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Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners In 2024: Our picks for the top entry level acoustic guitars for under $325

Updated: May 8

The best affordable acoustic guitars so you can start learning in style with reputable brands like Fender, Ibanez, Yamaha, Epiphone and Donner.


A display of different beginner acoustic guitars.

Purchasing your first acoustic guitar marks a memorable milestone—one that you will remember forever. It is important to do your homework before buying your guitar to ensure you select the perfect instrument, tailored to your requirements and tastes. If you're seeking expert guidance to help you choose correctly, you've landed in the right place. This guide to the best acoustic guitars for beginners in 2024 is meticulously crafted to point you toward your ideal instrument and set you on the right course for your musical journey.


With the right acoustic guitar for you, you will unleash your full potential as a musician. Guitarists who play on instruments that they love not only enjoy playing more, but are also much more likely to commit the time required to master their craft. So, what are the most important considerations when selecting the best beginner acoustic guitar for your needs? You should seek a guitar that holds its tune throughout playing sessions and boasts a quality, durable build.


Moreover, it is important to choose a guitar that is within your beginner budget. Hence, our premier guitar instructors have curated a guide of top-tier beginner acoustic guitars to ensure you can get started on your musical journey with an exceptional instrument manufactured by a reputable, renowned brand, starting from as little as $199,99.


Through extensive research and careful testing of the latest beginner acoustic guitars, our expert guitar instructors provide unbiased recommendations. Each guitar is assessed and rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with review data informing our rankings. Here, we present the five guitars that have emerged triumphant as the best acoustic guitars for beginners in 2024.


 

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The Fender CC-60S is an excellent choice for beginners seeking and acoustic guitar, thanks to its high quality build and fantastic design. As with all of Fender's

guitars, the CC-60S beginner acoustic guitar reflects quality and precision. Its concert-sized body strikes a perfect balance between comfort and playability, offering beginner guitarists a manageable instrument to play while honing their skills. The guitar boasts a solid spruce top which provides a rich and resonant sound, making it an excellent option for individuals seeking versatility in their playing. Moreover, Fender is an industry standard with reputation for reliability and beginner guitarists can feel confident in the durability and quality of the CC-60S. While it is sold alone instead of in a bundle with accessories like many other affordable beginner guitar packages, its price point makes it an accessible option without compromising on quality. As beginners progress on their guitar playing journey, they'll find that the CC-60S has lots of room for growth, both in terms of its playability and the pride that comes with owning a Fender instrument. Overall, the Fender CC-60S stands as a testament to Fender's legacy of excellence, offering beginner guitarists a high-quality and rewarding acoustic guitar to begin learning.


Pros:

  • Renowned Fender quality and craftsmanship even in entry level acoustic guitars such as the CC-60S.

  • The CC-60's solid spruce top makes for more rich & resonant sound than many other beginner acoustic guitars

  • The Fender CC-60s will not quickly be outgrown. Its high quality build, great sound quality and the pride that comes with owning a Fender guitar will make it a beloved instrument even after a guitarist progresses past the beginner level. It will also have great resale value.

  • The Fender CC-60s beginner acoustic guitar comes in multiple colours, allowing guitarists to choose an instrument that they love the look of

Cons:

  • Accessories not included, such as gig bag, picks, strap and tuner.

  • Some users may find the neck profile not as comfortable as other options, depending on personal preference.

  • Tuning stability may be affected by changes in temperature or humidity, requiring frequent adjustments to keep the guitar in tune.

Rating: 4.2/5

After carefully testing it, our expert guitar instructors have given the Fender CC-60S a solid 4.2 out of 5 for its excellent sound quality, comfortable playability, and high-quality build. It's a leading recommendation for beginners seeking a high quality acoustic guitar without breaking the bank. We are confident that you will love this beginner acoustic guitar for years to come.




The CC-60S is an entry level acoustic guitar manufactured by the brand Fender.
The Fender CC-60S Beginner Acoustic Guitar


The Yamaha FG800J stood out as an exceptional beginner acoustic guitar. With a solid spruce top and a classic dreadnought body shape, it produces a balanced and beautiful tone with excellent projection, creating an enjoyable and captivating playing experience. The FG800J is built with Yamaha's signature craftsmanship, reflecting careful attention to detail and a commitment to quality. As a reputable brand with a long-standing history in the music industry, purchasing an acoustic guitar from Yamaha will give confidence to beginner players, assuring them that they have selected a reliable and dependable instrument that will support their musical journey. The FG800J's blend of premium features, including its solid spruce top and dreadnought body, ensures a perfect balance between affordability and performance, making it a great choice for those embarking on their guitar-playing adventure. With the Yamaha FG800J in hand, beginners can confidently unleash their full potential with the instrument's wonderful sound and sturdy craftsmanship.


Pros:

  • The Yamaha FG800J boasts a solid spruce top provides a beautiful and balanced tone.

  • The Yamaha FG800J's Dreadnought body shape offers powerful projection.

  • A smooth rosewood fingerboard creates comfortable playability for beginner acoustic guitarists

  • It will not quickly be outgrown. Its high quality build, great sound quality and the pride that comes with owning a Yamaha guitar will make it a beloved instrument even after a guitarist progresses past the beginner level. It will also have good resale value.


Cons:

  • Action (string height) may be slightly high out of the box and may require adjustment for optimal playability.

  • Accessories not included

  • Only one colour option. Guitarists who care a lot about the appearance of their guitar but are not overly fond of how this one looks may not fall in love with the instrument

Rating: 4.5/5

Our expert guitar teachers have given the Yamaha FG800J an excellent rating of 4.5 out of 5 for its warm and beautiful sound quality, durable construction, and highly regarded brand name. It's a top pick for anyone seeking a high-quality and affordable beginner acoustic guitar.


Yamaha's FG800J is a great quality and affordable acoustic guitar.
The Yamaha FG800J Beginner Acoustic Guitar


The Ibanez PF15-NT is an excellent choice for beginners seeking a high-quality acoustic guitar without breaking the bank. Outfitted with a mahogany back and sides, this guitar produces a warm and resonant tone that provides a solid foundation for beginner musicians to explore their creativity. Its mahogany neck offers a comfortable playing experience for novice guitarists to navigate chords and melodies with ease as they develop their skills and technique. While it may not boast the same level of finishing touches as higher-end models, it's an affordable acoustic guitar that is an accessible option for those just beginning to play guitar. Despite its budget-friendly nature, the Ibanez PF15-NT doesn't compromise on sound quality, making sure that beginner guitarists can enjoy a satisfying playing experience without sacrificing performance on a budget. In summary, the Ibanez PF15-NH offers a great combination of comfort and sound quality for a budget-friendly beginner acoustic guitar. It is a reliable and appealing choice for beginner guitarists looking to get started on their musical journey.


Pros:

  • A beginner acoustic guitar with an affordable price tag that does not compromise on quality.

  • Outfitted with a beautiful mahogany body, the Ibanez PFT15-NT produces warm tones.

  • The PFT15-NT is equipped with a comfortable neck for maximum playability

Cons:

  • Some users may prefer a gloss finish or more colour choices.

  • The Ibanez PFT-15NT starter acoustic guitar may require some adjustments out of the box to increase tuning stability


Rating: 4.2/5

The Ibanez PF15-NT is a great choice for any beginner guitarist looking for an acoustic guitar. Our highly qualified guitar teachers have awarded a solid rating of 4.2 out of 5 for its impressive tone, affordability, and comfortable playability. For beginners looking for a reliable entry level acoustic guitar that won't break the bank, the Ibanez PF15-NT is for you.


Ibanez PF15-NT Is A Great Beginner Acoustic Guitar
The Ibanez PF15-NT Beginner Acoustic Guitar

The Epiphone DR-100 is an appealing option for individuals seeking a beginner acoustic guitar because it offers a great blend of quality craftsmanship, rich tones, and comfortable playability all for an affordable price. Featuring a solid spruce top and mahogany body, the DR-100 produces warm and resonant tones with exceptional clarity and projection, providing beginners with a gratifying playing experience as they get started on their acoustic guitar journey. One standout feature of the Epiphone DR-100 is the SlimTaper neck profile, which facilitates comfort and ease of play, especially during long practice sessions or jam sessions. While some adjustments may be necessary out of the box to get the guitar playing to the best of its ability, the DR-100's high build quality and top notch craftsmanship guarantees a reliable and enjoyable playing experience for beginners. Despite being sold on its on instead of in a package with accessories, its affordability and excellent sound quality make it one of our best recommendations for those starting out and seeking an affordable beginner acoustic guitar. With the Epiphone DR-100 in hand, novice guitarists can confidently begin learning to play and exploring music using an instrument that offers both quality and value.


Pros:

  • Equipped with a solid spruce top, the Epiphone DR-100 entry level acoustic guitar creates extremely vibrant sound.

  • Outfitted with the SlimTaper neck profile, this beginner acoustic guitar can be played comfortably for hours

  • The Epiphone DR-100 is available in 3 colours so you will love the way that this guitar looks


Cons:

  • Action may be slightly high and may require adjustment out of the box

  • Accessories not included


Rating: 4.3/5

We have awarded the Epiphone DR-100 a commendable rating of 4.3 out of 5 for its quality build, vibrant sound quality, and comfortable playability. It's a reliable choice for beginners seeking quality at an affordable price. Epiphone is the lower-cost junior brand that is manufactured by Gibson. Gibson widely regarded as one of the best guitar manufacturers in history so you are buying a quality brand that will hold its value and can be enjoyed once you are past the beginner stage.



Epiphone's answer to a high-quality, affordable acoustic guitar: The DR-100
The Epiphone DR-100


The Donner DAG-1C Beginner Acoustic Guitar stands out as a wonderful option for beginners, featuring a full-size 41'' cutaway design that provides comfort and accessibility for players of all skill levels. Part of what sets the DAG-1C apart is its accessory package, which includes all the essentials needed to get started right away. Along with the guitar, the Donner DAG-1C is sold with a gig bag, tuner, picks, strap, and more. This comprehensive starter package provides exceptional value for money, providing beginners with everything they need to dive into their musical journey without any additional purchases necessary. Despite its budget-friendly price point, the DAG-1C maintains a good standard of playability and boasts a comfortable neck profile and smooth fretboard. These features make it a solid choice for extended practice sessions without discomfort. Some minor adjustments for tuning stability may be required, but the guitar's overall build quality and great features make it a solid choice for beginner acoustic guitar players. With its combination of comfort and affordability, the Donner DAG-1C Beginner Acoustic Guitar bundle is an excellent entry point into the world of guitar playing.


Pros:

  • Sold in a starter bundle kit that includes important accessories such as a tuner, picks, strap, gig bag and more.

  • Comfortable playability for beginners.

  • Lowest price point of all guitars mentioned in this article

Cons:

  • Tuning stability may require adjustment.

  • Gig bag padding could be thicker.

  • Lower quality guitar than the rest mentioned in this article

  • Less resale value than others as Donner is not as reputable of a guitar maker than the rest

Rating: 3.7/5

We have given the Donner Beginner Acoustic Guitar a respectable rating of 3.7 out of 5 for its value and comprehensive bundle kit. While it is definitely the lowest-quality instrument in this list from the least reputable brand, it does offer comfortable playability, and exceptional value. It's an excellent option for beginners seeking an entry level acoustic guitar on a tight budget.



The DAG-1C is Donner's answer to an affordable entry level acoustic guitar
Donner's DAG-1C


Our Favourite Acoustic Guitar Accessories

Should you opt to purchase any of the starter acoustic guitars listed above with the exception of the Donner bundle, you will likely opt to purchase some accessories as well. Although not absolutely required, it is highly recommended for guitarists to own a few accessories such as picks, a strap, a case or gig bag and a tuner. Other accessories that a beginner acoustic guitarist can consider include a capo, a music stand, a beginner method book and a guitar stand. At Greater Toronto Music School, our accredited guitar instructors have used many different guitar accessories and have provided their recommendations for the best accessories for beginners.


Guitar Tuner

No amount of skills or knowledge will make your guitar sound good if it is not in tune. There are many styles of tuners that you can try but our favourite is a clip on tuner. Our recommendation is the Fender FT-1 Professional Clip-On Tuner. Just attach it to the headstock of your beginner acoustic guitar and you'll be ready to rock in no time. Bonus - this tuner will also work for electric guitars, bass guitars, ukuleles and more!


Guitar Strap

Using a guitar strap gives players the freedom to play while standing up. Even if you plan to play sitting down, guitar straps offer several benefits. They provide stability, supporting proper posture and distributing the weight of the guitar evenly to reduce strain on your body. With a strap, you have the freedom to adjust the guitar's height and angle, increasing playability and comfort. Increased comfort will facilitate proper technique and smooth transitions between chords. Our first choices for guitar straps include the Amumu Cheveron Jacquard guitar strap, and the Perri's Leathers LTD guitar strap. Both straps are sold in a variety of colours and designs so you're sure to find one that you love.


Guitar Picks

Using a guitar pick offers several benefits that will enhance your playing experience and technique. Guitar picks reduce finger fatigue and facilitate faster playing, particularly for difficult or quick pieces of music. Unlike finger style playing, picks enable a brighter and more defined sound, making them ideal for use in various musical styles. If you're just in the process of choosing your first acoustic guitar, we recommend that you pick up a variety packs of picks. Picks come in many shapes and sizes so a variety pack will allow you to play with different sizes so you can begin to develop your own preference. Jim Dunlop offers a great variety pack of high-quality guitar picks and is a great place to start. Click here to check it out.


Various guitar picks scattered around a guitar.  Guitar picks are important for beginner guitarists.
Different sizes and shapes of guitar picks

Guitar Stand

Guitar stands allow musicians to store and display their instruments in an upright position and reduce the risk of accidental damage that can occur if you lay your guitar down horizontally. Stands will also make your guitar easily accessible - if you need to unpack it, you may be less likely to practice. If your guitar is stored on a stand, you can pick it up the moment that inspiration strikes. Guitar stands are available for a single guitar, multiple guitars or even as a furniture unit with space to store vinyl records, a record player and more. If you're looking for a stand for your new beginner acoustic guitar and nothing else, we recommend this Folding A-Frame guitar stand from Rock-Jam or this stylish wall-mounted guitar hanger. If there are multiple guitars in your home and you're looking to display other music-related memorabilia, you might consider this quadruple guitar stand with storage. Not only will it display 4 guitars, but there is also space for an amplifier, a record player, records and more. This piece will elevate any room in your home.


Gig Bag or Hard Case

If you plan to transport your new acoustic guitar, you will need a gig bag or hard case. Both are protective enclosures, created to keep your instrument safe during transportation and storage. Gig bags are typically made from padded nylon or canvas and offer lightweight and portable protection. They feature shoulder straps for easy carrying and multiple pockets for storing accessories or sheet music. While gig bags provide protection from scuffs and small bumps, they are best suited for short-distance travel or casual outings. Conversely, hard cases are constructed from durable materials such as ABS plastic or plywood with strong edges and padding. They offer better protection against moisture, temperature changes or more intense impact. This makes them ideal for long-distance travel and frequent performing. Hard cases often feature locking mechanisms and interior compartments for accessories and sheet music. Whether you're heading to lessons, rehearsals, or gigs, a gig bag or hard case provides peace of mind knowing that your instrument is well-protected during transit and storage.


Cahaya makes our favourite acoustic guitar gig bag. It is water resistant, features backpack straps for easy transportation, it's equipped with great quality padding and fits all guitars for under $50. Click here to check it out.


If you're looking for additional protection, check out this amazing quality Canadian-made hard-case by Chord Body. It fits most acoustic guitars and is available in Deluxe and Premium models.


Capo

A capo is an accessory that clamps onto the fretboard of a guitar. Placing a capo on the guitar allows players to raise the pitch of all strings and effortlessly transpose pieces into different keys without changing chord shapes. Capos can be made from metal or plastic and come in various designs, including spring-loaded and adjustable models. They make chord changes easier and help to expand a guitarist's repertoire. Capos are particularly beneficial beginners who lack the experience required to transpose on their own. Capos enhance versatility, creativity, and musical exploration, making them a valuable addition to any guitarist's toolkit. We love this 3-in-1 capo from Tanmus that doubles as a pick holder & pin puller.


A capo, one of the most important accessories for beginner acoustic guitar players.
A capo clamped onto the neck of a guitar

Buying Advice: Choosing The Best Beginner Acoustic Guitar For You

It's essential to consider various factors to ensure you find the perfect beginner acoustic guitar for your needs. Here are the most important factors to consider during your search for a starter acoustic guitar. We hope that this information will help you navigate through the process:


Comfortable Playability

Prioritize a beginner acoustic guitar with a comfortable neck profile and action that feels effortless on your fingers. A comfortable playing experience will enhance learning and playing enjoyment, especially for beginners who are just starting their acoustic guitar journey.


Quality Construction

Seek a starter acoustic guitar with a solid build quality made from durable materials, especially for the top, back, and sides of the guitar. A well-constructed guitar not only sounds better but also ensures longevity and reliability. This will mean that your guitar will have resale value or will be a valued member of your guitar collection for years to come.


Tone and Sound Quality

Listen to the tone and sound produced by the guitar. While personal preference plays a role, a good beginner acoustic guitar will offer a balanced tone with clear highs, mids, and lows. A great sounding starter acoustic guitar will inspire you to play and practice more. The more you play, the faster you will improve to meet your goals.


Budget

Set a realistic budget based on your financial situation. There are plenty of affordable beginner acoustic guitars available that offer excellent value for money without compromising on quality. Remember, this is your first acoustic guitar. You can always purchase a better one once you know better what you are looking for and have developed your skills.


The best budget friendly acoustic guitar for beginners
A beautiful beginner acoustic guitar

Brand Reputation

Purchasing from reputable brands who are known for producing high-quality guitars is important. Established brands often provide superior customer support, warranty options, and resale value, ensuring a smooth and satisfying purchasing experience. You will also feel proud to own a guitar from a top manufacturer of beginner acoustic guitars.


Accessories

Some beginner acoustic guitars are sold in a bundle with important accessories such as gig bags, tuners, straps, and picks. Some of these accessories are essential and buying in a bundle offers conveniences and value. While they are budget friendly, you lose the ability to choose the accessories that you like best and often sacrifice quality of your starter acoustic guitar and accessories for convenience and to save a few bucks.


Personal Preference

Ultimately, you should choose a beginner acoustic guitar that resonates with you on a personal level. Consider factors like how the guitar looks, body shape, and tonewood preferences. These can significantly impact your enjoyment and motivation to play.

By carefully considering these factors, you can confidently select a beginner acoustic guitar that suits your needs, preferences, and budget.


Where is the best place to get beginner guitar lessons?

So now you've made your decision and you're wondering how to play guitar for beginners. Very few people have the ability to learn by ear, or have a friend or family member who can teach them the basics. If neither of these apply, we would always recommend taking lessons if you're able.  At Greater Toronto Music School, our top guitar teachers are available for online guitar lessons or in-person guitar lessons in Toronto. Contact us today, we would love to help!

*This post contains affiliate links so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase at no additional cost to you.


Greater Toronto Music School provides the best music lessons in Toronto.

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4 Comments


Thanks for this! I was wondering what are some easy guitar songs for beginners that you recommend. Thanks again :D

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Hi Daniela, we're so glad that our guide to buying a beginner guitar was helpful for you! If you're just getting started, try learning 7 Nation Army by the White Stripes or Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple. Both songs are at a good level for beginners and super fun to play! Contact us if you have any more questions or if you're in interested in guitar lessons in-person or online :)

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I was really having a tough time deciding which guitar to buy but this post really helped me clarify. Thank you for sharing!

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So glad that this guide on buying a beginner acoustic guitar was helpful for you. Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions.

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