Finding your first real beginner guitar can feel like embarking on a jungle expedition. I completely understand; I have been there myself… even though it’s been some years! I hope this guide will give you a good idea of where and how to find and purchase your first guitar.Beginner guitars on Amazon
Simply, a guitar is not just a guitar. There are many, many different types and almost countless ways to use the different types of guitars. Should you venture into the world of classical, acoustic-electric or electric guitar? What exactly is the difference? There are many choices to make, but that is also part of what makes it fun! With all these choices, we have a much larger selection and, even from the very beginning, we can be sure that we find something that is to our taste.
Let’s get started so that you can find out what guitar you should buy. I will start by showing you our top beginner guitar picks and after that I will introduce you to the instrument itself: what you should consider as a first time buyer and how to make the best choices.
5 Best Guitars for Beginners
Which guitars are best for beginners? We tried over 170 guitars and found the answer! Here are our favorite beginner guitars:
Overall Winner: Best Guitar for Beginners
Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners
Best Acoustic Electric Guitar for Beginners
Best Beginner Electric Guitar
Best Classical Guitar for Beginners
Best Guitar for Kids
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What should I expect from my beginner guitar?
First of all, we understand that buying your first beginner guitar can be intimidating, but don’t be scared. Before you have learned to play the instrument well, you can’t really hear or notice whether it’s a great quality instrument or not. This is a clear advantage. It is also clear that the better you become, the more and more demanding you’ll become. But, for your first time, it’s not the sound that becomes your priority, but the playability and the assurance that the instrument you’re sitting with feels good and keeps you eager; giving you the inspiration to continue developing on the guitar. There are, however, a few things that are probably a good idea to keep in mind before you buy your first guitar.
So what do we look for in a beginner guitar? The first, and perhaps most important, thing is the size. There are guitars of various sizes that can be purchased in all physical and online stores. There is the normal, full-sized guitar which, of course, has the largest selection. In addition, there is also ½ size and ¾ size. These two types are aimed more for children as they are smaller than the normal guitars and so children’s arms and fingers can better reach and grip the notes on the neck of the guitar. These smaller guitars are not necessarily just for children though! For example, the artist Ed Sheeran famously plays on one of these, short-scale, “kids guitars”. It’s also important to note that not all children need smaller size guitars, so it is a good idea to try them out and see what works most naturally. In the end most people end up with full size guitar, so if it feel alright from the start there is no reason to buy a child size. As a rule, adults go for a guitar of ordinary size as there are not really any advantages to smaller-sized guitar other than them being easier to play if you have smaller hands and shorter arms. Smaller guitars lack the larger, fuller sound of a regular guitar, so it is extremely rare that people prefer the sound of them.
Next, it is a great idea to have a think about what kind of music you want to play. In fact, many people’s first guitar is actually an acoustic-electric guitar. I have tested and found the best acoustic electric guitar for beginners and you can find this on the top of the page. It’s a bit of fun, as acoustic-electric guitars are actually the hardest to play on, but it would probably be a better idea to consider a classical guitar or an electric guitar as beginner guitar (I have tested and found the best classical guitar and electric guitar for beginners too and you can find these on the top of the page.). ‘Why is that?’, you may ask. Well, the highest-sounding three strings of a classical guitar are made of nylon and not of metal. This makes them much easier to press down and therefore easier to play. An electric guitar has only metal strings, like an acoustic-electric guitar, but the strings are thinner and they are closer to the fingerboard than on an acoustic-electric one. This means that there is not nearly as much resistance from the strings, which makes it much easier to play. It is important to keep in mind that you basically play exactly the same way on all types of guitars (even if there are a few very specific techniques on each type of guitar). This means that when you have got some experience from playing, like hard skin on the ends of your fingers, you can easily switch to a new guitar of any kind. For this reason, you see many incredible guitarists having several guitars of different types.back to menu ↑
Beginner Guitar Buying Guide
As mentioned earlier, it is really important to think over what kind of music you want to play when choosing your first guitar. If it is simply about learning to play guitar, then we would definitely recommend that your first purchase is a classical or an electric guitar. A classical is probably the easier to go to, since you only need the guitar and no other equipment. It has a sound hole in it and is hollow inside, which means you can hear the sound naturally, or ‘acoustically’. This isn’t the case for the electric guitar, as it requires you to also have some kind of amplification.
If, like many, you would like to play guitar so you can play and sing with friends at a bonfire party, for example, then the classical might be the best choice for you; it easy to transport, without having to worry about amplifiers and cables. However, with an electric guitar , you have many more options for making sounds. Through an amplifier you can have a “clean” sound or a distorted sound (“rock sound”) and much, much more. With a classical guitar (or with an acoustic-electric) you are essentially limited to the natural sound of the instrument. It should be said, however, that there is naturally a bigger sound from an acoustic-electric guitar, which is also the reason why many choose such one to start with. There is, of course, no one to say you can’t do this, but you need to be aware that it can be harder for your fingers to start on. If you are settled on it and there is no problem for you, then, of course, you could start your guitar playing on an acoustic-electric guitar.
Next, it is time to look at the price. A very good rule of thumb is that a price between $150-250 is extremely acceptable for a beginner guitar. This is not the very best quality in the world, but at the same time it is an appropriately high amount to ensure that the worst, unplayable guitars are filtered out. From there you can also consider looking at used instruments. It is clear that the more money you have to spend, the better a guitar you can buy but, as it is your beginner guitar, it might also be worth considering how much money you really want to spend, as the value of a guitar drops about 50% the moment it leaves the store. If you choose to look for used guitars, you can typically get it for just under half price; you first guitar does not have to cost the earth!.
Some brands that may be good to look at in this price bracket could be Washburn, (Fender) Squire, Yamaha and used Fender Mexico in electric guitars. For acoustic-electric guitars it could be Yamaha, Sigma and Santana and for classical guitars it could be Cordoba and Ibanez.
It might be a good idea to go down in your local music store to look for used or new instruments. There will always be the opportunity here to try the guitars and have a chat with someone who is knowledgeable about them. The great thing about this is that you get the opportunity to try a lot of different guitars, which are all different – even the same make and models of guitar can be different to one another! It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that a beginner guitar feels right to you. When you sit with the guitar, you want to have no doubts. It should feel natural to sit with and ‘feel like butter’ when you move your fingers over the fingerboard. In addition, it is also important that you like the sound of it and also how it looks. Shopping for guitars is much like eating – you also eat with your eyes! Try your hand at your local music store.back to menu ↑
Other considerations when buying your first guitar
When you buy your first beginner guitar, remember that there are a few things that are important consider. First of all, it is important to have a set of new strings. If you buy used it can often be a long time since the strings were last changed. If you buy your new guitar in a music store, then it is important to notice whether the guitar has been out on display, where it may have been played by a number of people, or if it comes completely new from the box. If it not fresh out of the box, it is a good idea to ask them to change the strings as it could have been played many times before and the strings may sound less bright and clear or even dead. This means that there is not much sound in the strings anymore, and it takes a great deal out of the experience of playing the guitar, more than you might think.
When you have ensured that you have fresh strings on the guitar, it is also important to get a tuner so that you can tune your guitar right. There are different types, including clip-on tuners, which can put on the head of the guitar and “the classic” that you have on your lap and that tells you if you’re in tune or not, possibly through a jack cable from guitar to tuner. Which type you choose is not that important, but it is important that you get a tuner so that you are sure to get off to a good start. The reason why it is important that your guitar is tuned properly is so that people can play together. It is a bit like you speaking Danish to someone who speaks English. Although you are both speaking right, it will never sound good because you do not have a common language. It’s the same thing that happens if the tuning of two guitars doesn’t match each other.
If you are going to be a real rock star, then it is also important to get a guitar strap so that you can stand up to play the guitar. Even if you do not play live, it is good practice to play guitar standing up as you get used to the feeling of standing up and playing. Sooner or later you’re going to have to stand up and play, whether at home in the apartment, in front of the fire with friends, or at a big concert.
If you play electric guitar, remember to get a jack cable (instrument cable) and a guitar amplifier as there is not much sound from the electric guitar on its own. There are many different options also within cables and amplifiers, but typically the guitar shops’ own brand of cables are relatively cheap and of surprisingly good quality. They can be highly recommended. Otherwise, brands like DiMarzio and Fender are also good, but somewhat more expensive. In the case of amplifiers, we highly recommend a Boss Katana, which has taken the world by storm as a starting amplifier for electric guitars.
In addition, it can be an incredibly good idea to purchase an instructional video, the like that can help you get started playing guitar if you do not have a private teacher of any kind. Finally, you need to grab a gigbag or a hard case so that you can transport your newly acquired instrument securely.
The only thing left to do is to get fired up on your new instrument and enjoy the world of music with us all!