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Fingerstyle playing (which is often used interchangeably with fingerpicking) requires a certain kind of guitar. It is the widely-held opinion among those who use their fingers that Taylor makes some of the best guitars.
The following Taylor guitars are some prime choices for fingerstyle and fingerpicking techniques. There’s something here for every level of budget (with the exception of the beginner’s price range).
So let's look at the best Taylor guitars for fingerstyle; these are sure to elevate your playing to new levels.
Table of Contents
214ce-K – Best Overall
Looking for an acoustic that provides excellent response and tonal clarity without having to spend a fortune? The 214ce-K (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is a guitar that you might instantly fall in love with.
This model features a Grand Auditorium body size with a single cutaway, featuring layered Koa for the back and sides. The guitar’s top is made of Sitka Spruce, giving the guitar a rich treble and a deep (never boomy) bass.
Part of what makes the 214ce-K such a magical guitar is its responsiveness to dynamics. Its X-bracing architecture helps to provide a balanced presence, providing clarity no matter the volume or playing style.
The Sapele neck and West African Ebony fretboard are quite comfortable and easy to navigate. Because of the cutaway design, all 20 frets are easily accessible, with Italian Acrylic dot inlays guiding the way.
If you’re wondering about some of the specifics of the 214ce-K, these measurements might help you:
- 15” fretboard radius
- 1.6875” nut width
- 25.5” scale length
The 214ce-K is also stocked with a Taylor ES2 pickup and preamp system. This gives you the flexibility of playing with microphones in the studio or a PA on the stage.
With the preamp system, you’ll have onboard controls such as:
For hardware, Taylor has loaded the 214ce-K with some of the best components available at this price point. This includes things such as:
- Tusq nut
- Micarta saddle
- Ebony bridge
- Chrome tuners
Taylor has included a soft-shell gig bag so it’s ready to be put to work right out of the box.
What’s So Great About The 214ce-K?
The 214ce-K is the perfect entry point into the authentic Taylor playing experience. Exquisite aesthetics, playability, and tone merge here into one instrument that is reasonably priced.
Taylor opted to use a satin finish with the 214ce-K, giving it a smooth and sleek feel. This feature is especially ideal with the neck, which won’t gum up like gloss-finished necks often do.
For the most part, the 214ce-K has everything that you would hope to expect from a Taylor guitar. It’s a guitar designed for the working musician that doesn’t cut corners to provide a fantastic and affordable playing experience.
814ce – Best Premium
Is it your primary concern to find the absolute best guitar possible without money being an issue? You’ll definitely want to experience the luxuriousness of the 814ce (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) for yourself.
In many ways, the 814ce is an absolute dream come true for the masterful fingerstyle player. The guitar itself features a Grand Auditorium body design built from Indian Rosewood with a Sitka Spruce top.
Taylor’s signature V-Class body bracing truly helps to bring out every subtle nuance within your playing. It has a tone that will dazzle audiences and have you wiping the drool from your own mouth.
The neck is made of Tropical Mahogany, featuring a 15” radius West African Ebony fretboard. All 20 frets are easily accessible thanks to the guitar’s cutaway design.
With a 1.75” nut width and a 25.5” scale length, the guitar will feel familiar with wider string spacing.
This guitar also comes equipped with Taylor’s ES-2 pickup and preamp system. Your plugged-in performances will sound almost just as natural as the guitar sounds unplugged.
The preamp has discreet knobs on the side of the guitar near the shoulder, providing control over:
For hardware on the 814ce, Taylor has opted to use:
- Smoked Nickel Taylor tuners
- West African Ebony bridge
- Black Graphite nut
- Micarta saddle
This is by no means an affordable guitar for most, but Taylor does include a hardshell case with the guitar.
What’s So Great About The 814ce?
When you think of Taylor guitars, it’s probably models like the 814ce that likely come to mind. This guitar is truly one of the fine examples that showcase the very best of what Taylor has to offer.
The aesthetics of the 814ce are truly astonishing, with superb woodgrains paired in a balanced manner. Cream binding wraps the guitar’s edges, with a very attractive pickguard providing that traditional vibe.
Taylor even gave the guitar edge a comfort bevel, along with ornate Mother-of-Pearl Element inlays decorating the fretboard. Yes, it’s true, you’ll have a hard time looking away from this beautiful guitar.
With the smaller size of the 814ce, fingerstyle players will be able to play in comfort for hours on end. Taylor’s V-Class bracing ensures that your tone doesn’t suffer in presence as can often happen with smaller guitar body designs.
GS Mini Rosewood – Best Budget
While the guitar is a fraction of Taylor’s pricing, you should know that it’s also a smaller guitar overall. Taylor effectively defines it as a travel guitar, featuring a scale length of 23.5”.
However, this might actually be preferable if you have a need for a smaller-bodied guitar. This miniature Grand Symphony guitar features a Rosewood construction with a Sitka Spruce top.
Taylor has used X-bracing within the body, providing a relief route for an enhanced tonal response. If the tone isn’t to your taste, you can opt for a model made with Sapele and a Mahogany top.
The GS Mini Rosewood’s neck is made of Maple and features an Ebony fretboard with 20 frets. Taylor has also used Ebony for the bridge, to which a Micarta saddle is affixed.
At the headstock, you’ll find die-cast tuners with chrome buttons, along with a NuBone nut. You can be sure that the Taylor inlay on the headstock is well-defined and easy to notice.
The GS Mini Rosewood’s nut width measures 1.6875”, which makes the string spacing relatively average. In turn, this gives the guitar a familiar feel despite its shortened scale length.
Despite being a budget guitar, the GS Mini Rosewood does come with a soft-shell case. No electronics are included, but Taylor does make proprietary pickups (for aftermarket installation) specifically for this model.
What’s So Great About The GS Mini Rosewood?
The GS Mini Rosewood provides an opportunity to have a premium acoustic guitar at a fraction of the price. This model comes with the added benefit of having a smaller construction built into its overall package.
You’ll be able to play this guitar in just about any playing position you could want. Plus, it’s affordable enough to use in almost any musical situation or circumstance.
What To Look For When Buying A Taylor Guitar For Fingerstyle
Not exactly sure what defines an acoustic guitar fit for fingerstyle? There’s no need to worry, as the following information will help you find the best guitar for you.
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is how much money you’re willing to spend on an acoustic guitar. This single decision essentially determines the range of guitars that you’ll be looking at.
Taylor guitars are prominently priced more toward the professional musician’s budget. With that being said, Taylor does have some more inexpensive models that might be suitable for you.
Brand loyalty might not be such a bad thing, but do be open-minded with regard to other manufacturers. The name on the headstock isn’t everything.
How comfortable a guitar is to play is going to be of utmost importance. That might seem obvious, but it’s extremely important when it comes to fingerstyle techniques.
Most fingerstyle players tend to prefer an acoustic guitar that has a smaller body design. This aspect is more fitting to the player’s body, allowing the picking hand/arm to be in an ideal position.
Dreadnoughts usually aren’t the most practical, particularly because of the wideness of the top’s hip area. This results in the arm resting too high and reaching toward the strings in an awkward manner.
Along with the body, give special attention to the feel of the neck. Everyone has their own specific tastes with regard to feel and thickness, but neck contours generally come as:
Another thing to consider is the guitar’s nut width. This will determine the spacing between strings, which will affect how convenient it is to fret complex chords.
Would you willingly purchase a guitar because of the name on the headstock if the guitar itself actually sounded bad? You probably wouldn’t, especially if that guitar costs more money than you normally feel comfortable spending.
Again, it might seem obvious that the tone of the guitar is an important thing to consider. Depending on your personal playing style, the guitar’s tone will either work for or against you.
Because of this, it’s vital that you experiment with different wood combinations found in guitar builds. Woods such as Mahogany, Rosewood, and Sapele are often found in the guitar’s back and sides.
The acoustic guitar’s top needs to be able to provide the best response possible for extremely dynamic playing. This will allow all of the fine details to be on display for the listener’s ears.
Many fingerstyle players opt for a Spruce top, which gives the guitar a sense of bright sweetness. Mahogany tops are also used but can give the guitar a warmer tone overall.
Much of this will really depend on what sounds good to your ears. Take the time to play your own music on these guitars to hear how the guitar accommodates your style.
It’s often hectic to be at a music shop during peak customer hours. However, you should resist the urge to rush through the process and, instead, take your time and enjoy yourself.
History Of Taylor Guitars
Taylor was officially established in 1974 by guitar luthiers Kurt Listug and Bob Taylor. The two had been working together for a couple of years before the company they worked for closed its doors.
From there, the pair went on to begin building their own acoustic guitar designs under the name of Taylor. Today, the California-based guitar manufacturer is one of the most widely respected names in the guitar industry.
Over the years, Taylor has become synonymous with luxurious craftsmanship and superb playability. This reputation was gained in part due to the massive list of artists who officially endorse Taylor guitars.
Top Taylor Guitars For Fingerstyle, Final Thoughts
Taylor has one of the largest communities of devoted admirers and endorsees who prefer its guitars over any other. Be sure to try each of these guitars for yourself to find the proper match for your style and budget.
Once you find the right Taylor guitar, you’ll likely end up using that guitar for the rest of your life. These guitars are truly built to last well beyond a single lifetime.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!