Purchasing a new guitar, or a first guitar for that matter, is an exciting time in any budding musician’s musical journey. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve always had a dream to play the guitar or something recently sparked your interest you’ve arrived at a great moment in time and you should never look back.
The big problem is figuring out where to start as there are so many makes and models of guitars available in the world today that it can seem a little daunting to anyone even the seasoned professional – have no fear we’re going to make things a lot simpler for you. We’ve done the hard work by scouring through dozens of different acoustic guitars and in this article we present you with our best choices for acoustic guitars in several different categories. The video below should give you an idea of what to look for:
This article is intended as a guide, but ultimately you must make your own decision based on criteria only you can determine. Some people may be more concerned about finding a guitar with rich tones and impressive acoustics – for this person the actual price tag might not be so important. For others budget may be the primary concern. You may still want a quality guitar, but you have to be realistic about what you can afford.
No matter what your own personal situation there is a right guitar for you and we’ve reviewed the best acoustic guitars in different categories so that you have the tools you need to choose the best guitar available based on your own specific needs.
If you only just picked up a guitar for the first time last month at your cousin’s birthday party I would definitely not recommend spending $1000 on a guitar – be realistic, look for something that’s relatively inexpensive, but still provides you with a quality guitar to learn on.
Jimi Hendrix‘s first guitar was a $5 acoustic model purchased by his father, but he went on to become one of the most amazing guitarists in the history of the world. Forget about the price and concentrate on what’s right for you. Here are our top 6 choices for acoustic guitars across all categories:
Everyone has to start somewhere and the Yamaha FG730S is a great place to start for the newbie guitar player. With its spruce top and rosewood back and sides this beautiful little naturally finished guitar is perfect for the beginner. If you’re more familiar with Yamaha motorcycles than guitars rest assured they’ve been making quality guitars since the 1960s so you won’t be disappointed. Let me introduce you to your first guitar.
This entry-level Yamaha guitar doesn’t have what you’d call entry-level sound. Its rosewood fingerboard is another nice feature that give the guitar a rich sound that you will absolutely love. The complementary use of different woods combines to create a voice for you and you guitar that will conjure up images of classic folk guitar players like Bob Dylan. With a great deal of practice and a little bit of luck who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the next big acoustic guitar sensation.
If you’re on a bit of a tighter budget, but you still want a quality guitar that sounds great and will give you years of use the Epiphone Dr-100 is a great choice. This affordable model is priced under $150, but it doesn’t give up a lot in sound quality. Best of all it features a classic sunburst look which would look right at home strapped around the neck of one of those 80s hair rock guitar legends such as Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi fame.
This guitar also features a spruce top and rosewood fingerboard which helps to create an excellent sound which you won’t be disappointed in. It has a balanced sound that will impress everyone in the room around you and leave them with the impression that you spent a lot more money on that guitar. In fact according to the manufacturer of this guitar the more it’s played the better it will sound as the wood begins to breathe and improve with age.
If you’re looking for a guitar under $300 with a rich melodious sound then you’ll be pleased with one model Epiphone has an offer in that price range. It may be a bit of a step up in price from an entry level guitar, but you won’t be disappointed with the Epiphone Dr-212. This guitar features a mahogany body that will give your guitar an extra rich tone that will impress even the most discerning ear.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention – this is a 12 string guitar. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to someone play a 12 string guitar I’ve no doubt you were impressed by the rich melodious sound this type of guitar makes. Finding a 12 string guitar for under $300 is no easy feat, but that’s what you get with this model and it’s a great sound you’re bound to love.
When you’re ready to take a step up in quality we highly recommend the Seagull Entourage Rustic Guitar. This is one of the most beautiful looking acoustic guitars you’re likely to come across. The use of a solid cedar top and wild cherry back and sides gives this guitar a unique look that’s very pleasing to the eye and of course it also sounds great.
There’s a real attention to detail that went into the manufacture of this guitar from its select pressure tested top to its tapered headstock which allows for precise and stable tuning. This is an instrument that’s just begging to be played and once you pick it up you’re not likely to put it down for some hours. Its deep tones and harmonic sound will not disappoint. North America has produced a lot of great guitar companies over the years and Seagull aims to continue that tradition.
At some point in every guitarists journey there comes a time when it’s time to step up to that next level and find yourself a guitar that matches your own refined play. The Seagull Artistic Mosaic Acoustic Guitar is that next step up. While all the guitars on our list are wonderful guitars in their own right this one is in a unique class all on its own. I’ve had an opportunity to listen to a lot of great guitars in my time including Martins, Fenders, Les Paul’s, and Taylors and this guitar made by a small company in Québec Canada deserves its place right next to these famous names.
It features a scalloped Adirondack spruce bracing, rosewood fingerboard, rosewood bridge, and a combination cedar and mahogany body that creates a warm rich sound. Another unique feature of this guitar is the slightly wider spacing on the strings which makes it great for fingerpicking. This may not have the famous name of some of the other companies I’ve just mentioned, but it definitely holds its own against them and in many ways out performs them.
Even though you may have your heart set on an acoustic guitar it’s not a bad idea to consider one with onboard electronics. If you like the idea of being able to play an acoustic guitar plugged into an amplifier then the Fender CD-140SCE is a great guitar to get your feet wet with. You’ll also love the fact that it has a cutaway design which gives it a very comfortable and natural feel when it’s sitting on your lap and of course it sounds pretty good to.
This Fender acoustic with onboard electronics features a solid spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides which combine to give it a great sound – especially when plugged in. You have a lot of control when you plug this guitar in using the Fishman Preys pickup system with its built in tuner, volume, and tone controls. If you’re kind of sitting on the fence between an acoustic and electric guitar this may be the best of both worlds for you.
Well, there you have it – 6 of our personal favorite choices in the acoustic guitar category. Don’t sit there scratching your head wondering which of these is the best guitar overall make a decision based on your own needs. It might be tempting to try and save up your money and purchase the most expensive guitar on this list, but I would recommend against that. Find a guitar that fits in your budget right now and get started playing.
If you’ve got the desire to play guitar you shouldn’t have to wait for the most expensive model. That’s why we put this list together in the first place, as even the least expensive guitar on this list is a great sounding guitar that will serve you quite well.
Also, keep in mind this list isn’t an exclusive list of the only acoustic guitars you should consider – there are a lot of other great acoustic guitars in all price levels out there. The main thing is to make sure you do your homework before you purchase one, as unfortunately there are some out there that simply aren’t worth your time. Our list is a great starting point.
If you remember way back at the beginning of this article we talked about that $5 guitar that started a revolution that would come to be known as the Jimi Hendrix Experience and what a revolution that was! If you’re not familiar with Jimi Hendrix then track down a few tracks and have a listen. Who knows, with one of the guitars on our list and a lot of practice that could be you one day in the not too distant future – just start playing!