Best Guitars For Country Music – Get That Signature Country Sound

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Last updatedLast updated: November 04, 2023
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What’s the best acoustic guitar that is ideal for playing country music? Well, size is the first thing that comes to mind, as those dreadnought guitars are pretty loud and have the necessary tone and depth.

Moreover, its top should be spruce, while the sides and back should be made of mahogany. For an affordable option, you can choose Sapele.

You should be comfortable while holding your guitar in your lap and must be able to play for as long as you want comfortably. So, design is a crucial factor here.

The type of music you are into will let you decide what guitar you should go for.

To help you make your decisions, we have reviewed some of the best guitars for country music. We will share other details to help you pick the right options based on your priorities.

1.

Gibson Acoustic J-45Editor’s Choice

Features
  • String Type: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Body Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought
  • Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Mahogany
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Nut Width: 1.725″
  • Scale Length: 24.75″

Other features: 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Sitka Spruce Top, Mahogany Back and Sides, Mahogany Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard, and LR Baggs VTC Active Pickup System

The J-45 is one of the best when it comes to acoustic guitars. It is a highly durable instrument that you can use for various purposes. You can use it in your studio or on the go. It also works pretty nicely for your live performances.

The dreadnought guitar will provide you with highly balanced music with full expression. We loved how the guitar has a warm bass and excellent projection. This instrument has a rich tone with its solid spruce top, while the mahogany body allows you to play it comfortably.

Whether you are an onstage rocker or a songwriter, this guitar is your top choice. It comes with an under-saddle low-profile transducer that will enhance the spring between a dictated high-end with natural acoustics. It has an onboard amplifier and removable volume control in the soundhole.

It’s the best country guitar, and we love that this is a durable instrument that is highly versatile for many applications. It is pretty comfortable to play, and thanks to its mahogany slides and back, you will get a rounder and much warmer sound. Moreover, the softened fingerboard edge makes it much more comfortable to play your music.

With these features, this guitar is an ideal option for you to consider if you regularly play on stage. However, it is a good choice if you travel or like to play in a studio for recording purposes. Therefore, it’s a highly versatile instrument that you can use for various applications.

What stands out?

  • Traditional country workhorse
  • Quality mahogany sides and back for a rounder and warmer sound
  • Maximum playing comfort with softened fingerboard edges
  • Warmer bass with better tone projection

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Only suitable for experienced professionals

2.

Martin HD-28Deep Base

Features
  • String Type: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Body Shape: Dreadnought
  • Top Wood: Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: East Indian Rosewood
  • Neck Wood: Select Hardwood
  • Scale Length: 25.4″
  • Nut Width: 1.75″

Other features: 6-string Acoustic Guitar with Solid Spruce Top, Solid East Indian Rosewood Back and Sides, Select Hardwood Neck, and Ebony Fingerboard

Martin is highly regarded for its quality acoustic guitars, and this one is no different. This high-quality dreadnought guitar feels natural with its aging toner. It has a solid spruce top design, and the 6-string guitar is made of East Indian Rosewood. While the neck is made of hardwood and the fingerboard is made of ebony. It has the same classic design as the D-28 Martin, with the herringbone trim at the top and scalloped X-bracing.

This guitar is an excellent choice for playing a wide style of music, thanks to its deeper bass response. Martin guitars are well-known for their deeper bases, which is why they are prevalent.

We loved its sound that comes out of the classic tonewood with rosewood sides and back. The guitar is loud, and it can also handle subtle tones. The good thing is that this guitar has a refined note definition with a much quicker response. So you can play with quick fingers on this one.

This guitar is highly versatile and can be used for many applications. It is durable so that you can use it on the go, and it works well for recording in a studio. If you want to play it on the stage in front of a live audience, it will be able to handle that too. But we think that using this guitar for your live performance will enable you to get the best out of it.

Martin guitars are top-notch. When you are looking for quality, you should go for Martin guitars. These acoustic dreadnoughts are just perfection. They can give the right tone while delivering warmer bass, and the guitars are highly responsive to quiet playing. That’s why these guitars are excellent for a variety of music styles.

It’s one of the best country guitars, but you do need to keep in mind that this guitar is suitable for professionals. If you have years of experience playing these acoustic guitars, you will only be able to get the best results.

What are our favorite features?

  • Top-quality guitar for experienced country music players
  • Fantastic sound with warmer bass
  • Solid spruce-top design with Indian Rosewood sides and back
  • Highly responsive with high note definition

What could be better?

  • Very expensive

3.

Taylor 224ce-K DLXValue For The Money

Features
  • String Type: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Body Shape: Grand Auditorium
  • Top Wood: Solid Hawaiian Koa
  • Back & Sides Wood: Layered Koa with Koa veneer
  • Neck Wood: Sapele
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″

Other features: 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Solid Koa Top, Layered Koa Back and Sides, Sapele Neck, and Ebony Fingerboard

This acoustic-electric guitar is a top choice for studio recording, and you can create a wide range of tones using this instrument. If you are not looking for a high-end acoustic guitar for country music but still want a solid piece in your hand that you can play and get the best out of, this is the right option.

This guitar features solid Koa as its top material, while the body and back material has layered Koa, which looks phenomenal. The neck of this guitar features Sapele wood, while the fretboard is ebony. The darker tone of this guitar makes it an ideal option for playing indoors or in the studios.

Being an acoustic-electric guitar, this one is the right option if you want to record your music. Therefore, this instrument works best for recording purposes. The ones that come out from this guitar have plenty of volume, and there is definitive character.

This one doesn’t come with an inbuilt tuner, but you can go for a wide range of clips on tuners. This is certainly not the right type of guitar for a live audience because it is slightly limited in its volume. But you can certainly use it for traveling and camping if you want. It does handle those high and low tones pretty well, and with a few enhancements, you can make this guitar sound really nice in a studio setup.

This guitar is a good choice if you are a recording artist and want to add some variations to your tones. It is a great guitar for playing country and it works well if you make a few enhancements and use good-quality amplifiers. Still, we noticed that this instrument is not the right option for playing out in front of a live crowd because it just doesn’t deliver in the sound department.

What stands out?

  • A quality option for a mid-range instrument
  • Delivers a resonant tone with a definitive character
  • Excellent for traveling and camping
  • Koa wood looks beautiful

What cons did we manage to find?

  • These are not suitable options when playing in front of a live audience

4.

Yamaha FS800Budget-Friendly

Features
  • String Type: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Body Shape: Concert
  • Top Wood: Solid Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Nato/Okoume
  • Scale Length: 25″
  • Nut Width: 1.6875″

Other features: 6-string Acoustic Guitar with Spruce Top, Laminate Back and Sides, Nato Neck, and Walnut Fingerboard

Yamaha is famous for its electronic instruments, but they have done a fine job with this budget-friendly acoustic guitar. The FS800 is available in two different colors and is made of spruce wood at the drop. The body materials feature mahogany, while the back materials feature Nato wood and deck materials.

When Yamaha introduced these acoustic guitars in the 1960s, the company proved that these instruments don’t have to cost a fortune to deliver quality. The company has always focused on excellent playability, with top-notch build quality that can deliver an exceptional musical tone.

We loved that this guitar has a louder noise, especially in the mid-ranges. This is due to the quality cutting-edge acoustic technology the company uses in developing this guitar. With an excellent bracing design, this guitar can deliver what most other high-end guitars have only been able to achieve.

You can play it on the go; it works well enough for live performances. However, we still noticed that this guitar is pretty much at par if you compare it with the likes of Martins and Gibsons, the ones we reviewed earlier.

It is one of the best guitars for country music, and it’s a good solid option for anyone looking to play such a guitar for recording purposes. But the guitar has weaknesses when churning out higher tones at louder volumes. This is the only thing that we noticed that this guitar falls a little short, especially if you compare it with the high-end options.

Why is it special?

  • Solid spruce top with nato sides and back
  • Inbuilt diecast tuners with rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • Features an adjustable truss
  • An excellent budget-friendly option

What are the flaws?

  • Doesn't deliver exceptional performance at highs

5.

Fender Tim Armstrong HellcatOnboard Electronics

Features
  • String Type: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Body Shape: Concert
  • Top Wood: Solid Mahogany
  • Back & Sides Wood: Laminated Mahogany
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Scale Length: 25.3″
  • Nut Width: 1.692″

Other features: 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Solid Mahogany Top, Mahogany Back and Sides, Maple Neck, and Walnut Fingerboard

Concert players will love the Hellcat by Time Armstrong. This acoustic-electric guitar comes with a natural bundle of strings, picks, and straps, and you will get an instructional DVD.

The guitar features mahogany in the top, body, and back materials, and it’s a true masterpiece in this price range. This instrument comes with modern onboard electronics, which you can use for various recording applications.

This is why we think this guitar is the right option for you to consider if you mostly look to do recordings. The various recording options with this guitar enable you to add richer tones and more dynamics to your output and make it pop out. We notice that this guitar lags a bit when it comes to the bass, as it is not that warm if you compare it with some of the other acoustic guitars on our list.

The Fishman electronics this guitar comes equipped with ensure that the sound it delivers stays natural. The preamp that comes with the guitar also has reliable performance, even with a smaller footprint.

Moreover, your purchase of this guitar includes everything that you need to get started. Get all your instructions from the CD included in the purchase and work your way up to becoming a top-notch acoustic guitar player right in the comfort of your home.

Still, this acoustic guitar for country music is a much more stable option for playing in the studio for recording purposes. It lags a bit when churning out louder sounds, especially at higher notes.

What stands out?

  • A good option for beginners and intermediate players
  • Excellent for budget shoppers
  • Comes with an instructional CD
  • Looks iconic and has pretty decent playability

What cons did we manage to find?

  • The guitar lags in delivering higher tones with the proper definition

6.

Washburn Bella TonoGreat For Looks And Sound

Features
  • String Type: Steel
  • Number of Strings: 6
  • Body Shape: Concert
  • Top Wood: Select Spruce
  • Back & Sides Wood: Figured Walnut
  • Scale Length: 25.5″

Other features: 6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Figured Walnut Back/Sides, Select Spruce Top, Okoume Neck, and Ebony Fretboard

If looks matter the most, you should not look further than the Washburn Bella Tono. This acoustic-electric guitar has a gloss charcoal burst that looks stunning. But here’s the thing, this guitar not only looks great but also delivers a pretty solid performance when it comes to sound.

The guitar has a comfortable feel, and you can continue playing it for long hours. It features an onboard LX4 preamp with a pickup system. The exotic wood design that this guitar has makes it look exceptional. However, this guitar does handle mid-range sounds very well. It works best with the amplifiers and delivers exceptional sound while handling those tighter lows very well. Higher tones might be a slight drawback for this guitar, but it does a fine job with the rest of the combination.

We suggest you use the guitar for studio recording, as it doesn’t have enough loud volume to churn out some tones in front of the live audiences in concerts. This guitar does a fine job when the setup is minimalist or indoor.

Anyone looking to play an acoustic guitar with steel strings for better sound maintenance will love using this instrument. What makes it so comfortable to play with is its smaller body. It is one of the smaller units out there.

Don’t worry, as it’s not too small, making you feel like you are holding a kid’s guitar. But we are highly impressed how it can still deliver quality sound thanks to the Okoume wood used in the neck and spruce wood in the body and back.

What do we love it for?

  • A quality guitar with exceptional looks
  • Inbuilt preamp and pickup system
  • Very comfortable to play with its smaller design

What were we disappointed with?

  • High tones are slightly shaky

Things to Consider

There are different types of acoustic guitars available on the market. However, picking the right one isn’t easy if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This buying guide will list some essential features you must consider when buying these acoustic guitars for country music.

Features To Consider Before Buying A Guitar For Country Music

There are various features that you have to consider when it comes to buying a quality acoustic guitar for country music. First, you must consider where you mostly want to play your guitar.

Whether you will be playing in a studio, in front of a live audience, or just for practice, you must consider your instrument’s skill.

There is a wide range of options available for you to try, and you must understand what you want to achieve and then show the right guitar accordingly.

Body Size

The body size of an acoustic guitar for playing country music is important because it will directly influence the instrument’s overall playability. You must feel entirely comfortable when playing this instrument.

In most cases, you will hold your guitar in your arms with it on your lap. Therefore, it shouldn’t feel that heavy and make you uncomfortable. You should be able to access both ends comfortably so you can play the strings as you wish.

You should pick the right body size for the guitar based on your body size. If you have an appetite structure, you should consider a guitar with a smaller body, for example, the Washburn Bell Tono. Otherwise, you can use a regular acoustic guitar like Gibson J-45 or Martin HD-28.

Neck Quality

Neck quality and its construction can directly impact how the guitar will give off its tones. Some necks are slightly flexible, while others are stiff. It can enforce the overall vibrations that are produced by the strings.

Denser necks can produce brighter sounds and can sustain less. This is usually the case with maple necks. On the other hand, mahogany necks are warmer and have a darker tone, and they can sustain resonance longer.

Therefore, most of the guitars we reviewed above feature mahogany necks, including the Martin HD-28 and Gibson J-45. Spruce is another good option for more vibrant tones.

Type of Wood


We have already discussed how different neck wood types can directly influence how strings produce sound. The materials used in the back and sides of the guitar can also influence how the sounds feel coming from the guitar.

A more flexible type of wood is always a better option. Therefore, the best wood type for exceptional performance is mahogany. This type of wood is flexible and will always give more resonance and sustainability to the strings’ vibrations and sounds coming off.

Spruce is another good choice here. And that is why most of the guitars we have reviewed above feature mahogany and spruce.

Steel or Nylon Strings


They are better for different music types applied on an acoustic guitar. Steel strings are better for rock, country, and bluegrass as they can deliver a brighter and crisper tone.

Steel strings have more power and volume. Because steel strings are better for country music, the guitars we reviewed above all come with steel strings.

On the other hand, nylon strings are better suited for sweeping sounds that are more popular in bossa nova, jazz, and classical music. These strings have a much lighter attack.

Price

There are different types of acoustic guitars that you can find on the market with different price tags. You must make sure you pick the right option based on your intended use.

If you are a skillful guitar player with years of experience, consider buying a quality guitar like the one by Gibson or Martin. If you are still learning the ropes, then going for an expensive option might not be feasible.

You should consider going for a cheaper alternative, perhaps with some instructional materials. For example, learners can buy Yamaha FS800, Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat, or Washburn Bella Tono.

Our Verdict

The best acoustic guitar for country music on the market is the Gibson J-45 which features a Sitka spruce top and mahogany sides and back. This is a high-quality acoustic guitar suitable for professionals.

A close runner-up is the Martin HD-28 which features a solid spruce top with Indian rosewood sides and back. It’s a classical guitar with deeper bass and highly responsive tones.

Our second runner-up is the Taylor 224ce-K Acoustic Electric guitar, an ideal choice for studio recording. This guitar delivers a resonant tone with plenty of volume and an exemplary character.

An acoustic guitar for country music must have a quality build and feel right in your hands. The playability of a guitar is an integral factor, but more often than not, it is ignored. Therefore, you must make sure to try your guitar out before you buy it.

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