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Top 5 Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

Chris has been a guitar player for 16 years and a guitar teacher for 10 years. He plays many musical styles, including pop, rock, and funk.

Top 5 best acoustic guitars for beginner guitar players

Top 5 best acoustic guitars for beginner guitar players

Choosing Your First Acoustic Guitar

Most guitar players starting out, myself included, tend to choose acoustic guitars as their first instrument. In fact, almost every guitar player I know and have played with has had an acoustic guitar as their first guitar when they were beginning to play.

This choice makes sense—the sound is loud enough as it is and doesn't need an amplifier that allows playing at sufficient volume. Also, they are lighter in weight than electrics because their bodies are hollow as opposed to the solid wood bodies of electric guitars. I'm not trying to say that you can't have an electric guitar as your first instrument, but quoting the great Keith Richards:

“I would say that the acoustic guitar is the most important thing for a guitar player to start with. Learn the feel and the touch of the string and what it does against a fret. Learn that and then you can add the effects later on. You want to be a guitar player, you have to have your grounding. It’s like anywhere else. An astronaut doesn’t start in space, somebody’s got to build a rocket.”

The truth is, in today's world, guitar stores are packed with great quality, affordable beginner-level acoustic guitars, so I decided to single out the top five, in my opinion, best ones for a starting out guitar player. And these guitars are:

  1. Epiphone DR-100
  2. Yamaha FG800
  3. Ibanez AW54
  4. Fender FA-100
  5. Washburn WD7S

The Top 5 Beginner Acoustic Guitars

For each of the guitars listed, you'll find my personal commentary and a list of the guitar's general specs/features.

All these acoustic guitars are in the price range between $200–250 and can be found on most guitar stores.

Also, at the end of this article, I will point out some honorable mentions and have a poll, so you can share your opinion on which of these five acoustic guitars are the best for a beginner guitar player.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

Note: This article will focus on acoustic guitars. You can also check out my other article for electric guitars for beginners.

Let's get into it!

Common Guitar Terminlogy to Know

Here are some guitar terms that will appear in this article:

  • Frets: Frets divide the fretboard into segments that go up and interval with each next fret. For guitars, each fret goes up one semitone. For example, if the guitar has standard tuning, then the open sound on the sixth string will be E, the first fret will be F, the second fret will be F#, and so forth. 22 fret guitars go up 22 semitones, and 24 fret guitars go up 24 semitones (or two full octaves.)
  • Action: This refers to the string height to the fretboard. The lower is the action is on the guitar, the easier it will be to push strings against the fretboard.

1. Epiphone DR-100


This guitar is priced at around $200–250.

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About the Guitar

This acoustic guitar is an entry-level offer from one of the biggest brands in guitar world and is one of their top-selling models.

It’s made in a traditional dreadnought guitar shape, which is not too small or big and should feel comfortable for a beginning guitar player. The body is made out of mahogany back and sides with a spruce top, which are common woods used for acoustic guitars and give a warm, well-balanced sound.

The neck of this guitar is made out of Okoume wood, a lighter version of mahogany, and has 21 frets. The neck has a slim-taper profile on it and feels very comfortable in the hand, so beginner players should have no problems playing this guitar. The premium tuning pegs get the job done, and this guitar won’t get out of tune so easily.


There are three color options for this guitar—natural, ebony, and vintage sunburst.

Overall, a very good acoustic guitar from Epiphone, especially for beginners, but doesn’t mean that more experienced players can’t use this instrument.

2. Yamaha FG800


This guitar is priced at around $200.

About the Guitar

Yamaha brand isn't the first that comes into mind when people think about guitars, but they have been making guitars for more than 50 years and have done it quite successfully.

As for this acoustic guitar, it comes in two shapes—dreadnought and concert, which is a bit smaller than dreadnought, and children or smaller people might find this shape more comfortable than dreadnought.

The body of the guitar is made out of a nato wood back and sides and has a Sitka spruce top. Nato wood is very similar to mahogany, and Sitka spruce is a standard wood for guitar tops. The neck is also made from nato with a rosewood fingerboard. The combination of these woods gives you a really pleasant tone and feel.

The neck on this guitar is just about right, not too fat or skinny, and beginner guitar players should have no problems playing on it. The tuners do their job well, and tuning stability won't be a problem with this acoustic.


This guitar comes in one color only—natural.

Overall, this is a wonderful acoustic guitar from Yamaha. It's one of the top acoustic guitars for beginners.

3. Ibanez AW54


This guitar is priced at around $200.

About the Guitar

Ibanez is a well-known guitar manufacturer from Japan, and although it is more known for its electric guitars, the company makes excellent-quality acoustic guitars as well.

This particular model has a dreadnought body shape. It’s made from mahogany back and sides with a mahogany top and with a mahogany neck that has a rosewood fretboard. The combination of these woods gives this guitar a really warm sound with pronounced middle frequencies. The neck feels comfortable, and the tuners stay in tune extremely well.


This guitar comes in one color—open pore natural.

Overall, this is one workhorse of a guitar. It’s good-looking, great-sounding, and is fun to play.

4. Fender FA-100


This guitar is priced at around $160.

About the Guitar

Fender, probably the most know guitar brand in the world, gives you one of the most popular beginner acoustics on the market.

Although this acoustic is the cheapest of all five, it doesn’t mean it’s worse in build quality or sound. The body of this guitar is made out of basswood back and sides with a spruce top. Basswood is lighter than other traditional woods for the guitar body, so this guitar is more lightweight than others.

Other than that, it has a warm, well-balanced sound quality to it and in combination with spruce has a pleasant sound. The neck is made out of maple with a rosewood fingerboard. The neck has a “C” shape and is a little bulkier than necks on other guitars in this article, but that doesn’t really affect the playability. The tuners hold up well, and there are no issues with staying in tune.


This guitar comes in one color only—natural.

Overall, this might be the cheapest on this list of acoustic guitars, but it doesn’t lose anything in build or sound quality.

5. Washburn WD7S


This guitar is priced at around $200.

About the Guitar

Washburn is probably a guitar brand that most ordinary people haven’t heard of, but in guitar player circles, it is a well-known and cherished brand.

The body of this acoustic is made out of mahogany back and sides with a spruce top, a traditional combination for acoustic guitars. The neck is made out of mahogany with Ovangkol (tree in Africa with a sound similar to rosewood) fretboard that has 20 frets. The tuners are pretty good on this acoustic and will keep the guitar in tune rather well.


This guitar comes in one color—natural.

Overall, a tremendous acoustic guitar with appealing looks and outstanding sound. I’m sure any beginner guitar player would appreciate this acoustic guitar.

Honorable Mentions

As I said before, there are many more acoustic guitars to look at, so these are some other acoustics you might want to check out:

  • Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-15MCE (available only at
  • Cort Earth 70 OP
  • Takamine GD10-N-2
  • Recording King RDS-9-TS

After the Purchase

Here's some advice on what to do when you have made a purchase of your first acoustic guitar.

First of all, I suggest you change the strings. If you feel like you’re not capable of doing that, bring it to a local guitar shop and let the guitar technician do it. And while you’re at it, you can ask for a proper setup of the guitar, too, as these beginner-level acoustic guitars often lack it right out of the box.

The other thing is, you will have to purchase some accessories like a tuner (you can also use one of the many tuning apps available for android and ios phones), a gigbag or hard case if you want to carry your guitar around, and mediators (small pieces plastic or other materials that are used to strum or pluck strings instead of fingers).

Good luck with finding the right acoustic guitar for you!

Top  5 best acoustic guitars for beginner guitar players

Top 5 best acoustic guitars for beginner guitar players

© 2013 Chris Whiter


Chris Whiter (author) on March 07, 2017:

GS mini Taylor is a step up from baby Taylor, and if you are considering buying one, I would definitely recommend it.

Todd Sutherly on March 07, 2017:

How does the GS Mini Taylor compare to this lineup?

Chris Whiter (author) on January 19, 2017:

No, it's never too late to start playing ans that's the great thing about guitar or any instrument in general.

Chris Whiter (author) on September 11, 2016:

Hi. Epiphone are knownt to make good quality instruments in any price range, so your first guitar was also a good guitar.

Josh on September 10, 2016:

Hi, for my start out guitar, it was an inexpensive (just over $100 maybe $120) acoustic Epiphone from Guitar Center. I don't know if it was a Hummingbird. Do you think it was probably good anyway?

Chris Whiter (author) on August 22, 2016:

I think it's a solid instrument with a great price

Kenneth Ladan on July 22, 2016:

What do you think about the fender cd 60 electro acoustic

Renee on June 12, 2015:

I'm surprised all the guitars you recommend are dreadnoughts, except the Baby Taylor of course is smaller. Just today I went in and held and strummed a few chords on a Washburn WF10S, and it is so much more comfortable than the Yamaha F315A that I currently have. Learning guitar has been a lifelong dream of mine, and for the first time I think it might be possible with a guitar that fits me, i.e. the Washburn WF10S. Can't wait to save up a few dollars to buy it.

Chris Whiter (author) on May 19, 2015:

Hi Benny. The video was for Washburn WD25s and it was this one

Benny on May 15, 2015:


I was wondering if perhaps about a year ago you had up different video clips of these guitars

There was one in particular, I believe for the Washburn not 100% sure, that had a really nice melody and I was hoping you could help me find that clip.

gary on November 30, 2014:

I've been playing 50 years and never seen the quality for the price the washburn hasAdd Your Comment...

Jdub-711 on October 29, 2014:

I've played a lot of "budget" acoustics over the past two years. I can save you some time here. I owned a Seagull S6 but it got beat out by a Blueridge BR-40. Both great guitars. I just recently discovered Teton Guitars and I honestly feel that they blow these guitars away. For under $300 you can get the STS105NT or the STG100NT and be very content for many years. You'd probably have to spend a grand to get a better giutar. Unless you bought their 205 :)

Patrick on August 07, 2014:

The DG-8S is a great beginner guitar with a solid top:

Andrew on May 10, 2014:

Where is the Yamaha FG700S?

Tim Mason on March 31, 2014:

I have the Seagull, partly on your recommendation. It is a nice guitar - the sound is excellent - but it is not that easy to play. Even after a set-up, it requires considerable pressure to prevent string rattle. I have a cheaper Ibanez that has a duller sound, but that is far easier on the fingers. My teacher was of the opinion that it was not really a debutant's guitar.

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