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The Best Beginner Guitar – Acoustic & Electric Guide 

 April 22, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Finding the most suitable model for your practices and performance can be a hassle at the onset of your guitar journey. That is why we've looked through numerous guitars for beginners and brought this list of the best options available.

In this article, you will find a review of the best guitars for beginners and the factors to think about as you make your choice.

Let's get on with it!

Best Beginner Guitar - Acoustic & Electric

1. Fender CD-605 Acoustic Guitar

The CD-605 is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners by Fender. It is a great pick since it'll save the time and money you'd spend on getting the accessories you need. This acoustic guitar comes with all the accessories you need to start practicing your guitar playing without delay.

The Fender CD-605 is specially designed for beginner and intermediate guitar players, and it features a high-quality and versatile mahogany body. As such, it will take you from the beginning of your learning journey till you master the skills you need to advance to the next level of guitar playing.

The dreadnought style construction of the body will deliver warm and mellow tones that are well projected as you play. This guitar not only sounds nice but also looks stylish thanks to its natural wood finish, chrome tuning knobs, and black and white neck. As such, even if you are a beginner, you can reap much confidence from the exceptional appearance of the CD-605.

This guitar comes with a hardshell case, guitar picks, strings, digital tuner, and guitar strap.

Pros

  • Comes with all the accessories you need.
  • Stylish design.
  • Great sound.
  • High-quality mahogany body.

Cons

  • Relatively pricey.

2. Yamaha L-Series Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Yamaha L-Series LL6 Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Mahogany, Natural
  • Hand-selected premium solid Engelmann Spruce top treated with A.R.E.
  • A.R.E. (Acoustic Resonance Enhancement) is an original wood reforming technology...
  • Mahogany Back & Sides
  • 5-ply neck with high comfort traditional profile
  • SRT Zero Impact (passive) Pickup

The Yamaha L-Series features a lineup of handcrafted guitars that are both elegant and versatile. You'll get the option to choose between mahogany or rosewood bodies that satisfy different tonal and style needs. If you want to start your guitar playing, you won't go wrong with the Yamaha L-series acoustic-electric guitars.

With a classic shape and mother-of-pearl inlays, you'll get well-rounded tones and high playability as you play this guitar. It is suitable for stage performances thanks to the top-notch pickups, which will allow you to hear sound details while playing. As such, you can take this guitar with you when you feel like your skills are worth showing to an audience.

The Yamaha L-series offers maximum flexibility since you can choose between a full-sized or small-sized body to meet your sound, style, and budget requirements.

Pros

  • Handcrafted design.
  • Acoustic Resonance Enhancement technology.
  • Well rounded tones.
  • Size and color variety.

Cons

  • It has relatively thin frets.

3. Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

YAMAHA FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Nato back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Diecast tuners

The Yamaha FG800 is a recent model of the FG series, which was launched back in 1966. It has evolved, emphasizing playability, clarity of tone, and exceptional build quality. The FG800 offers a stronger and louder sound than its predecessors and has better output in low to mid-range sounds.

This acoustic-electric guitar model has a scalloped bracing pattern which ensures maximum durability for the top board. The structure also helps project a pure and natural sound from this instrument as you play it. It's no surprise that it's the best beginner guitar for many learners.

The Yamaha FG800 features two body shapes with 5 grades of various tonewood options, multiple colors, and acoustic or electric-acoustic models. This means that you can find the guitar that matches your unique personality and style in this Yamaha lineup.

Pros

  • High-quality basswood body
  • Dreadnaught and concert size options.
  • Available in various colors.
  • Sounds great.
  • Elegant design.

Cons

  • The truss rod might need adjustment.

4. Ibanez AW54CEOPN Acoustic/Electric Guitar

Ibanez AW54CEOPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic/Electric Guitar - Open Pore...
  • Dreadnought body with cutaway
  • Solid mahogany top
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Rosewood bridge and fretboard
  • Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp with onboard tuner

The Ibanez AW54CEOPN is one of the best beginner acoustic-electric guitars on the market. This model belongs to the Artwood series that features a traditional acoustic look with the conveniences of a modern guitar. The top, back, sides, and neck are made from solid mahogany and have a natural finish that pronounces the woodgrain pattern.

The mahogany body is not just for aesthetic effect since it delivers warmth as you play the strings of this electro-acoustic guitar. It comes with a pickup, an onboard tuner, and a preamp that you can easily operate to amplify the sound. The preamp also has a phase switch that you can use to reduce the feedback. All these features combine to make this Ibanez model a great guitar for beginners.

Pros

  • Dreadnought design.
  • Solid mahogany construction.
  • Rosewood frets.
  • Comes with a preamp and onboard tuner.

Cons

  • Soft and delicate sides and back.

5. Little Martin LX1E Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Little Martin LX1E guitar is one of the best beginner guitars on the market. It's a handcrafted model that is made from heavy-duty materials and designed as a high-quality acoustic guitar. This guitar is an excellent choice for beginners looking to play some rock, country, bluegrass, jazz, or pop songs.

The smaller sizes of the Little Martin LX1E are great for traveling if you are looking for a portable model. You can carry it with you for jamming by the lake, by the street, or literally anywhere. This guitar is designed to project your personality through its distinct performance and playability. Whether you are a kid, teen, or adult, this solid acoustic guitar will be an invaluable asset for years to come.

This guitar has an exceptional appearance since it is made with Sitka spruce and mahogany, making it look as captivating as the sound it produces. As you play it, the Little Martin LX1E will deliver a professional tune that makes it a great beginner guitar acoustic guitar that sounds great around campfires or home.

Pros

  • Excellent build.
  • Handy for beginner guitarists.
  • Great traveling option.
  • Clear guitar sound.

Cons

  • It's a small-sized guitar.

6. Squier Bullet Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar

One of the best electric guitars for beginners is the Squier Bullet Stratocaster. This solid body electric guitar features a C-shaped neck profile that infuses a classic-style feel as you play it. It is designed to be comfortable even in the hands of a novice and can accommodate multiple playing styles.

The Squier Bullet Stratocaster has a hardtail bridge meant to improve sustain and tuning stability which is a design dating back to the early-mid '70s. Fender is famous for making exceptional classical guitars and presently offers great options for starting guitarists looking for a suitable electric option.

Pros

  • Well balanced sound.
  • Comfortable design.
  • Rosewood frets.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • No accessories are included.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Beginner Guitar

1. Acoustic and Electric Guitars for Beginners

There are three primary options for beginning guitarists searching for the best guitar; acoustic or electric options.

  • Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic guitars are designed to give a rich sound without any electric amplification. These guitars are the most flexible and can be used for country music, bluegrass, folk, and singer-songwriter.

If you need to amplify your beginner acoustic guitar, you can use a removable pickup to do so. The best acoustic guitar should produce a bright and detailed sound as you play various chords. Unfortunately, the distance between the strings and an acoustic fretboard can make it challenging for beginners to comfortably hold chord shapes while playing.

  • Beginner Electric Guitar

This might come as a surprise but the best beginner guitar to use at the start of your guitar journey is an electric guitar. This is because these guitars are the ones popularly used in modern music and can produce a variety of sounds when connected to a guitar amp.

These guitars are widely used in rock, pop, country, R&B, metal, and blues genres. They are easier on your fingers than an acoustic guitar because the strings are closer to the fretboards. Electric guitars are available in multiple sizes and are versatile. The downside of these guitars is that they need accessories like a connector cable and amplifier to reach full sound.

  • Acoustic-Electric Guitar

An acoustic-electric guitar combines the best of both to give you a better performance. They look like your standard acoustic guitar when on their own but, if you plug them into an amplifier, they produce a louder and brighter sound.

These guitars have an onboard equalizer for adjusting various tones. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than acoustic guitars.

2. Tuning and Guitar Action

One of the first things you should check when buying guitars for beginners is the tuning. You should have an experienced player set the guitar to standard tuning and try out several chords. This will let you know the ease of use of the guitar you've selected.

If the sound it produces is terrible, then the instrument will pose a challenge for a beginner, and you shouldn't buy it. You should select a beginner guitar that you can easily tune and play without needing extra assistance.

3. The Neck

The guitar neck can be made from different materials, which is why you could have a guitar with a mahogany neck or maple neck. Each material will provide its own advantages, whether aesthetic or functional. However, the material isn't the only thing to consider about the neck of your guitar.

Sometimes, your guitar could come with a neck that is bent or curved at a particular angle. An ideal guitar for beginners should have a straight neck because it is harder to play a bowed guitar, especially for inexperienced guitarists.

A straight-neck guitar will keep the strings from hitting the frets when you are playing. If you're unsure how to identify a bent neck, you should ask a professional to do so. This will ensure you select a guitar that allows you to play for as long as necessary without unnecessary pain or discomfort.

4. Distance of the Strings From the Fretboard

The action of your guitar depends on the distance between the string and the fretboard. Normally, this is something that you can easily adjust, but if the design of the guitar has the strings a far distance from the neck, you shouldn't buy it.

This is not to say that it is a flaw, only that it'll make it much harder for you to make good progress in your guitar playing. When the strings are further from the guitar, you will have to press harder on them to get a clear sound, which will get your fingertips sore and painful. To avoid this pain, you should choose a model with a short distance between the strings and the neck.

5. Guitar Size

Guitars come in various shapes and sizes, and your ability to play can be enhanced or hindered because of the guitar size you select. If you are buying a guitar for a young student, you shouldn't take a full-size model since the neck-width, weight, and wider fret spacing will make it harder for them to play all the notes. As such, it is crucial to buy a guitar whose size complements that of the player. Otherwise, it will be much more challenging to learn new skills and techniques as they play.

6. Pickups

Pickups are accessories that people use to project the sound of non-electric guitars, such as classical and acoustic models. The type of guitar you select will determine the type of pickup you can use if you plan on playing on stage or for a small audience.

There are several types of pickups, such as a neck pickup, bridge pickup, and single-coil pickups. The pickups sit on different areas of the guitar, as their names suggest.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best guitar for beginners?

The Fender CD-605 Acoustic Guitar is the best beginner guitar on the market, featuring a stylish body shape, great sound quality, and all the accessories you'll need.

2. How much should you pay for a beginner guitar?

A high-quality beginner guitar can be as cheap as $150 or as expensive as $800. The exact choice will depend on your preference.

3. How do I choose a beginner guitar?

Some of the features you should consider when buying a beginner guitar include guitar size, the construction material, and the necessary accessories.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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