I'm a guitarist and bassist with over 35 years of experience as a musician.
Top Acoustic Guitar Starter Packs
If you are a beginner trying to choose your first acoustic guitar your head is probably spinning. Even if you can figure out what kind of guitar you want, then you have to think about all the accessories you need to start playing.
You probably know you need picks, a strap, and maybe some strings. You need a tuner, and an instruction book would certainly help. But do you need a capo?
What the heck is a capo anyway?
Fortunately for the befuddled beginner, acoustic guitar starter packs offer an easy way to get everything you need to launch your guitar career in one handy kit. You get the guitar and all the accessories, without the hassle of hunting down each individual piece of gear.
Of course, some starter packs are better than others, and making the right choice here can really help a newbie get started off on the right foot. Quality guitars are easier to play, easier to maintain and naturally they sound better. This means that, by choosing a good guitar kit, a beginner will have a better chance at learning the instrument.
In this article you’ll read about my top choices for the best acoustic guitar starter packs for beginners. I made my list based on three criteria:
- They must be kits made by quality acoustic guitar brands I know and trust. Some guitar companies have proven themselves over the years, and for good reason.
- These brands must produce good guitars at a low price-point. It really doesn't help you if a brand makes great pro-level guitars. You need an affordable, quality starter guitar.
- These are kits I feel comfortable recommending to a friend or family member. Actually, this is true of all my gear recommendations in all of my articles.
The right starter kit should inspire a newbie to practice and play, not frustrate them until they quit. Here are my top picks:
Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Pack
Yamaha is name you can count on when it comes to gear, especially acoustic guitars. In fact, Yamaha has developed somewhat of a reputation for being one of the top acoustic guitar brands for beginners. Somehow they manage to build budget instruments that sound great and are easy to play.
Yamaha gets my number one recommendation when it comes to choosing the best acoustic guitar for beginners. This is true of their starter packs as well. In fact, when a family member recently decided to take up guitar the Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe was the starter pack I recommend.
The guitar in this kit is the Yamaha FD01S. This instrument compares favorably to the FG800, which in my opinion is the top budget acoustic guitar out there today. As an alternative, you can also find starter packs featuring the FG800, but they are a bit more expensive.
There is also a somewhat less expensive Yamaha Gigmaker Standard pack you may wish to consider. The guitar that comes with this pack is not quite as good, but it is a still an excellent choice for newbies on a tight budget.
There some excellent Yamaha acoustic guitars for beginners, and there is a reason they are one of the top brands I recommend. For a beginner, starting out with a guitar that’s easy to play is a big bonus. It’s hard enough learning all the chords and scales without a poor-quality instrument getting in your way.
Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic-Electric Guitar Player Pack
Epiphone is a company owned by Gibson, and they make some outstanding gear for beginners and intermediate players. I wasn’t surprised when one of their starter packs made my list.
However, this Epiphone Player Pack is a little different than other kits in this review. It’s an acoustic-electric guitar with a little amp! The PR-4E acoustic-electric guitar has a single-cutaway design with a spruce top, and a mahogany back and sides. This is a classic acoustic guitar tonewood profile, and beginners may as well start off right.
So, why would a beginner benefit from an acoustic-electric guitar rather than a pure acoustic guitar? I can think of two reasons. First and most obviously, if they have hopes of performing in front of people ASAP this setup will get them going in the right direction.
Secondly, inspiration is a big factor when it comes to putting in the necessary practice on the guitar. A setup like this, that allows for different sounds and effects, might make practice that much more fun.
In my opinion, this is definitely the coolest guitar in this review! But I had to think a bit about whether or not it’s a good idea for a newbie to start out on an acoustic-electric. I get a lot of questions about just that, and it seems like a lot of beginners like the idea of an acoustic-electric for their first guitar.
Ultimately I decided, for the reasons listed above, if you dig it go for it! Your first guitar should inspire you, and if an acoustic-electric lights your fire why choose something else?
More on the Epiphone Electric-Acoustic Player Pack
Fender DG-8S Acoustic Guitar Pack
Fender is a big name in the guitar world, and one of the best acoustic guitar brands for beginners. Starting out with a Fender guitar gets a newbie off on the right foot in a huge way. The DG-8S is one of the top inexpensive starter acoustic guitars out there. It gets positive reviews for its value, sound and playability.
Back when I started playing guitar over three decades ago there just weren’t opportunities like this. Your first guitar was a no-name hunk of wood, and you hoped you could eventually get a Fender someday.
Starting out on a quality guitar like this is a big bonus for any new player. Add in a tuner, strap, guitar stand, picks, extra strings, a gig bag and instructional video and a newbie has everything they need to start learning guitar today. On a Fender!
It's also helps that Fender knows what it takes to produce excellent beginner and budget-level guitars, not just the expensive Strats and Teles and other flagship models. Personally, I've always been impressed with budget Fenders and feel confident recommending one to newbies.
Ibanez IJV50 Jampack Quickstart Pack
Ibanez was one of the first companies to start throwing together starter packs for beginners. Known more for their top-notch electric guitars, they put out some excellent mid and entry-level acoustics as well.
Choosing a well-known and respected brand name like Ibanez for a first guitar definitely has its benefits. Of course it helps to know you’re choosing a solid guitar, but there’s also a more practical reason.
While I’ll never understand why, not everyone who decides to learn guitar sticks with it! In the unfortunate event that a newbie guitarist decides to hang it up before their rock star career ever gets started, a guitar from a good brand name will have better resale value than some no-name instrument.
The Ibanez IJV50 Jampack gets a lot of points for sound and ease of play. It’s worth noting that this is the least expensive option in this review, and to find a great guitar at this price is pretty impressive.
I do love Ibanez gear, and their budget guitars are no exception.
Daisy Rock Acoustic Guitar Packs
Daisy Rock makes some of the best guitars for girls. You may be wondering why a girl starting out on acoustic guitar would need anything different than a boy. There’s no reason a girl couldn’t choose any of the guitars above as a first guitar if she wanted. But there are also a couple of reasons Daisy Rock might be the perfect acoustic guitar starter pack for girls.
For some girls, a full-size acoustic guitar is too unmanageable. Daisy Rock’s guitars are slightly smaller, and have slimmer necks, which make more comfortable and easier to play for small people with little hands.
Daisy Rock guitars also look like girly guitars. Remember, inspiration is super important for newbie guitarists. If a young girl loves her guitar, she is more likely to pick it up and play.
There’s a lot of positive praise not only for the look of these guitars but also the sound. Many parents seem to appreciate an instrument that can get their daughters interested in music.
I love the idea Daisy Rock has grabbed onto here. When I think of newbie guitar players I tend to think in terms of what inspired me as a kid. But that may not be the same thing that inspires a young girl to give the guitar a try.
It’s nice to see a company that offers quality gear that inspires more young ladies to play, and if you are looking for a starter guitar for a girl Daisy Rock is a great brand to consider.
A Few Notes On Choosing Your First Acoustic Guitar
Choosing your first guitar isn't easy. The guitars listed in this article are quality instruments from great brands, and I feel comfortable recommending them. That said, they are also low-budget instruments. That means quality control is not nearly as high as with more expensive instruments, and there is a chance you could end up with a dud. Hey, that can happen with pro-level guitars too, but as a newbie you may not know what to look for. Here are few things you can do to cover your back:
- Whether you purchase your guitar online or in person, choose a dealer with a good return policy. Reputable dealers allow a reasonable amount of time where you can receive the guitar, check it out and return it if there is an issue.
- If you buy your guitar from a shop, have them check it over before you take it home. Some guitar shops will setup (like a tune-up for guitars) a guitar for free when you buy it. You may wish to have someone who knows guitars put their eyeballs on the instrument and give it their okay.
- If you purchase your guitar online and it doesn’t feel right when you get it, you can always take it to a guitar shop and ask their opinion. They may be able to tweak it for you, or they may tell you something is out of whack.
Going with a starter pack for your first acoustic guitar is smart, and in most cases much easier on your wallet. You can’t go wrong with any of the kits listed in this article.
Are there others out there that might get the job done? Sure, but there are also some you really ought to avoid. Make sure you research any guitar you are considering.
When a newbie starts out with a decent guitar they are setting themselves up for success. Many new guitarists have given up because they couldn’t fret chords or play notes correctly. In many cases it is the fault of the crummy guitar. On the other hand, a guitar that sounds good and is easy to play inspires a new player to practice.
I hope some of the information presented here has been helpful. Good luck choosing the best acoustic guitar starter pack for beginners.
Picking a Starter Pack: What Have You Decided?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Michael James (author) on February 28, 2019:
Hi Lisa. There is lots of information for beginning guitar players on Spinditty. Check out some of my articles, as most are aimed at new and intermediate players. Here is one to get you started:
My best advice is to start playing and never, ever quit. You won't regret it.
Lisa Bowes on February 28, 2019:
Yeah guys I've been actually keen and eager to teach myself how to play the guitar so just looking for some tips ,am I at the right place?