I remember the first guitar I ever bought, it was love at first sight. It was a real beauty: an acoustic-electric Samick Greg Bennet from South Korea, which cost around $250 if I remember correctly. It actually had a solid top (I had no idea what it meant at the time), so it must have sounded really good. Or at least as good as it can in the hands of the newbie I was 🙂 I had the guitar for many years before I sold it.
If you're buying your first guitar, and want to take a more mindful approach than I did at first, here are the things you should consider.
One of the most common questions is how much does a beginner acoustic guitar cost.
If you are, in any way, serious about learning to play guitar, you will need to spend between $200-$400 on your first beginner acoustic guitar. Please, oh please, do not buy a $100 all in one pack. Those are really bad quality, and you'll just end up buying what you should have bought originally within a few months. Be realistic. A super cheap guitar will play and sound super cheap...
If you absolutely cannot spend this much on a new beginner acoustic guitar, even after a few months of saving more money, you might consider getting one used IF you have a guitarist friend who can check it out before you buy it. Don't try to buy a used guitar as a beginner.
Unless you have extra cash, you don't need to spend more than this. Modern building techniques and better wood choices by the factories are making these relatively inexpensive guitars better and better.
Steel or Nylon strings
Should you get a beginner acoustic with nylon strings or steel strings?
Nylon strings are easier on the fingers, but steel strings are more versatile with regard to what you can play on the guitar. Nylon stringed guitar are used for classical guitar pieces, while string steeled acoustics are used for everything else: blues, pop, rock, jazz.
My professional opinion is that a first guitar should be a steel string guitar, not a classical nylon string. A guitar student needs to be able to play a wide variety of music. But in the end, it's your choice:
- If you only ever listen to classical guitar music, your choice is clear: nylon string.
- But if you can imagine yourself strumming along to pop songs, playing some blues, singing around the campfire, than you need a steel stringed guitar.