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Best Guitars For Beginners (Acoustic and Electric)

Updated on January 10, 2011

When it comes down to picking your first guitar, two things come to mind: Price and quality. You want a good guitar, but you don't want to have to use your college savings to get it. For those of you who worry that a beginning guitar might take a huge chunk out of your wallet, never fear. I've got some really good news for you. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. Oh yeah, and I also wrote this article for first time guitarists like you.

There's so many...You feel like you're drowning in a pool of guitars. It's alright if you're not sure which one to get. Many people have a hard time picking out a shirt in the morning. Difficult decisions are a part of life. But as far as guitars go, you've got to make some comparisons between what you want, and what you can afford.

Pretend you had ten thousand dollars. Pretty sweet, right? You're sixteen or seventeen again, about to buy a car. You have your license, but little driving experience. Would you spend eight thousand of that money on a really nice, expensive car?

No of course not. You barely know where the switch for you windshield wipers are. There's a pretty good chance you'll crash, hit a pothole, run over some curbs. And then what? Eight grand out the window. Moral of the story? When you're just starting something, take it slow. Don't get the best of the best just yet. Work up to it. Everyone wants the thousand dollar electric guitar embedded with diamonds. (I'm pretty sure that costs more than a grand, but you get the idea) But if you've never played before, now is the time to be cheap. Get something you can practice on. Get something that you know can handle a few beatings if you drop it or damage it. The last thing you need is a scratched, beat up, three hundred dollar guitar. You'll probably end up buying another one anyway. So for now, be tight with your money.

Secondly, if you're a first time guitarist, I highly suggest you start out with an acoustic guitar. Reason for my theory? Acoustic guitars have wider necks than electric guitars, thus giving your fingers a better range of space to stretch. If you can get your fingers used to an acoustic guitar, then when you switch over to an electric, it'll be a piece of cake. Electric guitars have very thin necks, so you'll probably have an easier time finding strings and moving your hands. Plus acoustics are nice because you don't need an amplifier to play them. Electrics, however, are pretty much useless without their sidekick, the amp. However, there are some who argue that it would be much better to start out with an electric first because it is easy; there's no need to push hard on the strings or deal with the finger pain. Electrics are easy to play, yes. But if you plan on playing acoustic in the future, I recommend you just start with an acoustic. Get the hardest part out of the way first. But still, if you're itching to get an electric, go right ahead and snatch one up. I can only make the suggestions, but everyone's musical strengths and preferences are all different. I've given you both sides of the story, now it's your turn to decide which of the two you'll pick out for yourself.

Ok, so enough of that. To start off, here is a list of acoustic/non-electric guitars that are wonderful candidates for beginners like you. Take time deciding which ones seem to have the best pro's. Compare and contrast, research a little. You're about to take the next big step in your musical horizon.

Yamaha FG700s

The Yamaha FG700S is a perfect beginner's guitar. It's simple, lower in price, and capable of taking a beating. There have been a few complaints about glue overlap where the neck connects to the body, but nothing's perfect. The newer versions of this guitar are a bit pricey, but if you can manage to find an older version of this beauty, you're in for a real treat. Also, a bit of good news for those with a not so great knack for tuning, the Yamaha FG700s has durable diecast tuners, and it makes it a lot easier on beginners. What am I trying to say? Less time tuning, more time playing.

Takamine Jasmine s35

If you're looking for a little more bang for your buck, the Takamine Jasmine s35 should definitely be on your radar screen. There's a lot of great reviews on this guitar and it usually goes for about seventy five bucks and higher. In fact, many people believe this guitar is worth more than its normal price. It's that good. This bad-boy also has some superb sound and quality structure. The only downside? This guitar does need to be tuned a bit more often than usual. So if you're a tuner-hater, you might want to rethink your decision in getting this guitar.

Fender Starcaster Acoustic

The Fender Starcaster acoustic guitar is a wonderful guitar for beginner's. Its light weight makes it perfect for on-the-go, and the wood is, for the most part, soft. The downside to this is it might be a lot easier to damage or scratch this guitar, but carrying cases are always an option. Also, this guitar goes easy on your wallet. Many Starcasters can be picked up at stores and local pawn shops for under a hundred bucks. Not bad, right? Plus, with a name like Fender, you can't go wrong. Fender is the number one American guitar brand and although a lot of their guitars may not stand out from the rest, their quality is something worth considering.

Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar

This guitar differs from the rest for many reasons. For one, this is a classical guitar, meaning that it can play pretty much anything. Whether it be country or blues, Spanish fingerpicking or rock, your possibilities are endless. Also, most classical guitars have nylon strings, which are much softer than steel or metal strings. So if you're worried about pain when you play, or have sensitive hands, you might want to consider getting a classical guitar. This specific brand does tend to be a bit higher in price, but there are some websites that offer good deals on classical guitars.

Epiphone DR100 Acoustic

"A diamond in the rough" is just one of the things that reviewers say about this guitar. The Epiphone DR100 is a fantastic acoustic guitar for beginners and has a nice, solid body and clean sound. This guitar normally goes for around a hundred bucks and lower, but others go for more. However, it is pretty easy to find these for cheap online or even on eBay if you can find them. Whatever you do, just consider this guitar as one of you top choices and also make sure to buy a set of extra strings if you get it. (Factory strings tend to cause problems)

Ok so there you have it, five acoustic/non-electric starter guitars for first time players. Now, if you are a true rookie and are starting for the first time, I highly recommend an acoustic to start out, as I stated previously. But if you think you're ready to bump it up to electric, or just want to get your hands on one of these badboys, then below is a list of good quality electric guitars for beginners.

Squier Fat Stratocaster

A perfect beginner's guitar for those who like electric. This beauty has gotten great reviews from all over the web, as well as some great deals online. It may look like any run-of-the-mill guitar, and it is. But the quality is outstanding. Also keep in mind that this guitar brings out a sound most suitable for blues and classical/soft rock, so if you're looking to shred some metal, I wouldn't recommend this brand of guitar. However, if you're looking for something to practice on, this is a reliable piece of equipment. It's durability is phenomenal, as it can definitely take a beating. Worried about dropping it or scratching the paint? No problem. The Squier Fat Stratocaster was built tough, and can handle anything that you throw at it. (Except maybe a brick)

Epiphone Les Paul Special II

A bit more money, but the Les Paul Special II is actually sold at a very decent price for the quality that it delivers. This guitar is more suitable for the metal fans and distortion-lovers. The only trick is finding the right amp for this guitar. Different amps will make the same guitar sound a bit different on each one, so be smart when shopping for amplifiers. Make sure to ask which amp will produce the kind of sound you're looking for. Also, this is a durable and strong guitar for those who might be giving it a future beating. The only real "downside" is that Les Paul's tend to not come with whammy bars, and this is one missing feature that you might want to take into consideration. If you're looking to practice with a whammy, then you would probably be better off picking out a different model of guitar.

Ibanez GRX20Z

Many people might not know this, but Ibanez makes great electric guitars for beginners. The Ibanez GRX20Z is a nice piece of work, with twenty two medium frets, rosewood fingerboard and two simple controls, one for volume and one for tone control. This guitar's not too complicated, but it packs a punch. Also, for you whammy bar lovers, the GRX20Z comes with one handy. This guitar is also put together quite well and its detail may be surprising. As far as reliability goes, this guitar is very durable. It does not get knocked out of tune easily, even in bumpy car rides, and it's capable of maintaining its spotless image even after a few bumps and scrapes. A great electric guitar for beginners, I would definitely recommend this guitar to first timers.

Epiphone SG Special

Last but not least, the SG special is one hell of a catch. This guitar is great not only for beginners but even for the guitar-savvy musician. The SG special comes with the basics, SG body style, one tone control, one volume control, two humbuckers, and a three-way selector. Doesn't come with a whammy bar, but hey, with a guitar like this I'm sure you can live without it. The sound it produces is great if you're into artists like AC/DC, Slayer, etc. This guitar also gets great compliments on its paint job, for it's sleek and glossy, giving it a nice touch. I've seen this guitar online going for about $170, but there's a possibility of finding it cheaper if you know where to look. (Don't forget to check out your local pawn shops!) Just do some research and make some wise decisions. Whatever you do, I'd consider you give this guitar a gander.

So there you have it, four electric guitars that I would recommend for beginners. Whichever one you go with, whether it be acoustic or electric, just go ahead and give it your all when you practice. These guitars should give you some bang for your buck if you get your hands on them and would be great first time instruments to have. Hopefully this helped all you future soon-to-be band members. And even if you don't plan on joining a band and rocking the world, this list should still give you some great options for guitars to play in your downtime. Whether you be in your bedroom strumming some chords, or in your friend's garage making the windows rattle, just remember to practice, practice harder, and always turn it up to eleven.


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      mario 4 years ago

      WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE Pyle PGEKT453SB 42" Les Paul Electric

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