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Best Guitars for Indie Rock + Tone Test

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Trying to find the best guitar for indie rock? Well, you’re in the right place. In today’s article we’re going to highlight the best and most affordable guitars suitable for players who are into indie and alternative music. If you like the sound of such bands as The Smiths, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys or Kings of Leon, you will definitely find a guitar suitable for playing that kind of music. As a skilled musician and a huge fan of these genres, I feel obliged to share my knowledge about guitars so that you can choose the best guitar for indie rock that won’t break the bank. My recommendations mostly include Fender guitars – that’s based on my real experience. Nevertheless, you will also find a few other guitar brands in there too!

Let’s start with a list of guitars and then we’ll move on to more detailed descriptions and sound tests. I really hope that my short guide will be helpful. In addition, if you’re looking for an affordable amp, check out the list of best amps under $100.

Best Guitar For Indie Rock – Top 7 Guitars

Squier Classic Vibe 60s JazzmasterSee on Amazon
Fender Vintera 60s TelecasterSee on Amazon
Fender Kurt Cobain JaguarSee on Amazon
Fender American Performer JazzmasterSee on Amazon
Gretsch StreamlinerSee on Amazon
Epiphone Sheraton IISee on Amazon
Fender Limited Edition StratocasterSee on Amazon

Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster

Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster - best guitar for indie rock

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This guitar is actually one of my favorites. As a proud owner of a Jazzmaster guitar, I can totally recommend it for playing indie rock. In fact, Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys uses this type of guitar on a daily basis. That’s a pretty solid recommendation, right? I created a separate article focused specifically on Fender and Squier Jazzmasters – I recommend checking it out.

If you’re not aware, Squier is owned by Fender and its focused on delivering the best guitars in the most affordable prices. What’s interesting, although it’s a few times cheaper than Fender, it sounds almost exactly the same. The following model features the poplar wood, Alnico pickups and a really vintage-looking gloss neck finish. The guitar looks, sounds and feels absolutely fantastic. In my opinion, this is the best and the most affordable option out there. Have a look at the sound sample below and let me know what you think!

Squier Classic Vibe 60s – Sound Test

Fender Vintera 50s Telecaster

fender vintera 50s telecaster

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Another absolutely great guitar made for all kinds of rock music, including indie. Think about Tom Morello or Johnny Greenwood – they’re frequent users of Telecasters. That says a lot about these guitars! Also, if you’re a fan of Peach Pit, their lead guitarist (Chris Vanderkooy) also plays on the tele. These guitars are really versatile and you’ll see that in the sound sample below.

The following model offers amazing quality and attention to detail. The Vintera Series includes all types of guitars – you can also find Stratocasters, Jazzmasters, Jaguars and Mustangs too. What I like about this series is the vintage look and a classic, bright rock sound. The telecaster visible above features a body made of alder and a maple neck. In addition, there are also two single-coil vintage pickups. Personally, I prefer the feel and sound of Jazzmasters and Stratocasters, but if you’re into the thicker sound of Teles, this will be definitely the best guitar for indie rock for you! Check out the sound sample below. Sounds great, right?

Fender Vintera Telecaster – Sound Test

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar

fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar - best guitar for indie rock

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Jaguars are one of the most popular guitars among the indie rock players. It doesn’t surprise me, because these instruments are really versatile. You can achieve a lot of great tones on that thing! The most popular guitarists that used or use this type of guitar are for example Kurt Cobain, Johnny Marr or John Frusciante. If you recognize these names, you know that they play or played slightly different kinds of rock music. Nevertheless, the Jaguar will allow you to play both fat-sounding Nirvana riffs and more clean and bright sounds similar to The Smiths.

The following model is a signature guitar of Kurt Cobain. Again, it’s not the cheapest guitar on the market right now but it will be ideal for lovers of grunge music. The guitar features an alder body and a maple neck. In addition, the modern C-shaped neck offers amazing playability and smoothness. Also, Fender decided to use two really amazing humbuckers, which feature an absolutely amazing sound. Undoubtedly, it’s a great guitar. There are more affordable options out there (such as Squier), but if you’re a huge fan of Kurt Cobain, this model is for you. Here’s the sound sample!

Fender Kurt Cobain Jaguar – Sound Test

Fender American Performer Jazzmaster

fender american performer jazzmaster - best guitar for indie rock

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Undoubtedly, this is currently the best Jazzmaster model on the market. I highly recommend it for intermediate guitarists who are into indie rock. For me, this is the best guitar for indie rock. Fender did an absolutely fantastic job. Atlhough it’s not cheap, it’s definitely worth it. Starting your musical journey with that guitar will be a real pleasure, although I mainly recommend it for more advanced players. It’s a perfect guitar for live gigs too!

The following model features an alder body with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. In addition, it also has two white Yosemite pickups. If you know Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys – he plays the Fender guitar which looks exactly the same as the one above. Also, the vintage-style tremolo will allow you to experiment with a lot of sounds. I have no hesitation in recommending this guitar for any lover of indie rock. If you have the budget go for it. This is the best guitar for indie rock! Check out the sound sample below. Sounds sick, right?

Fender American Performer Jazzmaster – Sound Test

Gretsch G2622T Streamliner

gretsch streamliner

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Another absolutely great and affordable guitar. The hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars are also really popular among the indie rock guitarists. For example, Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon) or Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) use them frequently for live and studio recordings.

The following model is really versatile and in comparison with other models presented in my article – it’s actually pretty cheap. The manufacturer decided to use a laminated maple for the body and nato wood for the neck. In addition, the guitar has an anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge with the Bigsby B70. Absolutely amazing guitar! Also, it looks really incredible. If you’re into this kind of vibe, it will most certainly be perfect for indie rock. Here’s a short sound sample.

Gretsch Streamliner G2622T – Sound Test

Epiphone Sheraton II

epiphone sheraton ii

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For those who don’t know, Epiphone is one of the leaders in the music industry. They offer really good and affordable guitars that sound and feel absolutely amazing. Similarly as Gretsch, this semi-hollow instrument will be great for indie rock music.

This model is really comparable with the legendary Gibson ES-335, which is a far more expensive option. The guitar features a maple body, a mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard. Although Sheraton II is manufactured in China, it still offers amazing quality and attention to detail. Some people think that guitars made in Asia are worse, but in my opinion it’s not true. What’s more, I’m absolutely sure that you will be satisfied with the overall quality and sound of this guitar. Considering other models, it may not be THE best guitar for indie rock, but it’s definitely one of the best and affordable models that you should consider before the purchase. Check out the sound sample below. Pretty good, huh?
Epiphone Sheraton II – Sound Test

Fender Limited Edition Stratocaster

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Of course, we need a Stratocaster on that list! This is one of the most iconic guitars used in indie rock. Do you know Mac DeMarco? Well, he plays on a Strat. If you want to achieve a similar tone, you should definitely check it out. Of course, since it’s the most popular guitar type, there are a lot of amazing Strats out there. We already covered Squier, Fender Vintera and Fender American Series, so I thought it’d be good to add something special here too!

The following model is pretty affordable and it features an alder body with a gloss polyester finish. In addition, it has an absolutely great looking maple neck and fingerboard. Overall, the guitar presents itself beautifully! Undoubtedly, you will be able to achieve a lot of great indie rock tones on that Stratocaster. And since it’s a limited edition, it’s really unique. Great choice for both beginner and more intermediate players who are into indie rock!

Fender Player Stratocaster Limited Edition – Sound Test

Summary – My Choice

Certainly, there’s a few really amazing and affordable guitars suitable for indie rock out there. In my opinion, each one of these models will be perfect for playing indie and alternative tunes. If I would have to pick one guitar and call it as the best guitar for indie rock, I would choose Fender American Professional Jazzmaster. Nevertheless, it’s the most expensive guitar on that list, so if you’re looking for something cheaper – go with Squier or more affordable Fenders. But don’t get me wrong – every guitar on this list deserves a lot of attention. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for checking out Best Guitars Now. I hope that my article was helpful and you enjoyed the sound samples. Feel free to let me know in the comments below which guitar would you choose. In addition, you may also enjoy:

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