The eclectic genre of reggae music often incorporates guitars into its instrumentation. Many reggae bands include at least one guitarist, if not more. Choosing a guitar for reggae isn’t always easy, so I’ve written this guide to help you find the best for you.
I tested 7 products and found Fender Player Stratocaster HSS to be the Best guitar for reggae.
Stratocaster-style guitars are perfect for the reggae genre, and this HSS Player edition has a great twist for reggae. This guitar has all the features you need for a killer reggae tone. The unique element of this guitar is that it features a humbucker pickup in the bridge position, rather than a traditional single coil.
This change in pickups brings a different edge to the sound of the guitar, which I think lends itself well to the genre of reggae. It goes without saying that this Fender guitar is built to meet the high standards of the manufacturer
Reggae is a classic genre for guitarists. Many great reggae songs involve the use of guitars. I’ve always enjoyed trying to make a great reggae tone. It can take a long time to find your dream guitar, trust me! I wrote this guide to help you work out what the best reggae guitar is for you!
The best guitar for reggae for you depends on your style, skill level, budget, and taste.
There are many popular reggae guitars out there. Whether you play reggae rhythm guitar, or if you are the lead guitarist, I’m here to help you find the perfect new instrument!
Keep reading for our full review of the Best guitar for reggae!
Best guitar for reggae in our tests
- Fender Player Stratocaster HSS
- Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster
- EART Studio Les Paul Electric Guitar
- Ibanez 6 String (GRX20WWH)
- Squier by Fender Bullet Telecaster
- Squier Bullet Strat HT
Best guitar for reggae Reviewed in Detail
The Fender Stratocaster is a very popular electric guitar for reggae, and it has been played by many guitarists in the reggae scene. This Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is one of the best guitars for reggae, featuring a great combination of pickups.
The Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is the perfect guitar for getting a killer reggae tone, featuring a humbucking pick-up for warm, fuzzy sound, and two powerful single coils for a clean, cutting tone. The humbucker gives you a rich and smooth bottom end, while the single-coil pickup in the middle gives you the bright, snappy sound that is perfect for ska and rocksteady.
The Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is a versatile electric guitar that is built to be played as part of a band. The guitar features an alder body, a maple neck, and a rosewood fretboard. It’s also comfortable because it has a light body. This guitar has comfortable features for the left hand, with a maple fretboard using jumbo frets.
It has a light body and is easy to play with. It is a good choice for beginners or experienced musicians that are looking for an electric guitar that can be used for different styles of music.
- Body Material: Alder
- Fretboard: 22 x Maple
- Pickup Configuration: 1 x Humbucker, 2 x Single-Coil.
Pros & Cons:
- Mixture of humbucking and single-coil pickups for broader tone options.
- High-quality, reliable Fender construction.
- Strong tuning stability, even with pitch bending tremolo.
- Very low noise floor on pickups.
The Fender Player Stratocaster HSS is the perfect guitar for getting a killer reggae tone. The combination of pickups makes this a must-have for any reggae guitarist. It perfectly captures the traditional reggae sound and excels as a lead guitar with bright sounding single coils and a humbucker with a fatter sound.Check Price on Amazon
– – –
The Fender Nashville Telecaster is a vintage Telecaster with more pickups than a traditional telecaster. This Telecaster is perfect for reggae, rock, blues, and beyond. The Fender Nashville Telecaster bridges the gap between Fender’s iconic Telecaster and the raging sound of Nashville Session-style Tele pickups with this iconic guitar.
The Fender Nashville Telecaster has been a classic since its introduction in the ’50s. This version has a single Vintage Noiseless Strat pickup for the middle position and two Noiseless Tele pickups for bridge and neck. The work done by Fender craftsmen shows. With new cloth wiring and pots, this guitar is ready for performance.
The sounds are there at your fingertips with the 5-way switch giving you a choice of tones, the neck pickup is great for kicking out those twangy licks and the bridge pickup is equally versatile in its tone. With Fender’s Nashville Telecaster, you can play in a variety of cool tones by switching between the different pickups. The tone-shaping possibilities are limitless with this cool vintage-style guitar.
The Nashville neck has an oil-finished maple fingerboard with a 12” radius, contoured neck heel for playing ease, and vintage-style Fender machine heads. The 12” radius fingerboard is contoured to fit comfortably under your hand while the string-through-body design allows you to get more sustain out of your playing.
- Body Material: Alder
- Fretboard: 22 x Maple
- Pickup Configuration: 2 x Telecaster single coils, 1 x Stratocaster single-coil
Pros & Cons:
- Includes 3 pickups, 1 more than standard Telecasters.
- The style of a telecaster, with a Stratocaster sound twist.
- Superior Fender quality.
The Nashville Telecaster is a faithful reproduction of Fender’s most famous electric guitar, the Telecaster. Produced with a six-saddle string-through-body design, this instrument features improved intonation and an incredibly clear and dynamic sound. Pair this with a Fender Twin Reverb amp and you’ve got yourself a beastly reggae guitar setup.Check Price on Amazon
– – –
The Gibson Les Paul Special is known to be a good reggae guitar, but unfortunately is rare and expensive. This EART Studio is the affordable Les Paul you’ve been looking for.
The classic, comfortable feel, and tone of a classic Les Paul is now available at an affordable price, with premium-quality components designed to last. This is the guitar you’ll want to take to all your reggae jams sessions.
You will love the fresh, dark tone and rich sustain. The best part of the Roasted Mahogany and Okoume Body and Neck is that they’re made to last. With a long life span, these beauties are a joy to play with. The roasting process makes the body and neck more stable, while the deep lower horn cut makes it easier to access the higher frets.
The EART Studio Les Paul is a high-quality electric guitar that is perfect for those reggae solos, melodic leads, and warm rhythm playing. The Golden Burst finish gives the guitar a sleek look that complements its mid-focused sound. The two pickups provide warmth with a midrange emphasis and excellent sustain.
This guitar is designed with simplicity in mind, it comes with a thin body and neck for playing fast, powerful chords and solos. This guitar has an excellent fat sound that’s perfect for a crunchy lead guitar tone. It sounds good no matter what amp you play it through, which is a blessing given the price tag.
- Body Material: Mahogany and Okoume
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Pickup Configuration: 2 x Humbuckers
Pros & Cons:
- Affordable Les Paul style guitar.
- Fat, punchy sound, versatile with pickup selection.
- Stunning flame finish.
- Roasted wood for extra sustain and durability.
Earth Studio’s Les Paul is the perfect electric guitar for your music. From its compound radius and compound neck profile to its high-quality components, this guitar is designed to give you an expressive range of sound. This sounds distorted, at the same time it sounds lush running through a clean channel.Check Price on Amazon
– – –
This range of Ibanez guitars are some of the best reggae instruments so they had to get a mention. These instruments mix inspiration from the Stratocaster, with more modern, heavier guitars to create one of the best reggae guitars we’ve heard of.
With a sleek and contemporary design, this 6 string Ibanez is perfect for any level of guitar skills and any genre of music, although it works very well for reggae. The quality of this guitar is fantastic, you can easily get the right feel, and sound with this guitar. It has a snappy attack and long sustain.
The original 6-string bridge with a unique tailpiece provides full control of the tremolo system. With a slim profile, this bridge will not only last for years with its durable construction, but it will also let you get that perfect pitch bend scooped sound you’re looking for.
The bridge offers the smoothness and balance needed for perfect tremolo string bends, while also giving players a secure hold onto the instrument.
This Ibanez 6 String is a true workhorse instrument that is reliable and versatile. The guitar features an alder body, mahogany neck, and rosewood fingerboard. The Infinity R high output pickups provide excellent sound quality. Other features include a 22 fret, medium-jumbo fretboard radius, and string-through-body bridge design.
From the Infinity range, the R pickup takes high output to a whole new level with its natural, seamless dynamic response and punchy transients. It also features a smooth, wood-like tone resonance with a midrange focus.
The perfect guitar for the modern guitarist who wants to sound and feel like a pro. Infinite sustain, tone, and volume await you with these pickups. This guitar is a great option for players of all levels.
- Body Material: Poplar
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Pickup Configuration: 2 x humbuckers
Pros & Cons:
- High output pickups, great for louder, crunchier tones.
- Deep horned pickups for high fret access.
- Stable tremolo for pitch bending.
- Punchy humbucker pickups.
The Ibanez 6 String Electric is the perfect instrument for reggae. With a slim neck, this electric guitar comes with fast and easy playability that everyone loves. This Ibanez is a powerful, fast-action guitar that will be played for years to come.Check Price on Amazon
– – –
Introducing the Squier Bullet Telecaster. This budget Telecaster is a great guitar for beginner and intermediate reggae guitarists. This gives a taste of the Fender Telecaster sound, at a fraction of the cost.
With its thin, lightweight body and satin-finish neck, it’s easy to play for hours on end. The hardtail bridge and string-through-body construction deliver crisp tones and sustain for days. The bridge also helps to increase tuning stability.
The Squier Bullet Telecaster is a faithful recreation of the classic Fender Telecaster electric guitar. This affordable version comes with a variety of premium features and appointments, including a maple neck with a modern 9.5-inch radius and 21 medium jumbo frets. A Three-bolt neck plate is used for superior sustain, accompanied by vintage-style tuners for sturdy tuning.
Electronics include two single-coil pickups, one volume and tone control, plus a 3-way pickup switch, chrome hardware, and more.
The Squier Bullet Telecaster is a compact, lightweight, and great-sounding electric guitar, and is a guitar for the modern reggae guitarist. Plug in and let your style come to life with a lightweight Telecaster that’s ready to go. The neck profile makes it easy to hold complex chords and makes pitch-bending strings a breeze.
The sound of this guitar is great for the price. The dual single-coil pickups work well for both clean and overdriven tones and are perfect for reggae lead and rhythm guitar sounds. The Squier Bullet Telecaster is a unique instrument for guitarists who value style and substance. The sound and feel of this guitar are versatile enough to work for beginner and professional players alike.
This guitar provides all your favorite Telecaster tones, packaged as a modern remake of a classic. This guitar gives players an iconic telecaster sound without the hefty price.
- Body Material: Poplar
- Fretboard: 22 x Laurel
- Pickup Configuration: 2 x Single Coil
Pros & Cons:
- Affordable, well made Telecaster.
- Great sounding pickups for reggae, bright clear tone.
- High-Quality playing feels for the price.
- Needed some setting up to perform well.
This guitar lets musicians play a wide range of musical styles and overcome their limitations. The Squier Bullet Telecaster is an affordable, easy-to-use guitar that’s perfect for any beginner and sounds great for reggae. It doesn’t sound too good or too bad, but it sounds better than you might expect and it’s perfect for jamming reggae.Check Price on Amazon
– – –
As we know, the Stratocaster is a good guitar for reggae, if not one of the best. Standard Fender Stratocasters generally cost over $1000, which makes them too costly for many players. Fortunately their sister brand Squier makes many high-quality guitars with the similar design specification. They use the same design specifications and blueprints, so the build of the guitar is very similar, just using cheaper materials.
Squier’s Bullet Strat HT offers a full-size, fast-playing, easy to tune and comfortable guitar that has been 100% designed by Fender. The single-coil Stratocaster pickups are perfect for reggae and have a fun, twangy tone. With Fender’s true spirit, the Squier Bullet Strat HT is sure to make you feel good about your purchase.
With a guitar designed for reggae, you’ll have those retro sounds right from the get-go. The Squier Bullet Strat HT is an entry-level electric guitar that gives beginners and pros alike a great no-frills Strat-style guitar, with versatile electronics.
This guitar is great for reggae, country, blues, and everything else in between. A huge part of what makes this guitar so great is the pickups – three single-coils. These create a huge amount of versatility, so you can bend the sound of your guitar to fit perfectly.
The body of this guitar is comfortable. The Squier Bullet Strat HT guitar is made for the player who wants a thin and lightweight body with a deep, rich tone. The satin finish on the neck adds to the Strat’s natural feeling. It has a very satisfying feeling that just makes this guitar fun to play. This is a great way to start playing guitar!
The Squier Bullet Strat HT also features a hardtail bridge for reliable tuning stability.
- Body Material: Laurel
- Fretboard: 22 x Fretboard.
- Pickup Configuration: 3 x single-coil
Pros & Cons:
- Versatile sound with 3 pickups and a 5-way selector.
- Great for sculpting reggae tones.
- Affordable and durable, surprisingly high quality for the price.
- Mediocre sound quality compared to Fender guitars.
Bursting with a powerful sound, the Squier Bullet Strat HT is the perfect starter guitar for playing reggae or for anyone looking for a solid-body electric guitar with a natural, vintage vibe. This 6-string electric guitar is made from quality woods and includes all the features you need to get jamming!Check Price on Amazon
– – –
Bonus guitar reggae guitar straps!
Don’t forget to buy a nice reggae-style guitar strap! Here are some of my favorites
What type of guitar is most often played in reggae music?
The electric guitar is more popular than other string instruments in reggae music, but the acoustic guitar is more commonly used. The reason for this is that it creates a mellow sound with a fluid tone and an easy-to-play rhythm.
Most often, the guitar in reggae music is a Stratocaster. It’s because the sound that they produce has a distinctive twang and brightness that really drench out the music. The distinctive sound is what sets it apart from other instruments and makes it easier to hear in reggae music.
These guitars have been played in countless reggae bands. Reggae is an eclectic genre, so all kinds of guitar tones are welcome. Using a Squier of Fender Stratocaster provides a huge amount of tonal variation, making them a strong choice for reggae players.
How do you get the reggae sound on guitar?
The reggae sound is characterized by a dominant 7th interval, usually played on the second, third, and fifth strings. The intervals are also known as “dominant” and “subdominant” respectively. This interval was traditionally found in the major scale, but variations have been created through the centuries. Reggae guitarists often use chords typically consisting of thirds, fifths, and sevenths to create this sound.
There are many ways to get this sound on your guitar including effects pedals such as fuzz pedals or overdrive pedals and playing with your amp settings.
The way you play it is important. Many people play reggae on acoustic guitars by strumming. Mastering the offbeat “skank” is essential. Guitar effects also play a large part in the reggae sound, particularly things like chorus, phaser, wah, and of course the tape echo delay.
Overall, I thought the best guitar for reggae was the Fender Player Stratocaster HSS.
The Stratocaster is ideal for reggae, and this guitar is an ideal version of the strat!
Being a Fender Stratocaster, this guitar is incredibly well made. From the bass frequencies to the highs, the sound of this guitar is superb. This guitar is ideal for reggae for several reasons, but one of the key reasons is the pickup choices. This guitar comes with a humbucker in the bridge pickup, rather than the traditional single coil. This brings a new edge to the guitar, opening up a punchier tone with more warmth and low end.
These guitars aren’t cheap, so they might not be available to newer players. A great alternative to this guitar is one of the Squier models also listed here, such as the strat or the tele. These have very similar specifications and designs but come at a much lower price.
Check out the Fender Player Stratocaster HSS today!
Still looking for the guitar of your dreams? You might find it on our list of the best guitars for punk!
Noah is an accomplished audio engineer with several years of experience producing music for major companies and independent artists. He enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of audio engineering topics to help musicians and music producers create great music.