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Ready to become a guitar player? It’s almost impossible to label a guitar as “best” since there are too many variables at play. And what’s best for a particular guitarist may not be for another person. Typically, the best guitars for beginners is the one that you find easy and fun to play. If you are not comfortable playing the guitar and learning the beginner guitar chords, the excellent sound it makes will not compensate for the inconvenience.
On the other hand, if the guitar feels like the right size and tip top shape for your style, its sub-par sound could spoil the fun. And then there are other things to consider such as your hand size, finger thickness, posture, physical environment, musical tastes, etc.
- How Do I Choose A Beginner Guitar To Play?
- Buying? How Much Should I Pay for A Beginner Guitar?
- Which Is The Top Guitar For Beginners – Electric or Acoustic Guitars?
- Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
- Best Electric Guitars for Beginners
How Do I Choose A Beginner Guitar To Play?
Before starting your first guitar lessons, the three important things you must consider when looking to buy the top guitar for beginners are guitar size, materials, and design. You should also start your journey with an acoustic guitar. It is your standard guitar that does not overwhelm you with its features and capabilities. Moreover, an acoustic guitar’s sound hole ensures you need not connect it to an external amp. An electric guitar without an amp would sound very quiet, which would make it difficult to reflect on or ascertain your progress.
You may move to electric guitars after you have learned the basics or created a top solid foundation. However, if the planets do not align and an electric guitar is something you already have, then go ahead and learn to play on an electric guitar. Also, look for beginner guitars that are sold in guitar starter packs or come bundled in with accessories that you would need to get started with the guitar.
In this article of the best beginners guitar options, we looked at a number of different aspects that we think beginners should be looking at to get the first guitar best for them:
- Easy to play or at least easier to play than others we tested.
- We looked at the top guitars that would work for either adults or children that want to learn guitar.
- In the category of acoustic guitars, Made with good quality materials like a top solid spruce top, solid sitka spruce, well made solid top, back and sides.
- Relatively low price.
- We only looked at steel strings best guitars and not anything with nylon strings since these are more from the classical guitar spectrum. Nylon strings are easier to play but not necessarily something a beginner guitarist should choose.
Buying? How Much Should I Pay for A Beginner Guitar?
Good top beginner guitars – acoustic guitar or electric – fall within a broad price range. Generally, you should be paying anywhere between $100 and $400 for a model based on the brand, the feature-set, and materials used. The bundled-in accessories or the lack of any would also ascertain the price you pay for the guitar. Generally, it’s recommended you don’t focus too much on price if you intend to keep the guitar for long, as you would then not have to worry about the guitar’s durability/longevity or buy another guitar a year or two down the road. Knowing what you want would help you lock in on the right price.
Quick note about how we looked at pricing. While we think that a good beginner guitar pricing should be in the $100-$400 range but you will notice in our list that we also choose some beginner acoustic and electric guitar options that are above that price. When choosing the best beginner guitar for you, you may need to look at a slightly higher budget at times.
Which Is The Top Guitar For Beginners – Electric or Acoustic Guitars?
Acoustic guitars and electric guitars not just play differently but they also look quite distinct. Assuming you know the difference between the two but aren’t sure which one is best to go with for beginners, then, as aforementioned, start with an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitars are uncomplicated, and you get what you see.
An electric guitar, on the other hand, may look plain from the outside but it could be hiding more than a handful of tricks that the beginner in you may not be prepared for. If you’re still not clear, head to a local guitar store, check out both the types, and see what appeals to you the most.
As you read on here, you will see that we broke up this best beginner guitar article between electric guitars and acoustic guitars you may want to play. We hope that these best beginner guitar recommendations give you everything you need and help you make sure that you find a guitar that you want to play everyday.
Ready to look at all the best guitars for beginners we choose? Look below at our top acoustic guitar and best electric options.
Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
Here are our list of best beginner acoustic guitars that we would recommend:
Yamaha FG800 – My Favorite Beginner Acoustic Guitar
The Yamaha FG800 acoustic guitar is a top rated model quite popular among beginner acoustic guitar buyers and one of the best acoustic guitar options for beginners. The sound the guitar generates is comparable to many best guitars priced higher, and it’s also quite capable at keeping its tune. For a beginner guitar, the tuners staying in tune is a pretty impressive trait. The sound signature, in fact, truly makes the FG800 distinct in its price category. There is no amplification, but then that is not a deal-breaker if you consider the guitar’s price.
If you’re a fingerstyle player, you would fancy the FG800’s rich bass performance, thanks to the dreadnought size. It’s powerful and warm and the sound should be fine even within large squares. However, the bass doesn’t affect the bright timbre and treble projections. They are kept under control. The FG800 may not sound great right off the bat. You may have to tune or set it up to make it sound a lot more premium.
The guitar has a solid build and plays pretty fine. Its top is made of solid spruce – which is usually typical of more premium best guitars – and helps churn out impressive tones. The gloss-finished body looks elegant. The neck is slim and satin-finished. The design of the FG800 does promote increased sound quality. In fact, besides being capable of improving the sound, the solid wood top of the FG800 would continue enriching the sound over a period. The mature wood would lend mellower, deeper, brighter, warmer, and well-balanced numbers on the frequencies.
- Great sound for the price
- Solid build
- Gets better with time
- Not much offered in the form of accessories
This option is probably what I would consider to be the best choice for beginner acoustic guitars and maybe even a best acoustic guitar in general.
Check out our full FG800 review here.
Martin LX1RE Little Martin
The Martin LX1RE acoustic guitar, as the name suggests, is a mini-size, travel-friendly acoustic guitar – and another guitar for beginners. It has 20 frets – of which 14 are playable – and the scale length is 23 inches. It might seem a bit too small, but the size has little to no impact on how the guitar plays. Moreover, the guitar is built well, which means carrying it around without much wear and tear is feasible. The high-pressure laminate (HPL) sides and back make the guitar quite sturdy.
The Sitka spruce top ensures smooth projections and tones. Thanks to the smaller fretboard, coming up with some eccentric chord combinations should not be a problem. You can plug in and play the guitar, which can be quite fun. The LX1RE will certainly not replace your primary guitar. However, it could be your backup guitar or something you could use for fun or travel. Aesthetically speaking, the guitar’s rear has a wonderful rosewood pattern. The fingerboard and bridge are made from FSC-certified Richlite, which is a composite substance that reconciles the tonal gap existing between ebony and rosewood.
If you’re learning to play the guitar, this top quality guitar might just be the right fit, particularly if you’re young and still in your growing years. The guitar is easier to play as the spacing between the frets is slightly smaller. The onboard electronics also make the guitar excellent for adults who are just getting started. Perhaps the most underrated aspect of this guitar’s build is the fact that it’s made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials.
- Solid sitka spruce
- Fisherman Sonitone preamp
- Eco-friendly materials
- Requires little maintenance
- Not ideal if you’re looking for “full body” sound
This is definitely another excellent best acoustic guitar choice for both new beginner guitarists and experienced players as well.
Looking for more info on this guitar? Check out this full review of the Little Martin.
The CD-60S acoustic guitar is a solid entry-level acoustic guitar from the house of Fender and a very excellent best acoustic guitar and good acoustic guitar choice. The all-mahogany construction of this dreadnought creates a rounded, full sound, which offers great mid-level power and volume. The tuners are reliable and positive, and they are extremely good quality for the price tag. The CD-60S offers action that’s low enough to facilitate easier strumming, while steering clear of bothersome fret buzz.
In a way, the CD-60S indicates that you can possibly buy a lot of guitar even if your budget is small. The top is solid-wood mahogany, and the back and sides are laminated mahogany. The rolled fretboard edge is inviting and makes playing the guitar comfortable. The mahogany’s mid-character is certainly present, bringing some substance to a brightness that’s usually linked with solid spruce tops and quality back and sides. The tone that transpires is truly inspiring. The CD-60S tells you that you need not relinquish comfort and inspiration even if your guitar budget is heavily confined.
The intonation is solid; however, it isn’t too low to make you aware of alternate tunings. There is zero unwanted hum and rattle in D# chord, which help when you need some heavy bottom-end and also marginally subtler string tension. The top string has some buzz, but the tuners help make pretty smooth adjustments to that. The sound, as aforementioned, is wonderful. Bass notes are defined and strong and not boomy, which help with fingerpicking.
- Excellent value for money
- Ideal for beginners
- Great intonation
- Top quality but a little plain looking
This is another great option for best beginner acoustic.
The Epiphone DR-100 acoustic guitar is another best beginner guitar with a noticeably bold sound signature. The rosewood in combination with the mahogany body and spruce top produces a sound, unlike other wood types. The guitar’s 14-degree angled headstock is ideal for beginners as it provides decent give along with some smooth chord transitions. The mahogany neck with 20 frets is simple to play – the slim profile helps with comfort and speed, making practice sessions quite enjoyable. The DR-100’s body boasts ample resonance. And the ‘vintage sunburst’ design looks truly unique and professional.
A Gibson subsidiary, Epiphone has built a reputation for itself with its budget Gibson replicas and high-end originals. The company is also known for making some pretty sweet acoustic guitars, like the DR-100. The design is pretty simple, yet reliable. The guitar features all-laminate construction, a dreadnought body shape, and a high-gloss finish. The build quality outclasses the majority of its competition – including the ones that are priced slightly higher.
The DR-100 acoustic guitar is very affordable, which makes it quite challenging to find faults in it. The tone produced is comparable to expensive guitars. It’s well-balanced, clean, and deep, which helps you listen to yourself clearly. This relatively easy-to-play guitar is a no-brainer if you’re on a budget. Long story short, the Epiphone DR-100 carries forward the company’s legacy, and is certainly among the affordable range’s elite best acoustic guitar models.
- Solid build quality
- Easy-to-play with decent string height.
- Solid value for the money
- Tuning machines (also called tuning pegs) are run-of-the-mill
Ibanez Artwood AW360CEWK
The Ibanez Artwood AW360CEWK is a full-size acoustic guitar and great acoustic guitars for beginners choice. Made from mahogany, it boasts an open pore, weathered black finish. Mahogany is used for the guitar’s top, back and sides, and also the neck. The bridge and fingerboard are both made from rosewood. Other noteworthy features are open-gear tuners made from chrome, ivory knobs, a saddle and bone nut, and bridge pins. The single-cutaway dreadnought shape form provides a powerful, yet balanced acoustic sound that would suit both solo and full-band performances.
The AW360CEWK acoustic guitar has its unique voice, despite the affordable guitar market being extremely crowded. The cutaway body shape coupled with a solid mahogany top provides well-rounded, full-bodied, and an increasingly solid sonic response. The mahogany body also means the guitar is able to breathe freely which reflects in its sound. The unique open-pore finish gives the guitar a rich, open, and full sound. The tonewood is “Thermo Aged”, which is a unique drying process used on the guitar’s bridge plate and bridge.
The electronics part is taken care of by the AEQ-SP2 Ibanez preamp and Fishman Sonicore pickup. The preamp comes with an onboard tuner, a two-band EQ, a 1/4″ output jack, and an XLR balanced yield. There are 20 frets and powering things up is a 9V battery. The Sonicore pickup helps with accurately translating full sound to any amplification setup you plug the guitar into. The preamp offers the additional onboard EQ punch.
- Great look and strings feel
- Solid mahogany build
- Fishman Sonicore pickup
- Thermo Aged rosewood
- Treble could have been better
Taylor GS Mini
Taylor GS Mini acoustic guitar is a fairly compact acoustic guitar that smaller or younger guitarists would appreciate the most. It is a bit higher budget guitar for beginners but worth the price. Thanks to its relatively small size, it’s also easy to travel with or carry around. The Taylor brand is known for making relatively high-priced guitars. With the GS Mini, however, the company shifts gears and tries to cater to a market that it has historically not paid much attention to. The GS Mini is more than just a travel guitar. It comes with its unique acoustic voice that could be amplified with a ES-Go pickup.
The sound the GS Mini produces is clear and warm, tilting more toward the mid-range. The trebles are quite bright, and the bass is sufficient despite the size. The factory-set action is low and makes it easy to play the guitar right off the bat. The tone also comprises adequate sustain with notes lasting longer than one would expect from a mini acoustic guitar. The broad tonal capacity means the guitar stands its own irrespective of the musical styles. In other words, the guitar is ideal for beginners seeking tonal versatility.
So how small the GS Mini guitars really are? If you take 51mm off the full-size Taylor GS’ scale length and 86mm off its total length, you come down to GS Mini size. On the width front, approximately 48mm has been reduced. If you are familiar with the bigger Taylor GS, you would realize how large of a size cut that truly is.
- Compact size
- Extremely playable
- Superb build quality
- The thin satin finish doesn’t offer much protection from wear and tear
Seagull Original S6
Based out of Canada, Seagull is a Godin subsidiary that’s known for making high-quality guitars; the S6 acoustic guitar keeps up the tradition and is an excellent choice for guitars for beginners – another one of the best acoustic guitar options. The guitar has a more mature design language. In other words, it’s not flashy. It is not abalone-loaded or has intricate decoration like some of its competition. Those styles do have a unique charm. However, the understated, simple nature of the S6 is appealing in its own way. Also, it makes up for the lack of glamor with its build quality and functionalities. The refined construction is nicely complemented with bright tones.
The top is solid cedar and the back is wild cherry, which creates a dynamic sound and a solid mid-range that has a wonderful projection. Sitting atop is a tapered, distinctive headstock, which facilitates increased tuning stability. The neck, which is made of silver leaf maple, is marginally fatter compared to other acoustics. These various attributes make the guitar ideal for fingerstyle guitarists.
Thanks to the adept craftsmanship, the Seagull S6 feels tough and durable. It is refined and well-finished without the minor defects that are usually synonymous with budget-friendly guitars. The S6’s tone offers a sense of warmth. It is particularly handy for people with gentle fingerpicking styles. Though the price tag isn’t necessarily beginner model-like, the S6 best acoustic guitars would certainly last for years, more than making up for its high price in the process.
- Versatile sound
- Ideal for fingerpicking
- Tone improves with time
- At the upper end of the price spectrum
So this covers our recommendations for the best beginner guitar on the best acoustic guitars side of things. Not interested in one of the above best acoustic? Now, what about electric guitars? Take a look at the list below:
Also, to go along with this, we also have a great guide on the best guitar amps for beginners.
Best Electric Guitars for Beginners
Epiphone Les Paul 100 – My Favorite Beginner Electric Guitar
The Epiphone Les Paul 100 is a more affordable and accessible variant of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitars. The Les Paul 100 isn’t a blatant Gibson copy. Epiphone, in fact, has the license to make budget-friendly variants of Gibson guitars. Besides paying homage to Gibson guitars, Epiphone makes its unique line of best guitars too. Therefore, credibility should not be an issue with the Epiphone brand.
The Les Paul 100 features the legendary shape and design of its inspiration. The guitar features a single-cutaway design that comes with four control knobs, two humbuckers, and a toggle shift. The body is mahogany-made, which is typical of the Les Paul range. Compared to the Gibson, this Epiphone model is a bit on the slimmer side, which also makes it lighter on the hands. The solid top is curved and the white pickguard tops things off with its classic styling.
The neck has been designed to keep up with Gibson tradition. It’s made of mahogany and has a rosewood fretboard. The 22 frets, which is standard across the board, and the white dot inlays keep the familiarity quotient high. Unlike the Gibson model, however, the Epiphone’s neck is a bolt-on. The overall feel and tone of this guitar may not be up there with the Gibson model, but it manages to pleasantly surprise you with its output.
- Quality hardware at play
- Polished mahogany wood construction
- Fairly inexpensive for what it offers
- Nowhere close to the Gibson’s sound, but still an excellent sounding guitar for beginners.
This is our choice for best beginner electric guitar if you are ready to start learning and plucking the strings.
The Yamaha PAC112V is a budget beginner guitar that takes its inspiration for the body from the Fender Stratocaster. Being a Pacifica, the 112V is carved out of one piece of wood, the alder variety. Guitars with alder bodies create well-rounded, clear tones with a thick midrange and solid bass response. Yamaha is proud of the fact that it has used alder and not some cheap plywood to make the PAC112V. It, therefore, gave the guitar some semi-translucent finish choices so that people could truly appreciate the build materials and quality.
Though closely resembling the Fender Stratocaster, the bolt-on neck is solid maple with a rosewood fingerboard and a slight satin finish. However, unlike the Fender’s 21 frets, the PAC112V has 22. Also, the neck feels quite smooth and slick to the touch. The PAC112V comes with the HSS pickup arrangement. And the bridge position humbucker can be coil-split. To create a Stratocaster-like tone, you should employ the middle pickup and neck combination.
The 25.5″ scale length offers the PAC112V a bold, strong tone with solid mids, and a robust low end. The alder body, pickup design, maple neck, and scale length add up to provide the guitar a pretty solid sound profile. The individual coils are quite good, offering a quick dynamic response and thick mid-range. The tremolo bar works great, provided you do not come down heavily on it.
- Versatility is its middle name
- H-S-S pickup design
- Great hardware for the price
- Some buzzing issues
Another excellent option for best beginner guitar.
The Ibanez RG450DX is an electric guitar that has been specifically designed for low drag, high-speed shredding that beginners will love. It comes with a snappy, three-piece maple Wizard III neck. The body is made of mahogany, which boasts a resonance of its own. It sports a couple of hot humbuckers, in addition to a coil placed in the middle – making the guitar ideal for blues, rock, and metal genres.
The Wizard III neck is known for its effortless playability, which is a reason why it has been the rock music standard for so long. Switching between wild lead lines and aggressive rhythm playing should be buttery smooth too, thanks to the slim-profile neck. Though the RG450DX has the quintessential rock guitar image, its tonal variety and fast playability make it ideal for pretty much any style of music.
The DL tremolo bridge facilitates expressive strumming with solid tuning stability. The guitar is easy-peasy for different techniques such as bends, tapping, and legato. Ibanez installed its three Quantum pickups in the HSS arrangement. The bridge and neck pickups are ceramic while the one in the middle is an authentic Alnico design. The pickups have been wired to individual control knobs and a regular pickup switch. This Ibanez is certainly a consistent and pretty reliable electric guitar.
- Big tonal range
- Classic RG performance
- Great value offering
- The pickups are lacking some thump when it picks up the signal from the strings.
Definitely a great best beginner guitar option.
Epiphone G-400 Pro SG
The Epiphone G-400 electric guitar is an affordable SG based on Gibson SG, the classic and well-received guitars model. The G-400 Pro has a solid mahogany body. The neck is glued in, which is also made of mahogany. The neck has a ‘D’ slim-taper profile and boasts playability that the SG is known for. The fingerboard is made of rosewood and has trapezoid inlays. The mahogany body has a nice finish for the price. If you prefer the classic Gibson SG look, you would like how this guitar looks.
The G-400 Pro’s electronics is where the guitar deviates a bit from the Gibson SG. It’s equipped with a couple of Alnico Classic PRO four-wire humbuckers that can effortlessly evoke a wide gamut of tones. They are coil-tapped, which means they could be split into individual coils through pull-push volume controls. This significantly increases the guitar’s tonal range.
The guitar’s pickups deserve a separate mention since affordable best guitars typically go cheap on their tuners to keep costs under control. The G-400 Pro doesn’t do that. The humbuckers fitted in ensure rich, full, and clean tones. Also, along with them, the characteristic SG roar is only a tap away. Long story short, the very first G-400 was a pretty solid value. This new model raises that bar.
- Looks and plays great
- Solid fit and finish
- Pretty sweet for the price
- Slightly heavy at the head
Ibanez Gio GRGR121DX
The Ibanez Gio GRGR121DX is a value-for-money electric guitar for beginners. Its poplar body is resonant and comfortable for all-night rocking, while its couple of humbuckers provide tone by the boatloads. The guitar features a hardtail bridge, offering maximum tuning stability, 24 jumbo frets, a quick-action maple neck, and a fingerboard made of New Zealand pine. The jumbo frets offer effortless shredding. Not to mention, the shark tooth inlays top the package off.
The GRGR121DX’s pickups offer great tonal versatility. The two ceramic-magnet powerful humbucker pickups offer high output without any muddiness. The guitar is up for pretty much any style of playing – from warm, clean ballads to metal and beyond. The maple neck facilitates fast and smooth play, offering you the nimbleness to execute high-range, lightning-fast single note runs easily.
Divebombs could be fun; however, most guitarists prefer a hardtail bridge’s stability to help keep strings in tune longer. If your preferences are similar, the Ibanez GRGR121DX will be your jam. The fixed bridge anchors GRG121DX’s strings, offering a great platform for any performance. And courtesy the humbuckers, any string buzz could be easily mitigated.
- Powerful humbucking pickups
- Fast-action, smooth-playing neck
- Hardtail bridge offers to tune stability benefits
- No tremolo bar
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster ’50s
The Classic Vibe Stratocaster ’50s from Squier are a quality electric guitar for beginners for the price. It boasts Fender identity but stays within reach of the masses. The Classic Vibe Strat has an alder body, unlike most other Squier guitars which are made from basswood. The neck is high-quality maple and tint gloss. The polyester finish and the C-shaped body make the guitar comfortable and smooth to play.
The guitar comes in multiple finish options – the vintage sunburst variant being pretty striking. The classic vibe and the vintage look of the guitar coupled with quality construction and tone make the guitar an extremely attractive proposition. If you are familiar with the very first Strat 50s, this model would remind you of that guitar.
The fingerboard has a radius of 9.5 inches, a scale length of 25.5 inches, and 21 flawlessly finished medium jumbo frets. Sliding on the fingerboard should be very smooth. The fret edges have zero burrs and are quite smooth. Therefore, you can play with this guitar for hours together. The pickups on the guitar have been upgraded. Instead of using classic single-coil pups, this Classic Vibe Strat employs custom classic single-coil pickups along with Alnico III magnets. All these combine to deliver truly great sound. The maple neck and alder body offer increased dynamic tone ranges.
- Great looks
- Alder body construction
- Different finish options
- The polyester finish may be off-putting for some
Fender Player Telecaster
The Fender Player Telecaster continues to be the most enduring workhorse in the electric guitars for beginners world. Though Fender didn’t invent solid-body electric guitars, it certainly has played a major role in popularizing them. Fender guitars have this reputation of being clean, pure, and durable. This Fender model checks all those necessary boxes.
The Player Telecaster tries to bundle in Telecaster fundamentals into a more accessible package that would cater to buyers with different budgets. As a result, what transpires is a streamlined variant that boasts all the basic traits that give a Telecaster its identity and make it extremely desirable. However, the Player Telecaster tries to stand out from the crowd through some unique and thoughtful improvements.
The Player Tele’s neck is made of maple and has the modern “C” profile. It is not excessively thick, but there is enough depth on offer to cater to players in a range of genres. Fretting and bending chords are a non-issue with this guitar. The Player Tele not just looks the part, but also plays the role pretty well. It delivers the iconic Telecaster tone. The tonal palette is bright and smooth. Unlike most other cheap pickups, the Player Tele does not veer into the shrill or tinny territory. And the bass, like most Telecasters, isn’t booming and heavy but still pretty adequate.
- Refined and clear sounds
- Well-balanced bridge pickup
- Extremely playable satin-finished neck
- Not the most flexible T-type in its price point.
As aforementioned, finding the right best beginner guitar for learning guitar is not that easy. The top options are too many – both for beginner acoustic guitars and electric best beginner guitar options for your first guitar. Moreover, there are some professional-grade guitars that are promoted as beginner friendly. The issue with buying guitars for beginners that’s not meant for amateurs is the learning would become challenging.
If you know what you need and what specifications to look for and the price points to go after, you should be able to bag the right guitar for your purpose. The aforementioned guitars fall in a fairly wide price range and cater to different styles.
We hope you find the guitar best for you! Make sure you choose one of these from the list above! Or if you are looking for a complete set up with everything you need, check out these best electric guitar starter kits.