We round up 13 of the best beginner guitars that are actually fun to play, sound great and will encourage a positive learning experience. Best of all, you won’t have to upgrade for many years!
When you’re looking through the huge array of beginner guitars available to you it can be a little daunting trying to find the perfect fit for your style. There are a few things you should consider when choosing a beginner guitar too, namely; what type of music do you want to play, what your budget is and whether or not you want an electric or an acoustic guitar. In addition, you don’t want to buy a guitar that you’ll have to upgrade too quickly once you get the hang of playing, as that’s just an extra cost you can do without! They should also be a lot of fun to play, as learning guitar should be an enjoyable experience first and foremost!
So today, we’re looking at the 13 best beginner guitars that are a lot of fun to play and that you won’t have to upgrade if you don’t want to! We’ll start with 6 acoustic and then move on to 7 electric guitars.
1. Tanglewood TWCRD Crossroad Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar – £99
First up we have one of the highlights of our acoustic range; the Tanglewood TWCRD Crossroad Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. We think this is one of the best beginner guitars for two reasons; 1. It’s under £100 and 2. It plays like a guitar worth many times the price. Seriously this thing sounds and feels amazing thanks to the high quality tonewoods and superb construction processes in place.
The full-sized Dreadnought shape ensures you’re starting out with a classic sized guitar so you won’t feel weird transferring over to another guitar whilst the all Mahogany tonewoods on the body and neck provide a rich and warm sound. A harmonically rich, comfortable guitar to play.
2. Epiphone Pro-1 Acoustic Guitar Vintage Sunburst – £99
This is an industry standard guitar for beginners which is also relied upon by guitarists of all levels thanks to the quality sound within. The EZ Profile neck which minimises hand-fatigue makes the Epiphone Pro-1 Acoustic Guitar Vintage Sunburst one of the best beginner guitars as it’s comfortable to play which will therefore encourage a positive playing experience overall and allow you to play for longer. In addition, the PRO-Ease string and fingerboard coating reduces friction so you can slide up and down the fret easily.
A Select Spruce top with Custom PRO-Prietary™ Bracing really brings out the sound and the Select Mahogany body with reduced body depth ensures your notes are warm yet snappy.
Also available in Natural.
3. Yamaha FG800M Acoustic in Natural – £178
Here we have another standard in the beginner guitars category and a particularly nice guitar that really brings out the nuances of your playing – a key thing to look for when shopping for a beginner acoustic guitar. You’ll want each note to ring out clearly so you can hear what you’re playing and where improvements (if any) can be made in your technique. So, the fact that the Yamaha FG800M Acoustic has a Solid Spruce top and Nato back and sides means you’ll hear everything you’re playing correctly without any muddiness.
We also love the Yamaha FG800M Acoustic as it features a new scalloped X bracing pattern underneath the top which helps with projection, making it a louder guitar than expected – perfect for rehearsals and jamming at home. A timeless design that will only look and sound better with age and a guitar that will never go out of fashion.
4. Eastcoast MKOA Koa Acoustic Guitar, Natural - £199
If you have a smaller frame, you’re looking for a beginner guitar for a child or you travel a lot and you want an easily portable, comfortable guitar that won’t take up too much room then the Eastcoast MKOA Koa Acoustic Guitar is perfect.
This is what’s known as a travel guitar or a mini guitar. But don’t be fooled by its smaller size – this is no toy but a professional level acoustic guitar that is ideal for beginners thanks to the smaller frame and budget friendly price tag. The Koa tonewoods are usually found on guitars at least 3 times the price, so you’re getting a real bargain here and a guitar that will only sound better with age. This is ideal for players of all levels as it’s actually designed to cope with the demands of a gigging professional, but we think it’s a perfect beginner guitar that you’ll love playing.
Also available as an electro acoustic version.
5. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Electro Acoustic, Faded Cherry - £263.34
Just because you’re starting out in the world of guitar doesn’t mean you can’t have a cool looking guitar with a bit of style. The Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Electro Acoustic in Faded Cherry is the Epiphone version of the Gibson Hummingbird which was made famous by the likes of Keith Richards. Although this is what you might call the little brother version, it’s still a formidable gigging guitar at a price point that beginners and first-time players can afford.
We love it because it’s ready for every stage of your guitar playing journey. A SlimTaper D profile neck is comfortable to play so your hand doesn’t get too tired when playing and, when you decide to start gigging, the Shadow ePerformer preamp and pickup system allows you to plug in to an amp and enjoy all the tonal qualities of the Spruce top and Mahogany body.
6. Alvarez AD30 Dreadnought Natural Satin – £269
The Alvarez AD30 Dreadnought Natural Satin is yet another one of our favourite beginner guitars that will easily follow you along your journey for decades. This is another guitar that you won’t have to upgrade as it’s actually a professional level guitar designed for experienced players - It just happens to be at a price point usually associated with beginner guitars. The key benefits of this guitar lie within the construction and tonewoods on offer. A FST2 Forward Shifted bracing system makes the guitar nice and loud, whilst the combination of Solid Sitka Spruce top with a Mahogany back and sides allows you to enjoy beautifully bright chords and resonant single string notes. This is snappy and clear – perfect for beginner guitarists who need something that provides an accurate representation of what they’re playing.
7. Eastcoast GT100 Electric Guitar in Lake Placid Blue - £119
First up for our electric guitar offering is the Eastcoast GT100 Electric Guitar pictured here in Lake Placid Blue. If you love the style and sound of that single coil guitar made famous by Bruce Springsteen, or you’re just in need of a versatile guitar that can handle everything from Blues to Country, Indie to Rock and you’re on a budget, this is a great option. Since the Eastcoast brand relaunched we have been blown away by the quality of these guitars as they are comfortable to play even after hours of practice and sound amazing when you hook them up to an amplifier.
The Eastcoast GT100 Electric Guitar has a pair of single coil pickups which deliver beautifully clean sounds, but really shine with some added distortion or grit through an amplifier. The maple neck is comfortable on the fingers and the single cutaway design is great for reaching the higher frets.
Also available in more finishes and with bundles here.
8. Jackson JS1X DK Minion AH FB Gloss Black (Factory Blemished) - £99
The Jackson JS1X DK Minion AH FB Gloss Black pictured here is a shorter scale electric guitar designed for the young shredders out there and beginner guitarists who are more inclined towards metal. The smaller scale is ideal for smaller framed individuals and children, and is also utilised by experienced players who want to be able to bend strings wildly and get around the guitar faster – it actually encourages faster playing!
Within this budget friendly guitar you get some seriously high powered humbucking pickups that really shine when you add some distortion to your amp. We actually have a range of factory blemished models which are now only £99 – making them a fantastic option for beginners and even pro-level guitarists who just want something comfortable and fast to jam on.
Available in more finishes here.
9. Squier Bullet Strat HSS HT Electric Guitar, Arctic White - £100
Squier consistently craft amazing instruments at budget friendly prices. They are designed by the team at Fender so you know they’re going to sound great, and you’re likely to find a Squier guitar in many professional studios and collections thanks to the focus on playability, comfort and sound. The Squier Bullet Strat HSS HT Electric Guitar in Arctic White is one of the best beginner guitars today as it features a versatile HSS pickup configuration so you can enjoy a wide range of tones.
The Single-Coil Stratocaster Neck and Middle Pickups provide that familiar Start twang whilst the Humbucking bridge pickup allows you to enjoy a thicker, fatter sound especially when you add some distortion to your amplifier. The Stratocaster is an industry standard guitar and something that many beginner guitarists start out with, so we’d definitely recommend it as one of the best beginner guitars.
Available in more finishes here.
10. Epiphone Les Paul SL Vintage Sunburst - £88
Everyone needs to play or own a Les Paul at some point in their life. It’s basically a rite of passage in the guitar world! However, we don’t need to stretch our budgets to the likes of Gibson Custom Shop levels to get our hands on one. The Epiphone Les Paul SL Vintage Sunburst comes from the Epiphone factory (owned by Gibson) and features a classic Les Paul silhouette with sturdy bolt on neck so it looks amazing and is solid as a rock. The pair of ceramic single coils in the body and 3-way toggle switch offer a range of tones and the fact it’s way under £100 makes it a great beginner guitar. A perfect guitar to learn on that is comfortable, looks great and sounds awesome!
Available in more finishes here.
11. Eastcoast DT230-GQ Electric Guitar Grey Quilt - £149
If you’re just starting out in the world of guitars, the Eastcoast DT230-GQ Electric Guitar Grey Quilt is a great option that clocks in under £150, sounds great due to a fat humbucker and 2 x single coils and also offers shredders and a full 2 octaves at your disposal – which means you have 24 frets to play with.
The Maple neck is comfortable to play, and the lightweight Alder body is ideal for smaller players as its not to heavy. The inclusion of a whammy bridge means you can add more dynamics to your playing and really take advantage of the tones on offer here. A great entry level guitar for players of all ages.
Also available in blue quilt here.
12. Epiphone SG-Special VE Guitar in Vintage Worn Cherry - £129
The Epiphone SG-Special VE Guitar pictured here in Vintage Worn Cherry may be a great beginner guitar thanks to the price, but it’s also used by professional level guitarists thanks to it’s amazing sound and rock-solid playability. This is not your normal entry level guitar, but a solid workhorse ready to help you learn your craft and then hit the stages of the world.
This is packed with pro-level appointments such as Epiphone open-coil humbuckers, a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge as well as a comfortable 1960s SlimTaper "D" Profile neck. The pickups can handle everything from smooth, classic cleans to all out hard rock, so it’s as versatile as you need it to be. A fantastic guitar that we highly recommend and one of the best beginner guitars from a big name brand.
Available in more finishes here.
13. Eastcoast GL20 Electric Guitar in Cherry Sunburst - £149
Last but by no means least we have the Eastcoast GL20 Electric Guitar in Cherry Sunburst. This is the perfect starting guitar for beginners who want a versatile guitar with a familiar shape and two fat humbuckers to make a load of noise with! Modelled on a familiar single cutaway guitar, this evokes the spirit of Jimmy page and other rock icons and has the power to back it up. The budget friendly price tag makes it particularly affordable players of all stages and the solid construction ensures experienced players can rely on it. A combination of Mahogany for the body and maple neck ensures there’s plenty of resonance with enough snap to make your notes stand out – you’ll hear everything.
Available in more finishes and bundles here.
Prices correct 8/3/19