When choosing your first guitar, finding the right balance between the different parameters is never easy. Between the type of string, the material used, or simply the shape of the instrument, you quickly get confused about how to choose the Best Acoustic Guitar for Beginners. Luckily, we’ve put together the best acoustic guitars in this article along with an exceptional buying guide for you.
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How did we make our choice?
Acoustic guitars are numerous on the market and each of their characteristics is linked to the others, so much so that one element can cast doubt on the quality of the instrument.
In order to help you make your choice, we have established a list of criteria to take into account in your research:
- The format of the guitar: it influences the sound and the ergonomics. There are four formats: Auditorium, Concert, Jumbo and Dreadnought. The “ Auditorium ” provides a noisy and well-balanced sound. “ Jumbo ” are the largest and produce a more crystal-clear sound, while “ Concert ” is smaller. The “ Dreadnoughts ” are the most common and allow you to practice all styles of music with the best sound projection.
- The size of the guitar: this depends on your age. A ¼ guitar is suitable for a 5-year-old, a ½ for a 7-year-old, a ¾ for a 9-year-old and a 4/4 for over 10 years and adults.
- The body: its purpose is to deliver vibrations. It can be made from Sitka Spruce making the guitar strong and light with a nice tone. There is also the spruce which gives a more crystalline sound, or the cedar: more popular, it emits good bass and less treble to release a warm tone. The finishes are matte or glossy.
- The handle: it is important that you find an optimal slip. For this, we look at the materials used: mahogany is the most popular and brings warmth to the sound and a great volume. The rosewood spreads a less harmonious but clear sound. Sleeves maple and walnut are more powerful and complex. You can also be interested in the thickness: a narrow neck goes up more easily in the treble.
- Sound quality: the last two materials will determine the sound. Ideally, it should be balanced and bulky. Solid wood offers better tones than laminated wood. And with age, this surface will further improve the sound.
- Use: choose a guitar that suits your level (beginner or intermediate) and the style(s) of music you want to practice (Jazz, Blues, Folk, Country, etc.).
- Aesthetics: it depends on individual tastes. Most users consider this point from the type of wood used and the look of the rose window.
Top 10 Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
This versatile guitar, handcrafted in Quebec features a powerful and bright sound projection. This star of the brand is aimed at many artists, whether they are amateurs or professionals.
Straight from Canada, this Acoustic guitar in Dreadnought format has the particularity of being handcrafted. Its quality allows it to compete with high-end models on the market. Its body is made of cedar while the neck is made of maple. It delivers a clear and powerful sound, with low and high notes clearly present. It offers excellent comfort to appeal to all types of artists, whether you are a beginner, experienced, right-handed or left-handed.
This is a solid instrument with the classic appearance of a Dreadnought, with a certain lightness and a size of approximately 63 cm. These dimensions are suitable for the greatest number, regardless of the size and type of hands.
The body is made from cedar (a material browner than spruce which produces fuller sounds). It is finished with a matte and smooth surface which gives a semi-gloss effect. With these characteristics, we get a nice tone.
We see that the neck is smooth and maple (offering a clearer sound). The large thickness of it gives the guitar good stability. As often, the handle and the easel are made of rosewood. There are 21 frets perpendicular to the strings which may seem a bit stiff but you just have to adjust them using the mechanics.
One of the great strengths of the S6 is the sound with unparalleled clarity, power and depth. It can also improve with age. Its low notes may not be the best, but they are present and defined, just like the high notes. Despite everything, this model has a good vibration.
Finally, the S6 is the star of the Seagull brand and it appeals to beginner artists (thanks to its ease of use) as well as confirmed guitarists. Also, note that there is a version for left-handers.
- Case excluded
- Shape: Dreadnought
- Scale: 647mmm
- Top: Pressure Tested Solid Cedar
- Back & Sides: Three-layer lamination of Canadian Wild Cherry
- Fingerboard: Rosewood (Dalbergia Latifolia)
- Neck: Silver Leaf “Integrated Maple”
- Color: Natural SG with Semi-Gloss Custom Polished Finish
- Finish: Semi-Gloss Pointed Fingerboard
- Body Depth 124.46mm Body
- Length 502, 92mm
- Nut Width 45.7mm
- Electronics: QIT
- Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass
- Integrated tuner
- Truss Rod: Double Action
- Binding Body: Black
Yamaha FG800 Natural Model Acoustic Guitar
With a balanced sound and a far reach, this model which succeeds the famous FG700 adapts well to all guitarists of beginner or intermediate level. For its price, we appreciate the quality of the materials.
This Dreadnought format guitar is made from quality materials including a spruce body. Its strings are flexible. The sound is particularly good and warm with fairly high action, and it can be heard from afar. You can enjoy it for hours as long as it is comfortable. We recommend it to all beginner or intermediate guitarists who appreciate the acoustic rendering.
It is one of the best-selling in its range becoming a benchmark in acoustic guitars. At first glance, it has a traditional look and is built with good materials (like the Sitka spruce that is found on more expensive models).
We immediately see a spruce body in Dreadnought format with shiny finishes and Nato sides. The neck nut is plastic, as is the bridge nut which is linked to the latter.
The matte handle is comfortable, smooth and sturdy. Like the sides, it is made of nato and rosewood. We also notice rosewood in the fingering area, it is a common material for an acoustic guitar. On the other hand, some users complain of some imperfections in the wood of the handle.
This instrument also has 20 smooth frets and does not require you to greatly extend the strings with the tuners thanks to the width of the neck nut (43 mm, which corresponds to the normal for an acoustic guitar).
Here you can see the quality that we find on Yamaha models: a well-balanced sound. Its Dreadnought size allows for a rich bass tone and more warmth. The sound emission impresses with its large volume and long-range. However, it should be noted that the action (distance between the strings and the fingerboard) is a little too high so if you want a low action, go for another option.
Finally, the FG800 was designed by Yamaha, a Japanese company which also designs motorcycles. Although it may seem difficult to play, this guitar (successor to the FG700) is as suitable for a beginner (who wants to buy his first guitar) as well as for an intermediate guitarist.
- Top: Solid Spruce
- Body depth: 100-118mm
- Back and Sides: Nato / Okume
- Handle: Born
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Scale: 650mm
- Nut: 43mm
- Bridge: Rosewood
- Radius: 400mm
- Mechanics: Chrome
- Pickguard: Tortoise
- Finish: Natural, glossy
Martin D-15M Acoustic Guitar
This acoustic guitar made from authentic solid mahogany delivers a warm and powerful sound. Versatile and easy to handle, it is suitable for all musical styles and all interpretations.
The Martin D-15M is made entirely of authentic solid mahogany with a satin varnish finish. It, therefore, emits a warm sound, strongly focused on the power of the bass, with a distant projection. Its versatility and design are two of its many advantages. It is also easy to learn. Comfort and sound quality are therefore there.
This acoustic guitar is very versatile. With its Dreadnought format, it is as good for a solo as for a vocal accompaniment and allows you to play all styles. Note, however, that it is in the old Blues or in the Folk that it is most effective.
Lightweight, it is quite easy to play and promises a good hold. In addition, its simplistic design is very popular.
The body is made from authentic solid mahogany, as is the back and sides. This wood offers more warmth and power to the sound. The table is finished with a satin varnish.
Likewise, the C-shaped handle (rounder) is made with the same material and finish. The fingerboard is rosewood and it has 20 frets.
The sound is marked by imposing and impressive bass. The action is perfectly adjusted, neither too high nor too low. The final harmony is warm, voluminous and unadorned.
Finally, the D-15M has been the most popular Martin since the 1940s. The brand enjoys an excellent reputation and international renown. In addition, this guitar comes in a sturdy case. Note that it is also available in a version for left-handers.
- Construction: Mortise / Tenon neck joint
- Body: D-14 Fret
- Bracing: X-Brace
- Top: Solid Mahogany
- Back and Sides: Solid Mahogany
- Neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Indian Rosewood
- Profile: Modified Low Oval
- Pickguard: Tortoise
- Inlays: Diamond and Square in abalone
- Scale: 645mm (25.4 “)
- Nut: 42.86mm
- Finish: Satin
- Bridge: Modern Belly with Drop-in harness
- Material: Indian Rosewood
- Harness: Bone, compensated
- Mechanics: Nickel open
- Finish: Dark mahogany
Fender FA-125 Acoustic Guitar
It emits a convincing and appreciable sound for leisure use. For its price, it is pleasant to hold and easy to handle. In addition, its vintage look with shiny finishes seduces many guitarists.
The FA-125 is a pretty Dreadnought guitar marked by shiny finishes. It is soft to the touch and emits a balanced and energetic sound thanks to its spruce body. It is ideal to accompany evenings around the fire with friends. With its ease of use, we strongly recommend it to beginners who want to learn while having a good sound.
Very solid, this guitar is the little sister of the FA-100. It is especially suitable for beginners or for composers but it can also be used as an accompaniment guitar.
In general, it is well varnished with well-marked shiny finishes. On the other hand, its size can be a problem for smaller people. Otherwise, it is comfortable to hold whether you are standing or sitting. For those who are not yet familiar with a guitar, know that it is easy to use and learn.
The body is built from spruce with a rosette designed in a vintage style. The latter is soft to the touch and its large Dreadnought format gives it a certain versatility and good support. The splint, on the other hand, is made from laminated mahogany.
Through this model, Fender provides us with a nice and wide neck, made from Nato wood. It measures just over 25 ”(approximately 63 cm) and has up to 20 frets. One of the appreciable elements is the rounded shape of the rosewood fingerboard.
In terms of sound, we notice an improvement over the FA-100. It’s energetic, loud, clear, precise and warm with good deep bass. The whole offers a balanced rendering.
Nevertheless, the comfort of the Yamaha trumps the Fender.
- Case Included
- Type: Dreadnought
- Top: Spruce, laminate
- Back and Sides: Laminated Mahogany
- Handle: Born
- Fingerboard and Bridge: Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)
- Frets: 20
- Nut: 42.95mm
- Scale: 643mm
- Finish: Natural glossy
- Color: Walnut sunburst
- Bridge: Rosewood Neck
- Profile: Easy-to-Play
- Fretboard Inlays: Traditional White Dots
- Nut: Plastic
- Color Hardware: Chrome
- Tuners: Fender Chrome Finish
- Pickguard: 1-Ply Black
Martin DRS2 Acoustic-electric guitars
This ambidextrous instrument offers sonic precision with good balance and excellent projection. The materials used are of high quality and ecological. It is aimed at music professionals.
The DRS2 offers good sound quality with its Dreadnought shaped Sitka spruce body. The sound is modern and balanced, and the projection is distant. This ambidextrous model benefits from a very honourable design. However, to fully benefit from this experience, you must have at least an intermediate level, despite the good grip of the handle.
It comes in an electro-acoustic version. It is quite difficult to play and is more suitable for more experienced artists who are used to doing small Blues, Rock or Country concerts. For lefties, note that it has two orientations.
This instrument made with solid wood weighs 10 kg, it is rather heavy. On the other hand, it’s simple and versatile look is very pleasant.
Like many others, the body is Sitka spruce. It is an expensive and luxurious material which offers better volume and more sound precision. We also notice that the Dreadnought shape is finished with satin. The back and sides are constructed from mahogany.
When getting started, users find that the six-string neck is slim, ergonomic and pleasant. The sliding is done naturally and without great difficulty. On the other hand, the strata bound (material which contains cardboard) is sometimes criticized but it allows stable maintenance and provides good vibrations.
The ecological trend of the company is felt at the level of the fingerboard and the bridge. They are both made from Richlite, a mixture of resin and recycled paper.
Martin found the happy medium with the action (although it is still adjustable to your preference). The bass is very deep and the tones are balanced, even when the guitar is plugged in. In general, there are few adjustments to be made as the sound is modern, dynamic, bright and well projected.
Finally, this guitar is one of the most popular on the market. Along with Taylor, Martin is one of the major producers in the field of high-end guitars. The DRS2 succeeds the DRS1 and is the cheapest of the range offered by the American brand.
- Construction: Mortise / Tenon Neck Joint
- Body: D-14 Fret
- Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
- Sides: Solid Sapele
- Bottom: Solid Sapele
- Neck: Rust Stratabond, Modified Low Oval
- Bracing: A-Frame ” X-1 ”
- Fretboard: Black Richlite
- Inlays: Dot
- Scale: 645mm
- Nut: 42.86mm
- Sides and back finishing: Satin
- Top Finish: Satin
- Bridge: Black Richlite
- Tuners: Chrome closed
- Electronics: Fishman Sonitone
- Case: 345 Hardshell
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar
The Taylor BT2, also called Baby Taylor, is a model with a mahogany body. This wood essence transforms this pretty dreadnought into an instrument whose harmony will not leave you indifferent.
Indeed it is a material very appreciated by luthiers in the manufacture of their instruments. The bass is full while the treble is velvety.
For added strength and durability over the long term, its back is made from a tough Sapele. This way, the humidity will have no effect on the “development” of the wood. Indeed, this change takes place from the first 12 months after purchase. The guitar slowly deforms, changing the resonance of the body.
Thanks to its mahogany top and Sapele back, both made using solid wood, the sound you will hear will improve in the long run. Combine all of this with high-quality steel strings and you’ve got one of the best performing acoustic guitars on our list.
- Format: 3/4 Dreadnought
- Back and Sides: Layered Sapele
- Top: Tropical Mahogany
- Rosette: Laser engraved
- Neck: American tropical mahogany
- Fretboard: African Ebony
- Inlays: Pearly Dot
- Headstock coating: Lexan
- Bridge: Ebony
- Nut and saddle: Tusq Nut / Micarta
- Mechanics: Die-cast, chromed
- Scale: 578mm (22 3/4 “)
- Truss Rod: Adjustable
- Nut: 42.86mm (1 11/16 “)
- Number of Frets: 19
- Reinforcement: X-Brace
- Body width: 317mm (12 1/2 “)
- Body depth: 86mm (3 3/8 “)
- Body length: 400mm (15 3/4 “)
- Overall length: 857mm (33 3/4 “)
- Case: Gig Bag included
Squier by Fender SA-150 Dreadnought
Fender is recognized as one of the best manufacturers of musical equipment in the world.
The SA 150 Dreadnought Acoustic is one of the babies of this brand. It stands out among its peers thanks to its slim and long handle, on which are arranged 20 keys marked with the usual landmarks. Thus, this Fender acoustic guitar is aimed at beginners to allow them to explore both rhythm, but also picking.
Nevertheless, the professionals were not forgotten during its conception. More specifically, music nomads will be delighted: it weighs only 2.72 kg, relatively low weight for a dreadnought.
However, the resonance of its melody remains among the most appreciated. Whether pickings or rhythms, its body made from American basswood keeps perfect harmony between treble and bass.
- Body Shape: Dreadnought
- Body Material: Laminated Hardwood
- Body Color: Black
- Body Finish: Gloss
- Fretboard Material: Stained Hardwood
- Fretboard Radius: 12 “(305 mm)
- Scale Length: 25.6 “(650 mm)
- of Frets: 20
- Fretboard Inlays: White Dot
- Bridge: Stained Maple
- Pickguard: 1-Ply Black
- Strings: D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze, Light (.012-.053 Gauges)
- Tuners: Covered Chrome
- Hardware Finish: Chrome
Yamaha F325D Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
You can’t talk about music without mentioning the Yamaha brand! Even the uninitiated have certainly seen this mark somewhere before. This time we bring you their F325D acoustic guitar, perfect for beginners with an affordable price.
For good reason: it was made from laminated wood. Three types of wood have thus contributed to creating this wonder: spruce for the table, Sapele for the back and sides, and rosewood for the neck.
The combination of spruce and Sapele creates a melodic sound thanks to their more or less similar density. The bass, treble and mids are thus aligned perfectly in the hollow of the ears.
Thanks to the die-cast chrome tuners, there is no risk of the strings changing pressure. Playing on this guitar will be a real pleasure for any musician.
- Top: Laminated Spruce.
- Back and Sides: Meranti
- Neck: Nato
- Fingerboard: Rosewood.
- Bridge: Rosewood
- Tuners: Cast Chrome.
- Body Style: Dreadnought.
- Pick Guard: Tortoise
- String Scale: 25 inches.
- Body Depth: 3 3/4 Inches – 4 9/16 Inches.
- Nut Width: 1 11/16 ”
- Natural color.
- Glossy finish.
- Warranty: limited duration
Jasmine S35 Natural Acoustic Guitar
This time, we offer you an instrument worthy of the key of Disney songs, or romantic strolls at sunset.
Its top is made from spruce plywood, while the back and sides are agathis. In this way, the musicians clearly distinguish each note played during their pickings. Thanks to its rosewood fret, you can perform your solos more easily.
However, its design remains simplistic: a half-tone wood colour giving the impression of fragility in the face of shocks and temperature. Rest assured, this is not the case, because this Chinese model was specially built to last for several years without its melody changing.
As for the tone, it slightly abandons the punchy bass in order to play between the mids and the highs. What to imitate the walks at sunset or the romantic scenes of Disney, as we announced.
- Top Material: Spruce
- Guitar Type : Acoustic
- Body Shape : Dreadnought
- Number of strings : 6
- Back Material: Agathis
- Side Material: Agathis
- Finish: Natural Satin
- Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
- Neck Material: Rosewood
- Is it electroacoustic : No
- With cut : No
- Includes case : No
- Finish : Satin
- String Material : Metal
- Number of Frets : 20
Epiphone DR-100: this inexpensively priced Dreadnought guitar is a good beginner’s model thanks to its ease of use and pleasant grip. It admits a spruce body and a mahogany neck that includes 20 frets. Its fingerboard is rosewood and the whole propels a crystalline sound with very present bass. However, the sound is sometimes a little too metallic with very high action. The playing comfort is also to be reviewed since access to treble may seem difficult. Finally, the strings blacken the fingers.
Taylor GS Mini: It has a massive tropical mahogany body and a thin 22 fret neck with an ebony fingerboard. Its small size allows you to take it on a trip while its comfort is no doubt, even for the smallest sizes. The disclosed sound is smooth with well-tuned action and balanced tones. Despite everything, the latter is sometimes a little stifled and its small size shows a lack of bass.
Martin LX1E Little Satin: This guitar features a small solid Sitka spruce body. The finishes are impeccable, and the back and sides are mahogany. The Richlite fingerboard is made up of 20 frets. Its small size is practical for travelling. In addition, it ensures a good grip and great playing comfort. If the sound is breathtaking, balanced and powerful with good bass, the mids are however a little too strong and the touch can seem rough.
Martin D-28: With a Dreadnought format as well as satin finishes, this guitar emits a clear and balanced sound filled with harmonious tones. Light and comfortable, it offers good sensations and particular more spaces between the strings and better vibrations than the models seen above. However, its exorbitant price can slow down its acquisition.
Buying Guide – How To Choose A Good Acoustic Guitar?
When you take a look at the different guitars, a lot of options are available to you. To decide between them, you must determine the type that will suit you best, then the material it is made of, and finally the resonance of its body.
The type of your guitar
Folk, classical, electro-acoustic guitar, dreadnought, jumbo… These are the most popular formats around the world and in the price comparison. Don’t be afraid of the panoply of words; each of these types of skill has a well-defined style of play. For those who are just starting out on guitar, know that choosing a well-defined type doesn’t mean you have to play the same style forever.
If you don’t yet know what type of playing you want to practice, turn to acoustic folk guitar to get started. It has 21 thin and narrow frets, so more notes to play. Some even have a cutaway for playing higher notes. So, you can change the style of play as you like using this template. Conversely, if you don’t plan to play the high notes often, turn to the classics. Generally, the resonance of their bass is very popular with rhythm players.
Moreover, if your guitar will be specially dedicated to rhythm or accompaniment, the dreadnought is ideal for your style. This offers a warm balance between bass and treble. In this way, the pickings will be more distinguishable to the human ear. For an even deeper bass, treat yourself to a jumbo guitar. It imposes itself by the size of its larger body, but also more curved. This configuration gives more power in rhythmic strikes and gives less precision to pickings.
Finally, be aware that each of these guitars is often offered in electro-acoustic mode. The latter is implemented with a microphone upon purchase. Thus, you can directly connect it to a jack in order to connect it to an amplifier. However, this is not necessary if you are not going to go on stage with the instrument; in addition, you can integrate a microphone later at a luthier, regardless of the model. However, this option turns out to be more expensive than an electro-acoustic instrument in the end. Think carefully about the purpose of the article before deciding where to buy the best acoustic guitar.
Solid wood or laminated wood
Now that you know a little more about the guitar you are looking for, it is time to determine its material of manufacture. Casually, this one plays a lot on the resonance and durability of the instrument. Thus, two guitars can be strictly identical, the type of wood they are made of will decide the quality of the notes and their longevity.
Laminated wood guitars, also called plywood, are often entry-level, aimed at beginners. Smaller budgets will find their happiness. Also, they are much lighter, and therefore easier to transport for nomadic musicians. The disadvantage lies in the principle of laminated wood. These are several layers of wood glued together with resin. This prevents them from developing properly when the instrument is exposed to moisture. Thus, the sound will not develop properly over the long term.
Conversely, solid wood results in a thicker piece of wood that comes straight from the tree. The manufacturing process of guitars designed in this way is more difficult to achieve, hence their higher price in comparison. In return, we get a more powerful and more open sound. You will notice more dynamism with each note, compared to a laminated wood guitar. Finally, solid wood is much more resistant to variations in humidity. In a way, the guitars that are made with it are an investment that you will not regret. If your budget does not allow you to afford one, one of our tips is to opt for a massive table. In this way, the sound quality will not deteriorate and its longevity will be more interesting.
The resonance of the body
This parameter is always influenced by the wood the best acoustic guitar is made from. However, we will no longer talk about wood species here. When you strike the strings, a vibration is emitted from the body and is transmitted inside the instrument to bring out the sound you hear. Depending on the wood the box is made of, this vibration is transmitted at a different speed and changes depending on the density of the wood. Here we have gathered the most popular guitar materials:
- Mahogany, used for both acoustic and electric guitars offering long sustain;
- Sapele, very close to mahogany in terms of sound quality, but with an additional shine;
- Spruce, which has 3 other different categories. The latter is as popular as mahogany and offers a more powerful bass tone.
There are many more choices like ebony, rosewood, maple, or walnut. Each essence has unique properties of sound, but also visually. Do not hesitate to compare the different performances to find the one that suits you best.
Frequently asked Questions
Q1: How to play acoustic guitar as a beginner?
After you have been able to answer how to choose the best acoustic guitars of 2020, you can start by learning the different basic notes and chords in music and guitar. Once these have been acquired, you should learn to position yourself well so that your fingers quickly get used to the position and pressure of the strings. Indeed, it risks creating blisters or even injuring a new student. Once you know how to play the three notes C, A, and G, you can practice some easy songs.
Q2: How to tune an acoustic guitar?
If you have an electronic tuner in your home, place it at the head of the guitar and then turn it on. Play each string one by one, taking the time to adjust the key of each one as standard: EAGB E. If you don’t have an electronic tuner, use a tuning fork. There are also apps on smartphones replacing the electronic tuner.
If you don’t have any of these, grab a phone that can ring. The beep tone will always be a perfect E; use it to adjust the bass, then use the fifth fret technique to adjust each string.
Q3: How to change the strings of an acoustic guitar?
Changing the string of a guitar does not require a professional. However, ask someone for help if this is your first time. Start by unwinding the rope using the mechanism, or cut it with pliers. Then remove the peg from the jack in order to completely free the cut rope. Insert the new one into the hole in the easel and clamp it securely using the peg.
Wrap the other end around a mechanism, making sure to leave a slight portion protruding. Slowly stretch your rope by turning the mechanism, then cut the part that protrudes with the help of wire cutters.
Q4: How to amplify an acoustic guitar?
There are two ways to amplify an acoustic guitar. The first requires the installation of a special microphone inside its body. This will be permanent and sometimes even includes buttons for the different volume levels. The second method consists of using a magnetic microphone which is placed directly at the level of the rosette.
There are also microsensors, but less efficient than magnetic ones. Finally, you can also use an external microphone if you have no other equipment available. Be careful though, because this amplifies all the voices around.