In the 1990s through the early 2000s, grunge guitar was quite popular. This style of music uses power chords, loud distortion, And a lot of riffs. There aren't as many solos in grunge guitar compared to rock music or heavy metal.
This music does take some influence from punk rock, rock, heavy metal, and similar styles, but it has its own distinct sound. Bands such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam helped popularize this music in the 1990s.
There are different guitars that you might want to consider for playing grunge guitar. While any guitar can be a grunge guitar, there are several models which are well-suited to this guitar style.
In addition to your electric guitar, you may want to pick up some effects pedals and especially those that are capable of producing a wide range of distorted comes, as this is the hallmark of grunge guitar. Let's have a look at several models that you can use for playing this type of music.
Table of Contents
1.Squier by Fender Classic 70s Vibe Jaguar Guitar
BestBeginner/Intermdiate Grunge-Style Guitar
Good for beginners
- Tone Quality:
Beginners or Intermediate Players
The Squier Fender Classic Vibe 70s Jaguar is an excellent guitar for rock and grunge. It's got that classic look, and it's easy to play.
You get two alnico single-coil pickups for great tone. It's got a Jaguar tremolo ridge for whammy bar tricks. It's got a master volume, tone control, and tons of switches to control the output of your pickups.
The neck is a shorter 24" scale length, so it's suitable for players with smaller hands. The C-shape neck is comfortable to play up and down the fretboard for solos or rhythm guitar work. The guitar has classic nickel-plated Hardware for authentic 70s style
The Squier Fender Classic Vibe 70s Jaguar is a guitar you'll love to play. It's got the ton you want for grunge guitar as well as other styles of music and comes in at a great price for modest budgets
2.Squier by Fender Bullet Mustang
Best Low-Budget Grunge-Style Guitar
Easy to play
- Tone Quality:
Great beginner tone
Low budgets and beginners
The Fender Squier bullet is an excellent low-cost guitar for playing grunge music as well as other styles. It's easy to play and has the tone that you want.
This instrument has two humbucking pickups, which are perfect for distorted grunge guitar songs. The controls are simple, with one tone, one volume, and a pickup selector switch.
This guitar has a stable hardtail bridge for easy tuning, chrome machine heads, and two strap buttons. The double-cutaway makes it easy to access the higher frets.
Beginners that want to play grunge guitar won't like the Squier bullet Mustang as it's an easy guitar to pick up and play right away. It has an excellent tone, and it comes in at a low price.
3.ESP LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar
Best For Moderate Budgets
Easy playing guitar
- Tone Quality:
Great for Intermediate and advanced players
THE ESP LTD EC-256 Is an amazing it sounding electric guitar perfect for grunge music as well as other styles. It's got a pair of high output pickups which are perfect for the distorted guitar settings of grunge music.
The set-neck construction and the single-cutaway make it easy for the player to hit the higher Frets for soloing. Playing cards is easy on this instrument, thanks to the U-shaped mahogany neck, which is comfortable no matter what position on the fretboard you're playing at.
The guitar has one volume and two tone controls. The humbucking pickups provide all the distortion you need for any grunge song. These pickups are also a coil-splitting, so you get the sound of single coils as well as some bucking for even more tonal possibilities.
The ESP LTD EC-256 is the right choice for grunge, rock, and many other styles. It sounds great through any distorted amplifier, and it's comfortable to play.
4.Fender American Performer Mustang
Best Sounding Advanced Grunge-Style guitar
Simple to ply
- Tone Quality:
Great for Advanced players
The Fender American Performer Mustang is a superior guitar for playing grunge Style music as well as many other styles. It's got the look that you want and an amazing sound.
It comes with two single-coil Yosemite pickups, which have a superior tone for many styles of music, including grunge guitar. It's got one Volume, One Tone control, and a pickup selector switch which makes the guitar easy to play.
You get a vintage-style tremolo system and chrome-plated Hardware for a great look. It's got 22 frets and a double-cutaway, so you can access the higher register of the instrument with ease.The Fender Performer Mustang is the guitar you want for playing rock, grunge, and many different guitar styles. You get an amazing tone out of the guitar, and it's set up ready to go right out of the box.
5.Fender American Professional II Stratocaster HSS
Best Pro Level Grunge-Style guitar
Easy playing with the good pickup configuration
- Tone Quality:
Great for Professionals or those with high budgets
The Fender American Professional II Stratocaster HSS Is the perfect guitar for any advanced player that wants to play many different guitar styles, including the grunge guitar. The addition of the humbucking pickup gives this instrument a lot more possibilities than a regular Stratocaster.
This instrument has a smooth playing and comfortable neck. It's easy to access higher Frets thanks to the cutaway. It has 1 volume knob, two tone controls, and a pickup selector switch.
In addition to the humbucking pickup, it also has two single-coil pickups that have great tone and sustain. The vintage Fender tremolo gives you whammy bar effects when you want them. It's got chrome hardware as well as two strap buttons.
The Fender American Professional II Stratocaster HSS provides a lot of total possibilities so you can experiment when playing grunge guitar. This is an instrument you can rely on time and time again to produce the tones that you want.
6.Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar
Best Budget Guitar for Grunge
Easy playing basic guitar
- Tone Quality:
Great for students and beginners
Yamaha produces a lot of excellent instruments, including the FG800, which is the perfect starter instrument for anyone that wants to get into grunge guitar as well as playing guitar in general.
This guitar has a smooth playing and comfortable neck. The student will find it easy to play single notes, chords, or to play a guitar solo. The rosewood fingerboard is nice and smooth at any position.
It's got a rosewood bridge, chrome machine heads, tortoiseshell pickguard, and two strop buttons to round out the Hardware.
7.Taylor 214ce Plus Grand Auditorium Sitka/Rosewood
Best Pro Acoustic for Grunge Guitar
Simple to play
Great for professionals
For those that want a great-sounding acoustic guitar for grunge Style music, you can't go wrong with the Taylor 12CE Plus Grand Auditorium. It's an easy playing guitar that has a superior tone.
This guitar features a deep cutaway, so it's suitable for both rhythm guitar as well as solos. This is an acoustic-electric and comes with a pickup and preamp system, so it's ready to go with any amplifier. The solid spruce top provides plenty of resonance and great tonal clarity.
The rosewood back and sides of this guitar also help improve the tone. It's got chrome machine heads, a tortoiseshell pickguard, and a rosewood bridge. You get a high-quality hardshell guitar case when you order.
The Taylor 12CE Plus Grand Auditorium has an excellent sound and guitar for grunge guitar, Rock, country, and many different guitar styles. It's easy to access all of the frets, and it's got a professional-sounding tone.
Best Guitar for Grunge Buying Guide
This guide will help you choose your next grunge guitar. Any guitar can be suitable for playing grunge music, but here are some things to keep in mind before you order.
Should I Buy a Grunge Guitar?
It really doesn't matter what guitar you own because any guitar can be used for playing grunge. Some guitars, such as a Fender Mustang and Fender Jaguar, are a little bit better for playing this type of music. In addition to having a quality guitar, you're going to want to have a good amplifier and maybe some distortion pedals as a lot of grunge music is quite distorted.
You can either choose to play an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar for grunge music. A lot of grunge is electric-based, but some music is also played on an acoustic, so you might want to have both guitars for playing this style. The main thing to keep in mind is if you want an instrument that's going to be comfortable for you. The guitar should be easy to play and have a good tone.
What Amp Should I Use?
You can use any amplifier for playing Grunge music, but it's a good idea to have one that has a decent distorted Channel. A high-gain amplifier might be the ideal option since music such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam which are some of the Premier grunge bands, use a lot of distorted settings for their songs.
The ideal amplifier will probably be an old tube amplifier or a decent solid state that has a good distorted Channel. You may also want to try some of the new digital amplifiers, as they have a lot of settings that you can play around with that make it easier to get the sounds you want.
Try out a few amplifiers and see what works for you. The tone that you get will depend upon your guitar, amplifier, and the various settings, so you have to do something experimentation with your amplifier and guitars
Are There Any Advantages to a Grunge Guitar?
Grunge guitars really are no different than other instruments. The main point to keep in mind is that you need an instrument that is going to be comfortable for you and the way that you like to play music.
You're going to want to have a neck on the instrument that is comfortable up and down the fretboard, whether you were playing rhythm guitar or solos. You will have to experiment with a few guitars to determine the best one for your needs.
One of the main advantages of a grunge guitar is that you can use it for other guitar Styles as well. You don't have to have one instrument dedicated to any one musical genre.
Another advantage is you're probably not going to have to spend a whole lot of money to get a decent guitar for playing grunge music. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars or have fancy gear to play this type of music.
Are There Any Disadvantages to a Grunge Guitar?
One disadvantage to a grunge guitar is that it might be a little limiting for some players. For example, some of these guitars are harder for fast solos, such as the solos you might play for heavy metal music. A FenderJaguar or Mustang is not the best instrument for playing high-velocity solos.
Another disadvantage is that you might have to pay a little bit more than you expect to get an instrument that you like to play. You should always buy a guitar that meets your needs and not one that someone else plays. Your favorite grunge player may have a guitar that you like, but that instrument may not necessarily be the one that's best for you.
Should I Buy A Case?
You should probably buy a decent hardshell case for the guitar. This type of case offers the maximum protection for your instrument. A softshell case or gig bag is perfect if you plan to take music lessons or always transporting your guitar around, but a good hardshell case gives you the best protection from the elements as well as protection from Guitar damage.
Some manufacturers don't include hardshell cases when they ship instruments, so you may have to buy one on your own. Expensive guitars usually ship with a hardshell case, but not all of them do. Check with the manufacturer to see if you're going to get a hardshell case. If they don't ship one with your order, you'll have to get one separately.
What Strings Should I Use?
Strings are usually an individual preference, so I would use a set that you like to play. Light strings are usually the best as they are easier to bend and to play for beginners or intermediate players. Once you get a little bit better on the guitar, you can determine the best set of strings that meet your preferences. I prefer coated guitar strings because these tend to last longer than regular sets. They cost a little bit more, but you get a lot longer life out of your string.
How Do you Fix Action on A Grunge Guitar?
The best way to improve the action on your instrument is to take it to a guitar shop where the action can be set by a professional. You can do this yourself, but it's not something that beginners want to try as it takes a little bit of effort.
The action is important because it makes playing your guitar a lot easier. At the same time, the guitar technician can set the intonation of your guitar so that it is in tune up and down the fretboard. Some lower-cost guitars may need the action set right away because they tend to ship from the factory with action that's a little bit too high for the average player.
Do I Need Pedals?
A lot of grunge songs use plenty of distortion. If your amplifier doesn't have a good distorted setting, you may want to get a couple of distortion pedals. This will make playing grunge guitar a little bit easier for you. While you don't necessarily need any pedals, it can be a good idea to pick a few pedals if you plan to play grunge music exclusively.
You'll find plenty of excellent amplifiers on the market that can create good distorted tones. Some apps such as digital amplifiers can recreate the sound of dozens of different guitar amps as well as effects pedals, so you don't have to go out and buy a whole bunch of pedals or amps to get the tone that you want.
How Much Should I Spend on a Grunge Guitar?
How much you decide to spend on your instrument is all going to be based on your budget. Thankfully, there are instruments in today's market that can meet any budget requirement. It doesn't matter whether you are a beginner or an advanced player. You'll find an excellent guitar that meets your needs.
It's important to try out a few guitars to determine the best one for you. It can be beneficial to experiment with different guitars as you can get various tones and settings through different instruments.
Acoustic or Electric Guitar for Grunge Music?
A lot of grunge music is played on the electric guitar, so you're probably going to want to have a good electric guitar for this type of music. At the same time, there are grunge acoustic songs, so you might want to pick up an acoustic guitar playing grunge guitar.
In the ideal situation, you will want both an acoustic guitar as well as an electric guitar because it lets you play almost any song that you want, whether it is grunge or any other form of music.
How Do I Clean My Grunge Guitar?
You should clean your instrument each time you change the strings. Use a guitar cloth and some guitar polish to clean the instrument. It's important to clean both the back and sides and around the pickups if you have an electric guitar.
You can also do the same thing to your acoustic guitar. Make sure you're only using guitar polish and not household cleaners, as these can damage the surface of your instrument. You should plan to change strings at least once a month as this reduces the dirt and debris that gets on the guitar, especially the fretboard.
What Else Do I Need to Play Grunge Guitar?
In addition to a good guitar as well as an amplifier, you will want a high-quality guitar strap, picks, extra sets of strings, guitar tuner, guitar stand, and perhaps a music stand for music books.
You may also want to take some lessons as it's easier to learn guitar from a professional than it is to try and teach yourself. While you can learn guitar from music construction on sites such as YouTube, you won't get the benefit of a hands-on approach that a teacher will provide for you.
Now you will have a better idea of the best guitar for grunge music. Any guitar can work for grunge music, but there are a few that are better choices. You want a guitar that is comfortable to play, and you should ensure that you have a good amplifier so you can get nice, distorted tones which is essential for playing a lot of grunge music.
The most important thing is to buy a guitar that works for your needs. You want something that is easy to play, within your budget and has a decent tone. The guitar is from this list are all excellent selections no matter whether you want to play grunge guitar or other forms of music.