Wanna cut to the chase? I went searching for the best worship guitar, and my top pick was the PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Standard 24 Electric.
When you’re performing in your place of worship, it’s only natural that you want to sound your best.
Every riff, note and cadence should be nothing short of perfect in the name of the Lord.
You have what it takes to make the music rock, but does your guitar? Will your guitar help you to sound as awesome as this?
If the answer is no, then it may be time for an upgrade. You deserve something that will help you to reflect your worship in every note.
You will be pleased to know that there is a world of fantastic guitars out there to make every sound one that will inspire the congregation. You’ll sound as incredible as this every time you pick up your guitar.
I know how difficult it can sometimes be to choose the best guitar for worship, so I’ve made sure to save you the hours of painstaking research by compiling this list of some of my favorites.
If you’re still not sure, I’ve also written a nifty buyer’s guide to help you to narrow down your decision.
Top Pick: PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Standard 24 Electric Guitar
A big concern when it comes to buying the perfect instrument for worship is the budget. Is it possible to buy a great guitar at an affordable price?
I’m pleased to say that yes, it is entirely possible!
There are a lot of things to love about this guitar. To begin with, this guitar features an attractive, entirely mahogany body that will look ideal in a place of worship. The neck is made of maple and the fretboard is rosewood.
This guitar creates a pleasant sound when it’s plugged in, and this is thanks to the PRS 85/15 ‘S’ pickups. The sound is powerful, and will fill up even the largest of church halls. This sound is warm as well.
Of course, this guitar is also rather durable so you don’t need to worry about accidentally denting it just by placing your finger onto the construction.
It’s easy to use and play with a comfortable shape.
For a guitar that’s this affordable, you can’t go wrong.
There is one problem and we cannot expect to be honest without mentioning it. This is a pretty impressive guitar, but the G and B strings are going to need to be tuned a lot more than normal. It doesn’t seem to stay in tune on these notes.
What I Like
- Great sound
- Pickups help to create a warm sound
- Attractive mahogany construction
What I Don’t Like
- The G and the B strings are going to need some extra tuning
Best for playing in Bands: Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro
If you are in the market for a decent guitar for worship, you may be well suited to the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro. It’s a great choice to accompany bands.
This guitar is ideal if you want to add a little bit of extra power to a band’s sound, especially on the lead up to the chorus.
The top frets sound great and the guitar is ideal for creating high end licks. This makes it decent for doing solos too.
This guitar creates some enjoyable sounds in the mid and low ranges. It’s not necessarily ideal for any particularly bright sounds.
This guitar comes with a coil tapping mechanism, which will allow you to have more control over the tone of the guitar.
Did I mention how this guitar looks? This is an attractive beast, to say the least. You are going to love the mahogany body with a flamed maple top.
As a result of this mahogany though, there is a minor downside. The issue comes in the fact that the tone in the upper register can have a bit of a muddy sound so this is something that you should keep in mind.
What I Like
- Versatile tones due to coil tapping feature
- Attractive design
What I Don’t Like
- The tone can sound a little muddy in the upper register
- The neck pickup is slightly under-powered
Best Overall Value: Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster
Looking for a guitar with a spanky bright tone? Squier classic vibe 50’s stratocaster may be a solid fit for you.
The guitar is mid-priced, but the tone is right there with pricier Fender or other high-end guitars. Since it’s a stratocaster, it has a 5 way selector which gives you some versatility.
If you’re a worship guitarist you probably won’t mind that it’s not the best option for heavy distortion. But it can do just about everything else you’d need, with the grooves and feels for every song you play. It also has an attractive classic look.
One potential downside of this guitar is that it often requires a few extra bucks for a professional setup from a guitar luthier, out of the box.
You could possibly do it yourself to save money, but that requires a specialized skill set. You may also need to change the strings before long.
What I Like
- Great sound
- Moderate / reasonable price
- Versatile for rhythm and lead tones
- Classic vibe
- Comparable to higher end Fender guitars
What I Don’t Like
- May require adjustment from a luthier for buzzing frets
- Can have a minimal “hissing” sound when plugged into an amp
- Some buyers reported loose tuning pegs
- Not ideal for heavy distortion
The Squier Classic is a great bang for your buck. I love the sleek finish, and the c-shape neck adds additional comfort and ease. You can't go wrong here.
Most Versatile: Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic Electric Guitar
If you aren’t quite decided between getting an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar, then the Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat Acoustic Guitar may be just what you need.
This has all of the wonders of an acoustic guitar with just a sprinkle of extra electric guitar attitude tossed in.
This guitar is somewhat smaller than your average guitar, but this can be a good thing if you’re smaller! It creates a lovely sound when it’s plugged into an amplification device.
This guitar features a neck that’s simple to play and creates a clear, beautiful sound that your congregation is going to love.
It features a solid mahogany top, a rosewood fretboard and Fender advanced scalloped bracing.
As a whole, this guitar is very enjoyable to play and your love for the Lord is sure to shine through when you use it.
What I Like
- Easy to play
- Looks good
- Acoustic style guitar with an extra bit of attitude!
What I Don’t Like
- It’s a bit smaller than a dreadnought so it may not fit in well with some people’s playing styles
- High action
Best Small Guitar: Martin LX1E Little Martin
If you’re somewhat smaller or you’re looking for an acoustic guitar for worship for a little one, then the Martin LX1E Little Martin is a pretty decent choice to consider. It’s even been used by some bigger musicians out there such as Ed Sheeran.
It’s also a great choice if you are traveling a lot and want a guitar that’s relatively lightweight to accompany you on your excursions.
This guitar is very affordable, yet still has a lot to offer.
It has a multi piece neck that feels great to play, alongside the fret work and rounded fingerboard.
The body consists of Sitka spruce top along with High Pressure Laminate back and sides. The neck features rust birch laminate. This all combines to create a guitar with a simple and classic look that you’re sure to enjoy. Though we wouldn’t recommend just staring at it for hours – you have music to get to playing!
The biggest issue with this guitar in our eyes is that it really isn’t designed for people with larger hands. Yes, it’s great if you are smaller but some people just don’t have small hands. If you are part of the big hand demographic then you may be better suited to looking for a guitar elsewhere.
What I Like
- Ideal for smaller people – good for children, for instance
- Looks like a classic guitar
What I Don’t Like
- It’s not the best choice for people that have bigger hands
Best Guitar for Worship: A Buyer’s Guide
Guitars have a legacy in a place of worship – every exultant pick of a string is like a message in itself from the Lord. Through the years, the types of guitars used for worship have changed as society has.
This means that the question of what kind of guitar is best for worship can largely depend on you, your congregation, and the message you wish to convey.
While it may seem initially rather complicated to choose the best guitar for worship, we’ve made it our mission to make it easier for you.
With that being said, here are some of the key things you need to remember when purchasing the best guitar for worship.
Acoustic or Electric?
Whether you choose an acoustic or an electric guitar for worship is largely going to be determined by your church’s rules and policies.
If your church isn’t exactly concerned about your guitar choice, then it comes down to you. Have you learned to play on an acoustic guitar, and is that what you are used to playing? If that’s the case, you may wish to opt for an acoustic guitar for the sake of convenience.
If you have an acoustic-electric, you may want to try using pedals for things like tuning.
If you’re playing with a band, then you will be better off opting for a guitar that complements your band’s playing style and the kinds of songs that you are going to be playing.
You could also try using an electric guitar for worship. An electric guitar will give you a fuller sound, so you can project well with the rest of your band.
If you’re still learning to play guitar, then you may wish to consider which guitar will be most comfortable for you to learn with.
Ultimately, as long as the music sounds good, your congregation will likely be happy. Play what will sound and feel great to you, and trust that the Lord will help you to play your music in the best way to serve him.
It’s important that the guitar that you buy is high quality for worship. Ultimately your goal is to enhance the worship experience, so you don’t want a guitar that’s going to sound worse than a cat being strangled. We’ve heard that sound far too many times and trust us – it’s not pretty!
You want that one guitar that just blows you away. You don’t just want to buy a beat up six string from a secondhand store.
So, you are looking to buy something that’s reliable, and from a brand that you can trust. Your guitar has a key role in conveying the Lord’s message through the art of song, so your budget needs to also reflect that.
With that being said, you also may not want to break the bank. If this is the case, then you need to consider the things that are most important to you in a guitar. Are there any extra features that you simply must have?
You need to pay for quality, nothing less.
A brand name doesn’t always mean everything, but when it comes to buying guitars, having a brand name that you can trust for your six string can go a long way.
A brand can often carry a reputation of quality in both construction and sound. It can help you to trust that your guitar isn’t going to let you down in the middle of Amazing Grace.
You will also find that a lot of the big brand name guitars are also being used by some of the key worship bands out there, so getting that perfect sound will be a whole lot easier.
Some of the main brands that are used for worship are Gretsch, Nash, Duesenberg, Fano, and Fender, but this is not an exhaustive list.
It’s All In The Look
Of course, the most important thing when it comes to a guitar is the sound it produces. We all know this.
But – do you really want to go up in front of your congregation carrying a guitar that looks like it was made by a preschooler for their school instrument making project?
We thought not.
Now, looks are a subjective thing. It all comes down to personal preference, but when it comes to a guitar for worship you want something that’s going to fit in with where you’re playing.
The last thing you want is for your guitar to have ‘666’ symbols all over it – not cool in a place of worship.
You want something attractive that you can feel confident playing. But you don’t want something that’s so flashy that it takes away from the overall message of your piece.
So, look for guitars that look more natural or ones in more subdued colors. The message you’re conveying is important, so make sure that it’s fully heard.
We will always say this when it comes to guitars – make sure that if you’re buying a guitar, that it isn’t going to fall apart in a second.
You’re shredding those strings in a metaphorical sense, not in a literal sense.
Make sure that if you drop a large rock on the guitar that it isn’t going to break. Guitars can be fragile things but they should be able to withstand at least a little bit of damage.
Now, we don’t recommend testing the waters at home with how much your guitar can withstand. For instance, don’t try and use it as a sled during the winter because the results probably won’t be all that great.
If you want to know if your new six string can hold up against the test of time, then look online. The internet is a vast place, and all you really need to do is search for the guitar of interest. People like to share their opinions, and we can assure you that if there are any problems you will know about it.
What are some key things to know when playing guitar for worship?
This article has some great guidelines for doing a great job of playing guitar for worship, but in short, when you’re playing guitar for worship it’s all about authenticity. If you’re playing a cover of an already existing song then try to keep it similar to the original.
Make sure that everything is coherent with other instruments if you’re playing with a band.
Ultimately you need to make sure that you’re putting all of your love into the song to create the ambiance that you need. The whole point is to improve worship, your song is to serve the Lord and your congregation!
The last thing you want is for your song to sound like you would rather be watching paint dry than playing.
So those are some of the best guitars for worship. Hopefully, we’ve given you a little bit of insight into the best choices for you. Get ready to share the love with your congregation through the sound of music.