7 Best Punk Rock Guitars (2021 Guide) – Find your perfect Guitar for Punk Rock!

Note: Here is a list of some of the best punk rock guitars out there to pick from, containing detailed information along with relevant cons that will help you conveniently compare and select the most suitable model based on your needs.

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Our top 3 Picks

4.8/5
  • Resounding tonal quality
  • Available in six unique colours 
  • Smooth playability
  • Affordable

4.7/5
  • Highly versatile
  • Best on the list
  • Preferred by many notable musicians

4.5/5
  • Inspired by the Gibson design
  • Very cheap, great for beginners and kids

When one thinks of the word ‘punk’, images of exaggerated clothing and rebellious hairdos along with loud, brash music come to mind. Well, punk subculture is a lot more than that – it is an ideology rooted in individualism, a voice against institutions that suppress expression. It is largely anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian, and promotes the freedom to express, without deeming one medium of expression as better or more appropriate than another. And what better way to celebrate this movement with a companion, your very own punk guitar – that looks and sings the part!

Punk rock also buds from these ideologies – it is one of the most popular modes of expression amongst punks, other than wearing deliberately offensive clothing (it’s pure fun), condemning consumerism and corporate greed.

And so the sound of punk rock is that of strong-willed people who wish to deliver their message of freedom aggressively, almost seeming like they want to scream it from the rooftops – and we’re here for it! That’s why we have created a list of best punk rock guitars, just for ragers like yourself!

Being punk rock musicians, authenticity plays a crucial role in one’s musical career. Therefore, choosing the best instruments that complement one’s unique sound is vitally important to punk rock.

We’ve curated a list of some of the most qualitative and durable electric guitars for punk rock music on the market for you to compare and choose one that most suits your needs. Shop away!

Here are the best guitars for Punk Rock!

True Music Helper Rating - 4.8/5
4.8/5

This gorgeous instrument will make any punk rock musician want to own a Fender.

How does it sound?
It delivers a quintessential tone owing to its several player-friendly features such as a sleek, slim C-shaped neck profile, a vintage-style tremolo bridge for expressive string-bending that is unique to punk, and sealed die-cast tuning machines for smooth tuning.

Its humbucking bridge pickup gives a warm tone and balanced sound, and a poplar body with a maple neck gives it an iconic look – a Fender never disappoints when it comes to tonal quality and aesthetic.

How does it feel?
This stunning punk guitar, available in the coolest colors, is a must-have for a memorable punk rock gig. Do not take this pretty boy for granted – it delivers resounding notes and is great for rough play. The legendary Jimi Hendrix had some of his best gigs with his electric strat confidante, the classy white Stratocaster.

Pros

  • Resounding tonal quality
  • Aesthetically pleasing – available in six unique colours 
  • Fast string switching, smooth playability
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No notable cons

True Music Helper Rating - 4.7/5
4.7/5

Prepare to make a statement with this bold, rugged Fender. Many iconic musicians (Keith Richards, the original poster boy for the fender telecaster) have greatly enjoyed this electric guitar’s two-plays series of single-coil Telecaster pickups. Jimmy Page played his famous psychedelic-painted telecaster on tracks including Dazed and Confused, and Good Time Bad Times. If Led Zeppelin loved this champion enough to create timeless music with it, you’ll be okay.

How does it sound?
One of the most versatile and durable instruments, this lightweight beauty is the dream of any player who loves experimenting with sound.

How does it feel?
Its signature Fender sound along with an elegant alder body with a modern C-shaped neck profile and a gloss polyester finish come together to provide an excellent feel and comfort, ideal for a smooth performance.

Pros

  • Highly versatile, can be played across genres 
  • Best on the list
  • Preferred by many notable musicians

Cons

  • A little expensive, but worth saving up for

True Music Helper Rating - 4.3/5
4.3/5

This electric stunner is part of Epiphone’s new collection, inspired by Gibson.

How does it sound?
These commendable Epiphone features help the instrument display exceptional tonal sensitivity and make for an ideal punk rock guitar. It is also one of the more affordable electric guitars on the market.

How does it feel?
It has some of the best features you can ask for to create your unique punk rock sound: Mahogany body with a gloss finish, Indian Laurel fingerboard material, and a 50’s neck profile, paired with a P-90 single-coil pickup gives it a legendary, raw tone that helped define the rock and roll sound in its formative years.

Pros

  • Inspired by the Gibson design
  • Very cheap, great for beginners and kids

Cons

  • No notable cons, a quality guitar for this price

True Music Helper Rating - 4.5/5
4.5/5

One of the best punk rock guitars, this baby is a great choice for players who enjoy the authentic Gibson feel.

How does it sound?
There’s a lot to love about this Les Paul guitar, such as its classic design with single cutaway slab mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard, single dogear P-90 pickup, and a 50’s style mahogany neck profile and wraparound bridge – all brilliant features that come together to deliver a rock-solid tone. It’s versatile enough for veteran musicians, but also a great choice for beginners.

How does it feel?
The reggae sensation Bob Marley’s iconic, heavily modified Les Paul Junior is the perfect example of a famous punk rock guitar. Billie Joe Armstrong and John Lennon are two more famous Les Paul users who’ve created brilliant music with their Les Pauls.

We hope that’s more than enough inspiration for you to get this baby home at once!

 

Pros

  • Gibson is guaranteed to deliver fantastic sound. Dexterous playability

Cons

  • Premium price for a premium guitar
True Music Helper Rating - 3.7/5
3.7/5

EMG 81/60 pickups, a Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, a Pau Ferro fingerboard, and so many other details makes this one of the best guitars for punk rock.

How does it sound?
Electric guitars in this series have been designed especially for professionals who hate compromise when it comes to tone and feel, but also require a relatively affordable instrument.

How does it feel?
Due to its luxurious look owing to the classic mahogany body, and full body/neck/headstock binding, it feels sumptuous and provides top-notch playability.

An experienced musician would truly appreciate its excellent craftsmanship which exhibits great attention to detail.

Available colors – Black, Vintage Black, See Thru Black Cherry. (See Thru Black Cherry color is our favorite!)

 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great features 
  • Unique punk rock sound

Cons

  • On the more expensive side of guitars on the list

True Music Helper Rating - 4.1/5
4.1/5

Ibanez guitars, although more popular amongst metal guitar players, make for pretty good punk rock guitars as well. They are known for their sturdiness and this electric guitar is no exception. 

How does it sound?
It is affordable – a great choice for musicians beginning their punk rock journey or just looking to experiment with electric guitars.

How does it feel?
A full Sapele body, infinity R (H) neck and bridge pickup along with a stunning Gibraltar Performer bridge provide great tuning stability. Its Quik change III Tailpiece allows faster, smoother string changing.

Other colors include Transparent black flat, transparent Blue Flat, and Tobacco Flat.

Pros

  • Afforable
  • Ideal for beginners and traveling musicians 

Cons

  • Not the best on the list
True Music Helper Rating - 4.6/5
4.6/5

Gretsch has reinvented its electric guitar with this particular model, by bringing it back with more resonating, bold sound and greater agility.

How does it sound?
Its spruce-center block paired with the exceptional Broad’Tron BT-2S humbucking pickup provides a definition for varying ranges of sound and tone.

Its pristine Laurel fingerboard ensures faster playability and an unbelievably smooth transition while switching strings, and its lightweight spruce center block enables the player to control the volume and depth of the sound issuing from this exquisite electric guitar.

How does it feel?
The vintage-style design is an awesome bonus – a classy, eye-catching instrument that will undeniably turn heads and start conversations.

Pros

  • Available in different, classic colors
  • A guitar of exceptional quality at $549

Cons

  • Other guitars on the list might arguably have an upper hand in terms of specs

A few tips for people starting out in the Punk Rock genre

  • Itisn’tascomplexasitseems!

Although punk rock may come off as very intimidating a genre at first, one only primarily switches between three-four chord progressions in a recurrent theme. It is essentially about exceptional fingerplay, some heavy strumming, and how gripping your sound is.

  • Usenoisetomakeyourmusicseemfuller

Noise doesn’t always have a negative connotation – punk rock often uses this element to create heavier sounds. Pair your electric guitar with a good distortion pedal and experiment with the heavier side of punk

  • Gripyourchordstight

A loose grip will make you lose all emphasis and definition since punk rock guitar playing is very fast and requires rapid movements and chord switching.

Practice is key. It is important that you have a strong command over your chords and that you’ve memorized your fretboard well.

Here’s a list of our favorite punk music that you can practice with!
  • Rise Above – Black Flag
  • God Save the Queen – Sex Pistols
  • Abolish Government/Silent Majority – T.S.O.L. Straight Edge – Minor Threat
  • Nervous Breakdown – Black Flag
  • Straight to Hell – The Clash
  • I Against I – Bad Brains

A Brief History of Punk

Punk originated in the 1970s as a movement in America and the UK and quickly became a political ideology with a unique aesthetic centered around condemning elitist art, capitalism, greedy corporations – these thoughts were expressed unabashedly through the medium of punk rock, an aesthetic that displayed teen rebellion, and other unorthodox mediums.

The word ‘punk’ was originally used to describe simple garage music of the 60s and gradually developed a more hardcore and politically infused personality over the years. The ideology was a consequence of myriad factors, such as the JFK assassination, the violence of the Vietnam War, Women’s Rights, and other injustices that caused the youth to lose faith in the government and resort to taking social change into their own hands – all the art and music that emerged as a result blatantly called out the hypocrisy of the authorities and other institutions meant to protect the people and their rights.

The MCs would be one of the first punk rock bands, with their highly political lyrics and hard, loud sound that marked a significant shift from other music of protest which was primarily light and focused on metaphorical, poetical writing.

Iggy and The Stooges were another important band of this genre. Iggy pop’s highly controversial and often alarming on-stage antics (self-mutilation, for example) introduced new extremes into the punk rock traditions and pushed the limits of self-expression.

Soon, a community began to form among the punks, and ideas began to be exchanged and debated – all of it to better define the style and culture of punk amongst its advocates. The Ramones are known to be the band that gave the world its signature punk rock sound – hard, fast playing with repetitive chord progressions and limited technical skill.

The Clash, an English punk rock band, added extensively to the social consciousness of punk music. The band took it upon itself to spread awareness among the masses, being very invested in the social issues plaguing Britain during that time.

Loaded with a critique of the music industry and growing consumerism embodied in songs such as the Sex Pistols’ ‘EMI’ and X-Ray Spex’s Identity’, early British punk rekindled an interest in rock. Mirroring radical social change with a series of revolutionary songs packed with socially aware lyrics rooted in black humor, groups such as the Clash and Sex Pistols scored hits in the late seventies.

Punk in America slowly came to a halt after the emergence of disco, and only rose again in the mid-1980s after the success of bands such as Nirvana who brought about a newer, more refined, and emotionally charged feel to rock music.

Like every significant movement, it is difficult to determine the exact origins of Punk subculture, but without punk rock, many recent musicians wouldn’t have created new sounds – evolved, more refined versions of punk, packed with more individualistic and emotional elements.

Punk rock as an artistic movement will always be honored as an unconventional (oftentimes freaky) means of channeling frustration and feelings of isolation into making timeless art that paved the way for newer genres and generations in the world of music. 

 

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