The outline of an acoustic guitar.

Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners: Getting Started

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If you’re just stepping into the world of music and wondering what the best acoustic guitars for beginners are, this comprehensive review article is designed to help you make an informed choice.

As a beginner, your first guitar should not only suit your budget and be easy to play, but it should also sound great, inspiring you to continue learning. It should also be durable enough to withstand the early stages of learning, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with it, developing your skills and nurturing your passion for music.

In this guide, we’ll provide detailed reviews of the ten best acoustic guitars for beginners.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you will learn:

  1. A detailed analysis of each guitar, focusing on the key features, design, and build quality.
  2. The primary benefits of each model, focusing on why they are suitable for beginners.
  3. A brief summary of the standout features of each model that makes it unique and appealing.

The Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners in 2023

A suitable beginner’s guitar should offer comfort, quality sound, ease of play, and durability. Here are the top 10 acoustic guitars ideal for beginners.

  1. Fender FA-115
  2. Yamaha FS800
  3. Donner DAG-1C
  4. Jasmine S34C NEX
  5. Martin LX1
  6. Ibanez IJV50
  7. Yamaha CPX600
  8. Ibanez AW54
  9. Epiphone DR100
  10. Yamaha Storia I

Stay tuned to learn more about each of these beginner-friendly acoustic guitars.

1. Fender CD-60S

So no matter what genre you’re playing, this starter guitar will help nurture your creativity.

Solid, Versatile, Easy-to-Play

Fender CD-60S

The Fender CD-60S is a great guitar for beginners, offering a blend of ease of play, quality sound, and affordability. This dreadnought guitar, with its solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, ensures a well-rounded tone.

Why someone should buy: Beginners should invest in the Fender CD-60S because of its user-friendly features and affordable price. Additionally, the guitar’s “easy-to-play” neck and fingerboard ensure a smoother learning curve for novice players.

Why We Love It:
  • Solid build quality
  • “Easy-to-play” neck
  • Excellent value for money

Technical Features:

  • Dreadnought body style for powerful sound projection
  • Solid spruce top
  • Scalloped “X”-bracing
  • 20 frets
  • Mahogany fingerboard

Review:

The Fender CD-60S is highly praised for its balance of price, quality, and ease of play. Its sturdy construction and warm, resonant sound make it an excellent choice for beginners.

Verdict:

The Fender CD-60S is an exceptional beginner’s guitar that offers a combination of affordability, sound quality, and ease of play.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners looking for a durable, user-friendly, and affordable acoustic guitar.

2. Epiphone Hummingbird Studio

The Fishman Sonitone electronics are an impressive addition, providing excellent tonal versatility when amplified.

Classic 60’s Revival

Epiphone Hummingbird Studio

The Epiphone Hummingbird Studio reimagines a 60’s classic for the modern beginner. With a solid spruce top and Fishman Sonitone electronics, this guitar has all the charm of the original Hummingbird with features to fit the needs of today’s learners. Its mahogany body and SlimTaper D neck profile offer a rich tone and easy playing experience, ideal for those starting their musical journey.

Why someone should buy: This guitar balances vintage appeal and modern functionality, ideal for beginners with an eye for style. Its upgraded electronics and classic design are certain to inspire practice and progression.

Why We Love It:
  • Rich, warm tones from a mahogany body
  • Fishman Sonitone electronics for enhanced sound
  • Iconic Hummingbird aesthetics

Technical Features:

  • Square shoulder body style
  • Solid spruce top
  • Fishman Sonicore under-saddle pickup

Review:

The Epiphone Hummingbird Studio truly offers the best of both worlds – classic vintage appeal coupled with contemporary features. The solid spruce top gives a clear, vibrant tone that resonates beautifully with the warmth of the mahogany body.

Verdict:

As an iconic model updated with modern amenities, the Epiphone Hummingbird Studio is an excellent choice for beginners seeking a blend of style, playability, and sound quality.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners who value both aesthetics and sound, especially those drawn to vintage designs.

3. Martin LX1E Little Martin

Despite its compact size, the Little Martin doesn’t compromise on sound or build quality, making it a great beginner guitar.

Compact Travel Companion

Martin LX1E Little Martin

Don’t be fooled by its size – the Martin LX1E Little Martin packs a punch. With a solid spruce top, mortise & tenon neck joint, and Fishman Sonitone electronics, this compact acoustic-electric guitar delivers a full, rich sound unexpected in its small size. Its modified 0-14 fret body and short scale make it ideal for beginners and travelers alike.

Why someone should buy: The LX1E Little Martin is designed for portability without compromising sound quality. Its compact size and full-bodied tone make it a perfect choice for beginners, especially those on the go.

Why We Love It:
  • Compact size for portability
  • Robust sound from solid spruce top
  • Fishman Sonitone electronics for amplified playing

Technical Features:

  • Modified 0-14 Fret
  • Solid spruce top
  • Fishman Sonitone Electronics

Review:

The Martin LX1E Little Martin exceeds expectations for a guitar of its size. The solid spruce top delivers a robust and vibrant tone, which gets even better when amplified with the onboard Fishman Sonitone electronics.

Verdict:

For beginners looking for a portable yet powerful acoustic-electric guitar, the Martin LX1E Little Martin is a fantastic choice. It’s also a great option for experienced players seeking a travel-friendly guitar that delivers the renowned Martin tone.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginner guitarists on the go, travelers, or those seeking a high-quality, compact acoustic-electric guitar.

4. Yamaha FG800

The onboard System66 preamp and 3-band EQ give players the flexibility to adjust their tone, making this a great guitar for those starting to perform or record.

Balanced and Value-Packed

Yamaha FG800

The Yamaha FG800 is a beautifully crafted acoustic guitar that offers outstanding value. It features a solid spruce top, a comfortable folk body shape, and Yamaha’s System66 preamp electronics with a 3-band EQ for tone-shaping.

The FG800 delivers a balanced sonic range with a clear, full-bodied tone that’s perfect for beginners.

Why someone should buy: The Yamaha FG800 is perfect for beginners thanks to its affordability, balanced tone, and built-in electronics, allowing players to transition between acoustic and amplified playing easily.

Why We Love It:
  • Clear, full-bodied tone
  • Comfortable folk body shape
  • System66 preamp electronics for versatile tone-shaping

Technical Features:

  • Solid Spruce Top
  • System66 preamp electronics
  • Nato back and sides

Review:

The Yamaha FG800 provides excellent value for its price. The solid spruce top and nato back and sides create a rich, balanced sound that stands out for a guitar in this price range.

Verdict:

For beginners who need a reliable, versatile, and affordable guitar, the Yamaha FG800 is an excellent choice.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Budget-conscious beginners, budding performers, and players who want versatility in tone-shaping.

5. Taylor Academy 10

The dreadnought shape and solid spruce top ensure a full and resonant tone, making the Academy 10 a joy to play.

Comfortable Playability and Clarity

Taylor Academy 10

The Taylor Academy 10 offers a unique blend of comfort and sound quality. It features a solid spruce top, a slender Taylor neck, and a dreadnought shape for a bold acoustic tone. Designed with beginners in mind, the Academy 10 even includes a built-in armrest for added comfort during practice and performance.

Why someone should buy: With the Taylor Academy 10, beginners can experience the comfort and quality that Taylor Guitars is known for. The armrest is a thoughtful feature that encourages longer practice sessions, aiding in skill development.

Why We Love It:
  • Comfortable armrest for prolonged playing
  • Clear, resonant tone
  • Slender Taylor neck for easy playability

Technical Features:

  • Spruce Top
  • Dreadnought shape
  • Included soft case
  • Die-cast chrome tuners

Review:

The Taylor Academy 10 offers an excellent introduction to the high-quality construction and sound of Taylor guitars. The unique built-in armrest improves comfort, encouraging longer practice sessions.

Verdict:

For beginners seeking comfort and quality in one package, the Taylor Academy 10 is a superb choice. This guitar is designed to nurture a new player’s skills while providing the unmistakable quality of a Taylor.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners looking for comfort and quality, and those who appreciate the distinctive sound and feel of a Taylor.

6. Gretsch G5024E Rancher

With the built-in Fishman preamp, you’re ready to plug in and play on stage.

Classic Look, Resonant Sound

Gretsch G5024E Rancher

The Gretsch G5024E Rancher offers a unique blend of style and sound. It boasts a solid spruce top for vibrant harmonics and projection and a triangular soundhole for a distinctive look and pleasing acoustic response. The built-in Fishman Isys+ preamp system ensures your tone is accurately captured when amplified.

Why someone should buy: For beginners who want to stand out, the Gretsch G5024E Rancher offers an attractive aesthetic coupled with a resonant, well-rounded sound. It’s also ready for live performances with its onboard Fishman electronics.

Why We Love It:
  • Unique design with a triangular soundhole
  • Spruce top for resonant sound
  • Built-in Fishman Isys+ preamp for amplification

Technical Features:

  • Solid Spruce Top
  • Unique triangular soundhole
  • Steel strings
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Fishman Isys+ preamp system

Review:

The Gretsch G5024E Rancher delivers both looks and sound. The unique triangular soundhole and eye-catching pickguard set this guitar apart visually, while the spruce top and scalloped X-bracing ensure a rich, vibrant sound.

Verdict:

If you’re a beginner who wants a guitar with a unique design, rich sound, and stage-ready features, the Gretsch G5024E Rancher is an excellent choice.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

A guitar player looking for a distinctive design and sound or budding performers ready to amplify their playing.

7. Yamaha CPX600

The solid spruce top and rosewood fingerboard offer a comfortable playing experience along with excellent sound resonance, making it a great beginner guitar.

Robust Tones and Versatility

Yamaha CPX600

The Yamaha CPX600 is an acoustic-electric guitar that boasts a medium jumbo body shape, providing a powerful tone and volume. Its solid spruce top offers a high resonance, while the tonewood back and sides create a rich and warm sound. With System 65A preamp piezo pickup, it also delivers an excellent amplified tone, making it a versatile choice for different performance settings.

Why someone should buy: The Yamaha CPX600 is a great beginner’s choice for its versatility and ease of play. Its ability to deliver both acoustic and electric sounds makes it perfect for exploring various genres.

Why We Love It:
  • Versatile, with excellent acoustic and electric tones
  • Solid spruce top for great resonant tone
  • Medium jumbo cutaway body for big sound

Technical Features:

  • System 65A Preamp with Piezo Pickup
  • Spruce top
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Nato neck
  • 20 frets

Review:

The Yamaha CPX600 offers robust tones and versatile playability that’s hard to match. Its system 65A preamp with piezo pickup provides strong amplified tones, making it great for performances.

The solid spruce top and rosewood fingerboard offer a comfortable playing experience along with excellent sound resonance, making it a great beginner guitar.

Verdict:

A versatile and powerful acoustic-electric guitar, the Yamaha CPX600 is a great investment for beginners looking to explore a wide range of musical genres.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners seeking a versatile instrument that can deliver both acoustic and electric sounds.

8. Ibanez AW54

This guitar is designed to offer clear projection and punchy high-mids, making it a joy to play for beginners.

Warm, Woody Tone

Ibanez AW54

The Ibanez AW54 dreadnought body guitar features an all-Okoume body, which gives it a distinctive, warm, and woody tone. The laurel fretboard and bridge contribute to the rich, resonant sound and ensure excellent transfer of string vibration. This guitar is crafted to provide punchy high-mids and clear projection, making it perfect for strumming.

Why someone should buy: The Ibanez AW54 is an excellent choice for beginners due to its warm, rich tones and comfortable playability. The laurel fretboard offers a great feel and response, making playing easier for beginners.

Why We Love It:
  • Warm, woody tone from the Okoume body
  • Rich sound and good vibration transfer
  • Clear projection and punchy high-mids

Technical Features:

  • Solid Okoume top, back, and sides
  • Laurel fretboard and bridge
  • Nyatoh neck
  • Dreadnought body
  • Ibanez Advantage™ bridge pins

Review:

The Ibanez AW54 stands out for its warm, woody tone and exceptional playability. The Okoume body generates a distinctive sound, while the laurel fretboard and bridge enhance sound transfer for a richer, fuller resonance.

Verdict:

A perfect choice for beginners, the Ibanez AW54 offers excellent sound quality and easy playability that will enhance any learner’s journey.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners who prefer warm, rich tones and a guitar that is comfortable to play.

9. Epiphone DR100

Its elegant design and glossy finish add to its overall appeal, making it a favorite among many learners.

Classic Tone, Reliable Performance

Epiphone DR100

Epiphone DR100 is a square shoulder dreadnought guitar known for its classic tone and consistent performance. It features a select spruce top and a mahogany body, which work together to produce a warm, full sound. Its glossy nitrocellulose lacquer finish gives it an elegant look, making it as pleasant to look at as it is to play.

Why someone should buy: The Epiphone DR100 is ideal for beginners due to its reliable performance and easy-to-handle build. It offers a classic tone that makes it suitable for a wide range of music genres.

Why We Love It:
  • Classic tone
  • Reliable performance
  • Elegant look

Technical Features:

  • Select Spruce top
  • Mahogany body
  • Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish

Review:

The Epiphone DR100 delivers a classic tone and reliable performance that beginners will appreciate. The combination of a select spruce top and a mahogany body ensures a warm, full sound.

Verdict:

With its classic tone, reliable performance, and appealing design, the Epiphone DR100 is a valuable addition to any beginner’s guitar collection.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners looking for a reliable guitar with a classic tone and a stylish design.

10. Yamaha Storia I

The unique off-white and light blue color scheme give it a stylish and sophisticated look, setting it apart from most beginner guitars.

Comfortable and Beginner-Friendly

Yamaha Storia I

The Yamaha Storia I is designed with first-time players in mind. It features a concert-size body design and a slim C-neck, making it comfortable to hold and easy to grip. The combination of a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides provide a clear and balanced sound. The off-white top and light blue interior add a touch of sophistication to its design.

Why someone should buy: The Yamaha Storia I is designed specifically for beginners, offering comfort and ease of play. Its unique color scheme adds a touch of elegance, making it appealing to those who appreciate style as much as sound quality.

Why We Love It:
  • Comfortable body design for beginners
  • Spruce top for clear, balanced sound
  • Unique and sophisticated color scheme

Technical Features:

  • Solid spruce top
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Concert-size body design
  • Slim C neck for comfortable grip

Review:

The Yamaha Storia I offers a comfortable body design and an easy grip, making it a beginner-friendly choice. Its solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides produce a clear, balanced sound.

Verdict:

The Yamaha Storia I is a fantastic choice for beginners. Its comfortable design, clear, balanced sound, and stylish appearance make it an excellent first guitar for any learner.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

Beginners seeking a comfortable, easy-to-play guitar with a stylish and unique aesthetic.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners

Before venturing into the world of beginner acoustic guitars, it’s crucial to understand what to look for in your first instrument. This guide will break down key elements to consider when buying your first acoustic guitar. We’ll cover topics like guitar shapes, tonewoods, size, playability, and more.

A collection of different types of acoustic guitars.

Understand the Different Acoustic Guitar Shapes

Guitar shapes significantly influence the instrument’s sound and playability. Knowing their differences can help you pick a guitar that complements your musical style, whether you want to play rock, metal, or even country.

Dreadnought: This is the most common guitar shape, loved for its rich, loud, and balanced sound. Ideal for strumming and flat-picking, these guitar types are perfect for country, rock, and bluegrass.

Parlor: Smaller and more comfortable to hold than dreadnought guitars, parlor guitars are excellent for fingerpicking. Their sound is less bass-heavy and more focused on the mid-range.

Jumbo: Known for their big, bold sounds, Jumbo guitars are excellent for hard strummers. They have a large, round body which creates a resonant and loud tone.

Concert and Grand Concert: These are smaller and less bulky than dreadnoughts but have a similar tonal spectrum. They’re perfect for beginners due to their manageable size and versatile sound.

Tonewoods

The type of wood used in the construction of a guitar significantly affects its sound.

Spruce: Spruce (sometimes solid sitka spruce) is the most common choice for top wood, thanks to its strength and elasticity. It produces a robust, clear, and articulate sound that is perfect for all playing styles.

Mahogany: Known for its warm and woody tone, Mahogany emphasizes the midrange frequencies. It’s perfect for blues and folk music.

Rosewood: Rosewood provides a rich and complex tone, with sparkling highs and deep lows.

Small sized guitar

Size and Playability

For beginner acoustic guitarists, choosing a guitar with the right size and playability is crucial.

Acoustic Guitar Size: Smaller body guitars like concert, grand concert, and parlor styles are often recommended for beginners, especially those with smaller hands or younger players. You may even want to look for guitars specifically designed for kids.

Neck Profile: A guitar with a slim neck profile is often easier for beginners to handle. It allows for a comfortable grip and easier chord formations.

Action: A guitar’s action refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard. A lower action is generally easier to play because the strings are closer to the fretboard.

Strings: Nylon strings, as found on many classical guitars, might be easier to play than steel strings. If you want to fingerpick or need some time to get used to the strings, opt for a classical guitar. Check out this article for the best classical options under $500.

Budget and Value

While many lower-priced guitars are available, it’s essential to consider the overall value rather than just the initial cost. All the guitars in our list cater to different budgets.

Price vs. Quality: Cheaper guitars often come with issues like poor construction or low-quality materials. It’s worth investing in a slightly more expensive guitar that will last longer and provide a better sound.

Electric vs. Acoustic: Electric guitars are sometimes easier to play due to their slimmer necks and lower string tension. However, they require additional equipment like an amplifier or guitar pedals, which can increase the overall cost. If you’re interested in the best electric guitar brands, check out this article.

Guitar chair at a gig.

Extra Features

Some beginner acoustic guitars come with additional features that can benefit beginners.

Built-in Tuner: Some acoustic guitars come with a built-in tuner, which is extremely helpful for beginners who are still learning how to tune their guitars.

Cutaway Design: This feature allows easier access to the guitar’s upper frets. If you plan on playing a lot of lead guitar or solos, a cutaway could be a valuable feature.

Electronics: Some acoustic guitars come with built-in pickups, allowing you to plug into an amplifier or PA system. This can be useful if you plan on performing or recording.

Beginner Packs: Certain brands offer beginner packs with useful accessories like picks, a tuner, extra strings, a strap, and a case or gig bag. This can be a cost-effective way to start your guitar journey.

Choosing the right acoustic guitar as a beginner is a critical step in your musical journey. With the right instrument, learning and practicing becomes more enjoyable and efficient. Remember that the “best” guitar isn’t necessarily the most expensive one; it’s the one that suits your needs and inspires you to play.

Learning Resources

As a beginner guitarist, one of the most important aspects of your journey is the resources you use to learn. The right resources can make your learning process easier and provide you with a solid foundation in theory and practical skills, including basic guitar techniques when it comes to playing guitar.

Online Learning Platforms

One of the most convenient ways to learn guitar is through online platforms. They offer comprehensive lessons that cater to all skill levels and a wide array of music genres. Websites such as Justin Guitar, GuitarTricks, and Fender Play are some of the best in this category. These platforms provide well-structured lesson plans, along with video tutorials, practice exercises, and community forums for additional support. It’s easy to find beginner guitar lessons.

Guitar Learning Apps

In this digital age, there’s an app for almost everything, and learning guitar is no exception. Apps like Yousician and Ultimate Guitar offer interactive lessons and a vast collection of tabs and chords for popular songs and guitar tricks. Yousician, for example, listens to you play and provides instant feedback, which can be very helpful for beginners.

YouTube Channels

YouTube is an endless source of guitar lessons, gear reviews, and tutorials. Channels like Marty Music, Paul Davids, and Andy Guitar are renowned for their high-quality content suitable for guitarists of all levels.

Books

Despite the rise of digital platforms, traditional books still hold immense value. For beginners, ‘Hal Leonard Guitar Method’ and ‘Guitar for Dummies’ are great places to start. They cover the basics thoroughly and in a user-friendly manner.

Local Music Schools or Private Tutors

If you prefer in-person learning, consider enrolling in a local music school or hiring a private tutor. This gives you the advantage of immediate feedback and personalized guidance, which can be immensely beneficial in the early stages of learning.

Remember, the best resource for you depends on your personal learning style and preferences. Experiment with different options, and don’t be afraid to mix and match until you find what works best for you.

Remember, consistency and practice are key to your progression no matter which learning resources you choose. Happy strumming!

Strumming the guitar.

Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest acoustic guitar to play for a beginner?

The easiest acoustic guitar for a beginner to play would depend on the individual’s hand size and comfort level. However, the Yamaha FS800 and Yamaha Storia I often come highly recommended. These guitars feature smaller bodies and shorter neck lengths, making them easier to handle for novices. Furthermore, they have a slim neck profile, enabling comfortable and effortless chord formation.

Which beginner acoustic guitar is the best?

The “best” beginner acoustic guitar can vary depending on individual needs and preferences. However, the Fender FA-115 is a popular choice due to its excellent sound quality, ease of playability, and affordable price. Similarly, the Yamaha FS800 is known for its impressive durability and rich, clear sound. It’s crucial for beginners to choose a guitar that feels comfortable to play and suits their musical style.

What is the best cheap acoustic guitar for beginners?

The Donner DAG-1C is an excellent budget-friendly choice for beginners. Despite its low cost, this guitar doesn’t compromise on sound quality or build. It comes with a full starter kit, making it an ideal choice for those starting from scratch. Also, the Epiphone DR100 is another fantastic budget option known for its robust construction and pleasant, balanced tone.

Is an acoustic guitar good for beginners?

Yes, an acoustic guitar is an excellent choice for beginners. They offer a great foundation for learning basic chords and strumming patterns, and they don’t require any additional equipment like an amplifier. Acoustic guitars also produce a broad range of tones, which can help beginners develop their ear for different sounds. They are portable and can be played anywhere, making them ideal for practice sessions.

Close up of guitar neck

Conclusion

Embarking on your journey to learn the guitar is an exciting endeavor, and choosing the right instrument is your first step. The world of acoustic guitars is diverse and extensive, and while this can be overwhelming for a beginner, we hope this guide has brought some clarity and helped you navigate through your options.

From the classic Yamaha CPX600 and the Ibanez AW54’s great value to the affordability of the Epiphone DR100 and the Yamaha Storia I’s comfort design, we have seen that the best beginner acoustic guitars offer a blend of playability, quality craftsmanship, and affordability.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The best acoustic guitar for you depends on your individual needs, preferences, and budget. So, consider the advice we’ve outlined in our buyer’s guide, keep in mind the factors such as guitar shape, size, type of wood, and price, and most importantly, choose a guitar you’ll enjoy playing.

Lastly, don’t forget to utilize the wealth of learning resources available. From online platforms and apps to traditional books and local tutors, you have many options to help you on your journey. With the right guitar in hand and a commitment to learning, you’ll be strumming your favorite tunes in no time. Happy playing!