Folk guitars are gorgeous instruments that create intimacy with fingerpicking while also belting out a luscious tone when strummed.
When it comes to choosing the perfect folk guitars, there is a lot of choices. This guide has done all of the hard work for you.
We have meticulously narrowed down folk guitars into the following categories; Best Overall, Best Runner Up, Best Budget, Best Under $200, Alternative One, Alternative Two. Finally, we finish with a Frequently Asked Questions section.
Good folk guitars are easy to find, but great folk guitars are harder to come by. Fortunately, we have you covered. So buckle up and end get your folk guitar geek on!
What Is A Folk Style Guitar?
A folk-style guitar is made to produce a balanced sound. Unlike dreadnoughts or jumbo-sized guitars, folk guitars emanate an even tone perfect for fingerpicking and strumming alike.
Flat-topped acoustic guitars make the perfect acoustic guitar for playing folk music. They are the magic ingredient that gives the authentic folk sound.
A guitar that is rich in bass, balanced in the midsection and adds a sparkly shine on the top is ideal for folk music. Fortunately, the greatest folk guitars can be found in this blog!
Folk Music Guitars – What is a folk sized guitar?
A genuine folk size guitar is the 000 size. Perfect for playing fingerstyle and small enough to travel around, a folk sized guitar is a must-have addition to any guitar collection.
Best Overall Folk Acoustic – Gibson L-00 Studio Walnut Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Loved by blues and folk players for its unique sound, the small-bodied Gibson L-00 Studio Walnut is easy to play and is an excellent addition to any collection. Gibson folk guitars are heroes in the genre.
The L-00 Studio offers one of Gibson’s most famous icon guitars built with walnut back and sides. Available in both Antique Natural and hand-sprayed Walnut Burst finish. It is a folk acoustic guitar that simply rocks!
This superb folk guitar is finished with an L.R. Baggs Element Bronze pickup for easy studio quality plug and play anywhere! It is the best guitar for folk music that is not to be missed!
Best Gibson Folk Guitars Specifications
Neck Material: Mahogany
Profile: Advanced Response
Scale Length: 24.75″
Fingerboard Material: Walnut
Fingerboard Radius: 16″
Number Of Frets: 19
Nut Material: Tusq
Nut Width: 1.725″
Inlays: Mother-of-pearl dots
Joint: Compound Dovetail Neck-to-body
Body Shape: L-00
Top: Sitka spruce
Bracing: Traditional hand
Best Runner Up Folk Acoustic – Martin 000-15M StreetMaster Guitar
Enjoy the look and feel of a well-loved guitar with the StreetMaster. This 00015M delivers a robust sound thanks to its beautiful all-mahogany construction. It is a perfect folk size guitar.
The Martin 000-15M StreetMaster Acoustic Guitar model is built to the same specifications as the 000-15M model, but Martin has added a beautifully distressed satin finish.
Martin Guitar has expanded their popular solid mahogany 15 Series with a respectful nod to the working musician. Quite simply, the Martin 000-15M is the best guitar for folk fingerpicking.
The StreetMaster is perfect for your next gig, whether it be at the historic Ryman Theater or a day of busking in the big city. Enjoy the look and feel of a well-worn instrument with the lifetime warranty and the superb playability of a brand new guitar.
The 15 Series StreetMaster models come with a gig bag making them ready to hit the streets! A true contender for the best guitar for folk music.
Martin Folk Guitars Specifications
Model: 000-15M StreetMaster
Construction: Simple Dovetail Neck Joint
Size: 000-14 Fret
Back Detail: None
Back Purfling/Strip: None
Nut Material: Bone
Headstock Shape: Solid with Square Taper
Headplate Material: Mahogany
Headplate Logo Style: Script Old Style Overlay
Scale Length: 25.4″
Neck Joins Body At: 14th Fret
Number of Frets Total: 20
Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1 11/16”
Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2 1/8″
Fingerboard Inlay Material: Abalone
Fingerboard Inlay Style: Diamonds and Squares Short Pattern
Fingerboard Binding Material: None
Side Dots: Yellow
Back and Side Finish: Satin
Back and Sides Color: Dark Mahogany
Finish Top: Satin
Top Color: Mahogany Burst
Finish Neck: Satin
Neck Color: Dark Mahogany
Best Budget Folk Acoustic – Seagull Coastline S6 Cedar Folk
With its solid Sitka spruce top, gorgeous wild cherry back and sides, and superb Godin QIT electronics, the S6 Original offers a ton of bang for your buck.
Winner of several awards, the Seagull S6 Original QIT Acoustic-Electric Guitar is perhaps the instrument that best represents the Seagull philosophy.
The S6 folk guitar offers entry-level players the opportunity to experience the great feel and superb sound provided by a hand-finished neck, select solid spruce top and a custom polished finish.
This model includes Godin Quantum IT electronics with a built-in tuner. The seagull coastline s6 cedar folk is a mean machine!
The Godin EPM Quantum IT acoustic guitar system is simple in design and outstanding in performance.
In combination with the transducer, the EQ control range and frequency content have been specifically contoured to provide a vibrant and full sound reproduction resulting in performance seen only in far more complex systems.
Features volume, treble and bass controls as well as a built-in tuner with auto shut-off.
A solid top vibrates much more freely than a laminated top. This results in a richer tone, better dynamic range and a better balance of tone.
Not only does a solid top sound better initially, over time, the vibrations from playing the guitar result in the top vibrating more and more freely. As a result, this Seagull folk guitar is a phenomenal budget option.
This phenomenon is called ‘aging’, which means that the more the guitar is played, the better the guitar will sound.
It is important to remember in order for a guitar to age, it must be played. So a guitar left in its case for five years will get older, but it will not ‘age’. However, the Seagull S6 Folk Guitar is hard to put down!
Seagull S6 Folk Guitars Specifications
Body Depth: 4.9″
Body Length: 19.8″
Lower Bout: 15.87″
Nut Width: 1.8″
Upper Bout: 11.38″
Best Guitar For Folk Music Under $200
The Fender CD-60 V3 Dreadnought is an incredible value for beginners, featuring scalloped X-bracing, a spruce top, and laminated mahogany back and sides.
The CD-60 dreadnought boasts features you’d expect on much more expensive instruments, with a spruce top and a gloss polyurethane finish. A folk guitar music hero!
Fender CD-60 V3 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Upgrades include a black pickguard and mother-of-pearl acrylic rosette design, walnut bridge with compensated saddle, white bridge pins with black dots and smaller (3mm) dot fingerboard inlays.
Features include scalloped “X”-bracing, black body binding, 20-fret fingerboard, dual-action truss rod and die-cast tuners. Hardshell case included too. Fender folk guitars are leading the field.
Fender CD-60 V3 Guitar Specification
Series: Classic Design
Body Shape: Dreadnought
Body Top: Laminated Spruce
Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany
Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
Bracing: Scalloped X
Rosette: White Pearloid Acrylic
Neck: Mahogany, “C” Shape
Neck Finish: Gloss
Fingerboard: Walnut, 11.81″ (300 mm)
Position Inlays: Pearloid Dots
Nut (Material/Width): Creme Plastic, 1.69″ (43 mm)
Alternative One – Folk Nylon
Already embraced for its slim neck and easy playability, the Ibanez AEG series is renewed with the AEG50N, featuring updated electronics and an all-new look.
The AEG, a compact body electric acoustic guitar with a slim neck, has been well-accepted for its easy playability for more than two decades. A perfect nylon folk guitar!
Ibanez is proud to announce that the AEG series has been renewed with updated electronics and looks. The changes were based on the concept, “simple and easy control.”
The AEG50N starts with a new preamp, an Ibanez AEQ-TTS. The small and simple preamp has only two control knobs, volume and shape. This at-a-glance tone control offers natural acoustic sound in the center position.
Ibanez folk guitars are one of the leading players for a reason!
Ibanez AEG50N Acoustic-Electric Classical Guitar
It allows players to adjust the tone easily and enables them to go from low, fat and powerful tones to a bright and crispy sound while adjusting only one knob.
A new easy-to-read onboard tuner with LCD(liquid crystal display) is located on the preamp. When it comes to guitars for folk music, the Ibanez AEG50N needs to be carefully considered.
This AEG50 with Nylon strings comes with a simplified rosette, a binding and ornamentation on the headstock.
These finer details add a sharp and stylish atmosphere to the guitar. Other features include a spruce top, a Sapele back & sides body, and an Ibanez T-bar II Undersaddle pickup that equalizes the volume from each string and delivers a well-balanced signal.
Ibanez AEG50N Specifications
Body: AEG Body
Back & Sides: Sapele
Bridge and Fretboard: Walnut
Tuners: Chrome Die-cast Tuners
Pickup: Ibanez T-Bar pickup
Electronics: AEQ-TTS Preamp W/Onboard Tuner
Finish: Black High Gloss Finish
Alternative Two – Electric Guitar For Folk
When you walk out on stage holding a Bigsby-bridge G5422TG with a double-cut body for easy high-fret access, the audience will know you’re there to rock.
No nonsense, Electromatic hollow-body guitars are the perfect real, pure and powerful Gretsch instruments. The Gretsch G5422TG is a beast of a folk electric guitar.
They’re your next-step Gretsch—bold, dynamic and articulate, and crafted with essential Gretsch sound, style and playability.
The Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Hollowbody Double Cutaway Electric Guitar H2
Sleek yet aggressive, the Gretsch G5422TG Electromatic Hollow Body Double Cutaway Electric Guitar has a thinner, fully hollow build with a true Filter’Tron voice that captures the resonant hollow-body sound with a more present and chiming voice.
Like all Electromatic guitars, it delivers the fearless and electrifying authenticity that has set Gretsch apart as the quintessential rock ‘n’ roll guitars from the very beginning. It’s the sound of honor itself—play proud.
Premium features include dual Black TopFilter’tron humbucking pickups, versatile upgraded controls, including a master volume treble bleed circuit.
Also included oversized bound F-holes, aged multi-ply body binding, and smaller ones late-’50s G6120 bound headstock, Graph Tech NuBone nut, Pearloid Hump Block inlays, and a Bigsby B60 vibrato tailpiece.
The Gretsch G5422TG Specifications
Model Name: G5422TG Electromatic Hollow Body Double-Cut with Bigsby
Series: Gretsch Electromatic Collection
Country Of Origin: KR
Color: Snow Crest White
Body: 5-Ply Maple
Body Finish: Gloss
Body Shape: Electromatic Hollow Body
Neck Material: Maple
Neck Finish: Gloss Urethane
Scale Length: 24.6″ (625 mm)
Fingerboard Radius: 12″ (305 mm)
Number of Frets: 22
Frets Size: Medium Jumbo
Frequently Asked Questions
Folk Guitar VS Acoustic Guitar – What’s The Difference?
Acoustic guitars are synonymous with folk music. An acoustic guitar can play folk music, but there are subtle differences between an acoustic guitar and a folk guitar.
For example, an acoustic guitar has a pickguard; true folk guitars do not. The tuning pegs can be found in a slightly different position on a folk guitar, and often, folk guitars have slightly wider necks than traditional acoustics.
However, in 2022 acoustic guitars and folk guitars are one in the same thing.
What are Parlor Guitars?
Parlor guitars are easily recognized by their shape. Perfect for folk music, they are compact and feature a narrow waist.
Their small size is smaller than a Martin size 0. they are called parlor guitars due to the old reception rooms they were regularly played in.
What is the best Parlor guitar?
We adore the Breedlove Organic Signature Parlor Concertina Acoustic-Electric Guitar when it comes to true Parlour guitars. It is a folk music guitar with a kick.
Crafted entirely out of all-solid tonewoods, the Breedlove Organic Signature Concertina produces clean, balanced, and superb sound with a warm midrange tone.
The all-solid tonewood Signature Parlor Concertina Copper E is a groundbreaking all-solid sitka spruce & mahogany, small bodied, acoustic-electric guitar.
Not only are they crafted with all-solid tonewoods at a staggeringly approachable price point, but also, the tonewoods are sustainably and ethically sourced and are always clear-cut free.
The FSC certified European spruce top is torrefied, resulting in a more mature sound and tone, and a top that’s less susceptible to movement with humidification changes. The small Concertina body shape produces a clean, balanced and superb sound with a warm midrange tone.
Breedlove’s Natural Sound Electronics sound better, are more reliable and put the controls right where you need them – in the sound hole for quick on-the-strum access. You will sound better, play better, and play more on a Breedlove Signature Series guitar.
You will sound better, play better and play more on a Breedlove.
Folk or Parlor Guitars?
When it comes to choosing between Folk and Parlor Guitars, in all honesty, it’s your call. Parlor guitars are perfect for acoustic recordings due to the distinguished sound that they produce.
Parlor guitars edge folk guitars as they are perfect for travelling; their sound is incredible considering their smaller size.
Folk Guitars VS Dreadnoughts
What is the difference between a folk and a dreadnought guitar? As stated above, folk guitars tend to have a balance, full rounded sound. Dreadnoughts, on the other hand, are bass-heavy. As a result, they produce a sound that is rich in the low end.
There is a place in the world for a gorgeous dreadnought, and some would argue that location is indeed in folk music.
How much is a Folk Guitar?
Like any other guitars, folk guitars dramatically vary in price. However, starting at a couple of hundred bucks, they can easily run into thousands of dollars. This blog has covered the best folk guitars for sale for every budget.
Things that influence the instrument’s price are; the neck material, the body material, the cost of labour (where they are made), whether they are hand made or mass-produced, the finishing, the electrics used, the list goes on.
What’s the best Yamaha folk guitar?
When it comes to a Yamaha folk guitar, the FG800 packs a big punch!
The Yamaha FG800 folk acoustic guitar features a dreadnought body style, solid spruce top, rosewood fretboard and scalloped bracing for a 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 an excellent instrument for intimate performances, but it also projects a big sound when you get a little more aggressive. Fender Folk Guitars do not come any finer!
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’!
Guitars for Folk Music
The dreadnought body shape is iconic in its name and contour. But, aside from providing a comfortable feel and evoking roughly a century of cultural influence, it produces a resonance that can go from “purr” to “roar” in a simple strum.
The FG800’s solid spruce top generates a crisp, well-articulated projection, and the nato/okume back and sides will focus on the low and middle frequencies.
In addition, the scalloped bracing inside the body gives your playing plenty of punch for a strictly acoustic instrument.
Whether you’re into a more intimate folk-inspired fingerpicking technique or loud and more aggressive Flatpicking, your Yamaha FG800 is ready to heed your call.
From its attractive spruce top, stylish black binding, and tasteful tortoise pickguard to its smooth and comfortable nato neck, this axe is a great asset to have for practice or to use as a backup guitar if your main axe breaks a string in the middle of your set.
We hope you enjoyed our extensive guide to folk guitars. They are rewarding instruments that are enjoyable to play.
Also, there are a few more notable folk guitars that simply deserve mentioning. Check out the Simon and Patrick Woodland Pro, Norman B20 Folk, Yamaha fg710s, TWUF, and Santa Rosa Folk Guitar Company.
Please drop any questions or comments below, and we will be sure to get back to you.