Do you want to get into resonator guitars, but are not sure where to start? In this episode of Acoustic Tuesday, I’ll show you the 6 best resonator guitars to start with, why they’re worth the money, and the 3-step system you should use to buy your next resonator.
Every resonator guitar on this list is under $799, very accessible to new resonator players, and well worth the money. But to help you narrow it down, we’ll also talk about the three qualities to look for in any resonator guitar.
I want to make a special shoutout to Mike Dowling, who is an incredible resonator player that I’m featuring in this episode! Be sure to check out his work and support him if you enjoy his music! Special thanks are also due to Normans Rare Guitars!
As always, you can catch Acoustic Tuesday at 10 am every Tuesday in these four places:
- Acoustic Life YouTube channel
- We Play Every Day Facebook Community
- Get show notes emailed directly to your inbox.
- Listen to audio-only below or in iTunes
– Gretsch Honey Dipper Metal Body Biscuit – $649
– Recording King Dirty 30’s Wood Body Buscuit – $349
– Republic HWY61 Wood or Metal Biscuit – $599-$759
https://youtu.be/qOmuP7Y4UKc – HWY61 Woody
https://youtu.be/hpMeD51MOwA – HWY61 Metal
– Gretsch Bobtail Deluxe – $599
– Gretsch Boxcar Wood Spider Squareneck – $429
– Republic Wood or Metal Tricone $599 – $759
https://youtu.be/pQD7Ot5Wivc – Metal Tricone
https://youtu.be/yBRdVm3zUeE – Wood Tricone
https://youtu.be/F1X7egd8Us0 – Listen to Mike play some Blues in ‘G’
https://youtu.be/gJU8lsgy12M – Jitterbug Waltz by Mike Dowling
https://youtu.be/DQ9o2BAL9XY – Hear Mike play “Boogie Woogie” Dance
http://www.mikedowling.com/ – Visit Mike Dowling Online
https://amzn.to/3hKrfuT – Checkout Mike’s albums and instructional materials online
Love the metal body Republic. Ton, can you show us some 12 string acoustic guitars on a acoustic Tuesday. Thanks, JT
Hi Tony just saw#155.great like all your shows.i loved the metal body resonator.very beautiful sound.next week is a 3 year party.congratulTions.🎉🎊🎸 I loved the artist Mike Dowling,he plays very beautiful.see you next week,at 156.have a great week.🙏🎼😷😂😁🤪🤘☕
Don’t leave out a Republic Duolian 14 fret single cone at $739. Natinal Doulian were used by the blues players since the 30s.
I own and love the Gretsch Honey Dipper. However as a lefty in Australia, when I first starting looking for a reso I couldn’t find a LH model. However, I soon found out it is pretty easy to convert a biscuit cone resonator to LH – which my guitar shop did for a very modest fee.
These two episodes on resonator guitars are your best yet, and I’ve seen them all.
My wife and I are singers who play, rather than guitar players (if you get the distinction) and when she had a shoulder injury that prevented her from playing a standard guitar, we got her a spider-cone Regal square-neck resonator on the recommendation of her teacher. Its sweet tone blends beautifully with my custom Raymond 12-string and also with our voices for traditional and modern folk music, old-time and a bit of bluegrass.
Good show, Tony. Thanks.
Dear Tony, I can’t believe it has been 3 years. I thought about how much I enjoy watching Acoustic Tuesday and upon reflection I realized a greater appreciation of the acoustic guitar and its’ inate power to evoke expression and fulfillment in our lives as fellow guitar geeks and Acoustic Tuesday show been “instrumental” in the maturation of ” geekiness”(sp?) by expanding my guitar knowledge historically, musically and influencially etc..Thank you Tony for sharing your passion and knowledge of the acoustic guitar and for the encouragement to live our best acoustic lives in unity as guitar geeks unite! Now my question is what is Noah up to? I really enjoyed the banter between you durung the show and not that the show has in anyway diminished but I miss the schtick(sp?) that you both shared and was curious about his wellbeing and new endevour. HappyAnniversary-sincerely BrianLeary
I’m wondering if a dobro and resonator are the same? An uncle by marriage played what he called a dobro, set on his lap and he used a slide. He was self taught. It was my first intro to a dobro. Had never heard of one before. He could sure play it. I think the third instrument shown was the closest to the one he had. Thanks for an informative video.
Tony how many guitars do you have (number only) and do you still play all of them
Hi Tony, Great info you get out to all interested. take a look and listen to Billy Strings on YouTube.
He plays with his farther on one video. he and his dad are excellent players. He does another as a tribute to Doc Watson.
FANTASTIC guitar player.
i am not sure if i have to be a member but i have a question how many guitars do you have ( number only) and do you play all of them.
Heah Tony, happy aniversary! Cant believe I have been watching for 3 yrs. I just went thru this whole picking out a resonator 6 monthes ago, i decided on the Gretsch boxcar round neck, and i love it. It opened up a whole new geekie world for me. Now if you want me back at T.A.C. ( I did the challange for 2 years and loved it) now I need some resonator lessons. Good luck with your new coming arrival , and have a nother great year. I will be sending a new Guitarsenal update, Thanx your friend Guy B, Guitar geeks unite!
Another wonderful show Tony,I know at this point I would like to have a round neck resonator but, I can’t make up my mind if I want a wood body or a metal body. I’m kinda leaning towards the Republic tricone wood body to try out first. It’s hard to find guitars to try out in the stores right know because of the Corona effect, a lot of people are staying home and learning to play guitar and guitar companies can’t keep up with the demand. More guitar players in the world is always a good thing. I have always wanted to get a resonator guitar and I have been inspired by Mike Dowlings playing and love his style and sound. I am already on a hunt to find some of his music. PS have you ever listened to Doug MacLeod?
What strings do you recommend for fingerpicking on a resonator? Does slide guitar need heavier strings?
Tony, love your show and have been watching for quite a long time. Congratulations on your three year anniversary and on your upcoming family addition. Can you give us an update on Levi and Noah? Maybe on the anniversary show. Thanks.
I have a Fender. How does that stand up?It’s wood.
Tone, Great show. I have been watching now for maybe 2 1/2 years and “you still rock it”. I’m wondering if maybe Noah might show up for the birthday. I also would echo the comment of James, could there, would there possibly be a 12-string version of Acoustic Tuesday coming in the future? I have a Takamine 12-string that I have played since 1975 and I love it. How cool would it be to hear Molly Tuttle playing a 12-string. Guitar geeks unite!
Love the Wade Sutton T-Shirt! Great song too- give it a listen!!
Hi Tony – just saw this episode. I’ve been thinking about getting a resonator for some time, and this episode really helped. I liked listening to the different options presented, and importantly too, I liked the framework you presented for buying one. After you presented that, I went back and looked up the descriptions for the couple of ones where I liked the sound, and now I’m more locked in on what to look for (a wood body, round neck with spider or tricone). Great lesson – thanks!
Love the Gretsch Honey Dipper but The Republic Tri Cone is really nice too. Might have to get one now. Decisions, decisions.
Thanks for your info Tony. Great show. Because of you I decided to delve into Blue Grass style guitar and it’s a blast. Thanks for all your interest.