What Kind of Bluegrass Guitar Should I Buy?

The great thing about bluegrass music is that it doesn’t require its players to have formal education or technical expertise in playing a musical instrument. Thus, when shopping for a bluegrass guitar, you don’t have to worry about picking out something you have previous knowledge of using. Just choose which one appeals to you most!

Characteristics of Bluegrass Guitars


This is a classic instrument used for producing bluegrass music as the use of electric musical instruments had not been welcomed by country music pros in the old days. Most bluegrass musical instruments are, in fact, acoustic in nature.


This basically refers to the structure of the guitar. A flattop guitar has a central hole in the middle and glued directly on top of it is the bridge.

Six String

Finally, you’ll notice that most guitars used for bluegrass music have six strings, usually medium gauge.


For tone woods, bluegrass guitars may be made of mahogany or rosewood. Tone woods consist of the sides and the back of your guitar and they’re mainly responsible for shaping your guitar’s overall tone.

If you want a deeper and stronger bass sound then you’ll need to look for a rosewood guitar. Popular bluegrass artists that favor rosewood guitars include Jack Lawrence and Tony Rice. Mahogany guitars, on the other hand, are better at creating distinctive treble sounds. Famous bluegrass artists that prefer the latter type include Kenny Smith and Doc Watson.

Soundboards or the top of your guitar are responsible for maintaining the quality and strength of your guitar’s basic tone. It also determines how responsive your guitar can be to the strum of your fingers.

Spruce is commonly used for making soundboards, but this wood comes with various sub-types. Sitka, resilient but lightweight, is the most commonly used type of spruce for producing top woods. First generation bluegrass artists, however, had been known to favor guitars with top woods made from red spruce or Adirondack.

More Tips for Buying the Ideal Bluegrass Guitar

Don’t choose a guitar randomly. Research the pros and cons of each guitar. Find out what type of guitar your favorite bluegrass guitarist is using. Would you like to create a similar tune?

If possible, have a professional or someone with considerable knowledge and experience playing the guitar accompany you on your shopping trip. You’ll have a more accurate time determining the kind of sounds a guitar can produce when you have a pro play it.

Last but not the least, remember that each and every acoustic guitar is unique so be sure to choose one that reflects your style best.

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