Jason Isbell explains why beginner guitarists should opt for rosewood, rather than maple, fretboards

Jason Isbell
(Image credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

Maple or rosewood fretboard? It truly is an age-old debate, which electric guitar fanatics and tonewood students alike have labored over ever since the first solid-body models hit the scene way back in the early ‘50s. 

Now, country guitar hero and celebrated singer-songwriter Jason Isbell has weighed in on the debate, with the vintage guitar connoisseur saying, “If I was a beginner guitar player, I wouldn’t use a maple fingerboard.” 

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.