Hey everyone, Glenn here again with The Best Guitar World. I know we have been chatting about the best electric guitars and the best acoustic guitars, But how do we know what Brand or model to look for if we are just beginning our guitar journey?
Well, there are many things to take into consideration when buying your first guitar. The wood it is made from, the weight, the shape, the electronics, the Action, the set up – blah blah blah. But if you are just a beginner getting started, these things may sound like a different language to you.
NOT TO WORRY as promised, here is my list of the Best Beginners Guitars on the Market today. I am going to list 6 in total. The top 3 Acoustic, and the Top 3 Electric. You will see the differences between them as I speak of them, BUT, what you need to remember is this – If you are not comfortable with the guitar when you hold it, then nothing else really matters. You need to be comfortable with the feel and sound of the guitar or you will soon become tired of it. And that is the number 1 KILLER of Proper Guitar Practice.
My Top 3 Acoustic Guitars For Beginners!
So, here is my list, again, debated among the greats and music talents around the World! This list was comprised out of 12 different top 10 lists. 6 lists for Acoustics, and 6 lists for Electrics. I rounded them down to the top 3 Most Popular in each category. Of course there are many more…there are probably some you think are better than these, BUT, again, these are from lists that are created with certain criteria to follow. OK, Let’s get to it!!
1. Fender CD 60S
Surprise! The number 1 Acoustic guitar for Beginners, most noted on top 10 lists, is a Fender. The name Fender has been associated with being the BEST on the Market. Mainly because they have been around for a long, long time, and they are well-known for High quality products. This Acoustic Guitar is no different. Not only do you get a guitar that feels and plays good, BUT, it is a nice looking instrument as well, and EASY on the Wallet!! We all like that – Right?
So what we have here is a low cost, great look, and an inspiring dreadnought design (the actual shape of the body) Because of the larger body, the neck attaches in a different spot, and the shoulders and bottom are a slightly different shape. This gives the guitar a BOLDER sound due to the vibrations being richer and MORE resonant.
The Neck of this guitar is a Big Plus. It has slightly rolled fingerboard edges making it easier to maneuver the fret board, and make chord changes. Great for beginners.
Many reviews from customers have stated what a great sound this guitar has. The feel, the sound, and the price range make this one of the BEST choices for a beginner!
2. Yamaha FS800
The Yamaha FS 800 is a flagship model acoustic guitar that was produced all the way back 1966. So as well as being a great beginner guitar, it is a Legendary guitar as well.
The size of the body is smaller than most. This makes it much more efficient for adults and kids of all ages. The maneuverability of this guitar is a certain PLUS for any beginner young or old. The weight is another PLUS. This Acoustic guitar is only 5.9 lbs. That is less than 6 pounds. Again, makes for easier maneuverability, and is great for any beginner.
The smaller size of this guitar does not affect the quality sound that is emitted. This guitar is built with Yamaha cutting – edge acoustic analysis technology. This technology makes for a more melodious sound, longer lasting “sustain”, and, a BASS effect in the Tone. The quality and smoothness of the sound in this guitar, is second to none. It is a great budget price, sound, and feel, in a mid range guitar.
3. Epiphone Hummingbird PRO
As you can see, the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro comes in the dreadnought and cut-away body styles. The cut-away actually makes it easier to access the upper frets on the neck. They are both great looking guitars. The Epiphone is a less expensive brand of Gibson. Just like the Squire is to Fender.
This Hummingbird pro has a pre-amp system built into it which means you can plug in just like an electric. And the sound is still as pure. BUT now, you have a little more control over the tones, like the lower range, the mids and the highs. This guitar has a solid Spruce Top, and mahogany sides and back. These woods actually enhance the resonance in the guitar. It has a Rosewood fingerboard, with pearloid parallelogram inlays. The Slim Taper “D” profile neck makes this guitar very easy to play and maneuver your fingers.
For all the reasons listed above, the Epiphone Hummingbird Pro is easily one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners of all age.
Acoustic VS Electric
It is so easy to get caught up in the looks of a guitar. BUT, you have to be comfortable with the feel and playability, as well as the price and sound. With an Acoustic Guitar, you have that PURE, RESONATING sound just emitting from the sound whole. The tone is pure and smooth, BUT, in some cases may not be loud enough.
Now, if you were looking to learn some major Rock & Roll, or maybe jam with friends that play electric guitars, or maybe even drums, you may want to look at getting yourself an Electric Guitar. If you do decide on an electric guitar, especially if it is a full solid body, remember, when not plugged in, the sound is muffled to the point of sort of hard to hear.
Improvising over backing tracks becomes an “ESSENTIAL” plugged in situation. With an Acoustic, this is not necessarily the case. One big advantage of an electric though, is the ease to fully compress the strings when making notes or chords. The tension on the strings are much less, so the actual pressure needed to fully compress, or bend strings is much less. Your fingers will be less bothered when first starting out.
However; if you look at a Standard vehicle VS an Automatic vehicle, and think back to the days when you were first learning to drive, the standard shift, although harder to learn, made the automatic a piece of cake to drive. And just like learning to drive, if you learn all your skills on an acoustic guitar, the same things apply. Although much harder on your fretting fingers when first starting to play, the bends, twills, and overall chord creation becomes 2nd nature on an acoustic guitar, and becomes pretty easy when using an Electric Guitar.
Either way, there is no right or wrong type of guitar to start your journey with. As I have said a few times earlier, as long as you ensure the comfort, set up, and sound is great for you, then that will help ensure your success while learning to play, and help make practicing FUN!!
My Top 3 Electric Guitars For Beginners!
So now that brings us to the top 3 electric guitars for beginners, listed by professionals around the World, and compiled from 6 different lists. Some of your favorite Brands may have made the top 10, But these are the most mentioned guitars on most of the lists.
1. Yamaha Pacifica 112V
Out of the 12 top 10 lists I researched, this guitar listed on everyone of them. It was number 1 on 6 out of the 12 lists, number 2 on 3, number 4 on 1, and numbers 5 and 7 on the last 2.
The edges of the fret board are slightly rounded as well for comfort. I know Yamaha is a great Brand, and has been for years, BUT, this surprised me. Gibson and Fender did not even place in the top 5, although Epiphone and Squire both did.
Now, for the Beginner guitarist, this could be a great thing, because the Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a much lower cost than most Electric Guitars, and Epiphone and Squire are the lower cost entry level guitars for both Gibson and Fender respectively.
This Yamaha Electric Guitar may be slightly higher priced than some of the entry level Electric Guitars out there, BUT, the price still won’t break you, AND the quality in the build, and hardware is better than any entry level guitar based on the price!
This Strat style guitar has a rosewood fingerboard with a “C” shaped Maple neck. There are two control knobs, 1 volume and one tone, and they are both Metal. This guitar also has a 5 way pick up selector. It has 6 inline die cast tuners, and with the Alnico V pick-ups, you can get a very diverse sound for any genre of music.
There is a reason this guitar lists so high on so many lists. It is a high quality guitar, with quality hardware and playability. Great for any level guitar player, But especially GREAT for beginners.
2. Squire Classic Vibe 50’s Strat
No surprise that the Squire has placed so high. Made by Fender, one of the most well know, respected Brands on the Market. The Squire Classic Vibe 50’s Startocaster is a Classic. So many colors to choose from, and the quality that you would expect from a Fender, without the high ticket price.
The Squire Strat, looks, feels, and plays just like a Fender Stratocaster. It is sleek and smooth, and has the same rich warm tone that the Fender Strats are known for. The neck has a “C” shaped design, and the cutaway allows you to get to the higher frets easier. The Maple neck, “C” shape design, and the tinted finish gloss, make this a very smooth and playable guitar.
There are 3 vintage single coil pick-ups that allow this guitar to emit a smooth warm tone. There are 3 control knobs. 1 for volume, 2 for tone, and a 5 way selector switch for a number of varying tones. The nut is made from bone, and the tuners are made from Die Cast Metal which holds the tuning very well. They even used shielding paint under the 3 pick up – pick guard, to keep those pick-ups as quiet as possible.
So, now you know the guitar is QUALITY, But, how does it really sound? Well, this guitar has the warmth and dynamics, but is Velvet smooth sounding. The sound and feel of this guitar will not disappoint you, and it is available in Left Hand as well. You may not find a guitar that feels and plays this good without dropping a lot more money than this will cost you.
Great for beginners, BUT, also the quality that an intermediate, or professional guitar player looks for in a guitar!!
3. Epiphone Les Paul Studio
Aren’t they pretty to look at. There are many different colors and looks available. The Les Paul Studio has been a household name for a long time now. Like the Squire is to Fender, the Epiphone is to Gibson. It is a Brand worthy of Recommendations from so many Big Names in the Music Industry.
It is, on its own, a very respected, reputable guitar, and you don’t need a second mortgage on your home to afford, unlike some of the Gibsons. Not to say that the high price of a Gibson isn’t worth it, it certainly is for the Highest of Quality, and Hardware, BUT, for the Beginner, the Gibson line is way to high a price to pay, when you can have sound and feel, just like its counterpart.
Let’s start with the History of the Epiphone Les Paul Studio. The Epiphone Les Paul Studio was launched in the early 80’s mainly because a studio musician was looking for the Les Paul sound, without all the flare, bells and whistles that do nothing for the actual sound. The mahogany neck and body give this guitar its distinctive sound.
The fret board, once rosewood, is now Pau Ferro, the choice for many manufacturers, due to the CITES law making Rosewood less practicle. It has a 60’s slim taper “D” profile neck, and 22 Medium Jumbo frets. This guitar sports 2 humbucker pick-ups. 1 in the neck, the Alnico Classic, and one in the bridge, the Alnico Classic Plus. These pick-ups are upgrades from their previous “Open Coil” pick-ups giving the guitar a more mid range tone, as opposed to the brighter, hotter sound of the Open Coils.
This Les Paul has 4 control buttons. 2 volume, and 2 tone. It is much lighter than the Gibson guitar, which is a Plus, and the feel and sound is high end without the high price tag.
There are so many great guitars out there. Whether it be an Acoustic, or an Electric, or even an Acoustic / Electric combo -which I haven’t even mentioned. The bottom line is…do not get caught up in the hype. The color, the bells and whistles, the price….if the guitar is not comfortable when you hold it, then these things don’t matter! You want a guitar that fits you well, feels good when you strum it, and sounds good when you play it. The easier it is on your fingers when making chords, or fretting strings, the better.
It is so easy to shy away from a great guitar because it doesn’t look “COOL” so you buy one that does. It’s a few hundred $$ more than the other one you were looking at, But, it looks so much meaner….its a mean looking axe. You get home, you play it, you strum it and you find there is a buzzing sound. You get the action dropped and new strings and it sounds ok, for a while, but it is nothing GREAT. Your neck gets sore after just 15 or 20 minutes of playing because it is heavy for you, or it doesn’t sit right…. But it looks “COOL”???
So now, you play much less than you should. You practice nowhere near as much as you should. AND, you find yourself doing the same things over and over again with no progress at all?? Your guitar is stashed away somewhere so it doesn’t get damaged. Somewhere that you cannot access it easily, and guess what…you stop practicing and you lose interest. That is how much IMPACT your Buying decision can have on your future as guitar player.
Take my advice!! Research, Research, Research. Shop, Shop, Shop!! Every time you walk into a Music Store, pick up an Acoustic guitar that is in your price range. Strum it, hold it, see how heavy it is, or how easy it is to maneuver your fingers around the fret board. Trust me!! A guitar will stand out to you. It will be a part of you as you hold and play it. That my friends, is how you will end up with a guitar you love!
I hope you enjoyed the information I have provided here in this short Article. I also hope, some of the things you have read here can be helpful to you in purchasing your first, or next guitar. Remember, whether you are a Beginner, or a Pro…nobody wants a
Until next time – KEEP ON ROCKIN
PS – I have, what I hope, will be an Inspiring Surprise for you!!
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