Written by James Taylor – www.guitaarr.com – Honest reviews from genuine guitar lovers.
Blues music is a genre that is never going to die. From the early slide and smooth blues of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, to the blistering style of Jimi Hendrix and the modern incarnations of blues gods (John Mayer anyone?), the genre is only going to continue to grow and influence music forever.
When we think of blues guitars, we might think of semi-hollow electrics, maybe even a Fender Stratocaster with super-high action for slide guitar… But where did it all begin? The parlor guitar holds the answers.
The weapon of choice for blues master of old, the parlor is still a firm favourite for blues guitarists the world over, so here’s our round up of the 3 best parlor guitars for blues players, and lovers of blues looking to have a go at the genre with all authenticity intact.
This guitar is always going to be a firm favourite. Tanglewood are primarily known for making classic dreadnought acoustic guitars, with a brand that is proven to produce classic steel string acoustics, time and time again.
Despite its classic parlor shape and size, the Tanglewood TW40 PD is a surprisingly loud and warm guitar, with a tone that resonates along the solid mahogany body. Other features of the Takamine Sundance parlor include a mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard, with a natural glossy finish.
The guitar sits at a great mid-range price, perfect for first-time parlor guitar buys and players looking to experiment with blues (on an authentic acoustic blues guitar).
2. Nineboys Tonk Bros Acoustic Parlor Guitar – Vintage Trashed Black Finish
Get a load of this guitar! As mentioned in the intro, the rise in blues music is seeing an increased rise in authentic blues guitars. Many modern players are taking a step back to revisit the blues styles and guitar runs of classic icons such as Robert Johnson and Blind Willie Johnson.
And what better way to do it than one a pre-worn, aged parlor acoustic that looks like it’s fresh from the early 20th century? With a unique birchwood body and rosewood bridge, the Nineboys parlor acoustic really delivers the classic, slightly muted and oddly resonant vintage blues guitar tone.
17 frets and an open pore finish really tie the guitar together, and cement it as a classic folk and blues guitar that will deliver the classic acoustic tone you’ve been seeking. If you’re looking for pre-worn acoustic at a very fair price, then don’t miss out on the Nineboys Parlor guitar (the rest of their range of acoustics are definitely worth checking out too).
A defining staple in the vintage series from Washburn guitars, the R314K Vintage Parlor Acoustic is as classic and vintage as these kinds of guitars get. Modelled after the very first parlor guitars that emerged at the start of the 20th century, the Washburn Parlor is a testament to the craft of the long-standing guitar brand, and shows that they don’t only focus on electric guitars and axes built for shredding (contrary to popular opinion).
With features including a spruce top and mahogany neck combination, the Washburn R3 parlor has both the authentic look and genuine tone of a vintage Parlor acoustic. This is an authentic mid-range parlor guitar for players looking to get serious with their blues music and retro acoustic guitar collection.