My very first car was not a Porsche.
Not even close!
It was an Oldsmobile “Delta 88”: Light brown, except for the lower side panels, where they’d scraped off a ton of rust, spread it with epoxy and painted it black!! lol
But I didn’t care, ‘cuz sometimes, you’ve just gotta go with something a little cheaper to get started. Then, later, as you get more skills… and money, you can upgrade.
Which is why we’re answering this question today: what is the best acoustic guitar for beginners??
My students (and even more so their parents) ask me all the time for this exact information. In fact, one of my students is going to get a new guitar that he has “earned” this Christmas right off of the list below!
If you’re buying a “first guitar”, you typically don’t want to spend a ton of money, so we’ve kept all these guitars UNDER $200!!
There’s a total of eight guitars listed below, and they’re listed from the CHEAPEST to the PRICIEST (though under $200 for a quality acoustic guitar is really a heck of great deal).
Alright, people – let’s do this!!
The Rogue RA-100D Dreadnought
Many times I get a new student who’s totally new to music and his or her parents want to get them an inexpensive guitar that they can use for the “testing phase”, the first couple months when a kid starts something and they’re uncertain if they’ll stick with it.
This guitar is PERFECT for that. Not only do you not have to spend much money (especially if you buy from Musician’s Friend, who obviously have the best price on it!), it’s also available in FIVE different colors so the student can feel like they chose the one that most fits them.
Add to that that there were more than FIVE HUNDRED reviews on this guitar that gave it an average rating of 4.5 stars, and you can see why this one’s on the list.
The Rogue features:
- Genuine spruce top
- Die-cast tuning machines
- Nato neck
- 25-1/2″ scale length
- Bound rosewood fretboard
- Martin strings
- Case sold separately
The Rogue is probably not for the intermediate player, but a better value for someone starting out as a music student I could not find.
Some colors differ in price by a few dollars. Take a look at each color and you’ll see what I mean. Usually just a buck or two.
You never know how long Musician’s Friend will keep a sale going, so act fast if you want this obvious bargain pricing!
“Jasmine” started out as Takamine‘s budget line of guitars. The line is now owned by “KMC Music Company” and comes out of China, whose manufacturing quality has really blossomed into substantial improvement in the last decade or so.
You’ll see their model S25 also touted as a great value for the money. I simply went by what real people said in real reviews, and this guitar was slightly higher on the customer satisfaction averages, though the prices of the two were about the same.
Here’s a basic rundown of the S34C features:
- Gloss Natural
- Dreadnought body style
- Slim neck profile
- Laminate Spruce top
- 25-1/2″ scale length
- Sapele back and sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard
- Satin Natural finish
- Synthetic bone nut and saddle
- Case sold separately
For those interested in getting a little more, only Amazon is offering a guitar “bundle” with this guitar for $121.54 that includes a gig bag, picks, extra strings and a clip-on tuner!
This guitar is good for beginners to intermediates. Professionals might not be that impressed with its laminated top and hit-or-miss action from the factory, but the reviews say it all – most entry-level players are very pleased by the voice it sings with.
I also think this guitar looks really, really nice. The wood looks quality and the binding that keeps the body together appears classy. The fact that it’s a cutaway up high on the neck too would definitely make me wanna stop and give it a try.
At this price, how can ya lose?!
Musician’s Friend is having a SALE on this item at this time of writing, putting it at only $107!! Every other store I found this on was at LEAST $80 more expensive, so I’m putting this in bold right now – THIS IS A GREAT PRICE FOR THIS GUITAR!!
Fender is one of the most well-respected names in guitar-making history, so that alone is worth the price of admission. But another incredible reason to get this guitar for your beginning student (or yourself!) is that it comes with “Fender Play” guitar lessons for three months included.
Imagine your musician getting to take lessons in your own home, via computer, for three months for free! Wow!!!
Here’s what could be winging your way:
- Body shape: Classic Design
- Top wood: Solid Spruce
- Back & sides: Mahogany
- Bracing pattern: Quartersawn Scalloped X
- Body finish: Gloss
- Neck shape: Easy To Play
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Neck wood: Mahogany
- Scale length: 25.3″
- Number of frets: 20
- Bridge: Rosewood
- Saddle & nut: Plastic
- Number of strings: 6-string
- Case: Sold separately
- Country of origin: Spain
The Fender name speaks for itself. It’s good quality, with a limited 2-year Warranty, and added strings, picks, strap and lessons thrown in for holiday good measure make this deal a real no-brainer.
And the Musician’s Friend price??? Insane!
Who knows how long it’ll last, so if you have a budding singer/songwriter needing a good guitar… get it while it’s reduced or you’ll kick yourself later!
Carlo Robelli G600CE
I can’t believe how much comes with this guitar for this price. It’s rare to see an acoustic with electronics in it below $150. This allows the player to plug into an amp, or a sound system, and be heard a LOT louder because of it.
Great for someone who plays acoustic but also likes to play with other musicians. The only way an acoustic player can be heard over drums, for example, is to be amplified. With this guitar, they’re ready to go!
This guitar is also a “cutaway“, which means you can play high up on the neck because the body is cut so your hand can get up in there. That’s also usually on more expensive models.
Oh, and they’re also throwing in picks, a strap to hold it on, a gig bag to carry it in, and a tuner! Unbelievable!!!
This guitar is only available at Sam Ash, but I just had to add it to the list. For value at this price, it can’t be beat. At least not this week! ;-0
- Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Dreadnought Body with a Comfortable Cutaway Design
- Built-In Tuner with a Backlit Display for Dark Stages
- 3-Band EQ Control for Shaping Your Tone
- Spruce Top with Agathis Back & Sides
- 25.5″ Scale Length
- Blackwood Fingerboard
- Chrome Tuners
- Includes Padded Gig Bag, Guitar Strap, and Picks
The Cordoba Disney Pixar “Coco” Mini Guitar
How cool is it and Pixar put out a film that starred… a guitar?!!
If you haven’t seen “Coco” yet, then by all means do so.
Yes, it’s an animated cartoon. Yes, it’s meant more for kids than adults. But if you’re an aspiring musician, or are buying for one, it’s still well worth seeing… and supporting.
It’s not often that a movie comes around that can single-handedly increase total sales volumes in the music instrument field. But “Coco” definitely did, with the production of this guitar.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the guitar:
- Spruce top with laser-etched figuring
- Mahogany back and sides
- Travel Size
- Smaller C-Shape Mahogany Neck with Shorter 22.8″ Scale Length
- NuBone Saddle
- Cordoba gig bag and strap included
Notice that this is a classical acoustic guitar, NOT a standard six string. The big difference? The strings on Coco’s guitar are nylon, not steel.
Nylon strings are softer and not as hard on the fingertips for little kids. The younger the child, the more they’ll appreciate nylon strings. Also the sound of this guitar, because of the nylon strings, will be softer and gentler.
To hear what I mean, listen to Tavi playing the 7/8 model in THIS VIDEO.
A full-size classical guitar will also usually have a much wider neck, but on this model that’s not the case. It’s made to be really easy for a child to play it. Is that why on some sites it’s getting all 5 STAR ratings in the reviews?! Who knows, but it’s obvious a lot of people really like this fun guitar!
Maybe it’s the laser-etched Spanish motif on this guitar that summons the love. If kids are a fan of the Coco movie… that would certainly make them go gaga!!!
But don’t think that because it’s related to Disney that they went all rinky-dink on this one. They didn’t. They used quality wood and I think, based on what I hear coming from the videos, that it sounds really good.
Included with each purchase is a gig bag and a guitar strap. All in all, a great deal for a low-priced guitar that plays in a niche all its own.
Follow these links to get your own “Disney magic”!
Fender CD-60S Dreadnought
This is another golden “Fender” guitar find that I discovered online by researching for days just for you.
Amazon is selling this guitar, which differs from the other Fender guitar above only in COLOR, at a price that is beating out the other stores by a long shot!
I don’t know how they’re doing it, but They’re a full SIXTY BUCKS cheaper than all the rest. Gotta love those holiday sales!
You really can’t go wrong getting this model. The reviews on Sam Ash AND Musician’s Friend are totally all FIVE stars, which you don’t see that often. Plus, it’s backed by Fender’s standard warranty.
Here’s what ya get:
- Dreadnought Body style
- Solid Spruce top with scalloped “x”-bracing, Mahogany back and sides
- Gloss-finish Mahogany neck with 20-fret rosewood Fingerboard
- Rosewood Bridge with compensated saddle
- Includes picks, strap and Spare strings!
If your musician has been at this a while, he or she will truly appreciate a guitar made by a music industry legend – Fender. I would even go so far as to say that if the quality of the guitar SOUND, for the price, is most important to you or your player, this acoustic would be my #1 on today’s list.
As usual, I don’t know how long this Amazon sale price will go on, so if this is the ticket… buy it now!
Yamaha GigMaker Pack
As a music instrument company, Yamaha has always been, for decades, at the forefront of producing quality instruments at fair prices.
This instrument bundle is one of the latest to showcase their strength and their commitment to musicians around the globe to bring us well-made products at affordable prices.
This pack is obviously loaded to the gills with extras:
- a gig bag
- an instructional DVD
- a guitar strap
- a QT11 digital guitar tuner
- Extra strings
- Guitar picks
Here’s a look at its basic specs:
- Laminated Spruce top
- Meranti back, sides
- Nato neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Die-cast chrome tuners
- Rosewood bridge
- Gig Bag, instructional DVD, guitar strap, tuner, strings and picks included
- Limited lifetime warranty
But it all starts with a really good guitar, the finely-crafted Yamaha F325. Look at those review ratings! It’s easy to recommend a product when its customer satisfaction is near the 5 star mark consistently.
If you’re a student wanting to step up from a cheaper acoustic, or you have a child that you think has “earned” their first quality instrument, this is a great choice.
The free lessons on the DVD don’t hurt either. Those are easily downloadable, by the way, into a computer to watch. Most kids I know these days prefer to let the computer be their portal to the world (don’t get me started on video games!!).
All in all, a dependable value that gets you everything needed to sound good and go farther than ever in your musical pursuits!
Ibanez AW54 Artwood Acoustic
If I were to pick one guitar that, as a seasoned pro, I might be interested in, it would be this one. The reviews by some very experienced players tell of a surprisingly above-average sound coming from this instrument.
This guitar also had THE highest review ratings out of any other guitar I looked at. Obviously Ibanez is doing something right in this AW54!
I have this one on the list for those who want to have the highest quality and don’t mind paying extra for it, even if it IS a “first guitar”. You know who you are. 😉
The guitar consists of:
- Dreadnought body
- Solid mahogany top
- Mahogany back & sides
- Mahogany neck
- Rosewood bridge and fretboard
- Chrome die-cast tuners
- D’Addario EXP strings
- Open pore natural finish
- Ibanez Advantage bridge pins
- Case sold separately
If you’re an intermediate to professional player and want another acoustic (like I do… ALL the TIME!), it doesn’t sound like you could go wrong with this axe, judging by the reviews and specific praise all over the Internet for it.
I also think the open-pore natural wood finish looks really sweet.
Here’s a video with quality audio to give you warm taste of the honey that flows from this baby:
Okay, so… anyone else gettin’ serious G.A.S. for this instrument besides me?!! I bet I’m not alone… Lol
I also notice that nobody is putting this one on sale. That usually means one thing…
It sells so well as is they don’t have to.
See you at Checkout! 😉
The Bottom Line
Rest assured that we spent waaaaay more time investigated these deals, and dozens of others, than you’d probably ever want to do. It’s all to help you, and ourselves, make the wisest pro audio decisions we can, as we chase after that elusive holy grail… the quest for excellent sound and tone!
The closest I’ve come is having a guitar handmade, which you can READ ABOUT HERE. But, trust me… it was more than $200. 😮
If you like any of the guitars you see above, use our links to snag the deal, won’t you? It helps fund our research, and doesn’t cost you a penny more!
Thanks for stopping by Seriousgas. We hope you’ll be a regular here, and look forward to hearing your animated stories of inspiring gear and instruments. Leave us a note in the Comments. We’d love to hear about it!
Now, go… make… sounds!!