I've been playing for about five years and have evolved from a metal head to someone who just can't get enough folk and blues music. With this change, I haven't really expected to change my gear, but my 12-string is really setting me back as a blues player. I'm getting into Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, and a ton of traditional music.

What type of guitar should I get? I've looked at the resonators, and liked them but would they be best for more than just blues? I don't have alot of money to spend like $600 at the most. I don't know much about what types of guitars to use, so I guess that's kind of the point of this. Just to get an idea of what guitars to look at.
Well, people have played this kind of music successfully on nearly anything you can think of at one point or another....
However, it seems just from looking around at the really good pickers in this area that most favor the smaller-bodied instruments, frequently with a wider neck, and often a 12-fret neck.

If you have the bucks, the Martin OMs and OOOs seem to be THE guitar. You see a smattering of the smaller-bodied Gibsons as well.
There are a lot of alternatives. Quite a few manufacturers are making dedicated "fingerstyle" guitars now... Washburn had one such, and Yamaha makes a very nice "folk" model that I played and was impressed by. These are all instruments in the 500 dollar range.
I ended up with a Taylor GS Mini... And it's an excellent guitar for this purpose as well.

In general, the smaller guitars have a more balanced tone than do the big dreads and jumbos.. Which tend to be bass heavy for playing in an ensemble.
Lots of folk musicians have played dreads, though... Chris Smither for one.
Go out and try a bunch, and see what works for you. I agree with the guitar suggestions bikewer made and I'll throw in Seagull as well. I play a Yamaha LS(smaller body wider fretboard) for fingerstyle.

Anyways have fun looking.
I'd recommend finding an older used instrument. I don't really see the need to spend a ton of money on a new Martin when Ma Carter for example recorded her first record with the Carter Family on a Stella. I think Leadbelly used a Stella as well (12-string of course).

Ma Carter did upgrade to a Gibson L-5 a little later on and Robert Johnson used a Gibson L-1.

In any case if you do buy used you will want to do a bunch of research beforehand.
Last edited by Lebesque at May 20, 2013,