Kid guitarist

So… What is the best guitar for beginners? There are different criteria to bear in mind. But know that in the end, this is your choice. Let’s see how you can make up your mind. Of course, experienced guitarists can also read that article, but most of the time, if you’re one of them, you’ll know which guitar you’d like to acquire.

1. Your age/height

A smaller guitar is often recommended for a child. If your child is really young (2 to 5 years old), a 1/4 size guitar would be preferred. From 5 to 8, he/she can upgrade to a 1/2 size guitar. Afterwards, depending on the height of your kid, a 3/4 or full size guitar will be alright.

For adults, a  full-size guitar is the standard. Sometimes, people choose to buy a 3/4 size guitar as they find it more comfortable to play.

2. Your level

As a beginner, I would advise you to save your money. Unless you’re very rich and would love to play on an expensive Gibson Custom – or any high-priced guitar you’d like – right from a start. Why? Because you will barely hear the difference at your level. It’s better to invest in a low-priced instrument first (but not too cheap – you will not even enjoy playing) and save your money for an awesome guitar when you’ll hit the strings like Joe Satriani.

As time goes on, you will improve, and will want to go for a better guitar. Of course if you are planning on becoming a great guitarist really fast and spend hours and hours practicing everyday, then buying a good guitar from the start might be the best option. But if it is just for casual playing, don’t bother reaching for the high-end products at first. Unless you’re a collector.

3. Your budget

Gibson Guitars

Gibson is one of the biggest guitar brands. They also build a lot of high-end guitars. If you’re looking for the same type of guitar at a lower price, go for Epiphone. 

How to choose a guitar regarding one’s budget? As mentioned before, preferably don’t go for an expensive guitar if you’re a beginner.

A good choice for acoustic guitar players is to go for a used guitar, preferably between 100 and 200$. Acoustic guitars don’t rely on amplifiers to beautify the sound, so it’s recommended not to go for below 100$, as you wouldn’t enjoy playing otherwise. For acoustic-electric guitars, it’s hard to find good ones below 100 bucks, so the same advice applies here.

As for electric guitars, it’s a bit more tricky, you’ve got to ensure everything’s working fine before buying a cheap used instrument as you don’t want to experience trouble while rehearsing or giving your first gig. If you’re buying a new electric guitar, then anything between 50 and 200$ is fine. I wouldn’t advise to go for less than that, unless it’s a very good deal.

Keep in mind that you will have to buy an amplifier and a jack with your electric guitar. That’s why most of the time, beginners prefer starting on an acoustic guitar as they don’t want to bother with an amplifier.

For every guitarist, your budget must include the other accessories you intend to buy such as:

  • a capo
  • a strap
  • a guitar bag
  • picks
  • a tuner…

As for more experienced lads, if you still wanna go for a low-priced guitar, then it’s fine. However, in case you own an electric guitar, it’s probably better to customize it, buy new pickups, a guitar pedal…

4. Your style

Guitar Diagram

Here’s a diagram to help you understand the different specs you can come across on a guitar’s merchant page.

Do you prefer an acoustic over an electric guitar sound? Are you more into classical music or flamenco? Then, time for you to buy a classical guitar. For more information on both guitars click on the following links:

  • Types of acoustic guitars
  • Types of electric guitars

Never had a guitar? Mmm… It’s probably hard to know your style. And it will certainly evolve over time. But the best advice I could give you is to concentrate on what you prefer. Think about the music you’d like to play, and not what other people would like to hear from you. Never consider what’s popular over your personal taste.

Also, think about the artists you listen to, and look up which guitar they are using. Sometimes it’s hard to determine which one they have, so don’t hesitate to browse their Wikipedia articles, the information you are searching for might be in there.

5. Is it important to know how to choose a guitar?

music shop and guitars

Choosing a guitar in a music shop can be a real tough job sometimes… But it’s always good to test a guitar, even if the price is too high for you.

It is. Your instrument will accompany you for months, years maybe, if you stick to it. So… of course you can buy the first guitar you see. But are you sure you won’t regret it? If so, then go ahead, this guitar’s probably for you. If not… you know what you have to do.

Think about the advice I gave you above. Maybe ask someone who knows your taste or a professional in a music store or elsewhere.

But know one thing: when it comes to the final decision, only you can make it.