We all have to start somewhere, but we don't want to make a mistake in buying our first guitar. Here is all the info, for the popular gear you need, at a budget-friendly price.
Have you looked at Amazon or a super intimidating local guitar shop for a guitar? So many choices, so many options SOOO much money. You don't need to spend thousands on a basic and good guitar set up.
A few tips for buying your first guitar:
- Don't buy too much guitar. I often advise people, if you can easily afford the amp or guitar go for it. If you are just starting out, it is OK to not buy top-of-the-line equipment.
- Buy as much quality as you can afford. Don't buy low quality junk. You will always remember your firsts; your first car, your first kiss, and your first guitar. Make your first guitar at least a good memory. A low-quality guitar can make learning guitar harder and make for a bad experience.
- There is no such thing as a forever guitar. If you get into the guitar, you will buy more and better equipment that is more to your liking. Likely a LOT of guitar equipment. Once the bug bites you will spend your life chasing that special sound unique to you. Don't do that just yet, lean to play first.
So with those tips in mind let's take a look at what the 2020 Christmas Buying Guide has on the old list. Oh, and I did check it twice. 😉
2020 Christmas Buying Guide
Item 1: Acoustic Guitar
What you are looking for is a basic full size 38 inch to 41+ inch steel-string Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. If you are looking for a guitar for a younger player, look into a 3/4 size. I would recommend avoiding the classical or Spanish guitar for beginners and I would also avoid anything with nylon strings. Both have their place, but let's keep it simple to start. The most common body shape of acoustic guitars is the hourglass-shape called Dreadnought. Here are my recommendations for acoustic Guitar starter kits.
Best Choice Products 41in Full Size Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Set w/Case, Strap, Capo, Strings, Picks, Tuner
- COMPLETE ALL-IN-ONE ADULT GUITAR KIT: No need to purchase any additional accessories, this all-inclusive set comes with a carrying case, extra strings, a strap with a pick holder, a tuner, pickguard, cleaning cloth, capo, and pick set
- ULTIMATE BEGINNER & INTERMEDIATE GUITAR: This full-size guitar is perfect for beginners and experienced players alike, with a dreadnought shape that produces a pleasant, warm tone
- PROTECTIVE PADDED CASE: Take your guitar with you to school or on trips with a stylish and protective carrying case, designed with foam pads, a shock-proof rubber bottom, and front storage for your capo and extra picks
- COMFORTABLE DESIGN: This classic, acoustic guitar is designed with a 41in body for a comfortable fit, perfect for beginners and experienced players alike
- Bestseller on Amazon with a 4.5 star rating
- Full Size Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
- Spruce Top with Mahogany Back and Sides
- Mahogany Neck with Rosewood Fretboard and Bear Claw Inlays
- Black Pickguard
- Includes: ChromaCast 4 Pick Sampler, Nylon Acoustic Guitar Bag, Tuner, Nylon Guitar Strap, Upright Guitar Stand, & Online Lesson.
- Bestseller on Amazon with a 4.5 + star rating
Fender FA-115 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural Bundle with Fender Play Online Lessons, Gig Bag, Tuner, Strings, Strap, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
- Full-size dreadnought body for full and vibrant tone, suited for all styles of music
- Rosewood bridge with compensated synthetic bone saddle
- Laminated spruce top with X bracing
- 20-fret fingerboard with dot inlays
- Chrome hardware
- Bestseller on Amazon with a 4.5 + star rating
Note: I love these Fender Guitars. I own and play the brother to this guitar the Fender FA-125CE (My review of the guitar)
Item 2: Electric Guitar
The electric guitar can be a great place to get started with playing guitar. There are many debates in the guitar community on if you should start with an electric or an acoustic. The electric guitar has many points in its favor for playing ease; the strings tend to be easier to push down and fret and the neck is generally bit smaller diameter and is easier to get your hand around. I started on an electric guitar; at the time, it motivated me way more than an acoustic.
- ULTIMATE BEGINNER & INTERMEDIATE GUITAR: Your electric guitar set comes ready to play right out of the box and is custom designed and hand crafted to convert vibration to a electric sound for you to embellish with fun features
- COMPLETE ALL-IN-ONE GUITAR KIT: No need to purchase any additional accessories, this all-inclusive set comes with an amplifier and cable, a nylon carrying case, extra strings, a pick, whammy bar, electronic tuner, and a shoulder strap with an attached pick holder
- CUSTOM DESIGN: New model features a quality paint finish, custom black tuning pegs, and accented binding for a sleek, sophisticated electric guitar look
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR SOUND: Rock out and experiment with different styles and genres of music with adjustable sound that lets you play anything from blues to rock; the tremolo bridge system allows you to bend the pitch as you play, and the removable whammy bar produces tremolo effects
- QUALITY SOUND: Custom designed and hand crafted with a Rosewood fretboard and maple neck to convert vibrations to a rich, quintessential rock sound in your guitar with 3 single coil pickups, a tremolo bridge system and a removable, matching color whammy bar; OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 39"(L) x 10.5"(W) x 2"(H)
This is a great afortable starter kit for anyone that wants to try the electric guitar. It's got everything you need to get started.
Donner DST-102R Solid Body 39 Inch Full Size Electric Guitar Kit Red, Beginner Starter, with Amplifier, Bag, Capo, Strap, String, Tuner, Cable, Picks
- Two classic Single-coil pickups /One power 203S Humbcker pickup. S-S-H pickups perfect for a Texas blues/rock sound.
- [Maple neck with “C”shaped profile] Laurel Wood fingerboard, Canadian maple neck, Solid basswood body, S-S-H pickups, 5-Ways Pickup switch, 2-Volume & tone controls.
- [22 copper-nickel Frets] The electric guitar features a pick up selector switch, a volume knob, and two different tone knobs. 22 copper-nickelFrets with Fret position Marks on neck and top of fingerboard.
- [High quality accessories] Comes with Amplifier, Bag, Capo, Strap, String, Tuner, Cable and Pick as gifts.
- [Rechargeable Guitar MINI Amplifier] There are two tone channels (Clean/Distortion). You can get different tones by adjusting GAIN and TONE, which is more suitable for playing different styles of music. Easy Control & Little Size & Tube Sound.
Mix and Match to make your own starter kit
IF you are looking for a few steps up from the basic starter kit, you will pay a bit more, but you will get a LOT more.
- Fender Squier series is just so hard to beat for value for money. There is a good chance you have seen one of these played live in a local venue.
- FireFly guitars have been making a name for themselves as a really good guitar for an unbelievably low price. They don't stay in stock for long.
- Yamaha Pacifica What beginners list would be complete without this guitar? This same model has been the starter guitar for many, guitarists for over 20 years.
- Fender Mustang LT-25 is great for bedroom practicing, it is a digital modeling amp and can reproduce almost any famous guitar sound easy.
- BOSS Katana is the standard for high-end start to pro value guitar amp. It is currently what I am using as my primary amp. It is good.
- Positive Grid Spark is a super interesting swiss-army knife amp and drum machine and guitar teacher and band in a box amp. It is worth checking out.
Regardless of if you buy the most cost-effective or the most expensive items on this page, you will not go wrong. All of these items are good options for the price range.
Oh, and sign-up for some lessons, be it video-based learning or with a live instructor. There are also many books that can help you along the way.
Something I just learned, you can not only get free shipping on your Amazon orders with Amazon Prime, but Prime Vidoe (free with Amazon Prime) has guitar lessons. Check out Amazon Prime.
Note: All links on this page use Amazon affiliate links. You pay the normal price, but I will make a small commission on the purchase.
Don't forget the trimmings, er, ah I mean the needed extras: