Most guitar learners choose acoustic guitars as their beginner guitars because of the relative cheap prices and portability (don’t need amps). Another important reason is that a good acoustic guitar makes amazing mellow sound which most electric guitars can not offer. Learning guitar is enjoyable, challenging and sometimes frustrating. By choosing the proper beginner acoustic guitar, you can make your learning journey much easier and happier.However, acoustic guitars are harder for beginners to learn than electric guitars. The reason is that action of acoustic guitar is higher than electric guitar and learners must use more finger strength to press down strings to get the right tone. Other reasons are the thicker strings and wider fretboard.
The followings are some tips on choosing a good beginner acoustic guitar.
String is a very important part of guitar, both for acoustic and electric. You don’t need to buy strings when you buy your first new guitar because every new guitar for sales is equipped with strings by the makers. But as you play or practice your new guitar for months, the strings become old and the sound become darker. At that time, you must change your strings. If you change strings then you’d better to change them all at one time. Good strings make good sound and bad or old strings make the sound bad and frustrating. Two things must be mentioned about strings of beginner acoustic guitar.
Types of acoustic guitar strings: There are two types of acoustic guitar strings: steel and nylon. The steel string acoustic guitars are usually used for rhythm strumming in music style such as Rock, Country, Blue and some Jazz. Nylon string guitars can be break down into two groups: Classical and Flamenco. Again, it is up to you to choose steel or nylon string guitar based on what kind of music style you like the most. If you are playing steel string guitar, don’t use nylon strings. If you are learning classical guitar, don’t use steel strings.
Gauge of acoustic guitar strings:The gauge of a string is basically the thickness of the string. In general, thicker guitar strings generate better and louder sound while thinner strings are easy for beginners to play. You must put more press on the thicker strings make the accurate tone. Personally, I recommend medium(11-48/49) gauge are the best for acoustic guitar learners. You need to balance the sound effect and the easiness to learn.
Tonewood is the wood used to make the guitar. Acoustic guitar is mainly made of wood and the wood types are very important to the sound quality of the guitar. The most used tonewoods like Spruces and Cyders are used in the top of acoustic guitar. Some harder tonewood are used to the side, neck, fretboard etc. The top of acoustic guitars can be made of different types of wood and each wood type such as solid wood or laminate has various impacts on the sound tone of the acoustic guitars.In most case,a solid top guitar is better than a laminate top guitar. So buy a solid top acoustic guitar as your beginner guitar.
For adult learners, dreadnought is great. Dreadnought is smaller than jumbo but still full size. For younger children, 1/2 or 3/4 size is good options. The wrong size makes it hard for beginners to get their arm around and they have to stretch more to reach the frets and strings.
Finally, keep in mind that do not choose the too cheap guitars.Most of them have a low quality laminated top. The low quality sound will frustrate you in your learning process.