A quality acoustic guitar must have good sound, durability and looks good.
When referring to something that fits well, we’re usually referring to an item of clothing. But a guitar must fit like a glove, otherwise, the beginner will soon giveup and quit. You must consider:
- Age and hand size of the beginner
- Guitar construction
- String action
- Type of string
- Music to be played
On average, a new acoustic guitar will cost between $150 and $5000 depending on the type of guitar you choose. A basic beginner’s guitar will cost between $150 and $750. The short-scale guitars start around $350 and go up depending on the manufacturer.
To find the best starter guitar at a cheap price, look leading trustworthy companies, such as:
Listed here are some of the best guitars for new beginners. They are the Fender CD-60S, Yamaha FG800, Epiphone DR-100, and the Ibanez AW54OPN. These guitars are of good quality for a very affordable price.
Go online to eBay, find the guitar and check the customer ratings. You will find information to help you make your decision.
These little Beginner Acoustic Guitars sound Excellent for the Price!
This little guitar is outstanding. It’s ideal for anyone wanting to learn to play the guitar.
Great Starter Guitar. The tone, quality and setup is amazing.
Age and Hand Size
This may be a strange question, but does the starter guitar fit well in the beginner’s hands? When referring to something that fits well, we’re usually referring to an item of clothing. But a guitar must fit like a glove, otherwise, the beginner will soon give up and quit.
Smaller hands have less finger strength and power when playing a regular guitar. Play the chords on a regular guitar resulting in hurt and, sometimes, cut fingers.
The starter guitar must fit the body and hand size well. If the beginner is a small child or an older person with small hands, a child’s mini guitar or a short-scale guitar.
Child’s Mini Guitar
If the beginner is a small child perhaps a child’s mini guitar – Loog Guitar would be a good choice.
The Loog Guitar designed for younger children with small hands, grows with the child. The Loog is new on the market and a great starter guitar for small children. You can get it disassembled so you and your child can put it together. As the child grows, the guitar can also grow by changing out the smaller parts for larger ones.
Ben Brill Music for Kids on YouTube does a complete review and recommends the Loog for his students.
The short-scale or shorter string length is easier for smaller hands to finger the chords for a full tone. They make it easier to reach between frets, which minimizes finger pain for beginners. They also use a smaller gauge string which is easier on beginner’s fingers.
A short-scale refers to the string length of 22” to 24.6” from the saddle to the nut. A short scale guitar is not a smaller bodied guitar, which we will review later.
If you use the same string gauge on a standard size guitar and on a short-scale the tuning is different. Tuned the same, the standard size guitar will have more tension. The standard size guitar has more volume capability. It also has more snap in the string action and resonance.
The Little Martins, the Taylor GS-Mini and the Ibanez AW54JR guitars are the best for small hands. These short scale guitars are more expensive than the standard sized guitars.
The Taylor GS-Mini is great for smaller hands but is also great as a travel guitar. The guitar quality and sound are great.
This little guitar is one of the best buys on the market. For about $200 you get a guitar that compares in sound to an $8000 guitar.
The LXK2 is a great little guitar with amazing sound and volume. It stays in tune. Great travel guitar or for small hands.
Thinner Neck Acoustic Guitar
The flat, thinner neck guitars also make great starter guitars for smaller hands. The neck measures across the front of the neck, below the nut, not around the neck.
Standard acoustic guitars usually measure about 1.9”. width across the neck just below the nut. Thinner necks measure between 1.61″ to 1,85″.
Contrary to the short-scale, the thinner neck does not affect the sound of the guitar.
The finish is perfect. The neck is straight. The action is low and easy to chord for small hands, perfect for a beginner.
Small Bodied Guitar
A small bodied guitar is also a great starter guitar. They usually measure ¾ or ½ the size of a regular Dreadnought, Concert or even a Parlor guitar.
The smaller diminutive body is easier to hold. Great to travel with, but still sounds good. Many artist are singing the praises of the small body.
This little travel guitar plays great with good action and tuning. Sounds a little thin acoustically, but great plugged in.
Six ways to help your guitar stay in tune
Guitar buyers want a good quality guitar that holds up over time even if its a starter guitar.
One of the most important things to be considered is whether the guitar stays in tune. Unfortunately, many cheaper guitars do not.
Maximize your playing time by taking the following steps to keep your guitar in tune. Take the following steps to keep you guitar in tune longer.
According to the experts at Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Guitars: “New strings require at least of few minutes of breaking in (or stretching) before they achieve the ability to hold the desired tension, seat properly in the nut, tuners, and the ball end.”
Make sure the strings are firmly seated.
They must be secure on the guitar at the ball end of the string, against the bottom of the bridge pin. Fender University has a great video on how to change and firmly seat the strings.
Replace your strings
. The strings installed on cheaper guitars are lower quality and should be upgraded immediately. Here’s another video on the way to replace strings from Acoustic Life.
Set up your guitar correctly.
Make sure the frets are even and the bridge slots are cut correct. Check the bridge and saddle for proper adjustment, for good intonation is on the entire guitar. Cheaper acoustic guitars are often not cut or adjusted correctly. Check our this video, from GearZombie, on the way to do this correctly.
The string points on the guitar must be lubricated.
Strings on all acoustic guitars will hang-up on the nut or bridge. Take a look at this video on how to clean and lubricate the strings by Robert Cassard.
Pulling down or pressing to hard on the strings will cause the guitar to play out of tune. The notes and chords will sound out of tune. Strumming or plucking the strings to hard will cause them to sound sharp.
Tune “UP” to pitch.
When first learning to play a tuner is very helpful in getting your guitar in tune. There are a wide variety of tuners available online and/or in music stores. Marty Schwartz on YouTube shows beginners how to tune a guitar.b
If the grooves are cut too deep, the string will be too low and will buzz when played.
If the string action is too high it will cause pain, calluses and even bleeding to the fingertips. Many beginners who experience finger pain stop playing.
Ways to check the action:
- Check the string distance from the fretboard at the twelfth fret. The standard height should be around 2.5mm or .1 in. As your skill develops you may prefer the action a little higher or lower. Watch this YouTube video of how to set the string action.
Purchase in-store or online
On average, you will pay more to purchase a guitar in a store. My suggestion is to go into a store where the beginner can hold different guitars to determine which guitar is the most comfortable. If the instrument isn’t comfortable they will lose motivation to practice. Then, check the prices in different stores and online and choose the best deal for the best guitar for the student.
Purchasing a used guitar
Use the list above and your in-personal evaluation of the guitar that is the best fit. Check out the list of things, on our website, to be aware of when purchasing a used guitar. If you decide to purchase a used guitar buy it from someplace like eBay where you as a buyer have the opportunity to obtain a full refund if the guitar is not what was stated in the description. Don’t purchase from a pawn shop or an individual unless you take someone with you that can evaluate the quality of the guitar.