Seagull S6 Original
The Seagull S6 Original is the best fingerpicking guitar if you want an instrument that is the best value for your money. For its cheap price, it sounds and feels amazing and is well suited for fingerstyle playing.MORE INFO
For those of you who play the guitar, you should know the difference between fingerstyle and classical, which is playing with one’s fingers rather than using a plectrum or pick. While it is a standard technique on certain guitars with classical or nylon strings, it is considered a specialized technique on steel string and electric guitars.
Acoustic guitars are usually associated with guitars that can be played fingerpicking style, although you can certainly do so with an electric guitar as well. Choosing the best fingerpicking guitar can be a challenge as there are so many different varieties.
You should focus on the type of wood, guitar size, neck, strings, and body shape when shopping around for a fingerpicking guitar. In terms of wood type, you have spruce, cedar, mahogany, maple, and rosewood. Those who play fingerstyle often use lighter wood so that it resonates better. The guitar size will definitely affect its sound and projection. Bigger bodies tend to have a lower tone and a louder sound.
Just like the guitar size, the length of the neck also affect the sound. Longer necks have a lower and warmer tone while shorter necks have higher pitch. Fingerstyle players usually like wider necks that allow for more room between strings.
Guitar strings are quite important when looking for the best fingerpicking guitar. Most guitars are steel string, but there are also nylon strings, which produces a more soft sound. Nylon strings also produce a more soft sound. Finally, you have to pick a body shape and the four most common are dreadnought, grand auditorium, grand concert, and jumbo. Also, keep in mind the guitar cabinet and speaker system as this also impacts sound.
In general, if you want to concentrate on fingerstyle techniques, you need to find a fingerpicking guitar with lots of overtone, sustain, balanced tone, and comfortable spacing between strings.
Look for good balanced between bass and treble, a flatter fretboard, and responsive/ lightly braced. Most importantly, make sure there is good balance across the strings.
Best Fingerpicking Guitar
- Seagull S6 Original
- Martin 000-15M
- Taylor 414ce Grand Auditorium
- Yamaha FG800
- Takamine GD20-NS Deadnought
Seagull S6 Original
The Seagull S6 Original is probably the best fingerpicking guitar if you want the best bang for the buck. While it is certainly not a high end model like a Martin or Taylor, the Seagull definitely is a respectable instrument with a solid sound quality. The S6 is Seagull’s flagship product and for a good reason. It is a very reasonable purchase for its price and great for beginners who want to fool around with fingerpicking.
Perhaps the best part of this guitar is its wider nut width of 1.8 inches, which is nice and chunky. Unless you have extra small hands, you should be able to adjust easily. This means theres more room for your fingers on the fretboard and allows you to hit a string without hitting another string.
In terms of feel, the fretboard is made of rosewood, which feels nice heavy, and has a quick response. Although the guitar is heavy and overbuilt, it does feel quite comfortable in your hands and plays well. This is because it is a short scaleguitar. For a sub $500 guitar, we are more than overwhelmed by its feel and performance.
All in all, this is a great entry level fingerstyle guitar. It has a good plain but clean look, high action, and a clean inside. The sound is a bit dull with a boxy bass and bright highs, mostly because of the cedar qualities. The strumming is decent and so is the sustain. It is really the best we can hope for in a sub $500 guitar.
– Great bang for the buck
– Wide nut at 1.8 inches
– Heavy and overbuilt but comfortable
– Decent sustain and strumming
Martin is a well known brand in the guitar world and is known to make some very high end pro guitars. If you are looking for the best fingerstyle guitar, the Martin 000-15M is the way to go in their full line up. In terms of fingerpicking, the Martin 000s sound fantastic with a nice warm, thick resonance. It also has just the right amount of bite with the perfect amount of action. The sound is truly amazing and one of a kind.
Everything about the Martin 000-15M spells premium. It has great craftsmanship with excellent build quality. The 1-11/16” nut and non-scalloped 5/16” bracing make it fingerstyle friendly as well as just a great all round player. This 000 Martin features a 14 fret to body size, a bone nut at the bridge with ebony pins, and a string spacing of 2 and 1.8”. Given that the neck is a low oval shaped, we think it fits in your hand perfectly.
Overall, we really like the premium feel and look of this instrument. This mahogany fingerstyle guitar produces a balanced tone across the entire audible range, which is quite important for fingerstyle. The fingerstyle licks are also crisp and punchy and the audio is clear and articulate. Unfortunately, there are no binding and no electronics, which maybe a deal breaker for some.
– Warm, thick resonance
– 1-11/16” nut
– 14 fret to body size
– Excellent build quality
Taylor 414ce Grand Auditorium
If you have deep pockets, the Taylor 414ce Grand Auditorium is the bestfingerpicking guitar for you. Everything about this acoustic guitar by Taylor is premium and top of the line. We consider this a mid tier Taylor product, which for most people is definitely more than enough.
This is a solid rosewood guitar that is well balanced and gives you a broad sonic range. It features a stand taylor profile neck with a width of 1-3/4” or 44.5mm which is perfect for fingerstyle. It has a genuine african ebony neck wood with a tropical mahogany scale length of 25-1/2 inches.
In terms of sound quality, you definitely get that Taylor sound. It features an Ovangkol back and sides, which produces bold basses and trebles that resonate with great projections. There is a good reason Taylor guitars are one of the best sounding acoustic guitars in the industry. It doesn’t get any better than this!
The fit and feel of the guitar are pretty much impeccable. It is physically balanced and the neck feels great on medium sized hands. Basically all perfect forfingerpicking style. The only real thing you have to worry about is the steep price tag.
– Premium guitar brand
– Solid rosewood design
– 44.5mm neck width
– Great Taylor sound
The Yamaha FG800 is the best fingerstyle guitar for those who want a solid performer for under $200 retail. When played fingerstyle, you tend to get much more volume and resonant response than other guitars in the same price range and with the same effort. We think the key to the Yamaha FG800s success is its extreme playability. It features a matte neck and rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets.
If you are a beginner, you should be all over this guitar, especially if you are looking to play fingerstyle. However, it is not just limited to amateurs but can also be great for immediate to seasoned players. Additionally, the Yamaha FG800 has a scalloped bracing, which means a bunch of material is shaved away from the lower half of the brace. This allows the brace to vibrate more and contributes a lot to its sound quality.
In terms of sound quality, the scalloped bracing makes the top more responsive with deeper lows. We feel the sound is just much more stable and louder sounding than other similarly priced guitars. It has a rich deep sounding bass and bright timbre and projections. While it is definitely not a Taylor or Martin, it sound great for what it is. In terms of this guitar action, we have absolutely no complaints.
– Great beginner fingerpicking guitar
– Rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets
– Great sound for cheap guitar
– Scalloped bracing
Takamine GD20-NS Deadnought
The Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnought is an affordable but not cheap fingerstyleguitar. Takamine is a Japanese brand that has been in the industry since the 1970s and makes quality guitars. The strictly acoustic GD20-NS is a bit different from their acoustic electric flagship products, but keeps the same level of craftsmanship and limited lifetime warranty.
The most notable thing about this guitar is probably its cedar soundboard, which gives it a warm sound. The cedar is very fine grade and more dense than spruce, which is more common in guitars of this type. The back and sides of this guitarare made of mahogany, which gives it a solid midrange and rather mellow sound. This mahogany has a nice attractive and subtle feather figuring.
In terms of design and look, it certainly does not look cheap or is it designed cheap. It has wooden flourishes and rosewood rosettes, which are usually found on higher end guitars. The Takamine GD20-NS Dreadnaught has 20 frets that are nicely polished with a synthetic bone nut and saddles that are nicely notched.
Perhaps the best part of the Takamine GD20-NS is that it is definitely fingerstyle friendly. The neck profile has a comfortable C shape and is pretty slim. The action is comfortably low and the guitar feels quite dynamic and responsive, despite its narrow but width of 1 and 11/16 inches. As a sub $500 guitar, we think it is a steal.
– Quality craftsmanship
– Great design and look
– Fingerstyle friendly
– Great value for your money