Buying an acoustic guitar can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing the best acoustic guitar for your needs.
It’s hard enough knowing what features you should look for, but then there is also the question of which brand or model is right for you?
That’s why we created this guide on how to choose the acoustic guitar for your needs so that you can make sure that whichever one you buy will be exactly what you want it to be!
Quick List Of Our Top Acoustic Guitars Recommendations
- Takamine EF360S-TT – Our top quality acoustic guitar choice for the money and price range. Perfect for guitar players of all levels. It really delivers!
- Taylor 314ce – Our choice for best sounding acoustic guitars. Get the sound you are looking for with Taylor guitars.
- Yamaha FG800 – Great choice for beginning and student guitar players. Get hooked on this!
- Martin DX1AE – Perfect for intermediate guitarists. The best intermediate acoustic guitar for its price. Get it now!
- Martin LX1 Little Martin – Excellent option for kids looking to start playing acoustic guitar. Legendary Martin sound and performance for kids
- Gibson Montana Hummingbird – Our favorite high end musical instrument. It will change your life! Become a guitar virtuoso with this high end guitar!
- Martin D-16RGT – For guitarists that want to pay less than $2000. A favorite among amateur and professional musicians
- Taylor Academy Series 10E – For people that want to pay less than $1000. Get Your Hands on this Taylor today!
- Yamaha FS850 – For people that want to pay less than $500. Excellent quality at an affordable price!
- Yamaha APX600 – For people that want to pay less than $300. Great playability, sound and value for the money!
- Jasmine S35 Dreadnought – For people that want to pay less than $200. An affordable dreadnought with a nice sound.
- Taylor 114ce – For blues acoustic players. Beautifully crafted, perfectly balanced and stunningly playable.
- Epiphone EJ-200SCE – For country music players. Get the tone you want from this affordable model that looks like a more expensive instrument.
- Epiphone DR-500MCE – For fingerstyle players. Play fingerstyle like a pro with this.
- Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic – For travelers on the go. Bring this one on your next trip.
- Taylor Academy Series 12e Grand Concert – For female players or people with small hands.
- Baby Taylor BT2 – The perfect small body acoustic.
- Fender CD-140SCE – Great choice for people who want a cutaway for easier access to higher frets.
- Yamaha JR-1 – Excellent 3/4 size choice.
- Takamine G-Series GD30CE-NAT – If you are looking for something with a built in tuner.
How Did I Come Up With This List Of Acoustic Guitars?
If you have been searching for an acoustic guitar for any length of time trying to choose one, you already know that there are A TON of options! Because of this, I choose to look at different use cases, budgets, sizes, features, musical genres, etc and decide which is best for each of these categories.If you notice on the list above, each acoustic guitar choice is categorized and shown why it was chosen. Hopefully this will help you make your own decision!
As for experts, a good acoustic guitar makes it possible to use special techniques like fingerpicking with impressive results. It also provides a sound that suits certain types of genres. Just make sure that you get yourself a high quality item from any of the respected best acoustic guitar brands.
- Quick List Of Our Top Acoustic Guitars Recommendations
- How Did I Come Up With This List Of Acoustic Guitars?
- Our Best Acoustic Guitars For The Money Reviews
- 1. Best Acoustic Guitars For The Money – Takamine EF360S-TT
- 2. Best Sounding – Taylor 314ce
- 3. Best For Beginners – Yamaha FG800
- 4. Martin DX1AE
- 5. Martin LX1 Little Martin
- 6. Gibson Montana Hummingbird
- 7. Martin D-16RGT
- 8. Taylor Academy Series 10E
- 9. Yamaha FS850
- 10. Yamaha APX600
- 11. Jasmine S35 Dreadnought
- 12. Taylor 114ce
- 13. Epiphone EJ-200SCE
- 14. Epiphone DR-500MCE
- 15. Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic
- 16. Taylor Academy Series 12e Grand Concert
- 17. Baby Taylor BT2
- 18. Fender CD-140SCE
- 19. Yamaha JR-1
- 20. With Built In Tuner – Takamine G-Series GD30CE-NAT
- How To Choose An Acoustic Guitar
- What Is Your Guitar Skill Level?
- Do You Have Any Size Requirements?
- Do You Have A Budget?
- What Is Your Favorite Brand?
- What Are Your Preference’s Regarding Acoustic Guitar Tone, Pickups, Hardware? (subjective)
- What Style Of Music Do You Want To Play?
- Do You Play In A Group Setting Or More Of A Solo Player?
- Best Acoustic Guitar Conclusion
Below are some of the top rated and best acoustic guitar for the money options on the market:
Our Best Acoustic Guitars For The Money Reviews
Here are our picks – check out the full review of each and be sure to click the button to check price of each.
Also – looking for 12 string options? Take a look at these recommendations for the best 12 string acoustic guitar.
1. Best Acoustic Guitars For The Money – Takamine EF360S-TT
You deserve to have a quality instrument that sounds amazing every time you play it! This guitar is perfect for beginners who want to learn how to play as well as advanced players who need a reliable backup instrument on stage or in studio sessions.
The EF360S-TT best acoustic guitar demonstrates the remarkable quality and attention to detail that people have come to expect – making it our choice for best acoustic guitars for the money. It is solid all throughout with a thermal solid spruce top, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, and rosewood back. It simply look great if you love vintage styling. You will have a hard time finding any fault in the construction and design of this popular acoustic guitar.
These materials lend it a fuller tone while the large dreadnought design produces a louder volume. However, smaller and less experienced acoustic guitarists may have a harder time using it because of the size. The amazing sound quality may convince people to persevere. Other guitars would need years to get an aged wood sound but Takamine hastens the process by curing the wood in a low oxygen environment with high heat. Thanks to their unique wood treatment technique, the EF360S-TT acoustic is able to generate a broken-in sound from Day 1.
It is also worth noting that this model features a TLD-2 line driver preamp. This allows it to pick up the sound easily while improving its versatility. You can play softly to fit the mood of a song and trust that the preamp will enhance it in a way that sounds natural. You can also produce deep attention-grabbing sound. These characteristics serve performers well when they need to take command of the stage with just their acoustic guitar. Just be prepared to pay a premium for this level of excellence.
- top premium build quality and finish
- aged wood sound out of the box
- excellent electronics
- a little on the large size so it may not be great for smaller people
This one is our top choice as the best acoustic guitars out there today.
Check out our full Takamine EF360S-TT review here.
2. Best Sounding – Taylor 314ce
If you’ve been looking for an acoustic guitar that can handle anything from delicate finger-picking to hard strumming without missing a beat, this is the one for you. You owe it to yourself (and your ears) to give this beauty a try today!
Since 1974, Taylor Guitars has been combining modern manufacturing techniques with traditional craftsman sensibilities to come up with products that sound great while being easy to play – it is also our choice for best sounding acoustic guitar. The Taylor 314ce acoustic guitars belong to the company’s 300 Series acoustic which is characterized by an all solid wood construction featuring sapele and solid spruce or blackwood and mahogany. It is aimed at musicians who are serious about their craft. Also known as a Grand Auditorium, this model is a great top choice for virtually any setting from your personal practice space to the professional recording studio to the biggest concert stage.
In the guitar is a V-class bracing that improves harmonics through better top vibration, sustain, and volume. The dynamic range is wider while the frequency response is balanced. The Taylor 314ce can serve you well no matter what genre you like or how you like to play. The high will be bright, the mids will be full, and the lows will be deep. Produce amazing sound while you play in style with a handsome guitar that features gemstone fretboard inlays, satin finish back, and high-gloss solid top.
One of its defining elements is the Venetian cutaway which gives it an edgier look while making it easier for users to play with the guitar fretboard however they want. They can go up and down the neck without any problems. Note that this also comes with in-house Taylor Expression System 2 or ES2 pickup that allows owners to use it as a top acoustic-electric guitar in a snap.
- easy to reach across the fretboard
- versatile guitar for any setting
- balanced frequency response
- short battery life
3. Best For Beginners – Yamaha FG800
You’ll love how easy it is to play this acoustic guitar! The neck feels smooth because of its slim profile. And you can really feel the resonance from the body when you strum chords or pluck single strings.
Yamaha needs no introduction as it is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Its forays in the acoustic guitars category have been well-received. If you want a dependable instrument that doesn’t break the bank and our choice for best acoustic guitars for beginners, then the Yamaha FG800 acoustic guitar is a great choice. This affordable strummer may not be as stylish or versatile as others but it gets the job done. As long as you are not looking for fancy materials and advanced preamps, then you should be good to go. This is a beginner’s guitar through and through.
The top is made from solid sitka spruce while the back and sides are nato. The bridge and fingerboard are rosewood. These are all pretty basic but Yamaha was able to elevate these materials through clever design and construction. The Yamaha FG800 features a scalloped bracing that improves lows and mid frequencies. Note that the Yamaha FG Series was launched way back in 1966 and many improvements have been made since then. The FG800 a refined tone, durable construction, and excellent usability.
This FG800 is a dreadnought body shape acoustic so it’s for larger individuals. However, there is a concert-size model called the FS800 to suit smaller end-users. There are five different tonewood options. If you want to save money, then go for the basic acoustic configuration. If you are willing to spend more, then aim for the electric-acoustic version instead.
- affordable price
- good top quality guitar tone
- lacks style and elegance
4. Martin DX1AE
Martin Guitars traces its origins to Germany in the early 1800s. Changing fortunes brought it to the US where it blossomed to become an American classic. The company is also known for pioneering the dreadnought body shape that the DX1AE acoustic guitars proudly sports. This is also our best acoustic guitar choice for intermediates. Users are assured of a louder and more dynamic sound. This model uses the D-14 Fret platform with a solid Sitka spruce top shinning through a hand-rubbed finish. It has a non-scalloped X-brace and Mortise & Tenon neck joint. The back and sides use high pressure laminate. If you want the mahogany version, then go for the DX2E.
This is far from the cheapest. Yet it’s also not the most expensive one out there. The DX1AE acoustic is for the serious guitar player who wants to own a piece of history and test the best C.F. Martin craftsmanship. It is also for the novice that wants something better than a cheap generic guitar. It should sound great out of the box. However, the pure acoustic version could be a bit louder. This can easily be resolved by getting one with electronics for active gain.
It features the Fishman Sonitone system for pickup. This lets users have quick access to the volume and tone controls right inside the sound hole. The strategic location helps it keep the traditional looks while providing modern abilities. The chrome accents and beautiful finish makes it an eye-pleasing instrument.
- Stylish guitar
- Midrange price
- Top rated Fishman pickup
- Not very loud for a dreadnought
- Thin laminate back and sides
5. Martin LX1 Little Martin
This fun little instrument has been designed with smaller hands in mind; it features a shorter scale length (distance from nut to bridge) than full size guitars, making it easier for children to play chords and notes cleanly while learning their first songs on day one!
Despite Martin’s association with dreadnoughts, the company is not limited to these big, bulky, and loud guitars. They can also make them small and light for the benefit of frequent travelers. After all, one of the major perks of having acoustic guitars is that you can play it without power. That means you can make music in an empty classroom, a remote farm, a car, and other isolated areas. The Martin LX1 acoustic guitars are dubbed as the Little Martin is one of the most popular small guitars specifically built for travel. A great choice for best acoustic guitars for kids.
Of course, portability is not its only strong suit. The Little Martin is able to provide a rich tone despite its size thanks to intelligent engineering. It has a solid sitka spruce top, mahogany textured high-pressure laminate back and sides, and a warm satin finish. It even has a built-in pickup in the Fishman Isys T. The Little Martin sounds good by itself but it also works great when plugged into an amp. You would think that it would suffer from low volume due to the size but it’s actually quite loud.
If you’re a student who likes to bring your guitar to school, then this is highly recommended. You can practice to your heart’s content whenever the opportunity strikes. It can even fit inside the overhead cabin on airplanes so you can bring it on vacations or out-of-state gigs.
- guitar made for travel too!
- good pickup
- loud despite size
- great top rated playing experience
- imprecise tuner
- some steel string buzz on high E string
Check out our full Martin LX1 Little Martin review here.
6. Gibson Montana Hummingbird
The Gibson Montana Hummingbird acoustic guitars are a striking piece of work and our best high end acoustic guitar choice. It may not be to everyone’s taste but the floral patterns and swirling curves are certainly eye-catching. True to its name, you’ll see a hummingbird and a butterfly busy pollinating flowers painted on the tortoise shell scratch plate. There’s a double ring around the sound hole and a saddle bridge made from rosewood. The neck positions are marked by parallelograms made from mother-of-pearl — the same material used for the Gibson logo. They clearly thought about every detail on this guitar.
It sure looks nice, but what about the sound? Well, the Hummingbird is good enough to be noticed by top musicians including the likes of Brian May of QUEEN and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. They probably know a thing or two about acoustic guitars. This model is able to provide rich and deep tones. The electronics work well and they never get in the way. In fact, they are hidden inside the guitar at the edge of the hole. Use the tiny knobs to adjust the volume and tone on the fly without breaking your rhythm.
The pickup is sensitive enough to capture minor shifts as you play around with songs. You never feel like you are losing much when you plug in. This is one electro acoustic model that you will definitely want in your collection, provided that you have the cash to take it home.
- excellent attention to detail
- rich and deep top guitar tones
- dynamic pickup performance
- very expensive guitar but well worth it!
7. Martin D-16RGT
Here we have another top rated Martin dreadnought that uses the same D-14 fret platform found in the DX1AE acoustic guitar – making it our best acoustic guitars under 2000 option. However, this one has different materials and construction methods. The neck, for instance, features a simple dovetail joint instead of mortise and tenon. It has a modified low oval shape and a standard taper. The top is still sitka spruce while the back and sides have East Indian rosewood. This model has a scalloped X-brace. Overall, it has the classic look you would expect from a traditional high-end model. A bit bland perhaps, but owners are always free to add their own styling.
The sound is where it truly shines. The tone is great with a rich low end that makes songs sound so much better. Single notes are also a joy to play as they come out clear and crisp. It stays in tune for a long time but you can change things if you want easily. If you are mostly concerned with the acoustics rather than the aesthetics, then this is the guitar for you. There won’t be any unique designs and other flairs but it’s a solid choice for practice and the odd gig. It doesn’t have electronics either but you can always add a pickup of your choice later on.
- great guitar tone
- loud sound
- durable construction
- no electronics
- basic styling
Check out our full Martin D-16RGT review as well.
8. Taylor Academy Series 10E
Those who are new to guitar playing have different needs compared to high-level musicians. Taylor’s Academy Series was created to address these needs in a budget-friendly manner. Owners can have the satisfaction of owning a guitar from a reputable brand that they can grow with, and they won’t even have to burn through all of their savings. If you are looking for an entry-level guitar, then the Taylor 10E acoustic guitars should be on your list – it’s on ours as the best acoustic guitars under 1000 choice.
This is a super comfortable guitar with its own built-in armrest. The edge of the body is softer than usual to help beginners ease into practice with all-day comfort. The neck has shorter scales and nut widths. This guitar comes with light gauge strings for fingers that aren’t quite used to the task. This should make string bending and fretting a little bit easier. This dreadnought has a body that supports punchy treble and warm lows for a bold tone.
This may be a guitar for novices but it still comes with features such as onboard electronics. You can plug this into an amp when you are ready to show off your skills to an audience. It even has a chromatic tuner with an intuitive LED display. It gives you the space to develop as a guitarist so you are unlikely to outgrow this for a long time. Some experienced players pick it up just to have a good strumming guitar without having to send thousands of dollars.
- budget-friendly price range
- good for flatpickers and strummers
- short battery life
Check out our full Taylor Academy Series 10E review here. Also, if you are looking for the best cutaway acoustic guitar under 1000, take a look. And we also did a full post on the best Taylor acoustic guitar options.
9. Yamaha FS850
Yamaha produces a wide variety of top guitar models to suit different types of musicians and this includes this excellent acoustic guitar under 500 dollars. For example, the FG800 (our top pick for best acoustic guitars under 500) is known as a great all-around instrument at an affordable price for larger people. If you want something smaller, then you have to check out their FS series which includes the popular FS850. This breaks the usual build by having a solid mahogany top instead of sitka spruce. Even the back and sides are made from mahogany. The bridge and fingerboard are made of rosewood. It has diecast tuners and an adjustable truss rod.
The choice of using mahogany for much of the body results in a warm appearance, excellent projection, and a rich tone that is heavy in the mid frequencies. The sound is pleasing with good resonance. It stays in tune for a long time so you won’t have to worry about this much. These acoustic guitars costs under $500 which is a steal given how well it performs. Most midrange guitars from known brands are a lot more expensive than this yet Yamaha is able to produce comparable sound quality. It’s a solid buy for people with a tight budget.
Just keep in mind that this under $500 acoustic guitar model does not have a preamp built-in. You can have that added if you want with your choice for pickup. The case is also sold separately. Since this has a smaller body, do not expect this to play as loud as a dreadnought. It is more than capable of providing a pleasant experience for practice and recording but you might want a bigger guitar when playing for an audience.
- beautiful warm color
- rich tone with good resonance
- relatively low price
- lower max volume
- no preamp and case
Check out our full Yamaha FS850 review as well.
10. Yamaha APX600
Thin body acoustic guitars are lightweight for portability without sacrificing full-bodied sound. In this category, the Yamaha APX600 acoustic guitar reigns supreme as our best acoustic guitars under 300 pick. There are many reasons why this has become the world’s best-selling acoustic-electric guitar. Perhaps it’s the history and pedigree. After all, it was Yamaha that pioneered this category in the ’80s to solve a common problem. Plugging an acoustic guitar used to be messy with howling feedback and long sound checks that resulted in long delays (learn more about this – acoustic guitar sounds dull). This is a major headache for stage managers who want to stick to the schedule when there are so many bands in the lineup. This won’t be the case with the APX600.
This guitar has the iconic oval sound hole of the APX series. This makes the low and mid frequencies sound thicker. The X-type bracing pattern using non-scalloped construction improves resonance for a full tone. Guitarists agree that the body design makes it more comfortable and easy to play. The new iteration even has a piezo pickup system that matches every string with its own individual elements for better clarity, accuracy, and dynamic response. Play anything with confidence as this won’t miss a beat.
- comfortable to play
- lightweight guitar
- built-in tuner
- some top quality control issues
Check out our full Yamaha APX600 review here.
If you have a bit more to spend, consider also looking at these acoustic guitar under $400 options.
11. Jasmine S35 Dreadnought
Jasmine Guitars is actually a subsidiary of the highly respected Takamine. Even if you are not familiar with the brand, you can be sure that their products are of good quality as our best acoustic guitars under 200. They focus more on new players who are serious about their gear though they may not have thousands of dollars to spend. There are different styles and sizes in their lineup. The Jasmine S35 Dreadnought is for those who want a loud robust sound. Although this has a full body, it has a slim neck which helps with playability.
The S35 has a spruce top with agathis back and sides. Agathis is a softwood that is easy to machine and is thus cheaper to use for manufacturers. It still offers a good tone due to its low density so there should be no problems with sound. It is also resistant to rotting and has a remarkable strength to weight ratio. However, it may not be as durable as guitars made from hardwood like mahogany. Make sure that you purchase a good case for this and take care with its handling.
Although the Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar can sound just as good as other branded guitars, you will have to set it up well upon opening the package. Tighten the truss rod and adjust the saddle. Tune the strings if you need to. You could also ask an experienced musician to do this for you.
- top, big and bold sound
- affordable price
- easy to play
- not as durable as hardwood
- requires initial setup
Check out our full Jasmine S35 Dreadnought review here.
12. Taylor 114ce
Taylor’s 100 Series acoustic guitars feature solid sitka spruce tops and layered walnut or sapele for the sides and back. Together, these woods offer excellent quality and value for money and best acoustic guitars for blues. If you have small hands, then you will be pleased with the slim neck and narrow nut width as these make the guitars easier to play. Resonance is improved with the application of a thin matte finish. A built-in pickup using the Taylor ES2 provides amplification while maintaining a natural sound.
The 114ce features the brand’s Grand Auditorium body style which was designed to compete with the Martin dreadnoughts. This guitar is big but it doesn’t have an overpowering booming sound. Instead, it has a clearer tone that works well with fingerstyle. Strumming produces a good amount of bass but not too much. This tonal balance results in minimal setup during recording and performances. It’s a highly reliable machine.
Although this is an entry-level guitar, the sound does not feel like there was any compromise. Sapele wood has a consistent output across the frequency spectrum so it can adapt to any playing style. It has a higher density than mahogany which creates a brighter sound.
- loud yet balanced sound
- easy on the fingers
- good value for money
- cheap plastic truss rod cover
- requires tweaking out of the box
Check out our full Taylor 114CE review as well!
Looking for more blues options? We also have a full complete post on your top 10 acoustic guitars for blues.
13. Epiphone EJ-200SCE
Most acoustic guitars look like all the others. Even some of the branded ones seem quite generic with only a few models truly popping out thanks to bold styling. The Epiphone EJ-200SCE acoustic guitar, our choice for best acoustic guitars for country music, certainly doesn’t shy away from the camera with its unorthodox design. The all-black body sets it apart in an instant. The gentle curves of the scratch plate and the floral accents puts it over the edge. Even the bridge has a mustache theme with pearl inlay while the fretboard has crown markers.
Older musicians will actually recognize these details and point to the Gibson J200 from which this top model was inspired. Epiphone has the license to reproduce Gibson originals so here we are. Many will be happy that they can finally purchase Gibson-like guitars at lower prices. But does it perform as well as the genuine article? You decide. It has the same jumbo body which is actually bigger than dreadnoughts in case those are not loud enough for you. These are acoustic-electric guitars with a Shadow eSonic-II Stereo Pickup system and Grover Rotomatic machine heads. Take this when you play solo in a big venue to fill the space with sound.
- bold styling choices
- louder than dreadnoughts
- top quality pleasant sound and deep resonance
- problematic electronics at times.
14. Epiphone DR-500MCE
In an effort to reduce costs and increase profits, some top guitar makers may introduce shortcuts to their construction methods and material selection. This is not always a bad thing as cheap guitars mean that the instrument becomes more accessible to the masses. You just need to know exactly what you’re buying so that you can temper your expectations. If you’re the type who doesn’t like to compromise on quality, then study the listed features carefully, read detailed reviews, and listen to video demos or try them yourself. The Epiphone DR-500MCE, our pick for best acoustic guitars for fingerstyle, acoustic guitar will not disappoint.
It features premium tonewoods with a solid sitka spruce top, mahogany body kerfing, and hand-scalloped spruce braces. Rosewood is used for the bridge and fingerboard. There are no thin laminates here. There are no questionable joints that break with the slightest bump. This guitar earns its Masterbilt label. Owners agree that the workmanship is flawless and the performance is beyond this price point. With the right setup, it can rival guitars worth several times more. If you are going to be picky, then you may find rough edges around the hidden areas and the action is a bit too high.
- top high build quality and materials
- beautiful detailin
- excellent value for money
- hidden finish are a bit rough
- requires tweaking for optimization
Check out our full Epiphone DR-500MCE review as well. Also, if you are looking for more options, I put together a page on my favorite best Epiphone acoustic guitar choices and an article on the best acoustic guitar for fingerstyle.
15. Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic
The Ultra-light Acoustic from Traveler Guitar looks like it came from the future. It’s nothing like the usual body design that we see. As our pick for best acoustic travel guitar, it looks more like a paddle than a guitar with no sound hole and head that has been relocated to the middle. Engineers reimagined what the instrument could be while solving the problem of portability instead of simply shrinking the guitar. Their creation has led to an instrument that plays in the same way while being 43% lighter and 31% shorter than the average acoustic. It may seem odd but it is a serious travel acoustic guitar for serious practice.
This means that you can take it anywhere you want. It won’t break your back even if you carry it around in school. You can even take this on a plane where it can sit perfectly on an overhead bin. The wood is a one-piece hard maple that is only 28 inches from end to end. It even has a built-in piezo pickup so you can plug it into an amp and play as much as you want. Since this is meant for travel, the gig back is included in the acoustic guitar package. One less hassle for owners. It has a lap rest for comfort that you can detach when you are on the go.
- cleverly designed portable body
- full 24 3/4″ scale electric acoustic guitar
- hard maple wood
- excellent top build quality
- not loud when unplugged
- changing the strings can be tricky
16. Taylor Academy Series 12e Grand Concert
The Taylor Academy Series strives to serve every type of learner. If you prefer a small-body guitar, then you can have your wish with the 12e with its Grand Concert acoustic guitar body design and our pick for best acoustic guitars for small female hands. You should be able to play with greater ease thanks to the shorter scale length and nut width. The action is low and the gauge strings are light — perfect for beginners. These should enable inexperienced hands to get used to strumming and fingerpicking without getting too sore.
The reduced size also contributes to a lighter weight. The materials used aren’t exactly premium but they do just fine for an entry-level guitar. You get the ubiquitous solid sitka spruce top while the back and sides settle for layered sapele. Just like other Academy Series models, this one features an ergonomic armrest for greater comfort. You will love practicing all day with a guitar that considers all your needs as a novice.
You don’t have to strum too hard as the 12e is sensitive enough to generate all your notes. It also has a built-in ES-B pickup with its own digital chromatic tuner. There is no need to purchase extra accessories as the gig bag is included in the package.
- for smaller people
- optimized for beginners
- pickup system with tuner
- not very loud
- some buzzing and squeaking
Check out our full Taylor Academy Series 12e Grand Concert review here.
Looking for more small hands options? We also have a complete article on the best acoustic guitar for small hands options.
17. Baby Taylor BT2
When it comes to guitar lessons, it’s always best to start early. Children who want to learn how to play may have a hard time doing so with regular guitars as those are usually made for adults. Enter the Baby Taylor BT2 acoustic guitar – our pick for best small body acoustic guitar. The company refers to it as a mini dreadnought. Aside from the target segment, travelers and undersized adults have also become partial to this model. After all, it’s a serious piece of gear despite its diminutive size.
It comes in a version that sports a mahogany top. It’s rare for manufacturers to place such a premium hardwood in this position. This gives the BT2 a warmer color without heavy finishing. The back, meanwhile, features layered sapele. The hardware features chrome throughout the unit. The shorter scales makes the frets easier to reach with minimal movements. You might think that the sound will be subdued because of the size but it’s actually fairly loud. The bass may be a bit lacking but the mids and highs are alright.
- ideal for kids and travel
- loud for the size
- good value for money
- needs frequent tuning
- lacks bass, tinny sound
Check out our full Baby Taylor BT2 review here.
We also have a detailed comparison post on the Baby Taylor Vs Little Martin if you are interested to see how these two stand up to each other.
18. Fender CD-140SCE
Fender has the distinction of introducing mass-produced solid-body electric guitars to the market in 1950. They changed the music industry then and they have not stopped innovating since. Despite being more famous for electrics, the company has its own line of acoustics that are holding their own. The Fender CD-140SCE, our choice for best cutaway acoustic guitar, is a hybrid with a dreadnought body that projects well for small venues and a Fishman Presys acoustic guitar pickup system that is even better for large halls. It provides a warm and deep tone.
It features a single cutaway design to make it easier to reach the lower frets. The materials offer no surprises with the usual solid spruce top. Rosewood was used for the back and sides. The fingerboard edges are rolled to make them easier to play. It has a tortoise shell pick guard and a rosewood head cap. A hard shell case comes as standard. This Fender looks very traditional but with small details that provide some character. Many are getting this because of the combination of a Fender neck and nylon strings.
- rich tone with adequate bass
- Fishman pickup system
- cutaway design for ease of play
- cheap hard case
- rough finishing
Check out our full Fender CD-140SCE review here.
Looking for more options? Take a look at our article on the best Fender acoustic guitar.
19. Yamaha JR-1
The FG Series guitars may reign supreme for Yamaha but they are not for everyone. Those who want a smaller body can look into the FS models or even the JR models. The Yamaha JR1, our pick for best 3/4 size acoustic guitar, acoustic is a mini folk guitar made with a 3/4 scale is relation to the FGs. If you have shorter hands or if you want a decent travel guitar, then this one is worth a look. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it gets the job done anyway. The familiarity should come in handy for those who want this as part of their wider collection.
It has a spruce stop and meranti for the back and sides. Meranti wood has likely ben chosen because of its excellent strength to weight ratio. It isn’t as known for its tonal properties but those who own the JR1 do not seem to mind. It’s Yamaha so you can count on their Japanese engineering and workmanship. Nato wood is used for the neck while rosewood adorns the fingerboard. They were thoughtful enough to include a gig bag in the package. Overall, it’s a great affordable beginner’s guitar.
- good value for money
- works a kid’s and beginner’s guitar
- great sound and quality
- saddle could be better
- may feel too small for the scale
20. With Built In Tuner – Takamine G-Series GD30CE-NAT
This Takamine guitar is always ready for the stage. This dreadnought features a solid spruce top with mahogany body for the back, sides, and neck. The result of this combination is a guitar with a rich, deep, and resonant sound that is pleasing to the ears. It’s a slim neck with a Venetian cutaway for improved playability. It has an onboard preamp made in-house. The Takamine TP-4TD acoustic guitar has its own built-in tuner (it’s also our pick for best acoustic guitars with built in tuner) that has a 3-band equalizer and controls for the gain. This makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly no matter the situation.
The finger board, head cap, and pin-less bridge are made from ovangkol which is actually related to rosewood. It also has a synthetic one nut, pearl rosette and dot inlays, gloss finish, and chrome die-cast tuners. It looks beautiful and polished. The camera and zoom in and not find any fault. Of course, the sound is fantastic as well. Its loudness and bass strength are givens given its size.
- good value for money
- excellent tone
- suitable for top pros to beginners
- some buzzing that does with adjustment
- could have better strings
Check out our full Takamine G-Series GD30CE-NAT review as well.
How To Choose An Acoustic Guitar
When trying to decide which acoustic guitar to buy, there are a few things that you will want to consider before you make a final decision. One of the most important things that you’ll want to think about is your skill level and whether or not you are looking for an acoustic guitar to start learning on, or if you are trying to upgrade your acoustic guitar that you have been playing for years. No matter what reason you have for wanting an acoustic guitar, there are a few things that will be important to know before making your decision.
What Is Your Guitar Skill Level?
When you are trying to determine what your skill level is there will be a few things that you will want to consider. The acoustic guitar may not be the best instrument for you if you are a beginner, especially if you have never picked up an instrument before. There aren’t as many things that you have to worry about as there would be with an electric guitar, but it’s still important to know what to look for when trying to find the right acoustic guitar for your skill level.
Do You Have Any Size Requirements?
You will want to take into consideration the size of the acoustic guitar as well as the size of your hands. While it is true that an acoustic guitar can be used by anyone regardless of age, it is important to take into consideration if you are 5’3″ or 6’4″ how you are going to be able to reach places on the fretboard that are inaccessible.
Do You Have A Budget?
The price of an acoustic guitar can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, the name, and the product itself. It is important to have a budget for how much you are willing to spend. You will want to know that if you are trying to decide between two different guitars that are both from great brands you should go with the more expensive one if it means that you will be able to play better over a guitar that was less expensive but also not as well made.
What Is Your Favorite Brand?
Your favorite acoustic guitar brand will be important to consider when you are trying to decide what your exact preferences are and how you will be able to accommodate them in your acoustic guitar.
What Are Your Preference’s Regarding Acoustic Guitar Tone, Pickups, Hardware? (subjective)
There are many different factors that can affect the tone of an acoustic guitar and whether or not you like it. Have you ever noticed that some people prefer the tone of an acoustic guitar that has a pickup in it while others would much rather play an acoustic guitar without it? It is important to understand what you like and don’t like about tone so that you can make the best choice when trying to decide which acoustic guitar will be right for you.
What Style Of Music Do You Want To Play?
The style of music you want to play will be important to consider when trying to decide which acoustic guitar will be right for you. You will want to consider whether or not you are interested in playing rock, country, pop, or anything else that is out there. Most acoustic guitars will be able to accommodate those different genres but it is important for you to know what your preferences are before choosing an acoustic guitar.
Do You Play In A Group Setting Or More Of A Solo Player?
If you are planning on playing your acoustic guitar in a group setting then it will be important for you to consider the volume that is being emitted from your guitar. This will help you determine whether or not an acoustic guitar with a pickup in it would be the best instrument for it. If you like to play your acoustic guitar in a solo setting it will be important for you to research the acoustic guitar that you are interested in buying and figure out if the tone is good enough without the addition of a pickup.
Best Acoustic Guitar Conclusion
The best acoustic guitar is the one that addresses your needs while being mindful of your budget. Fortunately, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. Stick to respected best acoustic guitars brands so that you can be confident in the durability and overall quality. Make sure that the body size if right for your stature and intended usage scenario. There are smaller guitars for kids and travelers who are mainly concerned about uninterrupted practice. There are also larger ones for high-level performers who need big sound. Try them out if possible and look for the best deals online. You may also be interested in our other post on the best acoustic electric guitar options.