This article features the best free guitar samples you can find online. We focused on multi-sampled guitar sound libraries that allow the user to play each guitar note individually. We didn’t include sample libraries that only provide guitar loops and guitar riffs.
When it comes to freely downloadable multi-sampled guitars, there are surprisingly few high-quality libraries online. For example, there are dozens of excellent piano sample libraries you can download for free, but that is not the case with guitars.
That said, the recently released Shreddage 3 Precision FREE guitar instrument by Impact Soundworks sounds amazing. It is easily the best guitar sample library you can download for free and it rivals some premium offerings. Unfortunately, the library requires the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt and it won’t work with any other sampler VST plugins. You can only use Shreddage 3 Precision FREE in demo mode (for fifteen minutes) in the freeware Kontakt Player.
The two libraries that everyone can use for free are the amazing Standard Guitar by Unread instruments and Shinyguitar by Karoryfer Samples. Both are available in SFZ format and also feature a graphical user interface for the Plogue Sforzando plugin. Read on for more info about these and some of our other favorite free guitar sample libraries.
Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE (Kontakt)
Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE is a free guitar sample library for Kontakt. It is based on the premium Shreddage 3 Stratus guitar virtual instrument by Impact Soundworks.
The free version of the instrument features a much more modest set of articulations, but it’s still a very powerful virtual guitar. You get deep-sampled sustain samples, palm mutes, and choke articulations, with three full octaves of playing range. There are up to 24 samples per note (including dynamic layers and round-robin variations), with the same performance engine for NI Kontakt as in the full version of Shreddage 3 Stratus. The library also features a virtual mixer with built-in effects.
Again, keep in mind that the full version of NI Kontakt is required to use Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE. It will only work for fifteen minutes in the freeware Kontakt Player plugin. If you like this library, be sure to check out the excellent Shreddage 3 Precision FREE bass guitar instrument from the same developer.
The download of this library is delivered using the Pulse Downloader app which needs to be installed first. You will also need to sign up for a free Impact Soundworks user account. After signing up and adding Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE to your user account, you will receive the download key for Pulse Downloader.
More info: Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE (60.1 MB download size, EXE installer)
Standard Guitar (Sforzando)
Standard Guitar is a free guitar library in SFZ format with a custom user interface for Plogue Sforzando. It was created by Unreal Instruments, a Japanese sample developer. The download page is in Japanese, but you shouldn’t have much trouble locating the download button.
The library is based on DI recordings of a humbucker pickup guitar. This means that you will need to use an amp simulator plugin to achieve proper guitar sound. The captured guitar tone is very versatile. It can fit a wide variety of genres, from rock and metal to indie rock, pop music, and more.
Standard Guitar features multiple articulations for different playing styles like sustains, palm mutes, natural harmonics, pull-off, and hammer-on. The different playing styles can be accessed via key switches. The attention to detail and the amount of content included in a free sound library like this one is almost too good to be true. There are over 2,400 samples in total, with up to 16 round-robin variations per sampled note. In addition to a variety of playing styles, the developer also included a set of various guitar noises like muted slides, pickup noises, etc.
Furthermore, the user interface provides a lot of control over the sampled sounds. The user can adjust the picking volume, tone resonance, magnet tone, and various sample properties like the note length, release time, slide speed, and vibrato depth. A set of built-in effects is also included.
The library can be downloaded directly from the product page. You don’t need to sign up for a user account before downloading.
More info: Standard Guitar (715 MB download size, RAR archive)
Shinyguitar is another free guitar library in SFZ format. It comes with a custom user interface for Plogue Sforzando, which is an advanced free sampler plugin for SFZ libraries. The library was developed by Karoryfer Samples.
Featuring the sounds of a hollow steel-stringed semiacoustic guitar, Shinyguitar is suitable for use in genres like jazz and blues, as well as pop, acoustic music, and ambient music. It won’t be a good fit for heavier music styles like rock and metal.
This is not the only free guitar library released by Karoryfer Samples, though. Browse their website to find the Emilyguitar library (based on an Epiphone guitar) and the Secret Agent Guitar (which comes with a $39 price tag).
More info: Shinyguitar (351 MB download size, ZIP archive)
Peel Guitar (LABS)
Peel Guitar is a free guitar sound library for LABS, a free sample player VST plugin. Developed by Spitfire Audio, the LABS sampler plugin has quickly become one of the best virtual instruments for sample playback. The reason for this is that the team at Spitfire Audio keeps releasing high-quality sample libraries for the LABS platform. These are often professional-quality sound libraries that could easily cost $50 or more.
One of these sound libraries is Peel Guitar. It features the iconic sounds of a Fender Telecaster electric guitar. The signal was fed through a vintage tweed amp with a small amount of vibrato, tremolo, and distortion effects applied. The sounds are instantly usable and perfectly suitable for use in indie rock music.
A big thank you goes to our reader Synthiemental for suggesting Peel Guitar in the comments section!
More info: Peel Guitar (requires LABS plugin)
Pettinhouse Guitars (Kontakt)
Pettinhouse offers several free guitar sample libraries for Kontakt. Although the full version of Kontakt is required to use the included NKI patches, each library also contains the samples in WAV format. This means that they are compatible with virtually all sampler plugins and digital audio workstations on the market.
A library called FunkyGuitar is pictured above, but you can also grab a free acoustic guitar library, a nice collection of guitar mutes and slaps, and more. The samples can be downloaded directly from the Pettinhouse website without signing up for a user account.
More info: Pettinhouse (multiple libraries available, approx. 100 MB download size per product)
Free Guitar Samples – Honorable Mentions
Here are a few additional free guitar sample libraries for you to download:
- Guitar Freepack by Indiginus Sample Libraries is a set of three compact guitar instruments for Kontakt (a 24 MB download). A valid email address is required to download.
- Natural Concert Guitar by Markus Fiedler is a great classic guitar sample library. Many thanks to our reader Greg for the suggestion!
- Modest Guitar by YummyBeats is another tiny guitar library for Kontakt. It is a 50 MB download and you will need to watch a YouTube video to access a key that unlocks the download link.
- Plucked Acoustic Guitar by Thomas Field is a free guitar sample library for EXS24, the sampler instrument that comes with Logic Pro. The library was recorded in stereo using a pair of AKG 214 microphones and features up to four round-robins per sampled note.
If you know of any other good-quality guitar libraries, let us know in the comments section. Thank you!
Want more free samples? Check out our free sound effects article.