Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners in 2020

Getting your first acoustic guitars is an exciting time. You might not know exactly what to look for in a quality instrument. There are several things to consider when looking for the best acoustic guitar for beginners. This guide will help you pick out your new acoustic guitar.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks..

Which is the Best Guitar for Beginners?

As a beginner, there are several considerations. If the student is under ten years old, it’s recommended that a nylon string acoustic guitar is used. The reason for this is that the strings are easier to press down, and it won’t be as rough on the child’s fingers. If the player is a little bit older, then a regular steel-string acoustic would be a suitable option.

To make it easier to play, it’s recommended that a lower gauge string is used, which reduces finger fatigue. You can also buy student size guitars which are smaller than normal-sized acoustic instruments. These are typically 3/4 size or 1/2 size. The 1/2 size would be suitable for a very small child while the 3/4 size would be suitable for a regular child or younger teenager.

What is a Good Cheap Guitar for Beginners?

While you may be tempted to get a guitar that is quite cheap, this is not a good option when it comes to an acoustic guitar. You want to spend a little bit of money on your instrument. There are some guitar kits that feature an excellent beginner instrument. They often come with accessories such as picks, tuner, strap, gig bag, and so on.

You should plan to spend at least $100-200 or so on your first instrument. If you can spend a little bit more than that, it’s recommended that you do so because you will get better sound and the instrument is going to last you a long time. Just remember that you get what you pay for. By spending a little bit more, you’ll have an instrument that is easier to play. You will enjoy it more, and you want to keep practicing. If the instrument is too cheap, it won’t stay in tune, it will be harder to play, and you’ll get frustrated. Spend a little bit more, and you’ll get more enjoyment out of it.

Types of Acoustic Guitars

There are several types of acoustic guitars on the market. It can be confusing looking at all the different types. Here is a breakdown of the various guitar types, which will make it easier for you to purchase your new acoustic instrument.

Dreadnaught

The first type of acoustic guitar is called the dreadnought. This is a full-size instrument. It has a rich and full sound. While it has great sound, it’s not the ideal solution for our beginner. The reason for this is that the dreadnought is quite large. It will be difficult for a beginner to hold this type of guitar unless you are a teenager or an adult. This type is not recommended for children as they won’t be able to hold it properly. Thankfully, there are several smaller-sized dreadnought style guitars on the market that younger students can play, which are comfortable to hold and not as large as a regular dreadnought-style acoustic.

Cutaway

The cutaway acoustic guitar features a scoop in the body. This makes it easier to access the higher Frets on the instrument. Instruments such as the dreadnaught don’t have a scoop, and it’s difficult to hit the higher frets. The cutaway is the idea that beginner instruments if you want to play lead acoustic guitar solos. It’s much easier for your fingers to hit the higher Frets thanks to the scoop or cutaway feature of this type of instrument. Most major manufacturers feature acoustic guitars that have a cutaway or a scoop in the body.

Acoustic-Electric

The next type of instrument is the acoustic-electric. This is a regular acoustic, but it has a pickup installed. One of the strap buttons is also an input jack, so you can easily plug your acoustic guitar into an amplifier. These instruments usually have an equalizer, which includes a treble, tone, and other controls. Some of these instruments will also come with a built-in tuner, so it’s easy to tune-up. There is also usually a battery compartment inside the instrument or on the side of the guitar body. The downside to this instrument is it’s a little harder to play for beginners because there are more controls. The acoustic-electric is a popular choice for those that want to do recording or play live.

Folk or Classical

Another type of acoustic instrument is classical or folk guitar. This doesn’t have traditional steel strings like a regular acoustic guitar. This guitar has nylon. This instrument has nylon strings. These strings produce a warm and softer tone that is suitable for classical guitar or folk guitar.

There are also many student size guitars that feature nylon strings which make them perfect for the beginner student. The downside is that the nylon strings don’t produce a tone that is as loud as regular steel-strings. This makes it harder to strum full chords. It also requires a bit more care to string up an instrument with nylon strings.

Auditorium or Concert Acoustic

This acoustic guitar is similar to the dreadnaught but a little bit smaller. This type is easier to hold. Some players like the smaller size of the concert or auditorium acoustic. Some of these instruments are equipped with equalizers or pickups. If you don’t like the feeling of the floor size dreadnought, a concert or auditorium size is probably the best choice for you. They don’t tend to be as loud as a full-size dreadnought, but they’re perfect for finger-picking or other intricate guitar lines.

Jumbo

The jumbo is a large-sized acoustic guitar. It’s even larger than the regular dreadnought style. Most beginners will not be playing an instrument like the jumbo. It’s often the choice for country music or jazz. You will get a rich and loud sound out of the jumbo-sized instrument. This comes at the expense of a large body. It will be far too cumbersome for a child or younger student to play this size of the instrument.

Tone Wood

The wood used to make your acoustic guitar is a big factor in the overall sound of your instrument. Here is what you need to know about tonewood.

Laminate Wood

Instruments that are on the lower end of the price scale are made with laminate wood. This is cheap wood which is mass-produced. The tone that you get from this wood is not all that great, but for the beginner, they really won’t notice a difference in the tone

Alder

This type of wood is lightweight. The pattern features a swirling grain. It’s a common wood used to make acoustic guitars. It’s quite strong, and you get a good tone. The mid-range is a little less when you compare it to other words such as basswood. It’s the perfect choice for a beginner guitar as it doesn’t cost as much as some of the other wood.

Basswood

This wood is often used in the factory because it’s easy to sand, cut, and finish. It features a tight grain, and the wood itself is quite soft. The highest produced by the wood or dampened and softer. The low end for basswood is a little weaker when compared to other woods. You will see this wood used in a lot of inexpensive acoustic guitars.

Mahogany

Mahogany is often used to make acoustic guitars because it is durable, economical, easy to work with, and it looks attractive. It’s used on lower-end acoustic guitars, but it still sounds great. This word is often found on the back or sides of the instrument.

Spruce

Used for making acoustic guitars, another word that it’s used is spruce. There are several different types of spruce. It is an all-around great wood for making an acoustic instrument. You’ll see instruments in all price ranges that use this type of wood. It’s often used to make the guitar top.

Rosewood

This type of wood is often used for the fingerboard of an acoustic instrument. It is sometimes found on the guitar body but often used for the fingerboard. This is because the wood is smooth, and it allows for better playability when fingering chords or playing through scales.

Koa

This is a dense hardwood that is used to make the top of guitars. You’ll find this wood used in guitars that are more expensive since it costs more than basswood, alder, or spruce.

Cedar

Cedar wood is often used for making a classical guitar because it produces a nice warm tone. You won’t find it used that often for a regular steel-string instrument.

Maple

You often find maple wood in the back and sides of the guitar. It’s also used to make guitar necks along with mahogany. It is a solid and dependable wood that produces an excellent tone.

Caring for Your Acoustic Guitar

Cleaning

If you want your guitar to last a long time you have to clean it properly. This involves using a guitar polish and a polishing cloth made out of cotton or similar material. It’s not a good idea to use regular household cleaners on your instrument because you may get finish damage. All it takes is a little bit of polish on a clean cloth. You apply this to your instrument and it will remove most of the smudge marks and other debris. You should not use a lot of Polish when you’re cleaning your guitar. You should give it a periodic cleaning. The best time to do this is when you change strings.

See also our guide on how to clean guitar strings.

String Changes

It’s never a good idea to leave strings on your instrument for a long time. Regular guitar strings will corrode over time. You need to make periodic changes of the strings to ensure that your instrument has great tone and playability. Guitar strings should be changed at least once per month. You can go longer if you use coated strings that have a specific codon on them which allows the string to last longer. When strings corrode they transfer debris onto your fretboard which can damage it.

Humidifier

If you live in an area that has frequent temperature changes which are extreme, you may want to buy a guitar humidifier. When there are changes in temperature, this can impact the wood of your guitar. A humidifier will help stabilize the wood and this reduces warping or cracking of the wood that can occur with temperature changes. You should never leave your instrument outside during cold weather even if you have a hardshell case for it. Why you don’t necessarily have to have a humidifier, this can help if your instrument is going to go through temperature changes.

Periodic Checkup

Another thing you should do is to take your instrument in to see a guitar technician about once per year. This will ensure that you’re not developing any problems. The technician can look over the instrument. you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle if you correct problems before they get worse. For example, you might be developing a small hairline fracture in your guitar neck, but not know it. A technician can locate the sort of problem and correct it before it gets worse.

What Else Should I Buy?

Capo

It’s a good idea to have a capo for your instrument. This allows you to change the tuning without having to change the tuning of the strange. You can put the capo on your guitar and this will help you sing songs or at least get the instrument into the range for your voice.

Extra Strings

Make sure you have several sets of strings on hand. It’s a good idea to have extras of the G, B, and little E string. The reason for this is they tend to break more often the thicker strings do.

Stand and Case

you should also invest in a hardshell guitar case. Mini guitars ship in a soft gig bag but this is usually not enough to protect your instrument. A hardshell case is ideal for protecting your guitar. You should also get a stand so you can prop up your guitar while you are practicing. It’s never a good idea to lay it on the couch or the bed because it might fall off and you could crack the wood.

Acoustic Amplifier

If your instrument has a pickup, you’re going to want to pick up an amplifier for it. You can’t use a regular electric guitar amplifier for an acoustic guitar. You have to buy an amplifier that is specifically designed for acoustic instruments. Don’t plug your acoustic guitar into an electric guitar amplifier is it won’t work properly and you may damage the amp.

Best Acoucstic Guitar for Beginners Reviews

1. Fender FA-125CE Dreadnought Cutaway – Best Dreadnaught Cutaway for Beginners

Fender FA-125CE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar - Sunburst Bundle with Gig Bag, Strap, Strings, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

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One of the best acoustic guitars for beginners is the Fender FA-125CE. You get an acoustic guitar as well as accessories with this kit. it’s an excellent product for any beginner. This kit features a top-quality Fender guitar with a cutaway. This makes it easy to hit the higher frets on the guitar. It has a laminate spruce top, with basswood for the sides and top. You get a great tone out of the guitar. The neck is made from nato wood and it features a C profile that is comfortable to play. The fingerboard is made with walnut wood so it is smooth on your fingers.

It comes with a pickup so you can plug it into an amplifier if you prefer. The EQ features tone, volume, and treble settings. and a tuner built-in. You get a strap, gig bag, picks, booklet, extra strings and access to Fender Play trial subscription for lessons with this kit. This is an excellent beginner acoustic guitar.

Pros:

  • Full guitar package
  • EQ and pickup
  • Easy to play

Cons:

  • The gig bag could be better
  • Some guitars had quality control issues

2. Pyle 30 – Best Small-Size Nylon String Acoustic

Beginner 30” Classical Acoustic Guitar - 1/4 Junior Size 6 String Linden Wood Guitar w/ Gig Bag, Tuner, Nylon Strings, Picks, Strap, For Beginners, Adults - Pyle PGACLS30

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For those that are new to guitar a nylon string acoustic is preferable because the strings are easier on the fingers. You get a full kit with the Pyle 30” Classical Acoustic Guitar. This instrument is smaller than normal and easy on the fingers for even first time players.

This instrument is 30” so it’s smaller than normal. This makes it easy for smaller kids to hold. The nylon strings are easy on the fingers so there is no finger pain or fatigue. It’s the perfect instrument to learn your first songs on. It features a Lindenwood body, birchwood headstock, and the fretboard is dyed hardwood. You get a tuner, extra strings, strap, picks, and a gig bag when you order so you have all you need to begin to start.

Pros:

  • Perfect for students
  • Strings are easy on the hands

Cons:

  • Some issues with tuning
  • Small size may not be suitable for everyone

3. Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS 3/4-Size – Best Pro-Style Kit for Beginners

Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS 3/4-Size Kids Learn-to-Play Acoustic Guitar Bundle w/Gig Bag, Strings, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Book, Capo, DVD, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth - Flame Yellow Sunburst

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Many beginner guitars are not very good and of low quality. Oscar Schmidt changes that with the OG1FYS 3/4-size. This is a quality guitar for those that are new to the instrument.

The instrument is a ¾ size guitar so it’s easier to hold than a full-size guitar. It has a high gloss spruce top for better tonal quality. The fretboard is made with engineered wood and easy to play even for smaller children. The tuners are quality die-case and you get a limited lifetime warranty when you buy. It comes with a tuner, strap capo, extra strings, DVD, booklet, polishing cloth, picks, and a gig bag. This is a high-quality steel string guitar for anyone that is looking to learn how to play. It the right choice for children or those with smaller hands.

Pros:

  • Quality steel-string guitar
  • Comes with a lot of accessories

Cons:

  • May be too small for some
  • Steel strings can be uncomfortable to play for beginners

4. Yamaha FGX820C Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric – Best Instrument for Recording

Yamaha FGX820C Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Natural

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As a beginner to the guitar, you may want to record yourself playing. This is difficult with many acoustic guitars as they don’t have a pickup. You can record and sound great with the Yamaha FGX20C as it’s a high-quality instrument with a pickup and EQ system that even beginners will] enjoy.

This instrument has exceptional build quality with a solid Sitka Spruce top with mahogany sides and back for improved tonal characteristics. The bridge and the fingerboard are made with solid rosewood so they will last a long time. The tuning is kept stable with diecast tuners. You get an under-saddle piezo pickup and the EQ features 3 bands as well as the ability to adjust the midrange. You can tune your guitar with the included tuner and the truss rod is adjustable. This is the perfect beginner acoustic instrument for anyone who wants to record.

Pros:

  • EQ system
  • Sounds great

Cons:

  • You need to buy a case
  • EQ may confuse beginners

5. Best Choice Acoustic Guitar – Best Low-Cost Kit

Best Choice Products 41in Full Size Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Set w/Case, Strap, Capo, Strings, Picks, Tuner - Natural

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As a new player, you may not have a lot of money to spend on a guitar. Thankfully, there are some low-cost kits on the market such as the Best Choice Acoustic Guitar which has a lot to offer you.

This instrument is a full-size so it’s perfect for older players. It has a 21-fret fingerboard that is comfortable to play. It’s made with solid wood so it will last a long time. It has die-cast tuners that help to keep the instrument in tune. You get accessories such as capo, picks, a digital tuner, strap, set of strings, cleaning rage, and a gig bag when you purchase. It has everything for today’s player that wants to get started learning the guitar.

Pros:

  • Professional look
  • Lots of accessories
  • Comfortable neck

Cons:

  • Some tuning issues
  • Quality control issues with some instruments

6. Cordoba C7 SP Nylon String – Best Full-Size Nylon String Acoustic

Cordoba C7 SP Nylon String Classical Acoustic Guitar with Cordoba Polyfoam Case

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In many cases, the best acoustic guitar for beginners is one that has nylon strings. The reason for this is that the strings are easier on the fingers. It takes time to develop calluses and nylon strings won’t hurt the fingers as much so you can play more often. The Cordoba C7 Sp Nylon String is the right option for today’s guitar player.

The instrument has a solid European Spruce top and the sides and back are made with Indian rosewood. These tonewoods improve the sound of the guitar. The neck has a rosewood fingerboard and the neck is made with mahogany. Inside the guitar is fan bracing which gives the instrument added stability. You get a bone saddle and a rosewood bridge. The finish is a high gloss. This is a nice sounding nylon string guitar for today’s player. You get a case for your instrument with your order and a strap.

Pros:

  • Great tone
  • Easy playing guitar

Cons:

  • Not as loud as a steel-string
  • Nylon strings are harder to put on

7. Martin Steel-String Backpacker – Best Beginner Travel Acoustic

Martin Steel String Backpacker Travel Guitar with Bag

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If you’re on the go all the time, you may not have a lot of room to take your full-sized guitar with you. Martin Guitars makes it easy to travel and learn guitar with the Backpacker which has a lot to offer today’s busy guitar player.

The Martin Backpacker is a small-sized guitar that is perfect for the plane, car, boat, or just about anywhere that you want to play guitar. it’s the perfect travel companion for today’s player that wants to practice, but is traveling all the time.

Pros:

  • Easy to store
  • Sounds great

Cons:

  • Some may find the guitar a bit small

8. No products found. – Best Beginner Instrument for Small Hands

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No products found.

For younger players who have small hands they full-size acoustic guitar is not the ideal option. Thankfully Taylor offers a 3/4 size dreadnought which is easy on the hands and sounds great.

This instrument features a solid Sitka Spruce top. The back and sides are made with Sapele wood. The instrument has an excellent tone thanks to the tonewood. The tuning machines are diecast which helps to stabilize the tuning. The neck is nice and comfortable even for those that have small hands. It is also small enough to take with you when you travel. for those looking for an instrument that is smaller than a regular size guitar, this Taylor Guitar is a clear winner. You get a gig bag when you purchase this instrument to help protect your investment.

Pros:

  • Easy to play for beginners
  • Big sound
  • Gig bag

Cons:

  • The small size may be uncomfortable for some
  • Lacks the tone of larger instruments

No products found.

Conclusion

This guide should help you find the best acoustic guitar for beginners. you have a lot of choices in the market, so you’ll have to buy something that is going to fit your needs. I recommend that most beginners start with a quality guitar kit such as the Fender FA-125CE Dreadnought Cutaway is a top quality this instrument is a top-quality guitar made by a famous manufacturer. It’s better for you to spend a little bit of extra money to get a quality guitar. You can rely on the products by Fender and that’s why I recommend this one. It also has a pick up so you can plug it into an amplifier if you prefer.

For players that are absolute beginners, I recommend a good nylon string guitar. Nylon strings are easier on your fingers. You might go with a kit such as the Pyle 30. This guitar is smaller than normal and the nylon strings won’t be hard on your fingers. It’s the perfect guitar for a younger student.

Going to hang out at the beach or to take guitar camping with you to strum a few basic chords, try the Martin Steel-String Backpacker. This instrument is compact and it won’t take up a lot of room. Options when it comes to the best acoustic guitar for beginners. There are a lot of different models that would make excellent choices including the ones in this list.

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