The Best Worship Guitars Under $1000

  • Written By 
  • Daniel Dauwe

The Best Worship Guitars Under $1000

When it comes to worship music, having the right guitar is essential. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to get a guitar that will sound and play awesome. Today we’re looking at the best worship guitars under $1000. Below, we cover the best worship electric guitars, and the best worship acoustic guitars.

Guitar world is our bread and butter here at Worship Online. And we’ve searched, researched, played, and tested everything we could get our hands on to bring you the best worship guitars under $1000. All so you can be sure to get an amazing sounding (and looking) guitar without breaking your budget.

Today we’ll look at different attributes such as body style, pickups, and build quality to help you make the perfect choice for your next worship set.

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Things we considered when choosing the best guitars for worship (for the guitar nerds)

Pickups

Pickups are essential to the tone of any guitar. They capture the string vibration and transmit it through a wire to the amplifier, allowing you to shape your sound exactly as desired. Different types of pickups—single coil, humbucker, mini-humbuckers, etc.—have their own distinct tonal characteristics that can be used to achieve different sounds. Having good pickups is an essential component for any guitarist looking to craft their ideal tone and make their playing stand out.

Body Style

The body style of a guitar is an important part of the overall tone. Different materials like wood, metal, and plastic can lead to significantly different sounds, from deep lows to bright highs. Even the shape of the body affects the sound – from classic dreadnoughts to offset guitars, each style has its own tonal character. When it comes to crafting your ideal sound for worship, having the right body style is essential for finding the instrument that will truly bring out your playing.

Quality Of The Components

Quality components are an important, and often overlooked, part of choosing a guitar. Good quality pickups, bridges, nuts material and body construction will determine how well the instrument plays and sounds for many years to come. The good thing is, we’ve done the research for you and every guitar on this list has passed our “quality component check.”

Playability

When choosing the right guitar for you, playability is the most important aspect. You want something that feels comfortable in your hands and allows you to express yourself without too much effort. The neck should be smooth and easy to navigate with low action and good fret access.

We also considered the weight of the guitar, as heavier instruments can be harder to manage if playing standing up. The bridge should be secure and provide a good tone; think about instrument materials such as solid woods vs laminated woods as these will affect tonality. We took our time when researching this list of guitars – playability is key!

Price

And the most obvious one, and probably one of the main reasons why you’re here, is price. We know that price is a major factor when choosing the right guitar. While investing in quality components and playability is important, you have to consider your budget too.

Before setting out on a guitar shopping trip, it’s important to have an idea of what kind of range you’re willing to spend. Luckily, we’ve done all of the hard work for you and we firmly believe…

You don’t have to sacrifice tone to get an affordable guitar

You CAN still get great quality and sound even with a tighter budget. There are also many second hand/used deals where you can find great guitars at significantly reduced prices (which we also cover below.) Now without further ado, let’s help you find the perfect guitar without breaking the bank!

Best Electric Guitars For Worship

Electric guitars are an essential part of any modern worship band, however, picking the right one can be challenging. We want to sound amazing, while also keeping up with the “worship guitar influencers” that flood our Instagram feed. Fortunately for us, there are several models that provide great sound quality and playability without breaking the bank.

From single-coil pickups to humbuckers, we’ll explore some of the best electric guitars available today so you can make sure you get the perfect guitar to help bring your worship guitar tone to life.

5. Danelectro ‘56 Baritone – $570

danelectro baritone worship electric guitar

This is one of those under-the-radar electric guitars that is no secret to Nashville musicians. Most guys have one of these in their collection and for good reason! If you aren’t familiar with baritone guitars, they are almost a hybrid between an electric guitar and a bass. They are tuned to B standard, a perfect fourth below standard E tuning. They have a uniquely rich and deep tone that is perfect for adding a creative flare to a live performance or recording.

The only reason that this guitar isn’t higher on the list is because I wouldn’t consider this a primary guitar. If you don’t have an electric guitar and are looking to get your first one, this guitar is not for you. BUT, if you have at least one electric guitar, I would highly consider adding this guitar to your arsenal. For under $600, this baritone guitar can not be beat. If you’re looking for even more of a deal, you can find these guitars used on sites like Reverb.com for around $400.

If you want to hear this guitar in a worship context, check out this video from Bethel Music. You can see their guitarist David Hislop playing this exact guitar in their song Son of Suffering. (If you haven’t heard this song before, definitely check it out! It has one of the most iconic bridges of all time and the tutorials are live on our site here.

4. Used Fender Vintera 60’s Jazzmaster – $950

Fender Vintera '60s Jazzmaster - Olympic White

Jazzmaster style guitars are becoming more and more popular in the worship community because of their rich clean tones and amazing ability to ROCK. They take overdrive pedals incredibly well but are also great for ambient soundscapes. 

This model in particular usually goes for $1,200 new, but it’s easy to find a used one for around $950. I love this model because of the quality that you’re getting for the price. The C shape neck is comfortable to play and the floating vibrato tailpiece gives you the ability to add subtle vibrato to your playing.

I have two jazzmaster style guitars and I love them!

You can get a good listen to them in these Worship Online tutorials here:

3. Fender Player Telecaster – $850

fender Player Telecaster

Who doesn’t love a classic telecaster? They sound great, are easy to work on, and are a no frills guitar. This model comes in six great colors and has a modern C shape neck that’s really comfortable to play. The stock pickups in this guitar are actually pretty good for the price but you could always upgrade them down the road if you want something different. 

If you are wanting to wait and hold off for a nicer telecaster, the Fender 1952 AVRI Telecaster is a great option. Sometimes you can find one of these used for around $1,000 but they normally live in the $1,200 range. I have a lot of friends that have the 52 AVRIi and they are pretty solid guitars. 

2. Gretsch G5655T Electromatic Centerblock Jr. – $800

Gretsch G5655T Electromatic Centerblock Jr

There’s a reason you see so many Christian artists playing Gretsch guitars. They sound amazing, they are incredibly reliable, and they are easy to play. You can hear my Gretsch Duo Jet in these tutorials here:

This specific model is played by Christian artist Jervis Campbell. If you want to hear some of his recent music, check him out on Spotify or Apple Music. This guitar has Black Top Broad’Tron humbucking pickups and features a center block to help out with sustain. It also features a Bigsby and comes in three classic colors. 

One thing that’s really cool about this guitar is that it has a smaller body compared to most Gretsch hollowbody guitars. It’s a little bigger body than a Les Paul but INFINITELY lighter. Your back will say thank you for that.

1. PRS SE Silver Sky – $850

PRS SE Silver Sky worship Electric Guitar

Drumroll please…… Coming in at the top of our list is the PRS SE Silver Sky. This strat style guitar is an absolute steal for $849! Strats are one of the most versatile guitars and this one sounds and feels very similar to the original PRS John Mayer Silver Sky ($2,649) but at a fraction of the cost. 

One of the biggest differences is the neck, but some would argue that the neck on the SE feels even better than the original Silver Sky. John Mayer designed the Silver Sky with PRS to meet the exact specs that he would want in a guitar.

Don’t get me wrong, the Silver Sky is an amazing guitar but John Mayer is 6’3” and has pretty big hands. I am 6’ and the Silver Sky has the thickest neck of any of my guitars. It took me a while to get used to how chunky the neck is, but now I love it and it’s one of my favorite guitars. Some of my friends that have played the Silver Sky complain that the neck is too thick for them. The neck on the SE has a more modern, slimmer profile with a nice satin finish. It doesn’t feel as chunky in your hands and might be more comfortable for some. If you’ve played an original Silver Sky and didn’t like how thick the neck felt, try out the SE!

The pickups on the SE sound almost identical to the original Silver Sky. It sounds incredible clean and takes overdrive pedals incredibly well. If you want to hear the original Silver Sky in context of a worship song,

Check out these tutorials on Worship Online to see/hear the Silver Sky in action:

Best Acoustic Guitars For Worship

Acoustic guitars are an integral part of any worship setting, and finding the right one for your style and budget can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are a variety of acoustic guitars that seem to be designed specifically for worship music that offer great sound quality and playability.

The great news is that there’s plenty of options available to help you find the perfect guitar to add depth to your worship experience. Whether you’re part of the band, or the worship leader, we’ll explore some of the best acoustic guitars available, so you can make sure you get the perfect instrument to suit your needs.

5. Epiphone Hummingbird – $850

Epiphone Hummingbird worship guitar

If you’re looking for that classic Gibson acoustic tone at a fraction of the cost, this is the guitar for you. At $849, this is an incredible value for the money. It has a beautiful aged natural finish, the split parallelogram inlays on the neck, the iconic hummingbird design on the pickguard, and the Fishman Sonitone electronics system. 

This guitar is inspired by the Gibson Hummingbird and is absolutely breathtaking. In this performance of The Way (New Horizon) you can see Pat Barrett playing a Gibson Hummingbird. Check out the tutorials for this incredible song here.

4. Guild D-140 – $800

Guild D-140

This is an incredible traditional dreadnought guitar with a classic look and sound. This guitar features a bone nut and saddle, something usually only found on higher end guitars. It feels and plays like a guitar that should cost a lot more than $1,000. 

This guitar does not come with a pickup. If you’re only playing around the campfire, your house, or small gatherings, and you don’t need electronics, this is not a problem for you.

However if you need electronics, I would recommend getting an LR Baggs Element for $159. You can then take it to your local guitar shop and have it installed. You’ll usually spend around $50-$100 to have a pickup installed on an acoustic guitar. Your final total for the guitar, pickup, and installation will fall right around $1,000.

Important Note: Even though Guild offers a model with electronics (the Guild D-140CE), I’d still recommend buying an LR Baggs pickup and having it installed. It will sound significantly better than the Guild pickup and you’ll still be right at or under $1,000.

3. Used Larrivee D-03R – $800

Larrivee D-03R

Larrivee is no stranger to the acoustic guitar world. These guys make some incredible guitars. This guitar not only looks beautiful but it’s really comfortable to play. It has a bone nut and compensated bone saddles that gives it a level of performance similar to Larrivee’s higher end models. The rich dreadnought tone is great for playing with your worship team or doing solo gigs.

This guitar is normally $1,900 but I was able to find four used ones for around the $800 range at the time of writing this blog. Only one of these four had a pickup installed but you could get an LR Baggs Element for $159 and have it installed for a couple hundred bucks.

I would put this guitar higher up on the list because of the quality and tone but I choose to leave it here since it could be difficult to find a used one with a pickup or have a pickup installed. If you are willing to wait to find the right one and put a nice pickup in it, you’ll be really surprised by this guitar. It’s a great value for the money and could be a guitar you’ll have for a lifetime.

2. Used Taylor 214ce – $700

Taylor 214ce Acoustic

This guitar was my first nicer acoustic and it served me well for years. It stayed in tune really well and was comfortable to play. New, these are about $1,100 but you are usually able to find them used for around $700 on sites like Reverb.com. 

The Taylor 214ce is a great introduction to Taylor guitars and has that classic bright Taylor tone that easily cuts through a mix. It comes equipped with the Taylor ES-2 electronics system and has volume and tone controls. 

1. Martin D-10E – $950

Martin D-10E Road Series Acoustic

This beautiful dreadnought guitar is like the little sibling of the Martin D15-M and has a similar tone to the iconic Martin D-28. It is equipped with the Fishman MX-T electronic system that has a built in tuner and an easy mute function. For under $1,000 this is the best new acoustic guitar you’ll be able to find for playing live at your church. 

If you want to upgrade the live tone of this guitar later down the road, I’d recommend upgrading the pickups to the LR Baggs Anthem $329 or the LR Baggs Element $159. This will make a drastic difference in the tone of this guitar. I have the LR Baggs Element pickup in my Martin and it sounds unbelievable. 

To hear the LR Baggs Element pickup in my Martin 000-28EC, check out these tutorials:

Your next steps:

  1. Head to worshiponline.com/WorshipGuitarMasterclass
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Get access to the “secrets” for taking your tone from average to extraordinary. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity – sign up now and be part of the elite in worship guitar tone!

Here’s what others are saying about the Worship Guitar Tone Masterclass:

“I found exactly why I was having difficulty getting great tone. Now my tone will never suffer again!” -Chris C.

“I just learned more about getting great guitar tone through the first video than I have in my entire 10 years of playing!” -Scott E.

“Wow! I just had about 20 ‘Ah ha’ moments! Matt and Jordan are true geniouses” -Steven A.

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