Selecting an Acoustic Guitar for Beginners

Playing the guitar is a fantastic activity for people of all ages. The beauty of playing guitar is that it’s a skill anyone can learn and enjoy for a lifetime.  It’s also something that can be done socially, or alone.

The advantage of playing an acoustic guitar versus an electric guitar lies in the simplicity. Unlike an electric guitar which requires amplification and a source of electricity, an acoustic guitar can be played just about anywhere you wish. Also, there’s just something rewarding and magical about the pure and authentic sound of a well-crafted acoustic guitar.

We’ve pulled together an overview of acoustic guitars for beginners or folks learning to play the acoustic guitar. We’ll examine various factors that contribute to the quality of an acoustic instrument, such as design, materials used, body shape and tonewoods – and get some feedback from a professional musician regarding what makes a good acoustic guitar for beginners.

Read on for tips on design, build, setup, materials and even tips from session musician Andrew Wells.

Great acoustic guitar for beginners: Design, Build, Setup and Materials

Many factors come into play when selecting a new acoustic guitar as a beginner.  The design, build, setup and materials used in the build of an instrument will highly influence its overall quality.  We will discuss some of these below.

Design: Not every guitar design is created equal. Just like any handcrafted object, the initial design has a tremendous impact on the quality of the final product.

Build: The build quality and build process of an instrument have a significant influence on its playability, sound and overall quality.

Setup: The setup of an instrument is a critical part of the build process of an acoustic guitar, and ensures the instrument will sound and perform perfectly. Additionally, during the setup process, a technician will establish the action of a guitar. Having the right action is necessary because instruments with higher action are very challenging to play.

Materials: All of the materials used in the construction of an instrument, from the tuners to the tonewoods, influence the overall sound performance of the instrument. For example, quality tuners are important to keep an instrument in tune, and tonewoods are essential to creating unique tone and sound.

Tone: A good instrument has an even, balanced tone that is desirable to the player and audience. The tone is influenced by the tonewoods used in the build, the body shape and the quality of the construction.

What are good strings for beginner guitar players?

The strings for guitar vary in thicknesses for different guitars and playing styles. The thickness of a guitar string can range from .008 to 0.56 inches. String gauge has a high impact on the playability of the instrument. There are different factors that come into play when deciding which strings to choose. The light gauge strings are usually easier to play, but the sound they produce can be less dense can also break easily – which is a consideration for beginners whom may not be experienced with tuning an instrument. Heavy strings can produce more robust sound, but can also be slightly difficult to play. They require a bit more effort and strength to play.