Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (2023)

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (1)

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Buying one of the best Martin guitars is an exciting and memorable event for any guitarist. Whether you’re just starting out and looking for your first acoustic guitar, or you’re an experienced or professional guitarist looking for something to help elevate your playing, there will be a Martin guitar for you.

Martin & Co. has been building guitars for nearly 200 years, and in that time it has produced some of the industry’s most iconic instruments. As a result, we’ve seen Martin guitars in the hands of some of the world’s most iconic players: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson – even Elvis Presley was seen wielding a Martin.

Not many brands find it easy to innovate and create new products while also maintaining a huge catalog of classic, unchanged guitars – but Martin isn’t just any guitar brand. Whether you want to spend a little or a lot, there are amazing options at virtually every single price point – so no matter your budget, you’ll be buying something that’ll last you a long, long time.

We’ve included some expert buying advice at the end of this guide, so if you’d like to read more in-depth info about the best Martin guitars, then that’s the place to find it. If you’d rather get straight to the products, then keep scrolling. We’ve arranged the following guide in price order, to make finding the perfect guitar for you a little easier.

Looking for a great deal on a Martin guitar? Check out our Black Friday guitar deals page for all the latest news and the biggest offers.

Best Martin guitars: Guitar Player’s choice

For those on a budget, we’d recommend the Martin D-X2E (opens in new tab). Part of Martin’s budget-friendly X series, the D-X2E is a huge-sounding dreadnought which won’t cost you the earth, and is ideal for any level of guitarist. A solid spruce top, eco-friendly HPL back and sides and onboard Fishman MX electronics mean that you’ll be prepared for any musical situation.

If you’ve got a little more wiggle room on budget, then we’d suggest getting your hands on the Martin 000-15SM (opens in new tab). It’s an all-mahogany ‘000’ sized guitar with a brilliant set of vintage-inspired specifications, including the slotted headstock and modified 12 fret design. Martin’s 15 series came to be as a cheaper all-mahogany Depression-era alternative, but has found a very permanent place in Martin’s product roster thanks to its great sound and looks.

If money is no object, then the Martin D-45 (opens in new tab) is the one to go for. The D-45 is the flagship dreadnought from Martin made from some of the very best materials on offer, and finished to the very highest level. If you want a combination of an unbeatable, huge tone, impressive looks and exclusivity, then the D-45 should definitely be on your radar.

Best Martin guitars: Product guide

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (2)

1. Martin LX1 Little Martin

A little guitar with a big personality

Specifications

Launch price: $399/£415

Body type: Modified 0-14 fret

Top: Spruce

Back & sides: Mahogany pattern high-pressure laminate

Neck: Rust Stratabond

Fingerboard: Morado/ East Indian Rosewood

Scale: 23”

Bracing: Modified X series ‘X’

Frets: 20

Tuners: Chrome w/ small buttons

Finish: Natural

Reasons to buy

+

Good enough for Ed Sheeran

+

Impressive tone from a small guitar

+

Really portable and convenient

Reasons to avoid

-

Feels small

-

Only a solid top

The LX1 Little Martin is an iconic guitar in Martin’s product catalog. It might not be the most fancy or expensive model they produce, but the LX1 has gained its reputation as one of the most capable small acoustic guitars around – with Ed Sheeran as one of its most prominent users. The LX1 has proven itself to be near-perfect for beginners thanks to its reasonable price-bracket, or for those with small hands thanks to the diminutive size – but, in our experience, it can do a lot more.

It’s small, compact and comfortable, and its price point makes it a guitar suitable for a whole array of occasions. Made from the same high quality Sitka spruce as some of Martin’s higher-end models, the top on the LX1 is where the party’s at. The combination of highly resonant spruce and mahogany-patterned high-pressure laminate affords the LX1 an impressive, punchy clarity which Martin guitars are known for, while the smaller body size keeps the low-end in check.

Yeah, the LX1 is small – and that’s worth taking into consideration. A 23” scale length isn’t for everyone, but on the whole there’s not an awful lot wrong with the LX1. We found playing up in the fingerboard’s higher register to be comfortable – and the lower string tension can open up real doors when improving your playing.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (3)

2. Martin D-X2E

The archetypal ‘dread’ tone on a budget

Specifications

Launch price: $599/£625

Body type: Dreadnought

Top: Sitka spruce

Back & sides: Mahogany/rosewood/koa patterned high-pressure laminate

Neck: Select hardwood

Fingerboard: Katalox

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Chrome enclosed gear

Finish: Natural, Sunburst

Reasons to buy

+

Spruce top is very resonant

+

Koa-patterned back and sides are lovely

+

Super comfy neck

Reasons to avoid

-

Body size can take some getting used to

Martin’s X series of guitars has been one of their most popular in recent years. Players have been looking for a more affordable entry point into the world of Martin guitars, and the X series has provided just that. The level of quality is surprisingly high for the price-point – hence its inclusion in our guide.

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The D-X2E is a spruce-topped dreadnought acoustic guitar which delivers a stunning low-end richness, perfect when accompanying a vocalist. The dreadnought body shape – being on the larger end of the spectrum – allows for much more resonance and volume, and the high-pressure laminate back and sides offer players a harder, less porous alternative to ‘proper’ wood. This enables the D-X2E to emit a brighter, more defined low-end tone.

The D-X2E is equipped with a set of Fishman MX electronics, making this guitar as perfect for the stage as it is for home use. The neck is comfortable, the level of finish is impeccable – what more could you ask for?

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (4)

3. Martin 000-12E

One for the road?

Specifications

Reasons to buy

+

Price point is achievable for most

+

Koa back and sides look great

+

000 size is so comfortable

Reasons to avoid

-

Back and sides only a veneer

The 000-12E is part of Martin’s Road Series of guitars, which, while still made in Mexico, represents a step up from the cheaper X series. The price point that the 000-12E sits within is a fair jump up from the aforementioned, but we think it’s worth it.

The justification for the price increase between the X and Road series comes down to the quality of materials and the level of finish, with this 000-12E featuring a koa/mahogany back and sides – consisting of koa fine veneers bonded to an African mahogany core. This construction, when combined with the Sitka spruce top, delivers a balanced, sweet tone which is highly versatile – and the koa looks stunning in the flesh too.

With a 24.9” scale length, this guitar is slightly shorter than most others on this list, but the smaller scale and lighter string tension provide incredibly easy playability which is comfortable in virtually any musical scenario. The Fishman MX-T electronics onboard top this one off for us, enabling you to sound truly authentic when plugged in without any of the harsh top-end you’d expect from cheap electronics and pickups.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (5)

4. Martin SC-13E

A radical new design takes us all by surprise

Specifications

Launch price: $1,599/£1,595

Body type: S-13 fret cutaway

Top: Sitka spruce

Back & sides: Koa veneer

Neck: Select hardwood

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: Tone tension X brace

Frets: 20

Tuners: Nickel open gear

Finish: Gloss

Reasons to buy

+

Design looks cool

+

So playable

+

Sounds amazing plugged in

Reasons to avoid

-

It’s not traditional

We’ve got to say, this one surprised us. We all know Martin to be the company that sticks to classic, old-school designs. It’s one of the many reasons we love the guitars that they produce. So, what if we told you that one of Martin’s best new acoustic guitars was, in fact, a whole new design?

Well, that’s exactly what’s happened here with the SC-13E. An acoustic-electric guitar designed to do anything and everything, this model enables players to play lead lines comfortably at any position on the neck like you would on an electric guitar, as well as creating more tonal projection thanks to the asymmetrical body. This offset-style body encourages you to get more volume when plugged in by disrupting and eradicating feedback, so you can jam out knowing full well that you’re not going to blow the speakers or upset too many members of the audience – although it depends on the song you’re playing, obviously.

The cutaway at the 13th fret is a lead player's dream, with upper fret access a total walk in the park thanks to the patented Sure Align neck system. This guitar truly is the result of years of innovation and hard work, and it’s paid off big time.

Read the full Martin SC-13E review

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (6)

5. Martin 000-15SM

Martin’s mahogany masterpiece

Specifications

Launch price: $1,649/£1,625

Body type: 000 12-fret

Top: Mahogany

Back & sides: Mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: East Indian rosewood

Scale: 25.4”

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Bracing: X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Golden age bright nickel side mount

Finish: Natural

Reasons to buy

+

Vintage vibe is great

+

Special 000 body is comfortable

+

So resonant

Reasons to avoid

-

Looks are an acquired taste

During the Great Depression of the mid-’30s, Martin chose to start making the 15 series. These cheaper, all-mahogany guitars were only introduced to boost sales and to keep them afloat during those difficult times, but people soon discovered how amazing they sound.

Now, the 000 body shape on this guitar looks slightly different to usual – and that’s down to the 12-fret design. The 000-15SM is peppered with vintage appointments and accoutrements like this, and it’s these special touches – like the slotted headstock – that make the SM such a killer guitar.

The adjusted body shape does have a small impact on the sound of this guitar, with the slightly deeper shoulders warming up the tone a little with a wave of fantastic harmonic resonance. Yeah, it’s not the most versatile Martin on the market, but it does look pretty stunning.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (7)

6. Martin D-18

Proof that you don’t need frills to have a good time

Specifications

Launch price: $2,599/£2,595

Body type: Dreadnought

Top: Sitka spruce

Back & sides: Mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: Forward-shifted X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Nickel open gear

Finish: Gloss

Reasons to avoid

-

Can seem expensive for a plain guitar

The D-18 is an icon in the entire world of acoustic guitars, let alone the Martin catalog. Huge names like Elvis Presley, Paul Simon and Kurt Cobain all chose the D-18 to be their dreadnought of choice, and we can see (and hear) why.

The D-18 consists of arguably the wood combination – spruce and mahogany. The Sitka spruce top opens up the top end of this guitar, while the mahogany – along with the cavernous body – delivers bags of low end roundness and warmth. Coupled with a healthy helping of volume, this design has proven its worth and earned a permanent spot in music history.

It doesn’t look super flashy, granted, but that’s really not what the D-18 is about. It’s a dreadnought guitar, built to sound as good as is humanly possible for a reasonable price tag – and it achieves that target wholeheartedly. There’s something really beautiful about the simplicity of the D-18 – you’ll understand when you play one.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (8)

7. Martin HD-28

A recreation of an icon

Specifications

Launch price: $3,199/£3,195

Body type: Dreadnought

Top: Sitka Spruce

Back & sides: East Indian rosewood

Neck: Select hardwood

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: Forward-shifted X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Nickel open gear

Finish: Gloss

Reasons to buy

+

Herringbone binding looks great

+

Rosewood back and sides sound wonderful

+

Ageing toner on the top is classy

Reasons to avoid

-

Doesn’t look fancy enough for $3k+

The Martin HD-28 is effectively the updated, tweaked version of the regular D-28. Originally, all 28 series guitars from Martin had herringbone inlays – but in order to keep costs down, this was removed. The HD-28 sees this purely aesthetic (but stunning) feature return, along with scalloped bracing.

Atop the scalloped braces, the HD-28 features an aged Sitka spruce top which emits some of the most incredible top-end clarity you’ll hear from any acoustic guitar. Although the HD-28 is a dreadnought and therefore has a huge amount of bottom-end, the balance of this guitar’s tone is exceptional. This is partially down to the scalloped bracing allowing the top to resonate more freely, but also the East Indian rosewood which makes up the back and sides.

Martin claims that the HD-28 is ‘music history made new’, and we’d be inclined to agree. This guitar definitely feels like a useful and appreciated update to the D-28 – but is it better than the original? We’ll let you decide.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (9)

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8. Martin OMJM John Mayer

If you like to always have something different

Specifications

Launch price: $3,999/£3,895

Body type: 000 14 fret

Top: Engelmann spruce

Back & sides: East Indian rosewood

Neck: Select hardwood

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Nickel open gear

Finish: Gloss

Reasons to buy

+

Low profile neck is ultra comfortable

+

Rosewood back and sides look and sound great

+

If it’s good enough for John Mayer…

Reasons to avoid

-

It’s not that different to a 000-28

The OMJM is the John Mayer signature OM guitar by Martin. OM stands for ‘Orchestra Model’, and these guitars are often lauded for their versatility and balanced tone. Perfect then for the guitarist who wants something that can do a bit of everything.

The OMJM is very similar to a regular 000-28, but with a few notable differences – the first and largest one being the use of Engelmann spruce over the usual Sitka. Engelmann spruce is harder, and as a result is a more resonant wood to use for guitar building. This will not only bring a bit more life to your playing, but will also make your guitar sound and feel a little more responsive than usual.

The back and sides are a classy East Indian rosewood, which provide ample warmth and depth to counteract the lively top wood that’s in use here. Scalloped X bracing adds to this guitar’s brightness and dynamism too – so the OMJM should be able to keep up with any musical scenario you throw at it.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (10)

9. Martin J-40

A tone to die for

Specifications

Launch price: $4,199/£4,195

Body type: Jumbo

Top: Sitka spruce

Back & sides: East Indian rosewood

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: Forward-shifted X brace

Frets: 20

Tuners: Gold open gear

Finish: Gloss

Reasons to buy

+

The sound is epic

+

The inlays are stunning

+

Not many of them around

Reasons to avoid

-

The body is massive

The J-40 is an odd one out on our list. The only jumbo-sized Martin around this price point, there are many benefits to having a J-40, besides the fact that it’s so pretty.

The first point for the J-40 is that it’s one of the best sounding acoustic guitars on the market right now. The J-40 body shape is essentially a larger version of the 000, meaning that you get the ultra-balanced tone with all of the intricacies and subtleties, but also with extra volume and extra power. Every aspect of the tonal range is accentuated, which we think is killer.

The J-40 is finished to an impressively high level. With stunning inlays and gold open-geared tuners, and made from some very high quality spruce and rosewood, the J-40 just about covers everything for us. It’s got looks, sound, exclusivity – we just need to start saving up.

10. Martin D-18 Authentic 1939 Aged

A blast from the past

Specifications

Launch price: $6,999/£6,999

Body type: Dreadnought

Top: Adirondack spruce with VTS

Back & sides: Mahogany

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: Authentic 1939 Rearward-shifted X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Nickel open gear aged

Finish: Vintage aged gloss

Reasons to buy

+

As close to a ‘30s D-18 as you’ll get

+

Looks stunning

+

Adirondack spruce is rare

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Reasons to avoid

-

It’s a lot of money

Martin’s Authentic series contains some of the very best acoustic guitars money can buy, and the D-18 Authentic 1939 Aged is firm proof of that. At its heart it’s a new guitar, but it looks and sounds like it’s been played for over 80 years, with some incredible craftsmanship coming into play.

While this D-18, like all the others, is made from spruce and mahogany, the quality of the materials that have gone into this guitar are mind-bending. The top is Adirondack spruce with Martin’s own VTS treatment, which removes moisture from the wood at very high temperatures, allowing the top to resonate as freely as possible, and to sound as sweet as a genuine vintage Martin might do. The look is that of a cool, worn D-18 which has seen the inside of a few smoky bars, and the light wear and lacquer-checking is a great touch.

The Authentic series is really an entire experience, where every intricate detail of a golden era Martin has been recreated for ‘normal’ people like us. It’s a lot of money, don’t get us wrong – but at this level it’s as much about making an investment as it is about playing the guitar – and it’s still cheaper than a legit ‘39.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (12)

11. Martin D-45

Martin’s flagship guitar blows minds… again

Specifications

Launch price: $9,499/£9,500

Body type: Dreadnought

Top: Sitka spruce

Back & sides: East Indian rosewood

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale: 25.4”

Bracing: Forward-shifted X

Frets: 20

Tuners: Gold open gear

Finish: Gloss

Reasons to buy

+

The inlays are stunning

+

It’s the flagship model

+

A good investment

Reasons to avoid

-

Nearly 10,000 bucks!

The D-45 is the Martin guitar to own. It’s their flagship guitar with an exceptional and impressive level of finish, and it sounds incredible too. Still part of Martin’s standard series, it’s hard to understand how an acoustic guitar can cost nearly $10k, but we feel that Martin need not justify themselves on this occasion.

The D-45 is made like any other acoustic guitar, with a Sitka spruce top, east Indian rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard. This combination of materials doesn’t sound too inspiring, but the quality that we’re talking about in this price bracket is the absolute best. This guitar is made only from Martin’s finest stocks, and it shows in the look and the sound.

The D-45 sounds huge – there’s no other way of wording it. The spruce/rosewood combination does most of the heavy lifting, along with the larger body size, and the forward-shifted scalloped bracing also allows for maximum resonance on this guitar’s amazing spruce top. Paired with such incredible binding and inlays, this guitar looks and sounds like the very best.

Best Martin guitars: Buying advice

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (13)

What To Consider When Buying A Martin Guitar

Thankfully, there’s not too much to think about when buying one of the best Martin guitars. They don’t make any acoustic guitars that are particularly cheap, so you avoid sub-par materials and build quality with any guitar from their product list. Obviously, the more expensive you go, the better the materials and build quality are – so this is one of the areas where you should focus.

How Much Should I Spend On A Martin?

Martin is best known for making premium acoustic guitars, but it is possible to get your hands on one on a budget. Starting at $399, the LX1 – Martin's cheapest full-bodied acoustic guitar – is a perfect guitar for a beginner or smaller player. Martin’s Mexican-made guitars populate the sub-$1,000 section of the Martin product list, and they are all fantastic – but on some models you’ll only find a solid top, with the back and sides made from a high-pressure laminate (HPL). These guitars are still brilliantly resonant, and in some cases more durable than their all-solid counterparts, but they don’t quite have the same vibe and feeling as an all-solid, USA-made Martin. That being said, there are few better acoustics you could buy for under a grand.

USA-made Martins start at around $1,500 with the 15 series, so if the country of manufacture is something you’re precious about, then this is the place to start your search. All guitars from this point onwards are made entirely from solid wood, so you can expect the typical Martin resonance that they’ve become so well known for. Although the 15 and 17 series are killer guitars, Martin’s famous D-18 comes in at not much more – around $2,600 – so if you’re after an investment as well as an amazing guitar, then we’d start here.

It’s virtually impossible to go wrong here, so it’s just a matter of how much money you’re willing to part with

From $3,000 to $5,000, every guitar you set eyes on will be a world-beater. In this price bracket, you’ve got some of Martin’s most iconic models – most notably the D-28, OM 28 and J-40 guitars. It’s virtually impossible to go wrong here, so it’s just a matter of how much money you’re willing to part with. The difference in quality between a $3,000 and $5,000 Martin is quite negligible, so go with whichever one you prefer the sound of – that’s the most important thing at the end of the day, right?

Upwards of $5,000, and these guitars are in special territory. Most of these Martins are all about the looks and level of finish, with the D-45 being a prime example – thanks to its flashy rosette and inlays on the body and headstock. Martin’s Authentic series, however, is all about the vintage vibe and sound. If that’s what you want, nothing can compare to the Authentic series of guitars – except a genuine golden-era Martin, of course.

What Body Shape Do I Want?

Martins come in all shapes and sizes, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble choosing the right one for you.

0/00/000

Martin indicates the body shapes of their smaller guitars with a certain number of ‘0’s. It might look confusing, but it’s very simple – 0 is the smallest, 00 is a bit bigger, and 000 is bigger than that. The larger the body, the louder and fuller the guitar will sound. Any of the ‘0’ body shapes are ideal for finger-style players, as their tones are generally more balanced and the guitars themselves respond better to playing dynamics.

Martin’s OM guitars, including the OMJM included in this guide, use a 000 body shape.

Best Martin Guitars 2022: 11 Top Choices From Budget To Premium (14)

Dreadnought

Dreadnought Martins such as the D-18 and D-28 have a much larger, rich sound. The dreadnought guitar is considered perfect for singer-songwriters or those who want volume without amplification. The wider body shape allows for your tone to resonate more freely inside the body of the guitar, and the generally larger body allows for much more low-end to be produced. These guitars can sometimes feel uncomfortable for smaller players, but the tone is pretty hard to beat. It is worth noting that due to the extra low-end that is produced, if you want a super defined tone, then this isn’t the body shape for you.

Jumbo

Martin doesn't make many jumbo sized acoustic guitars, but one of its staple plus-sized offerings is the J-40. The jumbo body shape looks a lot like the 000 from a distance, but up close you’ll notice that all of the body measurements have been increased. This larger body size allows for the balanced tone of the 000 to be accentuated and augmented, with more low-end, and more high-end too. It’s the ultimate Swiss Army Knife acoustic body size, but it is pretty big. If you’re a small person, this could be a step too far.

What Wood Do I Want?

When considering which wood you want your guitar to be made from, there are two areas to think about – the top, and the back and sides.

Now, the top of the guitar is the most important bit. It’s where the strings meet the body, and as such it’s the part of the guitar which resonates the most – so the top is where a very large proportion of your tone comes from. A spruce top – which is most common – will create quite a punchy, bright tone, and when combined with a mahogany or rosewood back and sides (or any darker wood, in fact) the tone becomes a little warmer and sweeter sounding.

If your guitar has a mahogany top, then your tone will sound less bright, and more mid-focused. A mahogany top is perfect on a blues guitar, and works especially well if you’re after a slightly less in-your-face tone to your guitar.

Read more on how we test gear and service at Guitar Player.

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FAQs

What is the best Martin guitar for finger picking? ›

With its smaller size, it's incredibly comfortable to hold and play, and its solid Sitka spruce top delivers a clear, balanced tone. Whether in the studio or on stage, the 000-28 will give your music a rich, lively sound. The Martin 000-28 is the best Martin guitar for fingerstyle playing.

What is the easiest Martin to play? ›

The Junior Series was designed to be comfortable and easy to play so Juniors are the perfect first guitar. They even include some full-sized Martin features like scalloped X-bracing.

What is the most sought after Martin guitar? ›

1936-1942 Martin D-45

The pre-war Martins are known as some of the most expensive Martin models and can go anywhere between $320k-$400k. The D-45 is the most expensive model and is worth 20x more than the average Martin acoustic. Even so, Eric Clapton's D-45 sold at an auction for $625k!

What is the best Martin dreadnought? ›

The D-45 is the flagship dreadnought from Martin made from some of the very best materials on offer, and finished to the very highest level. If you want a combination of an unbeatable, huge tone, impressive looks and exclusivity, then the D-45 should definitely be on your radar.

What thickness of pick is best for acoustic guitar? ›

Picks for acoustic guitar

A good all-purpose option would be medium pick around 0.60 mm and 0.80 mm.

What is the most popular guitar pick thickness? ›

60 to . 80 mm. Medium thickness picks are the most popular choice among guitarists. While they may not provide that same shimmer on acoustic strumming that thin picks do, medium picks still have enough flexibility for good rhythm playing while still retaining the stiffness needed for those leads.

What is the coolest guitar of all time? ›

6 of the Coolest Guitars Throughout History
  • Prince's “Cloud” Price's sleek white “Cloud” guitar was custom-built by luthier David Rusan in the early 1980s. ...
  • Gibson SG. The Gibson SG, which was created in the early 1960s, featured a double-cutaway shape. ...
  • Gretsch White Falcon. ...
  • Paul McCartney's Höfner Bass.

Are Taylors easier to play than Martins? ›

I don't think either of those brands is inherently easier to play or better-sounding than the other. Martin and Taylor both make excellent guitars in a variety of styles. Either way you will get an extremely well-built guitar that sounds great. Beyond that, it is a matter of personal taste.

Do Martin guitars sound better with age? ›

Why is the tone of older Martin guitars more robust than those fresh off the shelf? One key reason is that the tonewoods will gradually lose moisture as they age. As a result, they become lighter, and more resonant.

What is the most sought after acoustic guitar? ›

The most expensive guitar is the Martin D-18E.

Cobain changed alt-rock forever on this guitar, making this one of the music world's most recognizable and influential instruments in addition to being the most valuable guitar of any kind (not just acoustic) in the world.

Should I get OM or dreadnought? ›

Compared to a dreadnought an OM offers just a bit more finesse, so it should be no surprise we see a lot of female guitar players opting for an OM. If you are looking for an OM there is plenty to choose from, such as a slightly longer or shorter neck, more or less string spacing an a sheer endless variety of tonewoods.

What strings gauge is best for a dreadnought? ›

Dreadnought size – medium gauge strings (12's or 13's), as these guitars are strong, sturdy builds and can handle the extra tension that heavy gauge strings put on them. They're also designed to resonate louder.

Is it better to use thick or thin picks? ›

Most advanced guitarists prefer thick picks, because in their guitar journey they develop new guitar techniques that can be performed better using this kind of picks. Thick plectrums provide more control when it comes to single notes and complex guitar pick techniques like pinch harmonics.

What thickness pick did Eddie Van Halen use? ›

The graphic artwork on these picks is sourced from arguably the most widely recognized guitar in the world, Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstein." This is the exact pick that Eddie used, a Dunlop Max-Grip . 60mm gauge pick.

Is it better to use a guitar pick or not? ›

Using a pick gives you a brighter and more consistent tone than using your fingers, because the pick is made of the same material throughout, while plucking strings with different parts of your fingers produces different sounds.

What pick thickness does Clapton use? ›

Who plays what?
Brian MayAn old British sixpence coin
Eric ClaptonErnie Ball Picks Heavy (0.94 mm)
John MayerDunlop Tortex 0.88 mm, Dunlop Tortex 1.14 mm
James HetfieldDunlop Tortex 0.88, Dunlop James Hetfield Black Fang 1.14
Angus YoungFender Extra Heavy
11 more rows
18 Apr 2017

Why does Eddie Van Halen use thin picks? ›

Eddie Van Halen is also known to use a thin pick, he too liked the 0.60 mm plectrum. He liked the speed and clarity that they offered when shredding.

What thickness pick did Jimi Hendrix use? ›

Although the specific brands he used are unclear, Jimi Hendrix favoured medium gauge guitar picks, most likely in the standard 351 shape.

What is the number 1 selling guitar? ›

The Best-Selling Guitars of 2021
RankGuitars
1Fender Player Telecaster
2Fender Player Stratocaster
3PRS Silver Sky John Mayer Signature
4Squier Affinity Telecaster
16 more rows
17 Nov 2021

What is the cleanest sounding guitar? ›

Fender Stratocaster – The Clean Tone King

There are few guitars as versatile for clean tones as the Stratocaster, perfect for any genre. The natural tone of the Strat covers a subtle warmth with a traditional bright sound; it excels in high-end clarity.

Why are Martin guitars so hard to play? ›

The problem is that every Martin I've played has been orders of magnitude more difficult to play than the comparable Taylors. The person at the music shop says that it's because Martin ships their guitars with high action and heavy strings opposed to Taylor who ships them with lower action and lighter strings.

Is Taylor better than Martin? ›

Martin acoustic guitars have a warmer tone with more bass and lower-mids than Taylor guitars which have a brighter and more modern tone with more treble and upper-mids. In general, Taylor guitars allow you to adjust the action more easily due to their adjustable necks, unlike Martin guitars.

What is the Martin equivalent to the Taylor 214ce? ›

Choosing between two great models like Martin D-15M vs Taylor 214ce can be tricky. Of course, they are both great guitars, but let's see which one will be the best for you.

How long will a Martin guitar last? ›

If you take good care of your guitar and have it maintained regularly, it can last from 10 to 20 years. This also depends on how much it gets used and the kind of treatment. If it gets gigged and tossed around a lot, this might have a negative impact on its lifespan.

How long does it take to break in an acoustic guitar? ›

It is generally recommended that you spend at least two weeks breaking in a new acoustic guitar. This may seem like a long time, but it is important to allow the guitar time to adjust to its new environment and to your playing style. The first few days are spent getting the guitar used to being played.

What makes an expensive guitar sound better? ›

The answer is yes, expensive guitars will most likely always be of better quality than cheaper guitars. The detail in which the guitars are made, the type of materials used and how well the adjustments are made is what increases the quality of a guitar, therefore the price.

How much should you spend on an acoustic guitar? ›

Those who are still fairly new to the guitar should expect to pay between just over $100 and $500 for their instrument, depending on the brand name, the quality of materials and workmanship, and the included accessories. Even at the lower end of that range, guitars should include quality woods like spruce and rosewood.

What is the hardest guitar to play? ›

As you might expect the answers were varied but the two guitar styles that many agreed were the hardest were the classical guitar and the acoustic steel string guitar.

What new guitars will increase in value? ›

The classic guitar as we know it has been around for about 130 years now; since then many incredible models have been built.
...
5 Guitars Which are Increasing in Value
  • Fender guitars from before 1965. ...
  • Guitars built with Korina wood. ...
  • Japanese 'lawsuit' guitars. ...
  • Pre-WWΙΙ Martin guitars.

What is the best selling signature guitar of all time? ›

Gibson: Les Paul

It is far and away both Gibson's best selling guitar and the world's best selling signature model according to Forbes.

What acoustic guitars appreciate in value? ›

Great resale value guitars

The big brands such as Fender, Gibson, Martin and Taylor have been proving for years that they hold their value very well.

What is the easiest acoustic guitar to play? ›

  1. Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany Acoustic Guitar. The best acoustic guitar for beginners seeking a big brand name. ...
  2. Yamaha LL6 ARE. Not strictly a beginners acoustic - it will last a lifetime! ...
  3. Epiphone Hummingbird Studio. ...
  4. Yamaha FG800. ...
  5. Taylor GS Mini Mahogany. ...
  6. Ibanez AW54CE. ...
  7. Martin LX1E Little Martin. ...
  8. Epiphone DR-100.
14 Oct 2022

What makes a high end guitar? ›

One of the most important distinguishing factors of a high quality acoustic guitar is its hardware. There's a lot of components to a guitar, from the bridge, to the string pegs to the tuning pegs. Tuning Pegs are on head of the guitar and they are twisted to change the tightness of the strings.

What is the most versatile guitar in the world? ›

Question: What is the Most Versatile Electric Guitar? Answer: The answer to this question is subjective, but many people consider the Gibson Les Paul to be the most versatile electric guitar in history due to its neutral body design and flexible tone.

What are dreadnought guitars best for? ›

The dreadnought body is an iconic shape with a large and broad body. Its bold and full tone makes it great for both strumming and fingerstyle playing. Dreadnought guitars are great for singer-songwriters or for anyone specifically looking for a big sound with a powerful low end.

Which is better dreadnought or cutaway? ›

The Sound Difference

Guitars without a cutaway tend to have better bass and better volume and have an overall fuller sound. Guitars with a cutaway tend to be more treble heavy sound, and produce a slightly brighter sound – all else being equal.

Which is better dreadnought or Grand Auditorium? ›

Dreadnought acoustic guitars have a more balanced shape and are larger than Grand Auditorium guitars which have a narrow waist. Dreadnoughts produce a loud, full and warm tone, whilst Grand Auditoriums sound quieter but brighter. Both are versatile but Dreadnoughts generally are better for strumming.

What is the most popular guitar size? ›

41" Full Size Dreadnought:

The most popular guitar size in the world. If you want bass, volume & power the full size dreadnought delivers the best overall combination of comfort, playability and sound quality.

What is the most popular Martin dreadnought? ›

The D-45 is the flagship dreadnought from Martin made from some of the very best materials on offer, and finished to the very highest level. If you want a combination of an unbeatable, huge tone, impressive looks and exclusivity, then the D-45 should definitely be on your radar.

What are the best strings for a Martin? ›

Authentic Acoustic SP

These strings are the most popular of all Martin acoustic strings. The core wire and the unwound strings are covered with a small layer of tin to repel dirt and moisture. The winding wire used is of the highest quality.

Do heavy or light guitar strings sound better? ›

Heavier strings have more mass, which means they will cause the guitar to sound louder. This is true of electric guitars, where there's a greater mass of oscillating metal in the pickup's magnetic field. It's also true of acoustic guitars, where more vibrating mass is driving the soundboard through the bridge.

Are Martin Guitars good for fingerpicking? ›

Pros of Martin Guitars

Martin guitars are most famous for their acoustic guitar models, such as D-45 or D-35. They are considered to be great for fingerstyle or acoustic style performances.

Are some guitars better for fingerpicking? ›

The guitars best suited to fingerpicking and fingerstyle tend to be smaller, feature a wider than standard fingerboard, are highly responsive, project individual notes with great clarity, and are well balanced.

Is Dreadnought good for fingerpicking? ›

A Dreadnought guitar is suitable for fingerpicking. The broad size of these instruments allows your fingers to be more concentrated, their full sound fills in for quieter fingerpicked notes, and their consistent sustain allows your notes to sound more connected and cohesive.

What tuning is best for fingerstyle? ›

Also known as Open D Tuning, this alternate tuning is popular with slide guitarists and those who specialize in the fingerpicking style. In this tuning, the 6th E string is tuned down to D, the G string is tuned down to F#, the B string is tuned down to A, and the 1st E string is tuned down to D.

What gauge strings does Martin recommend? ›

From time to time Martin will change the type of strings used on new Martin guitars. Generally, all non-cutaway dreadnoughts and jumbos get medium gauge. All X-Series, cutaways and smaller models such as the 000 and 00 get light gauge strings. All 12 string guitars get extra light gauge.

Should I use a thumb pick for fingerstyle? ›

A thumb pick is really useful for Travis picking, fingerstyle blues, folk music and country music (check out our favorite easy country songs).

What size guitar is best for fingerstyle? ›

There isn't really an ideal body type for fingerstyle guitar; it all depends upon personal preference and playing style. A lot of guitarists would probably recommend smaller body shapes (e.g., 00, 000, OM) for fingerstyle because they tend to be a little more balanced than dreadnoughts, but this isn't a fixed rule.

Are Long nails better for fingerpicking? ›

No. In fact, “long” nails result in poor playing technique. The paradigm for playing classical (nylon-string) guitar is to “strike the string with a combination of nail and flesh sufficient to give a clear tone”. That's been the case for many, many years.

Which is better cutaway or dreadnought? ›

The Sound Difference

Guitars without a cutaway tend to have better bass and better volume and have an overall fuller sound. Guitars with a cutaway tend to be more treble heavy sound, and produce a slightly brighter sound – all else being equal.

Which is better Om or dreadnought? ›

Strumming the OM will produce a more reined-in sound than what a dreadnought produces. Individually plucking the strings brings out the most difference between the two. The dreadnought has a deeper midrange sound while the OM performs better in higher registers.

What is the easiest fingerstyle song to play? ›

The Beginner Fingerstyle Song List
  • Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers) ...
  • Nothing Else Matters (Metallica) ...
  • Shape of My Heart (Sting) ...
  • Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Bob Dylan) ...
  • Good Riddance (Green Day) ...
  • Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Led Zeppelin) ...
  • Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley) ...
  • The Boxer (Simon and Garfunkel)

Should you change all guitar strings at once? ›

A: The short answer is that the odds of damaging your guitar are very low. However, removing all the strings at once from certain guitars — depending on the bridge setup —can make restringing more difficult or require making adjustments to the instrument.

What is the most popular guitar tuning? ›

Standard tuning is the most commonly used tuning that has your guitar strings tuned (from lowest to highest) to E, A, D, G, B, E. Although standard tuning is, well, the standard for most guitarists to learn and play, alternate tunings open up a whole new world of sound.

How many fingers should you use for fingerpicking? ›

There are two well-established methods for fingerpicking. In classical guitar technique, one uses four fingers: the fingertips and fingernails of the thumb and the index, middle and ring fingers.

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