Learning to play the acoustic guitar is perhaps one of the most rewarding things that you can do as a musician. There is not a famous guitar player alive that has not gone through years of practice to reach their current status. Whether it is Eric Clapton, Slash, Jack White, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Garth Brooks (wait, one isn’t like the others!), the one thing they all have in common is their start with an acoustic guitar. While these musicians made it look easy on stage, there were thousands of hours of hard work and practice that went into making them the musicians they ultimately became.
Gear-Vault was built, in part, to help aspiring guitar players reach their goals by providing honest reviews and valuable information that can help the beginning guitar player reach the next level. As we are not affiliated with any particular make or model of guitars, we feel we can give an honest upfront view of finding the best acoustic guitar to meet your goals learning how to play the guitar. Before we get into the debate of acoustic vs. electric guitars, we would like to add that each guitarist must find the right style and brand of guitar to fit their own particular needs, and we always advocate going to your local mom-and-pops guitar store to test every instrument you can. What I may like or what Eddie Van Halen may like, may not be useful for you. With that being said, let’s look into the Electric vs. Acoustic Guitar Debate before we go further into the guitars that we like for a newcomer guitarist just starting out and the reasons why we suggest each type of guitar for beginners.
Electric vs. Acoustic Guitars
One thing that I often get asked as a guitar teacher is: “What is better acoustic vs. electric guitars?” While I currently own several electric guitars and several acoustic guitars, I think that learning on an acoustic guitar is far superior. Here is a list of reasons why I think that this is true in the electric vs. acoustic debate.
Acoustic is Harder to Learn
The amplification of an electric guitar can sometimes make up for mistakes that are made by a beginning guitar player. Many guitarists will be able to learn easily and quickly from an electric guitar but won’t develop an overall “feel” for the guitar like they would with an acoustic version.
Acoustic Has Larger Strings – Finger Strength
The larger strings in an acoustic guitar force people to develop the necessary muscle memory in their fingers, wrists, and knuckles that is not necessary with skinnier electric guitar strings. Developing these “guitar fingers” is an absolute necessity if you plan to ever play in a band or join a group as you will be able to feel your way through new songs and chords that you would never be able to when learning strictly from skinny strings.
Acoustic is Cheaper, Budget Friendly
Buying a whole electric setup for the beginner can run triple to quadruple what you would pay for a quality wooden guitar. For example, if you were looking to invest $400 into a guitar you could get a very high-quality acoustic and a ton of music to work with or you can get a mediocre electric guitar with an OK amplifier. Being cheaper is a huge plus for teens and other young people learning the guitar.
You Can Play Acoustic Guitar at Home
There is nothing worse than a beginning guitar player with a super loud amplifier in a parent’s home. While once you learn the ropes of playing the guitar you will want to practice somewhere where no one will care, most beginner guitarists learn in their bedroom or basement and this is where acoustic can be tolerated while a loud electric system can be problematic, if not annoying, to parents.
The Legends Started with Acoustic
If you took a poll of the greatest guitar players of all-time, it is guaranteed that the huge majority of them started on an acoustic guitar. The plain facts are that learning to play acoustic can make the electric guitar seem easy, while those who start with electric will often have trouble learning to adjust to an acoustic version. Acoustic helps overcome diversity.
Finding the Best Acoustic Guitar to Meet Your Needs
When testing out acoustic guitars, it is not hard for the average guitar player to have some friends in the music business. With over 30 years of playing guitars, I have a core of 4-6 guys that I jam with on a regular basis that will give honest reviews on guitars. When something doesn’t work right, they are the first ones to let me know and there are no qualms about telling the truth on a guitar. Between us all I had them test out as many acoustic models as we could over a two week time period and give us an overall review. Here are the results.
Top Choice – Best Acoustic Guitar Overall
Fender CD-60 Acoustic Guitar
While one can spend thousands of dollars on custom made Gibson or Martin acoustic guitar, the average aspiring guitar player can get by with only spending a few hundred dollars. When choosing among guitars in this price range we knew that Fender would be our choice, the question is what model we would choose among the many great acoustic guitars that they offer. For the best acoustic guitar for the beginner, we chose the Fender CD-60 Acoustic Guitar. Let’s look a little further into this great model.
When first picking up the Fender CD-60 it is one of those guitars that just feels right in your hands. The weight, the feel and the strings make it feel like a guitar that costs several times its current price range of just under $250. I originally got turned on by this guitar in the spring of last year and ever since it has been my “go-to” acoustic guitar. Whether you are strumming around by yourself on the porch or jamming with some friends or bandmates the CD-60 is our choice for the best acoustic guitar that we have used.
Beginner’s Luck – Our Favorite Acoustic Guitar for Beginner’s
Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
As a guitar player of over 30 years, I grew up in the “heyday” of electric guitars which was the 1970s. At this time electric guitars were far more popular than acoustic guitars, as artists from this time era dominated the airwaves of local radio stations. While these guitars are still very popular shows such as MTV’s “unplugged” and others have brought back the popularity of the old fashioned acoustic guitar. With this being said, more and more beginner’s guitars are being produced each year and the prices are very reasonable when compared to their electric counterpart.
As for our choice for the favorite guitar for beginners, we chose the Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar. As experienced musicians, it is sometimes hard to put ourselves back into the shoes of a beginner guitar player and rate what the best type of guitar would be to choose. We narrowed it down to a few things which were feeling, sound and reasonably priced. Guitar just like many other hobbies can get expensive once you get into it by spending a lot of money on accessories. For a beginner, we like to go back to our roots and try to think of the guitars we had growing up and how much we loved those $10-20 guitars just as much as an expensive Fender or Gibson electric guitar.
We feel that the Jasmine S35 is a solid beginner guitar and at a price tag of under $100 is something that could easily be resold for a decent price if one does not want to continue their guitar playing hobby after a few months.
The Roadie – Best Travel Guitar
Washburn R010TR Rover Steel String Travel Guitar
Being a beginner guitarist can be overwhelming, to say the least. You can research guitar reviews online for days and never know which way to go. As a seasoned guitar player, I have a set of guitars that I keep at home to practice and ones that I take on the road with me when I travel. Needless to say, my home guitars are my higher-priced models as the wear and tear of traveling and carrying guitars can wear down an acoustic guitar if not cared for properly.
When choosing my favorite travel guitar I like to choose a model that has durability in mind and one that I don’t mind sending through an airport conveyor belt without fear of it breaking. For my choice on the best travel guitar is the Washburn R010TR Rover Steel String Travel Guitar.
Doing a road gig last summer my buddy Bob Dobalina busted this guitar out when we were unpacking in our hotel room in Tulsa, OK. He told me that he had bought the Washburn Travel Guitar a year or so ago and never leaves home without it. Over the next few days, Bobby let me play this and I was hooked. As far as sturdiness and durability go, this is perhaps the best road guitar that I have found yet. It’s very light and compact and can easily be stored in a small trunk or back seat. The neck on this guitar is what really drew me in as it has the look and feel of a much more expensive guitar. What’s great about this guitar is when you order it online it comes with a nice padded guitar case so that you can take it whenever you hit the road.
Overall our goal at Gear-Vault is exactly what our site states and that is helping others with their guitars. I hope you will enjoy this article on finding the best acoustic guitar to fit your particular needs and read our other informational based articles to help you get your acoustic fix. If you would like to learn more about us, please visit our about us page by clicking here or if you would like to send us a line you can find us at our contact us page. For more, read: Why chose Acoustic Guitar over an Electric Guitar?