Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, a Practice Guitar 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 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", will be a suitable practice amp (However, bear in mind that some amps with 12" speakers can also be used as practice amps.)
Practice Guitar Amp = Perfect Beginner Amp
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 too, 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 big 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 Beginner & Practice Amps Available Right Now
Feeling inspired yet? If you're looking for a great practice, recording or beginners amp, here's a list of the best available today:
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. The tone is great, totally unbelievably good for such a tiny amp, and it also features a tape delay effect. View details
The tiny, humble Orange Micro Crush has been released a few years ago, and it's still a favourite. This cute little amp comes with built-in tuner, overdrive function and packs a great punch. Perfect as a first amp - especially for kids getting their first guitar! View more...
The little Marshall MG10G 10w Combo Amplifier is the perfect beginner amp for those who want to rock out from the start! This amp features a handy Aux In for jamming along to a track, and an emulated Headphone output for great sounding silent practice. Marshall sound at an affordable price - what's not to like?
If you want a louder amp, you can try a Marshall MG15GFX Guitar Combo Amplifier, or you can also go for the Marshall MG30GFX Guitar Combo Amplifier in Black and Gold which is loud enough for small gigs, if miked.
And here it is - an even smaller Marshall amp! Micro amps are completely different beasts: 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.
New for 2017, the BOSS Katana Mini amplifier is the super scaled down version of the highly popular Katana series that has taken the music world by storm. This small and highly portable practice amplifier includes an authentic multi-stage analogue gain circuit and three-band analogue tone stack to give you a huge amount of tonal options. Whether you want beautiful crystal cleans or super gritty distorted tones, this thing can handle it all and pump out a huge sound through the 4" speaker!
Packed inside the amp is three versatile amp types: Brown, Crunch, and Clean for true sonic diversity - BOSS have catered to all sound types here! There's also a built-in tape-style delay so you can get those arena rock sounds and add a new dynamic to your playing. A fantastic practice amp that features headphone jack for silent practice too. View more...
The Laney Mini-ST-Lion Battery Powered Stereo Amplifier is from the all new Laney Mini map series, combining portable, battery powered functionality with superb sound. The team at Laney have managed to include separate clean and drive channels with controls for Gain, Tone and Volume into this nifty piece of kit. Best of all, you have 2 x 3 watt speakers busting out an impressive amount of sound as well as a headphone socket for silent practice when you need to bring the noise down. You also have Laney's Smart Insert (LSI) socket built-in which allows you to hook up your smartphone or tablet and access 1000’s of guitar tones via the Tonebridge database.
Yes, another Blackstar amp! But this one has an important difference when compared to most other practice amps: the Blackstar ID:CORE 10 V2 Cream Superwide Stereo Digital Combo, is one of the best and most versatile practice amps around today: with Clean Warm, Clean Bright, Crunch, Super Crunch, OD 1 and OD 2 channels to choose from - that's 6 different amp sounds rolled into one. In addition, you have 12 Setero effects built in including Super Wide Stereo modulation, delay and reverb effects. This amp packs a lot, in a small sized and great value package! View more...
Small in size - but not in sound! The MICRO CUBE GX features the same ultra-compact footprint, battery-powered operation, and big tone that made the original MICRO CUBE such a massive hit around the globe. With up to 25 hours of playing time using six NiMH AA-size batteries, you can enjoy uninterrupted fun while jamming at home, at the beach, on camping trips, at parties—wherever! Increased power output delivers even better performance than before, and a chromatic tuner is built in, eliminating the need to carry an external tuner when you play. View more
Also available: Roland Cube 10GX
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 Yamaha THR10X Valve Modelling Guitar Amplifier Combo.
For a limited time only - Get a great deal on the VT20X with a 5-way Footswitch at PMT Online or In-Stores. An 8", 20 watt modelling amp with tube circuitry, 11 amp models and 13 on-board effects. 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...
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.
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.
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.
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 the Line 6 Amplifi 30 Compact Amp over at PMT online now.
Tone, Power and Portability. The Laney Mini Amp Series is fantastic, but the Laney Mini-ST-SuperG stands out - small, loud, proud, and packed with 2 x 3 watt speakers! These little amps also sound great with bass too! Overachieve with serious bombast in a small body. It has 2 speakers, beautiful sounding gain and LSI and Headphones sockets so you can practice in silence whilst using the Tonebridge app which provides access to 1000's of classic guitar sounds. It's extremely portable as it can work on batteries, too! View details.
The Vox VX II Modelling Guitar Amp is one of the most user friendly modeling amps available today - using digital technology to accurately recreate some classic tones! Perfect for beginners who want to experiment with many different sounds, or experienced players who just want a very versatile practice amp. There's no rough approximations of classic tones in the VX II, Vox took apart some of the finest amps in their arsenal and looked at every individual component, modeling them accurately using VET. The same approach was taken with the FX to deliver everything from impeccable AC30 tones or vintage delays to high-gain, crunch, and clean tones from other classic amp designs. One of the best practice guitar amps in terms of sound, power and budget.
Want to see more? Check out our best practice amps video below
Watch the video below to see some of the best practice amps that you can still gig with - ideal for those who want to be able to play at lower volumes at home but bust out the big sounds on stage.