As a guitar player, you have a wide range of excellent guitars to choose form on the market. For specific genres such as blues, there’s also a wide number of guitars that are more suited for that style when compared to other guitars. It can be difficult to find a quality guitar for blues-based music, so I have made it easy for you by creating this guide to the best electric guitar for blues.
I’ve been playing guitar for a long time and I’m a big fan of blues music, so I know the difficulty you face in finding food instruments for the style. This guide makes it easy to pick a quality guitars for blues music so you can enjoy the music you love for a long time to come.
List of 10 Best Electric Guitars for Blues with reviews
Fender Deluxe Stratocaster Electric Guitar
The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars of all time. Some of the best blues players in history such as Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan have used the Strat to make their music. The fender Deluxe Stratocaster is the perfect choice for blues inspired music for many reasons.
This guitar comes with three noiseless Fender Strat single coil pickups which make less noise than normal pickups. They sound perfect for the overdriven sounds you need for great blues playing. The pickups are controlled by a volume knob, two tone controls, and a pickup selector switch. The neck is made out of maple and features 22 frets. The tuning pegs are locking short-post style so they help the guitar stay in tune for longer. The bridge is a standard Fender tremolo so you can play all those guitar tricks and fancy bends.
- Solid hardware
- Looks great
- Not suited for some guitar styles
You really can’t go wrong with a good Fender Stratocaster for playing blues inspired music. I love the way the neck feels on the Strat and the notes are easy to reach with the cutaway in the body. The pickups in this model sound amazing and you’ll be very pleased with the guitar. It’s an easy to pickup and play instrument and ne of the cornerstones of great blues music. If you like playing blues, get yourself a good Stratocaster as you just won’t regret it.
Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar
One of the better guitar manufacturers is Gibson, but a regular Gibson is very expensive. They have a lower cost model called the Epiphone. Many famous blues players have used the Les Paul model over the years like Duane Allman, Gary Moore, and Joe Bonamassa.
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is a fantastic instrument for blues playing for many reasons. The Epiphone Les Paul, looks and plays like a real Les Paul. The guitar has two Epiphone ProBucker 2 and ProBucker 3 humbucking pickups which are perfect for playing blues, rock, and other styles of music. The instrument has a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard which is easy to play. There’s two volume, two tone, and a pickup selector switch to control your pickup sounds. The bridge is a common Gibson Tune-O Matic which helps stabilize the tuning and makes it easy to change strings. The pickguard is angled which makes it easier to rest your fingers for playing complex guitar lines.
- Classic Les Paul Sounds
- Very nice look
- Heavier than some guitars
- Headstock a bit thin
Epiphone is one of the top guitars for playing blues because it gives you everything you need without the expensive Gibson price tag. I find the Epiphone to be very easy to play and it sounds great for the price you play. You’ll find it easy to get all sorts of nice blues tones out of this guitar. If you’re an intermediate/advanced blues player, pick up the Epiphone Les Paul today as you won’t be disappointed.
Ibanez AS53TRF Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar
Ibanez is normally thought of as shredder style guitar, but they make several blues-based instruments which all sound great. One of the top guitars in their lineup is the Ibanez AS53TRF Semi-Hollow which has great features you’re going to love.
This guitar has F holes so you get both an acoustic and an electric sounds. The notes ring very clear which is important for blues playing. The guitar has two humbucking pickups which sounds great. There’s a tone, volume, and a pickup selector switch to control your pickup sounds. The neck is rosewood and it features 22 frets which are all accessible thanks to the deep cutaway on both sides of the neck. The bridge is a standard Tune-O Matic style which helps keep your guitar in tune and makes it easy to put on new strings.
- East to play
- Nice look
- Needs another volume and tone control
The Ibanez AS53TRF Semi-Hollow is the perfect choice for blues players as it sounds amazing at this price. I found the instrument very easy to play and you’ll get a lot of great tones out of it just like I did. I wish it had a bit more hardware, but the guitar does produce a good bluesy tone that you’ll like. If you want a lower cost guitar for playing blues, check out this Ibanez.
Gretsch G5420T Electromatic Single Cutaway Hollow Body Guitar
Gretsch make some fine guitars for many different guitar styles and they have an excellent model that’s well suited for blues-based playing called the Gretsch G5420T. Here’s all that that this guitar has to offer you.
This instrument is an acoustic/electric design which is perfect for blues playing. The F holes help the notes ring out for blues style solos and rhythm work. The guitar has two Black Top Filter'Tron pickups which sound great for blues and other styles of music. The neck is rosewood with 22 frets medium jumbo frets and the neck is smooth as well as comfortable to play. There’s a classic style Bigsby-licensed B60 vibrato tailpiece for string bends. The pickups are controlled by a two volume, two tone, and a pickup switch.
- Amazing look to guitar
- Solid sounds
- Tremolo is a bit cumbersome
- May be too big for some players
For those looking for a classic looking guitar for blues, jazz and other older styles of music, the Gretsch G5420T delivers on all fronts. It has a wonderful neck which makes it easy to play smooth blues leads as well as crunchy rhythms. The single cutaway make sit easier to hit higher notes and the angled pickguard is a nice touch because you can rest your fingers on it as you play for better stability. I loved playing this Gretsch and you will to. This is an excellent guitar for blues-based music.
Fender American Special Telecaster
The Fender Telecaster is a good choice for blues-based music as it has a good bite for bluesy style bends and rhythms. famous blues player that used the Telecaster include Albert Collins and muddy waters.
This Telecaster features two Texas special single coil pickups. It has a maple C neck which is comfortable to play, rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. The body of the instrument is made out of alder and it has a maple neck. The bridge is a standard Telecaster style bridge which keeps the tuning stable. To control the pickups there’s a tone, volume, and a pickup selector switch.
- Solid Chrome Hardware
- Easy to Play
- Not suitable for some guitar styles
The Fender Telecaster is another guitar by Fender that’s the perfect choice for blues-based music. The sting and bite of the pickups on the guitar sounds amazing for blues solos and rhythm playing and it’s a very district sound that you’ll love. I found this Telecaster to have a very comfortable neck which was smooth and easy on your fingers. The guitar also ships with a gig bag which is an added bonus. If you like blues, try a good Telecaster such as this one as you’ll love the way it sounds.
ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar
ESP is known for their hard-rock and metal style guitars, but they also have other guitars which are perfect for blues and jazz-based music such as the ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar. This guitar features a classic style which you’re going to love and has many nice features.
The ESP LTD EC-256FM is a classic Les Paul style shape so it’s perfect for blues-based music. You get two ESP Designed LH-150 pickups which sound great for blues solos and rhythms. The bridge is a standard Tune-O Matic which helps stabilize the tuning and makes changing the string son this guitar very easy. There’s a volume, two tone controls and a pickup selector switch to control your pickup configurations. The guitar has a rosewood fingerboard with 22 extra jumbo frets, so the neck is comfortable as well as easy to play.
- Sound very good
- Solid hardware
- A bit heavy for some players
If you want a Les Paul style guitar for playing blues music, but don’t want to spend a fortune, the ESP LTD EC-256FM is a solid choice as it has a lot of great things going for it. I love the cutaway feature as I was able to hit all the high notes for big blues style bends. The neck is very smooth and the inlays are sharp looking on this guitar. This instrument would be a great choice for anyone looking for a top-quality guitar for playing blues music.
Epiphone EMPEROR SWINGSTER Hollow Body Electric Guitar
Epiphone makes some wonderful guitars for all types of music, and they have several models which are perfect for blues based electric guitar playing such as the Epiphone Emperor Swingster Hollow Body. This instrument ha s a lot of amazing features.
The guitar is a semi hollow so it sounds like an acoustic as well as electric. The F holes allow the sound to boom out of the guitar which is just perfect for blues-based sounds as well as rock, jazz, country or rockabilly. You get two swing bucker humbucking pickups which sound amazing and give the instrument a real bluesy punch. To control the pickups there’s a two volume, two tone, and pickup selector switch. The push pull tone controls allow you change the pickup output for even ore tonal variations. The fingerboard is rosewood with 20 frets. The bridge is a Bigsby style tremolo system.
- Looks great
- Soli chrome hardware
- Might be too big for some
- Bigsby tremolo isn’t for everyone
If you want a guitar that can cover blues-based music as well as many other guitar sounds, you’ll want to check out the Epiphone Emperor Swingster. I was surprised by the number of great tones you can get out of this guitar for a wide range of musical styles, not only blues. The neck is very comfortable, but I would have preferred a few more frets as 20 is a bit limiting. Overall, this guitar juts sounds amazing for whatever old school style of music you want to play and it’s a solid choice for blues players, too. It’s also perfect for more advanced style blues like jazz blues or swing blues.
Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar - HSS
Fender makes many different guitars and the HHS model is unique and ideally suited for many styles of music including blues-based electric guitar. Here’s the many great features of this guitar.
This guitar has one humbucker pickup and two single coils, so it’s capable of many different tones and it can cover various guitar styles with ease. The pickups are controlled by two tone, one volume, and a pickup selector switch. The neck is C shape, so it’s very comfortable in your hands as you play. The fingerboard is rosewood and there’s 22 frets. The tremolo is synchronized and a high mass block so it offers more sustain as well as gives the guitar excellent tuning stability.
- Easy to play
- Solid Chrome hardware
- Pickups lack traditional Fender tones
As an owner of an HSS Fender Stratocaster, I can say that this guitar is very nice sounding and perfect for blues-based guitar playing. The humbucker has that extra bite you need for certain blues songs and it also has a good output. The guitar is solid all round and can cover many other styles of music and not just blues. It’s a very comfortable guitar to hold both sitting down and standing up. I feel this is the ideal choice for anyone that wants to play blues as well as other forms of music.
Ibanez AF75TDGIV AF Series Vintage Vibrato Electric Guitar
Ibanez makes a wide range of guitars and they have several good models which are well suited to blues and jazz styles of playing. One of their top models is the Ibanez AF75TDGIV AF Series which has plenty of top features that you’ll like.
This guitar features F holes which give you both an a acoustic as well as electric sound. The holes help the notes rig out more so you can make you blues playing really sing. The guitar has two humbucker pickups which are the ACH1 and ACH2. The pickups are controlled by two volume, two tone, and a pickup selector switch. The bridge is an Ibanez style Bigsby so you can abend nots and bend notes as well as do other guitar tricks with your instrument. The fingerboard is rosewood and features 22 frets.
- Classic look
- Sounds nice
- Bigsby style tremolo isn’t for everyone
- Larger than some guitars
I was able to get many jazzy and bluesy tones out of this guitar. It sounds very good for the price you pay and it has a lot of good features. I like the cutaway as I was able to hot the higher notes with relative ease. The guitar has an old school feel to it and the pickups really sound good at various volumes. This is a recommended guitar for anyone that wants to play blues, jazz and other roots styles of music.
Fender Classic Player Jaguar Rosewood Fingerboard Fiesta Solid-Body Electric Guitar with Hard Case
The Fender Classic Player jaguar is an odd-looking guitar, but it’s perfect for many forms of music, including blues. This guitar has many features which makes it the ideal choice for many guitar players. This guitar gives you two single coil pickups for a wide range of sounds. The sound is further enhanced by a series of switches and controls which further enhance the tone. There’s also a standard tone and volume knob for the pickups. The neck is a smaller scale so it’s comfortable to play. The fingerboard is rosewood with 22 frets. The bridge is a standard jaguar style tremolo system so you can bend notes and do other tricks with ease.
- Sounds good
- Easy playing
- Guitar shape takes a bit of getting used to
- Switches may be confusing for some
This guitar is unique, but it has a killer sound for blues as well as other guitar styles. There’s a lot of different sounds you can get out of it thanks to all the switches on the guitar. I love this guitar as the neck is very comfortable and you can hit the higher notes due to the cutaway on the instrument. This instrument is smaller than some guitars so you can really dig in and hit all those bluesy bends and cool runs. I think this is a good choice for anyone that wants to play blues as well as other guitar styles.
Things to Consider before you buy your blues-based guitar
Before you buy your blues-based guitar you have several things that you need to keep in mind. Most guitars are going to require a little bit of set up before they play as well as you would like them to play. Here's a few tips to keep your guitar sounding great and to make it more playable for blues-based music.
- Guitar Setup
The first thing you need to understand is that your guitar may need a bit of a setup. For example, the action on many guitars that ship from the factory may not be how you like it to be. You can change this by raising and lowering the strings. The action simply refers to how easy strings are to play and how far they are from the fretboard. In general, strings other closer to the fretboard are easier to play when you want to do faster guitar playing. When the strings are farther away from the fretboard, it's easier to bend notes which is perfect for blues-based playing. As a blues player myself, I would recommend that you have the string action at a medium height away from the fretboard because this makes it much easier to dig in and do the bends that are required for blues-based music. When the strings are at a medium height, you'll find it easier to grip them with your fingers so they can push them and bend them in the appropriate way.
Another thing you'll have to consider is the intonation of the guitar. This is how well this guitar sounds up and down the neck. A guitar that is not properly intimated won't sound in tune higher up the fretboard. A guitar technician can set the intonation for you as this can be a bit of a picky process to do yourself. If you know how to do it, then you can just intimate the guitar on your own. Most guitars will ship from the factory with the intonation pretty close, but in some cases you may need to adjust it a little bit so that the instrument plays a little bit better and sounds better higher up the neck.
The neck and general will usually not need to be adjusted, but in some cases a small adjustment can change things for you. If the neck has a bit of a warp in it you can straighten this out by adjusting the neck truss rod. You should not do this unless you know what you're doing because you might cause more problems with the neck. When you adjust a truss rod you should only make a half turn adjustment with your Allen wrench and then see how the guitar plays the next day. Small neck adjustments can make a difference in how the instrument plays and can loosen up things such as stiffness which make it harder to bend notes.
Your guitar should play fairly well straight from the factory, but these small simple tips can make a big difference in how well the guitar plays. In general, lower-cost instruments will need a bit more adjustment than the ones that are at a higher price. If you have any questions or concerns about your instrument, take it to a guitar tech and then you'll be able to make adjustments for you so the instrument sounds and plays better then it might straight from the factory.
Pickups that ship with most guitars are generally quite good. You'll get better pickups if you buy an expensive instrument. The pickups that ship with lower-cost instruments may need to be replaced because they can be a sticking point in the overall sound of the instrument. By changing the pickups to ones that haven't higher output, you can make your guitar sound a lot better. For blues-based music for example, you may want a different type of pick up that has a certain sound for that type of music. There's many different pickups to choose from so I won't go into that amount of detail here. Both single coil pickups and humbucking pickups sound great for blues-based music. The single coils maybe a little bit better for blues music that is cleaner with less Distortion while the humbuckers tend to make the music sing a little bit better when it comes to more distorted blues-based music.
It's really a matter of choice in the type of string that you use for your blues-based music. The best gauge for blues music is going to be 010s. This is because this gauge of string is heavier than the normal 009s and the guitar will have a little bit more punch. The lower gauges will be easier to bend but they won't have as much punch when it comes to blues-based music. If you're playing a lot of complex rhythms in your blues, heavier strings are going to make the notes ring out better. Some guitar players such as the great Stevie Ray Vaughan used very heavy strings for their blues music, but you don't have to go this route if you don't want to. You should use strings that are comfortable for you and your fingers.
I Have a Blues Guitar Now What?
Once you have a blues guitar, there's a few other things that you need to consider in terms of the music you wish to create. Here's a bit of a guide to help you make the best blues-based music possible.
The type of amplifier you get will be up to you, but the best amplifier for blues music is going to be the older tube style amplifiers because they just sound better for this type of music. Older tube amplifiers from Marshall, Fender, and similar companies make excellent blues amps. There's also a lot of green amplifiers on the current market that you can choose from for blues music. Solid-state amplifiers can sound close to a tube amplifier, they just don't sound quite as good as a regular tube amplifier may sound. If you can't afford a tube amplifier, a solid-state amplifier is a good option because you will get some nice sounds out of it for blues music. Fender make some excellent solid-state amplifiers that are perfect for blues-based music. There's also other amplifiers you can get that are called amp modelers. These amplifiers reproduce the sounds of older amplifiers and the most popular amplifiers on the market, these amps have come a long way in recent years and now sound quite good for all types of music. With amplifiers you need to experiment a lot to find a sound that you like. One amplifier that sounds great to your friend, may not sound that great to you. The amplifier is a very personal choice just like a guitar, so don't be afraid to experiment to get the sound that you like.
Like regular guitar music, you can use pedals for blues-based music. The best way to use pedals for blues bass music is to use things such as a wah-wah, chorus, and an overdrive pedal. In general, you don't want to use pure distortion pedals because they simply produce too much Distortion which is it used to a wide it degree in blues-based music. A nice overdrive pedal can give you the sound that you want. You can experiment with different overdrive pedals. There's several models on the market that are catered directly to blues-based players so you might want to check those out. For example, the Boss company produces the Boss Blues Driver which is an excellent pedal for any type of blues music.
- Learn All You Can
To play great blues-based music, you need to keep learning about this style of music. You should go back into the past and learn all of the classics from the great blues players because this will help you improve your style today. By studying all of the classics you'll have a good base to form your own blues-based style. Many of the top blues-based players today have formed their style by studying all of the great players. While you should study all of the great players, you should also experiment a lot with your own blues music and try different things that may have not been done before. This can breathe fresh life into the blues genre and make your music stand out above the crowd.
The guitars in this guide should help you become a great blues player. These guitars are all easy to play, sound great, and will give you that blue sound that you want. make sure you take care of your instrument and get it properly set up because it will make playing your blues music a lot easier. Don't be afraid to experiment with things such as effects, amplifiers, and always be willing to learn new blues music to expand your horizons in this exciting a genre.
Blues guitar today is alive and well and there's many top choices in terms of instruments that you can buy to put your own spin on this form of music. The music we have today just would not be the same without the blues so go up there bend those notes and let your true feelings shine through playing the blues.