Best Beginner Acoustic Guitars of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

There are different brands, builds, woods, and so many other aspects to consider when purchasing a new guitar.

If it is your first time experiencing this, there can be times where not only do you freeze but trying to learn this new skill becomes a chore. 

In this guide, we want to help you by outlining some key things you should know when choosing the right guitar. We also will be taking an in-depth look at some of the best beginner acoustic guitars on the market today.

Comparison Chart of the Best Beginner Acoustic Guitars

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Fender CD-60S

  • Best Overall and Best Fender Beginner Acoustic Guitar
  • Constructed with rolled fingerboard edges for better playability
  • Mahogany back and sides improves resonance for better tone and volume
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Epiphone DR-100

  • The neck profile is slim and tapered for better playability
  • Crafted with the classic dreadnought shape for enhanced comfort
  • Designed with a mahogany body for optimized resonance and tone
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Rogue RA-090

  • Best for the Money
  • Crafted with a maple bridge that gives a heightened clarity of tone
  • Built-in the classic dreadnought body style for improved ergonomics
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Yamaha APX600 BL

  • Best Beginner Acoustic-Electric Guitar
  • The improved bass response from scalloped bracing
  • Designed with narrow string spacing and a 25” scale length
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Yamaha FG820

  • Best Beginner Acoustic Guitar for Adults
  • Multiple variations of body shape, tonewoods, and colors
  • Crafted with an updated scalloped bracing for enhancement of natural sound
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What is an Acoustic Guitar?

Most prominently, acoustics have no need for any form of amplification. These guitars are commonly bigger and are designed with a large hole in the center called the soundhole. This feature helps enhance the reverberation of the guitar’s wooden top and body as you play the strings. The neck and strings then transmit those vibrations to the body. 

The acoustic properties of the wood used in the building and construction of a guitar play a key part in the sound produced. Better quality acoustics are created with strong tonewoods that produce fresh, articulate sound. 

What Size Acoustic Guitar Do I Need?

When selecting a guitar as a beginner, one of the hardest things may be the sizing. So how do you size a guitar? For an adult, you will want to pay attention to the adjustability. You will also want to consider your height and hand size and choose the one that fits proportionally to both. 

As for a child, if they are over 12, then using a standard acoustic will allow them to grow into it and be able to use it longer. Younger than that, then you want to look at smaller models that are designed with ¾ size, which will have a shorter scale

What Makes a Great Beginner Acoustic Guitar?

Some features make a great acoustic guitar for beginners. Here are some of the most important:

Size

The size of an acoustic guitar is a significant factor in your decision-making process. The shorter the guitar in length, the easier it will be to play. A guitar with a longer length has frets that are dispersed at wider intervals, and this may cause problems while trying to learn scales and practice pressing the strings down fully. 

Weight

Another measurement that matters is weight. The heavier the guitar, the more of a battle the novice will have while figuring out how to play. It can get incredibly awkward the heavier the guitar is, as a new player needs to hold the guitar for extended periods while trying to play.

Design

In the event that you have little hands, search for an acoustic guitar with a smaller scaled or thin neck. That way, you will be able to reach the strings and frets easier. Likewise, check the neck of the guitar for any bends or twists. A guitar with a bow or back bow will be hard to play. 

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best beginner acoustic guitars:

  1. Fender CD-60S
  2. Epiphone DR-100
  3. Rogue RA-090

Review of the Best Beginner Acoustic Guitars

Now that you have some idea what you should be looking at, we can dive into our carefully curated list of acoustic guitars that will work best for beginners. 

Best Overall and Best Fender Beginner Acoustic Guitar:
Fender CD-60S

Fender CD-60S Right Handed Acoustic Guitar - Dreadnaught Body - Natural

PROS

  • Aesthetically pleasing design that is simple and elegant
  • Designed with spruce top and x-bracing that is scalloped
  • Price versus value is fantastic in comparison to other models
  • Constructed of high-grade materials for improved durability
  • Design of body is ergonomic for comfortable play over extended periods
  • Limited adjustment required to achieve consistent low action for enhanced playability

CONS

  • Issues with sound quality when fingerpicking
  • Bridge pins may be difficult to remove at first
  • May have to retune constantly depending on music style of play

What Recent Buyers Report

When you talk to recent buyers, you can clearly see why we chose this guitar as one of the best available. Guitarists love the tone created with the use of premium tonewoods, and the neck design makes it comfortable and easy to play. Some have found that there is buzz from the truss rod, but that still doesn’t stop them from recommending this guitar.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Beginners need a neck that is easy to play so that they can easily learn the scales. With this guitar from Fender, that is what you get and one of the many things that stood out to us. The rolled edges of the fret make this a comfortable play for any beginner.

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is really great for any beginner looking for an easy to play model. It is excellent for those just starting and wanting to perform a little concert for those they love to show how far they have come. It can also make a great backup guitar for jamming sessions.

Bottom Line

Fender is a name that musicians have trusted for decades and for a good reason. Guitars like the CD-60S are crafted with precision and with premium-grade materials for optimal sound quality and tone. This model is also designed for comfort and ease of play, which is why beginners will love this guitar.

Runner-up:
Epiphone DR-100

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar (Natural)

PROS

  • Lack of buzz or dead spots when strumming
  • Spruce top offers the guitarist a clear, rich tone
  • Crafted with premium materials for enhanced durability
  • Design is ambidextrous for heightened versatility of play
  • Price versus value is better than a majority of its competitors

CONS

  • Comes with sub-par quality strings
  • Nickel used in construction could be better quality 
  • Frets have sharp edges and may need to be filed for comfortable play

What Recent Buyers Report

When looking at what guitarists have invested in this guitar say, it becomes evident that this Epiphone guitar is one of the best. These guitarists make it clear that the best things about this guitar are the amount of volume it can deliver and the fact that it is so very easy to adjust. Some have experienced fret buzzing, but on the whole, this guitar gets consistently high ratings.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are a lot of factors that go into an acoustic guitar being perfect for the beginner player. One of the biggest is the neck. This model is designed with a slim taper-style neck that makes this an ideal choice for the novice minstrel.

Who Will Use This Most

The design of this guitar makes it a versatile choice when it comes to music genres, but when it comes to players, there are some that will get more from the DR-100. The first benefactor when it comes to this guitar is the one who is looking for a budget-minded option. Though this is not the best overall for the money, it does find itself being a bit of a steal. Plus, it’s easy to travel with, making it great for guitar lessons.

Bottom Line

This guitar has a lot of things going for it, including coming from a company with a stellar reputation for high-quality instruments. It is constructed with spruce and mahogany, which is why the tone and sound are so rich, and the design itself is meant for the beginner; with its tapered neck and easy to hold body, the guitarist will be able to practice for hours and still be comfortable.

Best for the Money:
Rogue RA-090

Rogue RA-090 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Natural

PROS

  • Crafted with an easy to play action
  • Designed with a Nato neck for improved sound
  • Price versus value is by far one of the best on the market
  • Comes with metal strings for enhanced durability and life expectancy
  • Fretboard is curved, which offers more tonal clarity and improved playability
  • Neck design allows for sustained note capability and consistency in tonal quality

CONS

  • There have been some QC consistency issues
  • Too large for children to use for learning to play
  • Some have had problems with keeping the guitar in tune

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the best ways to decide on a good guitar is to check out what people that have already added it to their kit are saying. With this model from Rogue, you will find that many feel that the price is just right, especially for a beginner guitarist. Not only that, but it is easy to tune, which is great! One of the only drawbacks is that you may need to tune the instrument rather consistently.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The attention to detail in the construction of this budget-friendly guitar is what stands out to us the most. Everything from the slightly curved neck to the Nato neck design is all included to optimize the tonal clarity and quality. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Rogue RA-090 is a great beginner guitar for anyone, particularly those who are unsure if they want to continue with this skill as more than a hobby. The price tag allows for a low threshold of entry and makes it easier to make that plunge. 

Bottom Line

The name Rogue may not be as familiar to you as many of the other entries on our list. That, however, does not decrease the value you will be able to get from making this your go-to practice guitar. It is crafted with high-quality materials. For this reason, it is easily one of the best acoustics available.

Best Beginner Acoustic Electric Guitar:
Yamaha APX600 BL

Yamaha APX600 BL Thin Body Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Black

PROS

  • Price versus quality is superb 
  • Design offers guitarist high-quality, balanced sound
  • Crafted with a cutaway designed for better fret access
  • Ergonomically built for more comfortable playability
  • Pick-up system design for stage optimizes sound-shaping capability
  • Neck is thinner, making it better for players with small hands/kids

CONS

  • Not a classic dreadnaught design
  • Neck design makes it more challenging for adult players 
  • When plugged into an amp, the sound may be a little too bass-heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar has a beautiful full sound and is so easy to hold you will be able to play for hours. Though the action will definitely take a little adjustment to optimize its playability, all in all, this is a great choice for any beginner.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The key to a good electric guitar is a pickup system and controls that allow for improved sound shaping. That is why this model is such a great choice. Yamaha has included a pickup system that does just that.

Who Will Use This Most

The design of the neck of this guitar makes it the perfect choice for those beginners who have smaller hands, such as kids. Because of the ability to plug in, it is especially great for those players that are in a class or taking lessons when they may have an opportunity to play in a concert for friends and family.

Bottom Line

This guitar is a great way to take advantage of all that is great about acoustics while still having the ability to rock out as loud as you want. By crafting a guitar with attention to details, Yamaha has easily brought us one of the nicest options for any beginner guitarist.

Best Beginner Acoustic Guitar for Adults:
Yamaha FG820

Yamaha FG820 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar, Natural

PROS

  • Fitted with a built-in adjustable truss rod 
  • Life is extended with its easy to upgrade build
  • Design and size makes it perfect for adult novices
  • Guitar offers a nice sound that is balanced and warm
  • Full and rich tone that helps with optimized projection
  • Built with premium-grade materials for improved durability

CONS

  • Buzzing may appear after extended use
  • Not great in select sound ranges (i.e. high)
  • Strings that come with the guitar are not of the highest quality

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar has a lot of great qualities, but the fact that it stays in tune so well is perfect for the beginner. This will allow them to develop an ear. The frets on the neck will not have to be sanded, and this is great for the playability aspect. It does develop a buzz after a while, but that can be fixed with adjustment of the truss rod.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The build of this guitar, no matter what variation you choose, is a great choice for almost any guitarist. That is why we chose this guitar to be one of the models on our list. The design is the perfect size for comfortable play.

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is going to be the best choice for those adult learners. Though any adult would get a lot from this guitar, those who are looking to play blues or country may get more out of it. With its resonance and volume, this is especially true if they practice or play in places where there is a lot of noise.

Bottom Line

When you are starting out later in life, it can be just as frustrating as if you were doing it in your youth. That means you will want an easy to play guitar that takes away a bit of the stress, and with the Yamaha FG820, you will certainly get that.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Though the product features that you need to look at are important, there are also aspects that you need to consider before buying any instrument, let alone one that you will be learning on.

Sound Quality

Though not necessarily the first aspect you should consider, you will want to pay close attention to the tonewoods used in the construction. Each wood has its own unique signature, and finding the one that is pleasing to your ear may help you stay with this new hobby.

Budget

Perhaps this is the first aspect to consider when working through the decision making process. Knowing how much you are willing to spend can help narrow the field of choice significantly.

Design

Choosing a design and build that fits your body and style can have a real impact on your decision as well. So, finding one that is comfortable to hold for extended periods is crucial to your dedication to the practice.

Intent

Do you intend to use this as more than your practice guitar? Knowing what your end intent is will help you make your decision as well. Another factor in this category is what type of music you will be learning. 

Perks of Learning to Play the Acoustic Guitar

There are a lot of reasons why learning to play guitar on an acoustic is a great idea. The strings are heavier and the frets wider apart, which can make it more difficult at first. Here are some reasons why a lot of people highly recommend learning guitar:

Cost

There is not a lot of extras needed to get started with the guitar. Unlike with an electric, you do not need an amp.

Versatility

The versatility of your ability to play because you learned on the more difficult option will be enhanced. Plus, you will be able to play with more efficiency. The reverse cannot be said for those that start with the electric.

Tone

Acoustic guitars have a natural tone that is calming in comparison to the heavy electrical buzz of an electric guitar. This will also be a great option for practice because it is not super loud, so as not to disturb your environment.

Conclusion

With all the knowledge above, you should be better prepared to make the right decision for you and your musical needs. We chose these guitars by using the guidelines we discussed in the guide and curated a list of the best beginner acoustic guitar for you. We hope this helped release a bit of the anxiety in this decision-making process.

People Also Ask

Even with all the information we have compiled above, there inevitably may be a few more questions floating around your brain. So, we collected a couple of the most commonly asked questions and answered to help you further.

How Much Does a Beginner Guitar Cost?

Make sure that you have a set spending plan before you head to the store. A decent range for a top-notch acoustic guitar for beginners would be from $100–$300. With this as your basic budget range, you can sift through guitars that offer higher quality features or go for those that may not have all those qualities but are well suited for practice.

Is it Hard to Learn Acoustic Guitar?

For beginners, learning how to play an acoustic guitar can be a little more complicated than figuring out an electric model. If you start with an acoustic guitar, there may be more of a learning curve, but we believe that you will be happy with the end results (see the section Perks of Learning to Play the Acoustic Guitar).