If you’re thinking of taking up an instrument, you can’t go wrong with the guitar. The guitar is fun to play, helps exercise your mind and body, and provides an excellent creative outlet. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a rockstar, or at least the life of the bonfire?
Before buying your first guitar, you’ll need answers to questions like how much does a guitar cost, what makes a good beginner guitar, and so much more. Read on, and we’ll cover everything you need to know before you hit the music store in search of your first ax.
How Much Should You Pay for a Guitar?
Depending on your budget and how serious you are about learning the guitar, you can choose to spend a lot or a little. Most beginners opt for an inexpensive guitar that’s easy to play and sounds decent. As they progress, most guitarists end up back at the music store for a better instrument.
For a Beginner
Beginner guitars are loosely thought of as instruments in the sub-$500 range. There are plenty of excellent instruments in the $150-300 range, so it’s easy for a beginner to find an affordable guitar that still sounds good and plays well.
A Cheap Acoustic
You’ll find several guitars in the sub-$200 price range, many of which come from well-known manufacturers. You can also get more bang for your buck by purchasing a used instrument as your first guitar. Often, you can score a guitar in the $300-500 price range for $200 or less if you purchase a second-hand instrument.
A Good Acoustic
To some, a $150 guitar can be excellent. Meanwhile, some players would argue a “good” instrument costs north of $1,000. There are tons of quality acoustics made overseas available for $500 or less. If you prefer an American-made guitar, you can expect a good model to set you back $1000 or more.
An Electric Guitar
The price of a beginner electric is similar to an acoustic guitar price, with inexpensive models available for around $150 and high-end models eclipsing the $5,000 mark. As with acoustic guitars, an instrument in the sub-$300 range is ideal for a beginner.
Our Top Picks for Beginner Acoustic Guitars
A full concert-sized acoustic with a solid spruce top, the CC-60S from Fender includes a high-quality beginner instrument, along with all the accessories you’ll need to rock.
Concert acoustics have a narrower body that’s perfect for younger beginners, and the rolled fretboard edges make this guitar even more comfortable for beginners to play.
You won’t have to ask questions like “how much is a guitar string,” because the CC-60S includes a spare set of strings, picks, a strap, and a gig bag for transporting your guitar safely.
This guitar has a ½ size scale, so it’s perfect for kids and players with small hands. The nylon strings are easier on the fingers than steel strings, so you’ll be able to learn the instrument for hours on end without any discomfort.
With its solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides, the Protege C1M dishes out a rich and warm tone that sounds better than some guitars costing hundreds of dollars more.
One of the best affordable guitars on the market, this full-size nylon-string guitar is a must for aspiring guitarists interested in learning classical guitar. Nylon guitar strings are also softer and more forgiving than steel strings, so they’re more comfortable for beginners to learn with.
This instrument offers a solid spruce top and a genuine rosewood neck and fretboard. These quality tonewoods help provide a warm and rich tone that’s not common on guitars under $200.
Young beginners are sure to love the FA-15 from Fender, which offers eye-catching looks, quality Fender craftsmanship, and a ¾ scale that’s perfect for kids and players with small hands. This instrument offers a laminated Agathis top and laminated Sapele back and sides to go with a nato neck and fingerboard.
You can find other beginner instruments in this price range that offer higher quality woods and better tone, but the FA-15 is hard to beat for comfort and good looks.
The best of both worlds, the Talman from Ibanez offers the look and playing comfort of an electric guitar with the richness and warmth of an acoustic. This affordable instrument is lightweight and easy to play, and it uses quality tonewoods to deliver an excellent tone.
A hidden pickup under the bridge allows you to plug this guitar into an amp for live performances, and there’s an onboard pre-amp with EQ and a built-in tuner. The double-cutaway enables guitarists to play virtually anything they could on an electric while still enjoying the tone and resonance of an acoustic.
This guitar offers a select spruce top with mahogany back and sides and a fan bracing system for improved resonance and tone. The cutaway allows you to comfortably reach the upper register of the guitar.
A piezo pickup allows you to plug this guitar into a sound system or amplifier, and it offers a 3-band EQ with gain control and an onboard tuner.
For beginners who are ready to take the next step as guitarists, the AEWC400 offers gorgeous looks and an even better tone.
This guitar offers a compact body that’s made from Maple, which allows you to enjoy its massive sound without sacrificing comfort or playability. The top is a beautifully flamed maple with a blue sunburst finish.
A Fishman Sonicore pickup delivers a pure and punchy tone that’s ideal for singer-songwriters, and the AEQ-SP2 pre-amp allows you to dial in the perfect sound and tune the guitar, as well.
How much is a wooden guitar going to set you back as a beginner? You can spend a lot or a little, but the most important thing is that you find a guitar that plays well and fits your budget.
Find yourself something that you’re going to be excited to play, and be sure to check out the excellent models on our list above.