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Best Guitars for Shoegaze: 8 Noise Rock Picks

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best guitar for shoegaze and noise rock

If you’re on the hunt for the best guitar for shoegaze or noise rock, you’re in the right place! In today’s blog post, we’re going to have a deep look on 8 really cool and affordable guitars that will be great for that genre. Although there are hundreds of interesting guitars out there, my top recommendations include mainly Jazzmasters, Jaguars, and Mustangs. I also included a few hollow body models. The versatility of these guitars is absolutely amazing. Let’s jump into it!

Firstly, we’re going to start with a list of 8 great axes. In the next part, you’ll be able to see overviews of each model with my thoughts and comments. I also added a few sound samples so make sure to plug in your best headphones! Before we start, I also recommend checking out my recommendations on bass guitars for indie rock. I think that all of the models mentioned in that article will be a great match for shoegaze as well.

Best Guitar For Shoegaze & Noise Rock

1.Squier Classic Vibe 60’s MustangSee on Amazon
2.Fender Vintera JaguarSee on Amazon
3.Gretsch Electromatic G5655See on Amazon
4.Fender Player MustangSee on Amazon
5.Squier 50s TelecasterSee on Amazon
6.Fender American Ultra JazzmasterSee on Amazon
7.Fender Deluxe Nashville TelecastserSee on Amazon
8.Gretsch G5422TGSee on Amazon

1. Squier Classic Vibe Mustang

squier classic vibe - best guitar for shoegaze

If you’re a frequent listener of shoegaze, you probably know that a lot of guitarists within that genre play on offset guitars. And in fact, Mustangs are one of the most popular guitars of that type. If you’re looking for something really good and affordable, this Squier will be a perfect fit. As a proud owner of a Squier Jazzmaster, I can confirm that the Classic Vibe series features an extremely good attention to detail. These guitars are amazing! In my opinion they’re on the same level as much more expensive Fenders (for example from the Player Series). If you don’t want to spend too much on a guitar, this will be the best model for shoegaze. Here’s a sound sample in case you’re interested.

2. Fender Vintera Jaguar

fender vintera jaguar - best guitar for shoegaze

Absolutely legendary and comfortable guitar. What’s interesting, the Jaguars are often a top choice among the professional players. Think about Kurt Cobain, Johnny Marr or John Frusciante – they all played on these guitars. Whether you’re into grunge, indie or shoegaze, it will be an ideal fit. Personally, I absolutely love this Vintera Series by Fender. This is a mid-level Fender guitar and although it’s not that cheap, it offers remarkable quality. What’s important, it’s not manufactured in cheap factories in Asia – all Vintera guitars come from Mexico. The matching headstock visible above really adds a lot of character. Also, the Jaguar single-coil pickups offer a huge tone versatility, so you’ll be able to achieve both clean and really distorted shoegaze sounds. Amazing guitar!

3. Gretsch G5655

gretsch g5655 - best guitars for shoegaze

Something for more demanding players. In my opinion, this Gretsch looks absolutely fantastic and luxurious. The combination of navy blue color and golden hardware makes this guitar look really posh. Although it should never be about the looks, the G5655 should get 10 points out of 10 for its appearance. In terms of sound, similarly as all hollow body guitars, it’s really loud and resonant. What’s more, it features a Bigsby bridge. I think that when you combine a sound of Bigsby with a few effects pedals for shoegaze, you’ll be able to achieve something really exceptional. Hence, I included an official sound sample by Gretsch on the video below – make sure to check it out. I think that it’s one of my today’s favorites! If you’re interested in reading more about guitars with Bigsby, here’s my guide on that topic.

4. Fender Player Mustang

fender player mustang - best guitar for shoegaze

Similarly as the first model in today’s article, it’s a Mustang. As I mentioned before, Fender Player Series and Squier Classic Vibe offer a really similar quality. The major difference between these guitars is that the Fender Player is made in Mexico, while the Squier is usually made either in China or Indonesia. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really matter, because both guitars sound equally amazing. Personally, I’d rather choose the cheaper Squier. But don’t get me wrong – the Fender Player Mustang is still an amazing guitar. Since Fender is an absolutely iconic and legendary guitar brand, some people prefer having the Fender logo on the headstock rather than Squier. Whether you choose a Fender or Squier, you’ll definitely be satisfied – that’s for sure!

5. Squier 50s Telecaster

squier 50s telecaster

Again, it’s a truly amazing guitar. I know I said it before, but the Classic Vibe series offers the best guitars in the market right now. I had the pleasure to own this Telecaster for a few months and it sounded and felt amazing. Nevertheless, my copy had a problem with the input jack. I don’t think it’s a common issue though and it can be easily fixed. What matters is that the thick sound of Telecaster will be ideal for shoegaze and noise rock sounds. This Squier is an amazing choice for both beginner and more advanced players who are into alternative music. Undoubtedly, you won’t be disappointed if you choose that one. And most importantly, it doesn’t cost a fortune! Well done, Squier!

6. Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster

fender american ultra jazzmaster

It’s time for the most expensive guitar on my list! The American Ultra Jazzmaster is made for the most demanding and very often professional players. This guitar will be perfect for studio recordings or live gigs. If you’re just a beginner, you can probably live with playing on a much cheaper guitar. Nevertheless, this is the top of the game. If you’re looking for the best guitar for shoegaze or noise rock, this is a perfect example. It’s actually hard to describe how good this guitar really is. Sometimes when you pick up a new guitar, you feel an indescribable connection with it. I felt it when I had the pleasure to test this guitar in real life. Absolutely stunning guitar! Check out the sound sample below. Sounds amazing, right?

7. Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster

fender deluxe nasvhille telecaster - best guitar for shoegaze

In comparison with the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster, This Fender Deluxe Nashville is a little bit more expensive. The guitar features a single noiseless Strat pickup and two vintage Tele pickups. It’s a really interesting solution, because usual Telecaster guitars have only two pickups instead of three. Hence, it kind of feels like having a Stratocaster sound on a Telecaster. This sound versatility can be really beneficial if you’re looking for some cloudy and distorted shoegaze and noise rock sounds. Undoubtedly, the Deluxe Nashville Telecaster looks, feels and sounds fantastic. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of Teles!

8. Gretsch G5422TG

gretsch g5422

Another Gretsch guitar and another Bigsby! The luxurious combination of white and gold may not be common among shoegaze and noise rock players, although this guitar features amazing playability and versatility. In addition, the Bigsby bridge significantly expands the tone possibilities on that thing! Undoubtedly, it’s a fantastic and well-crafted instrument. You won’t be disappointed! Check out this tone test below. Looks and sounds cool, right?

Shoegaze & Noise Rock Guitars – FAQ

What brand offers the best guitar for shoegaze and noise rock?

There are a lot of great guitar manufacturers out there! Shoegaze and noise rock guitarists often choose such brands as Fender, Gretsch, Gibson or Ibanez. Nevertheless, Fender has the largest offer of offset guitars.

What are offset guitars?

In short, offset guitars are guitars with an unusual, irregular and assymetrical body shape. If you compare a Jazzmaster with a regulat Stratocaster, you’ll notice the difference. The most popular offset guitars are Jaguars, Mustangs and Jazzmasters. What’s important, the offset guitars are a top choice among a lot of professional guitarists. Here are examples of guitarists who use or used offset guitars on a daily basis:

  • Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) – Fender Jazzmaster
  • Kurt Vile – Fender Jazzmaster
  • Johnny Marr – Fender Jaguar
  • Kurt Cobain – Fender Mustang/Jaguar
  • Frank Black (Pixies) – Fender Mustang
  • David Byrne (Talking Heads) – Fender Mustang
How to get a shoegaze sound?

Achieving the best shoegaze sound can be tricky, but in fact, it’s not that difficult. You’ll need a wide range of effects pedals, such as delay, reverse delay, vibrato or flanger. Nevertheless, there are a lot of ways to achieve an unusual tone. It’s all about creativity too! Here’s a guide on what you can do to get a shoegaze sound.

What bands play shoegaze?

There are lot of bands who play shoegaze. For example, the most popular ones include My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr., Slowdive, Ride or Lush. In case you’re interested, here’s a great Spotify playlist with new post-punk, shoegaze and new wave music.


As you can see, there are quite a few really cool and affordable guitars ideal for shoegaze and noise rock players. Out of my experience, the offset guitars (such as Mustang or Jazzmaster) are the most popular among shoegaze guitarists. Personally, I’d pick the Fender American Ultra Jazzmaster, although it’s the most expensive guitar on my list. If you’re on a lower budget, any Squier Classic Vibe will be more than enough for you. I guarantee that whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced player, any of these guitars will be super fun to play!

Thanks for checking out Best Guitars Now. I hope that my article was helpful! If you enjoyed today’s blog post, you may also like:

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