Take a deep dive into the best cheap guitars for blues and supercharge your tone without breaking the bank, including picks from Antiquity, Epiphone and more
Playing the blues doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. Whilst you will no doubt have heard about the supposed importance of vintage-spec pickups and aged tonewoods from some purists out there, we’re here to shine a light on the best cheap guitars for blues players.
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to get a blues rock guitar tone on a budget, with new brands and old favourites offering entry-level blues guitars at more accessible price points.
You can check out our video below to see how some of the best affordable blues guitars sound in the hands of Dagan - and keep reading to find out more about our top picks from Antiquity, Epiphone, Yamaha and more..
How to Choose a Guitar for Playing the Blues – What Should You Look For?
All of the guitars we’ve picked out here share a few things in common. Instead of worrying about additional extras and upgrades, we’ve opted for a selection of instruments that do the basics to an exceptional standard – they're versatile, highly-playable, and well-built, with comfortable necks and pickups that sound great despite their affordable price point.
If you get the chance to visit one of our awesome PMT stores to try out a guitar then you should find the one that feels best in your hands - and choose an instrument that inspires you to pick it up and play it as often as possible!
Our first choice is based on a timeless guitar design that’s an icon in the world of blues and beyond..
We’ve talked at length about how impressive Antiquity Guitars are. Offering up an array of classic silhouettes that recall the glory days of rock ‘n’ roll, these instruments are especially suited to hard-hitting blues tones.
Our top pick for beginner blues guitarists is the Antiquity LS1. This impressive take on the famous Les Paul shape oozes with tone that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere at this price point, with an unparalleled playability that impresses every time.
The LS1 makes for a great blues guitar to learn on but is just as equipped for recording or playing live, with a stage-ready sound and solid construction.
Available in a range of different finishes depending on your tastes, you can check out more about the LS1 here:
Epiphone Les Pauls
Sticking with the LP-theme, we must give mention to the Epiphone versions when looking at the best inexpensive blues guitars.
Designed and built to specs set out by the legendary Gibson Guitar Corporation – which Epiphone is a part of – these guitars have all of the signature attributes you’d expect from a fully-featured Les Paul model by Gibson.
If you’re after an authentic burst finish or period-correct pickup options that won’t spoil your budget, then look no further than Epiphone.
The double-cutaway cousin to the Les Paul is the SG, and once again we’re turning to Epiphone to find the best budget SG for blues.
The SG is slightly more menacing than the Les Paul, with an edge that takes it into dirtier territory that modern blues players often prefer. In addition to the spikier look, you can also rely on the Epiphone SG to be lighter and slimmer, with easier access up to the higher frets and a more pronounced mid-range.
The SG has had no problem standing the test of time, and with an Epiphone model you can try out a legendary guitar for less. Find the full assortment here:
Combining high-output, modern sound with the distinctive stylings that have made Gretsch instruments so highly-sought over the years, the Streamliner guitars offer the best of both worlds for gigging and recording musicians who need a blues sound.
With a variety of options including single-cuts, double-cuts, Bigsby-equipped, or hardtail - find your perfect budget Gretsch here:
Yamaha Revstar Elements
Inspired by minimalist design and stripped-back to the bare essentials, these lean and mean tone machines come courtesy of Yamaha.
The Revstar Series has established itself as a solid choice for blues guitarists, and the Element models allow you to get your hands on a bold new instrument without breaking the bank.
Boasting a chambered body, Alnico V Humbuckers, and a Push/Pull 'Dry Switch' High-Pass Filter, this is a seriously great choice for guitarists who want to opt for something a little different but need to get the best blues tone they can.
Check out each and every Revstar model here:
The Antiquity ST1 is our pick of the S-style guitars for blues players looking to save some money. The single coil pickups here can achieve anything from sparkling leads, searing solos, and crunchy rhythm playing, so no matter how you play the blues you’re covered.
The vintage-style vibrato bridge allows you to add subtle shimmers to your chords or expressive bends to your melodic lines, and the faithful recreation on the ST1 from Antiquity is one of our favourite features for a beginner blues guitar.
Available in a selection of distinguished finishes, you can find out more by clicking below:
Now that you’ve taken a look at some of our favourite beginner blues guitars, you’ll be better prepared to try some out for yourself and figure out which instrument will work best in your set-up.
Playing the blues is all about putting your emotion into the music – the quality of your gear isn’t so important, and so nailing a solid blues tone on a budget is easy if you know what works.
These companies all prioritise getting professional-grade instruments into the hands of beginner and budget-conscious guitarists, so you can be certain that you’ll find the sound you’re searching for!