Best Guitars for Reggae

The genre of reggae usually if not always incorporates guitars into its bands. That’s why it’s crucial for you to pick up a good-sounding guitar to rip some reggae.

We spent a nice amount of time researching the best guitars for reggae. We went over a bunch of guitars to check the tone, sound, and features to see how well it fits in the reggae world.

After that, we compiled all of our data into this article. We will go through each detail of each reggae guitar and put it all on a silver platter so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Our Verdict

The Fender Player Stratocaster was the obvious decision. It’s been an all-time favorite among guitarists even outside of the reggae world. It’s got fabulous tones, a comfortable playing experience, and is extremely versatile. Bob Marley himself chose the Fender Stratocaster for everyday use. This guitar definitely fits the reggae vibe.

Reggae Guitar Mini Reviews

In this section of the article, we will go over each reggae guitar and take a close look at it features.

1. Fender Player Statocaster


  • Body Material: Alder
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Maple
  • Strings: Fender .009-.042

The Fender Player Strat guitar was the obvious choice. It’s well-rounded in its features and has got everything you need with great quality. Its sound is nice and bright which is great to fit that reggae vibe.

It uses alder wood for the body which has a lot of elasticity which gives it top-notch quality sound. The rest of the guitar’s wood is maple which is a go-to when it comes to guitars.

Its strings are fender’s .009-.042 which is more on the light side. It may not be as durable as heavy gauge strings, but it definitely gives it the bright sound you are looking for in reggae.

2. Fender Player Plus Nashville Telecaster


  • Body Material: Alder
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Pau Ferro
  • Strings: Fender .009-.046

The Fender Player plus Nashville telecaster is a very similar guitar, it’s a bit pricier but in my humble opinion, it looks really nice. I love how the color looks on it.

They also made this guitar with an alder body and maple neck. The fingerboard, however, has Pau Ferro wood. This wood is denser than rosewood which prevents frequency absorption. This results in a brighter and snappier tone. Which again, is great for reggae.

The bottom line is the fender player plus Nashville Tele is a great fit for reggae, however; it’s right under the Fender strat since it’s a bit more expensive, and I feel you can still get great quality with the strat and spend a little less. If you wanna go the extra mile I would definitely go for the tele. It’s got great and bright sound, and it’s very stylish.

3. Gibson Les Paul Studio Plus


  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Neck material: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Strings: Gibson .010-.046

The Gibson Les Paul guitar is a classic, it was a guitar I couldn’t not mention. This guitar is more expensive and not as stylish in my opinion. But everything else is great. The sound like all the others is happy and bright.

The body and neck use mahogany which gives it a nice balanced sound. The rosewood fingerboard is the default fingerboard, nothing too crazy.

Something they preach is its comfort. If that is something really important to you and you like the way it looks, then I would go for it!

(On amazon we linked to an Epiphone Les Paul. It’s very similar to the Gibson Les Paul. If you still want the Gibson you can buy it on Sweetwater)

4. PRS SE Custom 24


  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Strings: PRS Classic .009-.042

On this guitar, the price is back down and the style is great. There is nothing super special about the woods it’s the simple ones that most guitars have. They’re still higher quality though. It’s quite similar to our top pick the fender strat so if you like the style better on this one then I would say go for it.

5. Ibanez GRX20


  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Fingerboard Material: Jatoba
  • Strings: .009-.042

This guitar from Ibanez is a great option for beginners. If you thought the other guitars were too expensive for you then this would be great for you. It’s still got some style while keeping the cost low. It might not be as qualitative, but it’s definitely something to be excited about when you are paying so little.

6. Squier Bullet Telecaster by Fender

This guitar is a simple telecaster by fender. There is nothing much to it but it’s great for beginners who wanna get started on their reggae journey without breaking the budget. It’s got the simple qualities that every guitar would need and it comes with almost everything to start off as a beginner. It comes with an amp, a strap, some picks, and more. Most of the guitars on this list are quite expensive, that’s why this is a great choice for people who don’t wanna break the bank.

Cool Electric Guitar Colors We Saw

As we were researching, we stumbled across a couple of crazy colors. I just had to share.

What to look for in a Reggae Guitar?

In this section of the article, we will go over what makes a great guitar for reggae.

This is how we developed the list in the article. But if you wanna make a decision for yourself, here is everything you need to know! Here is our reggae guitar buyer guide.

1. Bright Sound

Reggae is the genre you here when you’re on vacation. There’s a reason for that. It’s meant to be relaxing. Reggae isn’t all about a good baseline or crazy distortion. Its specialty is in its bright and soothing sound.

That’s why you should probably look into a guitar that gives off bright sounds. You mostly find that in light gauge strings. Check out more info on guitar strings in our best acoustic guitar strings article.

2. Strong strings

For every genre, you probably want strings that last. But there is a specific reason for reggae. A big part of reggae is the chord progressions, everything else is really to provide the same flavor. But it’s not just any chord progression, reggae chord progressions are a bit different.

In other genres, you simply strum through the strings and let them ring. In reggae, it’s all about those short noted chords. You strum and then a millisecond later the sound is cut. With that, you might find yourself strumming quite hard to get that chord in quickly.

Most pros don’t have this issue, they’re able to have light gauge strings to get some brightness while still being gentle on the strings. But for most beginners, you should really look into something with strong strings that will withstand those quick chords. Also, I recommend stronger strings to beginners anyway so they wouldn’t have to keep buying new sets of strings. Most beginners would feel uncomfortable doing that.

3. Sounds good with reverb

Reggae sounds great with reverb. Reverb gives lots of resonance which sounds great with the reggae vibe. So you should probably look into a guitar that you like the way it sounds with reverb.

Here is a great video on reggae essentials:

Final Thoughts

There you have it! our list of best guitars for reggae.

Just to recap, look at our mini reviews and look at each products specs and features and see what talks to you most. 

If you are still not sure, you can check out the buyers guide to give you all the information you need to know before buying a reggae guitar.

If you are bored, check the “cool colors we saw” section. We listed some of the interesting colors we saw while researching. (you are not gonna believe how much some of them cost)

For specifically red electric guitars check out our best red electric guitars page.

Hope you enjoyed!

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