Best travel guitars 2024: Top acoustic and electric guitars for musicians on the go

Out top picks for practicing your guitar on the move, wherever the road takes you

Best for tone

Best for volume, best for value.

  • Best Strat-alike
  • Best electric
  • Best full-scale
  • #1 acoustic-electric

Best for portability

  • Best solid wood
  • Buying advice
  • How we choose

1. The quick list 2. Best for tone 3. Best for volume 4. Best for value 5. Best for Strat players 6. Best electric travel guitar 7. Best full-scale travel guitar 8. Best acoustic-electric model 9. Best for portability 10. Best solid-wood travel guitar 11. Buying advice 12. How we choose products

As guitar players, our passion and joy shouldn’t have to stop the second we leave the house or the practice room. Sometimes, when you’re on the go; whether that be travelling for work or just for fun, you want to be able to take your music with you. That’s where the best travel guitars come in.

Travel guitars are smaller, more compact instruments that are easier to take on the road. If you’re heading out on a road trip, and space in the car is tight, a travel guitar will fit in a much smaller gap than a full-size guitar. Some of them even pack down into a rucksack so you can take them on a plane as hand luggage.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re more into playing acoustic or electric, we’ve picked out the best travel guitars currently on offer to make sure that the music doesn’t have to stop when you hit the road.

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World and Dawsons Music. Chris has spent years writing about and testing guitar gear for MusicRadar, in addition to nerding out about everything from synths to microphones, DJ gear and music production hardware.

Best travel guitars: Quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out exactly which we think are the best travel guitars on the market right now? Below, you’ll find a round-up of our top choices. You can jump to a more detailed review of every pick, along with our price comparison tool to help you find the best deals.

This ¾-sized dreadnought comes with all the quality and projection you’d expect from one of the acoustic world’s biggest names, just in a size that can be hauled around anywhere without breaking your back. Or, indeed, your wallet. 

Read more below

The Martin Backpacker has a unique body shape, that’s for sure, but coming from a name like Martin you can rest assured this guitar will perform brilliantly. What surprised us was the volume and projection this little guitar pumps out, thanks in part to the solid mahogany used in the body.

The Steinberger Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe definitely fits the travel guitar bill due to its distinctive size and shape. Despite the smaller body, the Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe features a scale length of 25.5”, making the actual playing area larger than that of a standard Les Paul.

You can instantly see those famous Stratocaster outlines of the pickguard, the three single coil pickups and the control knobs. Yet the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed anything on the body that isn’t underneath the pickguard has been shaved away, leaving a guitar which is 35% lighter and 14% shorter than a regular Strat.

This is a short-scale travel electric guitar featuring a single mini-humbucker, two-piece poplar body, bolt-on neck and fairly sturdy tuners. It doesn’t pack down any smaller than it is, though it’s very compact already and if you really needed to, you could always take the neck off, if you were packing it up in a suitcase for example.

The Shorty provides full scale-length familiarity which, when combined with the tiny body, makes for a comfortable playing experience. The single humbucker at the bridge is meaty enough to blast out your favourite riffs, while you’ll feel instantly at home with the classic maple/rosewood combination neck and fingerboard.

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The Traveler Escape Mark III comes equipped with plenty in the way of tools and toys, and it all comes in 26% shorter and 10% lighter than a standard dreadnought. The Escape Mark III features tuning pegs within the body itself, which means it has no need for a headstock and is instead strung in reverse.

This handy, foldable acoustic is great for players who want something quality but affordable. It’s got a solid spruce top and layered mahogany back and sides. You can get a great tone from it, whether you’re playing with a pick or with fingers. It’s dynamic, and while it might not be as loud as a full size guitar, can still throw out a good amount of volume.

This is one for serious acoustic players. It bears a hefty price tag, but you can get some serious tones from this guitar. Boasting a solid red cedar top and solid African mahogany back and sides, the Furch Little Jane yields a beautiful, rich and balanced tone with a good amount of projection. 

The best travel guitars right now

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Below you'll find full and detailed write-ups for each of the best travel guitars in our list.

1. Taylor Baby Taylor

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

If the more outlandish styles of travel guitar aren’t for you, maybe the Baby Taylor will be. This ¾-sized dreadnought comes with all the quality and projection you’d expect from one of the acoustic world’s biggest names, just in a size that can be hauled around anywhere without breaking your back. Or, indeed, your wallet. 

The Baby Taylor would be the perfect option as a second (or third) guitar in anyone’s collection, designed to be stashed in the included gig bag and taken anywhere. Players with larger hands may feel a bit cramped navigating the 22.75” scale length, but for the majority of people the Baby Taylor is easy to recommend.

2. Martin Backpacker

We weren’t lying when we said travel guitars can jar a bit visually. The Martin Backpacker has a unique body shape, that’s for sure, but coming from a name like Martin you can rest assured this guitar will perform brilliantly. What surprised us was the volume and projection this little guitar pumps out, thanks in part to the solid mahogany used in the body.

Originally launched in 1992, the Martin Backpacker has carved itself a nice niche in the world of travel guitars, and its exceptional build quality means it will last for many more years to come.

3. Steinberger Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe

While not officially marketed as a travel guitar, the Steinberger Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe definitely fits the bill due to its distinctive size and shape. The classic Steinberger ‘headless’ design is correct and present, making the same bold visual statement of its more expensive stablemates, yet the decision to use wood over composite materials makes the whole thing more cost-effective and suited for travelling. 

Despite the smaller body, the Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe features a scale length of 25.5”, making the actual playing area larger than that of a standard Les Paul. It’s also pretty rare to find neck-thru bodies at this price point, which all adds up to a decent value instrument regardless of how you end up using it.

Best for Strat players

4. traveler travelcaster deluxe.

It’s called ‘cognitive dissonance’. That conflict you feel when something you know to be right is challenged. The Traveler Travelcaster Deluxe is a relative example; to look at it, you can instantly see those famous Stratocaster outlines of the pickguard, the three single coil pickups and the control knobs. Yet the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed anything on the body that isn’t underneath the pickguard has been shaved away, leaving a guitar which is 35% lighter and 14% shorter than a regular Strat. 

Weighing in at only 5 lbs, the Travelcaster Deluxe may take some getting over visually, but in use it provides that same Strat experience, the same 25.5” scale length and the same tonal versatility of those pickups. If you can get over the cognitive dissonance, it may just be the perfect travel guitar for you.

Read the full Traveler Travelcaster Deluxe review

Best electric options

5. blackstar carry-on travel guitar st.

This is a short-scale travel electric guitar featuring a single mini-humbucker, two-piece poplar body, bolt-on neck and fairly sturdy tuners. It doesn’t pack down any smaller than it is, though it’s very compact already and if you really needed to, you could always take the neck off, if you were packing it up in a suitcase for example. 

It plays great and the shorter 20.7” scale length doesn’t take long to readjust to - younger beginners might find that they can fret chords and make stretches between frets more easily too. The mini-humbucker covers a lot of ground, so will suit any musical style you can throw at it. Whether you’re playing clean or super distorted, this little thing can really pack a punch! 

There is a more expensive version that’s around double the price with some upgrades, but in terms of value for money, we feel that the Blackstar Carry-On ST is one of the best travel guitars around. 

Best full-scale experience

6. hofner shorty travel guitar.

The Hofner Shorty has been around since the 1980s, and has long been a favourite for players looking for a portable electric they can travel with. It provides full scale-length familiarity which, when combined with the tiny body, makes for a comfortable playing experience. The single humbucker at the bridge is meaty enough to blast out your favourite riffs, while you’ll feel instantly at home with the classic maple/rosewood combination neck and fingerboard.

Sure, it’s not going to win any awards for tone, and you’re unlikely to see them used on album-of-the-year contenders, but as an inexpensive way to add a bit of portability to your line-up the Hofner Shorty is well worth consideration. 

Best of both worlds

7. traveler escape mkiii mahogany.

Choosing a travel guitar doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on your needs. The Traveler Escape Mark III comes equipped with plenty in the way of tools and toys, and it all comes in 26% shorter and 10% lighter than a standard dreadnought.

The Escape Mark III features tuning pegs within the body itself, which means it has no need for a headstock and is instead strung in reverse. The onboard electronics are both extensive and useful too, with an under-saddle Shadow NanoFlex piezo system, tuner, aux-in and studio headphone out making for quite a comprehensive setup for the traveling player.

8. Journey Instruments PJ410N

This handy, foldable acoustic makes for one of the best travel guitars for players who want something quality but affordable. It’s got a solid spruce top and layered mahogany back and sides. You can get a great tone from it, whether you’re playing with a pick or with fingers. It’s dynamic, and while it might not be as loud as a full size guitar, can still throw out a good amount of volume.

It fits perfectly inside the included padded rucksack, and can be assembled in 20 seconds. Simply put the neck into position, snap it in place and lock it from the back of the body. Then you’ve got a guitar with a 23” scale ready to play. It’s great for experienced players who want something that sounds good while they’re on their travels (the bag will fit under many airline seats), but also makes for a great beginner guitar for kids . 

Best all-solid option

9. furch little jane lj-10.

This is definitely one of the best travel guitars for serious acoustic players. It bears a hefty price tag, but you can get some serious tones from this guitar. Boasting a solid red cedar top and solid African mahogany back and sides, the Furch Little Jane yields a beautiful, rich and balanced tone with a good amount of projection. 

The guitar can be folded down and fit into a rucksack (included). The headstock, neck and body are separate from one another to save space but can be assembled into one piece very quickly and easily. Once the neck is locked into position using Furch’s proprietary assembly system, it’s ready to play and will even go back in tune. 

The included rucksack is well padded and will ensure that it’s protected enough on your travels. Travel acoustic guitars seldom sound this good, and to be fair the price reflects that, but it really is one of the best out there. 

Best travel guitars: Buying advice

What is a travel guitar.

Essentially, a travel guitar is a guitar designed with portability and mobility as its key function. This will usually mean the guitar has a significantly smaller body or weight, and they often boast creative solutions to common issues like tuning or storage. From conception to construction, the travel guitar is designed to be thrown in a bag and transported anywhere, everywhere, and all those places in between. 

Standard-sized guitars can be, as we know, too large, too heavy or too delicate to carry around for long stretches, so travel guitars offer a specialist tool for those specific situations. Realistically, you’ll not find too many studio musicians reaching for the travel guitar to nail that perfect tone, but then that’s not what they’re for. Portability, size and weight are order of the day here, and it helps that there are travel guitars on the market today which also nail that other crucial element; tone. 

What makes travel guitars different?

At first glance, the sight of a dedicated travel guitar can jar a little. Often, they have quite striking aesthetic differences from regular guitars. Like looking at something you know, only quite different. Manufacturers employ all kinds of measures as they seek to reduce the overall size and weight of the guitar, and it’s not uncommon to see guitars without headstocks, or with radically different shaped bodies, or even no body at all. Yet a guitar still has to function, so there is still the need for tuning pegs, a bridge, and other essential components.

What are the key features of travel guitars?

There are two major schools of thought when it comes to travel guitars. One is to take a regular sized guitar and zap it with a shrink ray, keeping the same proportions relatively but in a smaller overall package. This approach ensures the instrument retains its familiarity, and also makes them attractive to younger learners.

The other approach is to redesign the instrument completely, perhaps taking the tuning pegs and installing them in the body. Of course, such radical design changes can create other problems, so you may see these compensated for with the inclusion of detachable arm and leg rests, for example. While these guitars may look unfamiliar, the playing experience should be largely the same as a regular guitar. Scale lengths, fret locations and pitch will be the same, even if the physical form of the guitar is quite different.

Are travel guitars playable?

If you’ve never had the chance to play a travel guitar, you may be looking at the best travel guitars in this list and wondering if it’s playable in the same way as a regular guitar. The good news is that yes, absolutely they are playable. In the same way that jumping from the thin neck of an Ibanez RG-style electric to a 50’s style Stratocaster neck may take a bit of readjustment in your technique, so too will the leap from a regular to certain travel-sized guitars. It’s not difficult to adjust though. You may also have to sit differently to accommodate the smaller body, but as these guitars are inherently lighter in weight, this shouldn’t cause too much of a headache. Or, more accurately, backache.

Electric or acoustic?

All of the best travel guitars will either be electric or acoustic. Electrics do tend to be thinner, as the body doesn’t need to resonate as much to get a good sound, although it’s worth remembering that you’ll need an amp to get the most out of it. The body of a travel acoustic will normally be deeper, but as a result of this you can get a fairly loud sound without any amplification.

What do I get when I spend more?

The quality of the best travel guitars does vary, and as you might imagine, it does go up as you spend more money. As the price increases, you’ll likely find better hardware, which can not only help keep the guitar in tune and playing nicely, but can also improve how it sounds too, increasing resonance and sustain.

On electrics, you’ll find better quality pickups - these will be more dynamic and have a wider frequency range so you’ll get more detail and clarity. With travel acoustic guitars, you’ll get better quality, and even solid woods which will give you a better, more responsive and richer sound.

Who might use a travel guitar?

The breadth of today’s range of travel guitars means there is a guitar to suit most playing styles and genres, so the quick answer is that yes, there is a travel guitar for everyone. In terms of scenarios, travel guitars are, as their name suggests, designed to be taken places ordinary guitars cannot reach. 

Small enough to fit on your back as you scale a mountain, or taken on a plane as part of your hand luggage, travel guitars give players the freedom and convenience of being able to play anywhere, at any time. For that, we applaud them. Let’s examine some of the best travel guitar options available today.

Can you buy travel guitars for children?

Travel guitars, as well as being the perfect accompaniment to a musician on the go, can also make for great instruments for children. If you’re looking for one of the best travel guitars to get a kid started on their guitar playing journey, then look for one that has a shorter scale length. This will mean that the notes are closer together and will be easier for small hands to fret. 

Scale length and string gauge

Speaking of short scales, the gauge of strings you use is also worth considering. The strings on a guitar with a shorter scale will feel slinkier - they will be easier to bend and to some players may even feel too loose. One way to combat this is to use thicker strings, so something like 12s on an electric might make them feel a little more like 10s on a full size guitar. Though, if you’re just starting out then the thinner, slinkier strings might be better so they don’t quite hurt your fingertips as much.

How we chose the best travel guitars for this guide

Here at MusicRadar, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing, creating and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music gear related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides. 

When choosing what we believe to be the best travel guitars available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are musicians, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best travel guitars on the market right now.

Find out more about  how we test music gear and services  at MusicRadar.

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Chris Corfield

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world's biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World, Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar and bass gear, to synths, microphones, DJ gear and music production hardware.

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Music Critic

10 Best Travel Guitars in 2023

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If you are here for a roundup of the 10 best travel guitars in 2023 then you are in for a treat. We have selected some pretty great products that meet the criteria for a range of different reasons, each one deserving of being a worthy candidate.

We live in an age where technology keeps us connected at our fingertips, the world wide web has made the world seem a whole lot smaller, more appealing and traveling the length and breadth of it a lot less of an impossibility.

The majority of guitarists away from home and wished they had an instrument with them, it is also fair to say that our musical instruments can hold a fair amount of value whether it is literal or sentimental. Taking them on the road inevitably means they could end up damaged.

What makes for the best traveling guitar is actually a little bit more complex than you might at first think. Along with durability issues and transportation safety measures, the size and components need to be considered.

Table of Contents

At a glance: Our top 3 picks

1. ibanez ewp14opn, 2. washburn rover, 3. traveler guitar ec1 vbkm, 4. traveler guitar eg1c blk v2, 5. taylor guitars baby taylor bt1, 6. martin lx1 little martin, 7. luna safari series muse mahogany, 8. traveler guitar mark iii mk3 mhg, 9. cordoba mini m, 10. fender ct-60s, what is a travel guitar, where to buy a travel guitar, which travel electric guitar, best backpacker guitar, best sounding travel guitar, best cheap travel guitar.

We are going rifle through the best travel size acoustic guitar reviews to determine what makes each ideal for what, where, and whom to help make your purchase a sensible one.

As ever we have included a buyers guide in which we will attempt to answer your niggling questions. Read on to find 10 top travel guitars that don't suck!

best travel jazz guitar

  • Piccolo Size
  • Gorgeous Looks
  • Unique Voice
  • Durable Build

best travel jazz guitar

Find The Best Travel Guitar Below

Ibanez EWP14OPN

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Ibanez is a much-loved company in the guitarist community as its products tend to be reasonably priced while also performing like much more expensive instruments. That’s also the case with this travel guitar, which also lives up to Ibanez’s reputation for creating cool-looking axes.

The piccolo size makes this guitar ideal for taking on the road with you. It has a shorter scale length, at 17”, and can be compared in size to a ukulele. This smaller size gives it a unique voice. It is a little higher pitched than a standard acoustic while it also has something of a mandolin about its tone too. It has to be heard to be appreciated.

Also surprising for such a little instrument is the amount of volume it produces. It could easily be used to entertain a small group at a campfire or in the park.

Pros: + Piccolo Size + Gorgeous Looks + Low Price + Unique Voice + Durable Build

Why We Liked It - It’s a gorgeous little guitar that has a truly unique voice. It also provides an impressive amount of volume for a piccolo.

Fretboard size - Some travel guitars feature a small body so that they can still include a full-sized fretboard, meaning the guitar's layout will feel familiar. This is a great space-saver, but you sacrifice some of the "roundness" of sound produced by a regular-sized body, especially on travel acoustics. If sound is more important to you than portability, look at models with a full-sized body.

best travel jazz guitar

Miles Forman FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Washburn Rover

Diff brand & model - change content

Next up is a fantastic product from Washburn. This guitar has been designed with travel in mind. For that reason, it features a sleek, slim-bodied aesthetic that lends itself to easy portability.

Washburn has compromised on the body of the instrument to make it easier to carry around, but it hasn’t shortened the scale length. It’s got a full scale of 23.75”. That means that you can play it in the same manner as your standard acoustic.

As you’d expect for the price, this product features high-grade materials. It’s got a spruce top and body, as well as a mahogany neck and back. These materials don’t just enhance the durability of the instrument, they also contribute to a surprisingly rich, warm tone. This sound is made even better by the D’Addario strings that come as standard.

To make traveling with this lightweight product easier, Washburn provides you with a high-quality gig bag.

Pros: + Sleek Design + Perfect for Traveling + Includes Gig Bag + D’Addario Strings + Superb Sound and Tone

Why We Liked It - It’s a lightweight, sleek guitar that’s been designed for traveling. On top of that, it offers a beautiful tone, which is typical of Washburn.

Traveler Guitar EC1 VBKM

If you’re looking for a premium, high-quality electric guitar for traveling, then you’ll likely be impressed by this awesome Traveler ax.

It’s a solid-body electric that weighs a little over 5lbs. This low weight allows for easy portability while you’re on the road. One of the reasons why it weighs so little is because it doesn’t have a headstock. Tuning is done within the body of the guitar. This unique design keeps the guitar shorter – therefore more portable – without having to reduce the scale length.

As this ax has been designed for traveling, it also includes lots of handy features for you to be able to play it while out and about. First, it has an in-built amp that allows you to plug your earphones in and add effects to the guitar, such as overdrive or reverb. You can also plug in your smartphone and play along to tunes on it.

Pros: + Exceptional Solid Body Guitar + Lightweight + Shorter Length + No Headstock + Includes Gig Bag

Why We Liked It - It’s simply the best electric guitar around for traveling. It’s lightweight, shorter in length, while also loaded with lots of handy features.

Travel Amps - If you're considering a electric travel guitar, then you'll need to carry a small amp around with you as well. Size and weight are the prime factors here, but you still don't want to scrimp on sound quality. A very popular choice is the tiny battery-powered Marshall MS2, which offers switchable clean and overdrive channels plus a headphone out for silent practice. And it looks SO cute!

best travel jazz guitar

This next travel guitar is an electric guitar option and the company has really thought about its travel abilities every step of the way throughout its design. The traditional tuning mechanism has been replaced with an entirely different more forward-thinking one. The tuning is facilitated on board within the super lightweight body itself tuning pegs are subjected to a lot especially when we travel so this is a great idea as far as we are concerned.

This steel string silent guitar is substantially shorter than a standard electronic sized guitar the lack of headstock contributes largely to this and it is around half the typical weight as well.

The built-in shadow e-tuner is integrated into the pickup offering onboard chromatic tuning which can only be beneficial. Other notable features include the V2 headphone amplifier which allows for silent guitar practice great for a late night strum in a hotel and the Jack plate auxiliary input enabling players to plug in other devices to play along to their MP3 tracks.

The sounds are pretty good, the custom tap pot allows you to cycle through clean, boost, overdrive and distortion tones, and its gold Humbucker and cream pickups stand out visually against its dark mahogany body.

Pros: + Full size scale length but smaller overall size due to head stock sacrifice. + Super Lightweight. + Great on-board features

Why We Liked It - This one makes for a fantastic choice of electronic travel guitar the range of tones are awesome and you can get away with a cheap mini-amp that doesn't need any tone abilities. We like the silent guitar playing option also all in all it is one of their original series and a contender for best traveler guitar.

Taylor Guitars Baby Taylor BT1

Next up in our travel guitar review is the Baby Taylor BT1 the predecessor to the Mahogany body BT2 we we have already listed. This little baby was the one that kick-started the popularity among seasoned musicians looking for a small knockabout ideal for their travels that rose from a humble product aimed at children starting to learn guitar.

This Taylor guitar is a solid Sitka spruce guitar and we have included it in our review because it actually provides the rich and deep altogether fuller sound than the newer refined model. The level of volume from this ¾ sized instrument is amazing although we dare say the higher frets on the treble string are a little tinnier than would be truly desirable and this is probably the reason for the second model development.

As previously mentioned the BT2 Taylor guitar doesn't have much bass reverb, the two are equally priced o the decision between them boils down to how you prefer your overall tone.

Pros: + Powerfully naturally loud. + Best seller + Great grab and go guitar.

Why We Liked It - This Taylor guitar is a great candidate for the ultimate guitar travel companion the tonal qualities are top-notch, which is how it earned its popularity among adult players despite its initial concept being aimed at young beginners.

Martin LX1 Little Martin

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The Martin LX 1 makes for a vastly superior travel guitar. It is almost twice the price of the LXK2 (the Koa we reviewed) but the differences go way beyond cosmetics. The Martin guitar features a solid spruce top which will make it a little bit more fragile in terms of dents and dings but ultimately the sound is everything you get with a traditional Martin.

This Martin guitar has a Rut-stratabond neck which features Martin'sortise joint construction, Micarta bridge, Tusq saddle and rosewood fingerboard which feature 20 frets (14 clear of the body) and the whole thing is hand-finished.

The LXK2 tones are just completely outshone by this one it is full rich and deep and a perfect starter guitar, as well as a great choice for travel but it, as we said, set you back more and you may not want to take it on particularly adventurous travels.

Pros: + Padded gig bag seems better quality than standard free gig bags. + Fullest tone. + Compact and affordable high quality.

Why We Liked It - This Martin traveler guitar is a wholesome toned compact guitar that makes it a perfect choice of travel without a 'travel guitar sound', not to mention the padded gig bag you get with it!

Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany

This Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany
 is an attractive ¾ size travel guitar with an equally appealing price range. The production doesn't come from a top brand and however, the manufacturer seems great. The Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany
 travel guitar is a typical dreadnought body it features a Celtic laser etched henna design and is a fairly eye-catching little beauty. It was constructed mainly from mahogany (neck back sides and top, it is non-specific when listed but the top is probably HPL considering the dramatically lower price range, it has a rosewood fingerboard.

This backpacker travel guitar has an adjustable truss rod and the overall construction good there is no tell-tale sign of substandard construction (like extra glue etc. On the whole, its pretty sturdy with its high-pressure laminate top although this doesn't give the beautiful reverberations that are expected in a great acoustic travel guitar it does mean it has good durability.

Pros: + ¾ size. + Ideal travel buddy & great backpacking guitar. + Low priced.

Why We Liked It - This Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany
 guitar makes for a great cheap and cheerful option , the sound is pretty sweet and would be the best option for any trips where your guitar is going to face some extreme exposure. Perfect for round a campfire out into the wild style gatherings. Half the price of the Baby Taylor and hold it's own among them in terms of it's sound capabilities.

Traveler Guitar Mark III MK3 MHG

Another travel acoustic electric guitar model here from Traveler guitar, a company which formed 20 years ago with the sole purpose of providing full-size travel guitars and have been innovative front-runners from the get-go. Like the EG V2 we reviewed, it features their genius in-body tuning function eliminating head-stock from the guitar length and thus providing a full-scale length guitar that is smaller, to begin with. Overall this acoustic-electric travel guitar is 26% shorter and 47% thinner than a typical electric but the frets have not been scaled back.

Again this acoustic-electric travel guitar features the built-in shadow headphone amplifier and auxiliary input. The under-saddle pickup is super sensitive and gives an acoustic style sound without the need for bigger body resonance. It has standard EQ controls to shape your tone.

The Traveller acoustic-electric travel guitar is constructed from mahogany and has a cutaway for better access to higher frets.

Pros: + Headphones for silent guitar practice. + Aux in for jamming with tracks. + On-board tuner. + Mahogany body.

Why We Liked It - The Traveler Guitar brand are dedicated to the travel guitar niche and tailor their products to specifically cater for travel playing needs, they also come with a lifetime warranty, they are beautiful in appearance and have some nifty on-board conveniences.

Cordoba Mini M travel acoustic guitar

Cordoba produces some amazing classical guitars in their many ranges The Cordoba Mini M is a solid spruce topped travel instrument. The classic guitar alternative has a lighter weight and can be purchased in different side and back options to suit different tonality preferences. Find some classical guitar strings here .

It has the same feel and playability as a full-size guitar as the neck is of a typical width as is the fret spacing. It comes with acoustic guitar strings tuned up a fourth from standard tuning ADGCEa. This is the recommended optimal tuning for the best vibrancy but you can replace them with a standard E set.

It sounds very bright and is surprisingly loud for a miniature musical instrument, the basses are very strong, we recommend adhering to the A tuning as the E guitar strings change it dramatically into a somewhat lackluster instrument and they hold far less tension.

Pros: + Miniature sized. + A-A tuning. + Great volume level.

Why We Liked It - It is a great deal for the dollars spent, it has good bracing and is finely constructed and is genuinely mini making it another good backpacking option.

Fender CT-60S travel body acoustic guitar

Our last option is an excellent contribution from Fender noteworthy acoustic travel guitar lines, it also has the lowest price of all our product listings. The CT features a brand new modified body size and shape, which they aptly name “Travel” it also has a shortened scale length this is what makes it so fitting for travel pursuits.

It is a solid spruce topped instrument at 23.5” scale length, it makes for a quintessential travel buddy with it's compact size and portability. It plays better than some of Fenders other smaller model which are aimed at junior players.

This acoustic travel guitar has scalloped X bracing for added durability required when you are on the move. If you know your Fender acoustics this one is essentially the CD60S but tailored to backpacker travel needs. This acoustic travel guitar has great across board tones and plays straight out of the box and keeps good intonation.

Pros: + Affordable price. + Incredibly lightweight small travel guitar. + Solid topped. + Great portable travel guitar.

Why We Liked It - It is a great affordable entry from a leading brand, which they have developed exclusively for optimized travel abilities. Perhaps one to fit in the overhead compartment of a plane?!

Where's the headstock? A lot of electric travel guitars appear to have been in an accident, as the headstock is completely missing. Instead, the tuning is has been relocated to inside the body. Specialist manufacturers like Traveler Guitar boast rock-solid tuning. And not having a headstock allows these guitars to use a full fretboard, yet still be up to 30% shorter.

Travel Guitar Buying Guide

So you've seen our reviews now let's resolve some of your queries in our buying guide.

A travel guitar is an instrument which has been created to tackle some of the drawbacks of taking a guitar out and about whether that is for an outdoor retreat or abroad, for a long weekend or an arduous adventure. When we travel and how we travel will affect the toll taken on your musical instruments. Many guitarists feel lost without something to strum when the mood takes them and quite often when we are on holiday and relaxed or meeting new people we can find our selves wishing we hadn't left our guitar at home.

On the other hand, we also know the logistics of carrying our pride and joy into the unknown territory of travel can put it at risk of damage or even getting lost altogether. Ideally, we want a lower priced and probably even smaller sized (and weighted) travel companion as a solution especially if you intend to lug it about for long period of time. The most essential thing is that it is an easily portable guitar for travel.

There are many places to buy a backpacker travel guitar, many outlets will cater for travel options in modern times. It is, however, a huge market and in this day and age, it is easier to sift through your options online. All of the above products we have reviewed are available through Amazon. The majority can also be bought online via their brands own websites.

We have only listed 2 of the best travel electric guitars and they are both by Traveler Guitars we feel they represent the most cutting-edge electric guitars specifically designed for traveling purposes. Usually, we see instrument companies creating travel instrument models in this case travel instrument models have created a company, this speaks volumes for the quality goods which they are producing. Their electric travel guitar features and design concepts are, undeniably, "State-of-the-art". Grab some great electric guitar strings here .

If you are planning on backpacking you are going to want to streamline everything you typically take traveling so size here is key depending on how hardcore your backpacking will get you will probably want the smallest backpacker travel guitar you can get your hands on. Martin's backpacker is a great option although some have found its unique shaping awkward to get along with. In which case you could try going with the Little Martin Koa or the Taylor backpacker models.

You will likely be carrying your instrument for lengthy periods backpacking, the Cordoba Mini M is incredibly small and super lightweight if you can embrace it's higher tuning it might be another superb choice for you.

In terms of sound and strictly talking about best travel acoustic guitars for the road, the Martin LX1 is the pinnacle of our product reviews. If you want an electric option the Traveler Guitars EG1C has unbelievable onboard features and effects.

From our acoustic travel guitar reviews the Luna makes a pretty great budget travel guitar its is priced at the same region as the Fender CT-60S so either make a good low priced option it just boils down to your individual sound preference The CT60S acoustic travel guitar has a great overall tone but we feel the Luna's low might just give it the edge here in terms of sound despite Fender being the more notorious brand.

We are optimistic that our traveling guitar reviews will have made for a good selection of top travel guitars for the road to choose from and think about.

Initially, you will have to determine if you want acoustic or electric abilities there are some companies making pickups for smaller musical instruments so that can be something you could change at a later date.

The key things to remember when searching for a good travel guitar are how you intend to travel (modes of transport etc), whether you want a cheap knockabout option that you aren't too invested in or prefer something as exquisite as it is roadworthy. Is it going to sit in a hotel room and be pulled out for the local jam night at the club at the end of the strip or are you going to hitchhike your way across Europe?

Lastly, your budget is really what sets your limitations, if it is on the smaller side you ought not to expect too much from cheap travel-size guitars for the road.

Once you know what you want from a travel guitar you can make a better thought out decision and find the most practical solution for your needs.

If your heart is set on dragging around your pride and joy to show it off in all it's beauty on a worldwide scale you will want to seriously invest in some high-end flight cases for the overhead compartment.

Did You Know?

Several leading brands and their discount competitors are manufacturing fold away, collapsible or sliding guitars with some pretty advanced mechanisms, which in terms of compact guitar design solutions is pretty ground breaking so we are excited to see where guitar development goes from here as they will likely make for another great guitar for travel choice.

If you've enjoyed this review by Music Critic , please leave a positive rating:

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Home » Gear » best travel guitars

12 Best Travel Guitars • A BARGAIN Buyer’s Guide for 2024

Traveling the world and playing the guitar are my two greatest passions. But, unfortunately, they don’t seem to go hand-in-hand, do they? Traveling requires minimalism, and guitars are big, awkwardly shaped and are not fun to haul around in airports and buses.

For years I had to make the tough decision –  to either travel  without a guitar, or to painfully drag my oversized acoustic around the world. Both options sucked, and after years of this, I needed something different.

So finally, I bought myself one of the best travel guitars and my life literally changed forever.

As a guitarist of 15 years, and a non-stop world traveler of 10, I know exactly  what is needed from a travel guitar.

With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to easily know which of the best travel guitars is perfect for you and your style of music and travel. We’re going to cover a whole scope of six-stringed sweeties in this post: travel acoustic guitars, travel electric guitars folding neck guitars. Something for every homeless musician out there!

Get excited because here are some of these best traveling guitars and they are  epic!

Unfortunately, as I was researching which travel guitar to buy, I realized there are hundreds of travel guitars… and a ton of them suck.

Which is exactly why I wrote this epic guide to the best travel guitars.

Two travellers busking, one with his portable guitar

Quick Answers – The Best Traveling Guitars

The best traveling guitars mega-list: acoustics, electrics, and a few bass guitars because why not, the best travel acoustic guitars, best travel electric guitars, the best folding guitar for travel, time for some other stringed travel instruments, traveling with a guitar – what to look for, faq about the best travel guitars, closing thoughts on the top travel guitars.

  • Best Travel Acoustic Guitar – Ultra-Light Classical 6-String Guitar
  • Best Travel Electric Guitar – Traveler Guitar Travel Guitar
  • Best Folding Travel Guitar – Journey Instruments OF660M
  • Best Travel Bass Guitar – Traveler Guitar TB-4P
  • Best Travel Budget Guitar – Yamaha GL1 Guitalele

Today, we’re cutting straight to the goodies because goodies are delicious! First, we’ll round up the most portable guitars just built for travel and worldwide escapades. After that, I’ll get to the no less delicious goodies on choosing the right travel guitar for your needs.

Are you ready? Ok, you sexy shredder; let’s do this! The best guitars for travel that most certainly do not weep.

best travel jazz guitar

Ultra-Light Classical 6-String Guitar

  • > Great action

best-travel-acoustic-guitar

Baby Taylor BT2

  • > Taylor-made

Cordoba Mini M Travel Acoustic

Yamaha Guitalele

  • > Vibrant classical tone

best-budget-travel-guitar

Yamaha GL1 Guitalele

best travel jazz guitar

Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric Travel Guitar

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric Travel Guitar

  • > Humbucker pickups

best travel jazz guitar

Hofner 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

  • > 0.176 ounces
  • > Gig bag included

Best Travel Electric Acoustic Guitar

Best Travel Electric-Acoustic Guitar

  • > 2lbs 14 oz
  • > Great neck

best-folding-travel-guitar

Journey Instruments OF660M Carbon Fiber Acoustic Guitar Matte

  • Best Folding Travel Guitar > $$$$$
  • > Great for professionals

best-travel-bass-guitar

Traveler Guitar TB-4P Electric Travel Bass

  • Best Travel Bass Guitar > $$$
  • > 6 lbs 8 oz

best travel jazz guitar

Kala Teak Tri-Top Concert Acoustic-electric Ukulele

  • > Level-10 Portability

For the natural earthy sound. The downside of the portable guitars is the sound isn’t so rocking as an electric baest. The upside?

…Well, you don’t need an amp.

These are the travel guitars you can bring to the campfire or out at the hostel at night to the sneak into the hearts (and pants) of wayward travelers around the globe. Sexy and swooning.

best travel jazz guitar

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Best Travel Acoustic Guitar #1 –  Ultra-Light Classical 6-String Guitar

best travel jazz guitar

If you are looking for the best travel acoustic guitar, do yourself a favor and stop right here because this creature is as good as it gets.

This compact travel guitar is an extraordinary instrument and they have accomplished the goal of creating an affordable yet high-quality travel acoustic guitar.

In TBB fashion, you get only the best of the best! A solid mahogany top, a unique fret design, and a 24-inch scale length mean that you’ll never have to sacrifice quality to have an amazing travel guitar.

This guitar was designed for lightweight travelers in mind. The guitar and strap only weigh a total of 2 lbs. 14 oz combined, making this our smallest travel guitar. And when placed in the included protective bag, the two combine to weight a total of 3lbs. 12oz!

  • Removable lap rest
  • Only 2 lbs 14 oz – the perfect small travel guitar
  • Shape can be awkward or uncomfortable to some
  • Very small – not ideal for professionals
  • Leg rest is a bit slippy

While I clearly think this guitar is the cream of the crop… I don’t recommend it for everyone.

This traveling guitar is for backpackers; perfect for those who love to travel with their guitar but aren’t trying to do anything too hardcore with their music career. Why?

In an effort to make this mini guitar as travel-friendly as possible there is a detachable leg rest, whilst this is amazing meaning you can get the benefit of playing a full-size guitar sat down, I have found it to be a bit slippy on my pants! I’ve remedied this by wrapping a cloth around it but it’s not the ideal solution.

Bottom line:  If you are a traveling professional musician, this might not be the guitar for you. Everyone else – if you can afford it – this tiny Guitar is literally as good of a travel guitar you can get. Click the button below to see the best price.

Best Travel Acoustic Guitar #2 – Baby Taylor BT-2

Baby Taylor BT-1 - the second best travel acoustic guitar

Taylor guitars are one of the most reputable acoustic brands on the planet and this guitar is an incredible example of why.

The Taylor Baby BT-2 is not technically a travel guitar; it’s just one of the best 3/4 guitars out there. This means that it’s 25% smaller than a normal-sized acoustic guitar, and many 3/4 guitars are made for kids.

But obviously one can see why 25% less guitar would be very beneficial for travelers. An extra 25% of the guitar means an extra 25% weight off your back and the ability to stow this guitar on tons of flights.

Plus, along with a smaller size, you also get everything else that is amazing about Taylor guitars – solid wood, ebony fretboard, and a beautiful sound that resembles a choir of glowing angels.

  • High quality and long term durability. This guitar will purr
  • Great for traveling professionals
  • Come with a gig bag
  • Almost weighs 8 lbs with the case
  • Probably too big for lightweight backpackers
  • 19 frets might still not be enough for some

What you’ve got to love about this guitar is that for a 3/4 guitar’s size, it almost sounds exactly like a full-sized acoustic guitar. That’s why it’s easily one of the best travel acoustic guitars on the market. Typically 3/4 guitars sacrifice sound for size but with this Taylor, the tradeoff is barely noticeable.

Taylor has earned their reputation, and this compact guitar is another sterling example. If you don’t mind dishing out a bit more cash, you’ll be very pleased with the tone and sound of this instrument.

Bottom line – The Baby Taylor BT-1  delivers a phenomenal sound and long term durability all of which comes at 3/4 the size of a regular acoustic guitar. If you are looking for an ultralight travel guitar, look elsewhere. But if the quality is your number one concern, you may have found the mini travel guitar of your dreams.

Best Travel Classical Guitar #1 –  Yamaha Guitarlele

Cordoba Mini-M Travel Acoustic Guitar - best travel classical guitar

What happens if you cross a guitar with a Ukulele? The Yamaha Guitalele is what! This is a masterpiece of instrumental engineering, and could quite possibly be the best travel guitar ever made!

With a solid spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, and a gorgeous mahogany body, this classical guitar is stunning in that sexy classical fashion like a finely produced oil painting. Yamaha clearly invests a lot of time in design, and this travel classical guitar is one of the best examples of that.

And thankfully it sounds as good as it looks! This classical, nylon string Guitar-Ukulele is well-reviewed, giving warm and bright tones. This ensures it delivers the best sound for its size and build.

  • Nylon strings for the nylon lovers
  • Gorgeous looks and sound
  • Comes with gig bag
  • If you prefer steel strings,then this is not the guitar for you

It ain’t too pricey and it ain’t too big – good things come in compact and affordable packages! You are getting an extremely well-designed and beautiful acoustic classical guitar that is built just for travelers.

Bottom line – Whether you are a professional or casual musician – if you are looking for a travel classical guitar, this is a fantastic option at a good price.

Best Cheap Travel Guitar #1 –  Yamaha GL1 Guitalele

Yamaha GL1 Guitalele - the best cheap travel guitar

I’ve gone through a ton of guitars in my life, but one of the best, most durable acoustics I ever owned was a $200 Yamaha. Did it have the rich sound of a Martin? Obviously not. But it played well, had great action, and was so durable I was convinced it would survive a nuclear apocalypse.

This is exactly why the Yamaha GL1 Guitalele is my pick for the best cheap travel guitar!

Yamaha makes solid guitars for low prices, and the GL1 Guitalele is a perfect example. Well reviewed and affordable, this was an easy pick for the best budget travel guitar.

  • Super affordable and well-reviewed!
  • Yamaha’s products are always durable
  • A cool fusion of a guitar and ukulele and their A/D/G/C/E/a tuning ensures you get a great sound
  • It’s still cheap, but for $75 more you can get something significantly better
  • Alternate tuning might dissuade some
  • Nylon strings may not be ideal for others

Something to consider is that this is technically NOT a travel guitar . As the name would suggest, this is a hybrid between a ukulele and an acoustic guitar. To accomplish this fusion in the best way possible, Yamaha strings this guitar up to the 4th in the tuning of A/D/G/C/E/a.

If this scares the crap out of you – don’t worry! It just means due to its smaller size, this guitar sounds best with a non-standard E/A/D/G/B/e tuning. Since this is a great cheap travel guitar, this also makes for a great traveling gift !

Bottom line – If an alternate tuning doesn’t scare you and you are on a budget, then this is the best budget travel guitar. A cool guitar-ukulele-combo, the Yamaha Guitele is a solid choice for a traveler looking to save a bit of money on their instrument without compromising too much on quality. It also just happens to be the best guitalele – go figure!

Best Budget Travel Guitar #2 –  Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized

Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized - an inexpensive travel guitar to get the job done

OK, before I continue, I should clarify: this is absolutely, without a doubt, 100% a toddler guitar. This is, however, one of the best inexpensive guitars you’ll find.

It’s small, not of the highest quality, and won’t last a lifetime… And that’s exactly why it’s the best budget travel guitar on this list! A bargain guitar this cheap means all feelings of love and affection go out the window: throw, bang, and transport this instrument on buses in Asia to your heart’s content… unless you get attached.

But we’re travelers; we don’t go in for that attachment nonsense anyway.

Think of it this way… have you ever been to a hostel and they have that small, beat up, classical guitar sitting in the main room? Or have you ever been to a beach party, and some dude with dreadlocks busts out a nylon-stringed guitar that looks like it was made in 1953 for a hobbit?

That’s exactly what this guitar is. It won’t win you a grammy, but it’s cheap, and you better believe that it will play… albeit maybe slightly out of tune.

  • It’s a cheap guitar… don’t get your hopes up

The Hohner 1/2 Sized is for anyone looking for a cheap travel guitar to buy online. Simple as that.

Bottom line – This is the ‘I’m on a shoestring budget backpacking through Southeast Asia . I’m going to party on beaches and all I want is a throwaway guitar I can play some Sublime singalongs on in between cheap beers in hopes of getting laid’ choice. If this sounds like you, then look no further.

best travel jazz guitar

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Do you want to power those chords properly? Whammy those sustains? Really get that cheap meaningless sex at hostels in Thailand?

Then here we are: the best electric travel guitar. Something with a bit more shazam for the busker in all of us .

Best Travel Electric Guitar #1- Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric Travel Guitar

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric Travel Guitar - the best electric travel guitar

While not the most creative company name, Traveler Guitar has put together some pretty impressive traveling instruments and this was an easy pick for the best travel electric guitar.

Amazing design and stellar reviews make this electric guitar one of the coolest travel guitars on the market. The Traveler Ultra-Light comes with dual rail humbuckers and packs an impressive sound. Depending on your amp and pedals setup, this electric should be able to get whatever sound you need out of it.

The Ultra-Light guitar is 28% shorter and 68% lighter than a typical electric guitar all the which while retaining 100% of its size between the nut and the bridge. This means that while this guitar is not going to feel 100% like a full-sized electric… it’ll come close. Plus, you shed all of that weight in the process.

  • 68% lighter than a standard electric guitar
  • Humbucker pickups
  • A gig bag is included
  • Lap rest is included as well
  • Might not be enough for professional traveling musicians
  • Mixed reviews on comfort of detachable lap rest (and overall balance in general)

This travel electric guitar is perfect for super lightweight travelers who need an electric guitar with them at all times. But unfortunately, the lightweight build comes with some sacrifices. And the sacrifice here is the balance.

By eliminating 68% of the weight, some reviews claim the guitar is difficult to balance, or that it’s too light to play or solo on comfortably. Others claimed this was easily overcome with a couple days’ practice. Regardless, if you are considering purchasing, expect a bit of discomfort and imbalance at first, but don’t worry: you’ll be rocking that Red Hot Chili Peppers cover in no time  😉

Bottom line –  Maybe not the best choice for professional musicians but this is still a great travel size electric guitar for someone who loves to shred while they journey. While the balance might take a bit of getting used to, there is simply no better-designed travel electric guitar on the market.

Best Travel Electric Guitar #2 –  Hofner 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

best travel jazz guitar

Just like the Ultra Light Travel Guitar, this model is unique in its design. But unlike its sibling, Traveler Guitar looked at the Hofner as an opportunity to give you a full electric experience while still trimming as much weight as possible.

To accomplish this, they’ve basically cut out everything in the body apart from a tiny area roughly the size of a pick guard on a regular guitar!

By cutting out the majority of the body, Hofner has created an electric guitar that is 14% shorter and 35% lighter than a typical electric guitar. And the impressive part? All of that is done while still keeping the guitar 100% at scale from the bridge to the neck!

  • Full electric experience, but 14% shorter and 35% lighter
  • Awesome for traveling professional musicians
  • Gig bag included
  • Too large for casual musicians
  • Won’t play like a Strat (please don’t expect it to)
  • Mixed reviews on its playability out of the box – might take some tweaking to get desired the feel and sound

Aside from its innovative design, this kickass travel electric guitar comes with 3 single-coil pickups, 1 volume knob and 1 tone knob.

While this compact electric guitar is highly recommended, you will still have to accept that its bold design can cause some complications.  While this travel electric attempts to mimic a full-sized electric – don’t expect it to feel exactly like a Strat or Tele. It comes close, but you can’t expect the same feeling (especially when sitting down).

Truthfully, if you are looking for one of the best electric travel guitars, there aren’t tons of well-reviewed options and Hofner is the only company putting out quality products.

Bottom line –  If you are a traveler looking to shed a few pounds off your electric guitar – this is a kickass option. The Hofner was meant to be lightweight while sacrificing as little playability as possible… Highly recommended for a professional who isn’t sure if the Ultra-Light can make the cut for them.

Best Travel Electric-Acoustic Guitar –  Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric

Traveler Guitar Electric-Acoustic - a little bit of both worlds

Welcome back Traveler Guitar! Lemme make you a tea; you’re welcome anytime as long as you keep pumping out the grade-A stories.

With their third product on this list, I have to say I’m impressed by Traveler Guitar’s commitment to their niche. This product is one of their best!

It’s 100% full scale from the nut to the bridge, but 31% shorter and 43% lighter than a typical acoustic guitar. In particular, this guitar has a nice aesthetic and a gorgeous finish. Reviews claim the neck is smooth and that the guitar is durable and stays in tune very well.

  • 43% lighter than a typical acoustic guitar
  • Great finish – well-reviewed neck
  • Gig bag comes included as well
  • Too niche – only recommended for those who ALWAYS plug in their acoustic (or record acoustic)

But where I think their other products are more versatile… I would only recommend the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric for a very specific person.

Simply put – this guitar only sounds great when it’s plugged in. Why?

Well, think about it. This guitar has no body (aka – where an acoustic gets that warm, vibrant, reverb-y sound from). In the pursuit of lightness, Traveler Guitar made an instrument that only sounds good when plugged into an amplifier – which can totally work for the right person!

When it is plugged into an amp it sounds delicious! But otherwise, it’s basically just another electric guitar that gives much less when unplugged. It’s good for recorders, buskers traveling with an amp, and people gigging… and that’s about it.

Bottom line – Look at the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric as an electric-acoustic guitar, and ONLY as an electric-acoustic guitar. If you love to record acoustic while you travel, or play a ton of live shows – this could be your axe. Everyone else – look elsewhere.

You could get a mini guitar that carries on your back… or you could just get one that folds in half completely! Holy folding guitars, Hendrix! Lookout virtual reality and simulated blowjob machines – the future is here!

In all seriousness, a folding guitar is a supreme traveling instrument. Easy to carry, stow on planes, and you’re not so likely to snap the neck. Trust me: nothing breaks your heart quite as much as a broken guitar neck.

Journey Instruments OF660M Carbon Fiber Acoustic Guitar Matte - the best folding guitar

To be fair – in terms of quality, this is absolutely the best travel guitar that money can buy. It’s the best sounding travel guitar, it’s got a gorgeous make, and it packs up real nice.

But here’s the con – it’s ridiculously expensive. Like, I peed myself a little when I first saw the price tag.

But if you have no problem dropping a bit more money, this is a guitar that will not only be your primary travel guitar… it will be your primary guitar – period. Made from carbon fiber, the Journey OF660M is a modern, durable, sexy looking axe. This guitar gives a super warm, bright and rich tone, and is extremely versatile.

  • The best travel guitar on the market
  • Rich sound – every note rings
  • Carbon fiber is the real deal, making this guitar super-durable (important for travel!)
  • Most expensive guitar on the list
  • 10lbs means what you gain in quality, you lose in travel convenience

Old school guitarists might not like the new school design or the fact that it’s made of carbon fiber, but I must disagree… While I think carbon fiber is an amazing material for any guitar, it’s especially perfect for traveling guitarists!

Traditional wood guitars need to be kept out of humidity and heat to keep them from warping. In contrast, carbon fiber means you can bring your guitar in any weather and travel to any climate stress-free. While I respect the traditionalist view, carbon fiber has proven to be a durable material for guitars, while also providing the guitar with a modern, cool look. No warping, no fear of heat or humidity; this is a huge factor to consider for any traveler guitar.

Bottom line – If you have the budget, don’t need something super-light, and are looking for the best sounding travel guitar money can buy, you’ve found your match.

Everyone and their mom knows how to play the guitar! Well… that’s quite true. It would be fairer to say that everyone and their mom knows how to play a C, G, Am, and F chord. So let’s branch out… starting with a travel bass guitar.

Bass players are sexy. Have you seen their fingers? Think of the things they could do with those fingers…

The Best Travel Bass Guitar – Traveler Guitar TB-4P Electric Travel Bass

Traveler Guitar TB-4P Electric Travel Bass - the best travel bass guitar

Another Traveler Guitar? Seriously? What can I say: this company does it right!

Similar to their travel guitars, this awesome travel bass guitar is designed to feel as much like a standard bass, while trimming as much of the weight as possible.

The Traveler Guitar TB-4P is well reviewed and well designed. It weighs in at 25% lighter than a standard bass – which you will definitely appreciate while traveling – an also measures at 22% shorter than a standard bass. Slap that sucker across all seven continents!

  • 25% lighter and 22% shorter than a standard bass!
  • Well designed – innovative wrap around tuning design
  • Balance might be an issue for some
  • Not going to sound as chunky as a standard bass

The Traveler Guitar Travel Bass comes with volume controls, tone controls, and the standard electronics to get your bass rigged up to any pedal or amp you need! A cool side-perk is they also include a 1/8 inch headphone jack. This means that while you are at your accommodation, you can still pop some headphones in and really jam out!

Remember though, the sound will be nice, but not as full as a typical bass. Duncan pickups help this bass to deliver some great tones but don’t expect to sound exactly like Flea.

Bottom line –  This is the best travel bass guitar money can buy. Like all of the best travel guitars, you are definitely going to sacrifice some tone for the sake traveling lighter,  but if light is what you need, then Traveler Guitar TB-4P Electric Bass got you covered.

Annnnd the Ukulele – Kala Teak Tri-Top Concert Acoustic-electric Ukulele

best travel jazz guitar

C’mon, you had to see this coming. It’s the quintessential rookie-backpacker move. Buy a uke, learn the aforementioned C, G, Am, F, ‘ Somewhere over the Rainbow’ and ‘I’m Yours’ , strap your new companion to your backpack , and you’re officially that guy!

I’m taking the piss. I adore ukes! …In the hands of someone who actually plays the ukulele. Once you learn the chord variations up and down the fretboard and some scales, they’re actually quite darling.

So, what’s the best ukulele for travel? Well, that’s the beauty of ukes… they all are! They’re all small enough to go as carry-on on a plane and they strap nicely to most backpacks.

So what’s the best ukulele? Well, probably not this one; I imagine the best ukulele was crafted by an ancient Hawaiian God and is sitting lodged in a rock at the bottom of some volcano somewhere waiting to be exonerated by the chosen one. Otherwise, though, there’s this one!

  • Electric-acoustic so plug in for an even sweeter sound
  • Built-in tuner
  • Unique shape and design
  • The intonation isn’t perfect for a connoisseur’s ear
  • Excellent for beginner’s and a great intermediate uke but experts may seek elsewhere

It’s a sexy uke that sounds pretty. The built-in tuner is a massive plus and plugging to an amp is really gonna make this bad-boy shine (yes, I did just refer to a ukulele as a “bad-boy”). Kala make good gear and they’re not just in the ukulele space either.

Also, the Kala Teak Tri-Top Concert Acoustic-electric Ukulele just looks mega-pretty. Koa, mahogany, walnut, and a seductive satin finish to seduce the park hippies (and South Asian men) with.

All in all, if this is just you following the stereotypical first-time traveler route, there are cheaper ukuleles you can spend your money on and that’ll do the job right. But, if you’re upgrading from that phase, or are just genuinely interested in learning the ukulele it’s a fine choice.

Bottom line –  Well, my mom says ukes are cool! Actually, she hates them but she has to put up with me anyway. This may not be the best travel guitar but it’s certainly a good deal lighter and smaller than any portable guitar you’ll find.

Protip: Try finding nylon guitar strings that fit the gauges (it’s super doable) and putting them on to swap that high G out for a low one; a uke with a bass not – yum!

best travel jazz guitar

Now, you  could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

As an avid traveler and musician, I can tell you that buying a great travel size guitar was one of the most important decisions I ever made. I can now easily transport a guitar anywhere I go in the world, meaning never have to be without a guitar again!

Me perusing a travel guitar option

When it comes to the best travel guitars, there are a few things, in particular, you want to keep an eye out for. Here are some important things to consider when you are trying to pick your personal travel guitar.

1.  Do you need a top quality travel guitar?

The guitars on this list are certainly some of the best travel guitars on the market… but some are certainly higher quality than others. Keep an eye out for prices. Yes, we are all trying to save money with our broke backpacking ways , but sometimes spending the extra $50 can be the difference between a just-ok travel guitar that will get you by or an exceptional travel guitar that will literally change the game.

This is especially true if you are a traveling professional musician. Do not try and get something cheap – it will quickly come back to haunt you.

Backpackers looking for a travel-friendly guitar that they can just jam on, have a bit more leniency in their choices.

2. How many frets for your travel guitar?

Something I overlooked was the fact that travel guitars don’t always have the standard amount of frets! Obviously it makes sense as the smaller the neck, the more travel-friendly the guitar. Consider your guitar playing style. Do you prefer to shred solos high up the neck? Or are you just looking for something to jam out with beachside, and play some zombie chords?

A tonkori in Japan - not the most inexpensive travel guitar

If you don’t need the additional frets, you’ll find that your options are better and the portable guitars to choose from will be much more compact.

3. What about the length and weight of your travel size guitar?

The first thing you need to consider is your travel style. Are you a fast traveler or slow traveler ?

If you travel the world spending a month at a time in AirBnb’s , you won’t be as concerned about the size and weight of the guitar. If you blitz from hostel to hostel, then you should seriously consider purchasing one of the lighter and more compact travel guitars.

4. Remember this one important fact…

Here’s the deal…

The standard guitar is literally a miracle. It’s a perfectly crafted instrument. Over the past 500+ years the guitar has slowly been tweaked to perfection. With the modern-day guitar, the size, shape, and build of a standard guitar ensures that you get the absolute best comfort, sound and durability from this amazing instrument.

This is where traveler guitars screw the proverbial pooch.

Playing a ukulele while traveling in India

Ultimately, travel guitars are smaller, and because they are smaller they aren’t going to sound as good as a standard guitar. There is no way around this. If you want a smaller guitar, you are going to have to make some other sacrifices. To get a guitar smaller, lighter, and more travel-friendly means sacrificing a few other important things (like possibly sound, comfort, balance).

Don’t worry- the best travel guitars sound amazing! Just don’t expect it sound like a song from ‘Eric Clapton Unplugged’ … Because it won’t.

But I promise you, whatever travel guitar you choose it will sound awesome, it’ll be lightweight, and it will accompany you around the world  🙂

Can a travel guitar replace my primary guitar?

The easy answer – absolutely.

The more complicated answer… well, it depends on your needs.

If you are more of a casual guitar player (like I am these days) then you will be stoked to know that a travel guitar can absolutely replace your primary guitar (especially if you don’t mind spending a bit more). The selections from Cordoba, Martin, and Taylor on this list are truly epic instruments, and if you don’t need to worry about gigs, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised that your travel guitar can absolutely become your primary guitar.

A man playing on his well-worn traveler classical guitar

But people that are truly invested in their musical journey, possibly even at the sake of their world-wandering journey, a travel guitar, long-term, isn’t going to cut it. Eventually, the lack of frets, or the lower quality sound, or some other aspect is going to wear thin.

Eventually, in your world-wandering journey, you’re going to stumble across a truly magnificent instrument and that’s when your mini guitar built for travelers isn’t going to feel so special anymore.

Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

Can you fold guitars?

Not all of them are foldable, but there are some cool options. One of them is the Journey Instruments OF660M , that can literally fold in half.

Should you get a travel guitar if you don’t know how to play?

Hell yeah, why not? Spend those long hours waiting for flights or buses by learning how to play on your cool travel guitar and impress your friends once you’re back home.

What should you look for in a travel guitar?

Keep these key-features in mind: 1. Does it have to be top quality? 2. The number of frets 3. Packability and size

What is the best affordable travel guitar?

The best budget travel guitar is the Yamaha GL1 Guitalele. It’s super durable and offers a great sound as well.

best travel jazz guitar

Our GREATEST Travel Secrets…

Pop your email here & get the original Broke Backpacker Bible for FREE.

There you have it! The 10 best travel guitars (plus two extras).

I know that with the help of this epic buyer’s guide, you’ll easily be able to identify and buy the travel guitar of your dreams. Get out there and find your baby.

Treat her well too. It’s a lonely road and there may come a night in the future where it’s just you and her alone under a bridge in the storm. Trust me, on that day

Is there anything I missed? What’s your favorite travel guitar? Comment below! It’ll help other travelers know which guitar is best for them – safe travels!

street performer in europe playing his traveling guitar

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Aaron

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best travel jazz guitar

Best Jazz Guitars 2024: From Traditional To Modern, And For Every Budget

We round up the best jazz guitars on the market, for both traditional and modern style players

Gibson ES-335 on a dark background

  • Guitar Player's choice
  • Product guide & reviews
  • Buying advice

Jazz is a style that demands a lot of nuanced technique, control of dynamics, and an expressivity you don’t often find in other styles. No two jazz guitarists are the same, and while there are plenty of different types of instruments you can use, the best jazz guitar will allow you to demonstrate your unique voice.

Just as jazz music encompasses a myriad of styles, so too does our guide, which gives you everything from vintage hollow body guitars right through to super-charged S-types. All of these guitars deliver superb clean sounds as well as perform well with light overdrive. They respond brilliantly to complex chord voicings, allowing you to dynamically deliver jazz licks and chord progressions with superb tone at the forefront.

If you’re new to jazz guitar, make sure to check out our buying advice section at the end of this article. For those who just want to get started, keep scrolling to see our top picks.

Best Jazz Guitars: Guitar Player's choice

If you’re looking for a straight up, pro-level jazz guitar with a few modern appointments, then the Ibanez AF2000 is hard to beat. With high-quality materials, traditional design and some impressive specs, you get the best of both old and new worlds here. 

If you want to go down a more traditional route, then consider the D’Angelico Excel EXL-1, armed with a single pickup. It's an old-school hollowbody archtop that dishes out some of the most faithful jazz tones you'll hear this side of the '50s, but with a modern neck profile. Sounds like a stunning combination.

If value for money is what you seek, then have a look at the Epiphone Swingster. The fully hollow maple body allows for some serious resonance, and with extra pickup switching options available thanks to the push-pull tone pots, the Swingster is a very versatile instrument.

Best Jazz Guitars: Product guide

1. ibanez af2000.

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Absolutely one of the best guitars for jazz out there right now. Fitted with a pair of vintage voiced Super 58 humbuckers, the Ibanez AF2000 dishes out mellow, smooth and balanced tones that are perfectly suited to jazz. Playing extended chords, you can hear each note ring out nicely, allowing you to perform with utmost expression. A volume and tone knob for each pickup allows you to craft your tone perfectly to suit the sound you need at any given time.

The build quality is superb, and you can see the attention to detail that’s gone into it, especially with the tailpiece, headstock inlays and Gotoh 510 tuning pegs. The neck profile feels great in the hand and it plays like dream all over the neck. Whilst the Ibanez AF2000 boasts a fairly traditional design, it benefits from modern playability and reliability.

This is a pro-level instrument, and though it’s not cheap, you’re getting a whole lot of guitar for the money.

2. D’Angelico Excel EXL-1

This is based on John D’Angelico’s original design and perfectly captures the essence of old-school New York jazz. It’s fitted with a single pickup - a Seymour Duncan Johnny Smith Floating Mini Humbucker, which helps distribute the full-bodied warmth thrown out by the 17” wide and 3” deep fully hollow body.

Whilst it’s not the most versatile electric guitar in the list, the D’Angelico Excel EXL-1 is perfect for jazz. The pickup is clear, defined, and balanced across the frequency spectrum. The neck profile is nice and slim, making wide stretches a speedy licks comfortable to play. 

The Excel EXL-1 sits at the top of D’Angelico’s arch top range and as such is beautifully crafted. The art deco touches like the scratch plate and tailpiece add to the classy, timeless look of the guitar.

3. Epiphone Swingster

This affordable and versatile offering from Epiphone is one of the best guitars for jazz around this price point. It’s got a fully hollow body and a pair of SwingBucker pickups, along with push-pull volume controls that allow for series/parallel switching. This gives you a wide tonal palette to play with, though it’s difficult to get a bad jazz sound out of it.

It’s got the classic hollowbody sound; it’s warm, rounded and rich, with plenty of bite available in the bridge pickup should you need it. Through a clean guitar amp , the neck pickup delivers a beautiful, mellow jazz tone, and in the middle position, you can get a great, slightly percussive, slightly quacky tone that’s great for lead playing. Each pickup has an individual volume and tone knob too so you can really shape your sound.

The neck features Epiphone’s Slim Taper profile so will suit those that prefer a slightly thinner neck. There’s also a Bigsby licensed tailpiece and wire handle for adding subtle vibrato, whilst keeping a classy aesthetic.

4. Fender American Performer Telecaster

A Tele might not seem an obvious choice for jazz - the legendary solidbody as about far away from a hollowbody as you can get. That said, a good Tele is very capable of producing some incredible jazz tones, as proven by the likes of Ed Bickert and Mike Stern. A Tele also means you can turn it up, and add some gain to your tone without having to worry about the guitar feeding back.

The Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum is a superb choice if you’re looking for a versatile jazz guitar. The humbucker in the neck position gives you lots of warmth and depth, however, it’s armed with a push-pull tone pot that essentially turns it into a single coil, without a drop in volume. The bridge pickup gives you some classic Tele tang which can be nice for lead work, and the two pickups combined gives a beautiful, smooth tone.

The Greasebucket tone circuit also allows you to take out some of the high frequencies that you might not want, without muddying your existing tone, or adding more bass frequencies.

5. Gibson ES-335

One of the most ubiquitous guitars in blues and rock is also one of the best guitars for jazz. The semi-hollow body gives it a great resonance, but you won’t be quite as prone to feedback if you’re playing really loud or with gain. There’s a really nice bite to the bridge pickup that’s handy for cutting through a mix when playing solos - roll off a little on the tone knob and you can tame it instantly. 

Gibson really are making some of the best guitars that they have ever built. There’s no doubt that you’re playing a premium instrument, with superb playability and clarity all over the neck. The medium C isn’t a slim profile, but it’s not quite as thick as some of Gibson’s late 50s-style profiles. 

Gibson’s ES-335 body shape is one of the all-time classic guitar shapes. It’s big enough to resonate really well, but it’s still comfortable to play for most players out there; still one of the best jazz guitars today.

6. PRS SE Hollowbody Standard

This could be one of the best guitars for experienced players migrating to the world of jazz. The PRS body shape will be familiar to many already (though technically, this model is very slightly bigger than a regular PRS), and the Wide Fat neck profile provides a nice late-50s Gibson-esque feel for the fretting hand. 

The combination of the all-mahogany body construction and 58/15 ’S’ pickups leads to a great jazz tone. The pickups are nice and clear, and are inspired by those all-hallowed PAFs meaning it can handle blues and rock too. 

The body lends it some nice resonance and warmth without sounding too bright. It’s fitted with a single volume and tone knob, and a three-way pickup selector - while some may find that this limits them a little, others will love the simplicity.

7. Gretsch G6120T-59 Vintage Select ’59 Chet Atkins

While Chet Atkins is sometimes accused of being ‘too country’ by jazz fans, and ‘too jazz’ by country fans, there’s no denying that his signature Gretsch models are some of the best jazz guitars out there. 

The hollow body provides great resonance as well as warmth and richness. The TV Jones Classics are incredibly clear and articulate, and they’ve got a character to them that you don’t hear in other pickups. If you want a strong picking attack for single note leads, that’s no problem on the bridge pickup, but, should you want to mellow it out, the neck pickup can do so perfectly. Whilst you don’t have a tone knob, you do get a three-way tone switch which can help you shape your sound how you want.

The build quality is excellent and let’s not forget how classy the guitar looks too! While country and swing players love it, the Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120T-59 is also a great guitar for jazz.

8. Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II

This Godin archtop hollow body provides a nice alternative to humbucking pickups in the form of two P90 single coils. These are great if you’re playing gyspy jazz, though they’re punchy enough in the low mids for more traditional jazz too. The sound will be a little thinner than with humbuckers, but that can really work sometimes.

The neck pickup with a little tone rolled back is beautiful - not too dark, but great for rhythms. The pickups are also nice and dynamic so they’ll react to the fine nuances of your playing. 

These guitars are built really well in Canada and they look and feel fantastic - what you get for your money is very impressive. Also, if you imagine the guitar without its bridge pickup, it’s not a million miles from a Gibson ES-125, except it’s a lot easier to source!

9. Suhr Modern Plus

Some players want to cover as many bases as possible with one guitar. You might be playing a set that’s predominantly jazz, but with some rocky or even metal parts thrown in too. The Suhr Modern Plus is the perfect tool for guitarists that need to cover the whole spectrum. 

It’s got a trio of pickups - a high output humbucker in the bridge, a 60s-inspired Strat-style single coil in the middle and a vintage voiced humbucker with extra clarity in the neck position. Chord inversions and lead lines ring through incredibly clear in all positions, but the neck pickup on its own does have a beautiful vintage character to it, and the bridge is perfect for cutting through a mix.

The Suhr Modern Plus is a top-spec, high performance guitar; whilst it might not be the one for traditionalists, for jazz players that need tonal options to cover fusion and more, it’s perfect.

Best Jazz Guitars: Buying advice

When looking for the best jazz guitar for you, there are a few considerations to make that will help lead you to the right instrument.

Are hollowbody guitars best for jazz?

If you’re a straight up, traditional jazz player, then you’ll probably want an instrument that reflects that. Hollowbody guitars have been the choice of jazz players for decades, due to their tremendous low end response and warmth. You do sacrifice some sustain, which is worth bearing in mind, though that can work well for a lot of jazz music.

Hollowbody guitars can also be prone to feedback if you’re playing close to a really loud amp, or you’re using a fair amount of overdrive. For a lot of jazz styles, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you know that you’ll be playing sections with gain, then a semi-hollow or solid body guitar should help with this.

If you’re likely to be fusing jazz with bits of rock, blues, country or anything else, then you might want something a little more versatile. You’ll still want that mellow warmth, but you might want a little more bite and brightness to your tone at times - guitars with a couple of different pickups on board can prove to be incredibly handy in these situations.

Is one pickup enough for a jazz guitar?

Having a selection of slightly different tones at your fingertips can be really helpful when playing jazz. If you’re playing a guitar with two pickups, individual volume and tone knobs for each pickup can help you establish the perfect rhythm and lead tones. For example, dial back the volume a little on the neck for rhythm sounds, then switch to your bridge pickup at full volume, with a little of the tone rolled off for solos - there are so many options without having to look at a single pedal.

What neck profile is best for Jazz?

There are various neck profiles available throughout this selection of the best jazz guitars. Many players have a personal preference and it really boils down to what is comfortable for you. There can be some fairly intense stretching when it comes to jazz chord inversions and scales, so how the neck fits in your fretting hand is definitely worth considering.

How much should I pay for a jazz guitar?

Like with most things in life, price will also be a consideration. If you’re looking for a professional level instrument that’s going to stand up to a lifetime of live performances and studio sessions, then the best jazz guitars for you are probably going to be north of the $/£1,500 mark. That said, there are some great options well below that.

How we choose the best jazz guitars

You can trust Guitar Player. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

At Guitar Player, we understand the discerning taste and sophisticated requirements of jazz guitarists. With our dedication to providing insightful information for seasoned musicians, we have meticulously researched and tested a wide range of guitars to identify the best options available for jazz players.

To compile our list of top jazz guitars, we combine our expertise, meticulous research, and insightful discussions with our editorial team. We consider factors such as tonal characteristics, playability, craftsmanship, resonance, and versatility, ensuring that we showcase the finest guitars that meet the exacting standards of jazz enthusiasts.

As mature musicians ourselves, we recognize the importance of finding a guitar that captures the essence of the jazz tradition and delivers the rich, warm tones that define the genre. Whether you're a seasoned jazz artist, an experienced player exploring the realm of jazz, or a lifelong enthusiast seeking the perfect instrument, our goal is to provide reliable and informed recommendations that help you find the best jazz guitar that resonates with your unique musical voice.

Read more on how we test gear and service at Guitar Player .

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Richard Blenkinsop

After spending a decade in music retail, I’m now a freelance writer for Guitar Player, Guitar World, MusicRadar and Reverb, specializing in electric and acoustic guitars bass, and almost anything else you can make a tune with. When my head’s not buried in the best of modern and vintage gear, I run a small company helping musicians with songwriting, production and performance, and I play bass in an alt-rock band.

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Best travel guitars 2024: top acoustic and electric travel guitars for portability and performance

Top travel guitar choices and buying advice for musicians on the move

  • The quick list

Best overall

Best acoustic, best electric, best for metal, best for kids, more options....

  • Buying advice
  • How we choose

1. The quick list 2. Best overall 3. Best acoustic 4. Best nylon string 5. Best electric 6. Best for metal 7. Best for kids 8. More options... 9. Buying advice 10. How we choose products

We guitarists are supremely lucky – we already play an instrument that we can take and play anywhere with us. Let’s face it, drummers already look at us with envy at our relative portability. However, the best travel guitars enhance and refine that concept further to offer the ultimate in portability without compromising on tone and playability. From travel-size stalwarts from Taylor and Martin to fascinatingly unexpected options from Blackstar and Yamaha, there’s something here for everyone. 

Whether you’re constantly on the move and need a travel companion to satisfy your musical urges, perhaps your office has to hear your progress with Eugene’s Trick Bag, or maybe you want something a little comfier for the couch. If so, we’ve selected the very best travel guitars for you and they’re a surprisingly varied group – from full-scale electric guitars to 3/4-size acoustic electrics.

There’s a good reason for this variety; a travel guitar needs to be portable, of course, but how it achieves that can be decided by several factors. We’ve taken them all into consideration with our choices for the best travel guitars you can buy right now. You can find our top picks below, and if you need any further guidance, head straight for our buying advice section at the bottom of the page.

Rob is the Guitars Editor for  MusicRadar , handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar, he worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including as Editor of Total Guitar. He's currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with his own songs and is enjoying playing covers in function bands.

Best travel guitars: The quick list

Despite being released in 2010 the Taylor GS Mini-e is still one of the best implementations of travel guitar design ever. A solid top and excellent pickup make it the perfect travel guitar.

Read more below

Originally made famous by Ed Sheeran, the Martin LX1E 'Little Martin' carries all the famous build quality and tonal properties of this legendary guitar maker, in a super compact format.

For the nylon string players out there, this fast-playing and unusual-looking electro-acoustic features a removable upper bout, making it easy to transport anywhere.

There aren't loads of options for electric players when it comes to travel guitars, but the Blackstar Carry-On is a fantastic choice.  The body is tiny, giving you a 'proper' size neck to play on.

A marriage between ESP and the Traveler Guitar company, this mini metal guitar features locking tuners, an active humbucker, and the distinct looks of a full-size ESP LTD EC-1000.

Read more below 

With its cute colors, tiny build, and fantastic tone, the Epiphone Power Player SG is a great guitar for budding guitarists, whilst also being small enough to go wherever they do.

The best travel guitars available today

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Here you'll find full writeups and reviews of all the best travel guitars we rate. The majority of these have been tested first hand by our writing team, so you can rely on our recommendations.

1. Taylor GS Mini-e Koa

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Taylor’s GS Mini was ahead of most of the pack when it launched in 2010, and it still stands up as a masterful design from the company’s design wizard Andy Powers. It’s a benchmark example of a guitar that sounds far fuller than its dimensions – aided by the slight arch of its back. Although over a decade old, due to its continued success, fantastic playability, and many attempted iterations we have honored it as our number one pick. 

With spruce and mahogany options proving popular, the Koa stands out for the visual clout of its dramatic figuring. A solid top, layered back and sides, Sapele neck, and ebony fingerboard provide a rich tonal recipe here. 

Taylor’s Expression System preamp system (including a handy tuner) and the high-quality included gigbag round out a superb package for one of the company’s best-value models. Left-handed models are available too – yay! 

2. Martin LX1E Little Martin

A firm favorite of Ed Sheeran – although he has made a move to Lowden in recent years – the Martin LX1E is Martin's pint-sized offering (and one of our top picks for the best 3/4 acoustic guitars ), delivering the outstanding built quality you’d expect from the acoustic giant and a quality amplified sound. 

This guitar is made with a solid Sitka spruce top and high-pressure laminate back and sides, as well as a composite neck. It may not have the elegant looks of the D-28 or HD-35, but it is incredibly strong and damn near indestructible. This mighty little guitar will undoubtedly handle any of the harsh conditions bestowed upon it. 

Read our full Martin LX1E Little Martin review

Best nylon string

3. yamaha slg200n silent guitar.

The Silent Guitar is an unusual proposition with a detachable frame for folding down. It’s also designed to be plugged in for amplification or via headphones – it makes very little acoustic sound of its own. This has the advantage of quiet practice but the Silent Guitar’s SRT and pickup blend system also shines via a PA or acoustic combo live for surprisingly organic tones to mimic a real acoustic being mic’d. 

Its low action and slim neck will suit electric guitar players if they can accept its untraditional looks. The onboard chorus and reverb are reminiscent of the Transacoustic series and further enhance the SLG200N’s usability as a traveling companion. 

When it comes to traveling, the SLG200N can be partly disassembled as the bass side of the body screws off. This allows you to slot the guitar in the Yamaha-branded gig bag like you're carrying around a laptop. Easy peasy. 

4. Blackstar Carry-On

Blackstar have made a guitar!? Yes indeed, the guitar amp company joined forces with fellow Brits Gordon Smith Guitars on a down-sized electric; 20.7-inch scale with a ukulele -sized body is certainly compact but the result stacks up comfortably well with a full-size neck.

It’s a one piece body and neck design to aid resonance and we really like design touches like the tortoiseshell-like plastic binding and the playing comfort of the matt neck, sides and back. It’s also great to see a coil-split on the humbucker pickup for tonal versatility through an amp – you can even buy the Carry-on as a package with Blackstar’s Fly3 mini amp.  

Read the full Blackstar Carry-On Deluxe Pack review  

5. Traveler Guitar LTD EC-1

Another collaboration between two successful guitar brands, Traveler already have a formidable reputation for electric travel guitars and ESP build some of the finest guitars for heavy rock and metal around with its EC series; the LTD EC-1 is the combination of those skills.

The full-scale singlecut model first surfaced in 2016 and is now available in Vintage Black with gold hardware – a Traveler design calling card is to cut down on overall length by placing locking tuners within the body design. The pickup here is an ESP-designed active humbucker, so it’s ideal for higher gain tones and cutting lead work with the inbuilt headphone amp. It even features a bevelled cutaway for higher fret access. 

6. Epiphone Power Players SG

Although Epiphone’s Power Player series has a strong appeal to a young beginner, it also presents a fantastic option for some traveling humbucker bite. The SG variant comes in three awesome finishes – Lava Red, Ice Blue, and Dark Matter Ebony – and the included Epiphone branded gig bag almost begs you to take one on your next trip. 

Far from being just another beginner guitar, this SG is equipped with a set of 650R/700T ’buckers which will satisfy any cravings you may have when parted from your beloved housebound axe. Although you’ll have to bring some kind of amplification to utilize the guitar fully, a pocket-friendly headphone amplifier like the fantastic Fender Mustang Micro will have you covered. 

The Slim Taper D neck profile and contoured neck heel help with playability, and we found that the string spacing feels natural enough not to mess with our muscle memory. Also, if you aren’t a fan of the slightly off-kilter feel of an SG, there’s a Les Paul variant if that’s more your thing. So, if you’re after a viable travel size option to rock out on the road, check out the Power Players, you won’t be disappointed. 

Read the full Epiphone Power Players review

7. Yamaha CSF3M

A firm favorite of Ed Sheeran – although he has made a move to Lowden in recent years – the Martin LX1E is Martin's pint-sized offering (and one of our top picks for the best 3/4 acoustic guitars ), delivering the outstanding build quality you’d expect from the acoustic giant and a quality amplified sound. 

8. Guild Jumbo Junior

Guild knows a thing or two about acoustic guitars, specifically the jumbo-bodied variety having produced them since the ’70s. Here, we get Guild’s iconic jumbo but shrunk down to a more portable format. It’s got a solid Sitka spruce top, and mahogany back and sides – the former arched to aid resonance and projection. 

Adding to this, the JJ comes equipped with a Guild/Fishman GT-1 system so you can plug in for gigs and quick recording. Tonally, it’s a punchy little strummer with a sweet high end and you can always rely on Guild for providing a smooth playing experience. 

Guild is going for the GS-mini’s throne and although it certainly gets you in that ballpark at a more affordable price, it does lack the pronounced low-end of Taylor’s version. However, we’re splitting hairs here and the Jumbo Junior gives you classic looks from an iconic brand at a very attractive price.

9. Yamaha APXT2

This is the third entry for Yamaha on this list, but we felt it needed to be included. Yamaha has taken their ever-popular APX and shrunk it down to create the APXT2. This 3/4 sized acoustic is one of the smallest on this list, measuring in at only 34 inches, and will happily fit in most traveling situations. 

The onboard pickup is surprisingly good on the APXT2 and offers a tone far greater than the unplugged sound. The preamp also comes with a handy built-in guitar tuner , meaning you don't have to pack any extra gear. The satin finish not only looks great but is very smooth to play. In fact, the whole neck is very familiar, and if you have played Yamaha guitars in the past, then you'll get on with how this feels. It also comes in a range of different colors, just like its big brother, the APX500. 

So if you are a fan of the APX series or are looking for a unique-looking travel guitar, then it's worth checking these out. 

10. Sheeran By Lowden S03

Whatever you think of Ed Sheeran’s music, he has great taste in luthier’s. George Lowden actually designed the Wee Lowden travel-size guitar for the songwriter and their friendship blossomed into a full series of guitars in 2019.

The S03 had a refresh in 2021 – the ‘S’ stands for small body and the latest 24.8-inch scale model features a solid cedar top but with a rosewood and mahogany layering at the back and sides this time. An impressively full sound is matched with the quality of the LR Baggs VTC system for plugging in, and with the cutaway design this is one of the best travel-size acoustics for live performance. 

Read the full Sheeran By Lowden SO3 review  

Best travel guitars: Buying advice

Should i get an electric or an acoustic travel guitar.

One of the initial choices you’ll have to make when purchasing a travel guitar is between electric and acoustic. Both have their pros and cons, so deciding what will work best for you is the most important.

With an electric travel guitar, you’ll be able to practice quietly, with the assistance of a headphone amp, so if you don’t want to bug anyone in your vicinity, an electric one may be the better option. Also, it’s far easier to record with an electric travel guitar on the move; if you have your laptop and a small audio interface then hey presto, you can record the next platinum-selling album on your bus to work. However, needing additional pieces of hardware, like a headphone amp, may put people off getting a travel electric. If you want to travel with the least faff possible, an acoustic may be the better option.

Although acoustic travel guitars don’t need additional amplification, they will be slightly deeper than their electric cousins. This depth does come with an advantage, it will project the sound a lot further and you will get a much louder sound out of an acoustic travel guitar.

What makes a great travel guitar?

A travel guitar’s portability can be due to a smaller body, lighter weight and shorter scale (this is the distance from the guitar’s nut to its saddle) but a guitar can still be great for carrying around with you and have a full-scale. 

Having said that, acoustic travel guitars tend to have a shorter scale and smaller bodies to be portable, but they will still be tuned and play like a regular guitar. Indeed, the best travel guitars we have selected in this guide all shine for their playability as well as tone so they don’t take much getting used to. 

Electric travel guitars can usually plug into guitar amps and PAs but some have their own inbuilt amps to use headphones with, making them all-in-one practice tools. 

Can I gig with a travel guitar?

Absolutely, and many acoustic travel guitars include inbuilt pickups and preamps to allow for this. Ed Sheeran is one of the most famous living guitarists on the planet and uses a small-scale travel guitar onstage and in the studio. He likes them so much he’s even got his own series of them now.

Even electric travel guitars designed for headphone practice can be used with amps if you wish, so they could be a great choice for travelling to jams or impromptu gigs with. 

What string gauge should I use for a travel guitar?

Due to their shorter scale length, the strings on a travel guitar usually feel pretty slinky and a lot bendier. This can throw some players off, particularly if your playing style includes a lot of note bends or if you’re a little heavy-handed. A way to combat this can be with a heavier string gauge. Heavier strings will compensate for a short scale length and using a set of 0.012s on a travel guitar will feel more like a set of 0.010s on a full-sized guitar. So if you’ve had trouble with super slinky strings on your travel companion go for a thicker set of strings, it should hopefully solve your issue.

How we choose the best travel guitars

Here at  Guitar World , we are experts in our field, with many years of playing and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything guitar and bass related, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products for our guides.

When choosing what we believe to be the best travel guitars available right now, we combine our hands-on experience, user reviews and testimonies and engage in lengthy discussions with our editorial colleagues to reach a consensus about the top products in any given category.

First and foremost, we are guitarists, and we want other players to find the right product for them. So we take into careful consideration everything from budget to feature set, ease of use and durability to come up with a list of what we can safely say are the best travel guitars on the market right now.

Read more about our rating system, how we choose the gear we feature, and exactly  how we test  each product.  

Related buyer's guides

  • The best acoustic guitars for beginners
  • Freshen up with the best acoustic guitar strings  

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Rob Laing

Rob is the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar , handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar, he worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including as Editor of Total Guitar. He's currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with his own songs and is enjoying playing covers in function bands.

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Home » Guitars » 17 Best Travel Guitars in 2024 (All Price Ranges and Styles)

17 Best Travel Guitars in 2024 (All Price Ranges and Styles)

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If you’re a musician that’s always on the move, you know how difficult it can be to carry a full-size guitar along all the time. Bumpy roads and crammed flights can damage precious instruments in a single unfortunate moment. Instead of risking your primary guitars, taking a more compact travel guitar is a great option that all musicians should consider.

Best Travel Guitars (Featured Image)

Travel-friendly guitars not only sound and play like regular guitars, but are compact, lightweight, and are far easier to travel with on road trips than full-sized guitars. If you’ve been thinking of getting yourself a travel-sized guitar but are unsure which one to pick, then you’ve come to the right spot.

I’ll start this article by reviewing the best travel guitars at each price point, but if you want to learn more about them before reading reviews, I’ve included some information about travel guitars at the bottom of the page. In this article, I’ll cover all the different styles of travel guitars so you can find the one to best suit your needs!

Here Are the Best Travel Guitars

1. martin lx1 little martin acoustic guitar (best overall acoustic).

Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

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My Review: When it’s a Martin, you can rest assured that it is going to be a top quality guitar. The iconic American brand is well known for crafting some of the greatest sounding acoustic guitars around. The Little Martin is a testament to the saying that good things come in small packages. Built with solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany high-pressure laminate back and sides, this small wonder produces the same resonant, loud projection akin to top-of-the-line Martins and comes with a padded gig bag.

Overall Build and Size: We are in awe of Little Martin’s smart design which has delivered a great guitar that belies its 23” scale and 15” length. This wonderful sounding model is extremely sturdy and very easy to play, making it a perfect travel companion as well as a great pick for beginners. Little Martin is a popular choice when it comes to a travel guitar as it packs comfortably into overhead compartments of most airlines. This natural golden-brown, small-bodied acoustic comes equipped with a black Micarta bridge with compensated white Tusq saddle and chrome small-knob tuners.

Overall Sound Quality: Little martin’s powerful projection and a well-balanced tone set it apart from other miniature parlor guitars. It delivers a pretty bright and resonant sound and scores high on versatility. Take it along with you on your next trip to the hills and let the magic unfold.

Body and Neck Wood: This Martin LX1 boasts of a solid Sitka spruce top with a warm satin finish which gives it classic look. The back and sides are made up of Mahogany high-pressure laminate. The guitar has a hand-rubbed rust birch laminate neck which has a modified low oval shape with standard taper making it extremely comfortable to play. The use of sustainable wood in some of its parts has made us fall in love with this beauty all the more.

Key Features:

  • Solid Sitka spruce wood top
  • Big on tone, quality, and versatility
  • Perfectly travel-sized and easy to carry
  • Eco-friendly construction using sustainable wood parts
  • Affordable for a Martin guitar

2. Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar (Best Value Acoustic)

Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar

My Review: If you are looking for a pocket-friendly 3/4 acoustic travel guitar with a good tone and easy playability, the small and portable Yamaha JR1 FG might be worth looking at. The natural Spruce top and the rosewood fretboard offers great playability and a bright tone, while locally sourced tonewood adds a reliable durability to the overall body. Compact, light, and bearing the time-trusted Yamaha brand legacy, this travel guitar is lightweight without compromising on the sound quality. Overall, I would say this is the best travel acoustic guitar for the money.

Overall Build and Size: The JR1 FG is a well designed 33 1/4-inch medium-sized dreadnought that strikes a good balance between value and quality. Despite being originally positioned as a beginner guitar for children, we found it to be quite a good option for adults looking for a reliable travel guitar as well. What we like about this model is that it doesn’t let its compact size come in the way of offering a great tone.

The build is of good quality with a rosewood fretboard and a sturdy mahogany neck which offers a comfortable playability. This makes it a great fit for most guitarists – from young students just starting out to someone looking to play an impromptu gig by the bonfire.

Overall Sound Quality: Thanks to the Spruce wood top, players get a nice resonant tone that amplifies lower tones surprisingly well – normally you wouldn’t really expect a guitar this compact to have such an impressive low end. Because of this quality, this will work well when playing in intimate settings with a small audience. Its sound is great right out of the packaging, without any tweaks needed. You’ll also see that the brand offers quite a comfortable action on it already.

Body and Neck Wood: The Luna uses a Spruce wood for its top, locally sourced tonewood for the body and sides, and rosewood for the fretboard which makes it long-lasting and durable. The neck is sturdy, but not too wide, which gives it an easy feel when playing, especially for kids or someone with smaller hands. It is well-balanced, and, when played sitting down, fits quite comfortably as you play.

  • Compact, well-designed body
  • Spruce wood top
  • Amplifies lower tones remarkably well for its size
  • Affordably priced

3. Taylor Baby Taylor BT1 Walnut Acoustic Guitar (Editor’s Choice Acoustic)

Taylor Baby Taylor BT1 Walnut Acoustic Guitar

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My Review: Thinking of getting yourself a travel guitar which is an all-rounder? Look no further than Baby Taylor BT1. Manufactured by Taylor, a brand renowned for carefully crafted, high quality, and great sounding acoustic guitars packed with playability enhancing features, Baby Taylor BT1 fits this definition to a T. The small-bodied guitar is made with a premium tonewood combination of Spruce/Walnut and comes with an X-braced top, die-cast chrome tuners and a Micarta Saddle. In addition to being a great choice for travelers, this little wonder will make for a perfect starter guitar for young players.

Overall Build and Size: Baby Taylor BT1 is a trimmed down, sleek ¾ dreadnought and great for traveling players who prefer smaller instruments. This dread may be small but offers the same features that make this iconic American brand so legendary. The guitar has a solid spruce top which works well in enhancing resonance as well as capturing nuances and dynamics. The layered walnut body offers resilience from temperature and humidity and gives it an aesthetically pleasing look. The acoustic sports an elegant, natural look with a varnish finish.

Overall Sound Quality: Don’t be fooled by its small size- Baby Taylor BT1 delivers a surprisingly bold and loud sound for a scaled-down dreadnought. Thanks to the bright sounding spruce wood top and walnut back and sides. The guitar’s tonewood pairing works well in creating a warm and resonant tone with great definition.

Body and Neck Wood: The BT1’s top wood is expertly crafted with solid Sitka Spruce wood and teamed with a layered walnut body and a glossy smooth ebony fretboard. The sleek Maple neck feels familiar and very comfortable when held. There is no doubt that you will have an absolute blast playing this great little guitar wherever you decide to take it.

  • Perfect Travel Buddy for all guitar enthusiasts
  • Scaled-down dreadnought with short maple neck, easy to play
  • Solid high-quality tonewoods used- Spruce top, Walnut body
  • Taylor hard bag included

4. Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Guitar (Best Overall Electric)

Traveler Guitar Travelcaster Deluxe

My Review: Fender has always been known to push the envelope for quality and player-friendly features, and they’ve done it again with the neat little travelcaster deluxe. This innovatively designed electric guitar retains a full scale length, but cuts down the body design in an innovative fashion. Weighing extremely light, you can enjoy the quintessential tele sound even when on the move, thanks to its high quality single coil pickups and a delicious vintage tremolo. If you’re looking for the best travel electric guitar and are willing to spend the money, this is one of my top recommendations.

Overall Build and Size: Weighing only 5 lbs, the travelcaster scores high when it comes to portability, especially for an electric guitar. We’re quite impressed with its innovative design that retains the essential contours of an electric guitar’s S-shaped body while cutting out the rest to make it travel-friendly. Its adjustable 2 point fulcrum bridge adds even more customizability, while chrome tuning machines let you tune your strings to perfect precision. This allows you to enjoy a full scale length with a guitar that can easily fit into a cramped car space or overhead compartment of a plane.

Overall Sound Quality: This is perhaps the best part about this little wonder – unlike some other travel guitars that may sacrifice certain elements of playability or tone, the travelcaster deluxe offers the same crisp, snappy, high quality tone and sound quality that Fender is famous for, even in this compact setup. This has been made possible because of the three high quality ceramic single coil picks, and a 5-way pickup selector that lets you mix and match to zero in on the perfect tone. Finally, the vintage style tremolo lets you squeeze out a fabulous variety of sounds and sustains, so there’s nothing that holds you back from expressing your creativity, even on a travel guitar.

Body and Neck Wood: The lightweight of the travelcaster deluxe has been made possible thanks to its poplar body, which keeps the overall setup extremely portable and nimble. The maple neck and fretboard allow for butter-smooth playability anytime, anywhere.

  • High quality ceramic single coil pickups
  • Vintage style tremolo for more creative possibility
  • 5-way pickup selector for tone customizability
  • Extremely lightweight at 5 lbs
  • Full scale-length

5. Traveler Guitar 6 String EG-1 Custom (Best Full Scale)

Traveler Guitar 6 String EG-1 Custom

My Review: If you are scouting for a full-scale electric guitar which is also light enough to travel along with, look no further- The Traveler Guitar EG-1 Custom fits the bill. The single-cut guitar’s alder body makes it compact and lightweight while also giving it a strong, clear, and full-bodied sound. It features Traveler’s proprietary 4-channel in-built headphone amplifier, an in-body tuning system, and an aux-in jack, making it perfect to jam privately or rock out.

Overall Build and Size: The Traveler Guitar EG-1 retains the full scale 24.75” and 28.5” length of a standard-sized guitar while weighing less than 5 pounds and packs effortlessly in an airplane overhead bin. It has been cleverly designed without a headstock and built from a lightweight yet top-notch Alder, making it compact yet ideal for those unwilling to compromise on a scale as well as playing experience. It comes in a classic glossy black color.

Overall Sound Quality: The EG-1 Custom’s alder body and mahogany neck give it a rich and balanced tone with a great playing experience. It is equipped with Traveler’s custom onboard headphone amps which allow you to choose from clean, boost, overdrive, and distortion tones using the custom tone knob push-pot. With this travel guitar, you are not only getting a full-sized feel but also a world-class quality sound, thanks to the chromatic Shadow E-tuner built right into its Alnico Humbucker 9K pickup.

Body and Neck Wood: The snazzy travel guitar is crafted from premium tonewoods with an alder body, an African mahogany neck, and a walnut fingerboard. It features some fantastic aesthetically pleasing appointments such as a white-black-white binding on its glossy black Alder body, a gold humbucker with cream pickup ring, and black dish knobs with Gold caps.

  • Full scale and ergonomically designed travel guitar
  • Crafted from top-notch hardwood
  • Built-in headphone amp with 4-channels
  • Aux-in for riff learning and jamming to your favorite songs
  • Chromatic E-tuner on pickup ring
  • Comes with a compact, custom gig bag

6. Martin Steel-String Backpacker Travel Guitar

Martin Steel-String Backpacker Travel Guitar with Bag

My Review: Martin Guitar Co.’s Backpacker has been innovatively designed to be the perfect travel mate for you. This well-built acoustic is a steal considering it has a solid Spruce wood top and is priced within an affordable range of $300. It’s incredibly fun to play and can act as a great backup guitar when your primary one is not around. This popular travel guitar was launched more than 25 years ago in the mid-nineties and we’ve only heard great things about it since. This is easily one of the best travel guitars for backpacking and trips where you just can’t bring a larger guitar.

Overall Build and Size: Martin’s Backpacker is an incredibly light and compact guitar making it easy to stow away and take along on treks or trips without a worry in the head. Although designed to be easy to carry, weighing less than 2-1/2 lbs., nowhere does it compromise in the sturdiness and durability department. Built with a solid Spruce wood top and Mahogany back and sides, it has a beautiful natural hue and a matte finish.

Overall Sound Quality: The Backpacker has a robust and impressive sound for a guitar its size. It may not give out the rich tone rendered by a typical dreadnought but don’t let that make you think that you’ll be sacrificing in the tonal quality with this little travel buddy. The guitar has been crafted from high-end hardwood which lends it an unamplified projection, making it perfect for travel.

Body and Neck Wood: This travel guitar has a solid Spruce top and Mahogany back, sides, and neck giving it the classic Martin acoustic sound. It has a narrow body with 15 frets and a flared lower bout making it extremely easy to carry. Just sling it over the shoulder and you are good to go!

  • Ultra-compact and extremely light
  • Made from high-end spruce and mahogany hardwood
  • Narrow body, easy to carry
  • Unamplified and consistent sound
  • Comes with a padded gig bag and chrome tuners

7. Luna Safari Series 3/4 Size Travel Guitar

Luna Safari Series Muse Mahogany 3/4-Size Travel Acoustic Guitar

My Review: This 3/4 size dreadnought is a part of Luna’s pocket-friendly Safari series. The brand has a reputation for crafting great-looking guitars. This model features a solid mahogany top, back, and asides and has an eye-catching Celtic laser etching around the soundhole. This beautifully handcrafted guitar is lightweight but packs in a punch with its powerful tonal quality. Luna Muse Safari comes with a branded gig bag which makes it easy to carry it when you are on the go.

Overall Build and Size: This stunning acoustic has a scale length of 22.5” and weighs just shy of 4 lbs., making it an incredibly light and ultra-compact travel companion. All panels of this 3/4 sized dreadnought have been crafted with mahogany. It also comes with a 19-fret rosewood fingerboard and bridge and chrome-colored hardware. The tuning machine is sealed die-cast and the nut and saddle are Graph Tech BC6115. The charming reddish-brown shade of mahogany makes this guitar a real treat to the eyes.

Overall Sound Quality: The Mahogany body and dreadnought structure of Luna Safari Muse ensures that players enjoy a rich and articulate sound. It may not be too low-end heavy, but with its delightfully bright sound and a pocket-friendly price tag, it sure is a steal!

Body and Neck Wood: Luna Safari Muse has been entirely made out of Mahogany which is a popular tonewood known to produce and sustain a well-balanced tone. The C-shaped neck makes for a breezy playing experience. The warm natural satin finish and the mother of pearl moon phase inlay on the fingerboard give it a classy and mystical look.

  • A travel-sized dreadnought with laser engraved Celtic rosette
  • Fun and easy to play, ideal for younger players
  • Rich and articulate sound
  • Perfect for left as well as right-handed players
  • Budget-friendly with most websites offering it under $200

8. Traveler Guitar Mark III MK3 MHG Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Traveler Guitar Mark III MK3 MHG Acoustic-Electric Guitar

My Review: When an entire company is dedicated to building top-of-the-line travel-friendly guitars, you know you cannot go wrong when you opt for one of theirs. The Traveler Mark III MK3 Acoustic-Electric is a full scale, unique looking guitar with a Mahogany body. Like other Travelers, it too features an in-built Shadow headphone amp, an aux input for jamming, and a proprietary in-body tuning system. With a standard tuning system, this travel guitar does not need a special set of strings and works perfectly with any standard acoustic strings you prefer.

Chris Schiebel reviewing a Traveler Guitar Mark III

Overall Build and Size: Measuring around 30” in length while weighing less than 5 pounds, this Mahogany guitar has a minimalistic body which makes it portable and player-friendly. The in-body tuning system eliminates the need for a headstock, making it sleek and travel-sized while offering a full-scale playing experience. The Escape Mark III comes equipped with a Shadow NanoFlex piezo under-saddle pickup which produces the authentic acoustic sound while the standard ¼” output jack lets you effortlessly switch to the electric mode. The control plate allows you to adjust the volume and tone directly from the guitar.

Overall Sound Quality: The Electric-Acoustic has been cleverly built to produce exceptional electronics as well as the authentic acoustic style sound. The choice of hardwood used lends it a resonant, well-balanced tone which is carried through even when you plug in the guitar and use it as a semi-electric.

Back view of the Traveler Guitar Mark III

Body and Neck Wood: The Escape Mark III has a natural finish mahogany body with a cutaway for access to higher frets, and a bolt-on mahogany neck. To top it off, it has a Rosewood fretboard which is the most commonly used fretboard owing to its warm and rich tones and the ability to even out the high-end harshness.

  • Full scale, versatile guitar
  • Stows away comfortably in overhead bins
  • Built-in headphone amp with clean, distortion, boost, and overdrive tones
  • High quality, plush gig bag included
  • Built-in chrome tuner

9. Cordoba Mini M Nylon String Guitar

Cordoba Mini M, Mahogany, Small Body, Nylon String Guitar

My Review: Cordoba has a well-earned reputation for making traditional Spanish guitars with a modern twist. The brand is an innovator and leader in high-quality nylon-string guitar and the model we are about to review here is no exception.

Cordoba’s Mini M is a travel-sized traditional looker. With a mahogany body and a spruce top, it has an incredibly rich tone and a full, bright sound. The brilliant combination of its ultra-compact body and a full-sized 1.96” nut width makes it very easy to play and an ideal companion for your vacations or road trips.

Overall Build and Size: Mini M is an extremely lightweight,18-fret, nylon string parlor with a beautiful rose pattern etched out along its rosette. A short 20” scale length and full 1.96” nut width makes it an ideal travel sized guitar while retaining the string spacing and the overall feel of a full-sized guitar. The natural satin finish gives it a gorgeous sheen without betraying its woody feel. The guitar comes with a custom Aquila string set, tuned to A but can be tuned to standard E tuning with a thicker gauge. The Minis also come in three different wood combinations-spruce/mahogany, spruce/rosewood, and all ovangkol.

Overall Sound Quality: Despite its easy on the pocket price tag, Cordoba’s commitment to quality and sound with Mini M is truly admirable. It has a lightweight body with an impressively loud sound thanks to its smart design and the quality tonewoods used.

The solid spruce wood top offers a blend of clear, rich, and complex sound which is backed by a powerful tonal foundation owing to its mahogany back and sides.

Body and Neck Wood: With Mini M you get a solid Spruce wood top guitar without hurting your pocket. A solid wood top is an unbeatable vis a vis laminate or select wood, as it not only gives out a great tone but also lasts for longer. The mahogany body enhances the sturdiness property and clubbed with spruce wood top and rosewood fretboard contributes to the deep richness and resonance of this guitar. Mini M’s solid and heavy Mahogany U-shaped neck enhances the sustain and captures every nuance and detail, beautifully.

  • Affordable, lightweight guitar with an impressive sound
  • Solid top and body made from quality tonewoods
  • Comfortable U-shaped Mahogany neck
  • Includes a gig bag

10. Fender CT-140SE Travel Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Fender CT-140SE Travel Acoustic-Electric Guitar

My Review: Perfect for all guitar enthusiasts- whether professional or hobbyists, The CT-140SE acoustic-electric is undeniably one of the finest travel bodied guitars made by Fender. Compactly built with solid Rosewood and a spruce top, it features a sophisticated Fishman Presys pickup and preamp system, which ensures an authentic sound is reproduced even when plugged in. The solid high-end components and a hardshell case all priced under $400, make this Fender a great value and should definitely be explored when picking out a guitar for serious beginners or simply for your travel needs.

Overall Build and Size: Traveling with CT-140SE is a cakewalk thanks to its compact dimensions. An auditorium shaped travel body has been scaled down to 23.5” to ensure it fits well into cramped spaces and overhead airline compartments. With premium hardwood used through the body as well as Fishman pickups and preamp system, rolled fingerboard edges, players can expect an easy to play high-quality guitar that’s quite sturdy in its design. CT-140SE comes with two color options- Natural and Sunburst with a glossy finish and equipped with chrome-plated hardware.

Overall Sound Quality: CT-140SE offers high-quality Fender sound at a reasonable price. The spruce wood top renders a powerful sound and detailed dynamics while the rosewood body & fretboard delivers rich overtones. The scalloped, X bracing design also plays a vital role in enhancing this bolder, richer tone as well as its harmonic output.

Body and Neck Wood: The Acoustic-Electric has a solid spruce top is a popular choice of wood for acoustic tops as it offers unparalleled durability and a full, bright, and versatile sound. The rosewood body and neck mellow down the bright punch delivered by the spruce wood. All in all, you get a well-balanced tone that responds well to any style of playing, from hard strumming to fast or delicate picking.

  • Top-notch fender quality with a great value
  • Solid Spruce top & Rosewood body delivers a rich, balanced tone
  • Scalloped, X bracing design
  • Easy to play neck with rolled fretboard edges
  • Sophisticated Fishman Presys pickup/preamp
  •  Hardshell case included

11. Steinberger Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe

Steinberger Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe

My Review: This next guitar comes from the extensive heritage NY-based brand “Steinberger”. These guitars for their distinctive shape, and high-quality construction, having been used by likes of Geddy Lee (Rush), and Sting (The Police), back in the day to more modern day artists such as Arif Miradolbaghi (Protest the Hero). They feature a headless design, and a compact size playable even on an armed office chair. The GT-Pro brings the same quality and aesthetic to a more affordable line of travel guitars.

Overall Build and Size: The original Spirit was one of the most popular attempts at making a body-less travel guitar in the 80s, and the modern Spirit GT-Pro Deluxe has some unique features to match! Featuring a full 25-½ scale length, and a tight fretboard radius, the Spirit is quite easy to handle, play and travel with. Keeping it simple with one volume and one tone knob, and including a tremolo bridge and the locking tuners make for a stable and well-tuned guitar, even without a headstock.

Overall Sound Quality: The deluxe model features a humbucker pickup on the bridge and neck, with a single coil in the middle. The twin humbuckers designed by Steinberger and perfected by Epiphone, make the Spirit sound fat and round while reducing the tinny signals to a minimum. The 5-way pickup selector also makes the guitar versatile and comfortable across a large selection of amps and amp plugins. Perfect for both the Stage pro, and the couch pro !

Body and Neck Wood: The original Spirit guitars designed by Ned Steinberger, were made from a composite of carbon-fiber, however, the new Spirit GT-Pro eschews that for a completely maple body and neck. In such a small guitar, this resonant wood makes for a big jump in playability and sustain. The Spirit is able to hold its own against full bodied guitars while delivering the same resonance and exceptional output!

  • Classic Steinberger design
  • Hyper compact
  • Gibson (Epiphone) construction, reliability, and warranty
  • Bridge and Neck Humbuckers for a well-rounded rock/metal/blues sound

12. Hofner Shorty Electric Travel Guitar

Hofner Shorty Electric Travel Guitar

My Review: Are you someone who doesn’t want to be away from their guitar even when traveling? Then the Hofner Shorty Electric Travel Guitar has to be one of your top choices. It offers a full-scale length while being ultra-compact which enables you to take it along with you wherever you go. Fitted with a single Hofner open humbucker pickup, and volume and tone knobs, the Shorty is designed with no flashy bits except for its curious design.

Overall Build and Size: The Hofner Shorty has a basswood top and back, a neck made from maple, and a fretboard made from rosewood. Basswood is a lightweight wood which produces a good sound and works especially well with Hofner’s open humbucker pickup. Considering the price range, the craftsmanship and the materials used to make this guitar are of a better-than-expected quality. The black finish gives it a slight rock and roll feel. The shape of the guitar can feel a bit strange in the beginning with its short body, long neck and the headstock, but you soon get used to it. Overall, the Shorty Electric is a sturdy little guitar that needs some time to adjust to its style and shape.

Overall Sound Quality: Without amplification, the guitar sounds quiet, and is suitable for a quiet day of practice. Once amplified, the sound produced is bright, trebly, and strong. The volume and tone controls work very well and you can get a range of tones from this little guitar from clear to dirty. The action on this guitar might need a touch of adjustment.

Body and Neck Wood: The basswood body and maple neck make for better playability when playing standing up. Its small, neck-heavy body makes it a little awkward to play, which is also compounded by there being no place to rest the playing arm.

  • Compact size
  • Considerably lightweight
  • Strong sound when amplified
  • Crisp, clean tone
  • Durable gig bag included
  • Good bang for the buck

13. Traveler Guitar Escape Mark III

Traveler Guitar Escape Mark III

My Review: Looking for a guitar which can hold its own during travel and on stage? Look no further! The Traveler Guitar Escape Mark III offers a full-scale 25.5” while being small enough to fit into the overhead compartment in an airplane. This acoustic-electric comes packed with a plethora of features – from an in-body tuning system, a headphone output to a Shadow under-saddle pickup – that helps you stay on top of your game. This is a great lightweight option for a performer or even for a student who wants to up his game. The Escape Mark III also comes with a deluxe gig bag that keeps it protected when not in use. Overall, I would say this is one of the best travel guitars out there.

Overall Build and Size: The Escape Mark III is just 30” despite boasting a full-scale at 25.5” and has a compact mahogany body, back, and top with a bolt-on mahogany neck. The natural satin finish gives it a refined feel. The single cutaway gives the player access to the higher frets while also giving it a tasteful look. The full-sized scale has a comfortable, familiar feel to it while playing. The relatively thin body needs some getting used to and it can be difficult to rest your arm while playing, but the overall balance of the guitar is excellent. Despite being quite lightweight at 4.5 lbs, it does compromise on the quality, durability, or sturdiness of the piece.

Overall Sound Quality: When not plugged in, the Escape Mark III sounds like any other unplugged electric guitar, but once plugged into an amplification system, produces a sound that emulates a steel-string acoustic guitar. This guitar has a clean, warm, mellow sound and is not disturbed in the slightest by string hum or any other problems. The premium quality mahogany used in the guitar allows for greater resonance and a better sustain. Altogether, the way the Escape Mark III is crafted makes for a truly exceptional auditory experience.

Body and Neck Wood: This guitar features a mahogany body and neck which adds sturdiness to the piece, and the black walnut fretboard gives it a smooth feel while playing. The headstock has been removed from its traditional place and added to the body itself which gives it a different, non-traditional appearance. The In-Body tuning system is sturdy and reliable, and the tuners are protected from outside interference.

  • Mahogany wood body
  • Full-scale fretboard despite the compact size
  • Warm, mellow sound, great resonance
  • Shadow under-saddle pickups and In-Body tuning system
  • Cutaway to reach higher frets easily
  • Lightweight, highly portable
  • Great choice for multi-city gigs

14. Voyage Air VAOM-02G2

Voyage Air VAOM-02G2

My Review: Traveling with a guitar, be it a regular sized guitar or that of a travel variety, is awkward due to their long, thin necks. But, with the Voyage Air VAOM-02G2, its manufacturers have found an ingenious solution to that age-old problem – a patented hinge which lets you literally fold the guitar in half! It comes with its very own deluxe Voyager case in which you can stow the guitar when not in use. For someone who doesn’t want to compromise on the dimensions or the size, this is a great fit!

Overall Build and Size: The Voyage Air is a full-sized acoustic dreadnought guitar. The body is made from mahogany as are the back and the sides and has a single-ply laminate spruce top with bracing. The fingerboard and the bridge are crafted from laurel – a soft-colored, brown wood that is almost identical to rosewood. It has a high-gloss protective finish which gives it a soft look. The foldable neck-hinge has been tested under pressure and is very dependable. The build of the guitar is quite sturdy, no matter how strange it might seem to fold and unfold the guitar each time. The only thing to keep in mind is that the strings need to be slackened off before folding!

Overall Sound Quality: Despite being a travel guitar, the Voyage Air is a full-sized acoustic guitar with a full, rich sound and a good deal of projection. The full-scale fretboard offers comfortable playability and adapts to any playing style, be it fingerpicking or strumming.

Body and Neck Wood: The body and the neck are both crafted from mahogany as are the sides and the back. The top is made from a single-ply laminate spruce which can be a letdown for some people. The fretboard is made from laurel as is the bridge on the guitar.

  • Foldable design for better storage and transport
  • Full-size guitar that can be easily carried around
  • Mahogany and spruce laminate body
  • Full, rich sound like a regular sized acoustic guitar

15. Cordoba Mini II M, Mahogany, Small Body, Nylon String

Cordoba Mini II M, Mahogany, Small Body, Nylon String

My Review: The Cordoba Mini II MH travel guitar is a handsome ½ size guitar. Whether it be an impromptu performance or a relaxed practice session while camping, you won’t hesitate to bust out this beauty. It has a delightfully warm, full, well-balanced tone that seems more like a guitar than a ukulele. The Cordoba Mini II Mahogany is a beauty that ticks all the right boxes in looks, sound quality, playability as well as price!

Overall Build and Size: The small body of the Cordoba makes this an ideal choice for a travel guitar. Being a ½ sized guitar, it is easier to carry along on trips than other bigger guitars. The satin polyurethane finish gives it a more sophisticated look than other guitars in this category. Despite a slightly cramped scale at 22.8”, the guitar tunes perfectly to a standard E and the fingerboard offers overall comfortable playability. Guitar players who have slightly smaller hands will certainly find this to be a more manageable instrument than a full-sized acoustic guitar. The build of this guitar speaks of quality and a solid body that can take the pain of travel.

Overall Sound Quality: The Cordoba Mini II promises to sound more like a full-sized guitar than a ukulele – and delivers! It has a nuanced, full-bodied tone that is mellow and full of warmth. Compared to some other travel guitars, this one has a deeper body that projects the sound well. Even though it isn’t particularly loud, it has enough volume for a lonesome practice session or small, intimate performances.

Body and Neck Wood: The layered mahogany body and neck, and the Morado fretboard (with 19 frets) are instant visual hooks that draw you to this little fellow. There is a single action truss rod inside the neck. Even though this guitar doesn’t feature a full-size scale, the fretboard offers good playability and is easy to adapt to.

  • Layered mahogany body and satin finish
  • ½ sized guitar easy to carry along
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Warm, full tonality
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Ideal for kids and players with smaller hands

16. Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar

My Review: The Traveler Ultra-Light Acoustic-Electric is marketed as the smallest, lightest full-scale travel guitar on the market, and it certainly delivers on all these counts. The compact design of the guitar without a headstock is unique, yet offers a full-scale playing experience that one gets on a full-sized acoustic. The piezo pickup delivers a bright acoustic sound when plugged into an amplifier. Despite being a higher-priced guitar, the Traveler Ultra-light Acoustic-Electric Travel Guitar is certainly worth a try.

Overall Build and Size: This Traveler Ultra-light guitar really lives up to its name. Weighing in at only 3 pounds, it is one of the lightest travel guitars on the market. At only 24 ¾”, it can even fit into some suitcases and is easy to carry around. Made from a single piece of maple wood with a regular-sized fingerboard made from ebony wood, it comes with an adjustable truss rod. Despite the guitar’s shape, the detachable lap-rest makes it comfortable to play sitting down, although the different designs might take some getting used to. The overall build is quite sturdy and can easily be taken along on your travels and even stowed in the overhead bin on a flight, thanks to its detachable lap-rest. The range of satin finishes it comes in allows you to choose the color you feel the most comfortable with.

Overall Sound Quality: This Traveler guitar comes with a ¼” jack socket and a built-in acoustic piezo pickup which can be used to amplify its sound. The piezo pickup gives it a bright, crisp tone once plugged into an amplifier. This one is a silent guitar and only finds its voice through an amplifier. Given this little fact, it can’t be used to strum a few chords around a campfire but can come in handy when looking to practice quietly. It is also well-suited to live performances where there is an amplification set up at hand.

Body and Neck Wood: The body and neck of the guitar are crafted from a single piece of Eastern American Hard Maple. The full-size fingerboard is made from ebony wood and has 22 frets which are easy to adapt to from a conventional acoustic guitar. The satin finish on top gives it a smooth, hand-friendly feel while playing.

  • Extremely compact build
  • In-body tuning system
  • Bright, crisp, articulate sound
  • Piezo pickup for amplification

17. Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Travel Acoustic Guitar

Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String Travel Acoustic Guitar

My Review: Washburn guitars have been consistently delivering guitars crafted with extreme care and quality since the 1880s. The Washburn RO10 Rover features a mahogany wood body, back and sides, a solid spruce top, and a full-size neck which makes for good playability. This guitar produces a sound that emphasizes the treble without being too loud or resonant, which makes it suitable for different playing styles – whether flat-picking or playing finger-style

Overall Build and Size: The Washburn Rover is a visually appealing 33.5” long acoustic guitar, with a beautiful mahogany body and a solid spruce top which enhances its look and overall feel. It has a rosewood fingerboard and a full-size neck which feels like a regular-sized guitar and needs no time to get used to. The fingerboard also makes for good playability. The overall build of the guitar is sturdy and robust and makes for a good, albeit heavier travel guitar. The Washburn is available in a natural finish as well as a blue finish. The deluxe gig bag, included with the instrument, makes sure that no harm comes to the guitar when carrying it around with you.

Overall Sound Quality: The Washburn isn’t made to produce a loud sound, but taking into account its compact size, the sound is quite impressive, if a little more treble-y than usual. For a travel guitar with a full-size neck, the Washburn RO10 Rover lives up to its potential.

Body and Neck Wood: The Washburn is made from a mahogany body and the fretboard is crafted from rosewood. The solid spruce top gives the guitar a nice resonance, although the wood used and the full-sized fretboard makes the guitar a tad heavier than expected.

  • Robust, well-built guitar
  • Full-sized neck
  • Solid spruce top
  • Versatile, good playability for multiple playing styles
  • Moderately priced

Choosing the Right Travel Guitar (Buying Guide)

Adding a travel guitar to your collection means you can take your 6-string pal along on road trips without a worry. And as you can see from our top 17 list, there are several great options to choose from. What matters is that you pick a type of guitar that you’d prefer – be it playability, size, or tone quality. If you ask us, then our pick for the travel guitar with the most impressive sound quality would be the Baby Taylor BT1 for acoustic and the Travelcaster Deluxe for electric. Be it an intimate impromptu gig or a long road trip, this beauty sounds like a dream and is so compact to travel with.

If you ask us for a great affordable option for a 3/4 travel guitar, then the Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic is worth exploring for those on a budget. Finally, for those looking to strike a balance between the top of the line quality as well as not spend a bomb then you should check out the Washburn RO10 Rover Steel String. At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun and having a portable companion that gives you the freedom to strum along wherever you are. We hope this list gave you all the information you need to take your pick. Bon voyage!

What Is a Travel Guitar?

Simply put, travel guitars or travel-sized guitars are a more compact, lighter version of a full-sized guitar. You’ll find both acoustic travel guitars and electric variants in the market, depending on your needs.

Most travel guitars have the same or almost the same scale length (distance between the nut and the guitar’s bridge) as regular guitars so that you get a more compact guitar without compromising the playability of the instrument. On the other hand, you also have travel guitar options that have 3/4, 1/2, or even 1/4 scale length as full-size guitars.

Travel guitars have smaller body and neck, which makes them lighter and easier to carry with you wherever you go – be it a month-long cross-country tour, a weekend road trip, or even a backpacking hike to the mountains!

Why Should You Buy a Travel Guitar

Whether you’re a hobby guitarist or an experienced player, there are so many good reasons to get yourself a travel guitar either way. Here are a few for you to go through:

  • Light & Portable: Travel guitars are far easier and hassle-free to carry with you when traveling. This is thanks to their compact size and lightweight that lets them easily fit on flights or a vehicle.
  • Great Backup Option: they work great as a backup guitar for musicians who don’t want to take their primary guitars on a trip where they’ll be roughing it out.
  • Strum On the Road: Inspiration can strike a musician anytime, especially when you’re traveling! Having a travel guitar lets you flesh out your song ideas as and when you think them up – even when you’re out on the road or on vacation.
  • Take Up Less Space: If you’re packing up your van for a long road trip, you’ll find that travel guitars take up far lesser space than traditional guitars do, freeing up more storage space for other things that you’d want to carry along.

What to Look For In A Travel Guitar

With several options for travel guitars available in the market, it’s crucial to know what to look for when sizing each option up. Here are the key features you should consider when comparing travel guitars and making your decision:

Full-sized scale-length vs. Reduced Scale Length

Many travel guitars come with a full-size or almost full-size scale length (around 25.5 inches). When making such travel guitars, the manufacturers choose to make them compact by reducing the size of the guitar’s body, instead of the fretboard size or length. These guitars feel like you’re almost playing a regular guitar, just more compact and more portable.

On the other hand, you also find one-half (1/2), three-quarters (3/4), or even as small as one-quarter (1/4) sized guitars. These have smaller fretboards than regular guitars. So consider the scale length you’ll be comfortable playing on when taking your pick.

Overall Size

Even amongst travel guitars, you will find options of all sizes to choose from. While some travel guitars are only slightly smaller than full-size guitars, others are extremely compact. Most full-size guitars are 38 inches in their overall size.

On the other hand, travel guitars So do consider how compact a guitar you’re looking for and look at the measurements when taking your pick.

Tone Quality

As you already might know, the wood used in the guitar’s construction affects its tone and sound quality. Woods like Maple, Spruce, Sitka Spruce, and Rosewood produce a bright, higher, slightly treble-heavy tone and sound.

On the other hand, woods like Mahogany and Koa have a richer, warmer tone that is mid to low-range in its character. So it’s all about deciding what type of sound works best for your playing and style, and going with it.

Quality of Wood Used

As is the case with full-size guitars, do consider the type of body, neck, and fretboard wood used on your potential travel guitar. The better the quality of wood used, the sweeter and richer the sound and the more durable the construction. You can choose from a wide variety of woods such as mahogany, maple, spruce, walnut, and more, depending on the look and sound you prefer.

Overall Shape and Design

Travel-friendly guitars come in a wide variety of shapes and designs. Some travel guitars are more compact versions of the classic shapes like a dreadnought, concert, or auditorium style guitars. However, you will also find extremely futuristic and innovatively-designed travel guitars as well, that are foldable, triangular-shaped, and even ones with barely any guitar body!

I know of buddies that would love a triangular-shaped travel guitar, but also know a few who wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing! So it’s all a matter of personal taste. This is why it’s important to see the shape and design that you will be comfortable playing with and carrying, and choosing accordingly.

Last but never least, it’s a good idea to have a budget in mind when browsing through options. Travel guitars are available in a wide price range – from affordable, budget-friendly options under $200, mid-range options between $200 to $400, and higher-end travel guitars that are in the $400 plus range.

Do make it a point to check the features and wood quality that you’re being offered at any price point. While very low-priced travel guitars may seem enticing at first, you may end up shelling out more in its repairs in case the instrument is not well-built. So it’s important to pick an option that is value for money, no matter its price.

Chris from Guitar Lobby

My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.

I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.

I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.

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Jazz Guitar Online

The Jazz Guitar Buyer’s Guide

So, you want to buy a jazz guitar, but you’re not sure how to make the right choice. What is the best guitar for jazz and how do you pick a brand and type of guitar that is right for you? This article will help you decide what jazz guitar to buy. We will explore some of the more popular jazz guitars on the market, in a variety of brands and price ranges.

In general, jazz music can be played on any guitar. Most jazz musicians today use an archtop guitar to create their signature sound, but even among that broad category, there are a lot of choices.

There are many factors that should be taken into account when buying a jazz guitar. What body type do you want? What tone range/quality do you need? How much money do you want to spend?

Table of Contents

  • Types of Guitars Suitable for Jazz

Gibson ES-175

Gibson es-125, gibson super 400, ibanez pat metheny pm200, ibanez george benson gb10, ibanez george benson lgb30, epiphone broadway, godin 5th avenue kingpin, heritage h-575.

  • D’Angelico EXL-1

Gibson ES-335

Epiphone casino, ibanez john scofield jsm100, yamaha sa2200, guild starfire iv, fender telecaster, yamaha pacifica, fender jazzmaster, epiphone es-175 premium, eastman ar371ce, ibanez artstar as153, ibanez as93, ibanez artcore af75, ibanez artcore as73, epiphone joe pass emperor ii, epiphone es-335 dot studio, epiphone sheraton ii, washburn j-600, gretsch g2420 streamliner.

  • Gitane DG-300 John Jorgenson
  • Godin Multiac Grand Concert

Types of Guitars

The first question you should ask yourself when looking for a jazz guitar is “What style of guitar do I need?”

Basically, there are three main options:

Archtop Guitars (Hollow Body Guitars)

So what is an archtop guitar? As the name might suggest, an archtop is usually a semi-acoustic guitar with a distinctive arched top and a hollow body.

Along with the arched top, another key feature of an archtop guitar are the “f-holes” on either side of the guitar’s strings. These holes are commonly seen on violins and other instruments in the violin family, but archtops and semi-hollow body guitars are some of the only guitars to feature this design. The holes are intended to help a guitar project sound more efficiently.

Even though jazz music really only began to take off in the 1920s, the archtop guitar has been around for much longer.

The first patent for what we now consider a classic archtop design was filed by Orville Gibson in 1898. The Gibson Guitar Corporation started producing the first archtop with f-holes, the Gibson L-5, in 1922. The L-5 was originally an acoustic instrument and primarily used in big bands. A semi-acoustic version of the L-5 became available in 1940.

The pros of archtop guitars:

  • Although archtop guitars have a bigger body compared to solid body guitars, they are remarkably comfortable to play.
  • Archtops have a very distinctive tone, the tone of jazz. If you play jazz, there’s nothing that beats an archtop guitar. Most of your jazz guitar heroes play one!
  • Archtops look great.

The cons of archtop guitars:

  • The greatest disadvantage of archtop guitars is their susceptibility to feedback, but there are things you can do to prevent this.
  • Hollow body guitars are not as versatile tone-wise as semi-hollow body or solid body guitars. The sound they produce is dark and warm, a sound that is not suitable for every style of music.

Below you will find a selection of quality archtop guitars you can’t go wrong with.

Price Range: $2,100 – $12,400 Production Years: 1949 – 2015

Gibson ES-175D

The Gibson ES-175 is probably the best-known jazz guitar, alongside its more expensive counterpart the L-5 CES, as it has been played by many jazz greats throughout the years.

Though most professional players seek used 175s from the 1950s and 60s, the newer reissue models are well built and carries many of the traits that made its predecessors legendary. Epiphone (Gibson’s sister company) also has a more affordable version of the ES-175.

The number 175 came from the price tag of the first Gibson ES models (1949): $175.

Notable players: Pat Metheny , Joe Pass , Jim Hall , Herb Ellis, Wes Montgomery (early years), Steve Howe (Yes), Tuck Andress, …

  • Has a classic warm tone that has come to define the jazz guitar sound
  • Medium weight for an archtop
  • Collectable and durable
  • Reasonably affordable when compared to other archtops of this quality
  • Might be a bit pricey for some people who are not used to paying $2000+ for a guitar
  • Older models of the ES-175 have sunken tops, so look out for this when buying a vintage ES-175
  • Not produced anymore, but widely available on the vintage market (Reverb, eBay)

Price Range: $900 – $2,600 Production Years: 1941 – 1970

Gibson ES-125

Originally introduced in 1941, the Gibson ES-125 was the last pre-war model to come out the Gibson Guitar Company.

The Gibson ES-125 is a hollow body guitar that provides a sweetly resonant jazz guitar tone and excellent playability. At the same time, the simple design and easy-to-handle approach of this instrument make it a great fit for beginners or students who are just starting to dip their toes into the world of jazz guitar.

Notable players: Bill Frisell , Martijn van Iterson, Tracy Chapman, Marc Ribot, Thom Yorke, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, …

  • Easy to handle, easy to play
  • Great, warm sound
  • Great pickup (P-90)
  • Classic Gibson shape and design
  • Vintage feel and appearance
  • Collectable
  • Not too expensive
  • Because the ES-125 has no cutaway, some of the higher frets are difficult to reach
  • Just like ES-175s, ES-125s are susceptible to sunken tops

Price Range: $4,200 – $77,000 Production Years: 1922 – today

Gibson L5

The Gibson L-5 has been a staple of the jazz guitar world for decades, due in great part to its use by jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery . The L-5 was the first guitar with f-holes and is made with the highest quality one would expect from a high-end Gibson guitar. It sounds as good as it looks.

The only downside to a guitar like this is that it is a bit pricey to be taken out to a club or bar for a gig. Most people would be a little wary about bringing a $9000 guitar to a room full of people drinking and having a good time. But for those who want a great guitar to play with at home, or to record with, this is a great buy.

Notable players: Wes Montgomery, Eddie Lang, Lee Ritenour, Freddie Green, Pat Martino , Jake Langley, Tuck Andress, …

  • It is one of the highest quality archtops that Gibson makes
  • Great tone, easy to play and has a great jazz look to it
  • Collectable, maintains its resale value over time
  • Not very versatile, pretty standard classic jazz tone
  • The tone can be too bright for some people
  • Feedback issues

Price Range: $4,200 – $78,000 Production Years: 1934 – today

Gibson Super 400

The Gibson Super 400 is one of the most sought after pre-electronic archtop guitars on the market. They are hard to come by as most people who buy them hang on to them for many, many years. This is due to the quality of the guitar, but also to its ability to increase in price over the years.

The guitar debuted in 1934 and is the largest guitar ever produced by Gibson. Besides the early acoustic version, Gibson also released a version with P90 pickups and later with a Charlie Christian Pickup.

Notable Players : Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley), Mark Knopfler

  • Great acoustic and electric sound
  • Plays like butter
  • High resale value

Price Range: $2,800 – $5,200 Production Years: 2013 – today

Ibanez PM200 Pät Metheny

If you’re looking for a versatile guitar, with a warm sound and a lot of clarity, then the Ibanez PM200 is a great option. With a round, smooth tone to it, the Ibanez PM200 is a great choice for any jazz guitarist.

Made in Japan, the Ibanez PM200 was designed according to Pat Metheny’s specifications, so artists who are inspired by his music can’t go wrong with this guitar.

  • Warm and smooth tone
  • Beautiful design
  • A slim neck with great playability
  • Provides clear tenor without being muddy on the bass notes
  • Japanese made
  • Can be a little bit pricey
  • Not as much resale value as a Gibson ES-175 for example

Price Range: $1,200 – $4,000 Production Years: 1978 – today

Ibanez GB10

The George Benson Signature guitar, the best-selling Ibanez archtop of all time,  is another custom made archtop that was designed for a famous player and currently on the market.

One thing you should know before buying this guitar is that it is designed for Benson’s recent specifications, not from his “jazz” years, more from his pop/rock days. Because of this, the tone is going to match Breezin’ more closely than Beyond the Blue Horizon, though some players may desire this sound over the older one anyway.

Notable Player: George Benson

  • Finely built guitar that is durable and collectable
  • Great tone that comes from the use of higher quality wood
  • Great look and easy to play
  • Feedback resistant
  • Great and stable neck
  • Not as collectable as the Gibson signature guitars
  • Some players do not like to play signature guitars

Price Range: $800 – $5,000 Production Years: 2012 – today

Ibanez LGB30 George Benson

The Ibanez George Benson LGB30 is another guitar that is inspired by the legendary jazz guitarist of the same name, and his influence can be felt in the looks, sound, and style of this hollow body guitar.

The bound ebony fretboard and other stylistic bits of flair combine to make an instrument that looks like a high-end guitar while still being affordable enough to appeal to beginning musicians.

  • High-end look without the matching price
  • Smooth tones and mellow sound
  • Can be pricey
  • Fairly heavy (8.5lbs/3,8kg)
  • Not a lot of acoustic volume
  • Some owners report a breaking tailpiece when used with heavier strings on models produced between 2011 and 2013.

Price Range: $800 – $3,100 Production Years: 1931 – today

Epiphone Broadway

Originally introduced in 1931 as an affordable option for musicians who wanted a high-end sound, the Epiphone Broadway has remained true to its original vision throughout the years. The Broadway is slightly larger than similar models, as a direct result of its original designer, Epi Stathopoulo, who believed that a larger body was necessary for a fuller tone.

Thanks to that belief, the Epiphone Broadway provides a classic example of a large hollow-body guitar design, and its curvy appearance helps draw out a wider range of tones. It was the favorite of many influential jazz artists when it first debuted in 1931, and it continues to be so today, more than eighty years later.

Notable player : Steve Howe (Yes)

  • Great beginner guitar
  • Great playability
  • Looks great
  • Some owners report issues with the tailpiece, it’s hard to install the A and D-strings because they are not long enough.
  • Some owners report quality issues with the newer models.
  • Not a great acoustic sound
  • Narrow neck

Price Range: $300 – $1,500 Production Years: 2008 – today

Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin

The Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin is a drop-dead gorgeous instrument that sounds every bit as good as it looks. The single P-90 pickup provides a warm and full jazz tone that is often described as old or smokey.

  • Open and balanced sound
  • Great access to a wide range of tones
  • P-90 pickup
  • Comfortable size
  • Classic look
  • Made in Canada
  • Best bangs for the buck
  • The neck might be too narrow for some people
  • No cutaway, but the body starts at the 14th fret
  • Not very loud acoustically
  • Some users report problems with the intonation of new guitars, but this is usually fixed with new strings and a good set-up

Price Range: $1,400 – $4,000 Production Years: 1987 – today

heritage H575

Touted as “a workhorse for any serious player”, the Heritage H-575 is a high-end guitar that makes up for its higher price range with its status as one of the most outstanding instruments on the field today.

While the Heritage guitar company has only been around for about thirty years, the company is fighting to establish itself as one of the premier sources for high-end instruments, and the Heritage H-575 is a great example of such a guitar.

Notable players: Mimi Fox, Alex Skolnick

  • Smooth sound
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Not the same resale value as a Gibson

D’angelico EXL-1

Price Range: $650 – $1,900 Production Years: 2010 – today

D'angelico EXL-1

The D’Angelico EXL-1 is a great guitar that comes in three versions: Premier, Excel, and Deluxe. Avoid the Premier and go for an Excel or Deluxe.

Notable players: Russell Malone, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jef “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan)

  • Round and bell-like tones
  • Vintage look with a Golden Age style and flair
  • The EXL-1 has a floating pickup, which produces a more trebly and acoustic sound compared to a set-in pickup

Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

A semi-hollow guitar has a solid block of wood running through the body and the two bouts (the sides of the guitar closest to the neck) hollowed out.

The center block reduces some of the feedback that hollow body guitars can experience, and the resulting sound tends to be tighter and more focused than a traditional electric guitar.

Since the only real difference between hollow body and semi-hollow guitars is the block in the middle of the guitar, the two classes have a very similar tone, with the hollow body guitar sounding slightly “warmer”, but more prone to feedback.

Semi-hollow body guitars have a more “modern” jazz sound and feel compared to full hollow body archtops.

Famous jazz guitarists that use semi-hollow body guitars:

  • John Scofield – Ibanez AS200, Gibson ES-335
  • Larry Carlton – Gibson ES-335
  • Grant Green – played a Gibson ES-330 until the mid-1960s
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel – Gibson ES-335 and D’Angelico NYSS-3
  • Emily Remler – Gibson ES-330
  • The primary advantage of a semi-hollow guitar is that it tames the feedback that hollow body guitars are prone to. In addition, it retains some of the warm, round tones that traditional jazz guitars are famous for without sacrificing the sharper, more focused sounds of a solid-body guitar.
  • A semi-hollow body guitar is more versatile compared to a classic jazz guitar.
  • Semi-hollows sound “jazzier” compared to solid body guitars.
  • They are better suited for distorted sounds, that’s why they are used by jazz guitarists such as John Scofield and rock guitarists such as Dave Grohl.
  • The main disadvantage of these guitars is that they do lose some warmth of a hollow body guitar. However, the sounds are still very similar, and jazz musicians like Larry Carlton and John Scofield have traditionally favored this guitar as their signature instrument.

Price Range: $1,350 – $30,000 Production Years: 1958 – today

Gibson ES-335

The Gibson ES-335 is the guitar of legends and is a versatile model that works very well for jazz as well as other styles of music.

Originally released in 1958 as the first commercial semi-hollow archtop guitar, the Gibson ES-335 was the favorite of music icons like Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King.

With a solid maple block in the middle of the body, the hollow wings on either side let sound echo and reverberate around the chamber to create a warm, dark tone.

The ES-335 features the characteristic Gibson “f-holes” that allow for greater volume, even without an amplifier, and the cutaways at the base of the neck allow for ease of access when trying to reach the lower frets.

Notable players: Larry Carlton (aka “Mr 335”), John Scofield, John McLaughlin, Lee Ritenour, Eric Clapton, …

  • The ES-335 was originally designed to retain the warm, husky tones of a hollow-body guitar without sacrificing the power of an electric instrument, and the iconic tone still sets this guitar apart today
  • Great neck and playability
  • Easy access to full range of frets
  • The lowest-priced ES-335 is still going to be more expensive than other similar jazz guitar models, and the sharp price hike moving up from the lowest range can be off-putting for beginning guitarists

Price Range: $400 – $12,000 Production Years: 1961 – today

Epiphone Casino

The Epiphone Casino, Epiphone’s version of the Gibson ES-330, has long gone down in music history as the preferred guitar of The Beatles, but it’s equally well-suited to more jazzy, bluesy playing styles. Since it rocketed onto the world stage in 1961, this guitar pairs the looks of an electric guitar with a completely hollow body for a classic, vintage feel.

With a light, well-articulated tone, the Casino is a thinline archtop with a distinctive shape and a rich history that dates back to the birth of a whole new sound on the global stage.

Notable players: John Lennon, Keith Richards

  • Classic look and iconic sound
  • Hollow-body sound with thinline construction to reduce large amounts of feedback
  • Comfortable to play
  • The Casino is a versatile guitar, but harder to get a great jazz sound out of it

Price Range: $1,200 – $3,400 Production Years: 2001 – today

Ibanez JSM100 John Scofield

The Ibanez JSM100 takes its inspiration from the iconic jazz guitarist John Scofield . In terms of looks, sound, and feel, the Ibanez JSM100 is a replication of the legendary musician’s favorite guitar, the Gibson ES-335.

With a classic, warm, and versatile tone, the Ibanez JSM100 can switch easily between different genres and tones.

  • Thick soundblock and rigid top combine to greatly reduce the risk of feedback
  • Shifts easily between genres and sounds
  • Cool look and classic styling
  • pretty pricey, even compared to other semi-hollow body guitars

Price Range: $1,200 – $2,600 Production Years: 1992 – today

Yamaha SA2200

A Gibson ES-335 style guitar from the Japanese Yamaha Corporation, the Yamaha SA2200 is a sycamore and maple guitar that has enough weight and power to provide a strong, energetic sound while still retaining the soft, warm tones of a hollow body guitar.

The solid maple soundblock helps fight feedback, while the hardwood sycamore construction lends to the weight of the overall instrument.

Notable players: Biréli Lagrène, Frank Gambale, John Scofield

  • Beautiful guitar
  • Lively sound and great resonance
  • Mellow attack
  • Comfortable neck (wider than comparable models)
  • When plugged in, some musicians have reported a persistent buzzing or droning sound that can be pretty distracting while playing
  • A little heavy
  • “Glassy” tone, that is not to everyone’s liking

Price Range: $850 – $3,100 Production Years: 1963 – today

Guild Starfire IV

The Guild Starfire IV is another Gibson ES-335 copy with a laminated maple body. The thinline design makes it a great choice for blues, jazz, and rock guitarists.

  • Killer tone and playability
  • Great pickups
  • Not as much resale value as a Gibson

Solid Body Guitars

A solid body guitar is made entirely of a single wooden block. The strings of the instrument are stretched above the guitar’s body, and there are no extra holes to allow for sound to echo or amplify.

As the name suggests, the difference between solid body and hollow body guitars comes from the fact that, while a hollow body instrument allows sound waves to bounce around inside the body of the guitar in order to increase their volume, the solid body guitar relies on electronic amplification.

  • One of the main advantages of using a solid body guitar is the size. Solid body guitars are smaller than their hollow or semi-hollow counterparts, which can make a difference to musicians who are worried about performing with an instrument that is too bulky or unmanageable on stage.
  • A solid body guitar has fewer to no feedback issues.
  • Solid body guitars are more versatile in terms of sound. You can use them in other genres such as rock or metal, which is less the case with semi-hollow and certainly hollow body guitars.
  • Solid body guitars may not have the best sound for jazz musicians. While there are some notable exceptions to this rule (Telecaster-type guitars), a lot of musicians tend to favor the traditional warm, round tones of hollow body guitars, and a solid body guitar just can’t replicate that sound.

Price Range: $275 – $40,000 Production Years: 1950 – today

Fender Telecaster

Though known better in the country/rock world as the guitar of choice for many players, the Fender Telecaster has snuck its way into the jazz guitar idiom over the decades.

Known for its warm tone, playability and build solid enough to take a beating, this guitar is a favorite among studio and traveling musicians of all styles.

Notable Players: Bill Frisell, Mike Stern, Julian Lage, Ed Bickert, Ted Greene, …

  • Lightweight
  • Good sustain and minimal feedback
  • Versatile, can be used for different styles and sizes of ensemble
  • Doesn’t give the “traditional” jazz tone, still warm, but more “modern” sounding
  • Doesn’t have the jazz guitar “look” to it
  • The neck is thinner than most archtops and may be uncomfortable to some players

Price Range: $100 – $800 Production Years: 1989 – today

Yamaha Pacifica

Another example of a solid-body guitar used by a jazz musician (Mike Stern), the Yamaha Pacifica is an extremely playable guitar that is affordable enough to be great for even starting musicians.

With three pickups (two on the neck and middle and one additional humbucker), the Pacifica can create the round, resonant tones more typically found in a semi-hollow guitar.

Notable player: Mike Stern

  • No feedback or hum problems
  • Versatile in terms of sound
  • Although usable in a jazz setting, it doesn’t quite sound like a hollow body guitar.

Price Range: $450 – $12,500 Production Years: 1959 – today

Fender Jazzmaster

First released in 1958 at the NAMM Show, the Fender Jazzmaster was originally designed to be used specifically by jazz musicians. Since then, however, it has come to be a favorite piece of musicians in other genres such as pop and rock.

Joe Pass played a Fender Jazzmaster (and a Fender Jaguar) when was trying to get rid of a drug addiction in the Synanon Center, probably because that was the only guitar available at the center.

Since its original release, the Jazzmaster has undergone some mild renovations, but across the board, the sound, style, and tone of this guitar is very much the same as it was more than sixty years ago.

Although the Fender Jazzmaster is a great guitar that can be used in a variety of genres, I don’t recommend it to play jazz.

Jazz Guitars Under $1,000

If you’re looking for a great jazz guitar, but don’t want to break the bank finding it, there is a wealth of options available.

Especially if you’re just starting out, or are still figuring out which direction you want your music to take, a guitar that costs more than a thousand dollars can seem somewhat unnecessary.

Below is a selection of jazz guitars under $1000.

Price Range: $600 – $1,000 Production Years: 2011 – today

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The Epiphone ES-175 Premium is a copy of the Gibson ES-175D and is a great guitar with an affordable price.

  • Faithful copy of the Gibson ES-175
  • Round tones and authentic sound
  • Not everyone likes the pickups, but these can be replaced by better options
  • Hard to find

Price Range: $450 – $1,000 Production Years: 2012 – today

Eastman AR371CE

A laminated workhorse of a guitar, the Eastman AR371CE is perfect for the most hardcore jazz purists and more experimental musicians alike. The instrument adapts itself easily to multiple styles of play, and the handsome, acoustic design belies the wide range of styles that the guitar is fit to play.

The affordable price makes it a great starting point for musicians who are still fleshing out their style of play.

  • Classic, old-school look with a lightweight feel
  • Easy to play
  • Easy access to the full range of frets
  • Some of the finer craftsmanship details vary between individual guitars
  • The slender neck may be difficult for some musicians to navigate comfortably

Price Range: $700 – $1,000

Ibanez Artstar AS153

The Japanese guitar company Ibanez carries many names in different markets, but no matter the official brand, the instruments they make are some of the best on the market today.

The full tones offered by the Ibanez Artstar AS153 puts it on the same level as other, far more expensive semi-hollow guitars, and the flexible sound makes it a great fit for musicians who are just beginning to figure out the sound they want.

Price Range: $420 – $700

Ibanez AS93

Perfect for jazz or blues, the Ibanez AS93 is an unmistakably cool instrument. The sound of this guitar is often described as “growling”, especially in the lower range, while the higher range of tones produces a bright, focused sound.

  • Stylish look with “flamed” maple and retro feel
  • A solid and durable instrument with flashy gold hardware
  • A lightweight instrument with a warm, steady sound
  • Very affordable

Jazz Guitars Under $500

“You get what you pay for” is a saying that holds up in the guitar world.

That being said, nowadays it’s possible to get a good quality jazz guitar for under $500. These models are ideal as an introductory jazz guitar for players who want to get a jazz guitar sound without breaking the bank.

Below you will find a list of quality guitars under $500.

Price Range: $290 – $700

Ibanez Artcore AF75

Price Range: $300 – $400

Ibanez Artcore AS73

Price Range: $350 – $700

Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II

Price Range: $500 – $850

Washburn J600

Price Range: $470 – $600

Gretsch 2420 Streamliner

Gypsy Jazz Guitars

Gypsy jazz is a style with a very specific sound that requires a Selmer-style acoustic guitar. Gypsy jazz guitars sound loud, a bit nasal, and are hard to play because of the high action of the guitar.

If you are drawn to the music of Django Reinhardt and want to dig deeper into that style, a Selmer-type guitar such as the one below is what you need. Outside of the gypsy genre though, this guitar has limited use.

Gitane DG-300 John Jorgenson Signature Selmer Style Guitar

Price Range: $950 – $1,500

Gitane John Jorgenson

The Gitane John Jorgenson Signature model is the company’s attempt to bring back the same quality Selmer style guitar that Django used at a moderate price. The guitar looks and sounds fairly authentic and any gypsy style player would enjoy this guitar.

Nylon-String Guitars

Nylon-string guitars are not used often by jazz musicians, with a few exceptions such as Al Di Meola , Pat Metheny, and Joe Pass (the Unforgettable album).

Nylon-string guitars are the guitar of choice in bossa nova music, so if you play a lot of bossa, a nylon-string guitar might be what you need.

Godin Multiac Grand Concert Encore Nylon

Price Range: $1,100 – $1,200

Godin Multiac Grand Concert

Not every nylon guitar has to look like a museum piece. The Godin Multiac Grand Concert Encore Nylon is a semi-acoustic, semi-electric guitar that features nylon strings along with all the loud charge and energy of an electric guitar.

  • Easy to play for a nylon-string guitar
  • Comfortable neck
  • Nylon string sound with all of the benefits of electric amplification
  • Sounds great acoustically as well as amplified
  • Relatively expensive
  • Prone to feedback

What guitar do you use to play jazz? Let us know in the comments below!

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67 thoughts on “The Jazz Guitar Buyer’s Guide”

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1952 Gibson L7 blonde with a hand wound Kent Armstrong pickup. Beautiful tone and easy to play. My main practice guitar for jazz is a Martin 0028 vs parlor model. Amazing tone and volume from a small bodied guitar

I have a Maton Starline S.A. 70 archtop made around 1954. It has spruce hand carved top and back. Has a 17″ lower bout and currently fitted with McCarty Charlie Christian type pick ups. I am curious if there are many readers who know of this guitar and have experience with it?

Hi Kevin, like you my first name is Kevin too and I have a Maton Starline SA70 fitted with what I believe are McCarty pickups. I cannot say if they are Charlie Christian pickups or not – I think not but I have limited knowledge of the range of product. I got my Maton secondhand in 1966 (when I was 16) and only recently took it out of the wardrobe again. Did you ever replace the pickups? if so, what did you replace them with?

Can you recommend any low-profile pickups – I dont want to cut into the Matons body.

I cannot replace the Volume pot because I cannot get a low-profile potentiometer suitable. I wrote to Lollar but they will not sell a suitable part to me.

The Samick corportation builds many of the aforementioned guitars but those under their own brand are can be great. I have a Samick HJ650, very fine instrument, copy of Gibson L-5.

I also have a Samick HJ 650. I’ve been searching for info on original components used – pickups, pots and caps. Can you shed any light on this. Cheers,

Hi there. Can anyone recommend a semi hollowbody guitar suitable for jazz but with a smaller body than most? I tried an Epi Sheraton II pro and loved the sound but the body is too ginormous for me.

You could try an Epiphone Casino Coupe – it’s basically a Casino with a smaller body. It’s based on the Gibson ES339, which you could also try, but will be considerably more expensive!

Try the Epiphone 339… similar shape and style, but shrunk down a little.

Kudos to the writer. As a swing guitarist: in my view there should be a small “acoustic archtop” section including at least the Loar LH-6/700s and Eastmans. Perhaps the Guild A-150 (not in the same league acoustically, but still a very nice and versatile swing box) and the EXL-1 could also feature in this section. I am available to help should there be an interest in including this. Also, may I pedantically suggest a couple amendments: – to say that the Epi Broadway was introduced “in 1931” as an “affordable option” is misleading. The Broadway “introduced in 1931” and produced by Epiphone NY was a high-end acoustic archtop meant for the professional big band player, nothing “affordable” about it. The current model, which I had and liked well, has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Suggested text: “introduced in 1997 as an affordable copy of a Gibson L5 CES” – Bucky Pizzarelli did not, to my knowledge, play current D’Angelico EXL-1s. Yes, he appears in a beautiful video with one, and I’m sure he was pleased at the resurgence of the brand, but he played Benedetto 7-strings, vintage Epiphones and a vintage D’Angelico having little more than the name in common with current production (no disrespect here: we’re comparing nice affordable factory-made boxes, essentially electric guitars, with some of the most highly regarded acoustic instruments ever made).

Cheers and keep swingin’!

Useful roundup, thanks. I’ve had a ’63 full hollow body Gibson ES330 for 45 years. Tatty but plays like a dream. Wonderful neck & set up. I guess that a better classic Joe Pass jazz tone could be achieved with it or many other guitars by using flat wound strings. Through a Fender amp it can be quite bright sounding although darker warmer tones are possible. Not that I play classic Jazz, more punk jazz & I lean much more towards Django’s sound. There are of course the German Hofner f-hole archtops of the 40s to late 60’s. Hofner build quality was ok I believe, coming from violin making. I have a 1960 ish laminated 6 string archtop bass that plays & sounds great. I expect you could find a perfectly decent H President or similar that would make a characterful working guitar, not “top class” but it wouldn’t break the bank either. Some of the better models had carved pine / spruce tops before they went to laminated ply in the 60’s. Hollow bodies varied from about 3″ to “Verithin” 1 3/4″ or something. Possibly the earlier ones had no truss rods & maybe necks joined at 12th fret.

Gibson ES137 – more affordable, good playability and an excellent tone.

Hofner German-made ‘very thin John Stowell’ – wonderful instrument. Floating pickup so a brighter sound.

I pine for a D’Angelico mini dc excell or deluxe. Does anyone have experience with either? I have an Epi Broadway. It is too big and too loud for me. It’s a 2008 model. I still reach for a 1991 Strat more often than not but it is harder to play than some of my other guitars. I have a Polytone minibrute iv and a couple other ss amps.

James Warren TX

Hi all, some advice welcome. Would like to venture in jazz guitar without breaking the bank. Also live in an appartment, so would prefer a nice sound at quite low volume …(neighbours ..). The lower priced guitars here above don’t have a review, but that’s just the range I would be interested in. Anyone can comment on sound, playability, action, etc on these <500$ models ? Thx very much, John

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Hi John, check out this thread on the forum: https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/guitar-amps-gizmos/19143-best-jazz-guitar-around-500-a.html

Thanks, great info! Now hunting the ads…

Limit your amp to no more than 15 watts

Hi all. Is anyone using the Prestige NYC Jazz archtop for their jazz playing? This is my first jazz guitar and I have to say how lovely it is not only in looks but tone as well. I have not even thought about changing/upgrading it. It also falls into the affordable category for the beginning jazz guitarist. The tone to me is so good you wouldn’t want to put anything between it and your amp. I purchased mine from Canada and had it shipped to the U.K.

D’Angelico New York Excel EXL-1 is my preferred archtop followed by the Excel Ex-SS. Additionally I have a Taylor T5C2 Koa that fits into the equation. Bottom line is the dependency is based on quality, tonal range, and feel. Cost is far down the line and frankly I can’t identify significant differences between my 3 listed and the Gibson 175 or 335 to reconcile the cost delta.

I found a Gibson 330 a few decades back. I was told it was from 1969. Sometimes hard to tune but, has a nice bite. I also like to play jazz on my Fender Reissue Tele.

I recently bought an IVY brand ES 175 thinline copy for $205.00 from Amazon. I own 15 guitars and basses, among them A George Benson Ibanez and an Ibanez Artcore. The GB sounds so bad, I am changing the pick-ups which is assinine on an almost $1000.00 guitar and I changed the pick-ups on the Artcore with seymour duncan Seth Lover Humbuckers and push-pull pots. Believe it or not, the IVY is constructed on a comparable level to the Ibanez guitars, but right out of the box, with no adjustments or modifications sounds better than both Ibanez. CNC automation is a game changer and the only people foolish enough to pay a premium for CNC manufactured instruments produced by brand names are brand fetishists and nostalgia saps. I also own 3 Telecasters, 2 Harley Benton and one chambered IVY Tele. Each of these guitars is as good or better than any Fender Telecaster and the 3 guitars together cost $100.00 less than one Fender Players Tele. I changed the plastic with brass nuts and my blonde HB tele has 2 single coil and I changed the tuners. My black HB Tele has 2 humbuckers, sounds smooth as silk, came equipped with locking tunder, the body is made of sapele, which is similar to mahogany, but dark red-brown, has beautiful lighter brown wood binding, a maple neck with an ebony fretboard and wilkinson tremolo. For $320.00 delivered from Germany, is easily comparable to any Paul Reed Smith and besides being elegant, stunningly beautiful and virtually flawless is extremely versatile.

Best Jazz guitar brand? PEERLESS!!!!! I wonder why it’s not in the list!

I’ve looked into these too… turns out Peerless in S.Korea has been turning out quality instruments for many different brands. In 2021 their selling under their own label. Quality jazz guitars at very reasonable prices. Tough to get hold of in Canada, but available at selected locations in the USA, and in Europe.

I recently bought a Peerless Martin Taylor Virtuoso from a dealer in Paris. This particular guitar was new-old stock, as they were discontinued a few years back. It has a slightly compact full archtop body with a single floater, and 20 frets. It’s a joy to play with superb action. The sound is very typical floater sound – emphasis on acoustic tones. If it were my only working guitar I would put a different higher output pickup on it, maybe a Kent Armstrong floater, but I don’t want to change what it is, and have other guitars to use. When I was looking for this Peerless, I learned that the company is insolvent and no longer producing guitars. Too bad, because it’s a keeper.

Why didn’t a Les Paul Standard didn’t make the list? To me it’s a terrific jazz guitar but I am a beginner. The neck pickup can be changed if rolling off the volume and tone a little bit doesn’t get you there with the stock pickup. The Seymour Duncan Jazz humbucker in the neck is dreamy. Cheers!

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Nice roundup of options. FWIW, the ES330 is fully hollow. Unlike its 335, 345, and 355 siblings, it doesn’t have a centre block of hardwood, though the body is thin like those guitars. (The Casino, its Epiphone cousin, is also fully hollow.)

I like this overview ….. what about PRS hollow/semi hollow guitars ?

One of my favorite guitars in my collection is a late ’90,s PRS McCarty Hollow-body II. Very comfortable to play. The sound varies just a bit from your standard hollow-body jazz box, but it’s positive attributes far out-way any tone issues. Plus, it weighs in at just a smidge less than six pounds.

I play on a 2012 Epiphone lp ultra through a boss katana 50w, and I get all the tones I need for high school jazz, and when I need to play punk/metal.

I first saw a Godin Multiac guitar in use by Habib Koite – the great singer, guitarist, band leader from Mali. Over the years I’ve seen many other African musicians playing Godin guitars. I’ve often wondered why. I suspect they work especially well for the rhythm-focused style of guitar used most often in African styles of music.

My favorite jazz box is the Heritage Sweet 16. The hand-carved spruced top provides a beautiful tone, playability is superb, and the look of the hand-carved flamed maple back and sides is extraordinary. They are pricey but in my opinion they are comparable to very high-end, much more expensive, boutique instruments from famous luthiers.

I recently purchased the Heritage Golden Eagle. My normal gigging axe is the Gibson ES-175. The 2 guitars have all the necessary sounds.

I have a 1962 Gibson ES120T (thinline semi acoustic, no cutaway) It has one single coil pickup, I take a little treble off and get a very decent jazz tone, put the treble back and it’s a great Blues guitar. Despite it’s age, the playing action is excellent and the intonation is very good and I love to play it. I also have an Ibanez AF86 2 pickup semi acoustic which is very different from the Gibson, but, because it has 2 pickups, it is a little more versatile. The neck pickup gives a warm, jazzy tone, the 2 pickup position gives a little more cut but still jazzy, and the back pickup is too trebly for jazz but good for Rockabilly.

My favorite guitar I’ve ever owned (as well as for jazz), is what has to be an absolute best buy for a hand carved all solid wood archtop: a used late 80’s Heritage Eagle, the cheaper mahogany model. It was just amazing, I regularly got comments on it’s tone from fellow students and also teachers as well when I was in college. I bought mine used for $1200 in the late ’90s, but I’ve still seen used for a few hundred more; unfortunately it was stolen and I no longer have it.

Minor notes: wouldn’t the JSM100 be a reproduction of Sco’s arguably favorite guitar the AS200 not the 335 which he quit playing in favor of the Ibanez; (of course the AS200 is one of those famous “lawsuit” models that is copy of a 335).

Also, neither the strat-body inspired Yamaha Pacifica pictured, or the Stern model–which is basically a tele–have the 3 pickups described in the article … but both of those models are likely more conducive to sounding ‘jazzy’ having either tele-style electronics, or what looks like a P-90 p/u in the neck position.

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The Ibanez Artist AS200 is not a lawsuit guitar at all. It was a unique design head to toe from Ibanez. John owns his most famous Antique Violin finished one and also a lesser-known Black colored one. He is holding it on the cover of his release Flat Out.

John also used a solid body Artist AR-305AV, very much like the one I own, on his Still Warm release. He also has been shown on the interwebs in concert using a smaller semi-hollow body Artist AM205AV which I also happen to own.

Let it be known that even though John is older than me, I came to love Ibanez with my first purchase in 1978 with my Performer PF300NT which is a Les Paul like design, and again, not a lawsuit model because it has a unique design all its own. The lawsuit models are only the one that have identical Gibson Les Paul body shape with the Gibson “open book” headstock design. Because body shapes are limited in their variation, it is mainly the headstock designs that enjoy IP protection. My Ibanez Les Paul design is unique in that it has a comfort belly cut and also I never realized until recently that is chambered as well. I have recorded and toured with it, and I keep flatwound 11s which sound beautiful. Although I have 3 other Ibanez guitars all ’83 or older, my Performer remains my No. 1 that I reach for.

I like the sound of the Rickenbacker 360 for jazz, played through my Vox AC10 amp. As a runner up, I like the sound of a Fender Jaguar, using the rhythm pickup, through my Fender Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb. Yeah…I know…these are not “traditional” jazz guitars. Who cares ? What sounds good sounds good.

Great price on the Epiphone Broadway..but needs a hard case. Also changed the electronics (Tonemanguitar)and pickups. Gibson 57 plus / Seymour Duncan 59 and Tune-o-Matic Bridge For Archtop Guitar. Play thru a modified Fender Blues JR 3, It’s almost doubled the price now but it’s amazing..now I have to learn how to play…

also, awesome article! very informative and well-written… thanks for sharing!

my 1st guitar was a used Gibson Les Paul Studio that I absolutely love, but then realized a) it is SUPER heavy and b) while I dig the tones I get (I put a set of flat 12s on), it’s still no sub for the “jazz box” tone I crave. so, I just welcomed an Ibanez AF75 (also with flat 12s) to the studio as of a month ago. I gotta say, for a bone stock, unmodded, “budget, entry-level” box, I’m absolutely in love with the tone! there are some dead spots along the fretboard, that either I can learn to live with or I can try to get rid of later, but still, with all the things going on in the world right now, I’m very happy to explore jazz further with the box I paid $400 as I continue to dive deeper down the jazz rabbit hole…

I play a 2000 Fender, USA, Corona, CA, made Guild Starfire IV. It was made shortly after Fender acquired the Westerly, RI shop where Guilds were built since 1966. Sadly FMIC sold the brand to Córdoba Guitars and the once iconic brand has been “cheapened” by some poor production methods in Indonesia. The “pups” that Fender used were actually copies of the original Guild “SH-1” and were made by Seymour Duncan in Santa Barbara, CA for Fender during the Fender USA production era of the Starfire IV. The look and sound of these Duncan made SH-1’s are spot on and make the SFIV a beautifully made and sounding jazz guitar! imho ✌🏼

Very good and well-structured article about jazz guitars. Please note Emily Remler also played a Gibson ES 125 T ¾ in her European tour 1986, performing with the group of organist Barbara Dennerlein.

Gibson ES-150 Guild X-175

I just bought the lower-priced Ibanez JSM-10 John Scofield signature guitar. I’m guessing that’s where the lower-end price of the JSM-100 comes from, as that’s the price of the JSM-10 in America. The JSM-10 has more versatility than the JSM-100 in that it has a circuit-switch toggle on the neck pickup that allows you to run the neck pickup in parallel (instead of series), or coil-split it in addition to the regular humbucker mode.

Incredible bang for buck for this guitar. Action and neck are incredible, just a dream to play. Aesthetically some absolutely beautiful features for such a low priced guitar, including the flame maple top, sides, and back, the binding, and the bound ebony fretboard. Personally, I think it represents much better value than the JSM-100.

Im just starting to learn some jazz. I play on my G&L legacy. When I get better Ill consider a semi or hollow body, till then this will have to do

I am just getting started in jazz and have a loar LH350. Pro players who have played it say it is a fantastic guitar and worth many times more than the £325.00 I paid for it. I had a pro set up done and that made it play and sound even better. It also has a hand carved spruce top which is unbelievable for a guitar under £1000.

Any information on Peerless 335 style guitars? Like the 40th Anniversary Renaissance or similar.

I use a Reverend Guitars PA-1 HB Custom. The Pete Anderson signature hollowbody is comfortable, full-sounding and very flexible line of guitars. I have a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin, which is a great budget choice.

I get a great jazz tone from the neck pickup on a Rickenbacker 360. People say it sounds like Grant Green. The Rick has a lovely open, woody, semi-acoustic tone that you don’t get from a solid body. Search for Wes Montgomery Rickenbacker 360 on YT and you’ll see me playing one.

i only have two guitars an ibanez acoustic and a stratocaster i’m using the strat to learn jazz right now

A overlooked Telecaster is the Standard HH model, with two humbuckers instead of the traditional Tele single coils. With the neck pickup and the tone rolled off somewhat, you can get a great warm jazzy sound. The stealth coil tap switch (a push-pull tone knob) gives you the option of going single coil.

I also have a Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin, single P90 pickup, no cutaway. Great Charlie Christian vibe.

For lovers of Bossa I would recommend trying the Yamaha SLG200N (Silent, nylon strings). It has great electronics and can be used either with earplugs for silent exercise or plugged for playing a gig. The neck is excellent for finger style, and I use it for bossa and Scandinavian ballads with a touch of blues, but also for standard jazz tunes. The guitar is easy to carry around and has become very popular with Brazilian guitarist the last years. (I am not too happy about the built-in reverb system and prefer to control that from my AER amplifier). (I also have a Takamine 132SC from 1996)

I second that emotion. I bought one of these to use as a practice guitar (doesn’t disturb my wife late at night) and have wound up gigging with it. I use it for solo gigs at the local wine bar, and my musician friends tell me it sounds fantastic. In that setting, I run it through a Bose L1 Compact, with my vocals on the XLR channel. It comes across very bass heavy with that rig, even with the bass knob all the way down, so I use a preamp to dial the low end back even more. This is not an issue with an acoustic guitar amp.

I also recently used it while playing in the pit orchestra for a local theatre company’s production of “Sister Act – the Musical”. The score calls for nylon string on some songs. The Yamaha sounded great, was a constant topic of conversation due to its novel appearance, and it is easy to deal with in the tight confines of a theatre orchestra.

Hello Bjorn, Do u think that the Yamaha model tops the Godin Multiac one ?

Why did you remove the Aria Pro II Herb Ellis and Ibanez JP20 from your list? I bought the Aria because of the recommendation here and I must say it’s one of the finest guitarst I’ve ever played at an affordable price. I really wouldn’t leave it out here.

Rani121 I’ve been playing an Aria Pro II Herb Ellis signature “175” copy with a bound ebony neck for 30 years. It’s easy to play and has a smooth jazzy tone. I can leave my amp tone controls unchanged at “12 o’ clock” and it’s fine. I picked it up second-hand for $200 as it’s neck was slightly twisted, but an excellent luthier in Birmingham, John Diggens, fixed it, and it has not moved since then in the 80’s.

best travel jazz guitar

I own and play a Robert Conti designed slimline hollow body called the Equity. It’s built by Peerless in S. Korea and rivals any of my USA made Gibson or Fender instruments. It’s not cheap at $1800 USD, but combined with my Henriksen Jazzamp it’s all I can ask for in a classic jazz guitar sound.

One thing a learned after many years of playing, even on high end instruments: don’t let the budget be your starting point for selection. Make a list of requirements (functional, construction, sound), use your ears and try them out yourself. I am not ashamed to say that I currently settled with an instrument of a little more than 1000$ but with a wonderful sound and intonation, that sounds and plays a lot better than those that cost twice to 10 times more. Ironically, many consider it entry-level.

Hi Zee, what guitar are you currently playing?

Hi Dirk. It is the Eastman AR372CE. But I must add that I have specific, personal needs that rule out a lot of candidates. Scale must be around 24 3/4″, top nut at least 1 3/4″ and with sufficient string spacing, two pickups, a balanced, more acoustic tone color, not the usual heavy, dark, soft jazz sound (pickups are Kent Armstrong, love them), and perfect intonation anywhere on the neck. Cheers.

Hallo Dirk, first of all thanks for your lessons.. are amazing!! and quite helpful for all those we’re not professional musicians ( I’m engineer, but I love jazz guitar since 8 years old ). I use the next guitars: 1. Yamaha silent.- to play Bossa nova and some Lee Ritenour compositions. 2.- Jazz ( Chord melody ) Ibanez AF75 3.- Jazz Rock & blues.- Gibson Les Paul de Luxe 4.- Bossa Nova- Takamine ( electro acoustic ) 5.- Classic music.- Spanish Guitar. Best Regards and once again thanks a lot for all your lessons.

Charlie Byrd used a nylon string guitar for jazz too.

Many great Brazilian guitarists have used nylon strings guitar for samba/bossa-jazz (Laurindo Almeida, Baden Powell, Bola Sete, Oscar Castro Neves, Romero Lubambo, to name a few). Others like Helio Delmiro and Nelson Faria alternate between nylon strings and electric steel strings. Delmiro used a Gretsch for recordings, Faria plays a signature Archtop.

Exact. I personally face the same dilemma v I play jazz/latin but without pick and with classical training. This model seems OK but don’t know if it’s a high-end instrument

I bought the Ibanez Artcore AS73 at Guitar Center, using the 25% off coupon from the store manager. I realize it is is low end, but it works great for me as a hobby jazz guitarist.

I play: Epiphone Sheraton, Epiphone The Dot (Great Guitar), Ibanez AS93, Epiphone ES-175, Ibanez AG75

Gretsch 2420 Reasonably priced, great classic look, good playability, can be a tad muddy in the lows but overall a good sound. It is an entry-level archtop with some shortcomings but has excellent value for someone making a foray into jazz guitar as is the case with me.

No peerless?

best travel jazz guitar

Very helpful- thank you

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8 Best Jazz Guitars of 2024

by Jose Romo July 11, 2023, 7:32 pm

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Making up your mind to buy a jazz guitar can be really exciting! From Epiphone to Yamaha, Ibanez to Fender, there are so many fantastic guitars for all budgets and skill levels.

This can also mean that if you’re not sure what type of jazz guitar you want, choosing the right one for you can be a little overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve set out to make this list of the best jazz guitars on the market today.

Our top pick is the Ibanez Artcore Series AF75G for its incredible value that nonetheless offers a stunning resonant tone and comfortable playability.

Quick Summary of the Best Jazz Guitars

  • Ibanez Artcore AG75G (Our Top Pick)
  • Gibson ES-335 (Premium Choice)
  • D'Angelico Premier EXL-1 (Best Hollow Body Guitar)
  • Epiphone Riviera (Best Semi-Hollow Body Guitar)
  • Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster (Best Solid Body Guitar)
  • Gretsch G5420T Electromatic (Best Under $1,000)
  • Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90 (Best Under Acoustic Electric Guitar)
  • Ibanez Artcore AS53 (Budget Pick)

Best Jazz Guitars

1. our top pick – ibanez artcore ag75g.

Ibanez Artcore AG75G

  • Body Type: Hollow body
  • Materials: Linden body, Nyatoh neck, Bound Walnut fingerboard
  • Number of Frets: 20
  • Pickups: 2 x Classic Elite Humbuckers

If you’re looking for a hollow body with classic looks and premium modern touches, then the Ibanez AG75G is worth looking into.

This beautiful instrument features a linden top, back, and sides, creating a stunningly warm midrange. The Nyatoh neck and walnut fingerboard provide a rich mid-low end and offer outstanding comfort and playability.

The AG75G is equipped with Ibanez Classic Elite humbucker pickups, which deliver a rich and nuanced tone with fat low-end, as well as a warm and clear sound with good articulation.

This guitar’s Gibraltar Performer bridge and VT06 “trapeze” tailpiece provides rich sustain and rock-solid stability, and easy string changes. Its low-positioned saddles also deliver comfortable playability.

The AG75G is a visually stunning guitar that incorporates vintage-inspired aesthetics, including traditional body shapes, chrome hardware, and various finishes, giving it a classic and timeless look.

This incredibly affordable guitar is one of the best guitars for jazz and a fantastic choice for people who have just started playing jazz.

2. Premium Choice – Gibson ES-335

Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar

  • Body Type: Semi-hollow body
  • Materials: 3-ply Maple/Poplar/Maple body, Mahogany neck, Rosewood fingerboard
  • Number of Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups: 2 x Calibrated T-Type Rhythm Humbucker

From its inaugural appearance in 1958, the Gibson ES-335 set an unmatched standard and continues to be one of the best jazz guitars you can buy today.

Its semi-hollow body gives it great resonance without being quite as prone to feedback if you’re cranking the volume.

The pearloid dot inlay rosewood fingerboard on a hand-rolled Rounded "C" mahogany neck plays like a dream and offers a warm, balanced, and full-bodied sound.

Two of Gibson's Calibrated T-Type humbuckers come with their own individual volume and tone controls and deliver a wide range of tones, from smooth and warm jazz sounds to thick, creamy overdriven tones.

This semi-hollow guitar gets excellent tuning stability and precise intonation from its Vintage Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons, paired with a lightweight Aluminum ABR-1 bridge and Stop Bar tailpiece, anchored by steel thumb-wheels and tailpiece studs.

The ES-335 showcases a timeless, vintage-inspired design, including the iconic double-cutaway body shape, bound body, bound fingerboard, and vintage-style hardware—these features all contribute to the guitar's classic and elegant appearance.

3. Best Hollow Body Guitar – D'Angelico Premier EXL-1

D'Angelico Premier EXL-1

  • Materials: Laminated Flamed Maple body, Laminated Spruce top, Maple neck, Ovangkol fingerboard
  • Pickups: Duncan Designed Floating Mini Humbucker

Based on John D’Angelico’s original design, the Premier EXL-1 is the pinnacle of entry-level archtops with a body shape that makes use of the legendary archtop blueprint while offering modern comfort.

Now featuring a stunning satin finish over natural wood tones, the Premier EXL-1 offers a warmer, woodier archtop tone than ever before.

The heart of the Premier EXL-1’s mature and rich voice is its quality tonewood construction. Its carved spruce top and laminated maple back and sides offer an incredibly warm, resonant tone and excellent projection.

The Premier EXL-1’s signature D’Angelico Stairstep tailpiece and iconic oversized headstock offer remarkable sustain and rich harmonic overtones.

A single floating mini-humbucker highlights the EXL-1’s natural mid-range and warm acoustic edge, providing an old-school jazz feel that no other jazz guitar at this price range can rival. The Premier EXL-1 is hands down one of the best guitars for jazz on the market today.

4. Best Semi-Hollow Body Guitar – Epiphone Riviera

Epiphone Riviera

  • Materials: LayeredMaple body, Mahogany neck, Indian Laurel fingerboard
  • Pickups: 2 x Bridge Pickup Epiphone PRO Mini Humbucker

First introduced in the early ‘60s, the Epiphone Riviera’s semi-hollow design has been a favorite of players from all genres and generations and is widely considered one of the best guitars for jazz ever made.

This semi-hollow guitar is exquisitely crafted from layered maple with a comfortable rounded C-shaped mahogany neck and laurel fingerboard for delightfully smooth playability.

The 24.724-inch scale length and 22 medium-jumbo frets provide a familiar feel for players accustomed to shorter-scale guitars.

The Rivera also features a 3-layer pickguard with the classic metal Epiphone “E” and comes equipped with Epiphone's LockTone Tune-O-Matic adjustable bridge and Frequensator tailpiece.

Its PRO mini humbuckers deliver a tight, bright, and beefy tone with focused output that will come alive when you crank the gain.

The Riviera is also a beautiful instrument to look at, featuring a distinctively vintage aesthetic.

It has a double-cutaway body shape reminiscent of classic Gibson designs and eye-catching features such as the Frequensator tailpiece and a parallelogram fingerboard inlays. These vintage-inspired touches give the Riviera a stylish and retro appeal.

5. Best Solid Body Guitar – Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazzmaster

  • Materials: Poplar body, Maple neck, Indian Laurel fingerboard
  • Number of Frets: 21, Narrow Tall
  • Pickups: 2 x Fender Alnico Single-coil

The Classic Vibe '60s Jazzmaster captures the essence of the iconic 1960s Jazzmaster model. It features the signature offset body shape, unique Jazzmaster control layout, and vintage-style appointments like a vintage-tinted gloss neck finish with a classic finish.

Even though the Jazzmaster became a guitar beloved by surf rockers and indie players alike, jazz players are coming back around to it, realizing that the unique circuit design does actually lend itself to the genre, making the Jazzmaster line great jazz guitars.

The Jazzmaster is equipped with two Alnico single-coil pickups to capture the authentic vintage Jazzmaster jangle. The pickups offer a warm and articulate sound with a good balance of clarity and character.

This awesome jazz guitar also features a vintage-style floating tremolo system, allowing for expressive pitch bends and subtle vibrato effects. The tremolo system adds tonal versatility and can be used for creating dynamic and atmospheric sounds.

Player-friendly features include a slim and comfortable C-shaped neck profile with narrow-tall frets, as well as a vintage-style bridge with threaded saddles.

6. Best Under $1,000 – Gretsch G5420T Electromatic

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic

  • Materials: Laminated Maple body, Arched Laminated Maple top, Maple neck, Laurel fingerboard
  • Pickups: 2 x FT-5E Filter’Tron

Crafted with essential Gretsch hollow-body sound, style, and playability, the ‘50s & ‘60s -inspired Gretsch G5420T Electromatic is one of the best guitars for jazz out there.

The G5420T features a laminated maple body with vintage-inspired contours as well as an all-new trestle block bracing to help reduce unwanted feedback.

By increasing rigidity and contact between the top and back of the body, the new trestle block design also results in the sound having a faster attack with more focus, snap, and increased sustain.

The G5420T is equipped with a pair of Blacktop Filter'Tron pickups, which are humbucking pickups specifically designed by Gretsch.

They offer a balanced and articulate tone, providing clarity and definition while retaining the warmth and vintage character associated with Gretsch guitars. They deliver a versatile range of sounds, from smooth jazz tones to lively rockabilly twang.

Its Bigsby vibrato tailpiece allows for expressive pitch modulation and subtle vibrato effects. The Bigsby adds a touch of vintage charm and enables you to add tasteful nuances to your playing. It's a lovely feature for those seeking a classic, retro vibe.

7. Best Acoustic Electric Guitar – Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90

Godin 5th Avenue Kingpin P90

  • Materials: Canadian Wild Cherrybody, Silver Leaf Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard
  • Number of Frets: 21, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups : 2 x Godin Kingpin P-90 Single-coil

The Godin 5th Avenue is a tribute to the days of archtop acoustic guitars, uniting the vintage feel of a 1950s archtop with today’s level of modern playability, making it one of the best jazz guitars on the market.

Made from Canadian Wild Cherry, the body of the 5th Avenue features a molded arched top and back. This offers more projection & volume in the low/mids than traditional acoustic archtop guitars and a dynamically rich tone.

The 5th Avenue is equipped with two Godin Kingpin P90 single-coil pickups, which offer a balanced and articulate sound and a smooth and clear tone with a warm vintage character.

Godin is known for producing instruments with excellent craftsmanship, and the 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II is no exception. It features quality materials, meticulous attention to detail, and solid construction, ensuring durability and reliability.

This gorgeous instrument also features an adjustable bridge, classic F-holes, contoured high-gloss headstock, floating pickguard, and cream binding.

From Alt-Country, Delta Blues, Slide, Jazz, and Rock, the 5th Avenue is a great jazz guitar that can really deliver.

8. Budget Pick – Ibanez Artcore AS53

Ibanez Artcore AS53

  • Materials: Sapelebody, Nyatoh neck, Walnut fingerboard
  • Number of Frets: 22, Medium
  • Pickups: 2 x Infinity R Ceramic Humbucker

The AS53 is designed with player comfort in mind, offering the comfortable playability of a smaller body with an exquisitely warm and smooth tone.

Its Sapele body gives the punchy yet creamy tone of a much larger guitar, and its slim Nyatoh set-in neck with bound laurel fingerboard allows for smooth and easy playability across the entire fretboard. The guitar's body contours and lightweight construction further enhance the playing experience.

The AS53 is equipped with two Ibanez Infinity R humbucking pickups that deliver a well-balanced and versatile tone while suppressing unwanted noise and reducing feedback.

Like the Ibanez Artcore AG75G, the AS53 features a Gibraltar Performer bridge that provides incredible sustain and stability. The AS53 also comes with a Quik Change III tailpiece that enables faster and easier string changing.

One of the standout features of the AS53 is its affordability. Ibanez went all out with this little semi-hollow, and yet it's still an incredibly affordable jazz guitar, accessible to a wide range of players, needs, and budgets.

Best Jazz Guitars Buyer's Guide

Guitar type, archtop guitars (hollow body guitars).

The Archtop guitar is the quintessential jazz guitar, preferred by some of the most beloved jazz legends of all time.

Hollow bodies are typically large, and the top of the guitar is arched, meaning it has a curved shape rather than being flat. This arched design contributes to the guitar's acoustic projection and enhances its resonance.

Fully hollow guitars are known for their warm, full-bodied, and rich tone. Their hollow construction allows the sound to resonate and develop more fully, resulting in a balanced and vibrant tone that suits jazz music beautifully.

They often produce a clear and articulate sound with excellent note definition, making them ideal for chord comping and melodic playing.

Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

Semi-hollow guitars offer a balance between the characteristics of fully hollow archtops and solid-body electric guitars . They aren’t as large as the former, but also not as small as the latter.

They have a central solid block of wood running through the body, which provides stability and reduces the feedback issues usually found on fully hollow instruments. The guitar's sides and top have hollow cavities, creating a resonance chamber.

Many great jazz guitars are semi-hollow since the combination of solid and hollow construction results in a unique tonal quality. They tend to have a warm, resonant, and open sound, with enhanced sustain and acoustically rich qualities.

They can produce a wide range of tones, from clean and mellow jazz tones to overdriven blues or rock sounds.

Solid-Body Guitars

While solid-body guitars may not be the traditional choice for jazz, they can still be used quite effectively in certain jazz contexts.

Some jazz guitar players have successfully incorporated solid-body guitars into their playing, particularly when pursuing a more modern or fusion-oriented jazz sound.

Solid-body guitars can provide a brighter, more focused tone with increased sustain, which may be desirable in certain jazz fusion or contemporary jazz settings.

Additionally, solid-body guitars are less prone to feedback at high volumes, making them suitable for louder environments. They also tend to have slimmer neck profiles and lighter weights, which can contribute to easier fretting and enhanced maneuverability.

Type of Wood

The type and construction of wood is a crucial aspect to consider, as it determines the guitar’s tone and feel.

Common woods used in jazz guitars include mahogany, maple, and spruce for the body, maple and mahogany for the neck and rosewood, maple, and ebony for fretboards.

Spruce is valued for its excellent resonance and tonal projection, helping to produce a rich, full-bodied sound.

Maple is known for its bright, focused tone, strong sustain, and clarity. Maple can contribute to a well-defined note separation, making it suitable for complex jazz chord voicings and solo lines.

Mahogany offers a warmer and more mid-range-focused tone compared to maple. It can impart a smooth and rich character to the instrument's sound.

Rosewood is commonly used for fingerboards due to its smooth texture and resonant properties. It can contribute to a warm and rounded tone, enhancing the instrument's sustain and depth.

Ebony is another popular choice for fingerboards. It is known for its dense and smooth surface, providing a bright and articulate response. Ebony can contribute to a focused and precise tone.

When it comes to pickups for jazz guitars, the two most commonly preferred styles are humbuckers and single-coil pickups. Each style offers its own tonal characteristics and can be suitable for different jazz players and musical contexts.

Humbuckers are known for their warm, full, and smooth tone. They consist of two coils wound in opposite directions, which helps to cancel out unwanted hum and noise.

They produce a thicker and more rounded sound compared to single-coil pickups, making them popular among jazz players seeking a rich and mellow tone.

They provide a well-balanced response, enhanced sustain, and a slightly compressed sound, making them suitable for chord comping and smooth jazz playing.

Single-coil pickups are known for their clarity, brightness, and dynamic response. They produce a more articulate and detailed sound with enhanced note definition, making them well-suited for jazz players who prefer a more precise and transparent tone.

Single-coil pickups offer a snappier attack and a more open, airy sound that can be suitable for traditional or more modern jazz styles. Some jazz guitarists prefer the added twang and sparkle that single-coil pickups provide.

It's worth mentioning that there are variations and modifications of these pickup styles that cater specifically to jazz:

Jazz-Specific Humbuckers: Some pickup manufacturers offer humbucker designs specifically tailored for jazz playing. These pickups may have a lower output and a more balanced frequency response, emphasizing the warmer and smoother aspects of the humbucker sound.

Jazzmaster or P-90 Pickups: Although not as commonly associated with jazz, Jazzmaster-style or P-90 pickups can offer a unique and distinctive tone for those seeking a more vintage or alternative jazz sound. These pickups provide a combination of clarity, warmth, and increased dynamics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can i play jazz on any type of guitar.

The short answer is yes, you can play jazz on any type of guitar.

As mentioned before though, certain guitar styles (hollow and semi-hollow bodies) are commonly associated with jazz due to their specific tonal characteristics.

It’s important to keep in mind that jazz is primarily a style of music that emphasizes improvisation, harmonic complexity, and a distinctive swing feel. So as long as the guitar you end up choosing allows you to express these musical elements, you can play jazz on it!

How many pickups should a jazz guitar have?

The number of pickups on a jazz guitar is entirely a matter of personal preference and the specific sound you’re looking for. Jazz guitars can come with either one or two pickups, and both configurations have their advantages.

One Pickup: Many traditional jazz guitars, particularly hollow bodies, often have a single pickup located near the neck position. This setup is commonly associated with that warm, mellow jazz tone.

Having only one pickup can provide a focused and balanced sound, with a particular emphasis on the neck pickup's warmth and depth. It can be suitable for traditional jazz styles, chord comping, and smooth, melodic playing.

Two Pickups: Jazz guitars with two pickups , such as humbuckers or a combination of single coils and humbuckers, offer increased tonal versatility. The two pickups can be individually selected or combined to achieve different tones.

The bridge pickup can provide a brighter and more cutting sound, while the neck pickup retains the warm and full-bodied characteristics associated with jazz. This configuration can be suitable for players who are seeking a wider range of tonal options.

What kind of strings are recommended for jazz guitar?

While string choice can be subjective and may vary depending on personal preference, there are some commonly recommended options for jazz guitar strings.

Flatwound strings are a popular choice for playing jazz due to their smooth feel and warm, mellow tone. They are known for their excellent note clarity and a more subdued high-end response, making them great for traditional jazz styles.

Roundwound strings produce a brighter and more cutting tone than flatwounds. While roundwound strings are more commonly associated with rock and blues, they are great for contemporary or fusion styles of jazz. They offer increased note definition and a more pronounced high-end response.

Where gauge is concerned, light gauge or medium gauge provides a good balance between playability and tone. Lighter gauge strings can offer easier bending and fretting, while medium gauge strings can provide a slightly fuller and more resonant tone.

Finally, string materials can also affect the overall tone and feel. Nickel-plated steel strings are a common choice for jazz guitarists, offering a balanced tone with a smooth feel.

Stainless steel strings have a brighter tone and provide increased durability, although they may be less popular for traditional jazz styles.

All of the guitars we mentioned on this list are among the best jazz guitars on the market, and each has its own set of desirable qualities. That’s why it’s important to consider which of all these fits your style best.

Our top pick for the best jazz guitar is the Ibanez Artcore AG75G , a beautiful hollow body with a vintage look that offers a warm and smooth sound. It's certainly the best jazz guitar for the traditional jazz player.

If rock and fusion influences are more your thing, something like the Epiphone Riviera would be more up your alley, with its semi-hollow body construction that can handle louder volumes while retaining that jazz feel.

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Guitar Space

The Best Travel Guitars: Top 5 Picks

By: Author Jodie Chiffey

Posted on Last updated: January 31, 2023

The Best Travel Guitars: Top 5 Picks

Today we’ll be talking through some of our favorite travel electric guitars.

We’ll take a closer look at five of the best models out there, outline the pros and cons of each before giving you an idea of who we think each model best suits. Some of the most common FAQs will also be tackled so read on and you’ll be well equipped to choose your next travel-sized guitar.

For the most dedicated of players, having a trusty guitar with you at all times means you can play to your heart’s content whenever inspiration strikes. Maybe you’re sitting on a beach somewhere or watching the sunset from the top of a mountain when the perfect riff or set of chords pop into your head.

Well, fear not, getting yourself a travel guitar could be the perfect solution!

Taylor Baby Taylor

The travel guitar market is filled with plenty of options to suit all needs and styles of play. From miniature electric guitars right through to shrunken acoustic options and everything in between, there’s sure to be the right option for you.

These bespoke instruments are designed purely with portability in mind, with some incredibly clever designs that allow them to be ultra-compact and lightweight whilst also sounding as good as their larger counterparts.

Before we dive in and take an in-depth look into our five favorite travel guitars, let’s take a look at an overview of what you can expect from each one.

travel guitar

5 of the Best Travel Guitars

What exactly is a travel guitar.

A travel guitar is exactly that, a guitar that is designed to travel easily with. They achieve the desired levels of portability and mobility through a few clever design tricks. Firstly, the overall body is built to a much lighter spec. This usually involves reducing the overall size and using much lighter materials during construction.

Secondly, travel guitars often include a number of clever space-saving solutions, such as inventive tuning methods and well-thought-out storage options. Lastly, travel guitars are designed to be sturdy.

Travel guitar

The overall build is much less delicate than your standard instrument as they are designed to be carried around a lot, thrown into the back of vehicles, and manhandled to a much greater extent.

Whilst portability, mobility, and reliability are the name of the game, there are other elements that cannot be overlooked. Who would buy any guitar if it didn’t sound good? That’s right, the key to the success of any travel guitar is to not only nail the travel elements but to nail the tone and overall sound too.

What Makes Travel Guitars so Different?

Due to the manufacturer’s quest for portability, travel guitars can often appear dramatically different from their more traditional counterparts. It is not uncommon to see electric guitars with little or nobody at all and some models even skip the headstock altogether.

Despite the often considerable difference in appearances, there are certain elements that all guitars, whether travel-sized or not, simply must-have. Tuning pegs and a bridge, for example, must be present in all models.

This means that the overall playing experience can differ from what you are familiar with and may take some getting used to. It is imperative that you select a model that will suit your style!

What are the Key Features of a Travel Guitar?

When it comes to the design of these specialist guitars, there are often two ways that the manufacturers go about it. The first is to essentially take a full-sized traditional guitar and shrink it down until it is deemed portable enough.

This approach works well as it allows the guitars to retain an element of familiarity and is often a popular choice for younger players or those who are slightly less experienced musicians.

The second is totally redesign the instrument from the ground up. Doing this often leads to elements of the guitar being totally repositioned and can alter the playing experience significantly.

Don’t be put off though, the company making these types of travel guitars have put millions of dollars into their research and development and often come up with innovative designs that are both portable and, crucially, playable.

Who Uses Travel Guitars?

At their core travel guitars are designed for musicians who want to take their instrument with them wherever they are in the world. They may just be heading off on vacation or planning a 6 month round the world trip but wherever they go, their guitar needs to go with them.

Alternatively, travel guitars have proved to be a popular choice with children who are not yet big enough to play a full-sized instrument. In fact, one of the guitars on our list actually started out as a design specifically aimed at kids!

In terms of style and genres, there is a travel guitar to suit all. The modern range available of electric, acoustic , and acoustic-electric options means no genre and no playing style is left uncatered for.

5 of The Best Travel Guitars Currently Available

Taylor baby taylor acoustic guitar – a classic acoustic design that produces outstanding tones.

Taylor Acoustic Guitar

The Taylor Baby Taylor actually started life as a guitar designed for children to play. Its compact size but the familiar layout was intended to allow younger musicians to get used to the feel of an acoustic guitar before graduating to a full-sized model.

It turned out that the design and build were so good that even players well suited to using regular-sized guitars found the sound of the Baby Taylor was perfectly good enough for them, far exceeding the expectations of a ‘learner’ model. The logical result was that the Baby Taylor became a very successful and generally well-respected traveler’s instrument.

Its classic dreadnought looks are ¾ of the size of a normal Taylor and the included gig bag makes it ultra-portable whilst being easy on the wallet. If the more outlandish designs aren’t for you then the Baby Taylor could well be a perfect choice.

Specifications

  • ¾ sized dreadnought
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top wood
  • Layered Walnut on the back and sides
  • Taylor Standard Baby X-bracing pattern
  • Satin varnish finish
  • Standard Taylor Baby profile
  • 1 11/16-inch (42.8 mm) nut width
  • Genuine African ebony fingerboard
  • Sapele neck wood
  • 22-¾-inch scale length
  • Copafera headstock overlay
  • Chrome Baby tuners & buttons
  • Genuine African ebony bridge
  • Micarta saddle & Nubone nut
  • Taylor Deluxe Baby gig bag included
  • Produces some of the best tones on our list
  • Excellent build quality
  • Players with larger hands may struggle

Martin Steel-String Backpacker Acoustic Guitar – A Unique Aesthetic That Won’t Appeal to Everyone

Martin Acoustic Guitar

With the Martin Steel-String Backpacker , we have the first example of a guitar that has been radically changed and redesigned to fit the portability brief. Although the looks of this travel guitar won’t appeal to everyone, you can be sure that Martin has managed to deliver crisp and clear tones despite the redesign.

The solid Mahogany used in the construction of the body really helps this little guitar kick out a more than the respectable level of volume. With a name like Martin behind this one, you can rest assured you are purchasing a quality product.

This model in particular has been designed with the traveler in mind. By that, we mean that not only has it been shrunk in size, but the construction has also made this model tougher than a lot of the other options on our list.

This means that the Martin Steel-String Backpacker is the ideal choice for those planning on taking their travel guitar away on camping or hiking trips. 

  • Mahogany back, neck & sides
  • Chrome tuners that are enclosed
  • Small, ultra-lightweight size
  • Padded gig bag included for portability and protection on the road
  • Creates a good level of volume
  • Super easy to travel with
  • Great tones
  • Visually, this guitar won’t appeal to everyone

Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Travel Guitar – A Lightweight Take on a Heavyweight Electric Guitar World

Traveler Guitar

The Stratocaster is an instantly recognizable electric guitar that has been around for decades. But what happens when you want to take yours away on holiday with you? Well, unless you want to be lugging around your full-sized model then you should seriously consider getting yourself a Travelcaster Deluxe Guitar !

Coming in at only 5bls, the Travelcaster is 35% lighter and 14% shorter than its older brother. Despite this difference in size, we found it to provide a pretty good version of the classic Stratocaster experience. If you can get over it visually and need your travel guitar to be electric, this is a pretty awesome one to go for.

For guitarists on the go, there aren’t too many better options. It features three single-coil pickups , one volume control, two tone controls, and a five-way pickup selection.

Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Guitar

  • Poplar body
  • 1.75 inches thick
  • 9 inches wide
  • Bolt-on construction
  • 9.5-inch neck radius
  • 1.65-inch width at the nut
  • Maple fingerboard
  • 22 medium/jumbo frets
  • Passive electronics including tone. volume, & 5-way switch
  • 3-inch overall depth
  • 33.75-inch overall length
  • 3 ceramic single-coil pickups
  • Gigbag included
  • A great option if you need an electric model
  • Classic Strat feel and playing experience
  • Portable & lightweight
  • It may not appeal to everyone. Some may say the original Strat design shouldn’t have changed or tampered with in any way.

Hofner Shorty Electric Travel Guitar – An Electric Travel Guitar That Has Withstood the Test of Time

Hofner Travel Guitar

Originally designed and brought out by Hofner in the 1980s the Shorty Electric Guitar has proved to be a popular choice for the guitarist on the go ever since.

One of the reasons for this is that it provides that full-scale feel and familiarity a lot of players automatically look for. This full-length scale combined with its shrunken body results in one of the comfiest and best playing experiences you can get from a travel guitar.

There’s a classic Maplewood and Rosewood combination on the fretboard and neck whilst the humbucker situated on the bridge is beefy enough to blast even the most demanding of riffs.

The playability of this travel guitar is really why it made our list, along with the price. At such a low price point you really can’t go wrong. There are other models on our list that perhaps sound a little better but the Hofner Shorty is a brilliant choice if you’re not looking to break the bank.

  • Basswood top & back
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 24.7-inch (62.8cm) length scale
  • 42mm nut width
  • Hofner Open Humbucker
  • Hofner gig bag included
  • Ultra-lightweight & portable
  • Good quality for the price
  • The overall sound isn’t as good as other options on our list

Traveler Guitar Escape Mark III Acoustic-Electric Guitar – A Full-Scale Option for the Distinguished Guitarist On-The-Go

Escape Mark Guitar

This is a really cool piece of kit. If you’re looking to take a no-compromise approach to your playing then this could well be the model for you. Featuring internal tuning pegs and extensive onboard electrics, the Escape Mark III allows you to put on a show no matter where you are.

The internal tuning pegs mean there is effectively no headstock at all. Visually this is quite something to get over but it allows for portability whilst sacrificing little to no loss of sound quality.

At 26% shorter and 10% lighter than a standard electric-acoustic guitar, you’ll have no trouble carrying this thing around whilst the integrated electrics include things like a headphone port, an under-saddle Shadow NanoFlex piezo system, tuner, and aux-in. The overall package is perfect for just about any player.

The only downside with the Mark III is the price. It comes in as the most expensive model on our list in quite some way. Depending on how you intend to use your travel guitar and where you actually intend on traveling with it, it may be worth considering some of the cheaper options.

Of course, if the optimum sound is your thing and budget isn’t an issue then we say go for it! If, however, you’re concerned your portable companion may be exposed to a few more bumps and scrapes than your dreadnought at home then maybe consider a slightly cheaper model.

  • Travel body
  • Single cutaway
  • Mahogany or alder wood back & sides
  • Modified traditional bracing pattern
  • Natural satin body finish
  • 1.75-inch (44.45 mm) nut width
  • Black walnut fingerboard
  • Mahogany or maple neck wood
  • 25.5-inch scale length
  • Satin Finish
  • Shadow pickup
  • The best sounding guitar on our list
  • Excellent electronic components
  • Rich sounds when amplified
  • High-quality materials used
  • It’s the most expensive guitar on our list

Question: Do Travel Guitars Sound Different from Regular Guitars?

Answer: Generally speaking, yes. Due to the change in size, you will find that there may be significant changes in sound. This is particularly prevalent in acoustic models as they rely on their large bodies to convey their sounds. However, you can still expect to notice a difference in electric guitars too due to the modifications made to the electrical elements. This is not to say the overall sounds will be any worse, just that they may differ from what you are used to.

Question: Can You Use Regular Guitar Strings in a Travel Guitar?

Answer: Yes, you can. In the vast majority of cases, you are free to put your favorite strings in your travel guitar or replace them as they break. However, it is always advisable to check with the individual manufacturers before you do so just in case.

Question: Are Travel Guitars Good for Beginners?

Answer: Yes, they are perfect for beginners ! Travel guitars make ideal starting instruments as their smaller size makes them generally easier to navigate when starting out. They are often much less complicated than their full-sized counterparts and are therefore easier to play. The problem is when learning you may outgrow a travel guitar pretty quickly. Also worth noting is that due to their size and weight, travel guitars can often be the ideal models for children when starting out.

Question: How Can I Take Care of My Guitar Whilst Traveling?

Answer: There are many things to remember when taking care of your guitar . When we travel with our favorite instruments there are extra things we have to worry about to ensure no harm comes to them.

For example, it is imperative that you invest in a good quality bag that will offer a level of protection as well as portability. Many models will come with a perfectly good bag but it is always worth checking that it will give you enough protection.

Another thing to remember is to loosen your strings whilst in transit. This guards against any nasty surprises when you get to the other side, the pressure and temperature changes often experienced during a flight are well known to regularly damage guitar strings.

The Final Word: Which is The Best Travel Guitar

Choosing your perfect travel companion will come down largely to your budget and where you’re traveling to. If you’re not looking to break the bank and just want to have a little fun whilst you’re away then you can’t beat the Hofner Shorty Electric for the price.

If, however, you’re uncompromising and want nothing but the best whilst on your travels, then the Traveler Escape Mark III could well be your perfect choice.

For us though, when looking through the huge range of choices available to the traveling guitarist we kept coming back to the Taylor Baby Taylor . A classic design and beautiful tonal range married with a price tag that doesn’t instantly put you off did it for us.

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The 10 Best Mini Travel Guitars for the Road 2024

by Marko Jovanovic Last Updated October 18, 2021

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Marko Jovanovic

Marko is a professional bassist who has been playing and touring with his band for over a decade now. When he’s not playing with his band or recording in the studio, he spends his time teaching others how to play both bass and the guitar. Other hobbies of his include quality music gear, King Crimson, and sifting the web for the latest music updates - and ofcourse writing about them.

Consordinis articles are written by musicians who independently research, test, and recommend the best instruments and products. We are reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Welcome to our reviews of the best travel guitars in 2024. We’ve scoured the market for the best-sounding roadworthy mini acoustic and electric guitars and have come up with the list of 10 models that excel in performance, aesthetics, versatility, playability, affordability, and all of the above, so without any further ado, let’s dive into the reviews.

Here are the best travel guitars 2024:

  • Traveler Guitar EG-1 Custom
  • Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus
  • Traveler Guitar Travelcaster Deluxe
  • Journey Instruments Overhead OC520
  • Washburn Festival EA20
  • Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric
  • Martin Backpacker
  • Traveler Guitar Redlands Mini
  • Luna Safari Bamboo
  • Cordoba Mini II

1. Traveler Guitar EG-1 Custom

We’re starting off our travel guitar reviews with what is undoubtedly the best travel guitar on the market – the Traveler Guitar EG-1 Custom. Aside from its unique shape, it brings plenty of benefits to the table, including a beautifully designed and decorated body, amazing sound quality, and an exceptional selection of popular tonewoods.

The first thing you’ll notice about the EG-1 Custom is that it doesn’t have a traditional head ; rather it sports a set of machine heads built into its body, which makes the fear of bumping (and de-tuning) your new guitar a bit less of a nuisance.

Let’s start from the very top; this is a six-string solid-body electric guitar that features a mahogany body, a mahogany neck, and a walnut-made fingerboard. In terms of sonic performance, its tone is pretty warm , although it’s incomparably more versatile than most travel guitars. It actually sounds more like a traditional high-quality electric guitar, and it could be used as your main axe or a replacement.

Aesthetics-wise, it’s painted in elegant black and sports a marvelous high gloss finish; if it wasn’t for the peculiar design of the headstock and the placement of the tuning pegs, most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the EG-1 Custom and, say an upper-tier Ibanez or a Yamaha electric guitar.

As far as playability goes, the EG-1 Custom rocks 21 jumbo frets that are super-easy to grip; this works for chord play and single notes, arpeggios, soloing, and similar techniques. It’s actually as rewarding to experienced players as it is welcoming to fresh guitarists who are setting onto their first tour.

Lastly, let’s have a quick overview of the hardware that this travel guitar comes supplied with; there’s a fully adjustable top-quality Roll-o-matic bridge, a gold-plated closed-gear set of tuners built into the body, and a single Alnico humbucking bridge pickup that is fairly hot but decently controllable.

Speaking of controllable, you’ll be able to use the volume and tone controls to find the sweet sonic spot, but this guitar also features a 0.125-inch auxiliary input and a 0.125-inch headphone input that you can use to record or practice your songs without getting annoyed by the humming of the road truck/van.

It’s pretty fair to say that the EG-1 Custom by Traveler Guitar is the ultimate roadworthy electric guitar; it packs onboard distortion, auxiliary in and headphone out, a built-in set of tuning heads, excellent action, it looks phenomenal, and the tonewoods it comes outfitted with are both eclectic and sturdy.

It’s slightly pricier than some people might feel comfortable with, but its performance is on par with some of the best-sounding boutique electric guitars.

2. Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus

A high-end guitar for professional touring musicians

Our next pick is a boutique guitar that we warmly recommend to veterans and professional touring musicians. Taylor is widely known as the brand that produces some of the most durable and best-sounding acoustic guitars, and GS Mini-e Koa Plus is definitely not an exception.

In a nutshell, this is one of the best mini guitar models in the high-end department of the acoustic-electric guitar market, not only because it features some of the finest tonewoods and hardware but also because it offers unparalleled sustain and soaring overtones.

Contrary to what you might initially think of Grand Symphony guitar body shapes, the ‘Mini’ variant of such is actually quite petite and tiny.

This is a six-string GS semi-acoustic guitar that features a Hawaiian koa top, layered koa back and sides, a fingerboard made of ebony, and a neck made of tropical mahogany. Again, these tonewoods sound exotic and might sound ‘warm’, but this guitar is actually very well-rounded and balanced in the sense of sonic performance.

One of the main reasons why GS Mini-e Koa Plus is drastically more expensive than most acoustic-electric guitars is that its tonewoods are not exactly common. The tonewoods used in the manufacturing process of this guitar were refined beyond perfection, allowing the instrument to retain maximal sonic resonance and responsiveness while not losing any portion of its durability.

Let’s switch gears a bit and say a few words about this guitar’s playability. First of all, the GS Mini-e Koa Plus features 20 medium-sized frets with standard dotted inlays, as well as a slightly shorter scale length of 23.5 inches. In essence, its playability is excellent , especially if you have smaller hands and a slightly smaller finger reach.

Its hardware is over the top, as it packs premium NuBone nut, well-rounded Expression System 2 electronics, and Elixir’s Phosphor-Bronze medium-gauge strings. Taylor typically provides complementary features with each purchase, and this time around you’ll get a soft-shell case that was specifically made to be lighter and more durable for traveling guitarists.

If you can agree with the maxim ‘you can’t put a price tag on quality’, you might want to check out the Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus. Essentially, this is an upgraded version of the heavily acclaimed GS Mini-e, and it features a sturdier setup, enhanced electronics, and minor tweaks that have uplifted its already-tremendous performance to the point of near perfection. It does cost an arm and a leg, though.

3. Traveler Guitar Travelcaster Deluxe

The best portable electric travel guitar

Our next pick is the Travelcaster Deluxe, which bears the label of ‘best portable electric travel guitar’. It could also easily fit the description of being the ‘best value travel guitar’, as well as ‘best affordable guitar’, but its performance wouldn’t exactly be portrayed in full that way.

Traveler Guitar is a brand that earned most of their fame through very unique guitar body shapes; the Travelcaster is basically a hybrid guitar that borrows specs and features from the iconic Stratocaster while sporting a half-cut body that provides extra flexibility, finger mobility, and allows for easier commuting with it in tow.

The body of the Travelcaster is its most unique feature; it’s nearly half the weight of an actual Stratocaster, it’s drastically shorter than the original, and yet it still features the exact scale length and sonic functionalities.

This is a six-string solid-body guitar that features a poplar body with a high gloss finish painted in the recognizable Surf Green color; it sports a maple neck with a 9.5-inch radius and a maple fingerboard. It sounds just slightly different from the original Stratocaster, but that’s mainly because of the fact that the body was ‘cut’ so as to provide more portability.

The Travelcaster sports 22 medium-jumbo frets and a 25.5-inch scale length, a two-point fully adjustable Fulcrum bridge and a Tremolo block, chrome machine heads, and three ceramic single-coil pickups.

Essentially, this is a perfect guitar for Stratocaster users who can’t afford the extra space; on another hand, if you have a vintage Strat that you don’t want to expose to potential damages, the Travelcaster Deluxe might be an excellent replacement for you.

Stratocaster owners cherish their guitars and are often reluctant to take them unless a high-profile gig is at stake. If you’re worried that your favorite axe might get damaged on a longer tour, we suggest that you check out the slightly modified and drastically more affordable Travelcaster Deluxe. You’ll get similar specs and a massive boon to mobility at a fraction of the price of the original.

4. Journey Instruments Overhead OC520

The biggest-sounding acoustic travel guitar

Many ‘travel’ guitars are there for people who need something to practice on, and most of them don’t actually sound too great. If you are looking for a guitar that is portable and still sounds bigger than life , you might want to see what the Journey Instruments OC520 has to offer to you.

This is a mid-range acoustic-electric travel guitar that sports some of the most unique tonewoods, passive hardware, a durable construction, and light strings that are as easy to play as they are vibrant and rich with tone.

Essentially, this is a six-string classical guitar that features a beautiful natural color with a satin-polyurethane finish; its top is made of strong solid cedar; its back and sides feature pau ferro tonewoods while its neck is made of high-quality mahogany. As far as its natural tone is of concern, it’s pretty neutral, leaning towards both brighter and warmer ends of the tonal spectrum.

It also sports 20 medium-large frets and a scale length of 25.5 inches; the hardware of OC520 is impeccable too; it sports bone nut and saddle, it comes pre-strung with Savarez light-gauge nylon strings, and you’ll even get a complementary backpack bag that can easily fit the guitar along with all necessary accessories.

One of the best things about the OC520 is the fact that its neck is removable ; this unique technology literally cuts down its travel size down in half while still leaving you with the option to reassemble it when you need to play it. Due to its full ‘assembled’ size it produces a much stronger sound. It’s incredibly versatile in terms of sonic performance, and it’s definitely one of the best-sounding travel guitar models available on the market.

To top it all, it even comes supplied with Journey Instruments’ passive transducer that will allow you to wire it up to a guitar amp. This is what makes it so great for both recording and performing live shows.

Travel guitars generally feature modified bodies that help reduce their size and weight, and the first casualty of such a process is the quality of sound. However, this does not apply in the case of the OC520; this guitar boasts a sound that is on a level of its own, and if you don’t want to trade your tone for a bit of extra sturdiness and portability, this might be a perfect guitar for you.

5. Washburn Festival EA20

The best travel guitar for rock and jazz styles

Washburn is the brand that rockers, metalheads, and jazz cats turn to when they’re looking for an instrument. Their guitars are often shaped in a very unique way; they sound a bit darker and stronger, and ultimately, Washburn guitars offer drastically more playability than most guitars in the same price range.

The best representative of the aforementioned qualities is the Festival Series EA20 acoustic-electric guitar. This is one of the best-sounding travel-size guitar models around as it features an eclectic selection of thoroughly refined tonewoods and top-quality hardware.

Let us start with the basics; this is a six-string Mini Jumbo acoustic-electric guitar that rocks a natural color with a gloss finish. Its top is made of select spruce material, its back and sides feature flamed maple, its neck is made of high-quality maple, and its fingerboard is made of engineered wood.

Generally speaking, the Festival EA20 is substantially more robust and durable than an average mid-range guitar, but it also has a richer, fuller sound . Maple, being one of the brightest-sounding tonewoods out there, is the most dominant material in the construction of this guitar; even so, it still boasts a massively versatile level of tonal well-roundedness.

The Festival EA20 features 20 medium frets and a full-scale length (25.5 inches); it also packs chrome machine heads that hold the tune nicely, the exquisite NuBone nut, and the EQ4T pickup system. Last, but not least, the Festival EA20 is also outfitted with D’Addario’s light-gauge .012 strings.

Exotic tonewoods and peculiar, unique shape topped with premium-quality electronics and nearly unparalleled acoustic performance would be the best way to describe the Washburn Festival Series EA20 Mini Jumbo guitar. This is a guitar made for professionals by professionals, although given the fact that it’s available at such a low price, we recommend it to enthusiasts and hobbyists as well.

6. Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric

The most compact electric travel guitar

Typically, musicians turn to travel guitars when they don’t have too much space to spare; while professional musicians travel in big, spacious vans and buses, enthusiasts, and recreational players who do not wish to get rusty after a month of not playing their instrument usually can’t afford such commodities.

If you’re struggling with backpack space and still want to have a guitar by your side, we warmly recommend the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric. This is, without any shadow of a doubt, one of the finest portable guitar models that the market has to offer; it’s not too expensive, it’s a compact guitar with a huge sound, and it’s nearly three times smaller than an actual guitar.

Even though it has a very unique and rather unusual design, the Ultra-Light Electric features tonewoods that are much akin to those that ‘normal’ guitars are supplied with.

This is a six-string electric guitar that rocks a tiny body colored in matte black with a satin finish; it rocks a body made of Eastern American hard maple, a neck made of maple, and a fingerboard made of black walnut. In terms of resonance and overtones, the Ultra-light Electric is bright but fairly adjustable and customizable.

It sports 22 medium-sized frets and a slightly shortened scale length of 24.75 inches; this is what also makes it perfect for people with a bit smaller hands, as well as great for children and teens.

The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric axe features a fully adjustable tailpiece, a set of closed-gear chrome machine heads, and a single dual-rail humbucking pickup. Additionally, it also comes pre-strung with D’Addario’s EXL110 strings and a complementary gig bag.

This is a pocket electric guitar that is light as a feather and sounds like a caged beast; its playability is impeccable, and it’s definitely one of the most valuable possessions you could take on a tour. Its affordability also makes it an excellent choice for amateur guitarists who want to continue practicing while on a vacation too.

7. Martin Backpacker

The best mini guitar for practicing on the road

If you are looking for a quality guitar for taking on the road, look no further than the Martin Backpacker. This is our choice for the best backpacker guitar, and it’s absolutely perfect for musicians that want to stay in shape while being constantly on the move.

This is an exquisite guitar in terms of body shape, which is called ‘Backpacker’ after the instrument itself. It packs 15 frets and rocks shortened sides, allowing you to stuff this guitar in an actual backpack, whereas most standard guitars wouldn’t be able to fit, even in the largest of backpacks (with exception of huge cases and containers).

While the biggest and most obvious benefit of having this guitar is its portability, it also has a couple of downsides to it; namely, it’s made of hardwood for the most part, which is not the best-sounding tonewood per se. On a bit brighter note, its top is made of spruce and its back and sides are built from mahogany, so it’s not necessarily a bad-sounding guitar – it’s just that it isn’t as versatile as standard-sized and standard-shaped models.

Another interesting thing about the Martin Backpacker is the peculiar design of the fingerboard; it has only 15 frets, and the inlays are only on the 5th and 12th frets. Its scale length is also obviously shorter, measuring 24 inches.

Contrary to what most people might think of after seeing such a petite guitar, the Backpacker is actually very durable; as we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s mostly made from hardwood materials, which are known for their impeccable robustness.

Hardware-wise, the Backpacker rocks chrome machine heads with ultra-small knobs, a Corian-made nut, and it comes pre-strung with Authentic Acoustic bronze light-gauge .10 strings.

Additionally, Martin is including a complementary gig bag free of charge, which can be used to store both the Backpacker guitar and all the guitar accessories you might need for the road.

Although the Martin Backpacker might not be your go-to instrument for a gig, it’s an excellent (and a rather cheap) choice for people who want to keep their chops up while on the road. Regardless of whether you’re a veteran or if you’ve just started playing guitar, you’ll find the Backpacker as a helpful tool to improve your techniques and playstyle on the go.

8. Traveler Guitar Redlands Mini

A nice backup option for practice on the road

Next up we have the Traveler Guitar Redlands Mini, which we highly recommend as a backup practice instrument for touring musicians; alternatively, if you’re someone who’s recently picked up on playing guitar and don’t want to damage the one you have at home, you might want to take the Redlands Mini into consideration.

Basically, this is a six-string acoustic guitar with a Travel body shape; it rocks a natural color with a beautiful gloss finish that is somewhat resistant to scratches, so it should be able to endure even the longest runs if it’s in a case.

Luckily, the brand provides a complementary gig bag , although you should keep in mind that it’s not exactly thoroughly padded. If you’re frequently hopping from one place to another, you might want to upgrade to a hard-shell case.

In terms of tonewoods, the Redlands Mini features a mahogany top, black basswood on back and sides, ABS binding, and nato (eastern mahogany) neck. Surprisingly enough, this guitar has a very eclectic soundstage that is drastically more versatile than most entry-level and budget guitars .

The Redlands Mini is a terrific guitar for traveling if you’re on a cash-strapped budget, but its affordability is not the only benefit you should expect from it. The ‘Mini’ hints that it has a ‘trimmed-down’ body, and that the tonewoods it comes outfitted with complement its size by making the body both light and durable .

This acoustic axe also sports 20 medium-sized frets, and a super-short scale length of 22.15 inches, so even the youngest of children and teens, and obviously, adults with smaller hands.

Last but not least, let’s have a quick overview of the hardware that the Redlands Mini comes outfitted with; it sports a nut made of phenolic resin, closed-gear machine heads that hold the tune for hours and days, as well as D’Addario’s .011 strings.

Apart from looking uniquely beautiful and elegant, the Redlands Mini also sounds amazing and feels lighter than you’d expect. This is a durable, roadworthy budget guitar that will invariably help out guitarists of all skill levels while their main instrument is not available.

9. Luna Safari Bamboo

The best for traveling buskers and street performers

Buskers and street performers sometimes find that their favorite spots in their hometown have become too small for them; this often leads to them hitting the road; exploring new places on foot is pretty beautiful, but it’s not something you’d want to do with just any guitar. That’s why we recommend a robust, roadworthy guitar such as the Luna Safari Bamboo.

Aside from the fact that this is one of the sturdiest acoustic guitars in the budget price range, the Safari Bamboo actually offers exceptional sustain and resonance topped with great tonal characteristics and a chirpy sound. In fact, you could even use this guitar to record in a studio if you want to, but it sits best in the hands of people who are constantly on the move.

First things first, this is a 3/4 dreadnought six-string guitar that sports a natural color and an elegant satin finish. Just like the title suggests, it’s mostly made of bamboo material , with the only exceptions being the neck (which is made of mahogany) and the fingerboard (which is made of walnut).

One of the coolest things about Luna guitars, in general, is that they typically feature uniquely designed inlays; the Bamboo Safari guitar rocks Mother-of-Pearl Moon inlays that portray different moon phases. It sports 19 medium-sized frets and a shorter scale length of 22.5 inches.

Intonation-wise, this guitar is equipped with open-gear machine heads that will keep it in tune for days, even if you’re playing it non-stop. Additionally, it has a relatively flimsy nut made of plastic, and it comes pre-strung with light-gauge D’Addario .012 strings.

Luna guitars are some of the finest-looking, best-sounding entry-level instruments that offer high value for the money in nearly every case and scenario. The Safari Bamboo boasts a robust, exquisite sound, and the only potential problem you might have with it is relatively flimsy hardware.

10. Cordoba Mini II

A good budget option for traveling under $200

If you’re on the market looking for a classical travel guitar, we advise you to look no further than the Cordoba Mini II. This is one of the finest budget guitars, and it might just be the best travel guitar under $200. This guitar is incredibly light , and the tonewoods it comes supplied with provide a warm, highly controllable tone.

This is a nylon-string classical guitar that rocks a beautiful satin-polyurethane finish and a natural body, although you are free to choose from several different color style options, including mahogany and stripped ebony.

It sports flamed mahogany back, sides, and top, a neck made of mahogany, and a composite fingerboard. Furthermore, it sports a shortened scale length of 22.835 inches and 19 tall and narrow frets.

Just like you would expect out of a classical guitar, the Mini II’s tone is airy, characterized by soaring highs and deep, thumpy lows. Its mid-range leaves some room for improvement, but that does not take away even the slightest chunks of its value since it compensates for it with unparalleled affordability.

Its hardware is, surprisingly enough, pretty great; the Cordoba Mini II features NuBone nut and is pre-strung with Savarez’s proprietary Cristal Corum 500CJ strings that are about as durable as the body of this guitar.

Even though it’s a cheap travel guitar, the Cordoba Mini II brings a myriad of benefits to the table. It’s perfect for new guitar players who are preparing to go on a vacation, but it’s also fun to have even if you’re a professional who likes to compose in-between gigs. Overall, we only didn’t like its presence, but otherwise, it’s a great-sounding entry-level guitar.

Mini travel guitars buying guide

Mini guitars are obviously different from standard guitars, so the general rules of ‘what you should be looking for’ don’t apply in full. This buying guide is dedicated to explaining different criteria that we’ve taken into account while evaluating each of the models in the ‘Reviews’ section, so let’s hop straight to it.

Obviously, the most notable difference between ‘standard’ and ‘mini’ guitars is their size. However, there are smaller than average guitars, and there are models that are as petite that they could almost fit inside a pocket. The question that you have to answer is just how small of a guitar do I need?

Some people struggle with storage space while others simply don’t like the notion of bringing their favorite guitar on the road. In the case of the former, you might want to check out what Traveler Guitars brand has in store; this brand specializes in manufacturing tiny guitars, whereas other brands ‘remodel’ their flagship instruments into smaller, down-scaled versions.

Size affects the weight of the guitar, so ultimately a mini guitar will be lighter than a standard-sized one. However, this is not always the case.

The weight of a guitar is affected by several different factors ; the most impactful and important one is the combination of tonewoods used in the construction process. For instance, koa wood is slightly heavier than spruce, basswood and maple are a bit heavier than mahogany while hardwood and poplar are generally ultra-heavy.

The reason why you should take the weight of the guitar into consideration is that a heavy guitar can easily damage some of the other goodies you’re bringing along. Obviously enough, lighter guitars are a bit easier to play, although there are many players who actually prefer using heavier guitars.

The purpose for which you need a travel guitar plays a key role, just like size and weight. Are you a traveling musician who needs a roadworthy backup or a hobbyist that is simply too hooked onto playing an instrument that you can’t let go of it for a couple of weeks? Are you a traveling performer who needs a quality classical guitar or a guitarist that needs to practice for upcoming recording sessions?

There are many reasons why guitarists search for mini guitars and depending on the answer, your pick will most likely be different.

Boutique travel guitars, such as the Traveler Guitar EG-1 Custom or the Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus are perfect for touring musicians; mid-range guitars like the OC520 or the Travelcaster are excellent warm-up tools while entry-level and budget guitars are generally always welcome.

  • The best budget acoustic guitars under $200
  • The best cheap electric guitars under $200-300 (great for beginners)

Sound quality

Travel guitars, just like every other guitar type, sound differently depending on their tonewoods and electronics. However, not everyone is concerned with how a mini guitar sounds like. Although it is in your best interest to find a model that sounds as best as it can for the budget you are able to afford, there are scenarios where tone doesn’t matter all that much.

For instance, the Backpacker has all the qualities but doesn’t really excel in sonic performance while Redlands Mini and the Travelcaster are exceptional in this particular field. Once again, you should scale your budget with your needs to keep practicing while on the go, which will help you determine what kind of a mini guitar you need.

Hardware is generally considered as the least expensive component of a guitar unless we’re talking about travel guitars. Mini guitars are usually equipped with specially designed hardware that can keep the tuning up for extended periods of time.

Additionally, hardware pieces of a travel guitar should be a bit more durable than average; all it takes is one sharp turn for the guitar to bump into the side of the car/truck, and one of the machine pegs might be ruined.

Last, but certainly not least, hardware pieces are cheap and easy to order, but this obviously does not apply to people who are on the road. You could always search for guitar shops, but there’s always a chance that you won’t be able to find adequate replacements.

Acoustic or Electric

Essentially, this is a matter of subjective preference. The durability and versatility of a guitar are not conditioned by the ‘type’; rather these are conditioned by the quality of the tonewoods, the level of technologies involved in the manufacturing process, and the skill of the engineers who’ve actually made the guitar.

As a general rule of thumb, you can adhere to the following principle – acoustic travel guitars are generally a bit more valuable because you will otherwise have to worry about finding an amp too. Mini electric guitars do not sound as clear and vibrant when their strings are plucked while they are ‘unplugged’.

The market is not exactly flooded with high-quality travel guitars, so finding models that are universally ‘great’ is not a small task. We hope that you’ve liked our picks and that you were able to find what you were looking for; before you start cherry picking, we also suggest that you take a look at our buying guide, as it could prove to be a very valuable tool for making the right pick.

Things to Do in Elektrostal, Russia - Elektrostal Attractions

Things to do in elektrostal.

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

best travel jazz guitar

1. Electrostal History and Art Museum

best travel jazz guitar

2. Statue of Lenin

best travel jazz guitar

3. Park of Culture and Leisure

4. museum and exhibition center.

best travel jazz guitar

5. Museum of Labor Glory

best travel jazz guitar

7. Galereya Kino

8. viki cinema, 9. smokygrove.

best travel jazz guitar

10. Gandikap

11. papa lounge bar, 12. karaoke bar.

  • Statue of Lenin
  • Electrostal History and Art Museum
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  • Museum and Exhibition Center
  • Museum of Labor Glory

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Home Theater & Automation Installers in Elektrostal'

Location (1).

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Popular Locations

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  • Elektrostal', Moscow Oblast, Russia

Featured Reviews for Home Theater & Automation Installers in Elektrostal'

  • Reach out to the pro(s) you want, then share your vision to get the ball rolling.
  • Request and compare quotes, then hire the Home Automation & Home Media professional that perfectly fits your project and budget limits.
  • Home Automation
  • Home Security Companies & Installation
  • Home Theater Installation
  • Security Camera Installation
  • Surround Sound Installation
  • TV Installation
  • Home Theater Design

To set up a home theater system in your home, it’s best to get help from a professional home theater installation company.

  • Find a Reliable Company, for example on this Houzz page.
  • Get in touch with the company and schedule a meeting. Talk to them about what you want and how much you can spend.
  • The experts from the company will create a unique plan for your home theater based on your space and preferences.
  • Work together to select the right equipment, like speakers, a TV or projector, a receiver, and more.
  • The company will take care of the installation process. They will set up everything properly and make sure it all works correctly.
  • Once everything is installed, they will do calibration and testing to get the best sound and picture quality.

By getting help from a professional in Elektrostal', you can have a great home theater system without the hassle of setting it up yourself.

Home automation can bring many benefits and add value to your home in Elektrostal'.

  • Easy Control: you can easily control things like lights, temperature, and security using your smartphone or voice commands.
  • Energy Savings: you save energy by monitoring and adjusting usage, leading to lower energy bills.
  • Enhanced Security: advanced security features, letting you monitor and control your home’s security even when you’re away.
  • Personalization: customize the system to fit your needs and preferences, controlling what matters most to you.
  • Increased Home Value: make your property more attractive to potential buyers and increase its value in the real estate market.

In summary, home automation offers easy control, energy savings, enhanced security, personalization, increased home value, and an improved lifestyle. It’s a smart investment that makes daily living easier and more efficient.

What is a home media designer?

Questions to ask home media designers or home automation companies:, find home theater & automation companies near me on houzz, business services, connect with us.

best travel jazz guitar

View prices for your travel dates

Hotel Djaz is an excellent choice for travellers visiting Elektrostal, offering many helpful amenities designed to enhance your stay.

24 hour front desk is one of the conveniences offered at this small hotel. In addition, Hotel Djaz offers a lounge, which will help make your Elektrostal trip additionally gratifying. If you are driving to Hotel Djaz, free parking is available.

While staying at Hotel Djaz, visitors can check out Statue of Lenin (1.3 mi), which is a popular Elektrostal attraction.

Travellers looking for cafes can head to Ermitazh, 400 Krolikov, or Fabrika Obedov.

Should time allow, Electrostal History and Art Museum is a popular history museum that is relatively easy to get to.

Enjoy your stay in Elektrostal!

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HOTEL DJAZ - Reviews, Photos (Elektrostal, Russia) - Tripadvisor

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Services & Amenities

Double Room

Double Room

Economy Single Room

Economy Single Room

Twin Room

Twin Room (shared facilities)

Quadruple Room

Quadruple Room

Property policies, frequently asked questions, how much does it cost to stay at jazz, what is the closest airport to jazz, what are the check-in and check-out times at jazz, does jazz provide airport transfer services, what amenities and services does jazz have, does jazz have a swimming pool, does jazz have fitness amenities, does jazz provide wi-fi, does jazz have non-smoking rooms, does jazz have a restaurant, about this property, popular hotels, explore more.

IMAGES

  1. Top 15 Best Jazz Guitars Reviews 2020

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  2. Best jazz guitars 2023: Top picks for all budgets and abilities

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  3. The 10 best electric guitars for jazz 2021: our pick of the best jazz

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VIDEO

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  4. Top 10 JAZZ Guitarists (Part 1)

  5. Django Reinhardt

  6. Best Travel Guitars for 2018: An Acoustic Guitar Shootout

COMMENTS

  1. Best travel guitars 2024: Top choices for guitarists on the go

    News Best travel guitars 2024: Top acoustic and electric guitars for musicians on the go By Chris Corfield last updated 28 September 2023 Out top picks for practicing your guitar on the move, wherever the road takes you Jump To: Quick list Best for tone Best for volume Best for value Best Strat-alike Best electric Best full-scale

  2. Best guitars for jazz 2024: Stunning clean tones at any budget

    1 Ibanez AG75G Check Price 2 D'Angelico Premier EXL-1 View 3 Eastman T386 View 4 Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin Check Price

  3. 20 Best Jazz Guitars in 2024 (All Price Ranges)

    1. Prestige Guitars Musician Pro TR Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar (Best Overall) Check Amazon Price My Review: The Prestige Musician Pro TR is Prestige's premier semi-hollow guitar, with the price tag to match.

  4. 10 Best Travel Guitars in 2024 [Buying Guide]

    10 Best Travel Guitars in 2023 By Music Critic Staff, Edited By Dave McKinnon. Additional content from Miles Forman. Last Updated: January 7, 2023 If you are here for a roundup of the 10 best travel guitars in 2023 then you are in for a treat.

  5. 12 Best Travel Guitars of 2024 • HONEST Advice

    Table of Contents Show Quick Answers - The Best Traveling Guitars The Best Traveling Guitars Mega-List: Acoustics, electrics, and a few bass guitars because why not? The Best Travel Acoustic Guitars Best Travel Electric Guitars The Best Folding Guitar for Travel Time for Some Other Stringed Travel Instruments

  6. Best Jazz Guitars 2024: For traditional and modern style players

    1 Ibanez AF2000 Check Price 2 D'Angelico EXL-1 View 3 Epiphone Emperor Swingster Check Price 4 Fender American Performer Telecaster HUM Check Price 5 Gibson ES-335 Check Price 6 PRS SE Hollowbody Standard Check Price 7

  7. Best travel guitars 2024: top acoustic and electric options

    Despite being released in 2010 the Taylor GS Mini-e is still one of the best implementations of travel guitar design ever. A solid top and excellent pickup make it the perfect travel guitar. Read more below. Best acoustic. 2. Martin LX1E.

  8. 17 Best Travel Guitars in 2024 (All Price Ranges)

    1. Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar (Best Overall Acoustic) Shop on Sweetwater Check Amazon Price My Review: When it's a Martin, you can rest assured that it is going to be a top quality guitar. The iconic American brand is well known for crafting some of the greatest sounding acoustic guitars around.

  9. 7 Best Travel Guitars of 2024: Airline Friendly, Acoustic + More

    Best Travel Guitars 1. Best Travel Acoustic Guitar for Gigs - Martin LX1E Little Martin SPECS Weight: 3.3 lbs Pickups: Fishman Isys T pickup system Included Accessories: Gig bag This is a...

  10. Best Travel Guitars: 10 Great Guitars for the Road

    Add to Cart. Luna Aurora Borealis 3/4-Size Acoustic Guitar - Black Pearl. $189.00. + Free Shipping. Add to Cart. Shop Sweetwater. Travel guitars combine premium features with compact construction. If you're hitting the road, then make sure to take one of these roadworthy axes with you.

  11. Jazz Guitars Buyer's Guide

    Price Range: $1,200 - $3,400 Production Years: 2001 - today. The Ibanez JSM100 takes its inspiration from the iconic jazz guitarist John Scofield. In terms of looks, sound, and feel, the Ibanez JSM100 is a replication of the legendary musician's favorite guitar, the Gibson ES-335.

  12. 8 Best Jazz Guitars of 2024

    From Alt-Country, Delta Blues, Slide, Jazz, and Rock, the 5th Avenue is a great jazz guitar that can really deliver. 8. Budget Pick - Ibanez Artcore AS53. The AS53 is designed with player ...

  13. 17 Best Acoustic Travel Guitars (2024) To Take With You On Trips

    By Daniel Reyes September 1, 2023 64 Mins read Traveling musicians understand the importance of portability when it comes to their instruments. A compact, reliable, and great sounding guitar is an indispensable companion on those long trips. The right acoustic guitar can not only diversify your leisure time but also inspire new musical ideas.

  14. Best Jazz Guitars For All Playing Level-Really Simple Guitar

    I think the best jazz guitar on the market today is the D'Angelico EXL-1. Complete with an affordable price tag, stunning looks, and incredible tones, you will not be disappointed with this guitar! Interested in learning about some other great models, though? Turn on some Kenny Burrell and read all of our jazz guitar reviews.

  15. The Best Jazz Guitars, Past & Present

    The Gibson Super 400 is one of the best-known and most influential jazz guitars. This large archtop began life as a variation on the company's L-5 guitar. It was released in 1934 as an all acoustic guitar without a cutaway. Over time the body style underwent slight changes and a cutaway was eventually added.

  16. The Best Travel Guitars: Top 5 Picks

    By: Jodie Chiffey Last updated: January 31, 2023 Today we'll be talking through some of our favorite travel electric guitars. We'll take a closer look at five of the best models out there, outline the pros and cons of each before giving you an idea of who we think each model best suits.

  17. The 10 Best Mini Travel Guitars for the Road 2024

    Here are the best travel guitars 2024: Traveler Guitar EG-1 Custom. Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Plus. Traveler Guitar Travelcaster Deluxe. Journey Instruments Overhead OC520. Washburn Festival EA20. Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric. Martin Backpacker. Traveler Guitar Redlands Mini.

  18. 13 Best Travel Guitars (Acoustic and Electric)

    The Travelcaster Deluxe is one of the best electric guitars for traveling. What Is a Travel Guitar? Travel guitars are instruments that are easy to pack up and take with you. They may be acoustic guitars, acoustic-electric, or electric guitars, and the best models feature some pretty innovative styles and designs that cut down on size and weight.

  19. Danielle Nicole Schnebelen-Miller on Instagram: "The final show of the

    202 likes, 6 comments - daniellenicoleband on February 13, 2024: "The final show of the April run has been announced! Please join us on April 18th in Portland, ME ..."

  20. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Elektrostal Right Now (with Photos)

    12 places sorted by traveler favorites. 1. Electrostal History and Art Museum. 2. Statue of Lenin. 3. Park of Culture and Leisure. 4. Museum and Exhibition Center.

  21. Best 15 Home Theater & Automation Installers in Elektrostal ...

    Home Automation & Home Media. 1 - 15 of 222 professionals. Tele-Art. 5.0 35 Reviews. Компания Tele-Art создаёт зеркальные дизайнерские телевизоры по индивидуальным проектам, домашние и персональные к... Send Message. Душинская ул., 7 ...

  22. HOTEL DJAZ

    3 reviews. #2 of 2 small hotels in Elektrostal. Location. Cleanliness. Service. Value. Hotel Djaz is an excellent choice for travellers visiting Elektrostal, offering many helpful amenities designed to enhance your stay. 24 hour front desk is one of the conveniences offered at this small hotel. In addition, Hotel Djaz offers a lounge, which ...

  23. Jazz-Elektrostal' Updated 2023 Room Price-Reviews & Deals

    Hotel jazz is located in the city of Elektrostal, 68 km from Sheremetyevo airport. It offers 5 rooms, a restaurant, bar and front Desk. Each bright, homely rooms with free Wi-Fi. In the cosy restaurant with a fireplace serves local cuisine. In the evening guests can also relax with a drink at the bar. Parking of the hotel free of charge. Show More