By request, in this post, I’ll outline my opinions about what brands/models of acoustic guitars work best for the modern worship sound.
What you’re looking for:
1. Built-in electronics- A guitar is worthless live on stage without it. If you find a guitar you like that doesn’t have built-in electronics there are some great aftermarket products available that you can install or have your local luthier install for you. (Example: L.R. Baggs Element)
2. Balanced tone- Some guitars sound ‘tinny’ or overly bright and will transfer to being harsh in the mix of a band. Some guitars sound dark and mid-rangey and will muddy-up your vocals in the mix of a band. A guitar with a balanced tone usually sounds good unplugged and then the electronics keep the integrity of the tone through the PA. (Change your strings before you sell your guitar. You might already have great tone!)
3. Good playability/ Action- All guitars need TLC. Sometimes the higher end ones need more attention than the cheap ones. I recommend for everyone who plays their guitar in front of people (and God) to get a professional set-up by a trained luthier.
a. Check your guitar on a chromatic tuner. After you tune your open strings check some of the other notes on each string. Are they in tune? (Ex. Tune your high e and then check the 3rd fret. Is it a perfectly in tune g?
b. When you grab your buddy’s guitar, or one of the wall at the music store, does it ever feel significantly better than yours? It shouldn’t. Yours can most likely be adjusted to play and feel good.
How about some suggestions:
Guild. One of the most inexpensive American-made guitars out there. Balanced tone. Being made in America almost ensures that a simple set-up will get you to great playability. (Ex. AD-3CE)
Martin. Nothing is more balanced. You pay for quality, but you get what you pay for. (Ex. OMJM)
Taylor. Brighter than the others so they cut through a band nicely, but can be harsh sounding on their own. Still one of the most popular guitars in worship music. (Ex. 310ce)
There are many other acoustic guitars at many different price points that will do a great job for you on worship team. Electronics/Tone/Action. Take care of your guitar and it will take care of you!