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The fingerstyle technique is not solely limited to the acoustic guitar. In fact, many well-known guitarists have built a career featuring their fingerstyle technique on the electric guitar. This article will provide a list of the best electric guitars available for fingerpicking, whether you’re playing with a hybrid picking style or using a 5-fingered approach.
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The Telecaster is of the most well-renowned guitars for fingerstyle guitar and is widely used with hybrid pickers aiming for country twang and chicken pickin’ tones. The Fender Player Telecaster is a modern take on the classic guitar, suitable for fingerstyle guitarists of all musical genres.
The Fender Player Telecaster has an Alder body connected to a Maple neck in a bolt-on joint method commonly seen on Fender guitars. The fretboard is also Maple, with 22 frets and classic dot inlays used as fret markers.
The neck of the guitar has a modernized C-shape design, with a scale length of 25.5” and a radius of 9.5”.
For pickups, the Fender Player Telecaster is stocked with a pair of Player Series Alnico V Tele single-coil pickups. A standard 3-way pickup selector switch, along with a master volume and tone control knob allows for plenty of tasteful tones to be dialed in with ease.
The Fender Player Telecaster features high-quality hardware components. The nut, noteably, is made of synthetic bone and the tuning machines are made of die-cast chrome. The bridge of the guitar uses a 6-saddle Telecaster bridge with block saddles that utilize a string-through-body design.
Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with the Fender Player Telecaster. This version of the guitar has all of the features the iconic Telecaster is known for and can elevate your fingerstyle playing in more ways than imaginable.
Item Weight: 10.15 pounds
Package Dimensions: 41.75 x 15 x 4.25 inches
If budget is of no concern and you’re looking for a guitar that not only suits fingerstyle guitar extremely well but is attractive to look at and sounds amazing, the D’Angelico Deluxe SS is a great option. This semi-hollow body guitar has plenty of tone on tap for any genre of music.
The body of the D’Angelico Deluxe SS has a single-cutaway design crafted from laminated Maple. The neck of the guitar is made in a Maple x Walnut x Maple 3-piece construction, with an Ebony fretboard. The body and neck are conjoined with a set-thru configuration.
The neck has a fast-playing C-shape design, with a scale length measuring 25”, and a radius of 16”. The neck has 22 frets and features block inlays made of Mother-of-Pearl and Abalone.
The D’Angelico Deluxe SS sports a pair of Seymour Duncan Seth Lover A4 humbuckers with gold pickup covers. The guitar has a 3-way switch as well as a volume knob and tone knob for each pickup (4 knobs total). Pushing the tonal combinations further, each tone knob has a push/pull coil tap that splits the humbuckers into single-coil pickups.
Elsewhere on the guitar is a nut made of GraphTech Tusq, Grover Super Rotomatic locking tuners, and a gold Tune-o-Matic bridge. Included with the guitar is a molded hardshell case.
The D’Angelico Deluxe SS is a guitar for the serious player and/or guitar collector. While this guitar is stocked with playability and excellent tone, this particular guitar model is limited to only 50 guitars produced worldwide. This level of scarcity could seriously drive up the value of the guitar in a good number of years.
Item Weight: 20 pounds
Package Dimensions: 50.2 x 21 x 8.4 inches
If you’re on a tight budget but still in search of a great guitar, the Yamaha Pacifica PAC112J is a great option. Despite its low price, the guitar packs in quite a bit of value.
The Yamaha Pacifica PAC11J features a body made of Alder, which provides a lightweight profile. The neck of the guitar is made of Maple, with a C-shape design, and a Rosewood fretboard. The neck is connected to the body via a bolt-on method, giving greater access to the upper regions of the guitar.
The neck of the guitar has a scale length of 25.5” and a radius of 13.75”. Dot inlays are also provided on the fretboard for easy fret identification of its 22 frets.
This guitar has a wide tonal range for a budget-priced guitar. The PAC112J features a pair of Yamaha Ceramic single-coil pickups in the neck and middle positions, as well as a Yamaha Ceramic humbucker pickup in the bridge position. Master volume and tone knobs are provided, as well as a 5-way pickup selector switch for the easy dialing of great tone.
The PAC112J has fairly decent hardware as well and features a nut made of Urea, die-cast tuning machines, and a vintage-style tremolo bridge.
Overall, it’s hard to go wrong with the Yamaha Pacifica PAC112J, as it is rare to find such a feature-laden guitar at this price point. The guitar has received high acclaim from professional musicians for being the guitar they wish they could have learned with as a beginner.
Item Weight: 10.88 pounds
Package Dimensions: 43 x 18 x 4.5 inches
There are few guitars as iconic as the Stratocaster and the Fender Player Stratocaster is an excellent modern take on this classic guitar. This version of the model features much of the same great features as the classic guitars used by guitar greats in the past but leaves the guitar at a somewhat accessible price point for most intermediate and high-end budgets.
The Fender Player Stratocaster has an Alder body connected to the neck via Fender’s famous modular bolt-on design. The neck and fretboard are both made of Maple, though there are options for a Pao Ferro fretboard.
The neck has a modernized C-shape design, with a scale length of 25.5” and a radius of 9.5”. The neck has 22 frets with a classic dot inlay pattern for fret identification.
For pickups, the Fender Player Stratocaster is stocked with a trio of Player Series Alnico V Strat single-coil pickups. A master volume knob, a pair of tone knobs, and a 5-way selector switch allow you to easily dial in those classic Stratocaster tones that have helped shape modern music.
The guitar also has a synthetic bone nut, chrome tuners, and a 2-point synchronized tremolo bridge system.
This model also comes in a variety of colors including:
- 3-Tone Sunburst
- Capri Orange
- Polar White
Item Weight: 9.9 pounds
Package Dimensions: 41.5 x 15 x 4.5 inches
The Gretsch G2420T Streamliner is a hefty guitar that provides a great deal of resonance and is highly suitable for fingerstyle guitar. This attractive tone machine is also relatively affordable for most budgets.
The G2420T Streamliner is a hollow body guitar made of laminated Maple. The neck of the guitar is crafted from Nato and has a Laurel fretboard with 22 frets. The fretboard features hump blocks made of Pearloid for fret identification and aesthetic purposes.
The U-shaped neck of the guitar has a slightly smaller scale length than other guitars, measuring 24.6”. This shortened length provides a slinky playing experience. The radius of the neck measures 12”.
The G2420T has a pair of Broad’Tron B2-TS humbucker pickups. A pair of volume and control knobs for each pickup, in addition to a 3-way pickup selector switch, allows for the easy dialing in of delicious tones.
The guitar has a synthetic bone nut, die-cast tuners, and a Bigsby Tremolo attached to its secured Adjusto-Matic bridge.
Overall, this guitar is a great option for those fingerstyle players who desire a warm and rich tone. Jazz players especially will find delight in the playability that comes with the Gretsch G2420T Streamliner.
Item Weight: 10 pounds
Package Dimensions: 46.3 x 18 x 5.5 inches
Depending on your method of fingerstyle, there are a few important things to keep in mind in order to make a balanced and informed purchasing decision. Each guitar player is unique in their own right, so what is right for someone else may not be right for you. However, with these points in mind, you will be armed with the essential information to provide you with the best guitar for your style of music.
Much of what you will want in a guitar depends greatly on what style(s) of music you typically perform. For instance, jazz fingerstyle players will likely find a hollow body archtop guitar to be the most suitable due to the warm, rich, and deep tones that they can provide.
Country players that utilize a hybrid picking style might find that certain guitars respond better in producing that iconic chicken pickin’ sound. Similarly, if you are a fingerstyle guitar player that covers a wide range of genres from blues to pop, a single-coil guitar could likely suit your needs quite well.
The feel of the guitar is especially important. When trying out a guitar, you will not only want to ensure that it sounds good to you but is also comfortable to play. A guitar that accommodates your approach to fingerstyle guitar is what you should primarily be looking for.
Another important thing to keep in mind is your budget. A great way to determine the proper budget for you is to do an honest assessment of your skill level as well as how you will be using the guitar.
Generally, a higher-priced guitar is usually best justified for the professional level player who not only plays every day but also frequently performs live. Similarly, a high-priced guitar would not make sense for a beginner due to the fact that the guitar will not be used in its full capacity.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind, especially if you are not a professional level guitarist (but have ambitions to be), is to find a guitar that is well within budget range but provides enough growing room for the guitar to stay relevant in your musical journey. This way, you extract the most value for the price you pay for a guitar.
There are a number of great guitar brands that produce high-quality instruments suitable for fingerstyle guitar. You can likely not go wrong with a guitar from one of these brands, as they each have a reputation backed by years of acclaim.
Fender is an American company that was established in 1946. This instrument and amplifier manufacturer is one of the most well-known companies in the guitar space, with their products playing an influential role in much of the most important music of the last 70 years.
D’Angelico is a name that is somewhat synonymous with jazz guitar. The American company, founded in 1932, is reputed for its luxurious archtop guitars, continuing in the tradition of master guitar builder John D’Angelico.
Founded in Japan in 1887, Yamaha was initially a producer of reed organs, branching out into pianos around 1900. Today, Yamaha is the biggest producer of pianos and one of the largest musical instruments and has a reputation for providing a high degree of craftsmanship and value for every budget and skill level.
Gretsch is a well-known American company that was founded in 1883. The company has a reputation for building quality hollow body and archtop guitars. Today, the company is owned and operated by Fender, who purchased the company in 2002.
Top Electric Guitars For Fingerstyle, Final Thoughts
Fingerstyle can sound excellent on an electric guitar. The right electric guitar that compliments your playing style greatly depends on your personal tastes and tonal preferences. For this reason, it is essential to take some time to try some of these guitars out firsthand to see which one suits you the best.