An authentic reggae guitar tone is achieved by using the correct right hand guitar technique and least 95% of your tone is coming directly from your fingers. Although, if you want to sound like a guitar legend, these are the four guitars most commonly used for playing reggae music.
- The stratocaster is a great guitar for playing reggae because it’s lightweight, the neck is a comfortable shape for lead and rhythm playing, and you can get a variety of tones with the pickups in the neck and mid-neck positions. Some famous reggae guitarist’s who played a stratocaster include Eric Clapton, and the lead guitarist for Bob Marley, Al Anderson.
- The Fender Telecaster is more lightweight than the Stratocaster which lends itself to having a thinner sound and is good for doubling the bass line in reggae using the palm muting guitar technique .In addition, the Telecaster is great for playing the reggae rhythm guitar because of the bright tone in the neck pickup position.Two famous guitar legends who used a telecaster are Jimmy Page and Keith Richards.
- The Gibson Les Paul is best known for its humbucker P90 pickups which gives it a fat sound and crunchy blues lead guitar tone. The neck has a wider shape, and it is a heavier guitar to shoulder than the Strat or the Telecaster. Bob Marley played a Les Paul while he was in the Wailers and Eric Rachmany plays one now with the reggae band Rebelution.
- The PRS guitar is a like combination of a Strat and a Les Paul. It has a thin neck like the Strat, which makes it easier to play but it also has humbucker pick ups like a Les Paul for a crunchy lead guitar tone. PRS guitars are very versatile and can be used for playing Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, and most styles of music. A guitar legend who plays a PRS is Carlos Santana.