In 1956 a young man picked up his first guitar for less than $20. His father had bought him a trumpet, but he decided that instrument just wasn’t for him and even though he had no clue how to play one he decided a guitar was the instrument he wanted to play. That young man’s first guitar was a Zenith Model 17 acoustic guitar and he still brings it out occasionally 60 years later. His name is Paul McCartney and you’ve probably heard of his band the Beatles.
The point is everyone has to start somewhere and you don’t have to spend a fortune to start playing. The guitar is a beautiful and addictive instrument that invokes an intense passion in almost everyone that picks it up for the first time. As a beginner you have a lot of options to choose from and it might seem a little overwhelming, but don’t worry we can help make that decision a little easier.
Instead of scouring the web sit back and read our reviews and I’m sure you’ll find the right fit for you. There are many things to consider as a beginner such as the size of the guitar, the type of wood used in the guitar, the extra options the guitar comes equipped with, and of course the price. We’ve considered all of these things in putting together our list of best beginner guitars and we’ll walk you through all of it. All you have to do is sit back in your favorite chair and read along. At the end of our journey together you’ll be well equipped to make the right choice for your first guitar. Here are our 5 best acoustic guitars for beginners.
1. Yamaha FG730S
There’s a misconception out there that because you’re just starting out with the guitar you should be looking for something very basic and inexpensive, but I couldn’t disagree more! The Yamaha FG730S is a beautiful guitar that’s perfect for the beginner and experienced player alike. They’ve been producing their FG series of guitars since the 1960’s which means they’ve had a lot of time to get things right.
The FG730S is a top quality guitar for any level of play with its solid Sitka Spruce top and its Rosewood back and sides it produces rich tones that will definitely impress you. Its sound is crisp and clear and perhaps most importantly it consistently stays in tune. You might also be interested to know that they make this guitar in a nice sunburst model which is a great look for a guitar and, after all, aesthetics are important to.
2. Seagull S6 Original
When you’re considering your first acoustic guitar you shouldn’t automatically limit yourself to the big names that everybody’s heard of. There are some great choices for beginners out there that are made by lesser known companies that concentrate on producing top quality products. The Seagull S6 Original is made by a small company in Canada that puts a lot of time and craftsmanship into their guitars.
The Seagull S6 Original is a guitar with a deep rich sound that is quite simply music to the years. It has a smaller than normal tapered neck which keeps the strings nice and straight enabling them to stay in tune at all times. The combination of solid cedar top and wild cherry back and sides creates a unique rich sound that really helps it to stand apart in a crowded marketplace. If you’re just beginning your guitar journey this guitar is a great place to start.
3. Yamaha FG700S
The Yamaha FG700S is a popular choice amongst beginner guitar players and there’s good reason for that – it’s a great sounding guitar and it’s quite affordable. It’s actually the best-selling acoustic guitar in its price range in North America and that really tells you something about its quality. You won’t find anything better for less than $300 so if you’re just starting out and you want to keep your costs down this is the perfect choice.
This guitar features a solid Sitka Spruce top and a Nato body –Nato is a close relative of mahogany. It features a comfortable low-profile neck which makes it easy to play and that’s what makes it perfect for beginners. It’s quite a sturdy guitar as well that’s meant to last with die cast tuners and a rosewood fretboard. You should be able to get years of use out of this guitar, but it does come with a limited lifetime warranty in case anything does go wrong.
4. Taylor Guitars GS Mini
The Taylor GS Mini is an ideal guitar for the beginner. It’s much smaller than your typical full-bodied guitar and that’s why it’s often referred to as a travel guitar. For an experienced guitar player it’s perfect as a second guitar to take with them on the road, but its small size also makes it ideal if you’re just starting out – especially if you have smaller hands. It’s great to encourage children to pick up an instrument and this is a fine one for them to start with.
This guitar features a Sitka Spruce top and the body is a layered Sapele – the end result is a beautiful sound that you’ll find hard to believe comes from such a small guitar. You do have the option of including electronics, but they don’t come standard. The great thing about this guitar is that it’s perfect for learning on, but even when you move on to bigger and better things you can keep it as the perfect travel companion.
5. Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle with Hard Case
When you first make the decision to purchase a guitar you have to keep in mind that you’re going to need more than just the guitar itself. You have to consider accessories such as guitar straps, picks, some kind of case for protecting and carrying your guitar, and perhaps even a guitar stand.
You might be thinking right now that sounds a little expensive, but the Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle with Hard Case is one of the most affordable options on the market. It’s essentially a startup kit for the beginner that comes with everything they need in one package.
This guitar may not have the deep rich sound of some of the more expensive models on the market, but it’s still got quite a nice tone. It features a laminated Spruce top, laminated Agathis back and sides, and a rosewood fretboard. The use of laminated wood instead of solid is what allows Fender to keep the costs down, but it’s still a pretty decent sound and overall a good quality guitar to get your feet wet with.
Think Long Term
Remember, when you’re purchasing your first guitar it doesn’t have to be the most expensive on the market, but you should be looking for the best quality that fits in your budget. There is a big difference between the quality of sound of a solid wood guitar and a guitar made out of laminate wood so if you can stick with the solid woods. This may be your first guitar, but if you choose wisely you’ll get years of use out of it even when you move on to the intermediate and advanced levels. If you need more inspiration on best choices for acoustic guitar, check our extensive list.
Don’t Forget the Strings
If you’re planning on playing the guitar across many different genres it’s probably best to look for a steel string guitar as nylon strings are mainly for classical guitar players. The most common form of guitar is a steel string guitar and that’s because they’re highly versatile – it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing the blues, country, or rock ‘n roll – it will sound great.
The Bottom Line, Do Your Homework
There are plenty of great guitars out there and the best guitar for me may not be the best guitar for you. The main thing to consider when purchasing a guitar is to think long and hard about everything that’s important to you, read lots of reviews, and consult anybody with a little expertise you can find – don’t just rush out and make a spur of the moment purchase. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long love affair with the guitar for you and you’ll want to make sure you make the right decision. Good luck and enjoy your journey!