After our review of the best martin guitar for the money, there is a reader who asked how does Martin stack up against the Taylor acoustic guitars when it comes to fingerstyle. I am sure other readers might have the same question so I am answering the question here for the benefit for all.
Both Taylor and Martin guitars are high quality guitars that wouldn’t disappoint regardless of whether you used it for fignerstyle or strumming. However, if you want to push for the answer, I would say the Martin guitar comes out slightly ahead for its OM and signature series.
Martin OM review review
For the Taylor brand, the best choice for fingerstyle is probably the 514ce. The reason why this model is best suited for finger picking is due to its sensitivity to light touches. The more sensitive a guitar is to them, the easier it is to use fingerstyle. The Taylor 514ce has a cedar soundboard which increases its sensitivity to light touches thus making it very easy to play with if you prefer fingerstyle.
However, if you compare the 514ce to the Martin signature series, the latter is even better although they are more expensive. These are made of Rosewood and they might even more suitable for fingerstyle. The best way to know is to try them out but it doesn’t hurt to know that most of the famous players with fingerstyle all use Rosewood guitars.
The cheaper alternative for Martin guitar is their OM series. The spacing is good enough for fingerstyle and the tone sounds very suited to such a playing style. In addition, the OM28V and related models are extremely versatile, meaning you can change from fignerstyle to other playing styles if you get bored of the former.
The only downside to this series is the V neck, which is considered a short neck. If you have not played a short neck guitar before, it might need some getting used to. Another downside of a short neck is that you need to reset the neck more often than a straight neck guitar like most Taylor guitars are.
One important guitar purchase consideration
Besides fingerstyle, the more important thing to pay attention to is actually the tone of the guitar. Tone is the deal breaker when it comes to how much you love playing it. No matter how much technical discussion you get into, a tone that captures your heart decides what guitar will be your favorite. Hence, I would recommend getting the one that has a tone which you prefer.
The best way to know is of course to play it in real person. Get yourself to a store that has both brands and try out as many Martin or Taylor guitars as you can. Pay attention to the tone and select the one that seems to strike the most chord with you.
Both Martin and Taylor guitars are great brands. If you want to choose between the two, go for the one with the tone that suits you best. If you really want to split hairs on finding the best guitar for fingerstyle between the two, I would go with the Martins OM short necks or the Signature series.