Best Electric Guitars for Blues

The 10 Best Electric Guitars for Blues

Blues music tends to tell a profound story about the sorrows of Musicians and strike a chord in the hearts of the audience. Many guitarists see blues as a beautiful way to express their emotions in a very authentic way.

The blues genre originated from the southern states of America, and was influenced by field hollers, church music, folk music, ragtime, and other minstrel show songs.

Just knowing how to play blues or what notes to play isn’t enough. It’s vital to understand which features in a guitar you ought to be looking for. This buying guide will review the top 10 best electric guitars for blues.

Let’s get started!

The 10 Best Electric Guitars for Blues

Don’t have time to read the full post? No Problem!

In short, here is my list of top 10 best electric guitars for blues:

For a more in-depth look at each of these guitars, keep reading!

Blues Guitar #1 – Fender American Performer Stratocaster

Best value
Fender American Performer Stratocaster

The Fender American Performer Stratocaster is a top of the line Made in USA guitar that is a staple to any guitar enthusiast's collection. This guitar gives you everything you would want from a high end Stratocaster at an affordable price.

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Leo Fender developed their first-ever Stratocaster. Today the strat is by far one of the most popular and emulated electric guitar shapes. Fender is an American-based manufacturer for guitars, and amps. 

  • Body: Alder 
  • Body Finish: Gloss
  • Neck Material: Maple 
  • Neck Finish: Satin Polyurethane 
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ 
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • String Nut: Synthetic Bone 
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood 
  • Pickup: Yosemite Single-Coil Stratocaster 
  • Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo 

The aesthetics of this guitar is beautiful. You can choose from an Arctic White or Honey Burst color. This Stratocaster features a newly designed Yosemite single-coil pickup, which uniquely blends with Alnico 2. These pickups come with four magnets in different installation positions to generate a warm open-sounding tone.

It’s equipped with a Greasebucket tone circuit that keeps the clarity and gain even when dialing down the tone controls. With playability, the jumbo frets measure thicker than most medium-jumbo frets.

However, they provide smooth and fast action. It keeps sustaining when pushing bent notes to the absolute limit. The tone is quite pronounced, and punchy, and can be felt on the amp’s front end. 

The Performer Strat is ideal for gigging guitarists who are looking for classic essentials along with upgraded features. The Yosemite pickups help to provide a dynamic tone and include advanced features like a five-tone pickup switch.

The grease bucket circuitry keeps the upper registers clear, making it the ideal feature for solo guitarists. This guitar is a great value placed in a medium price range above what most beginners would pay for. However, the value exceeds its price incorporating features from advanced guitars. 

Pros: 

  • Superb all-around playability 
  • Additional switching options
  • Great value and price 
  • Build and upgrades from the American Special specification 
  • Iconic and beautiful aesthetics 

Cons: 

  • Not everyone loves the vintage bent steel saddles 

Blues Guitar #2 – Gibson Les Paul Standard

The Gibson Les Paul Standard was inspired by the 60’s golden era, and brings those blues and rock tones back to life. This guitar is a solid body guitar designed by a consultant named Les Paul. There is an impressive list of Les Paul players, including Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, and many more. 

  • Body Material: Mahogany 
  • Top: AA Figured Maple 
  • Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer 
  • Neck Material: Mahogany 
  • Scale Length: 24.75
  • Fingerboard: 24.75″ 
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Frets: Medium Jumbo 
  • Neck Pickup: Burstbucker 61R
  • Bridge Pickup: Burstbucker 61T
  • Controls: 2 Volumes, 2 Toggle Switch & Tones 

Gibson Les Paul incorporates a rounded C neck profile that is slim, but very playable. And thanks to the Burstbucker 61R and 61T pickups, it has a smooth, and vintage tone. For more precise tone and articulation, it’s loaded with Alnico V magnets, orange drop capacitors, and audio taper potentiometers.

These pickups are extremely responsive to the overall dynamics of your picking style. There is a lot of attention to detail gone into the fretwork and setup for this guitar. It’s 22 medium jumbo frets are seated to provide fast action, and eliminate the buzzes and rattles. With its ABR-1 bridge, intonation and tuning always stays on point. 

Les Paul is a versatile guitar that can play a wide variety of genres, including pop, country, rock, soul, blues, jazz, reggae, heavy metal, punk, and rhythm and blues. This guitar is ideal for beginner and intermediate guitar players looking to improve their skills and begin performing. It is a fairly expensive guitar, but it’s a fair price for its incredible versatility and sound compared to other guitars of its class. 

Pros: 

  • Excellent detailed build 
  • Slim neck option to the Standard ’60s specs
  • Compound neck radius yields clean, and easy action 
  • Coil-tap, phase, boost/bypass switching generates a variety of tones

Cons: 

  • Some players prefer a vintage-style wiring 

Blues Guitar #3 –Gibson SG Standard

Best playability
Gibson SG Standard Electric Guitar

If you're looking for a classic guitar that is lightweight and easy to play, then look no further than an American Gibson SG Standard. An iconic design from the 60's, extremely versatile, and the best build quality in the business.

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This Gibson SG standard mirrors the classic aesthetics from the 60’s SG models. Gibson is an American guitar manufacturer based in Nashville, Tennessee. The Gibson SG is an iconic guitar famously smashed onstage by Townshend, and immortalized by Santana at Woodstock.  

  • Neck and Body Material: Mahogany 
  • Profile: Rounded
  • Scale Length: 24.75″ 
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Frets: Medium Jumbo
  • Nut Material: Graph Tech 
  • Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer 
  • Hardware Finish: Chrome
  • Bridge: Aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic 
  • Pickguard: Black 5-ply Full Face 
  • Neck Pickup – 490R
  • Bridge Pickup – 490T

The Gibson SG Standard pairs a 490R neck and 490T bridge pickup with Alnico 2 magnet that generates a traditional humbucker tone and enhances high notes. These humbucker pickups remove the electrical hum that most single-coil pickups are prone to. Gibson SG has a rounded neck profile similar to the vintage 50’s guitars for players to grip and have easy access to fretting.

Due to the shorter scale length of 24.75 inches, the Gibson SG provides less tension making it more convenient to bend strings. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic that easily adjusts the height and length of individual strings to receive better intonation. This guitar has wide frets making it comfortable for players to move their fingers along the strings. 

The Gibson SG is ideal for guitarists of all skill levels and love to play classic rock. However, it may not be suitable for gig performers due to the possibility of a neck dive. This guitar comes at a premium price over the standard Fender and Les Paul guitars.  

Pros: 

  • Gibson quality with the classic rock roots 
  • Body shape is comfortable and provides excellent upper-fret access 
  • Pickup gives fast and clean action along with great sustain 
  • Beautiful tone from humbuckers 

Cons: 

  • Lighter body means increased potential for neck dive

Blues Guitar #4 – Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollow

Best Semi-Hollow
Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollow

The Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollow Body guitar is the most iconic semi-hollow body guitar in the world. It has become a classic in the jazz, blues, and rock scene.

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Gibson is an American guitar manufacturing company that was the first to produce hollow-body electric guitars commercially. The first iteration of the ES-335 model was made in 1958 as an upgrade to their thinlines. The distinct difference with this model is the solid center helping to generate a string tone with a longer sustain. 

  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Top and Back: 3-ply AAA Figured/Maple/Poplar/Maple 
  • Scale Length: 24.75″ 
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood 
  • Frets: Medium Jumbo 
  • Finish: Nickel 
  • Bridge: ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic 
  • Pickguard: Black 5-ply 
  • Neck Pickup: Calibrated T-type, Rhythm 
  • Bridge Pickup: Calibrated T-type, Lead
  • Controls: 2 Volumes, 1 Tone & Toggle Switch 

The Gibson ES-335 has a Calibrated T type humbuckers, and hand-wired wiring harness to generate a woody, and warm tone. This guitar uses thermally engineered maple, spruce for braces, and center block that adds stability and reduces the guitar’s weight.

The ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge and aluminum tailpiece help to provide precise intonation and tuning stability. Gibson ES-335 was designed as a middle ground where you receive reduced feedback at high volumes, while still keeping a warm tone. This instrument has Venetian cutaways at the neck joint around the 19th fret to allow easier access to higher frets. 

Pros: 

  • Build to last a long time 
  • A very classy, powerful, and vintage-like tone with nice low frequencies 
  • Ultimate versatility and playability 
  • Easy access to upper frets 
  • Can be used for many genres 

Cons: 

  • Not ideal for beginner guitarists 

This guitar is popular among advanced players in jazz, rock, and blues. The Gibson ES-335 is an expensive premium guitar suited for players who want the most advanced features. 

Blues Guitar # 5 – PRS McCarty 594 Semi-Hollowbody

Premium option
PRS (Paul Reed Smith) McCarty 594

Quite possibly one of the most stunning guitars ever made, the PRS McCarty 594 is a signature guitar that just screams quality. In terms of design, sound, build quality, and finish, this guitar simply can't be beat.

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PRS Guitars, which stands for Paul Reed Smith, is an American guitar manufacturer in Stevensville, Maryland. Their brand is known for its high-quality craftsmanship, innovative guitar designs, and highly figured maple tops. 

  • Top Wood: Carved Figured Maple
  • Back Wood: Mahogany 
  • Scale Length: 24.594″ 
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany 
  • Neck Shape: Pattern Vintage 
  • Bridge: PRS 2-Piece Stoptail 
  • Tuners: PRS Tweaked Phase III Locking with Modified Collars and Set Screws 
  • Treble Pickup: 58/15 LT Treble 
  • Bass Pickup: 58/15 LT Bass 
  • Controls: Two Volume and Two Push/Pull Tone Controls with 3-Way Toggle Pickup Switch on Upper Bout 

Tone-wise, the McCarty 594 is a premium sounding guitar with fantastic resonance. It sustained with acoustic and plugged in. The lower portion of the 58/15 LT humbuckers have beautiful clarity and produce sparkly thick blues tones. Their treble and bass pickups offer various sounds such as the thick humbucking Gibson, and Stratocaster like-tones.

The McCarty 594 features a modern double-cut design for tuning stability. Its neck has a pattern vintage profile with an asymmetric carve, which is quite thick. However, it’s girth is tapered on the treble side for additional comfort while holding the guitar. 

These guitars are made for intermediate to advanced players who want the premium 50’s and 60’s Les Paul, but can’t afford the vintage ones. Instead, this guitar has a similar tone with a more modern playability and intonation. The 594 is offered at quite a steep price. However, this guitar offers vintage authenticity combined with modern construction, great aesthetics, and tonal consistency. 

Pros: 

  • Excellent blend of vintage and modern 
  • Aesthetic neck carve 
  • Great intonation and tuning stability 
  • Beautiful tones with lots of versatility for dual humbuckers 
  • In-line volume and tone controls 

Cons: 

  • Quite pricey 

Blues Guitar # 6 – Fender American Performer Telecaster

Fender American Performer Telecaster

The Fender American Performer Telecaster is known for it's iconic twang sound. It offers a unique tone and playing experience that no other guitar can fully replicate. This is a top of the line made in USA guitar at an affordable price.

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Fender, an American-based manufacturer produced the Telecaster in 1950 as the first mass-produced solid-body guitar. This guitar has a single-cutaway body with a flat symmetric usually made of alder. Some of the most famous musicians have played the Tele such as Pete Townshend, Joe Strummer, Greg Koch, and many others. 

  • Body: Alder 
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Finish: Satin Polyurethane 
  • Neck Shape: Modern C” 
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ 
  • Fret Size: Jumbo 
  • String Nut: Synthetic Bone 
  • Truss Rods: Standard 
  • Pickup: Yosemite Single-Coil Telecaster 
  • Bridge: 3-Saddle Strings-Thru Body Tele Bridge 
  • Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone 

The Tele uses a Yosemite single-coil pickup with Alnico 4 rod magnets for tonal control. Its neck pickup produces a mellow sound, while the bridge pickup generates a sharp and twangy sound. Since the bridge pickup is mounted on a steel plate, there is an exaggerated treble response.

These design elements enable musicians to recreate steel guitar sounds, making it ideal for country music. There are a variety of tone-shaping onboard such as the tone control, master tone knob, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. These features allow the guitar to produce a vintage tonal balance combined with an amp-brutalizing punch. 

This guitar is relatively beginner-friendly due to its 9.5-inch radius. It’s incredibly comfortable to play and hold. The Fender Performer Tele can be used for all types of genres, such as rock, pop, country, reggae, jazz, soul, folk, blues, metal, indie rock, alternative, and R&B. This guitar is well-built and priced much lower than the value being delivered. 

Pros: 

  • Fantastic humbucker tones 
  • Well-balanced pickups 
  • Top-notch build quality 
  • Excellent value and price 

Cons: 

  • The fretboard radius may turn off players with vintage Fender inclinations 

Blues Guitar #7 – Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic 

Gretsch Guitars G5422TG Electromatic

If you're looking for a lightweight, hollow body guitar, then the Gretsch G5422TG offers the best bang for you buck you find.

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Gretsch is an American manufacturer based in Brooklyn, New York, known for its custom-made guitars. They have manufactured all types of instruments, such as acoustic, electric, and resonator guitars. 

  • Body: 5-Ply Maple
  • Color: Snow Crest White 
  • Body Shape: Electromatic Hollow Body 
  • Neck Material: Maple 
  • Neck Finish: Gloss Urethane 
  • Scale Lenght: 24.6″ 
  • Fret Size: Medium Jumbo
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood 
  • Pickup: Black Top Filter Tron 
  • Bridge: Adjusto-Matic with Secured Rosewood Base
  • Hardware Finish: Gold 
  • Pickguard: Gold Plexi with Black Gretsch Logo 

The Gretsch G5422TG has an entirely hollow body, and it’s sound post bracing offers a honking midrange, while eliminating unwanted feedback at high gain or volume levels. Additionally, it’s body is constructed with five-ply maple to suppress feedback, while delivering sufficient dynamic resonance, and response. Its neck is perfectly constructed for fretting, and playing those screeching high notes.

This guitar includes a maple neck with a 24.6″ inch scale that is ideal for bending, and enhanced twang. The neck profile is also slim and fast profile, with a flat radius and perfect fingerboard width to facilitate fast runs and smooth fingered complex chords. Its bridge is secure, so you won’t ever have to worry about intonation being thrown off. 

The Gretch is ideal for beginners or intermediate players who are looking to improve fast. Their pickups help to reduce feedback and make it easier to crush any tough runs. This guitar is ideal for both jazz and blues musicians. The price is affordable and a perfect gateway guitar into the more premium ones out there.  

Pros: 

  • Delivers an excellent Gretsch sound 
  • Provides a rich, honking midrange while suppressing unwanted feedback
  • Neck is slim and flat to help with fast runs 
  • Pickups are twangy 

Cons: 

  • A bit expensive 

Blues Guitar #8 – PRS S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow Body

In 2013, PRS added the S2 series to provide a vintage tone similar to the silver sky model that John Mayer played in the ’60s. Although they are based in Stevensville, Maryland, some of their guitars, such as their affordable SE models, are produced in Korea by World Musical Instrument Co. Ltd. 

  • Top Wood: Maple
  • Back Wood: Mahogany 
  • Scale Length: 25″ 
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: Pattern Regular 
  • Fretboard Wood: Rosewood 
  • Bridge: PRS-Designed Tremolo
  • Tuners: PRS S2 Locking Tuners 
  • Hardware Type: Nickel 
  • Pickups: 85/15 S” Pickups 
  • Controls: Volume and Push/Pull Tone Control with 3-Way Blade Pickup Switch 

While unplugged, this PRS S2 has a very bright and open midrange. When plugged, the highs are a tad more tamed. Additionally, there’s a thickness to the lower mids, and a bit more crunch.

This guitar contains coil-splits, and small air chambers help to produce excellent high resonance without the feedback. PRS 2 has a superb build, great adjustability for intonation, tuning stability, playability, making it a gig-ready guitar. 

The PRS S2 is a workhorse guitar built to last, especially for players who play a lot with gigs or practice sessions. This semi is quite the versatile guitar that can play old school jazz, blues, and classic and alt-rock genres. Its price is somewhat affordable in the mid-tier pricing range. 

Pros: 

  • Quality made and built
  • Very stable tuning 
  • Extremely playable neck and easy to play high notes 
  • Perfect for rock-styles and blues

Cons: 

  • Less of a dialed-in and focused sound compared to other PRS guitars 

Blues Guitar #9 – Gibson ES-339 Semi-Hollow 

The Gibson ES-339 semi-hollow is quite similar to the ES-335, except it’s slightly smaller and lighter. It includes a comparable modern classic design, with the tone and aesthetics of the ES-335. 

  • Neck: Quarter-Sawn Mahogany 
  • Neck Profile: Rounded C 
  • Frets: Medium Jumbo – 18% Nickel Silver
  • Scale Length: 24.75″ 
  • Top and Back Wood: 3-ply Maple/Poplar/Maple
  • Bridge: ABR-1 with plated brass saddles 
  • Tuners: Grover Milk Bottle Rotomatics
  • Pickguard: 5-ply Black 
  • Neck Pickup: MHS II Humbucker Rhythm
  • Bridge Pickup: MHS II Humbucker Lead 
  • Controls: MTC Plus: 2 tones, two volumes, one toggle switch, hand-wired with 500 potentiometers and orange drop capacitors 

With this guitar, you get two MHS II humbucker pickups that offer a unique vintage sound. These pickups produce a very clear tone, but can go fuzzy on command. The sound is still warm, and the response is quick on any frequency level. The ES-339 features a 30/60 slender neck that is based on the ’60s. Except, in this case, it adds an extra .30 inch front to back to maintain the semi-hollow-body sustain, tone, and feel, but also offering smooth playability. 

This guitar is quite versatile, from hard rock to blues tones. It’s made for intermediate to advanced level players. Its price is quite high, but worth it due to its compact size and lightweight. 

Pros: 

  • Excellent choice of guitar for blues and rocks 
  • Smaller size makes it comfortable to play 
  • Sustain is long and rings out beautifully 
  • Able to go from deep smooth, and mellow tones to full growl effortlessly 

Cons: 

  • Fret feels a bit rough 

Blues Guitar #10 – Ibanez John Scofield JSM20 Semi-Hollow

Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand based in Nagoya and imports a significant portion of guitars to the United States, and Europe. As of 2017, they have produced a total of 130 different acoustic, 300 electric, and 165 bass guitars. This guitar is inspired by John Schofield, the famous jazz-rock guitarist.

  • Neck: JSM 3-Piece Mahogany/Maple Set-In 
  • Top/Back/Sides: Maple 
  • Fretboard: Bound Ebony with Aged White Acrylic & Abalone Block Inlay 
  • Nut: Bone 
  • Pickup: Super 58 Humbucker 
  • Bridge: ART-1
  • Hardware: Gold 
  • Switching System: Tri-Sound Switch for Neck pickup 
  • Frets: Medium with Artstar Fret Edge Treatment 

JSM20 offers two super 58 pickups and a tri-sound switch that helps to produce clean, warm, and clear tones. This is further enhanced by the 3-piece Mahogany/Maple neck. With the pickup, you can select the humbucker in series, parallel, or a single-coil sound. The ART-1 bridge helps to provide better tuning stability and sustain. You’ll also find the tri-sound SW switch helps to expand tonal capabilities. The JSM20 offers a large full-sized C profile with an ebony fingerboard that is slick.

Overall, it’s workmanship, and the satin finish is flawless. The semi-hollow build helps generate a warm tone; however, even with high gain, the feedback isn’t noticeable. 

This is a great value and low-budget guitar that is ideal for beginners looking to buy their first or second guitar. As for genres, this guitar is suitable for blues, soul, funk, rock, jazz, and fusion. 

Pros: 

  • Finish and workmanship are top-notch 
  • Excellent versatility, can play everything from White Stripes to Jazz
  • Screams with overdrive and nice sustain 
  • Pickups are very responsive 

Cons: 

  • May be difficult to get the set-up correctly

The Best Blues Guitar Buying Guide

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to find the best blues electric guitar that is also meets all of your specific needs as a player. We have listed 10 of iconic electric guitars in the blues world, but when it comes to picking out the perfect guitar, there is no one size that fits all.

So if you’re having trouble finding the perfect electric guitar for blues, then here is a list of criteria that you should consider when picking one out.

Pickups

Pickups in a guitar is an important and critical link between the guitar and the amp. It transmits the guitar’s signal to the amp, and boosts or cuts certain frequencies coming from the guitar. Although a guitar’s construction and wood account for many of the tonal characteristics, the pickups are a primary source for a guitar’s tone. One of the optimal ways to improve a guitar’s sound is to find a suitable pickup. A poor set of pickups can make the best guitar sound lousy, but a great set of pickups will make even a cheap guitar sound phenomenal. 

It’s also essential to determine the right type of pickup suitable for the desired tone you want to have. Single coil pickups usually have a crisper and brighter tone. Comparatively, humbuckers normally have a thicker, warmer, and rounder sound.

Additionally, humbuckers will enhance the sustain that is produced by the guitar’s tonewoods.

However, single-coil pickups usually have more of a pronounced attack and bite than humbuckers. When overdriving small tube amplifiers, single-coils typically sound more gritty. With single-coil pickups, you can get more true tones out of your guitar based on its construction, and body shape.

But it’s not ideal for players who enjoy playing music with high-gain. Depending on the effects, type of amp, and playing techniques used, single-coil pickups can produce the chiming, glassy tones that are excellent for blues music. For blues guitarists who seek overdriven tube sounds, they tend to go with humbuckers. This is because they provide an emphasis in the midrange along with a more broad spectrum of distortion effects. 

Body Style

Your guitar’s body style and shape have a profound impact on how your tone and sound will come out. Hollow body guitars have been traditionally used for blues and jazz music, while solid body guitars have been used for pop and rock music.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a solid body for jazz music. Solid-body guitars typically provide a longer sustain, and be amplified at a much louder volume without any feedback. These guitars also tend to be more responsive, since they don’t rely on resonating chambers such as hollow-body guitars. Solid-body guitars also look much thinner since they don’t require resonating chambers. They rely mostly on the amplifier for sound. 

Hollow body guitars are usually associated with classic guitar tones such as blues and jazz music with a much more acoustic sound. One of the best qualities of hollow bodies is their ability better to produce warm, round tones and bass sounds. Their drawback is that they can be susceptible to lots of feedback, even at a medium volume—hollow bodies offer a great screaming open guitar sound ideal for blues. But also consider the extra weight and size that hollow body’s carry. 

There is a happy medium between the solid body and hollow body guitar. Semi-hollow body guitars are quite intriguing since they generate a warm tone, and extremely resonant sound. These guitars are a great compromise between the two types of guitars. These guitars handle amps very well, but can be susceptible to feedback. They can provide the punchy, and bright tones, but also feel much lighter than solid guitars. 

Playability

There are a few components that affect your electric guitar’s overall playability, such as the scale length, neck construction, and the bridges and tailpieces. Scale length is defined string that vibrates, and will be measured from the bridge to nut. The strings on guitars with a longer-scale will feel firmer and tighter than those fitted to one with a shorter scale, which affects playability. Strings with a shorter-scale will be under less tension, and be much easier to fret, and bend. A shorter scale generates a warmer tone, while a longer scale length has a brighter shimmer and a more defined low-end. 

Additionally, the neck’s width and profile are important in helping the player feel comfortable while fretting, affecting its playability. Players who have smaller hands seek out shallower, and more narrow necks, while individuals with larger hands want a thicker neck profile.

The bridges also play an important role in influencing the playability and tone of a guitar. The bridge is attached to the lower part of the guitar. It is designed to compensate for gauges, metals, and string lengths. This is to ensure that the strings are in tune with each other. Most bridges allow players to adjust string heights, which aid in the comfort and ease of the strings being fretted. This ease of fretting is called the guitar’s action. 

When considering the overall playability, here are some things to ask yourself? 

  • How does the guitar hang on my shoulder? 
  • Which scale length is most comfortable to plan in? 
  • Which scale length is best for tuning stability, and string tension? 
  • Which neck shape makes it easy to fret and hold? 
  • Is the guitar too heavy?
  • How are the controls laid out on the guitar? 

Price

Guitar prices can vary significantly depending on where the guitar is made, it’s construction, and it’s brand. For guitar players who are just hobbyists, it can be difficult to fork over a few grand just for a blues guitar. However, it’s often worth it for professional touring musicians for the additional benefits of an expensive guitar. It is best for beginner players to find an affordable guitar that fits the sound you’re looking for. 

Guitar brands such as Fender, Epiphone, Yamaha, Ibanez, and Gretsch have high-quality instruments at an affordable price. However, the price of electric guitars primarily comes down to the quality of the pickups, the finish, and the fit. The type of wood also plays a significant factor in the costs of a guitar.

Guitars are made of rare wood from many trees that are now scarce or protected, such as Mahogany, Koa, and Rosewood. And these instruments are made by master luthiers. The most expensive type of wood is Mahogany, which is why most quality guitars contain them.

Many guitars offer a body of a mahogany, but use maple for its face. However, lighter woods such as swamp ash can provide better sustains. A guitar with dense Mahogany provides a punchy, solid tone with good high-end response, and low overtone. 

Lastly, consider where the guitar was manufactured. American-based brands such as Fender typically produce their guitars in Corona, California. American produced guitars are typically superior to guitars made in Asia or Mexico. Also, consider how long you’re looking to play a guitar.

Life-long guitar players tend to invest more money into a guitar because they understand the durability of them. Expensive guitars tend to last longer, with less maintenance, while cheaper ones may break down or require additional accessories to get your ideal sound quality. 

Tonal Range

Many beginner guitarists often overlook the volume and tone knobs on the electric guitar. On your guitar, you’ll find all sorts of switches and knobs related to the overall gain and pickups. So how will the tone knob affect the sound characteristics?

The tone knob is utilized to control a potentiometer that is a low pass filter for your guitar’s pickup output. Essentially when you turn the knob, you are adjusting the threshold value up and down the tonal range. You are never adding warmth by turning the knob. Instead, you’re achieving warmth by removing higher frequencies. If you leave the tone knob at a 10, then you have your guitar in bypass mode where the frequencies pass through abated.

As you twist the knob down, you’re sliding that threshold towards the bass region of the frequency spectrum. Any high frequencies will roll off in volume and be way less noticeable. If you’re playing blues, you may consider an 8 to 10 level on your tone knob to get a crisp sound. If you’re looking for a smooth, mellow tone, consider going down to a 5. 

Essentially, the tone should give players the flexibility to adjust to the tone they are looking for. It will only shorten the margin of error if you haven’t dialed in the exact tone range you desire. A simple tone configuration may deliver more accuracy since there is less complexity and adjustments that need to be made. A guitar like the Gibson SG standard comes with a simple tone configuration that is easy to set-up and adjust for accuracy. 

Conclusion

Finding quality electric guitars for blues music can be quite complicated. Knowing the features that directly contribute to the beautiful blues tones can help you pick out the guitar that is right for you. Luckily, we’ve done the grunt work by picking out the ten best electric guitars for blues to make an informed decision. Consider the pickups, tone variety, playability, and body shape to understand what guitar fits your needs. That wraps it up! We’ve hoped you’ve gained a lot of insight from this curated list of guitars for blues. 

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