If you’re into blues, you probably have the players you look up to. Their music and techniques have probably influenced you as a player and have motivated you to perform yourself. Your first instinct might be to look up their instrument and purchase it, but that could turn out utterly wrong. Don’t get the idea that you shouldn’t do that – you should do whatever you want. I’m just saying that it’s more reasonable to find the best blues guitar that will suit your body, taste and preferences perfectly. That way, you’ll be able to transfer the character of the genre to your axe, and let it shine through the strings and notes. Today we’re going to list down different options that fall into various price categories so that you know what’s available on the market. Let’s begin this article and I’m sure you’ll find the best guitar for blues here!
Top 10 Best Guitars for Blues
What can be a better blues guitar than a Strat? I’m sure there are some that might have the chance to beat it in the competition, but trust me, if we’re talking about the ultimate blues instrument, then it should be Fender American Ultra Stratocaster. I have to start with the design because it’s one of the most expensive-looking models I have ever seen. I’m talking about the Texas Tea finish, which combines the colors that were always meant to be used together. Look at it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. No, I’m lying, the pictures don’t even express the whole beauty. More importantly, this bad boy has an alder body and maple neck. The latter is bolted to the body in a way that makes it easier to access all the frets. This modern design enables you to do everything you want – the main thing is to blues it up as much as you can. Its Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat single-coils will help you in that process. If you wanted to see what the best electric guitar for blues looked like, then you’ve already seen one!
- Impeccable craftsmanship
- Exquisite design
- Versatile and powerful tone
- You might have to change the strings
After a Strat, it’s time to discuss a model that comes as close to it as it’s humanly possible. If you search PRS John Mayer Silver Sky online, you’ll see that many players have criticized the brand for such accurate similarities to the Strat. You’re free to have your own opinion, but I don’t think it’s too bad to utilize well-known traditions and recipes. I mean, who hasn’t built something that resembles a Strat in one way or another? The body features a well-known design with double cutaways and comes in different finishes. You can choose from a variety of colors – it’s completely up to you. The neck is definitely the part where the PRS character comes into play. The headstock shares the brand’s traditions, but it also has newer touches, such as the inverted design. It’s said to be made to accommodate John Mayer’s style, but it makes it easier to play on the whole. It also helps the instrument to stay in tune for longer periods of time. All in all, Silver Sky is quite a controversial piece, but if you don’t mind the resemblance with a Strat, you’ll have the chance to play with one of the best guitars in its price range.
- Defined lows, highs and mids
- Premium build quality and components
- Comfortable to play
- A bit too similar to Strat
And we’re back to Fender. It’s one of those brands that always strive toward improvement. They examined their previous Telecasters, improved the flaws they found and the result is the magnificent American Professional Telecaster. Even though it is classic tele, it has certain upgrades that make it even better. What we have here is an alder body with maple neck, 22 narrow flat frets, 25.5 inches of scale length and 9.5 inches of fingerboard radius. We also have a new Telecaster bridge with three compensated brass barrel saddles. This way they maintained the vintage feel while adding a modern touch to the guitar. Modern “Deep C” shape neck is even more comfortable then what we’re used to, making it easier to go crazy with your blues. We have two single-coils (V-Mod) designed by Tim Shaw for an ultimate blast of layers in your tone. Lastly, American Professional Telecaster has a treble bleed circuit that keeps your highs always intact no matter how low or high your volume is. As you can see, this monster will blues up any stage.
- An impressive upgrade from American Standard
- Durable construction
- Expressive tone
- No bells and whistles if you’re looking for some
If you want to see what a beautiful, high-end guitar looks like, you should take a look at Yamaha Revstar RSP20CR. This brand has stepped up their game to the point where other manufacturers have a hard time keeping up. The design isn’t like anything I have seen before. Hand brushed satin finish is paired with a brown pickguard and chrome hardware. Two darker lines run down the body from the neck and add a sleeker touch to the appearance. I can’t articulate enough how much I love the looks of this one. It’s made in Japan, which basically means the same quality as custom shops. You can see how much attention was paid to every detail here, be it the sound or construction. RSP20CR has two Alnico V humbuckers on the bridge and neck positions, as well as a push-pull dry switch that will give you that bright single-coil response. The low-end is perfectly defined here, making this fella one of the best blues electric guitars.
- Made in Japan
- Solid, durable body
- Premium quality
- You might have to do initial setup
Electric guitars are a dream come true for blues, but what about semi-hollows that enhance the character of the genre even more? If you’re willing to commit to a premium quality semi-hollow guitar and do so without breaking the bank, then you should give Ibanez AS153 a shot. It comes in an Antique Yellow Sunburst finish and looks like something that we inherited from our predecessors. It has a flamed maple back, sides and top. The latter features two f-holes that add a distinctive touch to its sound. Gibraltar Artist bridge, Quick Change III tailpiece and gold tuners make sure the instrument remains in tune for long periods of time. They nail down the intonation, as well, which is truly spot-on. We have two Super 58 passive pickups that yield rich and dimensional tone. There’s nothing extraordinary about AS153 if that’s what you’re looking for, however, its simplicity and bluesy vibes are what makes it such a great bang for the buck.
- Professional guitar
- Affordable price
- Dimensional sound
- Doesn’t have any bells and whistles
There are manufacturers out there that you can recognize immediately once you emit a tone on their guitars. Somehow they manage to create a signature sound that can’t be replicated by anyone else. Their uniqueness always forces you to pay as much as they’re asking for the chance to experiment with their tone once more. Guild Starfire IV is just like that as well. It’s a semi-hollow electric that will deliver high quality performance even at its price. Though it’s not extremely cheap, it certainly is affordable compared to the higher-end models. The quality is impeccable, the tone is rich and the feel is so comfortable you’ll want to play hours on end. This bad boy has a mahogany top, back and sides and a mahogany U-shape neck with a maple center strip. Since the fretboard is quite smooth and even, you won’t have any trouble moving your fingers quickly. Starfire IV is one of those guitars that will define you as a musician, as it will give you the chance to reveal your inner musician.
- Distinctive guilt tone
- Amazing build quality
- Reasonable price
- Might need initial adjustments to suit your taste
If you ever wanted to get your hands on Gibson ES-335 but never had enough budget, Epiphone has designed a close replica to make sure you’d have the chance to experience its essence. Their Limited Edition ES-335 PRO is a budget-friendly semi-hollow body guitar that will turn your world upside down. Of course, it doesn’t have all those expensive components as the Gibson, but let’s not forget that it comes at a fraction of the price. The inferiority of some of the constituents shouldn’t worry us, as this fella knows how to do its job perfectly. The body is made from maple, enabling you to achieve any sound you can think of. The pickups we have here are Alnico Classic PRO 4-wire. They are amazing for pushing your tone and achieving a raw end for beautiful blues. These humbuckers pack a lot of punch, but they can be toned down with the coils-split feature. I never thought we could get so much versatility and quality at this price point. ES-335 PRO is the best blues guitar for the price without any doubt!
- Amazing value for money
- Appealing design
- Wonderful tonal response
Just in case you want even more acoustic qualities in your bluesy tone, we have a hollow-body model stored in for you. Gretsch G5420T Electromatic is a straightforward piece that will crank your game up a notch. Its components are combined to perfection to make sure you get a high level of playability. The tone is so clean that you’ll drown in its essence. Such pristine character is paired with resonance and authenticity, resulting in the instrument that you’ll keep by your side no matter what. This puppy has a 5-ply maple body, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. 22 medium jumbo frets are easy to access no matter what technique you’re going for. Pearloid thumbnail inlays, chrome hardware and a wide variety of finishes complete the design of this exquisite piece. G5420T is an excellent option for everyone who wants their sound to be filled with character and expressiveness.
- The tone is pristine clean
- Excellent bang for the buck
- Built to last
- You’ll need some time to get used to the length and size of the guitar
- You might need to change the height of the pickups
If you thought that you could experience Leo Fender’s legacy only through Fender guitars, you were utterly wrong my friend. Blame it on my ignorance but I was just like you too. If I wanted an affordable Strat, I’d turn to the Squier without knowing that there are other options out there. G&L Tribute Legacy proves that excellent guitars can be built at reasonable prices. If you take it in your hands and check its shell through and through, you’ll notice that there are no flaws – no sharp edges, no chipped paint, nothing of that ilk. Then you can start examining sound. You’ll notice that the pickups can get a bit noisy if you drive them too hard, but you’ll be perfectly fine unless you get overboard. G&L Tribute Legacy has a basswood body with a bolt-on maple neck. The selling point of this fella is definitely its Dual Fulcrum tremolo/vibrato bridge. And the cherry on top? – Alnico V pickups for authenticity. What could be a better affordable tool for those bluesy sounds?
- You can feel Leo’s legacy
- Great build quality
- The pickups might be too noisy
At the end of this list, we’re offering an affordable Stat to make sure budget-players can get the best electric guitar for blues as well. I know how hard it can be to realize that your desires don’t match your wallet. Luckily, you can play blues even under 500, and Squier by Fender Classic Vibe ‘70s Stratocaster will be there to help you. It has many similarities to the previous models, but it still has its own thing going on. Typically, the body is made from poplar. The scale length is 25.5 inches, delivering a full-size guitar. Maple neck and Indian Laurel fretboard feature 21 narrow tall frets for easier access. We have three pickups here: all of them are Fender designed Alnico single-coils. This means that you’ll get that classic, authentic Strat sound at a fraction of price. The design is pretty sleek no matter what color you choose. Squier by Fender Classic Vibe ‘70s Stratocaster might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it surely is an amazing electric guitar.
- Great value for money
- Sturdy construction
- Authentic Alnico sound
- You might dislike the new logo
- Professional setup could be handy
As I have already mentioned, the best blues guitar is the one that matches your heart and soul to the fullest. It should express your own character, blend it with blues and deliver the tones that we have never heard before. It should inspire you to play and practice interminably because blues isn’t an easy genre and you do need to put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in order to succeed. Be it the best electric guitar for blues or an excellent semi-hollow, it should be something that you look at and think: “oh, that’s perfect for me”. Otherwise even the top pick won’t work out for you.
Apart from that, you can trust us that we’re providing you with the best options that are available on the market right now. All of these guitars have rich, resonant sounds that are combined with comfortable necks. You can do chord progressions and rhythmic attacks easily, and that’s what makes them suitable for this genre. It could be true that you can play blues on anything with the right techniques, but let’s face it, some guitars are more appropriate for that task then the others.
If you can, splurge on the high-end models. They are investments that will be by your side your whole life. If you take good care of them, they won’t stop working, trust me. You can even collect some of them – who knows, they might become extinct in a year or two. But if you’re on a budget, you can still pick out the best blues electric guitar. It might not last you as long as the expensive models, but it will surround your essence with a lot of blues for now. At the end of this article, let me ask you: what makes up the best blues guitar? I’d tell you my answer, but you’re the one who has to make the final decision. Think wisely, my friend, as the chosen guitar will define the character of your music quite a lot.
When do bluesmen think that their life is complete? After they play on a big stage, record their music or experiment with the best blues guitars out there? It could be one or the other, or the combination of all three. The main thing is that you feel satisfied with what you’ve done when you look back. On that difficult path, you can perform with many different guitars, each having its own impact on you. They all help you grow and refine your professional skills. And in the end, you’re not the same person you were when you picked up your first electric. I hope you found the blues guitars you really like in the all-inclusive list we have provided. Good luck!