Are you a beginner or new to guitars and want to understand everything about the dreadnought guitars? Don’t worry. On this best acoustic guitar for beginners guide, we will help you to understand every single thing about guitars. The term ‘dreadnought’ basically refers to the size and shape of a guitar. In a unique manner, dreadnought guitars are designed to be large in size. The width of the lower bout is almost equivalent to that of the upper bout. On the other hand, their waist is less rounded. In most cases, dreadnought guitars have narrow necks. Dreadnought guitars are among the best acoustic guitars for beginners available in the market today. These guitars are quite popular. Their popularity is attributed the loud sound and boomy tone they produce.
Which is the best acoustic guitars for beginners? A good acoustic guitar will have resonance that gives it a full sound. It should have a tone that you like and it should stay in tune. You’ll hear about different types of wood at the guitar store – mahogany back, Sitka spruce top rosewood bridge, and more. The kinds of wood that make a guitar affect its sound quality and its price. There are different body styles as well. What is the easiest type of guitar to play? That’s not an easy answer. The best guitar for you depends on the kind of guitar you want to play. The classic style is good for finger-picking, the dreadnought has a boomy sound, and the jumbo gives you a cross between the two. This is only the start of acoustic guitar lore.
Shopping for the best acoustic guitar is not easy. The choices can be overwhelming. There’s no easy answer to the question – what is the best acoustic guitar brand? Ideally, you should try every guitar at a shop before you buy. But that’s easier said than done. We have taken some of the pain out of shopping for the best acoustic guitars for beginners, and suggested few excellent instruments based on my experiences, expert opinion and various acoustic guitar reviews.
Also note that all the instruments on this list are in the dreadnought style. They are chosen for their ease of playing, and responsiveness to fingerpicking. When you’re starting out learning the instrument, fingerstyle playing can teach you to have control over the strings. We’ve also included a couple of guitars that pros will appreciate.
List of Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
|Product Model||Type||Special Feature||Price|
|Fender FA-100||Dreadnought||Essential Free Kits|
|Yamaha FG-800||Dreadnought||Many Color Choices|
|Seagull S6||Dreadnought||North American Made|
|Guild D-240E||Dreadnought||Guild AP-1 pickup|
1. Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar
Fender’s Starcaster acoustic guitar (an upgrade from the Squier) is a classic budget acoustic guitar from the brand. It has a spruce top and it’s built ideally for right-handed beginners. You can buy just the guitar, or a beginner acoustic guitar kit, with a gig bag or hard case, plus tuner, strings, picks, polishing cloth, strap and instructional DVD. A starter kit is an excellent option for someone who is buying a beginner guitar and doesn’t know exactly what they need. The Fender acoustic is best for beginners who are looking for a budget instrument to learn with.
Dreadnought guitars for beginners
The Fender acoustic guitar has a full size 41” body and is best suited for adult learners. If you want to buy a guitar for a younger person, it is the best to go for a youth size guitar or even a classic concert guitar which is smaller. The neck is thicker than an electric guitar but not too thick.
It’s generally agreed that a spruce top guitar has a clear, bright sound when compared with common woods like cedar that also go into budget guitars. Like most sub-$300 guitars, this one has a laminated top rather than a solid natural top, but this shouldn’t bother most beginners. The dreadnought size in the Fender acoustic adds to the loudness of the instrument. A relatively light touch on the strings should produce good sound. At this price, you cannot expect Fender’s top of the line sound. But for the money, this guitar still has the Fender basics.
Steel string guitar
The guitar comes pre-strung, with light gauge bronze strings and an extra set of metal strings. It is not advisable to replace them with nylon strings, which are low tension and can affect the neck of the guitar. Metal strings may seem like they are harder on the fingers, but the truth is, a beginner will need time to get used to any type of guitar, whether it has steel or nylon strings. If you’re wondering what’s the best acoustic guitar strings for the Fender guitar, you could try Fender, D’Addario or Martin strings in light bronze or phosphor bronze.
Beginner kit with all essentials
The beginner’s kit contains all the essential items you’ll need as you learn to play the acoustic guitar. The digital tuner included in the kit is easy to use.
- Good acoustics and resonance
- Sturdy build with spruce top
- Good for beginners, comes with extras
- Value for money
- Easy to play
- Starter pack doesn’t include a capo
At this price point, you get a professional-sounding guitar that holds its tuning quite well, doesn’t have any noticeable fret vibrations, and sounds good. This is a best buy Fender acoustic guitar to play in your yard or on your porch. You get what you pay for with this guitar. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to get started with this excellent hobby without going to great expense.
2. Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha is known more for its electric pianos than it is for its guitars. But if you’re looking for a budget guitar, the Yamaha FG800 is an affordable, great-sounding option. This six string acoustic guitar has a dreadnought body, which is larger than most guitars. This gives it a louder, richer tone that is very popular with musicians.
Solid wood construction
The FG800 comes with a solid Sitka spruce top, one of the most popular woods for acoustic guitar tops. It is lightweight and sturdy, and gives the instrument a powerful, clear tone. The bridge and fingerboard are rosewood, which produces a warm and spacious sound. The sides and back are nato wood, which is a more affordable replacement hardwood for mahogany. It produces a similar solid tone as mahogany, with emphasized treble and bass.
The guitar has a standard neck that is of a comfortable width. It is smooth and easy on the hands.
Adjustable truss rod
The guitar comes with Diecast tuners, and has an adjustable truss rod. A truss rod inserted in the channel in the neck effectively helps to stiffen the neck and keep it from bowing. You can use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to adjust the truss rod.
What sets this guitar apart is the intelligent body design, with scalloped bracing developed by Yamaha for better acoustics. Guitars that have scalloped braces are generally more responsive and have louder bass. They can be louder than guitars with straight braces. You get a great loud and strong sound in the low and mid ranges because of this design.
The guitar has reasonably high action, which refers to the height of the strings above the fretboard. If the strings are a little high off the fretboard, playing the higher can be a little tougher than usual. High action can give you more guitar calluses but with time and practice, the guitar becomes easier to play. It is also possible to take the guitar to a luthier and have the action adjusted to be lower.
You can buy the guitar alone without any bundle. You can also purchase it as part of a bundle on Amazon. There are several bundle offers to choose from, including a gig bag bundle with or without a tuner, a hard case bundle and additional accessories such as extra bronze strings and a music book for beginners by Tom Mahalo.
There are many variations in tonewood and color that you can choose from in the Yamaha acoustic guitar. Aa concert version which is slightly smaller in size is available in the market.
- Good natural sound for the price
- Durable body
- Easy to play
- Value for money
- High action
- Made in China
Overall, the Yamaha FG800 is a fantastic guitar at a great price, which looks beautiful and resonates nice and clear. This is the best cheap Yamaha acoustic guitar every beginner on a budget will want to own. Who is this guitar? It will make a great gift for a teenage family member who wants a guitar to start learning or practicing. A musician looking for a casual jamming guitar will also enjoy the inexpensive quality that the Yamaha guitar offers.
3. Seagull S6 Acoustic Guitar
The Seagull S6 is a right-handed dreadnought style guitar for adults, in the sub-$500 range. Excellent build and quality combined with ease of playing makes this acoustic guitar a top choice. For those new to the hobby and to guitar brands, it will be interesting to know that Seagull is a Canadian maker of handmade guitars for professional musicians. The Seagull S6 is one of their bestsellers. It is not cheap enough for beginners who are only tentatively exploring their interest in a new hobby. But it is a budget instrument meant for musicians looking for a practicing or jamming guitar. With so many brands like Fender FA100 getting their instruments manufactured in China, it is refreshing to find a guitar like the S6 which is made in North America, but costs less than $500 and sounds like a high end instrument.
Solid wood construction designed for finger style play
The guitar has a solid build, with beautiful warm wild cherrywood back and sides and a solid cedar top. While cedar typically is less preferred than spruce in acoustic guitars because of the loud clarity that spruce offers, cedar is popular in guitars designed for fingering. The cedar tone has more character, and it is also a quieter tone that finger players prefer. The Seagull S6 is available at its inexpensive price because the materials that go into making the instrument are plentiful in Canada.
Pleasant yet bright sound
The Seagull S6 features a maple neck. The wild cherry body and the maple neck together would have made the sound quite bright. But the cedar helps to temper that tone and the end result is a pleasantly bright yet mellow tone.
Finger style-friendly fretboard
The S6 features a slightly larger nut width (11 ¾ inch) than many acoustic guitars, which means the fretboard is a little wider than normal. This makes it ideal for players with larger hands and people who prefer finger style playing.
Quick to reach full potential
A guitar with a cedar top is easier to ‘break in’. A new cedar-top guitar will produce sweet tones and rich harmonics quicker than a spruce guitar will.
Easy to play
The Rosewood fretboard and the bridge make the guitar smooth and easy to play, according to some guitarists. Rosewood may be easier on the fingers. Performing string bends on rosewood is pleasant because of the slight drag that it offers compared to maple, for instance. Rosewood may also make the guitar sound a lot warmer and spacious as compared to fingerboards of maple, which is another popular fingerboard wood. On the flip side, a maple fingerboard may allow you to play faster.
Designed for stable tuning
The Seagull S6 has been given a narrow headstock for a specific reason. It helps to keep the guitar strings as straight as possible, for quite long before they need to be tuned again.
- Unique sound due to cedar top
- Great for finger players
- Made in North America
- Easy to tune
- Comfortable to play
- Value for money
- Double action truss rod
- Doesn’t come with a cover or hard case
Overall, the Seagull S6 is an excellent guitar that has the quality and build of a $1000 plus guitar, at half the price. It is an honest guitar that has received rave reviews, and can quickly become a favorite for finger players looking for a cedar acoustic guitar.
4. Gibson J-15 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
No acoustic guitar list is complete without a Gibson. The Beatles had their favorite Gibson guitars. The Gibson J-15 is acoustic-electronic guitar priced on the higher side, and was introduced a few years ago as one of the more affordable Gibson acoustic guitars. It features high-end, carefully crafted acoustics and electronics for a full bodied tone in a lightweight body. What makes this dreadnought guitar extra special is the carefully engineered slope-shouldered curves of the body.
Functional and elegant body
The J-15 features the same kind of sloped shoulder that was there on the famous J-45, which has been popular for decades with singer-songwriters and instrumentalists. It looks elegant in its simplicity, and is functional as well. The body shape makes the guitar very comfortable to play despite its large size. The grains on the spruce and walnut body are attractive. The striking blonde-finishing on the maple neck completes the aesthetics of this beautiful guitar.
Solid wood construction
The Gibson J-15 has a carefully constructed Sitka spruce top, American walnut sides and back, a two-piece maple neck and walnut stinger. It has a rich bass because of the walnut and a tonally balanced sound with clarity across the full range. It’s an easy guitar to record. If you play sparse fingerstyle pieces, you’ll find the guitar is beautifully expressive of a bright, mellow sound. Spruce is lightweight wood that makes this guitar light and portable as well.
A nitrocellulose lacquer finish lends a nice gloss and as the guitar continues to cure over the years, the thin solvent layer will look almost one with the wood. Most guitarists know that the nitro finish gives the guitar that vintage sound which poly finishes don’t.
The scalloped bracing in the J-15 is the same as you’d find on the iconic Gibson dreadnought J-45. As opposed to parabolic braces or straight braces, scalloped braces produce a warmer sounding bass tone. The highs will be crisp and the midrange tones will be smooth. If that’s the sound you’re looking for, the J-15 will suit you.
Mini grover guitar tuners
The J-15 acoustic guitar is fitted with Mini Grover rotomatic tuners. These are high quality machine heads are smaller and lighter than many full size tuners that weigh down the headstocks of other guitars like the Gibson J-29.
The J-15 has a neck that is quite thin, with a 1.725 inch nut width and a 12 inch fretboard radius. But because of its light blonde finish, it looks thinner as well. The guitar is highly playable.
High quality electronics include an L.R. Braggs element that works great on stage. If you’re playing in smaller settings, the natural acoustic power of the guitar is one of the best in its class.
- Handcrafted in North America
- Well-balanced, dynamic and responsive sound
- Very playable
- Beautiful guitar with abalone composite accents
- Comes with a protective case
- Keeps its tuning well
- High quality pickups
The Gibson J-15 is the perfect electronic-acoustic guitar for professional musicians. It is also good for beginners. Those who play fingerstyle, recording artists and moody singer-songwriters will love the husky, dry and responsive tone of the J-15. It is a beautifully hand-crafted instrument that produces amazing sound across all ranges. The bass is clear and rich, the midtone is balanced and the treble is clear without any unwanted vibrations. Tuning is easy and a bonus is the hardshell case that has a plush lining. Overall, this is one the best acoustic guitars on this list at a little over $1300.
5. Guild D-240E Acoustic-Electric Guitar in Natural
The Guild D-240E guitar is a right-handed acoustic-electronic dreadnought with a high end finish at an affordable sub-$500 price. Guild is a brand that professionals trust, and this is evident in the guitar’s sound and build quality. Ask pro musicians what is the best acoustic guitar brand and Guild will feature on the list. The brand is one of America’s early guitar makers with a long heritage.
Solid wood construction
The guitar features a solid spruce top, and an arched mahogany back for better acoustics. The sides are also mahogany, which is a hardwood that emphasizes the treble and bass when used in the back and sides. You will get a woody sound with colored overtones in this guitar. The fingerboard and bridge are made of Indian rosewood, which helps to produce thick and strong mid-range tones.
Solid nut and saddle
The nut and saddle are made of real bone. It is designed for clearer sound and the top quality sustain of classic Guild guitars.
Many Guild guitars feature an arched back. It means that the guitar will produce a lush, loud, reverberating sound with a long sustain. Another benefit of the arched back is that it makes the guitar lighter. Plus, the arched back is a tribute to some classic models like the F-30 and the D-25.
The C neck is on the narrower side, with a nut width of 1 11/16 inches, which makes this the easiest guitar to learn to play fast. This spacing is great for fingerstyle playing, flatpicking or strumming. There’s a lot of area to work with on the fretboard. At the same time, you don’t have to reach uncomfortably to play.
There are several classic features on the D-240E. It has the iconic Guild C-shaped neck. It also has a red tortoiseshell pickguard that is reminiscent of retro guitars.
The guitar features the AP-1 piezo pickup, which you’ll find on many Guild guitars. It can plug directly into a PA system. This pickup is one of the best in this price range that you’re likely to get your hands on. It offers a full and dynamic sound that sounds great in with a mic in the recording studio or on stage. The tone and volume controls are conveniently located in the sound hole. They are easy to access and keep the exterior of the instrumental clean-looking and attractive.
- Excellent guitar action
- Loud, tonally rich and clear sound
- Easy to play
- Value for money
- Made in China but flawless construction
Intermediate guitarists looking for an affordable dreadnought for performances or pleasure will enjoy the Guild D-240E. It is well-priced and has big, woody tone that is one of the best acoustic guitar tone ranges on this list. The matt finish looks beautiful under stage lighting. This is one of the best 6 string acoustic guitar options that you’ll find at this price point. It holds up to a variety of playing styles, is easy to play and you really can’t go wrong if you buy this instrument to learn to play the acoustic guitar either. I hope you can decide your best acoustic guitars for beginners now.
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Last update on 2019-02-23 at 08:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API