Fingerpicking is one technique that a lot of guitar enthusiasts, both pro and beginners, love to spend their time on. I personally admire how guitarists do it, as much as how it sounds. Moreover, fingerstyle or fingerpick does not only require a good guitarist, but it also needs an appropriate guitar for the particular technique.
If you’re a guitarist trying to make your way into fingerstyle, you might notice that playing a regular acoustic guitar just don’t feel right. But, don’t you worry. Do yourself a favor and get the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle.
5 Best Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitars
- Solid cedar top with mahogany back and sides
- Slim satin-finish mahogany neck and 12"-radius rosewood fingerboard provide great feel and playability
- Split-saddle design of the pin-less rosewood bridge provides superior intonation for sweeter-sounding chords and single-note runs
- Bone nut and bridge saddle
- Elegant Natural satin finish
Hailing from a Japanese brand called Takamine, this classic dreadnought acoustic will sweep you off your feet with its fine detail and outstanding sound quality. The word “takamine” means high ridge or high peak in English. Well, the Takamine GD20-NS sure is sitting high on our list as it is considered the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle.
With a combination of solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides, the Takamine GD20-NS gives off a detailed and warm touch to its tone. Featuring a slim satin-finish mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard and bridge, this beauty will leave you in awe because it offers you comfort and amazing playability. The Takamine GD20-NS boasts its trademark split-saddle pinless bridge which is the main reason for its accuracy in intonation for sweeter chords and single-note runs.
Aside from all the notable features mentioned, Takamine GD20-NS is also an eye-catcher with its pearl dot inlays and classic Natural satin finish. And get this, this acoustic guitar won’t hurt your wallet. The Takamine GD20-NS reminds all its potential users that the best things don’t always mean a hefty price tag.
- Pin-less bridge gives more resonance
- Accurate intonation
- Gentle strings
- Neck is too thin
- A bit bulky
- A Venetian-cutaway body for easy upper-fret access
- Solid spruce top with scalloped "X"-bracing
- Mahogany back and sides
- Easy-to-play neck with rolled fingerboard edges
Next on the list is no stranger when it comes to being the top of its game. Coming from a brand that’s a powerhouse in the guitar industry is the Fender CD-60CE. Affordable price, excellent features, positive reviews, what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle, give CD-60CE some love.
Owning a laminated mahogany top, back, and sides, rosewood bridge with a compensated saddle, this steel-stringed acoustic guitar garners positive reviews because of its attractive design. Featuring an onboard Fishman pickup/preamp which allows you to sound very stage-ready, you’ll be feeling like a genuine performer. Complete with a built-in tuner and 20-fret rosewood fretboard, the CD-60CE does not disappoint.
With its skillfully designed cutaway, playing the CD-60CE for hours won’t be a problem. Because of this cutaway design, it’s easier to have a hold of its neck and access the upper register.
- Laminated mahogany finish enhances resonance
- Cutaway design
- Onboard Fishman pickup
- Sounds too bright on higher notes
- A bit heavy
- Body Body type: Dreadnought 15/16th-Scale Cutaway: No Top wood: Solid Sitka Spruce Back & sides: Layered Sapele Bracing pattern: Taylor Standard Big Baby X-Bracing Body finish: Matte 2.0 Orientation: Right-Handed Neck Neck shape: Taylor Standard Big Baby Profile Nut width: 1 11/16" (42.8mm) Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony Neck wood: Sapele Scale length: 25-1/2" Number of frets: 20 Neck finish: Matte 2.0
- The Baby Taylor's scaled-up sibling, the Big Baby (15/16th-size), makes a sleek yet full-sounding travel companion with its svelte four-inch body depth, which is about a half-inch shallower than the depth of a standard Dreadnought
- Slightly bigger than a Baby Taylor and just shy of a full-size guitar, the Big Baby Taylor is ideal for easy-playing, great-sounding guitar fun
- The overall size keeps you in the ""portable"" category, yet with an extra dose of volume and fullness
- Like the Baby, the Big Baby has an arched back that provides strength and contributes to its big tonal output
If you’re a long-time guitarist or just a normal guitar enthusiast, I’m sure you’ve heard of the brand Taylor before. When it comes to acoustic guitars, you’re guaranteed to get only the best from this company. In line with this, another topnotcher on this list is the Taylor BBT Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar.
What makes the Big Baby Taylor or BBT standout is that its size and shape is perfect for fingerpicking—with its relatively smaller body and lighter weight than a normal dreadnought. Because of its Sitka spruce top, the BBT produces a powerful sound with a perfect touch of elasticity and stiffness. Its neck is designed so as to keep the user comfortable, while making the body’s resonance perfect for fingerstyle playing.
Despite its name, the BBT won’t seem like a baby in being the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle as it produces a full tone and good sound quality. With its affordable price, who would second guess this baby?
- Size is perfect for traveling and touring
- Amazing sound
- Great playability
- Some users encountered neck issues
- Relatively low-end for a Taylor guitar
- Solid sapele back, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard with wood "dot-in-dot " inlays.
- Gold tuners with amber buttons.
- Natural satin finish.
- Highly acclaimed CT4B II preamp system with three-band EQ, volume control and built-in tuner.
It seems like Takamine is on a roll as we’ve got another one from the same Japanese company. This only goes to show that when we talk about the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle, Takamine does not come last. The Takamine Pro Series 3 P3MC OM Acoustic-Electric Guitar will show you that it’s worthy of your attention, and possibly, money.
Sporting an elegant style and state-of-the-art onboard electronics, the Pro Series 3 P3MC gives off an orchestral vibe. It owns a solid cedar top, hand-scalloped X bracing and ivory binding, with dark purfling and a gorgeous concentric-ring rosette with wood marquetry to complete its eye-catching characteristic. However, it’s not just a pretty face as its very own split-saddle bridge gives the smoothest intonation.
The P3MC’s cutaway design provides easy access to the upper register and prime comfort to its users. Also featuring a solid sapele back, mahogany neck, dot inlays, and gold tuners, the Takamine Pro Series P3MC is guaranteed to last long with a solid and high quality construction.
- Cedar top giving a classic look and amazing sound
- Excellent preamp system
- Easy playability
- A bit heavy
- Preamp controls may be too big
- Dreadnought Body Style
- Solid Spruce Top
- Mahogany Sides and Back
- Gloss or Matte Finish
Suitable for beginners and professionals, the Washburn WD7S Harvest Series Acoustic Guitar is a great addition to your guitar collection. If you’re on a hunt for the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle that’s going to fit your budget, you might be looking at a possible prospect.
The WD7S possesses a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and steel strings. You also have the option if you’re going to have a glossy or matte finish, as well as if it’s to have a cutaway or non-cutaway design. Perfect for a starter acoustic guitar, the WD7S has a smaller body compared to a regular dreadnought guitar.
Offering excellent sound and comfort to its users, you’ll get a great deal with WD7S.
- Easy to use
- Cutaway design option
- Tuners may be hard to adjust
Factors to Consider When Buying an Acoustic Guitar for Fingerstyle
Any acoustic guitar can be a medium to fingerpicking. However, there are some guitars that sound a lot better and are somewhat created for an easy fingerstyle. That’s why in order to get the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle, you need to know the factors and characteristics that make it topnotch.
Smaller body size
The best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle has to have a smaller body compared to a regular acoustic guitar. Why? An acoustic with a smaller body produces an even sound and easy playability.
For a traditional acoustic guitar that has a dreadnought style, it often gives off a bigger and lower sound. Now, if you’re thinking of having an acoustic guitar for fingerpicking, you’ll need an acoustic that gives off a balanced sound of all the strings.
Besides an even and balanced sound, a relatively smaller body size also means it’s easier to get a hold of your guitar. A normal dreadnought acoustic guitar has a big body, so you might want to look for an acoustic guitar with a body that’s smaller than the usual. You’ll also feel more comfortable, especially if you plan to play it for long hours.
Another thing to look out for is the acoustic guitar’s cutaway. The cutaway is commonly noticed on electric guitars. This specific design allows easier access to the strings above the 12th fret.
When it comes fingerstyle, a cutaway would be very beneficial.
As you know, there are two different type of strings in a guitar– nylon and steel. And ultimately, it all comes down to the purpose and preference of the guitar player.
A guitarist prefers nylon strings if he needs less effort to create a melody in a particular song. It’s also easier and less hurtful on the fingers. On the other hand, steel or bronze strings produce more resonance and full ringing sound, which is more common from a Western-style guitar.
To wrap this whole thing up, the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle you could get is the Takamine GD20-NS. Coming from a Japanese company, this fine beauty is exceptional both physically and sound-wise. With its solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides, you’ll get a warm and balanced sound from it.
Offering comfort and easy playability, the GD20-NS features a slim mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. It also has a split-saddle bridge which causes its accuracy in intonation.
Users of the Takamine GD20-NS rave about its pin-less bridge which gives more resonance. However, people are not really a fan of its neck, which might seem a bit thinner.