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  • Writer's pictureIvan Cardozo

Best Electric and Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

For beginners, finding the right guitar can be an overwhelming task. If you intend on practicing, and improving your skills, you'll need a guitar that is beginner-friendly that you feel comfortable playing. You also want a guitar that not only is budget-friendly, but one that has good value.

In this article, we review the criteria to look for in your first guitar, and some choices for both electric and acoustic guitars.

How to Choose Your First Guitar:

Go to a guitar store and play with different guitars. Here are a few important factors in choosing a guitar:

Choosing Between Electric and Acoustic 

Deciding between an acoustic and an electric guitar is a great starting point for your decision. The choice is completely up to you; however, here are some considerations:

  • Acoustic guitars are ideal for learning basics like strumming and plucking. Of course, you don't need an amp with an acoustic guitar. Compared to electric guitars, they typically have a wider, thicker neck, and the strings sit higher above the fretboard, requiring more pressure to fret a note.

  • Electric guitars have thinner strings, making it easy on the fretting hand. Electric guitars typically have a thinner neck, less space between the strings and the fretboard, and less distance between each of the six strings. It is ideal for learning bending, slides, hammer-on, and other intermediate to advanced-level techniques. 


For beginners, the cost of a guitar will be a big factor in your decision. Novice guitar players should look for a durable, quality guitar at a good price. Beginners still learning to play can purchase an affordable guitar to develop their skills.


Playing your guitar comfortably for long periods is an important part of the guitar you end up choosing.

The size of your guitar affects the instrument's playability, comfort, volume, and tone. The right size depends on comfort and personal preferences.

Guitar beginners with larger hands may be cramped on smaller, shorter-scale models. Younger developing players may struggle to enjoy playing a dreadnought shape with steel strings.

Can you comfortably reach the entire fretboard? Run your finger along each side of the neck to see if you can feel the ends of the metal frets. If you’re having trouble reaching, consider buying a guitar with a thin neck. Keep in mind that you will also work on reaching for frets as you start practicing more.

Sound & Style

As a beginner, you're still developing your style, but you'll know the styles you gravitate toward. Your choice of guitar will depend on the style you wish to play. 

For instance, an acoustic guitar is a better choice if you enjoy flamenco or bluegrass fingerstyle picking. If you enjoy heavy rock, funk or metal, consider purchasing an electric guitar.


Buying a used guitar is a great idea for new players who want a less expensive option. If you opt for a used guitar, be sure to check the condition in person. You can even find brands and styles that are no longer being manufactured.

Best Electric Guitars for Beginners 

If you've decided to purchase an electric guitar, here are a few choices for beginners.

Squier Stratocaster

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Iconic look

  • Great build quality

  • Ideal starter guitar 

Yamaha Pacifica 112V

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Great value for beginners

  • Versatile tones

Squier Bullet Mustang

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Sounds huge amplified

  • Small enough in size for young guitarists to comfortably play

PRS SE Standard 24-08

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Great playability 

  • Reliable and durable

  • Coil-split for versatile tones

Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners

If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar for beginners, there are several great options, Here are a few great choices for new players.

Yamaha FG800

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Very easy to practice and play

  • Terrific value for beginners

Martin LX1 Little Martin

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Great tone

  • Smaller design and structure ideal for younger players

  • Sounds bigger than its size

Fender CD-60S

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Great neck feel

  • Great materials for the value 

Yamaha F310

Why it’s a great option for beginners:

  • Slim neck makes it easy to play

  • Great build quality

  • Well-balanced tone

Closing Out: Choosing The Right Guitar for a Beginner

Opting for an affordable guitar you feel comfortable playing will serve you well in the early years. Before you know it, you'll seek another guitar to suit your more advanced skill level.

Ivan Cardozo is a guitar instructor in Boston who also teaches students virtually. If you are a beginner and have questions about buying your first guitar, he is happy to assist with your search!

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