The best quality acoustic guitars to buy for beginners are the ones that you will enjoy learning on, playing on, and listening to year after year, even as your skills grow.
That’s why this article was born!
So, how to pick an acoustic guitar for beginners? The 3 basic factors needed to take into account to pick a value acoustic guitar for beginners.
#1. Your Feeling:
Get the cool acoustic guitar that 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.
It’s simple. Poor sound damages your ears and poor looking damages your inspiration. A good-beginner-acoustic-guitar-start is always better than a bad start.
#2. Your Budget:
Someone would give you advice that you don’t need to spend 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 your financial 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 beginners, I typically recommend guitars in the around the $200 range. With under $100, it is hard to find a good acoustic guitar for beginners.
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 guitars? Remember, a real cheap acoustic 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 acoustic 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 the used guitar is original or repaired.
However, note that there is much less risk when buying a used good-beginner-acoustic-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.
How do I choose an acoustic guitar for the first time?
After setting the budget for purchasing a beginner guitar, here are six factors you need to acknowledge and take into account beforehand.
#1. Acoustic Guitar Brands for beginners:
As for the good acoustic guitar brands for beginners, Yamaha, Jasmine, Fender, Epiphone, Alvarez, Washburn, Gretsch, and Oscar Schmidt are a few good quality guitar brands.
These brands have many positive reviews from the guitar community at reddit.com and guitar forums.
And, some premium brands if your budget is ready – those brands are Cordoba, 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:
The guitars are made from laminated woods are less affected by humidity and temperature than solid woods.
Here is the video talk about guitar construction Solid VS Laminate:
That’s why laminated guitars are more durable and become a popular choice for traveling and camping.
So the sounds of guitar made by solid wood is better than laminated wood, isn’t it right?
It isn’t always true. Why?
Because the sound quality doesn’t depend only on the wood structure of the 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 prices (under $100) and low-quality sound too.
On the other hand, there are high-end guitars that are totally made from laminated woods, but the price is never under $500.
Martin, Taylor, Breedlove are leading brands if you need to choose the best-laminated guitars.
The benefit of solid wood is that the guitar sound will improve better over time if you play it regularly, especially the longer resonance.
So, most guitars that are made from quality solid woods have a very high price – over $1000.
In short, choosing laminated wood or solid wood isn’t matter, the key here is choosing famous and reliable acoustic guitar brands.
With around 200 bucks, the beginners will have a decent good cheap acoustic guitar easily. Yamaha 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 the 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 guitars 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 dreadnought is usually better for strumming,
- And the concert is a little bit better for finger-styles.
However, choosing dreadnought or concert depends on your feeling, I owned both, and prefer the 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?
How about body shape, cutaway vs. non-cutaway guitar? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a cutaway guitar?
Here is the video talk about Cutaway vs. Non-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 the cutaway guitar is bright (much treble).
On the contrary, the non-cutaway is a fuller 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 the cutaway. I like a cutaway guitar because it looks cool, I’m really impressed with it, that’s all.
#6. Full Acoustic Guitar vs. Acoustic-Electric Guitar?
The sound of both is the same if you play them unplugged. When you play acoustic-electric 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 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 cheap acoustic guitar for choice. This is a rare good cheap acoustic guitar that doesn’t have “cheap” sound.
Buying Acoustic Guitars for Beginners from Online retailers vs. Offline retailers.
Buying the best budget acoustic 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 the Best Quality Acoustic Guitars To Buy For Beginners at Online?
Buying the best acoustic 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 that helps you learn to play guitar efficiently.
As for the question: How to choose an acoustic guitar for beginners?
For me, the quality acoustic guitar to buy for beginners means a good-sounding acoustic guitar, nice looking, and best budget price for the money.
Hopefully, the information on this post helps you get the quality 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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