If you are completely and absolutely a beginner who’s looking for a best cheap acoustic guitar , this article will give you some basic ideas before buying one.
Remember that “a good beginner acoustic guitar will be suitable for playing for years, not just for a few initial lessons.”
We’ll cover three important points below:
- The three basic factors needed to take into account first to pick best beginner acoustic guitars.
- What is the best cheap acoustic guitar for the money for absolute beginners?
- Buying acoustic guitar from online retailers vs. offline retailers.
Just like you, I was a beginner before. So I know so well the confusing and worrying feeling when buying the first acoustic guitar. That’s why this article was born.
By following this information, I’m sure you will choose a good quality acoustic guitar not only to learn effectively but also enjoy playing it for years to come.
The 3 basic factors needed to take into account to pick the best beginner acoustic guitar.
The best acoustic guitar for beginners is the one that you will enjoy learning on, playing on, and listening to year after year, even as your skills grow.
That is why you need to clear three things below:
1# Your feeling:
Get the guitar which inspires you.
You are absolute beginners doesn’t mean you buy the poor quality guitar first for practicing. The poor-made guitar with poor sound would destroy your passion soon.
Why? It’s simple. Poor sound damages your ears and poor looking damages your inspiration. A good start is always better than a bad start.
2# Your budget:
Someone would give you advice that you don’t need spending so much money on the first beginner guitar for several reasons.
This advice gave you the wrong idea that you should buy a real cheap acoustic guitar whatever you finance condition is.
The right idea is to ask how much money you can afford for the best beginner acoustic guitar. And what is the most suitable price range for beginners?
For the beginners, I typically recommend the guitars in around $200 range. With under $100, it is hard to find a good quality acoustic guitar.
So if you can’t afford that, it’s time to save money each day. If you actually can afford over $300, that’s really great. But around $200 to $300 is enough.
Still think about under $100 acoustic guitar? Remember, a real cheap guitar will:
- Not accompany you for years to come
- Not inspire you since you get it cheap and don’t think much about other factors
- Not good for your learning
- Not be a good start
3# Buying brand new vs. used acoustic guitar:
Buying the brand new guitar is always safe for beginners. I don’t recommend you to buy used guitars although the price is cheaper than the new one.
I’m not telling you that used guitars are no good. But, buying a new one is to minimize your chances of picking a dud guitar. You may not know if used guitar is original or repaired.
However, note that there is much less risk when buying a used guitar from your trusted friends whom you know to be conscientious about caring for his/her guitar properly.
Those friends will be more honest about the pros and cons of the particular guitar for your beginner’s needs, also.
What is the best cheap acoustic guitar for the money for complete beginners?
After setting the budget for purchasing a beginner guitar, here are six factors you need to acknowledge and take into account beforehand.
1# Best acoustic guitar brands:
As for the acoustic guitar brands for beginners, Yamaha, Jasmine, Fender, Epiphone and Oscar Schmidt are a few good quality guitar brands.
These brands have many positive reviews from guitar community at reddit.com and guitar forums.
And some premium brands if your budget is ready – those brands are Breedlove, Seagull, Recording King, Martin.
Personally, I love Breedlove, Yamaha and Jasmine. My first guitar is Jasmine S35, then Yamaha FG700S and now is Breedlove Pursuit Concert.
2# Solid wood vs. laminated wood guitar:
The guitars are made from laminated woods are less affected by humidity and temperature than the solid woods. That’s why laminated guitars are more durable and become a popular choice for traveling and camping.
The sound of guitar made by solid wood is better than laminated wood, isn’t it right? It isn’t always true.
Because the sound quality doesn’t depend only on wood structure of guitar (solid block or glued block) but also the wood age, the way of processing wood, and so on. There are so many solid wood guitars with low price (under $100) and low quality sound too.
On the other hand, there are high-end guitars which are totally made from laminated woods, but the price is never under $500. Martin, Taylor, Breedlove are leading brands if you need to choose best laminated guitars.
The benefit of solid wood is that the guitar sound will improve better over time if you play it regularly. So, most guitars which are made from quality solid woods have very high price – over $1000.
In short, choosing the laminated wood or solid wood isn’t matter, the key here is choosing famous and reliable guitar brands.
With around 200 bucks, the beginners will have a decent acoustic guitar easily. Yamaha FG700S or FG800 is the right choice for starting.
The playability related to the action (string height) of a guitar. It is the distance from the strings to the fretboards, if action is too low, the sound will buzz when you play, and high action is hard to press strings or hold chords for beginners.
Therefore, buying a guitar with right action is necessary.
You don’t need to worry much about action. Most of the good quality guitar has pre-set up a perfect action for you.
Note that the action of guitar can be adjustable by adjusting the guitar neck, or the bridge, or both.
4# Shape and Size:
The two popular acoustic guitar shapes are dreadnought and concert.
- The dreadnoughts is usually better for strumming,
- And the concerts is a little bit better for finger style.
However, choosing dreadnought or concert depends on your feeling, I owned both and prefer concert shape of Breedlove Pursuit Concert. If you like a dreadnought, just go ahead.
As for the guitar size, the full size for adults and ¾ size for children and small hands persons.
Many people prefer ¾ size when they travel since it’s smaller, lighter and they (adults) totally can play that size with ease In short, just choose whatever you feel comfortable.
5# Body style: Cutaway vs. Non cutaway guitar?
How about body, cutaway vs. non cutaway guitar? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a cutaway guitar?
The cutaway guitars are easy for finger style to play high notes. The sound is less bass responsive. It means the sound of cutaway guitar is bright (much treble).
On the contrary, the non-cutaway is full sound. However, the sound difference between cutaway vs. non cutaway guitars is not big, just a little bit actually. That’s my feeling when playing Yamaha FG700S and Breedlove Pursuit Concert.
I seldom play high notes, so I don’t care about access to the higher frets of cutaway. I like cutaway guitar because it looks cool, I’m really impressed with it, that’s all.
6# Full acoustic guitar vs. electric acoustic guitar?
The sound of both is the same if you play them un-plugged. When you play electric acoustic guitar by plugging it into an amp, the sound is different.
The electric acoustic guitar is used to perform on stage. As a beginner, you don’t need to pay extra dollars for electric acoustic guitar; the full acoustic guitar is enough for learning to play.
Around $200, you will have many options and get a decent for learning and practicing. Yamaha, Jasmine, Fender and Epiphone are brands that you can trust.
Personally, I recommend Yamaha FG700S for beginners. I’ve owned and played it for years. I’ll write a detailed review about it in another post.
If your budget is limited, Jasmine S35 is another good choice. This is a rare cheap acoustic guitar which doesn’t have “cheap” sound.
Buying acoustic guitar from online retailers vs. offline retailers.
Buying a guitar from local music shops is easy. If you live near them, just go into and test the guitars before making a decision.
However, since you are a complete, utter beginner, you don’t know how to play it yet and don’t know how good sound is as well. So what now?
- If your friends play guitar well, you can ask them to help and test guitars for you.
- Or you just visit guitar forums, reddit.com, and quora.com for pieces of advice. But be careful, you may be confused by many bits of advice out there.
- Ask the sellers to play a song for you to hear the tune and sound or ask them for advice even though the information may be biased.
What about buying guitar online?
Buying guitar online helps you save time. Some retailers such as Amazon, are easy to return the guitar if its quality doesn’t meet yours.
Here are the things you can do if you want to buy the best cheap acoustic guitars at online:
- Reading reviews, testing sound on Youtube.com and specific guitar forums.
- Reading reviews from purchased buyers.
- Check the price of some retailers to get the best price.
- Buying from retailers that you can easily return if you don’t like it.
Buying the BEST acoustic guitar for beginners is a KEY helps you learn to play guitar efficiently. With me, the best beginner guitar means good sounds, nice looking and low price for the money.
Hopefully, the information on this post helps you get the best cheap acoustic guitar for the money, and it can help you learn to play for years even after your skills are excellent.
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