Punk Rock like Rock is the source of energy in many young guitarists since they get to groom the genre from deep within their hearts. This music genre is based on resourcefulness, quick action, and shaving off of all nonessential things.
Punk rock can be defined as rock n’ roll sound tracing back its origins. This music genre is not just an attitude, like most sounds, it needs to be molded carefully. To do so, you need the right instrument. The guitar has to have the right quality, design, and tone to bring out the best in you and dazzle your listeners. In this article, we’ve taken some time to list for you the best punk rock guitars to choose from. We’ve also highlighted the major features to expect and advantages to help create awareness in you even as you go purchasing.
Best guitars for punk rock – A Comparison Table
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Gibson Les Paul Junior Electric Guitar
The body and neck are mahogany
It comes in the 50s vintage profile
It has a 24.75 inches scale length and 22 medium jumbo frets
The pickups are the Dual Gibson P-90 soap bar single-coil
Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar
Its body is an Alder with a gloss finish
It has a modern C shaped neck
The bridge is a string-through-body with block steel saddles
It comes with Two Player Series single-coil Telecaster pickups
The string material is steel
Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar
The mahogany body has relieved the weight
It has two 490R/498T humbucker pickups
The bridge is Nashville
It has a Maple top and a mahogany body
Gibson Firebird V Electric Guitar
It comes with 2 pickups
It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge with Maestro Vibrola
The hardware is made of nickel
The inlays are trapezoid
It has a neck binding
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazzmaster
It comes with a C-shaped profile maple neck
It has a 6-saddle non-tremolo bridge and a sealed die-cast tuning system
The alder body gives it a balanced sound
It has an offset body style with the deep rock n' roll legacy
It comes with 2 humbuckers
It has a three-way toggle switch for the pickups
It has a 12-inch radius Indian Laurel fingerboard with 22 frets
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112J Electric Guitar
It has a solid alder body
The neck and fretwood are made of maple and rosewood respectively
The chrome tremolo is vintage-style
It contains die-cast chrome tuners
It offers a lifetime warranty
It has a bridge humbucker, a single-coil pickup on the neck & center
EART Beginner Hardtail Electric Guitar
It has a harder maple neck
The fingerboard is made of rosewood
It comes with a one year warranty
It has a single, a single, and double matching pickups
It comes with a 6-nail single vibrato bridge
Ibanez 6 String Solid-body Electric Guitar
It has a slim and fast maple neck
The scale length is 25.5 inches
It comes with high output Infinity R pickups
It has a fixed bridge and chrome hardware
The top is a maple art grain
Best guitars for punk rock – Top Picks For 2021
This iconic guitar rocked by rockers like Johnny Thunders, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mick Jones, and Paul Westerberg is part of the rock n’ roll culture. The Gibson Les Paul found its calling having been inspired by garage rockers since being introduced in 1954. It is made of solid slab mahogany and its fretboard is Maple. Its top is flat instead of the common arched tops seen in most guitars making it very robust. It also includes a volume and tone volume control knob, a single-coil pickup, six strings, and a Tune-O-Matic bridge. The P-90 pickup, a signature feature, delivers that thick, bright tone out of Wazoo. At 19 pounds and with a small body shape, this guitar is lightweight. This guitar offers versatility whether you’re an aspiring rocker or an experienced one.
- It has that real Gibson touch
- It’s lightweight
- Its relatively cheaper
- It lacks a wide variety of features
Fender has been producing and continuously improving guitars for over 74 years to meet the clientele requirements and this Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar is another outstanding model for punk rock. It has a 41.75 x 15 x 4.25-inch dimension and weighs only 10.15 pounds. Its top, neck, and fretboard are Maple while the body and its back are Alder wood. Its C-shaped modern butterscotch neck and body give it a great look. It also includes a three-way switch for the two single-coil pickups, tone control, and volume knobs. These features make it stronger for a tele-bridge adjustment which represents a pure crunchy sound. It also uses die-cast tuning pegs in its headstock. All this makes this guitar worth giving a try for rocking the stage or a studio.
- It’s lightweight and has nice intonations.
Arguably Gibson’s most popular model, the guitar has undergone several developments since being introduced by jazz guitarist Les Paul in the 1950s. This guitar was to British punk as what Fender Jazzmaster in the 1970s was to New York punk rock bands. The guitar features a Maple wood top and a neck, back, and body made of mahogany. It also has that 50s rounded profile with a Rosewood fingerboard. It weighs 20 pounds with dimensions of 44 x 18 x 8 inches and comes with two custom Humbucker pickups and you can control the volume and tone using the two-volume and tone controls, and the 3-way switch. It has an easily recognizable look due to its gold top hat knobs which chrome with dial pointers.
- The Humbuckers have an extreme punching power and allow to emulate any sound ranging from a crystal clear jazz sound to chunky hard rock and metal tunes
To modernize its guitars’ design in the 1970s, Gibson created this Gibson Firebird V Electric Guitar giving rise to alternative body designs. It was ideal for players looking for an eccentric look with a familiar build of quality. A solid body guitar, its body is made of wood, its neck is of mahogany and the fretboard is Rosewood. It comes with six strings made of steel and has a medium gauge. Its bridge system is Tune-O-Matic. This guitar has a neck-through construction, mini-humbuckers with a single alnico bar magnet, a reversed headstock that has helped it survive the rocky mid-life spell. Classic rockers such as Eric Clapton as well as puck rock players like Noel Gallagher, Steve Jones, and most recently Dave Grohl have favored this guitar.
- It has a unique sound and looks
- The neck mini-humbucker has a warm and sparkly sound
- The sustain is excellent
- The neck and body joint is thick making it neck-heavy and unbalanced
- The bridge is bright without the Fender ‘bell’ tone
- It has low-geared banjo tuners
The Jazzmaster series offers punk rock guitarists a lot of opportunities. This Squier by Fender has a dimension of 45 x 15 x 4 inches and a bodyweight of 11 pounds. Its body material is made of Poplar, the fretboard is Laurel and the neck is maple and alder. These wood materials help amplify its sound. The guitar also comes with two humbucker pickups that are perfect for producing a fat sound. To control the volume and tone, the guitar gives you a volume and tone knob, and a three-way switch. The hardtail bridge and chromium tuner combination gives your guitar the ability to endure the tension that comes with playing.
- The tuning is solid because of the hardtail bridge
- It isn’t expensive
- It’s ideal for beginners
- It has a warm single-coil tone
- The sound control isn’t the best
- It doesn’t last a lifetime
- Some parts are more expensive to replace or upgrade compared to other guitars
The Pacifica series was designed by Rich Lasner and launched in 1990. Its top, back, and neck are made of maple, the body is of alder wood and the fretboard is Rosewood. This wood combination gives the HSS coil arrangement excellent support. The alder wood helps produce a clear and well-rounded tone with a thick midrange and a great bass response. You may notice its body having a resemblance with the Fender Stratocaster but with some differences in shape. For example, its cutaway horns are narrower and longer and the body is a little sharper in curvature. It has a humbucker in the bridge, and the single-coil tends to hum a bit. You can use the neck and middle pickup combo if you’re looking for a similar sound to the Strat.
In terms of hardware, it has inline tuners and a tremolo bar of decent quality. The three-ply pickguard adds a vintage element to the guitar’s face. The guitar also comes with a five-way pickup switch, a tone, and a master volume knob made of dome-topped metal.
- It offers versatility as you can play different musical genres on it
- It comfortable to play
- There are killer color choices to pick from
- Out of the box, the action is high
- The input jack can be loose sometimes
The EART Beginner Hardtail Electric Guitar is made of mahogany, the neck is of maple and the fretboard is made of rosewood. It comes with HSS pickups in the body with a 5-way pickup switch that has a reasonable sound. It’s beginner-friendly since it offers flexibility and because of its six soft strings, your fingers won’t get hurt. It can also endure vibration tension and even a powerful bend due to the die-cast chrome tuner and hardtail bridge. It’s a great choice for punk rock.
- It’s beginner-friendly
- The sound is buzz-free
- The color may not appeal to everyone
For almost all young guitar players, Ibanez is a name they resonate with. This Ibanez guitar model is a mini version or ¾ of the famous Ibanez RG and comes with a 22.2-inch scale length and a 39.5 x 12.5 x 2.19 inches dimension. The back and body are made of basswood; the fretboard is of maple while the neck is GRGM maple. It has six strings made of nickel and has a medium gauge. This GRX70QA model is one of the sexiest and comes with HSH pickups with a 5-way switch for different sounds. The die -chrome tuners are strong enough to keep the guitar in tune. This guitar is ideal for hard, rock, classical rock, and many more.
- It’s made up of high-quality tonewood
- It comes in a wide variety of colors
- It’s lightweight and easy to carry around
- The tone control is not strong enough
What to consider when buying guitars for punk rock
Design is a personal preference and how the guitar’s design appeals to you or your fans. Whichever design you choose, just ensure it’s comfortable to play.
Modern-day guitars contain combinations of wood making up the neck, body, and headstock. For punk rock, you should consider the following tonewoods for the body. Poplar is the best with its crispy and bright sound. Alder wood is lightweight and has a balanced tone. Basswood is lightweight too with warm mids and sound. Maple wood is preferred by guitarists for its bright sound. The ideal wood for the neck is mahogany and maple. Maple is dense and great for bright sound and sustains sound better. Most punk rockers prefer mahogany in their guitar neck for its fatty sound.
Rosewood is ideal for the fretwood because it’s smooth for playing and offers a warm tone.
Pickups sit at the core when it comes to producing a better sound. There are two different types of pickups – single-coil pickups and humbuckers. Single coils sound thin, transparent, and clean, Fenders use this pickup in their telecaster and Stratocaster and they’re best suited for pop, country rock, and classic. Humbuckers have a warm and dry sound, and sound heavier compared with single coils. For progressive rock and punk, humbuckers are perfect.
Guitars come with only two bridges that you can get – tremolo and stoptail. For punk rock, a stoptail bridge is ideal since it can handle the string tension that comes with the playing. A guitar with a tremolo bridge like the Floyd Rose tremolo bridge is also good but not good enough if you’re not an expert or not good at bending.
Scale length and frets
The Scale length is the length between the nut to the bridge on your guitar and is important when it comes to the feel when playing. Most players prefer a short-scale guitar. If you’re a beginner or have smaller hands, consider a shorter scale length between 22 and 24 inches that can fit in your hands and reduce any discomforts. When choosing a scale length, go for flexibility. Regarding the frets, choose the fret radius based on your finger size by trying the guitar out first.
The intonation of a guitar dictates the gap between the strings and fret that fluctuates your guitar tune. Make sure you check the intonation of a guitar before buying it.
From our list, you can see there are many guitars that you can get for punk rock. All the guitars listed in this review are some of the best guitars for punk rock. Whether you’re an aspiring punk rock artiste or an experienced one, if you want to take punk rocking more seriously and want to reap the most out of the punk rock, then buy the best guitar. It makes a huge difference in your performance or training.
You will feel more connected to your fans and the punk rock culture if you use the right instrument. Always, physically try out a guitar from the store before purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I get that punk-rock guitar tone from my guitar?
When it comes to punk rock, there are no specific guitar models and you can make use of any guitar. However, with the right knowledge, you can hit the right strokes to enhance your punk rock sound. Go ahead can connect a distortion pedal to your guitar, lower the bass on your amp and put your tremolo, and gain on a high and that should do the trick.
What are some punk rock techniques that I can use on my guitar?
The number of punk rock techniques you can use on your guitar is many depending on skill and creativity. According to the greatest punk rock players, there’s the downstroke that needs you to down-stroke a whole chord first. The second technique is by you using the Octave chords to spice up your playing. You can also let the drumbeat in; you can also start playing the power chords using a palm mute or change your notes’ chords. These are just but some of the techniques you can give a try.