are a blues player, you need to check it out. The round neck and the mahogany body make the greatest pairs out there, allowing you to enjoy this beauty to the fullest.

Bottom Line

Overall, this Gretsch resonator is a beautiful, high-quality, durable instrument, which is fully capable of delivering rich, rustic, and marvelous sounds, despite its minimalist size. It feels natural, smooth, and well-balanced. In addition, although it is relatively small, it is incredibly robust and solid, ensuring a long-term experience.

Best Electric Guitar for Blues:
Fender American Special Stratocaster

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst

PROS

  • Comes with soft case.
  • Great for slight effects.
  • Smooth and tight action.
  • High playability and versatility.
  • Well-shaped neck for the best grip.

CONS

  • Quite pricey.
  • Poor customer service.
  • Poor quality control.

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a special Texan beauty, with its characteristic crunch and tone. The product comes in a durable package that ensures the highest delivery quality, and it is truly one of a kind. The shine and color add an extra touch to this guitar, and it is extremely easy to play.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Fender American guitar is one of our top five picks for best blues guitar due to its unique manufacturing aimed at delivering the best classic and contemporary sounds. Furthermore, it packs in a variety of other features, such as an alder body, a maple neck, and 22 jumbo frets. The tremolo is vintage-style, and it has a satin, gorgeous finish.

Who Will Use This Most

Like all of our reviewed guitars in this article, this instrument is ideal for blues players. The guitar is specially made for this music genre, although it is suitable for other different music genres as well due to its high versatility. High playable, this guitar can be used by novices and professionals alike.

Bottom Line

Overall, this instrument packs in our most favorite features: amazing sounds for blues, durability, high quality, long-term tuning stability, and overall, a fantastic experience. It is worth trying out this instrument and experimenting with its numerous features, such as the impact of the maple neck, 22 jumbo frets, and the alder body on the sound quality.

Perks of Getting a New Blues Guitar

Here is a very brief list of the benefits of investing in a blues guitar from our list:

High-Quality

First and foremost, the quality of the instrument is our top priority. Investing in a bad-quality model would not only waste your money (which is important) but also spoil your experience (which is even more important). Choose one of our models and ensure that your guitar is one to last! Also, care and maintenance are important in all cases. 

Tuning Stability

As previously mentioned, tuning instability can be quite annoying, especially if you are a gigging musician. Having to tune your guitar every 2-3 minutes is not fun. Our models ensure long-term tuning stability. 

"Blues Feel"

Last, but not least, the best reason to choose one of our guitars is that they were specially picked for you, the blues player or ambitious novice. They have unique characteristics that will recreate with fidelity your favorite blues sounds. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you decide to buy one of our amazing top picks for blues guitars, here is a short to-do list:

Try Out a Few Guitars Until You Find Your Best Fit

If you are a beginner, you should not invest too much in a guitar right away. The main reason for this line of thought is that guitars, even blue ones, have quite different tones and sounds, some more contemporary or on the vintage side. You should experiment a lot before choosing an expensive one. 

Playability

You should choose a guitar that is rated very high on playability and comfort. Practice makes perfect, so you need to consider the size and type of the guitar that appeals most to you. 

Versatility

Lastly, you can never go wrong with a versatile instrument. Even if you are a beginner or a professional who decides to add some extra diversity, a versatile instrument means that you can play more than just blues. This is a characteristic you should consider before purchasing your blues guitar. However, most of them are indeed highly versatile; there is no such thing as an exclusively blues guitar!

Conclusion

Overall, this article introduced you to the world of blues guitars, how to choose one, what you should consider, and what we consider to be the very best options on the market. Our top picks guarantee high quality and best blues tonality, all coming in those pretty packages and cases, with colorful and vivid designs for an extra stylish touch!