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10 Best Guitar For Beginners in 2022

Choosing the best guitar for beginners is not as easy as you’d think! With so many guitar models, and so much glitz, glamour, and jargon, it can be hard to see the (tone)wood for the trees. We’ve put together this no-nonsense round-up looking at the best guitars for beginners.

This guide is specific to beginners, both adults, and children

The best beginner guitar will be different for children and adults due to body size. There are different considerations for each case. If you need to choose a guitar for a child, check out our other round-up best guitar for kids.

I tested 10 products and found the Fender CD-60 was the best acoustic guitar for beginners. 

This is a well-built and quality-sounding instrument. It’s got the Fender seal of approval at a fraction of the cost of most Fender guitars. The tone and playability of this guitar are great for the price. The build quality is high with no unwanted mistakes or issues. This is our top pick of the best acoustic guitars for beginners.

best guitar for beginners

At the top of the best electric guitars was the Squire Stratocaster. I chose the classic vibe ‘50s model, but the entire range is a great choice for beginners. These are reliable instruments, recommended by every guitar teacher. Owning a Squire Strat is almost a rite of passage in the guitar-playing journey.

Squire Stratocaster

I’ve been playing guitar for over 15 years. During this time I’ve tried on several different guitars. It takes a while to know what you’re looking for in an instrument when you’re a beginner. It’s easy to get over-excited about irrelevant details like paint colors and fancy body shapes.

When you’re a beginner, I think the most important thing is playing an instrument you are comfortable with. You want to be excited about practicing, not dreading another finger shredding session on a rusty old cheese grater.

Finding a guitar that becomes one with your hands is the ultimate goal.

I chose the Fender CD-60 and the Squire Stratocaster as our best beginner guitars thanks to their reliable feel and decent sound qualities.

I chose these guitars as our top picks as I was impressed by their value and quality.

These are fantastic beginner guitars and could even last players long into their professional years. Most players will find these comfortable to play. They may take a little adjustment, but these are almost industry standard models for learners. Many classrooms stock these types of guitars.

Electric vs Acoustic guitar

I Have split this article into the best beginner acoustic guitar and electric guitars. There isn’t a huge amount of difference between them, they’re both guitars. 

Acoustic guitars are quieter, although electric guitars can be nearly silent when played with headphones. Electric guitars require some form of amplification, this could be a loud-speaker amplifier or some sort of headphone amp for guitar.

Electric guitars take a bit more setting up for practice as they need plugging in, and aren’t as portable as they require a source of electricity to sound good. Where acoustic guitars are ready instantly and can be transported well.

Ultimately the player should choose what type of instrument they learn on, wherever they feel most comfortable, or which suits their musical preferences. In an ideal world, a beginner should have both an acoustic guitar and electric guitar to learn with – to broaden their technique,¡.

Keep reading for my full lineup of the best guitar for beginners!

Good Guitars for Beginners

List of all the products as a table of content

  1. Basic Nylon String Classical Acoustic Guitar
  2. Fender FA-15N 3/4 Scale Nylon String Beginner Acoustic Guitar
  3. Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar
  4. Fender CD-60 Dreadnought
  5. YAMAHA FD01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
  6. Squire Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster
  7. Ibanez GAX30  Heavy electric guitar
  8. Epiphone Les Paul Special
  9. Squire Telecaster
  10. Squire Mini Strat ¾ Stratocaster

10 Best Guitar for Beginners Reviewed in Detail

Best Acoustic guitars

First, we have our top 5 acoustic guitars for beginners. 

These beginner acoustic guitars are affordable, play well, and feel great. 

1. Basic Nylon String Classical Acoustic Guitar

Basic Nylon String Classical Acoustic Guitar

¾ sized Nylon stringed classical guitars like this one is a perfect guitar to learn on thanks to their light strings and smaller frame.

These acoustic guitar kits are ideal and are one of the best guitar for beginners and children.

Bundled with a gig bag, strap, tuner, and other accessories, this kit contains everything you need to start learning the guitar.

This is one of the best entry-level guitar models around. This is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners with a small budget.

I recommend choosing this model as a first guitar. It’s one of the most affordable acoustic guitars on this list, so if you decide that playing guitar isn’t for you then at least it isn’t a big loss of cash.

This classical guitar is a decent enough quality to learn the basics of playing guitar. The construction did feel a little weak and uncrafted, but for a beginner’s acoustic guitar this does the job.

It certainly isn’t a stage-worthy instrument, but it’s still a great acoustic guitar for beginners.

This guitar will last new players a few years until they need to upgrade. Players with larger hands may find this guitar too small and could consider buying a full-sized instrument.

Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Most affordable
  • Mediocre sound
  • Flimsy quality
  • Tinny sound-hole

Product Specifications:

  • Size: 3/8
  • Fret Count: 19
  • Scale Length: 23
  • String Type: Nylon
  • Electronics: N/A
  • Woods: Laminated Basswood body, Maple neck.
Check the Price on Amazon

2. Fender FA-15N 3/4 Scale Nylon String Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Fender Nylon String Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Next up we have a Fender ¾ classical guitar with nylon strings. The FA-15 range comes in both nylon and steel-stringed variations.

This small body acoustic guitar is a similar design to the previous instrument, but with far superior quality.

Fender guitars are known for their high-quality craftsmanship, and despite the low price, this guitar maintains its high standards. This is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners in terms of sound and feel. Even professionals will enjoy playing this guitar.

The FA-15N is an excellent guitar for beginners at a wallet-friendly price. This is one of the best acoustic guitars in the ¾ size category.

With the reliable Fender quality that rivals some higher-priced guitars, this has a smooth playing feel that makes practice fun. Even with a small body, this guitar still delivers a bold tone and sounds amazing for the price. 

Their high-pressure laminate layered Sapele wood body gives these acoustic guitars a well-balanced sound that works for many musical styles. I think this sounded great for country music.
Its construction felt solid and durable, being able to withstand transportation and the life of a beginner’s acoustic guitar.

This is the best beginner acoustic guitar for children or players with smaller hands. Otherwise,full-size a full size model (like below) would be better as this may be too small for some players.

Product Specifications:

  • Size: 3/4
  • Fret Count: 19
  • Scale Length: 23.3”
  • String Type: Nylon or Steel.
  • Electronics: N/A
  • Woods: Sapele body, Nato Neck.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Advantages & Disadvantages:
  • Fender quality at a low price
  • Great playing feel for beginners
  • Hard to change guitar strings
Check the Price on Amazon

3. Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar

Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar

The Yamaha C40II is a full-sized beginner acoustic guitar. This would be a great upgrade from the previous ¾ sized models. This is also one of the best acoustic guitars for adults and teenagers. 

It has a decent acoustic guitar sound and is a benchmark for mid-range acoustic guitars for beginners.

Featuring the reliable quality of Yamaha products, the C40II is a decent-quality full-size classical acoustic guitar model.
This would be a good choice for more serious beginners who have committed to studying the guitar. 

The C40II is designed with young players and learners in mind, offering increased playing comfort thanks to its compact body and scale. Thanks to its nylon strings, this will be easier on the undeveloped hands of beginners compared to steel strings.

Its solid Sitka spruce top gives it a bright tone, albeit slightly quiet, that’s suitable for home playing, lessons, and small performances. This will kick-start a player’s guitar journey. 

Product Specifications:

  • Size: 4/4 Full(C model), or smaller 7/8 (CS model).
  • Fret Count: 19
  • Scale Length: 25.59”
  • String Type: Nylon
  • Electronics: N/A
  • Woods: Meranti Body, Nato Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard.
  • String Type: Nylon

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Great feel
  • Great tone
  • Quiet
Check the Price on Amazon

4. Fender CD-60 Dreadnought

Fender CD-60 Dreadnought

The Fender CD-60 is a dreadnought acoustic guitar with steel strings. It sticks to the quality of Fender instruments, even at a low price. This is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners.
The CD-60SCE is an acoustic-electric guitar version that can be amplified for stage performance.

The Fender CD-60 is an acoustic dreadnought guitar with a well-projected, resonant, and clear tone suitable for practice, recording, and unplugged performances. 

The CD-60 tuning pegs hold the tune very well, only needing re-tuning a few times during an hour of playing.  The Sitka spruce top and mahogany sides felt strong and had a sweet resonance and decay.

Its rosewood fingerboard feels pretty nice to play, although fingering more complex chord shapes higher up the fretboard was slightly difficult due to the higher action. Newer players may find themselves needing to adjust the action or reduce the string gage to make this guitar a little softer. 

Overall a fantastic sounding, decent feeling fender guitar at a low price. This is a great acoustic guitar for beginners and intermediate players.

This is full size, so there may be better choices of acoustic guitars for children or small-handed players.

Product Specifications:

  • Size: 4/4 Full
  • Fret Count: 21
  • Scale Length: 25.3”
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: N/A (Acoustic-Electric guitar model available, includes pickup)
  • Woods: Sitka Spruce top, Mahogany sides, Maple neck.
  • Size: 4/4 Full.
  • String Type: Steel

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Strong clear tone
  • Decent feel, durable
  • Action needed adjusting
  • Squeaky gloss finish
Check the Price on Amazon

5. YAMAHA FD01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

YAMAHA FD01S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar

The FD01S from Yamaha is a steel-string acoustic guitar that will suit beginners to professionals. It’s a great all-rounder, fairly priced guitar with a great tone and feel. This is one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners and intermediate players.

The Yamaha FD01S is a full-sized steel-string acoustic guitar. This is a great acoustic guitar for beginners. It has a decent feel that once set up provides no distractions or discomfort. 

It had a sound comparable to the Fender CD-60 if a little brighter and thinner. The Solid spruce top had a decent projection and dynamic range, presenting no issues with loudness.

The solid mahogany neck felt very sturdy, and smooth on the hands. There was a minor amount of fret buzz in some areas but this was corrected by adjusting the truss rod.

This will last beginners many years of guitar playing, only needing to upgrade for stage performances that require amplification. This is still suitable for open mic gigs, busking, and classroom performances. 

The FD01S makes a great practice instrument and is one of the best beginner guitars in the acoustic category. 

Product Specifications:

  • Size: Full
  • Fret Count: 20
  • Scale Length: 25.25”
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: N/A
  • Woods: Solid Spruce top, Nato back and sides. Mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Bright Tone
  • Sturdy Construction
  • Needs setting up
Check the Price on Amazon

Best Electric Guitars

Here are our top 5 electric guitars for beginners. 

6. Squire Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster

Squire Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster

Are any electric guitar designs more iconic than the Stratocaster?
Strats are known to be flexible, playable, and durable. These qualities make them a great beginner guitar. Squire manufactures more affordable versions of Fender guitars, the original inventor of the Stratocaster. I think every guitarist owns a Squire Stratocaster at some point in their life – and for good reason. This is the best beginner guitar in the electronic category.

There are a large number of different Squire Stratocaster ranges, from the Classic vibe ‘50s. The 60s, and ‘70s. Each features a few variations in wood choice, electronics, finishes, and dimensions. The 50’s vibe has a great retro sound and is true to the original Stratocaster designs, created by the god of guitar design Leo Fender.

This guitar’s sound can almost compete with professional-grade instruments, although it was a little on the thin side. The flexibility of the electronic circuit and allow multiple pickup combinations. This allows for a wide array of guitar tones. The feel of these Stratocasters is also very nice. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in feel between a Fender.

These are fantastic student guitars, thanks to their reliability and refined design.

Product Specifications:

  • Size: Full
  • Fret Count: 22
  • Scale Length: 22
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: 3 x Fender-designed alnico single-coil pickups.
  • 1 x Volume Knob, 2 x Tone Knob, 5-way selector switch.
  • Woods: Pine body, Maple neck.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Flexible tone circuit
  • Smooth Feel
  • Tremolo System
  • Thin sounding pickups
Check the Price on Amazon

7. Ibanez GAX30  Heavy Electric Guitar

Ibanez GAX30

The Ibanez GAX30 is a heavier style electric guitar, taking inspiration from the Gibson SG and pushing it into the future.
This slick-looking axe has high output pickups that make it better for distortion and high-gain music like metal, punk, and hard rock. 

The Ibanez GAX30 is a beastly and slick electric guitar. This is one of the best guitars for beginners interested in learning metal or heavy styles of music.

Whilst not featuring as much flexibility in the tone controls compared to Stratocasters, the high-output humbucker pickups had a fat warm tone that was a lot of fun to play.

 They responded better to distortion and amplification than single-coil models on this list. 

The basswood body and maple neck felt durable and sturdy, with a smooth playing feel and decent string action. Its deep double-cutaway provides easy access to all frets on its long neck. This will be preferred by many soloists in the guitar world.

It comes in a variety of finishes. The old violin sunburst finish was a particular favorite, although the Cherry Red and Forest Green solid color variations were also very eye-catching.

I recommend the Ibanez GAX30 over other electric guitars on this list if the beginner has a taste for heavier music. This is a great beginner guitar for angsty teenagers and rocking adults alike. 

Product Specifications:

  • Size: Full
  • Fret Count: 23
  • Scale Length: 24.7”
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: 2 x High-output Infinity R pickups
  • 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone, 3-way selector switch.
  • Woods: Basswood body, Maple neck.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Pickups work great with distortion
  • Cutaway and long neck suited for soloing.
  • No Tremolo
  • Limited tone options compared to a Stratocaster.
Check the Price on Amazon

8. Epiphone Les Paul Special

Epiphone Les Paul Special

This Epiphone Les Paul is an affordable version of the infamous Gibson LP. This electric guitar features 2 humbucker pickups and a tall, short fretboard making it a great choice for rock players and lead guitarists.

This vintage-style Epiphone Les Paul sounds as cool as it looks. Its slim mahogany neck holds a compact fretboard which is excellent for playing solos. The neck feels very fast and smooth, making it easy to move along the fretboard. The cutaway gives access to all frets.
The Tune-o-Matic bridge keeps the tune very well, with no slippage in the tuning pegs. I would have liked to see a whammy bar, but its exclusion keeps this in the beginner guitar price range. A whammy-compatible bridge can always be added later.

This model features 2 Epiphone open-coil humbuckers: a warm and rich 650R neck pickup, and a brighter 700T in the bridge position. These are blended with a 3-way switch and singular volume and tone controls.

The open-coil pickups create the iconic Epiphone Les Paul tone and handle overdrive well. I recommend this for rock guitarists. Heavy players may favor the Ibanez GAX30 or an Epiphone SG Special model.

Product Specifications:

  • Size: Full
  • Fret Count: 23
  • Scale Length: 24.7”
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: 2 x Epiphone open-coil humbucker (650R, 700T).
  • 1 x Volume Knob, 1 x Tone Knob, 3-way selector switch.
  • Woods: Poplar body, Mahogany neck.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Fantastic neck feel
  • Rich vintage sounding pickups
  • Simple tone circuit.
  • Felt slightly top-heavy.
Check the Price on Amazon

9. No products found.

No products found.

The Telecaster is another popular Fender guitar design that predates the Stratocaster by 4 years. 

Fender telecasters are known to be some of the best guitars, but also fairly expensive.
These Squire Telecaster models are a great affordable option. They have a more limited array of sound options in comparison to Stratocasters, but their brighter, jangly tone is favored by folk indie and alternative guitarists, particularly lead guitarists.

This Squire Telecaster electric guitar could be the best beginner guitar on this list, depending on musical tastes.

Telecaster guitars were played by huge names like Billie Joe Armstrong, Sid Barrett, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Graham Coxon of Blur, and countless others.

They have a unique and recognizable tone which some guitar players immediately fall in love with. 

This Squire model is an affordable version of the original Fender builds. Its Alder and Maple construction makes it lightweight, with a bright resonance. The 2 single-coil pickups give it the classic twangy Telecaster sound that no other guitars replicate.

Its slim c-shaped neck will feel comfortable in the hands of a beginner. The guitar feels well-made overall. These guitars will last players a long time and have solid durability.

Its 6-saddle bridge has screws for fine-tuning the intonation. This ensures accurate tuning across the fretboard.

The simplicity of the Telecaster makes this one of the best beginner electric guitar models. These are solid instruments with stage-worthy tones. I think these Squire Telecasters make great guitars for beginners seeking a vintage guitar sound.

Product Specifications:

  • Size: Full
  • Fret Count: 21
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: 2 x Squire single-coil Tele pickups
  • 1 x volume knob, 1 x Tone knob, 3-way selector switch
  • Woods: Alder body, Maple neck

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Bright lead tones.
  • Lightweight
  • Vintage sound and aesthetic.
  • Too thin sounding for some amps and distortion
No products found.

10. Squire Mini Strat ¾ Stratocaster

Squire Mini Strat ¾ Stratocaster

I included the Squire Mini Strat as a great beginner guitar for guitar players with smaller hands. (Or children).

This is a miniaturized version of the classic Squire Stratocaster. It keeps most of the original features and has a familiar and flexible Stratocaster sound.

This could be the best beginner guitar for younger or small-handed players with an interest in amplified styles of music. 

Its shortened fretboard and small body make this ideal for children and beginners. Most players will find the fretboard easy to navigate, and the string tension very light. This is ideal for players between 6-12 years old.

Its electronics setup is nearly identical to a full-sized Stratocaster model, just one tone knob short. The three single-coil pickups had a usable sound, much better than most budget child’s electric guitar models. The sound was a little on the tinny side, but not unpleasant.

The cutaway is deep enough for players to easily access all the frets. This is great for beginners as it allows them to learn the whole fretboard. It doesn’t include the tremolo system found on the full-sized ones, but this results in the guitar keeping its tune longer.

This is available as a Squire Mini Strat starter kit bundle which includes the guitar, amplifier, and accessories. I think this is one of the best beginner electric guitars for smaller players.

There are a few other styles of guitar within the Squire Mini range, all are equally as fun as this one. My favorite is the Mini Jazzmaster with humbuckers

Product Specifications:

  • Size: 3/4
  • Fret Count: 20
  • Scale Length: 22.75”
  • String Type: Steel
  • Electronics: 3 x squire single-coil pickups,
  • 1 x volume, 1 x tone, 3-way selector.
  • Woods: Poplar body, Maple neck, Indian Laurel Fretboard.

Advantages & Disadvantages:

  • Stratocaster sound in a small format
  • Mostly True to the Stratocaster formula
  • Bridge lacks the tremolo system.
Check the Price on Amazon

Buying Guide

What to look for when buying this type of product

Electric guitars need an amplifier, and preferably headphones. You will also need cables, so make sure to pick them up if they aren’t included. Some electric guitars are available as starter bundle kits, which include all the accessories you need. These packs are a great choice for new players for a hassle-free all-in-one purchase.

Spare Strings. It’s worth grabbing a packet of spare strings, you never know when one is going to break. There’s nothing worse than being blocked from practicing by a snapped string.

It’s worth getting a gig bag if you don’t already have one. Always store the guitar in a bag when it’s not being played to protect it from scratches and atmospheric damage.

Bass Guitars:

I didn’t list any bass guitars on this list. There are many great beginner bass guitar models such as the Squire Bronco or the No products found..

FAQs

How do I choose a beginner guitar?

Choosing a beginner guitar can be a little hard sometimes… There are so many good choices out there.
It’s all about shaving down your options and giving yourself a selection of the most suitable to choose from.
Decide if you want an acoustic or an electric guitar. Then think about size, would ¾ be too small, would full-sized be too big?
Think about your budget and work with it. More expensive guitars are generally going to feel nicer and be easier to play.
However, there is the risk that you end up giving up on your guitar pursuits. Now you have an expensive guitar gathering dust. 
Many guitar websites let you choose search filters that refine the selection based on your parameters. 
Use these filters to narrow your options down.
For instance:
I want a full-sized acoustic guitar, less than £150.

How much should I pay for a beginner guitar?

The key point here is do not overspend on your first guitar. It can be tempting to splash out on the nicest model, but it isn’t necessary. 
Avoid spending over $200 
If it’s your first acoustic guitar, you could even start as low as $50. Remember that you can always save for a nice new one if you enjoy playing and outgrow the cheap guitar.
If it’s your first electric guitar then you also need an amplifier, you can get kits for less than $100 which is a good starting price. Otherwise, I’d get an electric around $80-$100 just to leave a budget for a cheap amp. You can pick up beginner amps from $20-50
In the early days, it’s not worth worrying too much about sound quality, as it is comfort, feel, and flexibility.  
After a few years of playing it might be worth buying a quality instrument in the $3-400+ range

Which type of guitar is best for beginners?

The best guitar for beginners is the one they feel most comfortable playing.
Theoretically, a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar would be the best for a beginner. Nylons are a good choice because they have a relatively low string tension, which is better for the untrained finger muscles of a beginner.
Acoustic guitars may be better for beginners, simply because there’s less going on. There’s no need for an amp or electricity. They can be played anywhere.
That being said, if you have a preference for more electric-guitar-led genres of music, then go for an electric. Practice makes perfect, and the sooner you start practicing, the sooner you’ll advance your skills above a beginner’s level.

Conclusion 

I Chose the Fender CD-60 as the best acoustic guitar for beginners. This is a high-quality acoustic guitar at an affordable price. This is Fender quality, without the usual Fender price tag. I Picked this out of our best acoustic guitar as it had a great sound and feel. 

For a beginner acoustic guitar, this is a great choice and will last a long time. The CD-60SCE model includes an electric pickup which provides even more flexibility.

dreadnought acoustic guitar

This dreadnought acoustic guitar is full-sized, so for children or small-handed players, the ¾ sized Fender FA-15N would be a better choice.

I thought the best electric guitar for beginners was the Squire Stratocaster

These are incredibly reliable and versatile instruments. They feel great and have a quality, flexible tone thanks to their electronic setup.
They keep their tune well, are durable, and the fretboard is full scale. These are very common instruments in guitar classrooms and are recommended as a standard first electric guitar for most players.

If the budget allows, a Fender Stratocaster would be better, but these can be too expensive for beginners and should be saved for their professional age.

best acoustic guitar

If you think our favorite guitars for beginners suit your needs, check them out below!

Best beginner electric guitar: Squire StratocasterBest beginner acoustic guitar: Fender CD-60.