Your Ultimate Guide to Buying an Acoustic Guitar
Buying an acoustic guitar can be an incredibly exciting process, but if you don't know exactly what you are looking for, you can get carried away and end up with an instrument that isn't suited to your playing style, budget, or sound you prefer.
This can be a particular problem when looking for the best acoustic guitar for beginners, you need to make sure that you are buying a good acoustic guitar to learn on at an affordable price. Many novice guitar players have fallen into the trap of getting overexcited in a guitar store and spending thousands on a guitar which isn’t the best fit for them!
Once you have started playing and learned the basics you will have a better idea of what to look for as you progress to a more expensive option. But for now, you should make sure that you are familiar with how a guitar works to make sure you buy one which is suited to your playing level.
And even if you are a more seasoned player, it never hurts to brush up on the basics, so you make sure that your next guitar purchase is everything you were hoping for!
Below we will tell you everything you need to know about buying an acoustic guitar for beginners, how to select a good acoustic guitar for beginners, and how various parts of the guitar affect the sound and tone of your playing.
What Do You Need to Know When Buying An Acoustic Guitar for Beginners?
When buying an acoustic guitar for beginners, you will need to be familiar with each part of the guitar and what you should be looking for in your first guitar purchase. Read below for a breakdown of each part of the guitar and what you should be looking for when you make your purchase.
Understanding a guitar and how it works will help you to make the very best purchase decision when buying an acoustic guitar for beginners. The more information you have, the better choice you will be able to make!
Tips For Buying An Acoustic Guitar
But before we begin, you have some choices to make based on your musical preferences, size, and the type of guitar playing you enjoy. If you are interested in an acoustic guitar, you might also want to learn more about classic guitars as well. We have a full classical guitar buying guide for beginners here if you are interested in learn more.
What Size Guitar Body Do You Need to Play Comfortably?
If you don't feel comfortable playing the guitar, you'll find it a lot harder to enjoy practicing. The size of your guitar will also affect the type of sound that your guitar creates, with assorted sizes producing different tones. A bigger guitar will also generally produce a louder sound.
If you know other guitar players, ask if you can try to play their instruments to get an idea about which size feels more comfortable to you.
- Mini Acoustic Guitar and Travel Guitars are generally small and easy to move around.
- Dreadnought Acoustic Guitars measure around 20" and are popular with bluegrass players
- Grand Concert Acoustic Guitars measure about 13" and are well suited to smaller players.
- Grand Auditorium Acoustic Guitars are a little bigger and offer a more balanced sound.
- Jumbo Acoustic Guitars are larger than Grand Auditoriums and are a popular choice for those playing country music.
What Type of Music do You Want to Play?
Are you an avid listener of classic guitar music, a folk fan, or is a country ballad more your thing? Your preferred music should definitely be a factor in choosing a good acoustic guitar for beginners.
Different sizes of guitars, made of distinct types of tonewoods will produce different types of sounds. So, to make sure that you are picking the best acoustic guitar for beginners, you need to make sure that you know what type of sound you are looking for and which kind of guitars will produce this.
Decide Your Budget Before Buying An Acoustic Guitar
Make sure that you don't end up going way beyond a reasonable price point, by setting yourself a strict budget before you start to look. If you are looking for an acoustic guitar for beginners, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars – you can get a high quality beginner acoustic for between $100 and $500.
Good choices include the Fender CD-60s and Yamaha Fg800 which are good quality guitars that won't break the bank. Spending thousands on a guitar before you are technically capable of using all the features makes little sense. As your skills develop, you'll be able to invest in pricier guitars that suit your developing playing style.
What is Tonewood and How Does it Affect The Sound of Your Guitar?
The solid wood used to create the body of your acoustic guitar is called tonewood and it can affect the feel, sound, and integrity of the structure. Here's a breakdown of the common tonewoods and how they can affect your choice when buying an acoustic guitar.
- Mahogany Acoustic Guitars give you a defined and strong sound as you play.
- Sapele Acoustic Guitars are a high range, lightweight but durable option.
- Maple Acoustic Guitars have a rich treble which is easily identifiable when playing with other musicians.
- Cedar Acoustic Guitars have a softer tone to them and are popular with flamenco guitar players.
When picking an acoustic guitar for beginners, the choice of tonewood isn't all that important if you don't have a good idea about what sound your prefer. But if you are after a certain type of sound it pays to keep it in mind when buying an acoustic guitar.
How Do Guitar Strings Affect the Feel and Sound of the Guitar?
When deciding on the strings when buying an acoustic guitar, you have to choose between two main options which will affect the feel as you play and the sound you create.
You can check YouTube for examples of nylon string playing and steel strings to check which sound you prefer.
- Nylon Strings on an acoustic guitar will feel soft on beginner's hands. They will also bring a warm and bright tone to your playing.
- Steel Strings on an acoustic guitar can be more painful on your fingertips to begin with but will create a louder sound with a crisper tone.
Should You Consider an Acoustic Electric Guitar?
If you can't decide between choosing an electric or acoustic guitar for beginners, then an acoustic electric can be a great guitar to buy! Although slightly more costly, these are great performance and recording guitars and you will be able to play them with guitar amps as well!
Summary: Your Ultimate Guide to Buying an Acoustic Guitar
To make sure that you make the best decision when buying an acoustic guitar, you should make sure to do your research and develop a good idea about what you are looking for.
Read back through our guide to buying an acoustic guitar above and note down all the unique features you need to think about when choosing a good acoustic guitar for beginners. This should be your decision-making guide when you start buying an acoustic guitar.
Decide which size, tonewood, and strings you want ahead of time, and you'll find the process of buying the best acoustic guitar for beginners a much easier process!