The Best Beginner Guitar

The Best Beginner Guitar

By Stefan Mitrovic
If you are just starting your journey into the world of guitar music, it can be hard to choose the right instrument. They can be expensive, so we have tried to find the best beginner guitar for you. The Yamaha C40II passed all our tests without any problems and showed itself to be the best guitar on the market for the beginner. Made out of rosewood with a high-quality gloss finish, it looks as beautiful as it sounds.

Have you ever thought about taking up music as your new hobby or career but have no previous experience? An acoustic guitar is the most affordable and easiest way to begin, whether you want to write music or accompany yourself while you sing.

Choosing your very first guitar is an exhilarating experience. It’s an entirely personal decision, and it’s vitally important to make the right choice. But why? Because the very first guitar you buy will significantly influence your future journey as a musician. Do you want to remember your first instrument as a thing of beauty or as a worthless piece of metal and wood? Even though your first guitar probably won’t be your last, it’s nice to have good memories of it. The most important thing when buying an instrument is not to rush – take your time!

There are many factors which you should take into consideration when choosing a guitar, such as the type of wood, types of strings, tonal properties of the instrument, the design itself and, of course, the price. But, above all, make sure it matches your music preferences. Why buy an electric guitar if you are into flamenco? On the other hand, an acoustic guitar won’t be your first choice if you are an AC/DC fan. So, the guitar you buy should be the one that’s adjusted to your “personal settings” so to speak.

Types of Beginner Guitars

Here we’ll focus on the acoustic guitar since that’s more or less what people have in mind when they’re looking for a first instrument. The acoustic guitar is a portable and easy-to-use instrument, which is why it is the songwriter’s first choice. The recognisable sound of gentle arpeggios, almost harp-like, rhythmic chordal strumming and its overall universality across genres are the main reasons why the acoustic guitar is an all-time favourite choice.

Acoustic guitars are divided into two main types: classical and steel string. Classical guitars, also known as Spanish guitars, have nylon strings and solo guitarists mostly use them. The steel-string acoustic, also known as the flat-top guitar, has a distinctive metallic sound which is often recognised in a variety of popular music genres. Guitars can be further divided by the shape of their body, which will be described here.

Classical Guitar

This type of guitar can have nylon or steel strings. It can be easily recognised by its open-slotted tuners, using cams instead of standard tuner posts. The tuner knobs are not parallel with the sides of the headstock but recede perpendicularly from the back.

This is a perfect choice for finger-pickers and those who are into the soft sound of traditional European orchestral music. Nylon-stringed guitars are used in flamenco and traditional classic styles, but in the right hands, can also perform as amazing strummers.

Yamaha C40II Full Size Classical Guitar – Natural

For lovers of the classical sound and fine clear tones, this guitar from one of the best-known manufacturers in the music world has everything a beginner needs. It belongs to the cheap price point category and is a good start for those who are just figuring out if music is going to be something they want to do in the future. The guitar is made from high-quality materials such as rosewood, meranti, nato and spruce, and will serve you for a long time. It offers a discreet yet amazing-looking gloss finish that adds to its overall appearance.

Features of Yamaha C40II Full Size Classical Guitar – Natural

The guitar features a fingerboard made of rosewood and its neck width is only 52mm, which is quite helpful for beginners. The biggest problem that a beginner might experience is the width of a guitar’s neck. With this guitar, there’s no need to worry as it is relatively narrow for a classical guitar. Moreover, the neck is contoured and allows for increased comfort while grabbing. The guitar has 18 frets which are more than enough for a beginner. With its popular chrome hardware, this guitar’s durability is assured. All in all, it’s a great beginner’s guitar that can even be used by more advanced guitarists. Its price is more than fair considering the price range of similar guitars especially as this one comes from Yamaha.

Advantages of Yamaha C40II Full Size Classical Guitar – Natural
  • Beginner friendly
    This is one of the best beginner’s guitars out there. As a beginner, it’s normal to have problems grabbing chords. Having a great, thin neck (especially on a classical guitar) can save you a lot of trouble and finger pain.
  • Great materials
    Yamaha uses only the best materials to craft its guitars, even if they are designed for beginners. So, whether it’s made from rosewood, nato or spruce, every inch of this guitar has been crafted with care and experience.
  • Great value
    • Given the fact that this guitar belongs to an affordable price point category, it is great value for money. You will just not get another beginner’s guitar that you can also happily play as an advanced guitar player. It’s a long-term investment.

If we could rate this guitar on a scale of 1 to 10, it would probably be 11. Jokes aside, it’s a great product, not only for beginners but for advanced players as well. Its clear sound, lack of string buzz, the great materials that are used in its construction and its beginner-friendly neck are what make this beginner’s guitar so good.

Jumbo Guitar

From the most basic guitar, we have now jumped to a more exclusive and definitely louder one! More extensive and broader in shape, the jumbo guitar is indeed a challenging instrument. Regardless of whether you are softly finger-picking it or strumming it hard, this guitar has an outstanding sound, even without pick-ups or pre-amps.

Moreover, if you are a singer-songwriter who is not afraid of a powerful-sounding instrument, this is the guitar you’ve been looking for. A large cavity gives an open sound, which accentuates the bass frequencies. It has a balanced tonal spectrum, but will sound different with each player. A jumbo guitar is among the pricier guitars, but there are some quite decent and cost-friendly versions out there.

Gear4music Jumbo Acoustic Guitar , Cedar

Now, if you are looking for something that comes within the £77 price range, and will serve you even after you have picked up the basics, this jumbo guitar might be a perfect choice for you. It features a dull cutaway that will enable you to reach even the higher frets with ease, perfect for the more advanced player. It’s made of high-quality materials most often used in the guitar world such as mahogany for the back and sides, and a cedar laminate top. The guitar is pretty comfy to hold, as there is a thin neck and a fingerboard with pearloid inlays which will help you orientate throughout the frets and make grabbing chords a piece of cake.

Features of Gear4music Jumbo Acoustic Guitar , Cedar

Coming from a well-known manufacturer, this jumbo guitar will make things a lot easier for the beginner thanks to its thin neck which helps to avoid the pain that beginner musicians often experience. The guitar looks great too, which adds to its overall value. There is a pickguard that will protect the body of your guitar and keep it safe while you are strumming with a pick. This, together with the quality materials that were used in creating such a wonderful instrument, guarantees longevity. It offers a stunning tone for beginners and more advanced players.

Advantages of Gear4music Jumbo Acoustic Guitar , Cedar
  • Easy grip for beginners
    This jumbo guitar seems to have been custom made for beginners. It features a thin neck and a comfy fingerboard that will make “baby steps” a joyful, instead of painful, adventure. With dot inlays engraved on the fingerboard, it is easy to orientate through the frets and grab your favourite chord with ease.
  • Perfect for advanced players
    Just as this guitar is good for beginners, it’s something that even advanced players should consider. It has a great tone and all the characteristics an advanced player might look for.
  • Great materials
    The longevity of this guitar is guaranteed as it’s made from high-quality materials. We are talking, of course, about the mahogany back and sides, and the cedar laminate top. These materials do not just make it super durable, but comfortable to play and stylish as well.

Overall, this guitar is much more than just a beginner’s guitar. If you intend to reach a more advanced level, then this one is definitely your top choice. It is great value for money and even belongs to an affordable or cheap price point category, considering the fact that you can use it even when you become more proficient. All in all, definitely a worthy instrument to start off your collection or to add to an existing one.

Parlour Guitar

Quite the opposite to the jumbo guitar, this one has a rather small body, which makes it a favourite among players with a smaller body frame. It has an intimate sound and a recognisable throwback vibe. This type of guitar, having a light yet balanced spectrum of tones, is an excellent choice for solo artists.

In the right hands, it is excellent for gentle finger picking and full-on strumming. The parlour guitar is a mass-produced instrument, which means there are lots of affordable models available.

Gear4music Parlour Guitar, Natural

This parlour guitar is a fine example of something that any beginner should consider starting with. It belongs to a cheap price point category and it is great for figuring out whether playing music is for you or not. With spruce laminate and a sapele body, you can rest assured that this guitar will last for ages. It’s small, compact and perfect for kids who are just starting their musical career. With a nato neck and poplar laminate fretboard, gripping will be much easier and that’s very important for a beginner. This guitar’s resonant mid-range tone will guarantee a great sound.

Features of Gear4music Parlour Guitar, Natural

This vintage style acoustic guitar has a resonant linden body, it is a great sing-along instrument and features 19 frets which are more than enough for a beginner. There are also dot inlays to improve your orientation through the frets. In other words, it has everything a beginner could need. In short, the guitar has great durability and excels in performance. On top of this, the guitar is a cheap beginner’s option and is a good investment if you are trying to figure out whether you are into music and the guitar at all. This style of instrument has been in use for over 200 years and still remains popular as a sing-along instrument. With a lovely action and excellent sound, you won’t regret choosing this model.

Advantages of Gear4music Parlour Guitar, Natural
  • Great action and sound quality
    Given its exception price, you could be forgiven for thinking that this guitar must sound terrible. But the opposite is true – it sounds really amazing. You can get a guitar for three times the price of this one and still not achieve such a good sound quality.
  • Optimum durability
    This guitar is designed to last. The high-quality materials that were used in crafting this piece of art guarantee its longevity.
  • Cheap price point category and great value
    The tones on this guitar are clear and won’t produce the string buzz that you might expect from other regular guitars after a few months of playing. To put it simply, there is literally no guitar on the market that can be found at such a price that produces such a high-quality sound. This guitar has got it all.
  • Sing-along guitar
    If you are a singer and are just looking for a guitar to accompany you, this one should be your number-one choice.

This guitar is one of the best-value solutions on the market. It’s a great, durable instrument, produces an amazing sound and belongs in a cheap price point category. This guitar is ideal, from taking your first baby steps to learning to run!

Auditorium and Grand Auditorium Guitar

With a tighter waist as one of its most notable features, this guitar has even more distinctive and specific tonal characteristics than some other types of guitars. The tight waist will make it possible for the instrument to sit firmly on a player’s leg without sliding around. Also known as the O guitar, it comes in three different sizes and the tonal emphasis and volume increases with the size.

The grand auditorium guitar, as expected from the name, is a larger version of the auditorium guitar. The larger an acoustic guitar’s body shape, the purer volume it gives. The grand auditorium is famous for its quality “plugged-in” sound, but either model will give you the perfect combination of great sound and sleek appearance.

Stagg SA20ACE NAT Auditorium Cutaway Electro-Acoustic Guitar – Natural Brown

For those who want to start playing the guitar and potentially go pro later, this one is just perfect. It’s an electro-acoustic guitar, so whenever you feel like amplifying your guitar and going viral, just do it! It’s made entirely of basswood – top, back and sides – which improves the guitar’s longevity. With a high-quality finish, this guitar is a beauty. If you felt like it, you could even hang it on the wall as a statement piece, but who would choose to do that when it produces such a high-quality sound? Coming from Stagg, a relatively new guitar manufacturer that has taken the market by storm, this one is definitely worth considering.

Features of Stagg SA20ACE NAT Auditorium Cutaway Electro-Acoustic Guitar – Natural Brown

It features an active pre-amp with onboard volume, bass, middle and treble controls, phase switch and a low battery indicator. We know that as a beginner you don’t even need these options, you just want to figure out whether you are able to play or not. But, who knows, maybe someday you will progress to a more advanced level and decide to amplify your guitar for a gig. This guitar has a Florentine cutaway which helps a lot when just starting out, making the grip much easier, and enabling you to reach those high frets. In addition, the fingerboard and bridge are of black stained maple, meaning that the comfort of holding bare chords (the hardest ones for a beginner) is guaranteed.

Advantages of Stagg SA20ACE NAT Auditorium Cutaway Electro-Acoustic Guitar – Natural Brown
  • Electro-acoustic
    Not only good as a beginner’s guitar but as one that can be used for some more advanced purposes. Just get an amplifier, and you will have a top-notch electric guitar.
  • Great longevity
    Made mostly of basswood, it excels in the field of durability. It will last not only long enough for your needs but for the needs of your grandchildren as well!
  • Great finish and appearance
    With such a stylish finish (high gloss natural with white purfling), this guitar is worth buying just for its looks. Jokes aside, it’s a great-looking guitar, and you can even use it as room décor if you decide that the guitar is just not for you.
  • Ideal for beginners or students
    Simply, it’s a good option for those who are looking for a cheap guitar with great sound quality, but it will appeal to the more advanced player as well.

Overall, it’s an instrument that comes in at an affordable price point category. It can be amplified and used for more advanced purposes such as gigs, recording, etc. On the other hand, the guitar is still beginner friendly as has everything that a beginner could dream of: cutaway, comfy thin neck and a great sound!

Dreadnought Guitar and Its Variants

This shape is the most common of all. It has broad, square-shaped shoulders with a large internal cavity. Due to this, a dreadnought guitar has tight and loud sound and the ability to emphasise both mid and bass frequencies allowing it to travel across genres.

Since this is such a popular guitar body shape, it’s no wonder many manufacturers wanted to replicate it. That’s how the dreadnought with round-shaped shoulders came into being. The main attraction of this guitar was that it still had all the features of a regular dreadnought but was considered more affordable. That’s the reason many people call this guitar a “workhorse”.

Stagg SA20D BLK Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

If you are a complete beginner or some way along your learning journey, you should consider buying the Stagg SA20D. This elegant and affordable instrument is perfect for those who don’t want to spend too much money but still want a good sound quality. Not only is it affordable, but it is also comfortable, which will make your experience even better, considering that you will spend a lot of time practising!

Features of Stagg SA20D BLK Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

This guitar’s top, back and sides are completely made of basswood, which means that it will produce a beautiful sound. Thanks to the quality nato neck and stained maple fingerboard, you can play it easily, and its steel strings will produce a powerful sound. The instrument is available in a wide range of colours and all of them have the high-gloss finish. It is also smooth to the touch and its white purfling around the body and white fingerboard binding make it seem more expensive. Apart from the elegance, it is also lightweight (only 2.9kg), even though it is a dreadnought guitar, which means it is a full-sized instrument. Keep in mind that it is not recommended for kids under the age of 12 because of its size.

Advantages of Stagg SA20D BLK Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Basswood top
    Basswood comes from the linden tree, so it is very soft and lightweight. This will give your instrument a soft and warm sound that is balanced and with a great mid-range.
  • Nato neck
    The neck of the instrument has a few major features such as strength and playability. That’s why a nato wood neck is a great choice. Together with the maple fingerboard, it gives the instrument strength and produces a warm and pleasant sound.
  • Full size
    The dreadnought is a full-sized guitar which means that it sounds much fuller and stronger in comparison to the concert-sized ones.
  • Elegant design
    Other than the quality of the sound and the guitar’s playability, one of the most important aspects is its appearance. The Stagg SA20D is very beautiful, elegant and looks far more expensive than it actually is.

The Stagg SA20D BLK Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar is one of the best choices for learners and beginners, bearing in mind its affordable price and high quality. Even though it is a full-sized guitar, it is very comfortable for playing so the hours of practice won’t be a drag! So, if you want a reliable instrument that will allow you to improve your musical skills, you should definitely try the Stagg SA20OD BLK Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar.

Twelve-String Guitar

We wanted to offer you one more type of guitar but based on string number, not shape. This type of guitar has six string courses, each with two strings. The bass strings are tuned an octave apart, whereas the treble ones are in unison.

The result is a fantastic full sound and chorus effect. It is a common choice for folk and blues music. It may not be a typical beginner’s guitar, but those who are into challenges can try it out.

Lindo Zodiac 12-String Electro-Acoustic Guitar

Well, guitar lovers, there is something new for you! The well-known guitar producer, Lindo Zodiac, has produced a new 12-string electro-acoustic guitar. When you find out how well-equipped this guitar is, you will want to keep it to yourself. This guitar comes with a 14-day, money-back guarantee so if you change your mind, you can return it for a refund. However, when you get your hands on it, you won’t regret buying it.

Features of Lindo Zodiac 12-String Electro-Acoustic Guitar

This electro-acoustic guitar has 12 strings and a 12-sided sound aperture. Furthermore, at the 12th key, there is a 12-star configuration inlay. The body and neck of the guitar are made from beautiful open-pore mahogany wood which is the perfect wood for guitars. It also has a binding made of maple. The top of the guitar is made of spruce, and it has a curly maple outcome and trans back ending. So, this acoustic guitar is not only physically beautiful, but it is tonically perfect. The product is well-balanced for an elevated and reduced register over the fretboard. The depth of the body is a bit slimmer (approximately 10cm) and comes with an SV-T740 pre-amp that has settings for bass, treble, middle, presence and master volume. As well as all of this, the body also features a chromatic tuner. One more important feature is the dual quarter-inch jack. Together with XLR turnout, the dual jack permits a connection with the amplifier.

Advantages of Lindo Zodiac 12-String Electro-Acoustic Guitar
  • Well-organised pre-amp
    This is a little magic place on the guitar where you can change the sound of your music. With an LCD player, chromatic tuner, volume control, note selector and low battery indicator, you have everything that you need for a long and relaxed guitar session.
  • Dual quarter-inch jack
    The XLR output permits coupling to the amplifier, audio port or mixing table.
  • 12-month warranty
    The warranty is more than adequate and comes with lifetime customer support.

Even though this guitar is not cheap, it will surely pay for itself, especially if you plan on going pro one day. When you think about all the features and advantages that this acoustic guitar has, both professionals and amateurs will realise that it is well worth the money. Enjoy the sound that it produces and let others be amazed by your talent.

What to Look for in a Good Beginner Guitar

Buying an instrument is an important moment in a musician’s life. It’s not an overnight decision, but the result of careful investigation. It is a good idea to take a more experienced player with you when buying your very first guitar. That way he/she can show you the pros and cons of each instrument and help you find the right one. There are several factors which first-time buyers should look out for:

  • Body Shape
    This is a particularly important and very personal thing since no person has the same body frame and height. The same goes for guitars: they come in many different shapes and sizes. Take a guitar, set it in your lap and see how it feels. Is the instrument too small, too big, or just the right size? Do you feel comfortable while strumming?
  • Woods
    Many different kinds of wood are used when manufacturing a guitar, and each wood had its own tonal properties. Just as with body shape, the wood will determine the sound and the volume a guitar will have. So, depending on your music preferences, bear the material of the guitar in mind.
  • Neck Width and Length
    This has to do with the size of someone’s hand. There are two options available – 12- and 14-fret necks – and it refers to the number of frets above the body. So, you should try it out for yourself. How does it feel when holding a neck? Is it comfortable and can all the frets be reached easily?
  • Nylon VS Steel Strings
    Nylon strings produce a softer sound, like that found in flamenco and folk music, while the steel ones give a louder sound, like country and rock music. Like many other factors, this one is also very personal, because it depends on which type of music you are going to play most.
  • Solid top VS Laminate Top
    This is a significant part of a guitar because it determines the tonal quality of the instrument. A solid top is made of two single-ply pieces of wood, and it vibrates a lot, whereas a laminate one is made of several layers of wood pressed together. For beginners, a laminate top is a common choice, if only to save money.
  • Music Preferences
    As we said, this varies from person to person but is an essential factor in deciding which guitar you should buy. There are many different types of guitars of many different sizes and materials. Each genre has its guitar, so be sure to choose the one that suits you.
  • Price
    Surely an important factor when deciding. Have in mind that your first instrument will most probably not be your last, so even if you don’t buy the most famous brand straight away, there are many affordable ones you can get. If you are going for a cheaper brand, be sure to check out its sound quality.
  • Overall Condition
    This is only applicable if you are buying a used guitar. Have it carefully inspected to check there is no damage that may affect its performance. Having someone who is an experienced player by your side may be of help.

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