Takamine guitars combine high-quality materials, innovative designs, superior craftsmanship, and a long-standing reputation for excellence. That’s why it comes as no surprise that some of the biggest names in the music industry consistently rely on these guitars to bring their sounds to life. However, in the long list of loyal Takamine clients, who are the most famous artists?
Some of the most famous Takamine guitar players include Jon Bon Jovi, Bruise Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks, and Toby Keith. These artists have all contributed to Takamine’s reputation as one of the best guitar makers in the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about these artists and their long-standing relationship with the Japanese manufacturer, make sure to read on. Below, I’ll also answer some of your most frequently asked questions about Takamine guitars, so stick around until the end for this one.
Takamine Guitars: Some Background Info
Takamine Guitars is a brand known for combining traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. It was founded in 1959 in Japan, and since then, it has never stopped producing high-quality guitars, both acoustic and electric.
The company takes pride in its top-tier quality materials, including (but not limited to) solid spruce and cedar. Their hardware is just as high-performing and long-lasting, so you’re bound to get your money’s worth when shopping from this manufacturer.
One of the qualities that set Takamine guitars apart from the competition is their innovative design, which includes the famous “palathetic” pickup system, widely regarded as one of the best systems for acoustic guitars.
Moreover, the company has come out with a wide array of lines and models, each boasting different qualities, sounds, and, most importantly, price points, so anyone can find a Takamine guitar that suits their needs. That’s why you’ll see such a diverse collection of genres explored in the sections below.
When you combine this impressive versatility with these guitars’ gorgeous sound, it becomes clearer why industry legends like Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen keep coming back to Takamine. In fact, the manufacturer has also released special edition models designed in collaboration with artists such as Toby Keith and Glenn Frey.
Now that you know a bit more about the brand itself, let’s take a closer look at some of its most famous clients.
Check out our guide on the Best Takamine Guitars
List of Famous Artists Who Play Takamine Guitars
Though, as Takamine’s own website will tell you, the list of artists who favor these guitars is quite vast today. I’ll be exploring six of the most famous Takamine guitar players and the stories behind their relationships with the brand.
Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi is one of the most recognizable names in the music industry, and, coincidentally, a longtime fan of Takamine guitars. In fact, the talented instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter has extensively played many of their models throughout his career, including Takamine JB100, EF341SC, and EN10C.
However, one could argue that the JB100 holds a particularly dear place in his heart, as it’s a custom model that features a custom-designed rosette, a cutaway body, and a signature on the headstock.
The EF341SC, on the other hand, has been a common choice for his acoustic performances, as it delivers a soft, intimate sound that adds some much-needed emotion to these appearances. This particular model has also made an appearance on several of his biggest hits, including “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”
Since this is a smaller model, it’s easier for the artist to get detailed with his playing style, which is a must in songs like these.
Just like Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen is a musical legend and a lifelong fan of Takamine guitars. Throughout his long, impressive career, he has relied on several of their models to deliver his sound to the public. Some of his favorite Takamine guitars include:
A common theme you’ll notice throughout this article is that the Takamine EF341SC is truly a unique model that has captured the attention of some of the biggest names in the music industry. In Springsteen’s case, he has used this model on some of his biggest hits, including “The Rising” and “Thunder Road.”
However, when it comes to fingerstyle playing, he relies on the EN10C, whose small body and practical setup render it the perfect guitar for the job.
However, he doesn’t only stick to Takamine’s acoustic lines. The TAN16C, for example, has made an appearance on many of his more rock-sounding songs.
The younger generation of artists has apparently also understood the value and individuality of Takamine guitars, as Bruno Mars himself, one of the most successful artists of the last decade, is often seen performing with one of the brand’s models.
The Takamine EF341SC makes an appearance once again, as the singer and songwriter has been seen performing with it on several occasions (on stage). Its bright, clear sound perfectly complements Mars’ upbeat songs.
The EN20C is another top pick of which; however, this one mostly stays in the studio, as it’s a smaller-bodied guitar designed for fingerstyle playing. This model features a solid cedar top and sapele back and sides. The resulting sound is warm and mellow, perfectly complementing Mars’ smooth tone.
Proving that Takamine Guitars are versatile enough to suit any genre, Blake Shelton is the next artist on today’s list. If you’re at all familiar with the name, you know that Shelton is famous for his country style, which has been beautifully supported by the Takamine guitars used throughout his career.
The Takamine EF341SC makes the cut once again, and, as it turns out, it’s a fairly common choice among many country music performers, not just Shelton (refer back to Takamine’s artist list embedded above).
This specific guitar has been used for many of Blake Shelton’s songs, including “God’s Country” and “Honey Bee.” Just like his colleagues thus far, he also favors the EN10C for fingerstyle playing.
However, unlike some of the other names on this list, Shelton has his very own signature guitar with Takamine, the EF250TK, which features a solid spruce top and solid-figured Hawaiian koa back and sides. The resulting sound is sweet, balanced, and warm – perfect for the genre!
Since I mentioned that many country musicians seem to favor Takamine guitars, let’s discuss some other big names that fit the bill. Garth Brooks is one of the most famous artists in the genre and he’s been associated with the brand for most of his long, successful career.
And, you guessed it – the EF341SC is his favorite! In fact, he seems to be even more impressed by it that some of the other artists mentioned thus far, as he’s been using it extensively in his tours since the 1990s.
For smaller, more intimate performances (or intimate appearances), he opts for the EN10C, as it gives a bit more leeway when it comes to creating more detail in his melodies. Brooks also has his very own signature model with Takamine, named GB7C.
This particular model features a solid cedar top and solid rosewood back and sides. The rich, warm sound that it produces complements both Brooks’ style and the genre itself.
Let’s conclude this list with yet another country star, namely, Toby Keith. Keith has used several Takamine guitars throughout the years, and you don’t even have to guess what his top choice is this time – the EF341SC makes its sixth appearance on this list.
Keith has used this model on many of his hits, including “As Good As I Once Was” and “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.” Just like all other country singers on this list, he also has his own signature guitar with the brand, named the Takamine TD77PT, which he helped design.
It was only a matter of time, though, since Keith has chosen Takamine guitars for most of his tour appearances for over two decades now, and his lively, electric appearances have helped the brand garner a lot of interest among country fans.
The guitar features a solid spruce top and flame maple back and sides. Since Keith gave a lot of input into the making of this mode, you can rest assured that it complements his tone and style perfectly – it’s lovely, sharp, and bright.
The unique tiger flame finish also sets this particular guitar apart from other Takamine releases, even those created in collaboration with other famous artists.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you’re more familiar with some of the most famous artists that favor Takamine guitars, it’s time to answer some of your most frequently asked questions about the brand:
Is Takamine or Taylor Better?
Takamine is better suited to players with bigger or stronger hands. Taylor guitars, on the other hand, are the best choice for artists who prioritize comfort and more detail in their sound. That’s why the choice between these two brands is ultimately a personal one.
Why Are Takamine Guitars So Popular?
Takamine guitars are popular because they offer excellent sound quality, remarkable, long-lasting build, and a wide model variety. That’s why musicians of all preferences and genres are bound to find an instrument they like when browsing between Takamine lines.
How Does a Takamine Compare to a Martin?
Takamine guitars have more treble and an overall brighter tone than Martin guitars. These, on the other hand, are better known for their rounded, warm tone with pronounced bass frequencies. With that said, these features can vary between different lines and models.