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The 7 Best Reggae Guitars


Reggae guitars or rather guitars use for reggae comes in all shapes and forms. AlmostReggae Guitars any guitar can be used for reggae. With this in mind here are some of the most popular reggae guitars.  


1. The Fender Stratocaster


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 on this.


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 Telecaster


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 used.


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 Paul


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.


5.  Gibson SG


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 also.


6.  Parker Fly


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 Series


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 checking out.


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 guitars.


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 guitars


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