Best Beginner Guitars of 2017: Acoustic, Electric & Bass Guitars for Starters

So you want to be a guitar guru do you? Who doesn’t? That’s because playing the guitar can instantly make you cool. We’re not just bragging about ourselves here.

Look at Elvis Presley and his 5-chord combo, Jimi Hendrix and his Stratocaster, and even Chuck Berry as he hopped one-legged in awesome glory on stage as he wielded his git!

If you’ve got the desire to join the cool club, initiation is first! That is, getting the right git to start you off with!

We’ll hold your hand the entire journey to find the best guitars for beginners you can possibly find!

Keeping price points in check and your ego under control, we’ll secretly get you up to speed with guitar terminology, help set budget limits, and even introduce the old-school pitch pipe. Our Buying Guide might just be the right kind of strum advice you newbies need!

Our Top 5 Beginner Guitars for 2017

Guitar For Dummies – Best Cheap Beginners Guitar

Guitar For DummiesIf you’re going to pay in the double digits for a brand new guitar, then you will want to squeeze out all the bonus items you can get!

The Guitar For Dummies is a starter package for beginners who are basically “dummies!” Don’t take offense when the intention is to get you from amateur to pro one strum at a time!

The guitar itself is a Kona Deluxe Acoustic Guitar. It features a spruce top, linden (basswood) back and sides, 20 frets, dot inlays, and a black pickguard.

While the sustain is rich and the instrument is easy to play, there’s a lot more that get’s thrown in with your purchase. Expect a Guitar Basics for Dummies book, audio CD, KCT1 digital tuner, soft gig bag, and a few small accessories and tools.

For the entire kit, the price is exceptionally reasonable! When you’re a beginner, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars – save that for your graduating guitar buy!

With the entire Guitar for Dummies guitar beginner kit, you’ll have everything you need to get strumming, to make some DIY adjustments, and to haul it with you whenever you’re on the go!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Real wood guitar (no laminate)
  • Digital tuner included
  • Beginner’s DIY Guide included
  • Steel strings

Main Drawbacks:

  • Quality control issues

Customer Reviews

Hundreds of buyers of the Guitar For Dummies beginner package love all the materials they received with the purchase! As one of the best guitar for beginners, it does the job and enables you to learn all that you can at your pace.

However, a common complaint related to quality control issues such as a bowed neck, poor quality strings, and tuning difficulties.

While beginners lack an in-depth understanding of how to identify and adjust issues like these themselves, you should note that the majority of buyers did not experience these concerns.

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Does the Digital Tuner Require Batteries?

Is this Guitar for an Adult Beginner or Child?

Can the Guitar for Dummies be used with a strap?

Does the Guitar Stay in Tune?

Is the Guitar for Dummies book easy to read?

Guitar For Dummies Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Neck Material: Unspecified
  • Fretboard Material: Unspecified

Rogue RA-090 – Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners

Rogue RA-090The Rogue RA-090 acoustic guitar is a simple yet powerful instrument with a dreadnought body shape that can fool even the pros into thinking it’s a triple zero guitar! That’s why this Rogue guitar is a best seller across the board!

It sports some well-known tonewoods for a cheap and affordable guitar such as a mahogany back, whitewood body, C-shaped nato neck, and a painted maple fretboard and bridge.

The full-size guitar weighs a full-size 8.8 pounds, and it also has a black pickguard, black bridge with white dots, and pearl inlays.

The painted maple neck and fretboard makes it a breeze to slide up and down for some serious and fast-playing highs and lows. But, if you wanted to sand it down and stain it – go for it, although the black is a stunning finish!

As far as its sound impact, the Rogue has nice sustain and is perfectly able to maintain clarity, especially in the trebles. That dreadnought body also provides its bass and booming tones that can be projected throughout an entire room!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Steel strings
  • No laminate
  • Ambidextrous
  • Best seller

Main Drawbacks:

  • Quality control issues

Customer Reviews

The best seller Rogue RA-090 acoustic guitar is a hit with its users and their crowds! It’s cheap, easy to play, and it’s loud! As one of the best beginner acoustic guitars on the market, it’s a great deal!

While there are some complaints about quality issues, there’s certainly less than many other cheap guitars out there. Complaints such as defective guitars, broken necks, and sticky paint are the echoes of the unhappy.

But, for less than what it would cost for date night or a bulk package of diapers, it has great value!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Does the Rogue RA-090 Guitar come with a Case?

How is the Acoustic Guitar Shipped?

Is this Guitar for a Right Handed or Left Handed Player?

Do the Strings on the Rogue Need to be Replaced?

Does the Rogue Guitar come with any Extra Accessories?

Rogue RA-090 Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Body Material: Whitewood
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Fretboard Material: Painted Maple

Davison Beginner Starter Package – Best Beginner Electric Guitar

Davison Guitars Beginner Starter PackageDavison Guitars is a proud maker or strong and quality guitars, and their Davison Beginner Starter Package enables beginner guitarists to get the best quality at the best prices!

The Davison Beginner Starter Package includes a full-size, black electric guitar with some premium perks!

Although it’s a full-size 39 inch electric guitar, it has a sexy, contoured body that still makes it exceptionally playable and comfortable whether you’re standing or sitting.

For a crowd-capturing look, it’s black with a high glossy finish that’s so shiny you might even be able to catch your own spunky reflection!

It also sports a basswood body, maple neck, diecast tuners, and a humbucker pickup – all because it can!

The chrome bridge is capturing against the glossy finish and the rosewood fretboard features black dot inlays to match its rocky motif!

To keep things sleek and simple, there are two controls on the guitar: volume and tone, and with use of the amp, you can have clean or overdrive beats vibrating within the entire house!

But, this isn’t just a guitar-only purchase, it’s a complete starter kit for beginners, so it also includes a practice amp, gig bag case, and an accessory bundle!

As the best electric guitar for beginners, you won’t need anything else!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • High gloss finish
  • Humbucker pickup
  • Maple neck
  • Includes amp

Main Drawbacks:

  • Poor amp

Customer Reviews

There are several hundred serious buyers that are more than over the moon with their Davison Beginner Starter Package! It has everything they need and just the right amount of quality to get started with!

While there was some complaint about the poor quality of the amp and loud buzzing, most buyers said the amp was great and it was generally way too loud for use in their man-cave or home! – that’s a good thing!

While some strings, or even the cable, might have to be replaced over time, the guitar itself is a piece of rock work!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

What is in the Accessory Bundle?

What other Colors of the Davison Electric Guitar for Beginners are there?

Can you use Headphones while Playing the Electric Guitar?

Can the Davison Electric Guitar be used with Rocksmith?

Does this Davison Guitar come with a Built-in Tuner?

Are Bowed Necks Common on this Guitar?

Davison Beginner Starter Package Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood

Davison Electric Bass Starter Pack – Best Beginner Bass Guitar

Davison Guitars Electric Bass Guitar Starter PackDavison Guitars set the stage again with their Davison Electric Bass Starter Pack! While this starter beginner pack sports some premium features, there’s nothing cheap about this pack except the price!

The Davison Electric Bass Guitar has a solidwood alder body with a maple neck and even a maple fretboard!

It’s a full-scale 45 inch electric bass guitar with a dazzling, black high floss finish!

It also has geared diecast tuners, a set chrome bridge, and Davison’s iconic contoured body. The super-curvy contours are what makes it a great bass guitar for players of all ages to get their hands on, even though it’s a full-size instrument!

The dual pickups and amp allow for very loud playing! So player and buyer beware! If you’re more of an intermediate player, you could always replace the pickups with some powerful ones just for more oomph!

This purchase isn’t just a cheesy bass guitar only buy either. The entire beginner kit comes with the electric bass guitar (of course), a 30 Watt Peak (15w RMS) amplifier, cable, case, and strap!

Davison Guitars really pumps out some decent guitars for the price! When it comes down to value, they’re hard to beat!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • High Gloss
  • Complete kit
  • Solidwood body
  • Full scale

Main Drawbacks:

  • Weak pickups
  • Quality control issues

Customer Reviews

The Davison Electric Bass Starter Pack includes one of the best beginner bass guitars around! Apart from its excellent price tag, the solid wood, handsome aesthetics, and complete kit, make the deal even more sweeter!

However, the dual pickups have been described by users as weak, although they do just fine for beginners. As far as quality control, it seems there’s a very unlikely chance that you might get a defective amp or a bowed neck.

But, this electric bass guitar is incredibly popular for a reason – it’s a boomer!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Is all the Equipment Shipped Separately?

What Size Jack does the Amp Have?

How Many Frets does this Full Scale Davison Electric Bass Guitar Have?

What is the Main Cause of the Buzzing from the Amp?

How Long is the Davison Electric Bass Starter Pack Amp Cable Cord?

Is this Bass Guitar Suitable for an Intermediate Player?

Davison Electric Bass Starter Pack Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 4
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Alder
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Material: Maple

*Top Pick* Yamaha C40 Classical – Best All-round Beginners Guitar

Yamaha C40 GigMakerThe Yamaha C40 Classical guitar was developed as a member of Yamaha’s “C” series of full-size guitars. But, why did it get the top pick spot?

Whether you’re an electric rocker or an acoustic electric swinger, acoustic guitars have always been a timeless instrument. Throw the classical style in there and you have a modern twist to a traditional root! It’s an above-average guitar for its outstanding value, that’s why it’s our top pick of the line-up!

To start with, the Yamaha C40 GigMaker is made with a spruce top, Indonesian mahogany (meranti) back and sides, nato neck, and Javanese rosewood fretboard with 19 frets. But, the real shiner is the gorgeous Mahogany on the back – elegantly beautiful!

Surprisingly for an affordable guitar, the tuners and strings are excellent quality! While the strings do come preset at high action, you can easily adjust this to suit your preferences.

When it comes to sonic goodness, it sounds exactly as it should, like a classical fiddle! If smooth, warm, well-defined, and authentic tones are your kind of tunes, the Yamaha is is your perfect date!

Guitarists of all skill levels will immediately appreciate the authentic experience that this Yamaha provides!

Main Benefits:

  • Price
  • Classical style
  • Complete kit
  • Name brand
  • Real woods

Main Drawbacks:

  • Fret issues

Customer Reviews

The Yamaha C40 Classical is a highly-rated acoustic guitar that has impressed its buyers and longtime, loyal fans of Yamaha! It’s the best acoustic guitar for beginners anyone could ask for if you’re seeking out the classical style!

But, very few complaints on this guitar run along the same theme with fret issues. From incorrect spacing between the 4th and 5th frets to string buzzing on the 3rd and 4th frets, there seems to be a pattern.

However, the majority of the buyers have no such issues! It’s a winner in all aspects!

Popular Questions (and Answers)

Is the Classical Guitar Made for Sitting or Standing?

What Kind of Strings does the Yamaha Classical Guitar have?

Where is this Yamaha Guitar Made?

What is Included in the Bundle?

What are some Common, Additional Specs of the Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar?

Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar Features:

  • Number Of Strings: 6
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Body Material: Meranti
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood

Beginner Guitar Buying Guide

beginner learning guitar

Guitar Terminology for Beginners

Since this is a buying guide for you newbies, we’re going to assume you know nothing! Perhaps you might know a chord or two, but most of you won’t be able to tell the difference between a rear end and a nut. They’re in the same place right, kinda like the human body?

If this is what you’re thinking, it’s a head banging against the wall kinda moment for us. So let’s get started before you start probing in all the wrong places!

Back

This refers to the broad, back side of the body of the guitar that holds the sides of the guitar in place. This is referred to in reference on acoustic guitars.

Bar

This is for electric guitars and refers to the metal rod on the bridge that controls the tension of the strings. You’ve probably heard of it as a tremolo bar, whammy bar, or vibrato bar.

Body

This is the “box” of the body that provides a foundation for both the bridge and neck. It also provides the platform for the top of the box, the interior for the amplifying sound hole (acoustic), and the electronics for an electric guitar.

Bridge

This is the wooden (acoustic) or metal (electric) piece on the guitar top that mounts the strings to the guitar.

Controls

These are only found on electric guitars in the form of volume and tone knobs. The volume regulates the loudness and the tone controls regulate the guitar’s treble and bass frequencies.

Fretboard

Also known as the fingerboard. It’s the thin layer of wood that spans the entire length of the neck where you set the stage for notes and chords to be played.

Frets

These are the lines or bars that sit perpendicular to the strings along the neck. The frets shorten the vibrating lengths of the string allowing it create different pitches along the neck.

Headstock

This is the bulky top of the guitar where the tuning machine sits and the company’s logo is typically displayed.

Neck

The long, narrow slat of wood that attaches the headstock to the main part of the body.

Nut

This is the small, raised and grooved piece that’s found right at the top of the neck that stops vibrations from passing this point. The other end where vibrations are stopped is at the bridge.

Output Jack

On an electric guitar, this is the point where you connect the cable to allow for connection to the amplifier.

Pickups

Electric and acoustic electric guitars have pickups that are magnetic devices that convert string vibrations into signals to be amplified through a power source for musical sound.

Sides

This pertains to acoustic only guitars, and they are the wooden pieces that connect both the back and the top together.

Strings

Made of either metal or nylon, they’re strings that are held taut to produce notes.

Tonewoods

Acoustic guitars use various types of woods that can affect tones and sound, while both electric and acoustic guitars also depend on various types of wood for durability, weight, and resistance to corrosion.

Top

On an acoustic guitar, this is also known as a soundboard. It’s the face of the guitar that significantly contributes to the acoustics of the guitar.

Tuning Machines

Also known as tuners, tuning pegs, tuning keys, and tuning gears. Located on the headstock, they hold the strings taut by wrapping the string around the peg to produce various pitches.

Pitch Pipes vs Digital Tuners

While digital tuners are great, a pitch pipe is always handy to have. While you may never go anywhere without your digital tuner and you don’t trust your own ears, you may not be near a piano to help when your tuner fails you. Imagine if you’re at a beach bonfire and the battery is dead. What then? Enter here, the pitch pipe!

A pitch what? While it may seem archaic, especially to you younger Millennials, it does have its purpose.

Benefits of Pitch Pipes:

  • Hands-free use
  • Special models can be made for just open strings
  • Can tune for in-between notes
  • Portable

Disadvantages of a Pitch Pipe:

  • Takes practice
  • For beginners, it may seem “off” to tune to a wind-produced note vs string-produced note

When you’re sitting there in the glow of the flames, you don’t want to look like a stink harmonica-playing fool. So get practicing with your pitch pipe today so that tomorrow you look like a pro!

How Much Should You Spend on a Beginners Guitar?

This should be like asking, “How much do you spend on a first time car?” You probably shouldn’t ever start with a six figure, luxury sports car for your first auto. The same goes with guitars. You will never fully appreciate it until you have the skills and the potential to get the maximum use out of it!

So what do most first-time cars look like? If you’re lucky, a clunker! For most, it was Mom and Dad’s mini-van. Luckily for guitarists the pickings aren’t slim!

Typical advice would be along the lines of buying an excellent, secondhand, and used guitar. But, that’s not always your only option. You can spend fifty bucks and even a hundred and get your money’s worth of learning out of it.

Besides, every guitar that you end up graduating to will only add to your collection as you get better with every strum and pick!

So here’s the bottom line. If you’re on a budget, $50-$150 will get you something decent. If you have a little more room to spend, $200-$300 will get you something better. But, if you’re up for a beginner guitar from big name brands like Taylor, Takamine, Gibson, and Martin, then think $400-$500 or maybe even more!

Welcome to the Club!

The best acoustic guitars for beginners, and electric ones, are up for the taking! Once you’ve taken your pick of the litter, you’ll have officially ended your guitar-less initiation!

While everybody starts somewhere, no one has to know about how green you actually were. When you’re a pro, send your wanna-be newbies to us for initiation. Welcome to the club!