Many beginning guitarists ask the same question: which are the best guitar brands? Is there a particular brand that outshines the others?
Finding the best guitar really comes down to your interests and determining the type of music you want to learn. Although the material you’ll learn for electric, classical, and acoustic is very similar up front, certain guitars are more appropriate for specific genres of music.
In this article, we’ll dive into several top guitar brands to help you decide which guitar is right for you, no matter your style.
Top 10 Best Guitar Brands
Most guitar brands offer a variety of different types of guitars. However, each company is most likely known for a particular style. Here are some of the best guitar brands to get you started!
Best Acoustic Guitar Brands
Taylor is a brand known for high quality instruments and well-defined tone. They have been building guitars since 1974. Many of their top-end guitars are made in the United States, while cheaper Taylor models are made in Mexico.
While Taylor guitars are very nice, this particular brand comes with a fairly hefty price tag to match. If you’re ready to invest in your first long-term acoustic guitar, then this is an excellent option!
Breedlove is a lesser-known guitar brand that emerged just a few years ago. Their acoustic guitars offer a great sound, while their process for sourcing materials and testing for quality is a key aspect that sets them apart from larger companies. Instead of mass producing factory-made guitars, every Breedlove guitar is unique in its own way.
The Passport Dreadnought Mahogany guitar has become one of Breedlove’s most popular models because of the rich tone produced by its dark wood. You can see in the video above how the Breedlove style truly sets them apart from the rest of the industry.
You may know them for their motor division, but Yamaha was originally founded as a music company. They began with pianos and after being successful in that market, they built their guitar brand. Today, they’ve been building guitars for over 50 years and are still going strong.
Yamaha manufactures guitars that start in a very reasonable price range and end in the upper levels of the atmosphere. If you’re looking for variety, look no further. The various types of guitars that Yamaha offers have consistently good reviews and are great for all occasions.
If you have spent any time in the guitar world, you’ve definitely heard of Martin. They have been one of the top guitar brands, in the acoustic space, far longer than anyone else. In fact, they’ve been building guitars since the 1830s!
Many of Martin’s antique models have sold for thousands of dollars, even with some damage. Martin guitars have always been lauded for their perfect tone and comfortable feel. These guitars will definitely require more of an investment to purchase, but they are well worth the cost in the long run.
On the other side of the spectrum from Martin, Arcadia is a company that makes very good beginner guitars. Their focus is on providing you or your child with an affordable guitar to begin learning.
Their models range from the DL41 (a full-size acoustic guitar) to the DL36 (a ½ size guitar). These guitars are very affordable and can be purchased for $100 or less on Amazon.
Eventually, you will want to upgrade to one of the other top guitar brands on this list. However, if you’re just starting out on the instrument, Arcadia is a good way to go! Check out the DL41 in the clip above.
Best Electric Guitar Brands
Fender is a guitar brand that has risen to legendary status in the electric marketplace. While they are primarily known for their Telecasters and Stratocasters, they also offer some unique solutions for the acoustic guitar player as well.
Of the Fender electric guitars, the Stratocaster is a fan favorite. If you’re looking for a dirty blues sound like Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix, you can’t get anything better than a Strat!
Because of their unique innovations like dual-coil pickups, the Gibson sound has developed into one of the most recognizable tones available. This is one of the many reasons Gibson made our list of top guitar brands.
The Gibson Les Paul is probably one of the most iconic guitars to emerge during the rock era. If you prefer the modern rock sound of Slash and his peers, then the Gibson Les Paul is the way to go! The only big drawback of Gibson guitars, for most beginners, is their price tag.
If you would like a Gibson-esque sound but are just starting out on the guitar, you need to check out Epiphone, a company that is owned by Gibson.
Their guitars follow many of the same processes as the traditional US-made instruments, however they are made overseas. This allows them to sell at a much more budget-friendly price.
For all the shredders out there, Ibanez is the perfect fit for you! Players like Joe Satriani, Paul Stanley, and Steve Vai all use Ibanez guitars because of their unmatched hard-rock capabilities. Along with a Floyd Rose tremolo system, Ibanez electric guitars give you the ability to do things other guitar brands simply do not.
In some ways they are a cross between Gibson and Fender. They have a similar body style to a Stratocaster while using the dual-coil pickups of a Les Paul. These guitars are primarily for rocking out and testing the limits of guitar engineering. If you want to shred with the best, go ahead and try one!
Jackson is another brand that has re-interpreted the nature of guitar music. This is a brand you will rarely find outside of the metal and rock genres. Their guitars are designed to sound great with heavy distortion or on a clean channel.
If you want to play modern rock, a Jackson guitar is a great choice. Famous for their Floyd Rose Tremolo system, they offer guitars that range from $199 to $1,299 so there is something for everyone.
Ready to Start Playing?
Hopefully you found this list of the best guitar brands helpful. By now you know where to shop for guitars, but have you found a place to advance your playing skills? TakeLessons offers private, one-on-one guitar lessons with experienced and qualified teachers.
If you’re not ready to purchase private lessons yet, check out the free online guitar classes at Takelessons Live. At no cost, you can join a group of like-minded learners and begin taking classes on your own schedule.
Did we leave any notable guitar brands off this list? Let us know who you’d add in a comment below!