Folk Guitars: Ultimate Guide to Best Buys (2020)

Folk Guitars
Folk Guitars

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Folk Guitars

Acoustic Guitar – Perfect for Folk Music

When it comes to picking a guitar to play folk music on, acoustic guitars win hands down. 

Generally, the bigger the body of the guitar, the further the sound projection will be. The louder sound, along with a well-balanced tone, is perfect for folk music.

What makes a folk style guitar?

Flat-topped acoustic guitars make the perfect acoustic guitar for playing folk music on. 

A guitar which has a rich bass, balanced mid and shine on the top the notes is perfect for folk.

For fingerstyle and fingerpicking, acoustic guitars need to have the above attributes to give the authentic folk sound. 

Folk guitars for sale – Best Overall

Folk Guitars Martin D28
Folk Guitars – Martin D28

An enduring classic that has traversed generations of players and genres, the 2017 Martin D-28 is updated for a modern playing feel with no tonal compromise.

The Martin D-28 is an absolute classic American dreadnought. Known for its clarity and projection, the D-28 radiates with the same brilliant tones that have endeared Martin guitars to players for generations.

Finely crafted by the Martin luthiers in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, everything about the D-28 makes a statement of extraordinary quality and tonal excellence.

Since 1833, Martin has built guitars of remarkable quality and sound. The dreadnought — one of Martin’s most significant innovations — is legendary for its impeccable balance, clear projection, and robust tone.

The D-28 uses East Indian rosewood for the back and sides to capture the classic Martin depth and definition. The solid Sitka spruce top gives a crispness to the high end which rounds out the tonal picture.

Though closely associated with bluegrass and folk styles of play, the bold sound and immersive character of the D-28 makes this a great choice for players in any genre.

The Marin D18 is another popular choice with folk guitarists. Read our full blog on it here.

Best Runner Up – Gibson J45

Folk Guitar - Gibson J45
Folk Guitar – Gibson J45

As Gibson’s flagship acoustic, the J-45 has been heard on the biggest stages and in the best studios. The spruce and mahogany tonewoods project robust tones.

The J-45 is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic of all time. Nicknamed ‘The Workhorse’ and first introduced in 1942, this iconic acoustic has become the cornerstone of its round-shoulder, dreadnought line.

World renowned for its full, balanced expression, warm bass and excellent projection, the J-45 has been refined to carry this legacy to new heights.

This 2019 model delivers a sound with incredible dynamic range, warm mids, and a tight punchy bass.

Best Folk Guitars – Budget Option

Folk Guitar - Yamaha FG800
Folk Guitar – Yamaha FG800

The Yamaha FG800 acoustic guitar features a dreadnought body style, solid spruce top, rosewood fretboard and scalloped bracing for big, bold acoustic tone.

Whether you’re looking for a starter guitar or a backup to have on stage, the Yamaha FG800 Folk acoustic guitar is a great choice to consider.

Part of Yamaha’s long-running Folk Guitar “FG” series, this attractive acoustic features a solid spruce top with nato and okume back and sides, and a nato neck houses 20 frets spanning a smooth and inviting rosewood fingerboard.

This is a great instrument for intimate performances, but it also projects a big sound when you get a little more aggressive.

The FG800’s dreadnought shape fits comfortably against your body and brings out a nice articulate projection perfect for just about any style or genre — it’s much more than simply a ‘Folk Guitar’!

Best Folk Guitar Under $500

Folk Guitar - 
Guild DS-240
Folk Guitar –
Guild DS-240

Built with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides with a sleek, gloss finish, this Guild DS-240 is a slope shoulder dreadnought with a retro feel.

Here to help you write your own story — the Guild Memoir DS-240. This retro-looking slope shoulder dreadnought is built with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides with a sleek, gloss finish.

The vintage-inspired mother of pearl rosette and Guild Script Logo pay homage to the classic styling of instruments from the 1920s.

The DS-240’s sound is instantly warm, clear and inviting — almost as if its tone has been perfected over years of fireside strumming and family music-making.

Alternative One – Yamaha FG82012

Folk Guitar - Yamaha FG82012
Folk Guitar – Yamaha FG82012

Create tons of chime and chorus-type effects with this 12-string acoustic. The solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides offer superior balanced tone.

The FG has louder and stronger sound in the low- to mid-ranges, thanks to cutting-edge acoustic analysis technology developed by the Yamaha R&D Division.

Yamaha’s engineers have achieved this sound by utilizing analysis and simulation to arrive at the best bracing design without depending on tradition or guesswork.

This analysis led to the development of the new scalloped bracing pattern, an ideal acoustic structure that maintains the durability of the top board while bringing out the most sound the Yamaha FG has to offer.

Alternative 2 – Seagull Guitars

Seagull Guitars
Seagull Guitars

This Seagull S6 Original features a pressure-tested cedar top, a silver leaf maple neck and bold grain patterns under a custom-polished semi-gloss finish.

The award-winning Seagull S6 Original Series gets revamped without compromising the classic appeal it is known for.

Being known as the flagship of the Seagull line, the S6 Original includes a pressure tested cedar top, a silver leaf maple neck, a custom polished semi-gloss finish, and a bolder look on the neck, back and sides.

The combined tone woods and thin yet durable finish allow the S6 to project with a crisp midrange and tight bottom end; making it a tonal essential for any player.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the best folk acoustic guitars?

Classic makers of folk acoustic guitars include Martin & Co, Gibson, and Fender. Certain models have been tried and tested for many years, and there is a reason they come out on top time and time again.

Where Are There Folk Guitars For Sale

ZZounds has a huge collection of folk guitars. They offer the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans, guarantee the lowest price, offer Fast & Free Shipping, makes returns super easy, and deliver top-rated customer service. It’s a no brainer.

What’s the best folk guitars for beginners?

Luna Acoustic Guitars are one of the fastest-growing guitar brands in 2020.

Their solid top instruments produce a great sound, and the smaller-bodied guitars make for a comfortable playing experience.

Luna Acoustic Guitar Price

The price of luna acoustic guitars are super competitive and make them an affordable option for any musician. Check out our Luna Acoustic Guitar: Best Buys (2020).

What is the best size for a folk size guitar?

There are many variants of acoustic guitar sizes. These include Parlor, Concert, Grand Concert, Dreadnought, and Jumbo. For a full guide, see here.

Folk guitars vs dreadnoughts

For us, dreadnoughts win in the folk guitar size war. They offer even tone with the added bonus of a rich bass that shines in fingerpicking and fingerstyle playing.

The booming projection is another massive draw of the dreadnought. The bass, luscious mids and singing top notes have a balanced projection which is a winner every time.

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