Buying an acoustic guitar is one of the most exciting prospects for any budding player. It's the critical 'make or break' stepping stone that sets you up for certain success or potential disenchantment through an unsuitable instrument. Brands like Yamaha, Stretton Payne, Epiphone and Donner all build beginner guitars with success solely in mind.
We've compiled ten top-notch beginner guitars from Amazon and Argos, to suit both buyers on a budget and those wanting to invest in something special. From dreadnaughts to classical guitars, there's a perfect beginner acoustic for everyone's unique size and story. Many of our picks also come with all the accessories needed to hit the ground running!
Acoustic guitars are generally recommended for beginners as they are cheaper, easier to transport and unlike electric guitars, they don't require you to buy extra equipment like amplifiers, cables and pedals in order to play them. These things can always come later if your new hobby becomes more serious.
Even if you would like to eventually master playing electric, it is still recommended to learn the basics on an acoustic before potentially going down the plugged-in route. So for these reasons, we have chosen to focus on acoustic guitars for beginners in this article.
For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:
For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of acoustic guitars for beginners available and understand how our ranking was determined.
This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.
Dreadnaught Acoustic Guitar
Full Size Steel String Acoustic Guitar
3/4 Size Beginner Acoustic Guitar Pack
Full Size Dreadnaught With Starter Pack
Full Size Classical Guitar
Cutaway Acoustic Beginner Guitar Package
Rocket Full Size Classical Guitar Starter Pack
Full Size Acoustic Guitar With Accessories
1/2 Size Classical Acoustic Guitar
A Vintage Design With Quality Tonewoods
Yamaha's Award Winning Beginner Guitar
Get on Your Way With a 3/4 Parlor and Impressive Starter Pack
A High-Spec Dreadnaught With an All-Spruce Tonewood Body
The Supremely Built Classical to Invest In
The Perfect Travelling Guitalele With an Emphasis on Quality
A Beginner's Dreadnaught With the Whole Kit and Caboodle
A Great First Full-Sized Classical Guitar for Kids
A Cheap Dreadnaught That Comes With All the Trimmings
Lightweight, Easy to Handle, and Ideal for Children
|Type||Dreadnaught||Dreadnaught||3/4 Parlor||Dreadnaught||Classical||Parlor (guitalele)||Dreadnaught||Classical||Dreadnaught||1/2 Classical|
|Length||106 cm||103 cm||99 cm||111 cm||102 cm||71 cm||104 cm||100 cm||99 cm||86 cm|
|String Material||Steel||Steel||Steel||Steel||Nylon||Nylon string set (3 nylon/3 metal wound)||Brass||Nylon||Steel||Nylon|
|Neck Width||43 mm||43 mm||Slim||45 mm||50 mm||47.6 mm||Slim||Unknown||42 mm||5.5 cm|
|Body Wood||Spruce and mahogany||Rosewood||Linden||Spruce||Spruce and meranti||Sitka spruce and meranti||Sitka spruce and laminated mahogany||Linden||Basswood||Swamp ash|
Classical guitars are an extremely beginner-friendly choice, and most people's first acoustic is a classical guitar whether they realise it or not. This is because they always have nylon strings which can be a real godsend when starting out as your fingers won't be in as much pain, ensuring you'll be able to play for longer.
They are also small-bodied guitars, which can be a huge advantage as you won't have such a hard time reaching the frets, making them a good option for children ready for a full-sized guitar. It also won't seem like such an impossible prospect to wrangle the guitar into a comfortable, easy position to play.
Dreadnaughts are full-sized, steel-stringed guitars that produce a clean acoustic sound. so if you're still growing and subsequently don't have enviable, elongated fingers then maybe it's not the ideal first acoustic for you. If you're a little older or have played electric guitars, its good volume projection and strong bass sound incredible.
There's a wide range of dreadnaught guitars these days that are priced well for starting out. So if you want to get straight into a legitimate-sounding piece of kit, or are thinking of performing live, then the dreadnaught is for you.
A parlor is simply any guitar that is less than a full size. 3/4 and 1/2 size guitars are common along with guitaleles and ukeleles. These smaller guitars can suit children as they will be able to reach all the necessary elements of the guitar with ease, and hopefully, style!
Parlors typically come equipped with steel strings. If this doesn't sit well with you, there's always the option of the aforementioned guitaleles or ukeleles, which usually have wound strings. Wound strings have a nylon core and flexible metal exterior, which makes them easier on the fingers and good at producing lower notes.
Parlors can also be a clever choice if you're on the move but due to their smaller size, they won't have the same full sound as a dreadnaught. Having a parlor guitar kicking around to take on trips or to lessons is never a bad idea!
Why not take a look at some ukeleles as well?
The action of a guitar is the distance between the strings and the fretboard, typically measured on the 12th fret. A low action guitar is a good idea as it will make the strings easier to press down. This will help to stem finger soreness and hand fatigue which can be key to a beginner's success and longevity, as they won't become fearful of their guitar and the pain it may cause.
However, having action that is too low will result in an incessant buzzing when strumming chords, as the strings will be pressing down on other frets ruining the sound completely. So, it's important to buy a guitar with the correct low action for learning.
Everyone has a different opinion on what constitutes 'low action' and it really comes down to the type of guitar and how it feels and sounds for a particular player. You can rest assured that all models from the reputable brands on our list have built guitars with low-medium action suited for learning.
The neck width, or 'nut width' as it's sometimes referred to, is the width of the neck measured at the nut of the guitar, which is at the end of the fingerboard. Neck width can again come down to personal preference but generally, a smaller neck width would suit a player with smaller hands and arms.
For steel-stringed acoustic guitars, the neck width usually starts at 41 mm with the larger end reaching 48 mm. Classical guitars are a little wider at 52 mm, but the smaller body size allows for them to be played by beginners as reaching the top frets is still achievable despite the wider neck.
If you're looking to learn multiple instruments, consider trying out a digital piano!
Acoustic guitars are made from a variety of different wood types. These woods are termed 'tonewoods' as they give the guitar a certain tone and resonance. Ensuring an acoustic is made from recognised, tried and tested tonewoods is going to ensure its longevity and the quality of sound that it emanates.
Some popular tonewoods to look out for are mahogany, cedar, sitka spruce and rosewood. These quality tonewoods will give your guitar a desirable and appreciated sound that will beckon a crowd wherever you start strumming. You can also consider laminated wood if you're working with a tight budget.
This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
|Neck Width||43 mm|
|Body Wood||Spruce and mahogany|
|Neck Width||43 mm|
|Neck Width||45 mm|
|Neck Width||50 mm|
|Body Wood||Spruce and meranti|
|String Material||Nylon string set (3 nylon/3 metal wound)|
|Neck Width||47.6 mm|
|Body Wood||Sitka spruce and meranti|
|Body Wood||Sitka spruce and laminated mahogany|
|Neck Width||42 mm|
|Neck Width||5.5 cm|
|Body Wood||Swamp ash|
Written and researched by Connor Macanally
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