Beginner Guitars: How much should you spend on your first acoustic guitar?

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Are you thinking about picking up the guitar for the first time? If so, you’re probably wondering how much you should spend on your first guitar. It can be tricky to figure out what to buy and where to invest your money, but don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll discuss different factors that go into determining how much you should spend on a beginner guitar. We’ll also provide some tips for choosing the right instrument for your needs. Let’s get started!

Despite popular belief, your first guitar does not have to be expensive. You should plan on spending between $100 to $200 on your beginner guitar. This will allow you to get a decent guitar to learn on and to also find out what you do and don’t want in your more expensive guitar you will inevitably buy down the road.

What guitars should you take a look at?

1. Squier by Fender SA-150

This all-laminate guitar is perfect for beginners, thanks to its durable construction and easy-to-play neck. Plus, with its full-bodied dreadnought tone, the SA-150 is sure to fill any room with sound.

Fender is one of my favorite guitar manufacturers’ and this guitar that is under Fender’s Squier brand is an awesome value. While being near the bottom of my recommended range of price, it allows you to get a couple other pieces of gear like picks and extra strings.

2. Ibanez PC12MHOPN Grand Concert

The Ibanez PC12MHOPN Grand Concert acoustic is perfect for the musician who wants a great-sounding guitar without breaking the bank. Mahogany top, back, and sides give this guitar a warm, full tone, while the Open Pore Natural finish allows it to resonate freely for a natural sound.

Ibanez is a favorite brand of mine, and they make some great guitars for any range of experiences. I really do like the styling of this guitar with its darker wood finish. I think that cutaways take away from the styling of a guitar, and if you are on the same page, this is a great option.

3. Yamaha GigMaker Classical Guitar

Yamaha’s GigMaker Classical Guitar is the perfect nylon string guitar for beginner players! It includes a C40 full-sized guitar, digital tuner, and padded gig bag, and is constructed of locally sourced Tonewood. While I am personally not a huge fan of purchasing a kit when buying your guitar, this one is rather minimal and shouldn’t take away from the value of the guitar itself.

I added this classical guitar onto this list because while classical guitars do have wider necks, they are also considerably easier to press down on the strings and play. These guitars are great to learn how to fingerpick and are great for those that are having a hard time getting past not having built up the strength and calluses to play for longer periods.

What should you look for in your beginner guitar?

Buying an acoustic guitar within my recommended price point isn’t the easiest thing. However, it does set you up for success and allows you to gain confidence while still not wasting money on a guitar you may not like.

My first guitar was an extremely cheap acoustic guitar that was on the lower end of this budget, but it did teach me exactly what I wanted in my next guitar and so on.

Highest quality possible

Having a budget of $100 to $200 is not a huge budget by any means. Because of this, you need to pay attention to what other people are saying about the guitar when it comes to quality. You are going to want to get the highest quality possible without breaking over that lower price point.

Simple designs (nothing fancy)

Guitars that are priced within this budget range typically have simple designs. They may not have any fancy inlays or be cutaway guitars. Cutaway guitars tend to raise the price point of the guitar significantly, so if you don’t think you’ll ever need one- stay away from them!

If you are seeing expensive-looking features on the acoustic guitar you are looking for, then you probably should avoid it. When you see fancy features on a cheap guitar, those are features that are meant more for marketing than function, and also take away from the value that can go towards what matters most – ease of playability and quality of components.

Keep to the budget

While guitar manufacturers may have a guitar that is above and beyond your budget, it is important to stay within the confines of this recommended price range. Not only will you be able to find great guitars at this range, but you’ll also be able to purchase other essentials like guitar picks, strings, and a case or gig bag.

Should you get a starter pack?

I do not like starter packs when it comes to buying a guitar. These starter packs tend to include cheap accessories that either drive up the price of the guitar or cheapen the guitar itself to meet a price point. I highly recommend purchasing a guitar that is on its own, then figure out what accessories you need and purchase them when you have the budget.

Realistically, the only thing you will need to play an acoustic guitar is the guitar, strings (generally come with a guitar), and a couple of picks (like these ones). Anything else is going to just cost you money, and mean you can’t get as high quality of a guitar as you will want for the price.

How long will you be using this beginner acoustic guitar?

Beginner guitars are not meant to be long-term investments! Instead, they are meant to carry you along in the first couple of months of learning to play and getting a feel for what you want out of a guitar.

Because of this, plan on keeping this beginner acoustic guitar for 4 to 6 months. This of course is a sliding scale, depending on how often you play your guitar, and how quickly you move forward in your talent.

The last thing that you will want, is to allow your shopping process to keep you back from buying your first guitar. Instead, I recommend purchasing a guitar you somewhat like, and moving on towards learning. Then once you have learned what you are good at, spend more time on purchasing the next guitar, which you will likely own for 4 to 6 years instead of months.

How many guitars does a beginner guitarist need?

Generally speaking, you will take one of two paths. You can either learn acoustically, or electric guitar to start. Because of this, plan on only purchasing one guitar as a beginner. There is no need to have any more than that until you are more sure of your abilities and more sure of what you want out of a guitar.


In conclusion, I recommend spending between $100 and $200 on a beginner acoustic guitar. This will give you the best quality guitar possible for your budget. Remember to avoid guitars with too many features, as they will not be worth the investment, and plan on using the guitar for only a few months. Finally, only purchase one guitar as a beginner! You don’t need any more than that for now.