What springs to your mind when you think of the Southern United States? Well, for me, it has always been associated with country music. It makes me feel like Buster Scruggs (a character from a renowned Coen movie) – I imagine I’m a cowboy roaming the deserts and singing those beautiful country songs. This genre has seen many instruments, including banjos, harmonicas, electric and acoustic guitars. Today we’re going to concentrate on the latter and find the best guitar for country music together. I’ll provide you with several options so that you know what choices you have. The only thing you have to do is read this article carefully, explore the features of these wonderful models and choose your favorite one. And my duty is to make this journey enjoyable for you, so I’ll get down to business. Let’s begin!
Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitars For Country Music
What could be better for a traditional music than a traditional instrument? – a traditional instrument from Martin. I won’t waste your time appraising the brand, we all know how mesmerizing their guitars are. This time we’re talking about a model that is relatively affordable compared to other models from the brand. 000-17 is a remarkable option for anyone who wants to have the fullest country experience. Solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides aren’t new for everyone, yet their combination always results in a well-balanced tone. This particular guitar has a very interesting design – its satin black body is topped with white binding and white Ivoroid pickguard. The contrast created by these colors does something to you – I, personally, couldn’t identify my feelings when I first saw it. But then I fell in love with the appearance. 000-17 has a triple 0 size (the scale length of 24.9”) as indicated by the name. As you can see, we’re dealing with a powerful and intriguing package here.
- Quite affordable for a Martin
- Excellent sound
- High-quality components
- The top might dent easily
Eastman guitars are paving their way to the market more and more prominently with each release. No matter what kind of acoustic guitar you’re going for, they will deliver something that will keep you amazed for a long time. Their E20P from Traditional Series is a wonderful representation of that. As you examine its body carefully, you can’t find a single flaw. Neither can you find any cons in terms of sound. Yes, that does mean that this thing is impeccable. It has a solid Adirondack spruce top which is combined with solid rosewood back and sides. Scalloped X-bracing is hand-carved, i.e. a lot of attention was paid to the details. Since it’s a parlor, the scale length is 24.9”, making the guitar suitable for anyone who prefers a smaller size. This shape has many advantages, one of them being the curvy body. Those deep curves are perfect for maximum pleasure as they ease up the playing process. I have to mention abalone inlays on the fretboard that are shaped like snowflakes. This small touch makes all the difference to me and enhances the beauty of the guitar. All in all, E20P is one of the best acoustic guitars for country music!
- Flawless construction
- Wider nut (i.e. more space between the strings)
- Powerful sound
We don’t judge guitars by their appearances, but man, some of them are so beautiful you want to submerge on their surface and never leave their essence. When I took my first glance at Martin DSS-17 Whiskey Sunset, I felt that I was being transferred to another world. I started travelling in the South and it was as if I touched the origins of the country itself. It features a two color body – the top part is black and it slowly fades into a beautiful sunset color. It’s finished with a tortoise pickguard, which protects the surface from scratches. I, personally, really like the appearance of this one, but I think that’s still a matter of taste. This bad boy has a Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. It’s dreadnought body yields a powerful range of versatile tones – you can roam freely in the highs or lows. Its dynamic range will force you to play interminably, as you’ll miss it each time you put it down. Needless to say that all the components have wonderful quality – it takes a single look to notice that. But if you examine them over time, you’ll see how durable they are. Thumbs up to this one!
- Creates dynamic tones
- A wide range for versatility
- Durable construction
- Some of you might dislike the design
No matter how you feel about Fender acoustics, I think you should give Paramount PM-1 a try. It’s the guitar that you’ll hear a lot of controversy about, but we shouldn’t forget that it’s still a matter of taste. This bad boy has all-solid construction: it has a Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The neck is made from mahogany, while the fretboard features ovangkol. It’s a dreadnought with the scale length of 25.3 inches. It might not be as powerful as other models we’ve discussed so far, but you shouldn’t forget that it’s twice cheaper compared to them. The tone is expressive and vibrant – it has the depth and character that we need to achieve beautiful results. I really like the design, as well, because Fender has added some glorious details: checkerboard binding and rosette, mother of pearl inlays on the fretboard and bridge pins, along with a tortoise pickguard. PM-1 comes with the Fishman preamp system, which enables you to adjust your tone the way you like. What a treat!
- Beautiful design
- High-quality electronics
- Expressive tone
If you want to experience premium quality at a relatively affordable price, then Blueridge BR-142 can be a perfect match for you. Though some players criticize their guitars for the lack of innovation, I don’t think there’s anything bad in their traditional choices. After all, the main thing is the sound and they manage to nail that pretty well. This particular guitar is virtually faultless: it’s top is made from solid Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are built with solid mahogany. The neck is made from mahogany as well, but the fingerboard features Santos rosewood. There’s nothing extraordinary about the wood selection here, however, that’s not a bad thing by any means. In fact, BR-142 from the Historic Series manages to create a resonant sound that is saturated with deep, rich, mellow tones. Its versatility will enable you to experiment with various sounds and techniques and explore its fullest potential. This baby is like a book – it will tell you something new as you turn a new page each day.
- Solid construction
- Pleasing appearance
- Deep and rich tone
- Some players might dislike the lack of innovation
A brief history of country music
Tracing a history of musical genres isn’t always an easy task, but we’re lucky enough to know the first recordings of a country. It was created back in 1910 and started the foundation for further evolvement. 1922 saw the release of the first commercial country record created by Eck Robertson. But it wasn’t until 1927 when the true country was born: it was waiting for the legends, such as Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. They exposed the full character of the genre and contributed to its popularization to a great extent. Jimmie’s “Blue Yodel #1” became the first million-selling singles, but his contribution doesn’t stop there. He left wonderful pieces to the audience and we have the chance to listen to his beautiful playing till this day. As the time passed by, different types of country music started emerging. We should thank Bill Monroe for bluegrass (the name was taken from his band the Blue Grass Boys) and Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams for honky-tonk. As the genre traveled around the country, it gained a different appeal and became even more versatile. Countless sub-genres have emerged, and, as a result, country isn’t a merely Southern genre anymore.
The features the best acoustic guitar for country music should have
As you scroll through the options we have provided, you might have a hard time figuring out what to go for. If you read those reviews and wanted to get all of them equally, then I’ll tell you several things that you should keep in mind before making up your mind.
Would a country sound like a country with a nylon-string guitar? – NO. There’s a reason why you didn’t see those nylon models above – country requires the character of steel strings. This might be a bad news if you’re a beginner, but trust me, your fingers will stop getting sore eventually and your sound will thank you for steel strings. We need twang and we need it in every bit of our country!
The best acoustic guitar for country music should also have a loud, expressive tone. The genre itself is too rich to be forgiving to dull guitars. You need to make sure you’re going for something that will give you a wide tonal range. You do also need something that will follow your lead and yield beautiful results as you swap between various techniques.
And finally, a guitar for country music should have all the basic qualities that we usually look for in our instruments. Construction quality, design and value for money don’t lose their significance with this genre either. After all, we want our beloved guitars to last, right?
The mixture of Western and Southern cultures is lingering in my mind now. After reviewing the best acoustic guitars for country music all I want to do is sit back, relax and listen to this beautiful genre. Its upbeat character is a trustworthy remedy whenever you’re feeling down. Country is filled with hope and peace, at least for me. The main thing is that you always have to look for inspiration. Be it the new guitar, an accessory or an online lesson – find something that awakens your creative side. I hope I helped you find what you were looking for. Good luck!