Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, a practice amp is a necessary piece of kit for all guitar players. Here's all you need to know about the best practice guitar amps available today.
The term "practice amp" refers to any smaller, portable amp that's suitable for practice at home. However, this generic term belies the fact that this is the most versatile type of guitar amp available: ideal for beginners or professional musicians; for playing at home or recording in the studio; and sometimes even for gigging!
Any small, low-wattage combo amp (or small head amps such as the Orange Tiny Terror) that's light enough to be easily carried around, can be considered a "practice amp". Usually, these amps only have one speaker that's smaller than 12". If you go to our Electric Guitar Amps section you can browse amps by woofer size, and any amp with just one woofer, smaller than 12", is a suitable practice amp. However, bear in mind that some amps with 12" speakers can also be used as practice amps.
Most practice amps can also be considered good beginners amps, because they are usually cheaper than bigger, louder amps, and therefore perfect for someone who's just starting - and who doesn't want to spend much money on an amp that they'll only be using at home. But this doesn't mean that practice amps are meant just for beginners - even pros need a smaller, quieter amp from time to time!
Guitarists of any level find it useful to have a smaller amp to take to trips, play backstage before gigs, record demos or just to take it around the house to play anywhere, any time. In all of those situations, small practice amps fit the bill in a way bigger amps never could.
Even Keith Richards owns a small, very cheap Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp! Can you spot it in the pic?
Small Amps = Great Recording Amps
Another great reason to purchase a smaller amp is that they are great for recording! In many situations, a louder amp won't sound as good as a small amp that's well mic'ed. This is especially true of small valve amps - when you crank them up, you can get some amazing, dirty tubey tones. Jimmy Page was always fond of Marshall Stacks on stage, but he famously just used a small Supro valve amp to record some of Led Zeppelin's most rocking songs, such as Whole Lotta Love.
The Best Practice Amps Available Today
Feeling inspired yet? If you're looking for a great practice, recording or beginners amp, here's a list of the best available today:
The new Blackstar ID: Core Beam Bluetooth amp is one of the best and most versatile practice amps around today: with a wide range of settings, cool retro design and bluetooth connectivity, this amp packs a lot, in a small sized and great value package! View more...
This little 20-watts amp is greatfor home practice and recording, but can also be used at small gigs. It has a tube-driven "Valve Reactor" circuit to provide a vintage valve tone, built-in tuner and top-quality FX. Plus, it has that classic Vox look! View more...
At 40-watts, this could be more accurately described as a small gigging amp that's also suitable for home practice, and ideal for home recording, thanks to its integrated USB interface. If you also consider it's a true wide stereo amp, besides having an all-round great tone, then this amp is also one of the best value guitar amps available right now! View more...
The Orange Crush guitar amps are the ultimate combo practice amps, perfect for rehearsal or smaller gigs. The Orange Crush combos combine portability with solid Orange construction and durability. For Orange to put their name on a transistor amp, it must be good! View more...
This amp comes ready to rock with Clean, Crunch, and Lead COSM amp types. But that’s just where the fun starts—using the CUBE KIT app for iOS and Android devices, you can load up those three slots with a variety of different amp types and adapt the sound of the CUBE-10GX for the music you like to play! View details
Cramming over a dozen legendary amps and effects into one package that's easy to gig with. There's also loads of features for getting hands on with your sounds at home, deep editing software to hone your tone and be heard next time you're at practice or on stage. View details.
These amps are amazing, and very stylish! They look like small head amps, but are actually great practice combos, in 5 or 10-watts versions, and in a range of different models, to suit all players: The THR5A for Electro-Acoustic guitars, the THR10X for Rock/ Metal, the THR10C for Blues/ Jazz. But if we had to pick one, it has got to be the standard THR5 - cheap, versatile and an all-round great little amp! View details.
An affordable option for an authentic Vox valve amp, the AC4 model provides a simple and hassle free way to enjoy the rich sound of a tube driven amp. A tube amp you can enjoy whether you're practicing at home, performing live, or recording. If it's a bit beyond your budget, the Vox Valvetronix amps are a more affordable option, and great at home or even onstage. View AC4 details.
Micro amps are a completely different beast: they are the least versatile of all practice amps - too quiet for live performance or to jam. They look more like toys, and the sound is too tiny to be much use in recordings. So why buy one? They're very cheap, very portable and good fun when you're just noodling away on your guitar, on your own. Hey, and even Keef owns one! View details.
The Blackstar HT-1R Combo is the perfect amp for studio or practice. It packs all of the great tone and innovative features of the award-winning Blackstar HT-5 valve amp into a 1 Watt format. Features include push-pull power amp design, two channels, 8" speaker, reverb and a stereo MP3/Line input. View details.
Tiny yet powerful, the little FLY 3 packs a great punch and has a really good tone for such a portable amp. Great for busking, taking to camping trips etc. Its almost-instantly popularity is true testimony's to its quality.View details.
This little, very light amp can easily be used at gigs, with its full 75 watts of output. However, it's also ideal not only as practice amp, but can be used as hi-fi speaker to stream music. This is a flexible combo you'll want around the house and at the gig. View details.
Tone, Power and Portability. The Roland Micro Cube range is great, but this one stands out: Meet the new MICROCUBE - small, loud, proud, and in true stereo! These little bass amps also sound great with guitar. Overachieve with serious bombast in a small body. It has FOUR speakers, AUX input and can work on batteries, too! View details.