The Best Guitars for Fingerstyle in 2022

Note: Here I have selected 11 of the best guitars for fingerstyle after testing out tons of options personally. This review contains detailed information along with relevant cons that will help you conveniently compare and select the most suitable model based on your needs.

Best Guitars for Fingerstyle - blog cover

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Fingerstyle guitar is the technique of playing guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails or picks connected to the fingers. The name “fingerstyle” is a misnomer because it may be found in a variety of genres and types of music—but primarily because it refers to a whole distinctive approach. The best guitars for fingerstyle is a personal viewpoint.

Things to know

How to use this guide

Along with the top picks, I’ve also added some tips for the right strings, your finger size, and everything else a beginner fingerstyle player would want to know.

Tips for buying

Fingerstyle is best played on classical guitar (dreadnought being 2nd). You can’t go wrong with any popular brands like Yamaha or Taylor with nylon strings.

In comparison to a guitar designed for bluegrass, rock, or other styles of music, a fingerstyle guitar has a lighter build. When compared to playing with a pick, fingerstyle guitars are intended to be lighter since the guitarist needs less energy to generate sound with the fingers.

Wider string spacing is particularly common in fingerstyle guitars; string spacing may be as wide as 59mm, however, the average is 57mm, which is 4mm wider than a standard acoustic guitar. This increased space gives your fingers more room to roam around and eliminates the risk of touching another string; it’s especially useful while playing arpeggios.

Source: Picture of Squier by Fender CD-60SCE taken while testing the guitar

I tested 11 guitars and decided that this Fender CD-60SCE is the best guitar for fingerstyle for most uses.

It might be a bit tough to choose the best fingerpicking guitar, but don’t worry; I’ve compiled a list of the best fingerstyle guitars available in the market to save you the trouble of learning such intricate details.

This list of the best guitars for fingerstyle will allow you to make your tunes sound loud and clear without hurting your fingers in the meantime.

Top 11 Best Guitars for Fingerstyle

Best Choice

True Music Helper Rating - 4.8/5
4.8/5

Whether you’re seeking the classic tone of a spruce/mahogany dreadnought, experimenting with smaller body shapes, or exploring new tones with nylon strings or acoustic basses, Fender CD-60SCE is the best guitars for fingerstyle. The CD-60SCE is excellent for beginners to advanced level players who are eager to plug in, as it combines impressive onboard electronics—including a built-in tuner—with superb tone and easy playability. The solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides give enhanced volume and clear tone, while the single-cutaway body allows simple access to the higher frets.

Characteristics:

  •  Solid mahogany top with scalloped “X”-bracing
  • Easy-to-play neck
  • Fishman Classic Design pickup/preamp
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Rolled Fingerboard edges
  • Hand orientation: Right

How does it sound?
The mahogany top of this guitar reacts well to a variety of acoustic playing styles, from hard strumming to rapid flatpicking and delicate fingerpicking. A Fishman pickup/preamp system comes with several onboard settings for amplifying your acoustic instrument while maintaining its clean, rich, and resonant tone.

How does it feel?
The Fender CD-60SCE will appeal to a wide range of players, from beginners to intermediates. New players will appreciate how easy it is to play, making it an excellent guitar to learn. Intermediate players appreciate the range of tone it provides as well as how loud it can go. This instrument’s neck, with its comfortably rolled fingerboard edges, and produces an exceptionally pleasant fret-hand feel.

Pros

  • Easy playability
  • A clear and loud tone
  • Good quality
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No notable cons

Value For Money

True Music Helper Rating - 4.7/5
4.7/5

The Jasmine S-34C is a beautiful Venetian-style cutaway grand orchestra-style guitar with a rich, well-balanced tone. The S-34C is a great budget guitar with a superb tone and high-quality features.

It has a spruce top with Jasmine’s Advanced “X” Bracing and Sapele back and sides, making it ideal for any guitarist looking for a well-built and easy-to-play guitar. Jasmine Guitars is dedicated to producing high-quality guitars at an affordable price. They build guitars that help bring out the musician in you.

Characteristics:

  • Natural gloss
  • Dreadnought body style
  • Laminate Spruce Top
  • Slim neck profile
  • Sapele back and sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Synthetic bone nut and saddle

How does it sound?
The smooth satin finish is used to maximize resonance for optimal sound quality. The cutaway shape makes it simple to reach the upper frets. The top is made of spruce, and the back and sides are made of Sapele which produces great sound and tone.

How does it feel?
The primary function of the bracing is to support and keep the structural stability of the guitar’s top. The unique arrangement of the strap buttons improves balance and comfort when holding and playing the guitar. The smooth satin finish increases resonance for maximum sound quality, while the slim neck and full 25 1/2″ scale length give a pleasant feel and excellent performance.

Pros

  • Very Comfortable to use
  • Value for money
  • Attractive
  • Sounds fantastic

Cons

  • Peels and scratches very easily

Perfect Size

True Music Helper Rating - 4.5/5
4.5/5

With stacked walnut back and sides and a solid spruce top, this Big Baby Taylor delivers a vibrant acoustic tone in a small, affordable package. It has built-in electronics for simple plug-and-play usage. Top Wood: Sitka Spruce is the soundboard of choice for most guitars because it has a wide dynamic range and can support a variety of playing styles. A Taylor gig bag is included with this model.

Characteristics:

  •  Layered Walnut Body w/ Sitka Spruce Top
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • X Bracing & Die-Cast Chrome Tuners
  • 25.5″ Scale Hard Rock Maple Neck w/ West African
  • Gig Bag Included

How does it sound?
The heart and soul of an acoustic guitar are tonewoods. The Big Baby BBTe has a warm and mellow tone owing to its laminated walnut back and sides. A strong Sitka spruce top completes the Big Baby’s body, providing increased note clarity and superb responsiveness under aggressive plucking.

How does it feel?
The Big Baby is the biggest of the small bodies, coming in just short of a full-size guitar. The rich brown hues give the guitars a pleasing aesthetic warmth. When the pure warmth of walnut is combined with the bright and vivacious tone of Sitka spruce, it results in a bright and cheerful tone.

Pros

  • Excellent for beginners
  • Lightweight
  • Good quality
  • Attractive and sturdy body
  • Impressive sound
  • Extremely comfortable

Cons

  • A  bit expensive for a beginner

True Music Helper Rating - 4.3/5
4.3/5

The GD20 is a stunning dreadnought-type best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle with a unique tonewood mix that gives the traditional body shape a fresh spin. It is one of the Best Guitars for Fingerstyle The GD20 blends a solid cedar top with a mahogany back and sides to provide a warm, rich tone that works well with a variety of musical styles. Synthetic bone nut and bridge saddle, rosewood headcap, chrome die-cast tuners, and a beautiful natural satin finish are some features.

Characteristics:

  •  Solid cedar top
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Bone nut and bridge saddle
  • Cedar Soundboard
  • Elegant Natural satin finish

How does it sound?
Cedar is less dense than spruce, allowing the guitar to create more warmth and a mellow tone. While the GD20-NS’s tone is what makes it popular among singers and composers, the instrument’s neat construction also contributes to its overall excellence.

How does it feel?
The GD20-NS slim neck also features a “C” shape, which helps to reduce the amount of fatigue your hand feels. The motion is also quite low, making barre chords a lot easy and comfortable to play.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fantastic tone
  • High-quality intonation
  • Easy-to-play
  • Eye-catching design

Cons

  • Cannot be played as loudly as a guitar with a spruce top

True Music Helper Rating - 3.7/5
3.7/5

The award-winning S6 Original Series receives a makeover without sacrificing its iconic appeal. A pressure-tested cedar top, a silver leaf maple neck, a polished semi-gloss finish, and a bolder appearance on the neck, back, and sides differentiate the S6 Original. The S6’s tonewoods and thin, durable finish produce a clean middle and tight bottom end, making it a tonal must-have for every player.

Characteristics:

  •  Double Action Truss Rod
  • Solid Cedar Tonewoods
  • Maple neck
  • Tapered Headstock for precise and stable tuning
  • Saddle for better intonation

How does it sound?
The cedar top is one of the guitar’s best features. It provides particular tonal characteristics and helps in tone improvement as the guitar ages. It means that as this guitar ages, it will sound better and better, allowing it to endure a lifetime with you. Because of the tonewood, this guitar sounds better with your fingers than with a pick; it’s also excellent for open strumming.

How does it feel?
The Original S6 has a fantastic feel. The guitar’s quality is immediately apparent as it sits comfortably on your lap and in your hands. Wild cherry is used for the back and sides, with a semi-gloss custom polished finish. The overall feel is pleasant, and it does not appear to be layered, giving it a natural appearance.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable to play
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Exceptional sound

Cons

  • None

True Music Helper Rating - 4.1/5
4.1/5

The Yamaha FG proved that an excellent acoustic guitar does not have to be expensive. The original FG180 instantly became a classic, with numerous careers and hit recordings starting with an FG. The Yamaha FG800 acoustics offer the best-ever FG tone, as well as the same outstanding playability and class-leading quality that has made it the instrument of choice for millions of guitarists.

Characteristics:

  •  Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Nato back & sides
  • Rosewood bridge & fingerboard
  • Diecast tuners
  • Adjustable truss rod

How does it sound?
Yamaha’s cutting-edge acoustic analysis technology offers a louder and stronger sound in the low to mid-ranges. It features an excellent acoustic composition that maintains the top board’s longevity while bringing out more of the instrument’s natural tone.

How does it feel?
Yamaha’s standard acoustic model features conventional aesthetics and exceptional sound. Every design choice has improved playability for children, beginners, intermediates, and advanced players alike. The satin finish provides a very smooth feel for guitarists as they move up and down the fingerboard.

Pros

  • Good-quality
  • Sleek glossy finish
  • Attractive
  • Affordable
  • Sounds amazing
  • Comfortable to play

Cons

  • Fragile body
  • Stings are a little bit off

True Music Helper Rating - 4.0/5
4/5

The Yamaha L-Series LL6 guitars have a classic shape and exquisite mother-of-pearl inlays, and they have the L Series’ distinctive combination of well-rounded tone, great playability, and excellent dynamic range. It is one of the Best Guitars for Fingerstyle. High-quality pickups capture every aspect of your playing on stage, providing you the ideal platform to channel your creativity and unleash your creativity.

Characteristics:

  •  Spruce top
  • Rosewood Back & Sides
  • 5-ply neck with high comfort traditional profile
  • SRT Zero Impact (passive) Pickup
How does it sound?

The Yamaha L-Series LL6 is the perfect blend of traditional and modern, with a warm, balanced tone that works well in solo or mixed performances. It features a jumbo-type body with Rosewood Back and side, which helps to produce rich volume, a broad dynamic range, and excellent tone balance. It has a classic feel and a great acoustic tone.

How does it feel?
The design enables a strong grip and comfortable playability across the neck, which is reinforced by a volute at the headstock and a double-action adjustable rod. This guitar provides you with an unequaled tone, feel, and aesthetics.

Pros

  • Solid Spruce top treated with A.R.E.
  • Sounds fantastic
  • Ideal tonewood configuration
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No notable cons

True Music Helper Rating - 4.0/5
4/5

The D-X1E Martin Guitar X Series guitar is made of high-pressure laminate. Each one has a mortise and tenon neck joint, scalloped X-brace, mother-of-pearl pattern fingerboard inlay, high-performance tapered neck, and chrome encased gear tuners, making them as appealing to look as well as hear. In addition to Martin’s world-famous tone, the guitars have improved playability that makes playing pleasure for anybody, regardless of experience or skill level.

Characteristics:

  • Professional Sound & Appearance
  • Enhanced Playability
  • Durable water-repellent exterior
  • Foam padding
How does it sound?

Martin’s D-X1E acoustic-electric guitars come in Mahogany, KOA, and Black high-pressure laminate (HPL) patterns. The HPL construction produces a well-balanced sound with stable tones, while the dreadnought body shape provides deep, rich bass.

How does it feel?
The D-X1E from Martin Guitar’s X Series is a very playable guitar with a lovely balance and responsiveness to light touch. It is constructed from laminated and plywood woods. Martin knows how to build guitars that are consistently good and easy to play, comfortable, and sounds fantastic.

Pros

  • Well balanced tone
  • Supremely playable
  • Good for all kinds of styles
  • Gig-bag included

Cons

  • Not much control over-amplified tone

True Music Helper Rating - 3.7/5
3.7/5

The Taylor GS Mini-e, which is constructed of rosewood, will thrill you. This short-scale instrument is both a pleasant entrance path into the world of guitar and a superb guitar worthy of a lifetime of play for the uninitiated. This model has the strong, punchy tone players have come to expect from the GS Mini, with layered rosewood back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top, with a fresh aesthetic twist provided by rosewood’s unique visual character.

Characteristics:

  • Layered Rosewood Body Woods
  • Sitka Spruce Top Woods
  • ES-B Electronics
  • GS Mini Shapes
How does it sound?

The original award-winning GS Mini-e was created to be the perfect musical companion. Inspired by Taylor’s Grand Symphony (GS) body shape’s big, bold sound, the Mini scales the GS body down without sacrificing tone, cramming a tonne of tone into a convenient travel size and providing you with a guitar that’s full-voiced and incredibly fun to play. The GS Mini is a modern-day guitar, perfect for playing around the house and withstand the rigors of everyday life.

How does it feel?
The GS Mini has fascinated players with the ideal combination of features that make it seem both exciting and accessible. It is a versatile instrument that offers a pleasing combination of aesthetics, feels, and sound. The Mini’s scaled-down form provides ultra-portability for on-the-go players and couch-friendly comfort.

Pros

  • Fantastic looking guitar
  • Quality built and design
  • Sounds incredible
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • The thin satin finish isn’t resistant to road wear

True Music Helper Rating - 3.6/5
3.6/5

One of the best guitars for fingerstyle is the Taylor Academy 10e. This Dreadnought combines the basic characteristics of an excellent acoustic guitar into a more affordable package. The guitar body features layered Sapele back and sides with a solid Sitka spruce top, as well as a built-in armrest that softens the edge of the body’s bass-side lower bout to improve playing comfort. The Dreadnought’s body produces a powerful response with a warm bass tone and punchy treble, making it an excellent choice for strummers and flatpickers.

Characteristics:

  • Dreadnought body
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Layered Sapele
  • Non-cutaway
How does it sound?

Sitka spruce is the soundboard of choice for most guitars, producing a wide dynamic range and supporting a variety of playing styles. It has a beautiful tone that is clear, balanced, and responsive. Taylor’s revolutionary Expression System is used in the Taylor Academy 10e to provide the most natural and warm-sounding plugged-in tones.

How does it feel?
This guitar has a luxurious feel to it and plays well. The purpose is to eliminate all barriers, from the way it feels to the way it sounds to the way it costs. The Taylor Academy Series was created to provide the most comfortable playing experience possible for developing players.

Pros

  • Easy to play
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Built-in Arm Rest
  • Nice overall sound quality
  • Taylor quality and reputation

Cons

  • The neck may be too narrow for larger hands

True Music Helper Rating - 3.4/5
3.4/5

The Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar is an excellent choice for novices. Stratabond modified low-oval neck with Martin’s unique mortise/tenon neck joint, solid East Indian rosewood fretboard and bridge, 23″ scale, and Stratabond modified low-oval neck. A padded gig bag is included.

Characteristics:

  •  Mahogany pattern HPL
  • Rust Stratabond neck
  • East Indian Rosewood fingerboard
  • Includes padded gig bag
How does it sound?

It has a vibrant, professional sound with great projection owing to the solid Sitka soundboard. It has a sparkling tone with a long sustain because of the artificial bone saddle and nut, as well as the Richlite (artificial ebony) fretboard. It offers the rich, full-bodied tone as of a full-size Martin. The overall sound is powerful and well-balanced.

How does it feel?
TThe LX1 Little Martin has a smooth varnish finish that makes it glowing and long-lasting, as well as a fast neck feel that doesn’t dull the tone. It prevents corrosion of the core and wraps wire without affecting the feel or tone. The multi-piece neck, on the other hand, seems more completed and less open-pored, and the fretwork and rounded fingerboard edges add to the comfort.

Pros

  • Suitable for small hands
  • Versatile and easy to play
  • Affordable
  • Travel-friendly
  • Sounds amazing

Cons

  • Having a truss rod would be more convenient

How we Pick & Test our Guitars

A guitar that is compatible for fingerstyle right out-of-the-box is a hard find. Even a simple search on the internet will give you tonnes of lookalike lists, many constructed of cheap & non-durable materials. So, my criteria while creating this list was:

  • Body shape that gives a playability and reachability advantage
  • A guitar that’s built for right-hand playing and is easy on your fingers
  • Affordable guitars by popular brands
  • Available on renowned marketplaces with a good return policy

The testing was simple. I’ve been playing fingerstyle on all my acoustic guitars so I know what’s the optimal configuration for fingerstyle

and so, I just picked these guitars up and played songs by John Mayer (‘Speak For Me’ being my go-to) and let my sense of ease of playing decide.

Small disclaimer: I can bet my money on these guitar sounding great for fingerstyle playing but I also recommend going down to a local music shop and testing it out yourself because guitars aren’t one-size-fits-all, you might find out a guitar that fits your body-type perfectly.

How to find the right fingerstyle guitar?

If you have long fingers, wider neck guitars are easier to play. If you have small hands, you’ll want to stick to a normal size guitar.  

The same is true for those trying to play on a regular size neck with long fingers. There just isn’t enough space to easily form chords. Guitars with wide string spacing are suitable for everyone.

What features should your guitar have if you have fat fingers?

When looking for your dream guitar, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the options available. But having fat fingers narrows down your options a little. Fat fingers just mean you need a guitar with minor differences on the neck area. If you’re looking for guitar for your fat fingers you need to look for:

  • Wider neck – width at nut
  • The body’s materials and composition – Bigger body
  • String action
  • Whether or not the guitar has a solid top
  • Intonation
  • The guitar’s sound projection
  • Then comes price range, etc

It does increase your check list of things but finding a guitar that’s right for you makes it all worth it. If I were you, I would not compromise on these points.

What are the best strings for fingerstyle guitar?

There is no such thing as a perfect set of strings for fingerstyle. The best guitar strings for fingerstyle are whatever strings feel the best to you. Each fingerstyle player has his or her own preference – the general rule of thumb is that nylon strings are better on your fingers than steel ones.

If you’re just learning how to play fingerstyle, you might want to start with a light gauge of strings to get a sense of how they feel on your fingers. You can always re-string your guitar with extra light gauge strings or medium gauge strings if you don’t like the feel of the light gauge strings.

If you have an electric guitar, make sure the strings are 0.10, and if you have an acoustic guitar, make sure the strings are 0.12.

How hard it is to learn a Fingerstyle Guitar?

Fingerstyle is a little more difficult than strumming because it takes more finger dexterity. You’re not just using your left hand but also your right hand equally as much. It’s like using 2 individual skills together so it can be tricky at first but it gets better with time.

Learning to fingerpick or play fingerstyle opens up a whole new realm of musical creativity. Learning to play fingerstyle guitar might be challenging initially since there are so many different elements to consider. So ultimately, your speed of picking up a skill can decide if it’s easy or hard for you to learn.

In conclusion

Any instrument that matches the style and is pleasant to play counts as a “Fingerstyle guitar”. That’s why there are so many classic guitar models on this list.

The Fender CD-60SCE is a fantastic electric acoustic guitar that will appeal to players of all skill levels. It’s the best guitar for fingerstyle in this list of “11 Best Guitars for Fingerstyle” which sums up all the qualities that you’re looking for.

Jasmine S34C NEX is an excellent value guitar with a fantastic tone and high-end features. Jasmine Guitars is focused on creating high-quality guitars at a reasonable cost.

The Taylor BBTe Big Baby Taylor is a superb guitar that is just the perfect size for most players. It’s an excellent choice for beginners and has good quality and impressive sound.

This list of the 11 best guitars for fingerstyle will assist you in selecting the best guitar for you. I have considered all the factors for choosing the best fingerstyle guitar including price, size, comfort, and most importantly sound. I’ve put this together because I want all readers to have the finest choices.

Keep strumming…

Cedric Philips

Cedric Philips

Hey there, I am Cedric and I've been playing guitar professionally for 9+ years. I also work in a music shop so I can get my hands on a lot of different guitars. And so, I like to share my take on these fantastic instruments here. Cheers!

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