The 4 Best Fingerpicking Guitars – Fingerstyle & Acoustic Reviews 2023

best fingerpicking guitar, best fingerstyle guitar, best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle

Photo by Nguyen-Anh Le / CC BY

Guitars can be a bit of a tricky beast to tame, especially if you’re going for musical versatility. Every style and every technique have their own ways of being properly played, and they all require different setups or even different guitars.

This means that you should choose your instrument wisely if you want to utilize it to the max. For this jolly occasion, we’ll focus on the fingerpicking style, commonly utilized in a vast array of styles from country to rock, and do our absolute best to present you with the right guitar. We went through the so many products on today’s market to present to you the 4 best fingerpicking guitars:

Yamaha L-Series LL6

The Yamaha brand is known for its high-quality construction and consistency, and they deliver both in this L-series acoustic guitar. The soundboard of the guitar is solid spruce, with rosewood for the back and sides, a combination of tonewoods that gives the overall sound a great balance of resonant warmth and clarity on the attacks. The interior bracing is also designed for balance, with an X-bracing technique that brings out the natural nuance of the tonewoods.

It’s the bridge mechanism on this model will be of the most interest to fingerpickers, though. It’s larger than other models, designed to transfer string vibration to the guitar’s body more efficiently. This means the sound will stay true to the detail and nuance of your picking, giving you complete control over your tone.

Yamaha has also made some improvements to the neck design with this model, with a multi-layered construction that uses a strip of rosewood set in the middle of the mahogany neck. This prevents it from being damaged by the stress of frequent play, a common problem with acoustic models using a single timber block in the neck design. With this combination of construction and features, the Yamaha LL6 should surely be on anyone’s list of the best fingerpicking guitar.

Fender CD-60SCE

In the budget-friendly realm of the best freestyle guitar, we bring you a trusty Fender, the CD 60 model. It’s a full-on acoustic guitar with a laminated mahogany top, back, and sides. The mahogany depth and vibe secure additional resonance during finger picking, while the mahogany neck with a 20 fret rosewood fingerboard feels strong, sturdy and reliable.

The mix also includes scalloped X bracing on the top for better stability and a Fishman preamp for the pickup. The rosewood bridge and die-cast chrome tuners round out the hardware.

Back to the sonic department, the guitar might be lacking in the low-end section at times, and the bright treble department can become too bright at times, but once you pick up a few wielding tricks, this guitar will sound incredibly well for its excellent price range.

If you’re looking for the best inexpensive fingerpicking guitar, well, you’ve just met it. The punch is there, and so is the resonance.

Fender CD60SCE Sound Test by Praj

Takamine GD20 NS

Finally, a little something in-between, in terms or price range, of course. This fella is known as Takamine GD20 NS and he definitely packs a punch. Utilizing a solid cedar top with mahogany back and sides, along with a slim and thin satin-finish mahogany neck and a 12 inch radius classic rosewood fingerboard, the axe provides a classy feel and vibe.

This guitar is quite playable thanks to the aforementioned slim neck, as well as thanks to the solid cedar top, which gives your finger-picking an extra dose of resonance and depth.

Also included in the price is a split-saddle design of the pin-less rosewood bridge for extra playing convenience, along with a standard bone nut and bridge saddle, and an elegant natural satin finish.

Additionally, the tone of the GD20 NS can be described as somewhat retro and old-school, so if a tasty kick of old-fashioned country or some good ole rock ‘n’ roll sounds like your cup of tea, place this baby higher up on your list of considered instruments. This is one of the best fingerstyle guitars for the money.

Takamine GD20-NS Acoustic Guitar review

Martin X Series GPX1AE

Martin is one of the most sought-after brands in the acoustic guitar world, known for their consistently beautiful tone and quality of construction. As a result of these high standards, they do tend to carry a bit of a higher price tag than other brands. Once you’ve had a chance to play on a Martin and hear the kind of tone it produces, though, you’ll likely find it well worth the extra investment.

In terms of the tonewoods, this guitar uses a classic combination of Sitka spruce on the top and mahogany on the back and sides. The spruce is key for fingerpicking, making sure the front end of your sound has a crisp, bright attack. The mahogany, meanwhile, adds some warmth and depth to the sustain.

This is also an electro-acoustic model, with on-board electronics so you can hook easily into an amp. It uses Fishman Sonitone pickups, which are state of the art electronics, even featuring a USB hookup if you want to plug your guitar directly into your computer for easy recording.

The look and feel of a Martin guitar are distinctive. It has a classic look, from the tortoiseshell pick guard to the accents on the headstock and chrome tuners. The natural feel and easy action let you fingerpick with ease, and the bridge is fully adjustable to accommodate all playing styles.

My New Martin GPX1AE! (Blackbird Cover)

“What should I look for in a fingerpicking guitar?”

There are several things to keep your eyes peeled for, but these two stand out a bit – extra punch, and extra resonance.

First off, you will need a stronger mid-range attack. When picking with your fingers, your licks are commonly revolving around that extra dose of rhythmical, percussive groove, and nothing makes that groove bounce like a healthy teaspoon of middle frequencies.

Additionally, you will need a wood that resonates, a little something to give your performance a kick in the power section and extra volume on a grand scale. This will make your band’s sound fuller and more expressive, so pay attention when doing your six-string browsing and shopping.

Apart from that, it comes down to your personal taste and preferences in many ways, but some things are just a standard if you want to acquire a decent-sounding fingerpicking instrument.

With that out of the way, we invite you to take a good look at the four products listed above. For their respective price ranges, they are the real deal. So check ’em out, take them for a spin and enrich your musical life with the best fingerpicking guitar today!

Written and Reviewed By

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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