I have had the pleasure of playing so many guitars in all the years I’ve been playing. Nothing compares to the feeling of holding a guitar that doesn’t cost much but has playability and value beyond its price. It is in times like that we are proud of our chosen hobby because anyone getting their beginner guitar is not such a big risk after all.
While it cannot be said when I started 30 years ago, I’m glad that the quality of today’s beginner guitars has improved so remarkably that it is no shame being seen holding a budget guitar no matter what our skill level are.
It’s my greatest joy to recommend the following great guitars that won’t cost an arm or a leg that beginners can buy without regret.
Before I dive in, let me say that I have chosen more branded ones because it will give you better resellable value in any case you want to upgrade. Also such a guitar is worth the while to keep it for life.
Top Acoustic Guitar for Beginners
1. Yamaha FG720/ FG820 or FS720/ FS820
Good for those who for an all round good guitar that is built well and plays well. I will recommend the FS series rather than the FG series for those who like a smaller body and prefer to learn finger-picking. The FG series is more suitable for strummers. I have owned several of these guitars and not one of them disappointed me.
2. Taylor GS Mini
Good for: Kids or those with small hands or someone who just wants something small to travel with. It has a bright and clear sound that is just beautiful finger picked. It has a small body that makes bringing it around a pleasant thing to do.
3. Martin DXAE
Good for those who can afford a bit more for a better quality guitar that retains its value. It’s good first-hand experience of owning a great sound guitar. Playing one always put a smile on my face (and hopefully those who hears it)
Top Electric Guitar for Beginners
1. Squier Vintage Modified Strat
A good old Squier Strat is always a safe bet as the first electric guitar. The Stratocasters is a classic proven designed instrument that is versatile for all sorts of music genre from rock, pop to reggae and blues. To have a Strat is safe but to have one from the Vintage Modified series sweetens it so much more. Highly no regret kind of purchase that will not break the bank.
2. Squier Custom Vibe Telecaster
Both the Vintage Modified and Custom Vibe Strats and Teles are good choice beginner guitars with the latter being just a bit more expensive. I have owned some of them and they are comparable to their expensive Fender counterparts. It is no exaggeration to say that I loved my Custom Vibe Telecaster over my old Made In Mexico Fender Tele when I had both with me. It is that good.
3. Epiphone SG 400
This maybe a surprise to some people but the SG is such a great instrument that I have not experience an electric guitar design that rock so well. It has simplicity in its design, sounds awesome and plays like a dream. It has the type of resonance and sustains that I cannot find in any other guitars. Good for rockers who want to play hi gain music. If the looks bother some of you, I will recommend the Epiphone LP instead but otherwise, the SG is an amazing underrated beginner instrument. It’s so good that I seriously use one to play jazz all the time.
These are recommendations of the type. Of course, they are variations in terms of types of pickups and type of wood, neck radius and all to refine your selection. Well, I think these are secondary for now as getting your first guitar sets you in the direction of knowing what you want/don’t want in a guitar. Anyway, I will be writing on how to select the types of pickups in your guitar and also other things about the type of wood and neck width/radius etc.
Until then have fun and enjoy your process of getting your first guitar. I bet you that if you stick of my recommendation that you’ll not regret it. With its quality, its good enough to keep for life and also it has the resellable value if you decide to let it go and upgrade to a better one.