Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners
Selecting your first guitar can be a daunting task. If you’ve ever walked into a music shop, the sheer sight of 200+ guitars on a wall is enough to make anyone nervous. But finding the best acoustic guitar for beginners doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. Answering these few questions can help you to filter your options and make the choice simpler.
Selecting a First Acoustic Guitar: Filtering Your Options
Here are a few basic questions to help narrow your decision down. Money, interest in guitar, type of guitars, age of the person the guitar is intended for and so many other factors will all affect your final decision. Make sure to run over these questions yourself or with the person you are purchasing a guitar for:
Perhaps the biggest point of discomfort when purchasing a guitar! Everyone wants the best guitar they can find for the cheapest price in the store. Unfortunately, the two trend up and down together.
While it can be tempting to fall in love with guitars in the £500+ range, a first guitar doesn’t need to be expensive. A good price range to stick in would be right around £100-£200. Anything below £100 won’t sound great, will be difficult to tune and maintain, and probably won’t last you too long. Anything above £200 is risky on the off-chance that you decide learning guitar just isn’t for you! But how much you spend in excess of your budget is ultimately your choice. If spending £100 on your first guitar still sounds quite high, it is possible to find a great second hand guitar for around £50 if your willing to put the time in to search through advertisements.
2) Style of Music
The biggest distinction here is between whether you’re planning on playing classical music or anything else. The style of music you want the guitar for will inevitably end up affecting what guitar you choose, which leads to…
3) Type of Guitar
As stated before, you have a choice between two overarching styles of music: classical, or all other styles. A classical guitar will have nylon strings and a wider neck. These are primarily used for classical music and the occasional folk song. But aside from that, all other music uses regular acoustic guitars. Make sure you have decided what type of music you want to play and the purpose for purchasing a guitar before you start browsing selections!
4) Age Range of Student
Another important factor to consider is the age of the intended student as this can affect the decisions you make for the previous questions. Guitars come in different shapes and sizes and certain sizes are more appropriate for different ages. For example, a child ranging from 6-9 would benefit from playing a half size guitar, a child from 9-14 would benefit playing a ¾ size guitar and it is more appropriate for someone over the age of 14 to play a full size guitar. A classical guitar can also be more beneficial for younger children as they use nylon strings instead of steel strings which makes them easier to press on the fretboard and won’t cause as much pain on the fingers. For children below 6 years old it is highly recommended for them to start playing on a soprano ukulele, as a ukulele is smaller than a half size guitar and only contains four strings, making it easier for the child to make quicker progress at the beginning of their learning.
Best Guitars for Beginners
With the above questions answered, you are well on your way to narrowing your options and selecting a suitable beginner’s acoustic guitar. Here are some of the best acoustic guitars for beginners:
1) Yamaha FG830
Yamaha is an incredibly popular brand in the music industry, and for good reason. The Yamaha FG830 is a great guitar for beginners, and it’s truly built to last. The dicast tuner knobs are durable and will help to keep your guitar from floating out of tune. The rosewood and spruce wood add unique tonal characteristics to the guitar that are hard to find in low-budget, beginner acoustic guitars.
2) Bristol BD-16
While not nearly as popular as the Yahamas, the Bristol BD-16 really stands out from the competition in the pool of low-
budget acoustic guitars. It has a mahogany back and sides that help to reverberate sound at a louder volume than most, and the spruce top and scalloped braces contribute to a full, bright sound. It’s also pretty affordable for a first acoustic guitar.
3) Fender CD-60S
Fender is another iconic brand in the music industry. Even their budget guitars are built well and sound great. The Fender CD-60S in particular is a great acoustic guitar for beginners. Similar to many other entry-level guitars, it is built with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which give it more projection. The guitar’s neck is rolled on the sides making it more comfortable to move around the fretboard while playing. On top of all this, the guitar comes in a black color, giving it a unique appearance that sets it apart from others.
4) Yamaha C40 (Classical Guitar)
The Yamaha C40 is a well-known beginner classical guitar. As stated before, classical guitars come with nylon strings (as opposed to steel), and usually have a much wider neck. They are primarily used for classical music and some folk music. If this is the direction you plan on taking with music, there’s no need to look further for a starter acoustic guitar!
5) Epiphone PR-4E Electro Acoustic Player Pack
This guitar is great for beginners looking to perform on stage! This guitar is electro acoustic, which means it can be plugged into an amplifier or PA system. It also comes with its own 15 watt amplifier, gig bag, strap, tuner, picks and cable. All without breaking the bank.
6) Music Alley Junior ½ size Classical Acoustic Guitar
If you have a young child but you’re not too sure if guitar is right for them just yet. Then I highly recommend this guitar. It allows them to make their first steps playing and learning the instrument without investing too much at the beginning. This guitar can have some issues with strings slipping and staying in tune though so once you feel like they’re committed to learning guitar; I would recommend finding a better quality instrument.
Learning Guitar: Guitar Lessons in Sheffield, UK
If you feel stressed out when selecting a first acoustic guitar, you’re not alone. There are so many options in the market at different price points that making a final decision can be very intimidating. Following the simple questions above can help you narrow your selection to a few popular models.
But finding a great starter guitar isn’t the end of the journey! If you have purchased, or are looking to purchase a guitar soon, reach out and I’d be happy to join you in the journey. I am based out of Sheffield, UK and have years of experience playing, recording, and teaching electric and acoustic guitar to students of all skill levels. I am always looking to take on eager students who are ready to dive in and learn more about music. Head over to my contact page and send me a message! I’ll be sure to respond as soon as possible.