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Best Guitars for Folk Music: 10 Acoustic Choices

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In today’s article we’re going to highlight 10 best folk music guitars. If you’re a singer-songwriter who’s looking for a new and reliable piece of gear, you’re most likely facing a big challenge right now. There are just so many models out there! So if you’re feeling lost, don’t worry – we got you covered.

The truth is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great guitar for folk music. Of course, if you want to use the same gear as Bob Dylan or Tommy Emmanuel, you’ll have to pay a bit more. But there is also quite a few models that are totally affordable. In addition, they look and sound fantastic!

I prepared a list of top 10 acoustic guitars suitable for folk musicians. Nevertheless, this gear will also work particularly well for all singer-songwriters and blues or bluegrass musicians. Let’s dive deeper with research – check out the models below.

10 Best Folk Music Guitars – List

Yamaha FG800See on Amazon
Martin D-X1ESee on Amazon
Taylor 214CESee on Amazon
Washburn Heritage HG12SSee on Amazon
Fender FA-125See on Amazon
Yamaha FG850See on Amazon
Martin D-28See on Amazon
Takamine GD11MCE-NSSee on Amazon
Martin LX1See on Amazon
Gretsch Jim Dandy See on Amazon
Yamaha FG800
yamaha fg800

One of the best and most affordable acoustic guitar for both beginners and more advanced players. Undoubtedly, this Yamaha has everything you need in order to start a successful musical journey.

The guitar features a solid Sitka spruce top, which is pretty unusual at this price level. The rest of guitar is made of Nato and rosewood. As a result, the FG800 sounds warm, bright and resonant. It is also worth mentioning that this is one of the most popular acoustic guitars in the world.

I think that this model is great for both fingerpicking and strumming, so it will work well in folk music. At this price, it will be tough to find something better!

Martin D-X1E
Martin D-X1E

If you’re not aware, Martin is a legendary guitar brand that has been around in business for over 150 years now. That being said, their gear tends to be really expensive. Still, the D-X1E is one of the cheapest acoustic guitars offered by this company – and it’s worth it!

Why is it not as expensive as the rest of Martin’s? Well, it features a different construction – a high-pressure laminate. As a result, the guitars from this series offer a balanced and consistent tone and they look absolutely amazing from the outside.

I’m pretty sure that even Bob Dylan would love to use this fantastic mahogany model visible on the picture above!

Taylor 214CE
Taylor 214CE - best folk music guitars

Another incredible guitar. Again, Taylor is an extremely popular American guitar brand that manufactures high-quality guitars. This Grand Auditorium models may not be the cheapest on today’s list, but it definitely deserves your attention.

As you can see, the shape of 214CE is a bit different than the shapes of two previous guitars. This type of construction offers a more rich, resonant and louder tone. So in many cases, you won’t even have to worry about amplifying.

Who is it for? Well, I think that it’s great for both amateurs and more advanced players. Learning to play on that thing could be a really amazing experience. It is also recommended for singer-songwriters who are looking for a reliable piece of gear for their live performances. I highly recommend checking it out!

Washburn Heritage HG12S
Washburn heritage

A beautiful mid-level guitar that sounds good, looks good and doesn’t cost a fortune. Isn’t it all that matters? Honestly, it will be really tough to beat that model and find something better at this price range.

I highly recommend this guitar for beginners. Out of my experience, Washburn guitars are always ready to play straight out of the box, so once it arrives, you won’t have to worry about adjusting the string action or anything like that. They’re just so comfortable to play!

Fender FA-125
Fender FA-125

Similarly as the Yamaha FG800, this is a guitar from the low shelf. They’re both cheap, but on the other hand, they offer great quality that should be more than enough for beginner guitarists.

Of course, you can’t expect any wonders at this price level. The FA-125 model features the all-laminate construction which is durable, but it may not sound as good as guitars with solid tops.

Still, I think that the Fender FA-125 is a bargain if you’re an amateur. This is a perfect entry level instrument that will give you a great introduction to guitars and folk music.

Yamaha FG850
Yamaha FG850 - best folk music guitars

Another really cool guitar offered by Yamaha. The FG850 is a bit more expensive than the previous model, but it’s totally made of mahogany (that includes a solid mahogany top!). As a result, the guitar sounds really sweet and resonant, which is perfect for fingerstyle folk playing.

Although Yamaha has dozens of different guitars in their offer, I think that the FG850 is best for folk music. The quality of materials used for this guitar is a key factor that makes it so good and reliable.

Here’s a quick demo – make sure to check it out.

https://youtu.be/rUKAtlBScGc
Martin D-28
martin d-28 - best folk music guitars

Of course, I had to include one of the best acoustic guitars ever made. As you can imagine, it’s really expensive, but the overall quality of this guitar is from another world. I think that this guitar is just incomparable with the rest on today’s list!

If you want to join such musicians as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams or John Lennon, you should probably stick with the D-28. Undoubtedly, this is a dream instrument for a lot of us so it deserves to be on the list of the best folk music guitars of all time.

Takamine GD11MCE-NS
takamine - best folk music guitars

A really cool acoustic guitar manufactured by one of the most famous Japanese guitar manufacturers in the world – Takamine. If you’re looking for a mid-level guitar that won’t break your budget, this model is the way to go.

Similarly as Yamaha FG850, it features a mahogany top and sides. As a result, the guitar sounds really warm and bright. In addition, it has a cutaway, which allows you to access the higher frets.

It may not be the greatest guitar in the world, but it’s a really solid model suitable for all-level players. Whether you want to play folk music alone at home or rehearse it with your band, this Takamine model will be an excellent choice.

Martin LX1

This Martin guitar is a bit different than the rest of guitars on today’s list. Why? Well, it’s the Little Martin. The size of this instrument is a bit smaller, so it’s a perfect guitar for younger musicians or players with short fingers. But bear in mind – it’s smaller, but it’s not a toy!

Again, it’s really tough to be disappointed with the quality of Martin guitars. The LX1 model is another example of a guitar that sounds and looks absolutely fantastic. In addition, due to its compact size, it’s easy to take it on the road with you. So if you want to drive across the country and play some folk music in open mic nights, this is your ideal companion!

Gretsch Jim Dandy
gretsch jim dandy - best folk music guitars

Gretsch is an absolute leader when it comes to hollow and semi-hollow guitar – that’s a fact. But not many guitarists know that they actually manufacture amazing and affordable acoustic guitars too.

There is something really unique about this model. I’m not exactly sure if it’s the vintage look, warm sound or low price, but I think it’s one of the most interesting acoustic guitars available on the market right now. It’s just so fun to play and it’s so eye catching!

I highly recommend it to musicians who love the sound and aesthetics of the 50’s and 60’s. This Gretsch will be perfect for all folk musicians out there.

FAQ

What Is A Folk Guitar?

Folk guitars are usually acoustic guitars used by singer-songwriters and folk musicians in order to play folk music. Of course, this genre is very broad, but the vast majority of folk guitarists play on acoustic guitars, rather than on classical guitars.

Still, there are no rules when it comes to folk guitars. Some folk guitarists (such as Bob Dylan) prefer regular sized guitars, such as Martin D-28. On the other hand, other musicians decide to choose smaller and mid-size guitars, which also work well for this kind of music.

What Strings Should You Use For Folk Guitars?

It all really depends on what exactly you want to play. If you’d like to play folk music that involves a lot of strumming, you should probably stick to un-coated 80/20 strings that offer a lot of brightness. On the other hand, if you’re aiming for a bit softer tone suitable for fingerstyle playing, you should most likely choose coated phosophor bronze acoustic strings.

Do Folk Guitars Have Nylon Strings?

No, folk guitars are acoustic guitars, so they have steel strings.

Who Is Considered As The Best Acoustic Guitarist?

There are a lot of amazing guitarists who can be considered as the best acoustic guitarists of all time. That includes Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins, Richard Thompson and many, many more.

Still, it’s really difficult to pick just one guitar player and call him as the best guitarist in the world. There are so many great musicians out there that choosing just one person doesn’t make any sense!

How To Play Folk Guitar?

Folk music is all about fingerpicking patterns. Once you get to know how to play them, you should be able to play hundreds of folk songs. If you’d like to find out more about the most popular patterns, make sure to check out the video below.

Summary

As you can see, there are a lot of interesting acoustic guitars out there. And most importantly, they are all really versatile, so even if you decide to play different kind of music, you won’t have to change your guitar again.

Which one would I choose? Well, all of them can be called as the best folk music guitars. Personally, I’d probably stick with Martin. They cost a lot, but in my opinion they manufacture the best acoustic guitars in the world. In addition, their gear is loved by the most famous guitarists in the world. If you haven’t seen my previous article, check out why Martin guitars are so expensive.

I hope that you enjoyed today’s article! If you did, you may also like:

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