Whether you’re a beginner looking to start playing guitar or you’re looking to buy a guitar for the budding guitar player in your life, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what the best guitar for beginners is with so many different options available today. Don’t fret though; we’re here to help you decide what’s right for you or the beginning guitar player in your life!
First, let’s take a look at your options here. If you’re looking to plug in and rock out right away, we definitely recommend buying an electric guitar, but if you seek something that’s a little more traditional, you should start out buying an acoustic guitar. Taking that a step further, you then have a choice between classical nylon string acoustic guitars and steel string acoustic guitars. Nylon string acoustics tend to be a bit easier on the fingers in comparison to steel string guitars, and they produce a more mellow sound that’s great for playing fingerstyle. If you’re looking to strum chords, your best bet is to go with a steel string acoustic. You can also think about buying nylon string acoustic electric guitars and steel string acoustic electric guitars, which both give you the added flexibility of plugging your guitar into an acoustic amp, PA system, or interface once you’re ready to perform or record.
Whether you choose to start with an acoustic guitar or an electric, some of the leading guitar manufacturers also offer guitar starter packs that come with many of the accessories and extras you’d typically end up buying anyway—all at an incredible value.
Here are some of the best beginner guitars for 2018, hand-picked by our on-staff guitar experts.
1Best Beginner Acoustic Guitars 2018
Yamaha C40 PKG Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar Package
This pack is a great choice if you decide to start out with a nylon string acoustic. With the Yamaha C40 classical guitar package, not only do you get an affordable nylon string guitar with signature Yamaha quality and a comfortable, easy-to-play design, but you also get a gig bag that’s perfect for transporting to lessons or school, a tuner so that your guitar will always sound its best, and a guitar method book and CD so you can start mastering your guitar playing.
Yamaha GigMaker Standard Acoustic Guitar Package
With all the sound and quality you’d expect from a Yamaha guitar, this GigMaker Standard acoustic guitar pack really gives the budding steel string player a nice selection of essential accessories to go with this Yamaha-quality guitar. It comes complete with with a gig bag for easy transport, a guitar strap, a guitar tuner, an extra set of guitar strings, picks, and even an instructional DVD.
Carlo Robelli G600CE Acoustic Electric Guitar Package
The Carlo Robelli G600CE acoustic electric guitar package really gives you an outstanding value. It starts out with a cutaway dreadnought body, which allows for a comfortable reach to the higher frets, while the onboard electronics will let you plug in and be heard whenever you’re ready—all at a price that won’t break the bank. What’s more? It even comes with a padded gig bag with convenient pockets that’s perfect for storing your lesson books and guitar tabs, and the included guitar strap and guitar picks will have you strumming away in no time!
Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar
A great value in a steel string acoustic, the DR-100 is a great entry-level guitar with a powerful voice and famous Epiphone quality. With Epiphone’s fast-playing Slim Taper neck, quality tonewoods, great tone, and a price tag that virtually any budget can handle, the DR-100 is sure to satisfy.
Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic Electric Player Pack
This PR-4E Player Pack from Epiphone has so many features that make it a great choice for beginners looking for an acoustic electric guitar. For starters, the body of this guitar is thinner than many acoustics, and features a cutaway design that makes playing a breeze in the upper registers. This PR-4E Player Pack even comes with an acoustic amplifier so you can plug in and play whenever you want! The package is completed by a gig bag, a clip-on headstock tuner, a strap, picks, a guitar cable, and even comprehensive online lessons from eMedia so you can get to learning right away!
Michael Kelly Forte Port Acoustic Electric Guitar
This Michael Kelly Forte Port acoustic electric guitar really has it all: the looks, the sound, the playability, and the style… all at an unbelievably low price! It features a sleekly-designed cutaway body for enhanced comfort with a unique soundhole that’ll make it easier for you as the player to hear your sound. It also features Michael Kelly’s Zero-Endpin bridge design along with built-in, high-quality Fishman electronics for plug-in-and-play flexibility.
2Best Beginner Electric Guitars 2018
Epiphone SG Special VE Electric Guitar
The Epiphone SG Special VE will give beginning guitar players and budding rockers like you the opportunity to own the legendary SG guitar without emptying out your bank accounts! Found in the hands of guitar icons like Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Pete Townshend from The Who, this affordable-classic features a lightweight double-horned body, a fast-playing neck, great hardware, and a set of rock-ready humbucking pickups.
Epiphone Les Paul Special VE Electric Guitar
Taking the world-renowned Les Paul model that helped shape the sound of rock ‘n’ roll and putting it in a package that’s easily attainable at any budget, the Epiphone Les Paul Special VE is a solid instrument with tons of vibe. It sports that classic single-cut body, a pair of hard-rockin’ humbuckers, a speedy neck profile, and quality, rock-solid hardware.
Squier Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack
The Squier Stratocaster electric guitar pack is the ultimate solution if you’re looking to get everything you need in one place to start rockin’. Including the legendary Stratocaster that’s become the signature sound for countless guitar icons like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and more, this axe is ready to go whenever you are. Including a quality Squier Frontman 10G 10-watt amp with an aux input and a headphone jack, a gig bag for easy transport to jam sessions and lessons, an instrument cable, a guitar strap, and guitar picks, you really get everything you need for less than $250! Oh, and did I mention that it even comes with a FREE 3-month subscription to Fender’s beginner learning program, Fender Play?
Michael Kelly 1953 Electric Guitar
If you’re a beginner looking for something a little more elegant and versatile, yet still affordable, you HAVE to check out the Michael Kelly 1953 electric guitar. Inspired by one of the world’s first solid body guitars and offered with a beautiful flame maple top, vintage-style specs, and powerful, versatile electronics featuring single-coil pickups and MK’s Quad Mod, this 1953 is perfect if you’re looking for an axe with class, style, playability, and tone.
3Best Guitars for Kids 2018
Yamaha FG Jr Acoustic Guitar
This 3/4-sized FG Jr acoustic guitar is the perfect choice as a first steel string acoustic guitar for kids. It’s made with quality materials, plus it delivers all the great sound, playability, and style you’ve come to expect from a Yamaha.
Yamaha CGS103AII 3/4 Nylon String Acoustic
Also available in a slightly smaller 1/2 size model (CGS102AII), the CGS103AII is the go-to nylon string acoustic for kids that are just starting out. A favorite of guitar teachers due to its comfortable feel and great sound & quality, the CGS103AII is sure to keep the beginner guitarist in your life interested in playing!
Squier Mini Strat V2 Electric Guitar
Made for the budding rock star in your life, the Squier Mini Strat V2 takes a world-class design and scales it down to make it the perfect size for your future rocker! Made using quality materials and delivering great amplified tone, the Mini Strat is the ideal starting point if you’re looking for an electric guitar.