When someone asks “what is a good guitar for beginners” the answer is invariably “this one” or “that one” simply because they’re cheap.
Whilst beginners certainly aren’t going to want to, nor will they have to, spend a lot on a guitar, there are other important factors that make for a good beginner’s guitar.
Acoustic or Classical?
Should beginners choose and acoustic guitar or a classical guitar?
The answer to this question is that it really depends.
Traditionally beginners have been told to get a classical guitar to learn on. This is because the Nylon strings used on a classical guitar are easier on your fingers. But if you have no interest in playing classical music or Spanish guitar or other types suited to a nylon string guitar, then there’s no need to get a classical guitar.
The gauge of your strings will play a part in how sore your fingers will get and how easy a guitar will be to play (lighter gauge strings are better for beginners) and you can go for the likes of Silk and Steel strings for your steel string acoustic to make it easier on your fingers.
Learn more about the best strings for beginners at the link below.
Acoustic or Electric?
There are pros and cons to learning on electric and learning on an acoustic.
- Generally speaking electric guitars have narrower necks than acoustic guitars. This means there is less space between the strings which can be more difficult to be accurate when you are starting out.
- Acoustics can be nicer to learn on if you don’t own an amp. You can certainly learn on an electric without an amp but this could become boring after a while because you can’t produce much volume.
- You can choose to go with silk and steel strings to make it easier on your fingers
- You can opt for smaller bodied guitars and guitars with a shorter scale length – a shorter scale length can make it easier for those with smaller hands to learn on because the frets are closer together.
- Electric guitar’s usually have a lower action which makes it technically easier to play and makes it easier on your fingers and hands. Acoustic’s usually come with a higher action out of the box but this is something that can be adjusted.
- The narrower necks can make it easier for people with smaller hands to play
Whether you choose to start with an electric or an acoustic guitar, you should start out with light gauge strings. This will make it easier on your fingers.
Which you go with will mostly depend on the style you want to play. If you aren’t sure about what style you will play then start out on an acoustic.
The action basically refers to how high off the fretboard (fingerboard) that the strings sit. If the strings are far away from the fretboard we call this a high action.
A high action is more difficult to play on. It is harder to press the strings into the fretboard which means that you end up with more “buzzed” notes and it also means that it is much slower to fret a string – this is one of the most important parts of a beginner guitar.
Fortunately you can have this adjusted so if the action is too high you can have it lowered. I would recommend getting this done before you start learning – it will make a huge difference.
Whether you choose to learn on an acoustic or an electric make sure that the action is at a nice height to make it easier to play.
You can lower the action yourself if you are confident doing that or you can usually have it done for you in a guitar or music store.
If you are buying a guitar for a child or if you are a smaller person or have smaller hands then it’s a good idea to go with a smaller sized guitar.
This might be a mini sized guitar, parlour guitar, concert guitar or grand auditorium. You can go for one of these sizes no matter your physical characteristics but they’re particularly good for smaller sized people.
- Mini, travel & parlour Guitar Reviews
- Concert Guitar Reviews
- Grand Auditorium Guitar Reviews
- Dreadnought Guitar Reviews
Whilst budget isn’t the only concern – it is one factor in your beginner guitar decision.
Typically beginners won’t want to spend too much, in case guitar is not something that they will stick with. Similarly, if you are buying a beginner guitar for someone else you probably don’t want to invest too much for the same reason.
However, if you just buy on price and get a guitar that is difficult, frustrating and not enjoyable to play, then you almost guarantee that you won’t stick with it. So, price is a factor but the other things mentioned in this post should also be taken into consideration.
But you can certainly find some guitars that are great for beginners that don’t cost too much. You’ve just got to make sure that find one that’s good for beginners because not all cheap guitars are suitable for beginners.
Check out the reviews at the links below. These guitars are all of reasonable price. If the guitar is good for a beginner I will mention it in the review.
I will be creating a post on what I think are the best 5 beginner guitars and will link to it from here once it’s been created.
Thanks for Reading
I hope this post has helped you to learn what a good guitar for beginners is.
With a little bit of research you will be able to find a guitar that is just right for learning on for you (or the person you are looking for) – and finding the most appropriate guitar to learn on is really important to make sure that you find the instrument enjoyable and for fast progression.