OK – Glenn here again, with a slightly different approach for Beginners. We talked about:
My goal is to try to limit the amount of confusion and frustration to ALL Beginner Musicians, no matter what the Instrument.
Learning to play any instrument can leave you totally Confused and Frustrated when it comes time to purchase one? There are so many great guitars on the Market. We already talked about the Acoustic and Electric guitars, BUT, we haven’t even mentioned Acoustic / Electric Guitars. What is an Acoustic / Electric Guitar…simply put, it is an acoustic guitar that you can plug in and amplify ?? Oh Yeah!!
Most Beginner Guitar Players LOVE the sound of an acoustic guitar. They also love the idea of the Power and Volume of an Electric guitar. So, how do we decide if we want an Electric or an Acoustic? Which one is easier to practice with, which is easier to play? What are the costs involved. Are there warranty differences? The fact of the matter is, these are All great questions no matter what you are purchasing. AND, they are all very valid points that need to be considered.
BUT, the whole purpose of this Article, is not only to help eliminate the confusion and frustration that comes with purchasing your first guitar, But, also to try to narrow down the choices. This way, you purchase your guitar without too much confusion, and then…you start learning to play it!
The Best Acoustic / Electric Guitars
So, what I was hoping to do, was list the TOP 10 Best Acoustic / Electric Guitars on the Market today. However; almost every list I looked at had different guitar models on their list. I looked at 12 or 15 lists, some were top 10, some were the 8 BEST, one was even a list of 17…lol But they all listed numerous different models and brands?
So, what I decided to do, was take the 3 guitars that showed up the most, and the Brand that was on most lists. From there, I took those that placed in the top 5 the most, and then looked at the least expensive of them all. Of course I still researched the quality in the electronics on board, and the builds.
So just think about this for a minute. Although a plugged in acoustic does not sound the same as an electric guitar, It can still be as loud, and it can be as FUN!! And the only decision to make, is which one should I buy? Well, if we decide to purchase an Acoustic / Electric, the electric guitars and acoustic guitars, are no longer a dilemma. You get both with one purchase. I personally own 3. And I love them all. Plugged in or not. They sound clear and crisp, and I have heard 2 of these 3 guitars on my list, on stage. There is plenty of volume, and they still have that sweet, haunting acoustic sound.
Anyway – here they are – My List of the Best “3” Acoustic / Electric Guitars for Beginners! Enjoy!
1. Fender CD – 60CE
It should be no surprise that the Fender name is on this list. Although the Squire Line, manufactured by Fender, is geared towards the entry level, lower, more affordable pricing, they created the CE line to accommodate just that! That’s Right! The Fender name shows up as an affordable option for the Beginner Guitarists looking for the Acoustic / Electric. Just a note… Fenders name showed up with another 2 guitars on these lists, BUT, this one outperformed them both!
The Fender CD-60CE is not a Brand Name you would expect to appear on the list. The Fender name is very well known for being a more High Priced, Quality Build, not usually in the price range for Beginners. BUT, this guitar is First Class for any Beginner. In fact, this Guitar would be a great fit for any guitarist, Beginner or Pro.
The body of this guitar has a laminated Spruce Top, and laminated Nato back and sides. This construction style contributes to the strength and durability of the guitar. Something we all look for in a Guitar. There is a Mother-Of-Pearl acrylic Rosette design that looks beautiful, and this guitar also has Die-Cast tuners. And adding even More to it’s strength and durability, this guitar also has Scalloped X Bracing.
So, obviously this guitar is Built tough. It looks great, and the over-all quality is top notch! BUT, is it comfortable to play, or to hold?
OK – we know this guitar has quality and durability, BUT, is it comfortable too. Well, with the cutaway design, the guitar player has more easily access to the higher frets on the fretboard. The wood, Spruce, is not only strong, BUT, it is light as well. This makes for an amazingly comfortable guitar to hold, and to play. The easy access and light weight are BIG PLUSES!
The set – up of this guitar is probably Bang On right out of the box for you. This makes it that much easier to start learning how to play. The guitar needs nothing from the start ?? Just look at that guitar, great build, great playability…… But, how about the sound? Is that ok? Well, lets just see?
Of course we need all the help we can get when we start learning. If the guitar we are playing sounds like “CRAP” to start, then any of our slight errors or misses are going to be that much more noticeable.
Because this guitar has a Spruce Top, the sound is more resonant. And, because Nato wood is so similar to Mahogany, the sides and back give this guitar a wonderful mildness, and brightness to the tone. The Cut – Out style of the body tends to reduce the Bassey tones, and gives the over-all sound a more Harmonic tone. Believe me, for a Beginner, this Harmonious sound is an absolute pleasure to listen to. And even with your slow movements at first, or the sloppy chord changes when first learning, the sound just relaxes you and allows you to concentrate on improving!! Have a Listen
This guitar boasts a “Fishman® Isys III System with built-in preamp and tuner.. the performance of this System is amazing.You will never have to worry about volume or tone with this baby. At least not until you are all set for an “Upgrade! Over-All, in every aspect, you Will Not go wrong with this guitar, and it will be a long – long time before you ever get Bored with it.
2. Yamaha APX – 600
This guitar was the easiest to place on my list, because it showed up in the Top 5 many times. Although it was on more lists than the Fender, it did not place as high in the lists as the CD 60 CE, and there were other Fenders in the Top 5. So, although the Fender CD 60 SE ended up number 1 on my list, it was a VERY close call between these 2. Both are great guitars with their own great features. They are both Very good guitars for Beginners. So, let’s chat about the Yamaha shall we? Let’s see how it stands up to the “FENDER”
So, here we have a line, the APX, that has been an incredible guitar from the start. Rather than re-invent the APX line, they simply duplicated the features of the previous model, improving on some of the features it has, PLUS, adding features it may not have. So what you get, is a great guitar that has always been GREAT, except upgraded as time went on!
The body shape is the same, and it’s a thin line. The cut-away allows easy access to the upper frets. It has a Spruce Top, and 3 ply Nato / (eastern mahogany), sides and back. The neck is also made of Nato, and this guitar sports a Rosewood fingerboard. This guitar also boasts a standard Rosewood Bridge on the body, and sturdy Die cast tuners.
Comfort is far from lacking in this guitar. The cut-away, the thinner style body, and the wood used for construction is a light weight material that makes this guitar comfortable for anyone. Whether you are sitting or standing while playing, this build is one of the most comfortable in the guitar Industry.
The electronics and hardware available with this guitar is no surprise. Nothing spectacular, but certainly well designed and built. The onboard pick – up system is a Yamaha designed piezo pickup system. It has it’s own pre-amp, and a simple, but solid 3 band EQ.
The guitar also has a built in electronic tuner, a volume knob, and a separate mid-range slider. Over-all this is an incredible guitar for Beginners. Not only is it a comfortable design, But, it is lightweight and very durable. And the sound………..
The sound is built on the successes of previous models in this line. The guitar has a Big sound with a ton of Low End for such a slim body. However; this model seems to have a lot more push and fullness in the tone. This is due to the advanced bracing design used in the build.
Acoustically, or plugged in, this guitar has an amazing sound. There is so much flexibility onboard, this guitar would be a Great fit for any guitar player, Beginner or Pro.
Due to the smaller proportions, it makes for a Great Beginner guitar. The over-all comfort and sound would be a Great start for any new Guitar player. Hear For Yourself
3. Ibanez AW – 54CE
Everybody knows the Ibanez name. Well respected, and well know for their aggressive electric guitars. I think everybody I know owns an Ibanez electric guitar specifically for shredding. BUT, what a lot of people do not realize, is Ibanez makes one of the Best acoustic / electric guitars on the Market today.
The All Mahogany body has a SOLID mahogany top and a single cut away. The sides and bottom are laminate mahogany, making it a complete mahogany build. The entire body has an open pore finish giving this Model a more rustic look. The neck has a Rosewood fingerboard with simple dot inlays. It also has a satin finish making it extremely smooth and easy to play. Great for Beginners. Add the black tortoiseshell pickguard, and you have a very attractive, well built, vintage look that everybody loves.
Aside from the great look and build of this guitar, it is also loaded with great electronics. The electric side of this guitar is powered with an Ibanez AEQ210TF preamp, and a Fishman Sonicore pickup. The system features both Bass and Treble adjustors along with a volume control. So, you do have some tone control onboard this guitar. It has 6 Grover Die Cast tuners, and a Bone nut and bridge saddle. The guitar is also fitted with Ibanez Advantage bridge Pins, and strung with D’Addario EXP strings.
With the solid top and Dreadnaught body, unplugged this guitar has lots of resonance and projection. Add the full Mahogany body to the mix, and you have a warm, slightly darker tone.
Playing through the onboard preamp and pickup gives a great tone, however the versatility is slightly limited. Over-all, the sound is far beyond the cost of this instrument. Lightweight, cut-away access to the upper frets, and a beautiful look, along with an amazing tone…..a winner for any beginner.
There you have it. 3 of the finest acoustic / electric guitars on the Market today. And these guitars are not only quality in every way, BUT, they are affordable. You won’t have to take out a second mortgage on your home, or sell your children. These models are a Must for any Beginner guitar player looking to learn, and display with Pride for a long – long time. And if you want to sound like a Pro, even while learning….Try This!
I hope you liked this review of guitars that can make anyone happy no matter their skill level
Until next time
Keep On Rockin ??