The Best Guitars for Folk Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


In order to help you choose the best guitar for folk music, we’ve put together this list of our top picks. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect guitar on this list.


Folk music often conjures up images of guitarists sitting around a campfire, plucking away at their instruments and singing songs about love, loss, and wanderlust. The genre has been around for centuries and continues to be popular to this day. While any guitar can be used for folk music, some are better suited for the style than others. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best guitars for folk music and give you some tips on what to look for when choosing your own instrument.

Acoustic guitars are the most popular type of guitar used in folk music. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small travel guitars to large dreadnought models. If you’re just starting out, we recommend going with a smaller guitar like a parlor or concert model. These guitars are easier to carry around and will be more comfortable to play if you’re not used to the larger body size of a dreadnought. If you’ve been playing for a while or have larger hands, then a dreadnought might be a better option for you.

When it comes to acoustic guitars, there are two main types: steel-string and classical (also known as nylon-string). Steel-string guitars are the most common type of acoustic guitar and are typically what people think of when they think of an “acoustic guitar.” They’re well suited for folk music because they have a bright, clear sound that can projection well in an outdoor setting. Classical guitars have a warmer sound that is well suited for fingerpicking styles of play. They’re not as common as steel-strings, but they’re gaining in popularity among folk musicians.

In terms of specific models, there are too many great acoustic guitars out there to list them all here. Instead, we’ll give you some general tips on what to look for when choosing an acoustic guitar for folk music. First, make sure the guitar has good action—the strings should be close to the fretboard but not so close that they buzz when you play them. Second, choose a guitar with comfortable neck dimensions—the width and depth of the neck should feel comfortable in your hand without being too small or too big. Finally, try out several different types of strings on the guitar before making your final decision—different strings will produce different sounds on the same guitar so it’s important to find something that suits your personal style and preferences.

In addition to acoustic guitars, electric guitars can also be used for playing folk music. Electric guitars typically have a brighter sound than acoustics and can be plugged into an amplifier to provide even more volume if needed. Many electro-acoustic models also exist which combine the best features of both acoustic and electric guitars into one instrument—these are great options if you plan on playing both solo and with a band or group of other musicians

What is Folk Music?

Folk music is a genre of music that typically uses acoustic instruments and emphasizes traditional, often handmade instruments and songs. Folk music has its roots in the oral traditions of cultures around the world, and has been passed down through generations by oral tradition. Folk music has been adapted to different styles and genres over time, and is often used to describe music that is specific to a particular region or culture.

The Best Guitars for Folk Music

Folk music is a genre that is often associated with acoustic guitars. If you’re looking for the best guitar to play folk music, you’ll want to find an acoustic guitar that is comfortable for you to play and has a warm, rich sound. In this article, we’ll recommend some of the best guitars for folk music and give you a few tips on how to choose the right guitar for you.

Acoustic Guitars

Folk music has been around for centuries, and the acoustic guitar has been an integral part of the genre for just as long. There are many different types of acoustic guitars available on the market today, so it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for an acoustic guitar that will be perfect for playing folk music.

Body Size
The first thing to consider is the body size of the guitar. Acoustic guitars come in a variety of sizes, from small parlors to large jumbos. The right size for you will depend on your own personal preference and playing style. If you plan on doing a lot of finger-picking, a smaller guitar like a parlor or concert sized instrument might be a good option. If you want a louder sound or plan on doing a lot of strumming, a larger guitar like a dreadnought or jumbo would be better suited for you.

The type of wood used for the construction of the guitar can also affect the sound. Common tonewoods used for acoustic guitars include spruce, cedar, and mahogany. Spruce is typically used for the top (soundboard) of the guitar and is known for its bright sound. Cedar and mahogany are usually used for the back and sides of the guitar and have warmer tones. Again, it’s really up to your personal preference which type of wood you want your guitar to be made out of.

nylon vs steel strings
Another thing to consider is whether you want nylon or steel strings on your acoustic guitar. Nylon strings are typically softer and easier on the fingers, making them a good choice for beginners or those with sensitive hands. Steel strings have a brighter sound but can be harder on the fingers if you’re not used to them. Ultimately, it’s up to you which string material you prefer.

Classical Guitars

There are many different types of guitars that can be used for folk music, but the most popular type is the classical guitar. Classical guitars have a mellower sound that is well suited for the acoustic style of folk music. These guitars are also relatively easy to play, which makes them a good choice for beginners.

If you are looking for a classical guitar, we recommend the following models:

-The Yamaha C40 is a budget-friendly option that produces a rich, full tone. This guitar is also very well-made and designed to last.
-The Cordoba C5 is a step up in terms of quality and tone, and it features a beautiful hand-carved top. This guitar is perfect for intermediate to advanced players.
-The Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor is one of the best travel guitars on the market, and it sounds great despite its small size. This guitar is also very affordable.

Electric Guitars

Electric guitars are a staple in folk music, and there are a few different types that are well suited for this genre. The first is the acoustic-electric guitar, which is a hybrid of an acoustic and electric guitar. These instruments are great for Folk music because they have the full sound of an acoustic guitar but can be amplified when needed. They are also generally very comfortable to play, and their size makes them easy to transport.

Another type of electric guitar that is often used in folk music is the solid body electric guitar. These guitars are designed for amplified sound and generally have a brighter tone than acoustic-electric guitars. They can be played unplugged, but their sound will be significantly quieter than when they are plugged in. Solid body electric guitars are a good choice for folk musicians who want to be able to switch between playing acoustically and being amplified.

The last type of electric guitar that is commonly used in folk music is the hollow body electric guitar. These instruments have a full, rich sound and are often used in jazz or blues as well as folk. They can be played unplugged, but they will sound best when they are plugged into an amplifier. Hollow body electric guitars can be more difficult to transport than other types of electric guitars because of their size, but they offer a unique sound that is perfect for many folk songs.


In conclusion, the best guitar for folk music is the one that suits your personal style and preferences the most. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, so try out a few different models before making your final decision. With so many great options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect instrument for your needs.

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