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The 7 Best Reggae Guitars
Reggae guitars or rather guitars use for
reggae comes in all shapes and forms. Almost any guitar can be used for reggae. With this in mind here are some of the most popular reggae guitars.
1. The Fender
Off all the reggae guitars, the fender
Stratocaster is the most popular. Not many reggae guitarists are aware
that Bob Marley at one point used one. See his Stir It Up video for more
It is Eric Clapton’s main go to axe, so
it is not surprising that he used one on the covered version of I Shot The Sheriff. Stratocasters are very versatile instruments and they make excellent reggae guitars.
Any reggae guitarist who is worth his salt should have one
in their collection.
2. The Fender
I have said in the reggae guitar article that the Tele is the best suited guitar for reggae, of
all the reggae guitars. It lends itself to the chuck/chop every
well. Additionally, reggae lead guitarists sometimes play along with the
bass line while muting the strings and the Tele gives the best sound when this technique is
The chicken picking sound that the Tele
gives is also very similar to some of the lead sounds you hear in many reggae songs and because of the
natural brightness of the Tele, this makes them even more ideal reggae guitars. Cat Core from Third World has been using one for years.
3. Gibson Les
If you want a fatter sound then look no
further than the Gibson Les Paul reggae guitars. And listen to this, they even
make a Bob Marley signature model. For lead work especially it really
shines through because of its amazing sustain.
Reggae vocals for California based reggae group Rebelution is song
by Eric Rachmany and he uses a Les Paul and so did Marley and countless others. Gibson tends to be pricy so
look at other similar models.
4. PRS Custom 24/22
PRS is not making the Custom 22 any
more, so you could pick one up for cheap if you are lucky and they are very good for reggae.
Any of these two reggae guitars will give you a nice sound that sits between a
Fender and a Gibson. These guitars are especially good for reggae
rock. Lukes from Morgans Heritage sometimes play one.
So check them out.
The Gibson SG is also a very good guitar
for reggae which like the LP its cousin, gives a fat sound. The lead guitarist for Peter
Tosh used many reggae guitars but, his Gibson SG was his favourite. And you can understand why
when you listen to the lead solo in Johnny Be Good. Check it out
The Parker Fly series of guitars are
also very good but are some what pricey. If you are after a different
kind of sound have a look at them. Contemporary Reggae Guitarist Dwight
Pinkney and Andrew Simpson (one of my favourite Reggae guitarist) who sometimes play for Morgans Heritage
sometimes play one. Nice reggae guitars.
7. Ibanez SG
As a company Ibanez just seems to get
better and better and they make some wonderful budget guitars which could be used as reggae
guitars. The best ones however for reggae are the SG Series. They are out and out Rock
Guitars but, if you play a lot of lead guitar then these will sit well with you. Audley Chisholm and Andrew Simpson sometimes play one, so they are worth
There are other makes and style of
guitars out there that you could use but, the ones I have mentioned are the most popular. I did not mention any
acoustic reggae guitars since any good acoustic guitars will do and reggae guitarist aren’t that picky when
it comes on to acoustic reggae guitars – they are not used that much.
If you are into reggae jazz then have a look at the Gibson
335 and the ES 175 or even some of the Ibanez jazz boxes. Look also at
other companies, there’re many out there that makes very good reggae jazz
Update: I recently purchased the
Ibanez AS153 AYS and its a fantastic guitar for the price and for reggae. The quality is so good that
you would be forgiven if you thought it cost in the thousands. You can get some nice fat
tones out of it, but if you are after some single coil kind of vibe, it can give you that with the triad
witch. A lovely guitar for reggae indeed. I will review it in an article soon.
Good luck! Click the link
for more on how to play reggae