Here’s How to Pick the Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners

January 03, 2017 4 min read

Graphic polyester guitar strap are great for acoustic guitars.


There are a lot of reasons to learn to play guitar. Perhaps you want to impress a lady – or a guy. Maybe you enjoy music and want to create some yourself.

Or, perhaps you know about the many scientifically proven health benefits to playing guitar. Studies show that music reduces stress, and playing music can help take your mind off pain while also keeping your brain sharp.

Once you’ve decided to play guitar, it’s important to pick the best acoustic guitar for beginners. A guitar is a serious investment, and you want to make sure that you choose a guitar that will set you up for success.

Everything from the type of wood to the shape of the guitar and quality of the build affects which model is the best acoustic guitar for beginners. Here’s what you want to look for.

Look for Reliable Build Quality

While the best acoustic guitar for beginners isn’t a $1000 model, you also don’t want to pay good money for a junk guitar. Instead, look for a brand known for reliability good build quality.

The build quality refers to things about the guitar that can’t easily be changed – the wood type, bridge installation, neck pocket, and more. A poor build quality can result in uneven tone from the guitar, as well as an unstable guitar neck, misaligned strings, and other problems.

The Yamaha FG700S/FG800 is a good choice here. Yamaha is known for its reliable quality. New, this model comes in right under $200, and it has a Sitka spruce top. It is formed in the classic dreadnought body shape and has a great tone quality.

When it comes to getting the classic dreadnought experience without breaking the bank, the Yamaha FG700S/FG800 is a great option.

Choose a Warm and Clear Tone

The very best tone in acoustic guitars will be on very expensive models, but that doesn’t mean that the best acoustic guitar for beginners sacrifices good tone quality.

Even as a beginner, you don’t want a guitar that sounds dull. You don’t want one that has a buzz to it. You want a quality guitar that stays in tune, has good range, and has a warm, clear tone.

The biggest impact on the tone of an acoustic guitar is the wood of the guitar top. A solid wood top will have better tone quality than laminate, so look for a solid wood top that you can afford.

A Seagull S6 is a great choice for a solid wood-topped acoustic guitar. A solid cedar top with a wild cherry back creates a dynamic sound that projects well. The unique mix of high-quality tonewoods in this guitar will make it stand out in a crowd.

The Seagull S6 has a hand-crafted feel that makes it seem like a much more expensive instrument, but it’s easy for a beginner to pick up and enjoy playing, which makes it one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners.

Pick a Guitar That’s Comfortable

Different guitar shapes and sizes will be comfortable for different players. When choosing the best acoustic guitar for beginners, you can’t afford to ignore your personal playing comfort.

The point of having a guitar is to make music and enjoy the process. As a result, having a guitar that doesn’t fit your style or size doesn’t make sense, whether you’re an amateur or an expert.

If you have small hands, you’ll want a guitar with a smaller diameter neck. If you have a smaller frame, you may need a guitar that’s sized down.

A great guitar if you need a smaller size is a GS Mini by Taylor. It features the grand symphony body shape on a reduced scale, with a solid mahogany top. Despite its reduced size, you won’t notice a reduction in sound quality – the warmth and clarity of tone are part of what Taylor guitars are known for.

While you’re choosing a guitar that feels comfortable, be sure to personalize it too – consider choosing a guitar strap that showcases your personality.

Choose Nylon or Steel Strings

Remember that the choice of guitar is a distinctly personal one. You shouldn’t choose simply because someone tells you “this is what you should use.” While it’s important to understand quality, tone, and size, ultimately you want a guitar you love to play.

One area where this comes into play is the strings. You may be told that nylon strings are easier to learn to play and won’t hurt your fingers. However, the type of string really determines the guitars you get and the type of music you play.

You can’t switch from nylon to steel strings on the same guitar. So, choose strings based on what you want to play. If you enjoy playing classical or flamenco-style music, nylon strings are perfect for you. They have a softer, more mellow tone.

Traditionally, however, acoustic guitars feature steel strings. These are used in rock, country, and pop music. If that’s the music you want to play, you should start with and learn steel stringed guitar. Steel strings create the louder, bright tone commonly associated with acoustic guitars.

All the acoustic guitars for beginners mentioned so far have been steel-stringed. If you’re interested in a classical guitar, the Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar is a great choice for beginners. It has a beautiful sound and good projection, and Cordoba is a well-respected brand.

Choose a Guitar You Love to Play

Ultimately, it’s important to choose a guitar, and accessories, you love. People may try to tell you that a particular guitar is best for a variety of reasons, but the ultimate decision is yours.

You want to make sure your expectations match your budget and skill, that you understand what factors make an instrument the best acoustic guitar for beginners, and what features you can expect at a specific price level.

However, in the end make sure you choose a guitar that you personally like. It should feel comfortable, whether you are sitting or standing. It should sound good to your ears and respond well to the way you play.

When you choose a guitar with great sound and quality construction that is comfortable, and it’s an instrument you truly enjoy, you’ll not only build your skills but you’ll truly enjoy the process of playing.