We round up 13 of the best beginner guitars that are actually fun to play, sound great and will encourage a positive learning experience. These are some of the best guitars for beginners around!
When you’re looking through the huge array of beginner guitars available to you it can be a little daunting trying to find the best place to start.
There are a few things you should consider when choosing a beginner guitar. For example - what type of music do you want to play, what is your budget? Do you want an Electric or 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. Any good beginner guitar should be comfortable, easy to play and a fun experience. These 3 factors will keep you coming back to practice time and time again.
Here we have listed 13 of the best beginner guitars that are popular in PMT Stores around the country, and come highly recommended by our in-store experts. Each represent a good place to start your musical journey!
1. Eastcoast D1 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural
First up we have one of the highlights of our acoustic range; the Eastcoast D1 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural.
We think this is one of the best beginner guitars for two reasons. 1 - Eastcoast are a trusted creator of quality acoustic guitars, and 2. It plays like a guitar twice the price!
The Eastcoast D1 Dreadnought is built with a familiar Dreadnought body shape - hence the name! Dreadnoughts are a great all-rounder for optimum volume, projection and clarity. Furthermore, the Sapele back & sides provide a rich and warm sound whilst offering snap and articulation via the Spruce Laminate top. This makes it a harmonically rich, comfortable guitar to play.
Seriously this beauty sounds and feels amazing - an unexpected entry onto our list, but a firm favourite with PMT Staff in stores around the UK. Easily a contender for best guitar for beginners, that won't break the bank.
2. Fender CD-60 Dread V3 DS Acoustic Guitar Natural
This is an 'industry standard' guitar for beginners which is relied upon by guitarists of all levels. Fender, as a brand, are one of the most well-respected guitar manufacturers in the world, so you're in good hands here.
The C Shape Profile neck, which minimises hand-fatigue, makes the Fender CD-60 Dread V3 DS Acoustic Guitar Natural one of the best beginner guitars as it’s comfortable to play. In addition, the Walnut fingerboard reduces friction so you can slide up and down the fret easily.
Comfortable guitars promote a positive playing experience and encourage you to play for longer. The steel-string Fender CD-60 Dread V3 is a great example of this!
3. Yamaha FG800M Acoustic Guitar
Here we have another tried-and-tested standard in the beginner guitars category. The Yamaha FG800M is a particularly sweet-sounding guitar that really brings out the nuances of your playing – a key feature commonly found on more expensive acoustic instruments. Yamaha's prestige and trust within the music industry is undeniable, they've been producing some of the finest guitars for decades.
The Yamaha FG800M Acoustic has a Solid Spruce top and Nato back and sides means you’ll hear everything you’re playing with an optimum level of clarity and projection. Perfect for highlighting improvements to your technique and playing style. Each note rings out clearly and sounds great when mic'd up on stage.
Furthermore, we also love the FG800M as it features a new scalloped X bracing pattern underneath the top, which helps with projection, sustain and volume. This makes this guitar perfect for rehearsals and jamming at home.
In summary, the Yamaha FG is a timeless Acoustic Guitar design that will only look and sound better with age.
4. Washburn HD20S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Available in-store at £179, the Washburn HD20S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar is probably one of the best value guitars we've seen in 2019!
A high level of craftsmanship, beautiful tone woods and aesthetic touches give the Washburn HD20S a unique character not seen in guitars at a similar price point. Solid Sitka Spruce and Pau Ferro is usually found on Acoustic instruments costing 2-3 times the price, so you’re getting a real bargain.
The Washburn HD20S is truly a guitar that will only sound better with age and a perfect guitar for beginners thanks to the modest price tag. This is ideal for players of all levels as it’s actually designed to cope with the demands of a gigging professional thanks to the satin finish neck and hardwearing Graphtech Nubone nut.
A dreadnought shape in conjunction solid Sitka Spruce top and Pau Ferro back and sides provides a pronounced low end and strong projection which chord players will really appreciate. Choruses will ring out clearly!
We also think it’s a perfect beginner guitar that you’ll love playing, no matter how you use it. If you want the option of going electric, the Washburn HD20SCE Dreadnought Electro-Acoustic Guitar is ideal and features a cutaway design.
5. Epiphone Hummingbird Pro Electro Acoustic
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 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, it’s still a formidable gigging guitar at a price point that beginners and first-time players can afford - that's why we'd recommend checking out Epiphone Acoustic Guitars.
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 into an amp and enjoy all the tonal qualities of the Spruce top and Mahogany body.
6. Alvarez AD30 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Alvarez AD30 Dreadnought Natural Satin is yet another one of our favourite beginner acoustic guitars that will prove to be an investment for life.
The AD30 is another guitar that you won’t have to upgrade instantly, 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.
Alvarez Acoustics are renowned for an amazing level of craftsmanship and tonewood choices. An FST2 (Forward Shifted) bracing system makes the AD30 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.
The AD30 Dreadnought ticks all the boxes when it comes to a dependable Beginner Acoustic Guitar - volume, playability, comfort and style. All rolled into an affordable package anyone can afford.
7. Eastcoast GT100 Electric Guitar
First up for our electric guitar offering is the Eastcoast GT100 Electric Guitar (pictured here in Lake Placid Blue).
Based around the iconic 'Tele' body style, the GT100 features a classic single cutaway body and single coil pickups, originally made famous by the likes of Bruce Springsteen. If you want a cheap, versatile guitar that can handle everything from Blues to Country, Indie to Rock, the Eastcoast GT100 is a great option.
The Eastcoast GT100 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 - often the reason why players stop picking up guitar. The single-cutaway body design is great for reaching upper frets.
Since the Eastcoast brand relaunched we have been blown away by the quality of these guitars. They're comfortable, come kitted with pro-grade hardware, and outperform their modest price. An absolute no-brainer starter guitar, highly recommended by the experts at PMT!
Also available in more finishes and with bundles here.
8. Jackson JS1X DK Minion Amaranth FB Gloss Black
The Jackson JS1X DK Minion Amaranth FB Gloss Black is a fiery short-scale electric guitar, specifically designed for the young shredders out there. Jackson guitars are a great first choice for any younger player starting out with an inclination for Heavy Metal and Rock styles.
A short scale neck makes this axe really easy to practice and play, especially for longer sessions. If you need to bend strings easily and get around the guitar faster, this beginner guitar is a cost-effective way to do so.
The Jackson JS1X DK Minion comes equipped with a pair of high powered humbucking pickups that really shine when you add some distortion to your amp. Combine this with an accessible double-cutaway body, and you've got a recipe for heavy metal madness.
Available in more finishes here.
9. Squier Standard Stratocaster
Squier consistently produce amazing instruments at budget-friendly prices. With many features inherited from familiar Fender counterparts, Squier is a great brand to start out with if your budget is tight.
The Stratocaster is an industry-standard all-rounder that has graced thousands of stages around the world. The Squier Standard Stratocaster pictured here with Maple Neck & Candy Apple Red finish is one of the most popular choices. Like all guitars in the Squier range, it offers a sublime balance of tonal options, comfort, playability and price. All the hallmarks that make up a perfect beginner's guitar!
The Single-Coil Neck and Middle Pickups provide that familiar Strat 'twang', whilst the angled bridge pickup offers a thicker, fatter sound. Add some distortion to the mix from an effects pedal or amplifier, and you've got a fully-fledged Rock and Roll Strat.
View all Squier Stratocaster guitars here.
10. Epiphone Les Paul SL
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! Thankfully, you don't need to splash out on a Gibson Custom Shop to get the 'Les Paul' experience.
The Epiphone Les Paul SL comes from the Epiphone factory, owned by Gibson. This guarantees a certain level of performance and reliability. The Les Paul SL is the most budget-friendly LP they offer, which features the classic Les Paul single-cutaway body and a sturdy bolt-on neck.
The pair of ceramic single-coil pickups and 3-way toggle switch offer a wide range of switchable tones. Les Pauls are so popular for being such a great all-rounder, ideal for almost any style of music. The fact this beast comes in at under £100 makes it a great guitar for beginners. Comfort, good lucks and a killer sound to boot. What's not to like?
Available in more finishes here.
11. Eastcoast DT230-GQ Electric Guitar
If you’re just starting out, a dependable guitar is essential. The Eastcoast DT230-GQ Electric Guitar is a reliable axe that clocks in under £150. Kitted out with a fat humbucker and two single-coil pickups, the DT230 offers shredders a vast array of tone switching options. Courtesy of a full-size 24-fret fingerboard, a full 2-octave spread to play with is fantastic for heavy rock styles and super-fast shredding.
A smooth maple neck encourages lightning-fast fingering, nicely complemented by a lightweight Alder body. Alder is little lighter than common Mahogany/Maple tonewood combinations. This makes the DT230 great for younger teens or smaller players that still want a full-scale axe without a heavy body to lug around.
The inclusion of a whammy bridge adds a few more tricks up your sleeve - especially working the frets during mazy guitar solos. This Eastcoast Electric DT230 is a great entry-level rock machine for all ages and perfect guitar for beginners who like the heavier side of music.
Also available in blue quilt here.
12. Epiphone SG G-400 Worn Cherry
The Epiphone SG G-400 Worn Cherry (pictured above in Vintage Worn Cherry) echoes one of Gibson's most famous 'solid-body guitars' - the Gibson SG. A double-cutaway design, double humbucker pickups and a SlimTaper “D” profile Mahogany neck guarantee a fun, rocking learning experience. Furthermore, the SG Special features a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge for great intonation and tuning stability. All at a price far less than a Gibson SG!
This surprisingly affordable SG is even fitted with a pair of tailored Alnico humbucker pickups. These pups can handle everything from smooth and classic clean tones to all-out hard rock!
A fantastic Rock'n'Roll guitar that we highly recommend and one of the best beginner guitars from a big-name brand.
Available in more finishes here.
13. Ibanez Altstar ALT30 Electro-Acoustic Guitar
Last, but by no means least, we have the Ibanez Altstar ALT30 Electro-Acoustic Guitar pictured here in a Transparent Charcoal Burst. This is the perfect starting guitar for beginners who want a versatile axe and those who want the speed of an electric with the sound of an acoustic guitar.
This is perfect for those who want the best of both worlds when it comes to electric and acoustic guitars as you have a dreadnought shape with cutaway and lush tonewoods including Spruce top and Sapele back and sides. It's also fitted with an AEQ2UT preamp, so it's capable of some seriously fat tone when you plug it into an amp!
The budget-friendly price tag makes the Ibanez Altstar affordable for players of all ages and levels. Whilst the top quality construction and high-quality hardware ensures experienced players can rely on it for top sustain and tuning stability. All-in-all, one of the best value-for-money Ibanez guitars available today!
Shop the exclusive Altstar range here.
Shop a full range of guitars over at PMT Online today or call into your local PMT store to try out a full range for yourself and speak to our experts about our recommendations for the best guitar for beginners.
Prices correct as of and blog updated 2020-01-07