Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners

beginner playing acoustic guitar
best overall rating
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Built-in preamp and pickup
  • Comfortable and easy to play
  • Slim neck and low action
premium choice rating
  • Concert-style body
  • Built-in preamp and pickup
  • A.R.E treated solid spruce top
  • Excellent build and finish
great value rating
  • Amazing intonation
  • Comfortable and easy to play
  • Solid cedar top
  • Great for beginners

The excitement and anticipation of buying your first guitar are undeniable, and a memory we hold forever. This excitement will last even more when you purchase the right acoustic for you. This is where our review of the best acoustic guitars for beginners come in clutch and help you choose a suitable strummer for you.

The right instrument can be crucial in helping you, a complete novice guitarist, learn to play quickly and hone your guitar skills. It makes you enjoy playing, and you find it easier to learn and keep practicing.

This guide will look at a few good beginner guitars, with a selection of our best 10 in the list below. The passages below the list contain a buyer’s guide, which informs you of things to consider before buying an instrument.

A good beginner’s acoustic needs to maintain the tune during the entire practice, and it should be tough, especially if you play it in an outdoor setting or if you tour with it. However, the most important aspect is the sound. The sound has to be great! And, as a beginner, you don’t want to break the bank to buy an instrument unless money is no object to you. So, you want a great instrument at an affordable price. Our list features many affordable models that should help get you started.

Naturally, you’ll want some guitar lessons after getting your first guitar. We have a page the reviews the best online guitar lessons, so we encourage you to check it out. These lessons are very good at teaching you to play at all skill levels so you can go there and try them for free.

What Are the Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners?

On top of our list is the Taylor Academy 12e {}. It is our choice as the best beginner’s acoustic guitar because it is such a high-quality instrument that delivers excellent sound clarity and big volume. It is not the most affordable instrument but worth every penny you’ll pay for it and then some.

Check out the rest of the instruments on our list of the top starter acoustic guitars below:

Product PhotoGuitar and RatingDescriptionCheck Price & Read User Reviews
+ Taylor Academy 12e

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

The ideal acoustic guitar for a beginner! Can’t go wrong with this one.

+ Yamaha L-Series LL6 ARE

Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Crystal clear intonation with amazing sustain. A solid instrument from a great brand

+ Seagull S6 Original Limited Edition

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Seagull delievers a high-qaulity instrument. One of the best for a learner!

+ Taylor GS Mini

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

It’s hard to ever go wrong with a Taylor and the GS Mini is an ace.

+ Fender CC-60S Acoustic-Electric

Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

A masterpiece with an affordable price tag from this classic American brand

+ Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Beautiful to look at and an amazing sound-quality. You’ll love this budget Gibson!

+ Bristol by Blueridge BD-16 Acoustic

Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

A budget-friendly beginner’s instrument with rave reviews from seasoned guitarists

+ Martin LX1E Little Martin

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

A fun, beautiful and easy to play portable guitar from a top brand.

+ Ibanez AW54CEOPN

Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

A real treat at an awesome price. How this is not priced higher is a mystery. Wow!

+ Alvarez Series AD30

Overall Score: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

A stylish dreadnought at an affordable price. An excellent value for money

Taylor Academy 12e

Taylor Academy 12e

Taylor is one of the best acoustic guitar brands, and they have a ton of experience making these instruments. The quality of the Academy 12e comes out in every aspect imaginable. It is an exquisite instrument that looks, feels, and plays great.

As a beginner instrument, the 12e is a bit on the pricier side, but that is because it is very well-built, and it is also an electric-acoustic, hence the “e” in the model name. This instrument gives you exceptional sound and playability.

The body has a Grand Concert style, and sports a solid Sitka spruce top and layered Sapele sides and back – all in a beautiful matte finish. The neck is made from Sapele with a 20-fret Ebony fingerboard.

As an electric-acoustic, you get an integrated preamp and a tuner that works well. The electronics are not necessary if you intend to only play it without an amp. In that case, you can go for the Taylor Academy 12 (same instrument without the electronics). It is much cheaper, and you can then retrofit it with electronics if you need to.

This guitar is an exceptional choice for any beginner that can afford it. It feels good to hold, and it plays and sounds great. Plus, you get a free gig bag as well. We highly recommend the Academy 12e.

Yamaha L-Series LL6 ARE

Yamaha L-Series LL6 ARE

This stunning acoustic from Yamaha features their Acoustic Resonance Enhancement (ARE) technology, which makes the LL6 sound great out of the box. The built-quality and excellent tone reveal an instrument that is more valuable than its price would suggest.

The LL6 is an ideal acoustic for beginners because it is so easy to play out of the box, and you get amazing sound quality to help you learn all the basics.

The instrument has a solid ARE treated spruce top, and the sides and back are made from high-quality Mahogany. The neck is made from 5 plies of rosewood and Mahogany. The LL6 is the full-sized model, but you may also want to buy the smaller-sized LS {} for smaller players.

This is also an electric-acoustic, so it comes with a simple Zero Impact pickup that allows you to plug it into an amp for gigs. The instrument has exceptionally good action and is very easy to play.

Yamaha gave the LL6 a high-quality finish. Overall, this is a solid buy for anyone looking for a high-quality entry-level acoustic.

Seagull S6 Original Limited Edition

Seagull S6 Original Limited Edition

The Seagull S6 has been around for decades and is one of the most popular entry-level acoustics on the market. Many view this instrument as one of the best for beginners, and we have no arguments against that assertion.

With exceptional craftsmanship and quality materials, the S6 has a top made from solid cedar with wild cherry back and sides. This combination of wood resulted in an instrument with great mid-range tones and an awesome sound projection. The neck is made from maple with a rosewood fingerboard and is comfortable to play. It fits perfectly in your hand – you feel like you’re a part of the guitar when playing.

Some buyers may find the cost to be a bit too high for a beginner, but this guitar is built well and should last many years of play.

Taylor GS Mini

Taylor GS MiniWe love Taylor so much we included a second instrument on our list. The GS Mini is not a full-size guitar but a reduced-size intended for travel or for smaller players. However, an average size adult can still comfortably play this instrument.

It has a low-action right from the box, which means you don’t need much setup work to start playing. The GS Mini produces great sound clarity with a warm output. The body has great resonance, sustaining notes longer than most guitars of this size could. It has excellent dynamic sound with an exceptional mid-range clarity and volume.

The GS Mini has a Grand Symphony body type with a solid mahogany top and layered Sapele back and sides. The body has a nice-looking matte finish. The neck is made from Sapele with a 20-fret Ebony fingerboard.

This guitar produces a wide range of tones, making it ideal for playing a variety of genres and styles. This makes it a great beginner’s acoustic to help you learn to play different styles. The GS Mini is a versatile instrument that is one of the best acoustic guitars for learners and experienced players alike. You will continue to play this instrument well past your novice years.

Fender CC-60S Acoustic-Electric

Fender CC-60S acoustic guitar

Fender is a household brand in guitar manufacturing, and the CC-60S features their classic style concert-sized body.

This beautiful and awesome sounding acoustic comes with a solid spruce top and Mahogany back and sides. The craftsmanship is excellent for the price you pay for this little fella. The CC-60S produces a full and rich sound on all ranges of notes with excellent clarity.

The fretboard is made from rosewood and has rolled edges for extra comfort and great playability. The small concert size makes it easy to play in any position, which in turn makes it an ideal acoustic guitar for a beginner.

As an acoustic-electric, this model comes with a Piezo pickup and a built-in preamp – which lets you connect the instrument to an amp when gigging or playing to a noisy audience. Others include a tuner and an equalizer, which work well.

The Fender CC-60S is an ideal choice for a beginner or someone who plays small gigs.

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

Epiphone Hummingbird Pro

The Hummingbird Pro has been played by many famous musicians, including the legendary Rolling Stones band.

This acoustic has the industry-standard solid Spruce top with the back and sides made from Mahogany. The neck is made from Mahogany with a 20-fret rosewood fretboard that is slim and tapered at the edges for increased comfort when playing. The instrument has excellent range, producing warm and mellow lows and crisp and bright highs when you need it to.

The Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is the affordable version of the “original” Hummingbird Pro from Gibson (which could set you back almost $4,000). The well-balanced sound of the Epiphone version makes it suitable for different playing styles.

Beginners may have to lower the action a bit because we feel it is slightly too high for a newbie player. However, this is not a deal-breaker, and most players won’t even notice.

This is an electric-acoustic, so you get a preamp that allows you to plug the Hummingbird Pro into an amp for instant gigging. The sound you get when plugged into a decent amp is amazing, and you’ll fall in love with playing this beauty of an acoustic guitar.

The tuners also work well to hold your tune over a long period of play.

Bristol by Blueridge BD-16 Acoustic

Bristol by Blueridge BD-16 Acoustic

This dreadnaught acoustic is a good budget beginner or backup instrument. The Bristol BD-16 screams quality despite the price tag. The sound is excellent, and the instrument looks and feels premium. 

The soundbox combines a solid spruce top and mahogany sides and back to produce a full range of bright and responsive tones. The neck is made from Mahogany, and the slim profile makes it extremely playable with fast and easy action, making it a good fit for beginners.

The BD-16 is a beginner’s wet dream because of what you get for its price tag. You’ll feel like you’ve won with this one.

Martin LX1E Little Martin

Martin LX1 Little Martin

The Little Martin series is this manufacturer’s answer to a travel-size guitar designed with beginners and smaller players in mind. However, don’t let the smaller size of this guitar fool you. It sounds amazing, and the average adult can still enjoy playing this instrument comfortably.

The craftsmanship of Martin guitars is of the highest quality, and the LX1E electric-acoustic displays this level of craftsmanship boldly. It is beautiful to look at, it is well-built, and it feels and sounds like a premium instrument.

The size and easy playability is a reason this parlor-style instrument is among the best acoustic guitars for beginners, particularly for kids learning to play.

The solid Sitka Spruce top and laminate mahogany back and sides work together to produce a sound that is rich in volume and clarity. It produces a range of beautiful tones from bright and crisp to mellow and warm. You’ll be blown away by the sound this guitar makes for such a small instrument.

This unit is also an electro-acoustic instrument, so it comes with a nice and simple to use built-in electronics. All you need is a cord to hook it to an amp for an even fuller sound.

The Martin LX1E is a good-looking instrument with high-quality design and sound. This little guy will have beginners and experienced players playing with a grin on their faces.

Ibanez AW54CEOPN

Ibanez AW54CEOPN

This guitar is one of our favorite beginner instruments of all time. It has a beautiful finish on the mahogany body, which will appeal to a lot of you. This is the only instrument on our list with a cutaway body, which gives you easy access to the hardest to reach frets.

The top is made from solid Mahogany, which is the same wood used to make the back and sides. This beautiful dreadnought also features a mahogany neck with a 20-fret Rosewood fingerboard. The satin finish on the neck gives you a better feel when moving your hand up and down the neck.

The Ibanez produces a bright and loud sound that will blow you away. Although being one of the best guitars for beginners, the sound quality, design, and price tag appeals to the more experienced guitarists as well.

The electronics work flawlessly on this fella. You get a Fishman Sonicore pickup and a built-in Ibanez preamp and tuner.

Alvarez Series AD30

Alvarez Series AD30The AD30 is a member of the Artist Series from the Alvarez guitar brand. This acoustic is their beginner or entry-level offering of this series. However, don’t let the affordable price fool you because the AD30 is a highly capable acoustic.

The quality craftsmanship that goes into this dreadnought pops out on the solid Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany sides and back. This combination of material and design culminates in a sound quality that punches way above the price tag of the AD30. The sound is warm and bright with excellent volume. The instrument is stunning and would make a proud addition to any collection.

The neck is made from Mahogany with a Richlite fretboard. This acoustic can handle any playing style easily.

At its price tag, the AD30 offers any beginner an excellent value for money on their journey to becoming a guitar virtuoso.

A Guide to Buying The Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners

The excitement of buying your first acoustic can lead to making a rash decision when deciding which instrument to buy. These instruments can be expensive, so it is best to carefully consider your decision and pick an acoustic guitar that best meets your needs as a beginner.

A newbie player should get an instrument that is comfortable, easy, and fun to play. You also want a guitar with high-quality sound output. You don’t have to break the bank to get an instrument with these qualities, but the best beginner acoustics have a price tag north of $300.

Cheap and poor-quality guitars are for indecisive learners that may give up learning after a couple of practice sessions. Beginners who want to take their journey seriously should consider investing in a good quality beginner’s instrument. This will help maintain your interest and it will still be playable as you advance your skill level. This is why most of the instruments on our list are ideal for beginners but also appeal to the advanced guitarist.

Everybody learns to play at their own pace so no one can predict how long it would take to learn to play a guitar {}, and that is a good reason to consider buying a good quality acoustic that will last for several years.

Top Material – Solid Wood or Laminated Wood?

The type of wood used to make the top of the body is a crucial ingredient in determining the overall sound of the instrument. A solid wood – like the Sitka Spruce – produces a more responsive tone, as demonstrated in our review of the Taylor A12E {}. Solid wood instruments are typically more expensive than instruments that use laminates.

However, instruments that use laminates to make the top can still achieve great intonation and resonance through good craftsmanship and design. A beginner will most likely not be in a position to tell the barely noticeable differences between the sounds made by a solid wood and laminate top. So don’t worry too much if you can’t afford to buy an instrument with a solid wood top.

Should I Get A Nylon or Steel String?

Some people believe that a nylon string is the best choice for a beginner because they are typically easier on the fingers. Whatever string you opt for should be guided by which musical style you want to play. There are perceptible differences in the tone and feel of the two types of strings – and even novice players can detect these differences.

Nylon strings are common on classical guitars, which makes them more suitable for beginners learning to play classical music or other types of music with a similar sound. Our guide on the best classical guitars for beginners {} goes more into the details of this topic.

Steel strings are best for playing genres like rock and other aggressive playing styles. As a reminder, some acoustic guitars are not suitable for playing on stage because they don’t come with electronics. You should consider buying an acoustic-electric guitar if you intend to play on stage with your guitar in the future. Most of the beginner acoustics on our list fulfill this requirement.

Warning: Don’t buy steel strings for use on a guitar that originally came with nylon strings and vice versa. This can damage the instrument or produce a poor-quality sound.

What Type of Acoustic Guitar is the Easiest to Play?

Acoustic guitars come in different shapes with different degrees of playability. The most popular acoustic guitar brands make their entry-level instruments easy to play for beginners.

The dreadnought is the most popular acoustic guitar shape and perhaps the easiest to play for beginners. Other good options for beginners include the orchestra style instruments, which are typically smaller than the dreadnought. And smaller players may also opt for a parlor or mini instrument.

Beginners may want to steer clear of Jumbo acoustic guitars, which is bulky and can be difficult to get used to.

Also, the setup of the guitar should be beginner-friendly. Instruments with a high action are challenging to play, so you want a guitar with a low action as someone just starting to learn to play. Fortunately, you can adjust the action on most of the instruments on this list. The strings should also be appropriately tuned or you will struggle to play well.

You can set up the guitar yourself or take it into your local music store to have someone set it up for you. In most instances, they’ll charge you a small fee for this service. You can follow clear instructions by watching YouTube videos to help you set up the instrument.

Guide to set up an acoustic guitar

How much to Spend on an Acoustic Guitar For Beginners?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question because beginners, just like the general society, have different purchasing powers. However, you generally don’t need a $6,000 guitar to learn to play on. It’s fine if you can afford it because you’ll appreciate the high-quality craftsmanship and sound quality of such an instrument, but you’ll be fine learning on a $160 or a $450 guitar.

Even most advanced players don’t own $6,000 acoustics, so don’t worry your head off if you can’t afford an instrument above $500. All the acoustic guitars on our list are highly capable beginner’s acoustic instruments.

In general, we believe the higher the capital you invest in your instrument, the higher your chance of sticking it out and commit to learning how to play. A high-quality acoustic is easier to play, and you’ll be most eager to improve your skills when you have such an instrument.

Another factor to consider is your goal of learning to play. Do you intend to play over your lifetime, and are you going to be gigging in the future? You may want to invest a bit more in a mid-priced instrument (about $500+) if your plans include playing for the foreseeable future. Brands like Taylor, Martin, Yamaha, and Ibanez have excellent beginner acoustic guitars in this price range. Such instruments are built to last, and you’ll keep on playing them way beyond your beginner years.

A Few Things to Steer Clear of When Deciding on Which Acoustic Guitar to Buy?

First-time buyer’s eagerness to buy an instrument may mean that they overlook some important things when deciding on which instrument to buy.

Cheaper beginner acoustic guitars typically use a lot of plastic for important parts of the instrument, such as the tuning pegs and the bridge. Plastic is not an ideal material for these parts, and any instrument that features this type of material should be considered a toy instrument. This type of material features heavily in guitars selling for under $100, so we avoid those.

There are still a few gems that sell for under $100, and the Jasmine S35 is one such instrument. It is a good option for beginners with very low budgets. Visit this page to read our review of the Jasmin S35 acoustic guitar.

Should I Buy an Amplifier For my Electric-Acoustic Guitar?

Many of the instruments on our list are what we called electric-acoustic guitars. They have electronics that allow them to plug into an amp for concerts and other gigs. So, the question most beginners have is – can I play an acoustic-electric instrument without an amplifier?

The answer to this question is you can play this type of instrument without an amp. They are essentially just your regular acoustic that is fitted with a pickup, preamp, and sometimes a tuner.

You can play them without an amp in 99% of situations. The only time that you may need to plug in is when you want a louder volume – like when you play a gig or a concert. You don’t really need an electric-acoustic unless you plan to play gigs or concerts. Most of the models on our list have versions that do not come with any electronics. Electro-acoustic guitars are typically more expensive than their regular versions, so you need to consider that when deciding on which instrument to buy.

However, it will be a shame never to pair your instrument with an amp if you end up buying an acoustic-electric. Amps can let you have a different experience even when practicing at home, so you should consider getting an acoustic amplifier for use at home. You’ll need to buy a larger amp if you plan to use it for gigs.

What About Acoustic Guitars For Kids?

Most kids are small, so they’ll struggle to play a regular-sized acoustic guitar. The best guitar for a kid {} depends on their size.

As a rule of thumb, most kids under 5 years should play a 1/4-size, 5 to 9-year-olds can play a 1/2-size instrument, 9 to 12-year-olds will find a 3/4-size guitar easier to play. Kids older than 12 years can play a full-size instrument.

This is not a hard and fast rule, so it all really depends on the size of your child because kids of a similar age group are not necessarily of the same size. Go into a music store and get your kid to try a few instruments to find the best fit for them.

Our Final Thoughts

The decision to buy an instrument and start learning to play can be a fascinating one for most of us. So, it is essential to find the best acoustic guitar for beginners to maint that enthusiasm to learn. You shouldn’t rush the decision on which instrument to buy. Do your research, read our reviews and those from other buyers, and watch plenty of videos on YouTube to check out the sound quality before finally settling on an instrument.

Finding an instrument that is fun and easy to play will keep you wanting to practice more. Our list of the top acoustic guitars for beginners is just what you need to pick one from the list, and we wish you all the luck on your journey to becoming a virtuoso guitarist.

Read More Acoustic Guitar Reviews And Guides

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