In this article, we will focus on finding the best acoustic guitars for you and we will break down every feature so you can clearly understand what you are buying. Music is art. It is the art of expressing your thoughts, ideas, emotions, and feelings with rhythm and melody.
Learning to play an instrument can be a great hobby, especially if you love playing music. One of the most respected and reputable music instruments is the guitar. If you’re just starting out, finding the proper guitar for you might sound like a hard task because there are guitars with different body shapes, sizes, forms, types, and materials. If you are on a budget, you can check out our article on the best acoustic guitars under $200.
We went through countless models and spent hundreds of hours researching the best acoustic guitar brands and models while preparing this article with. We did this with the aim for you to be full of knowledge when you finish reading this buying guide.
A Quick Look At The Best Acoustic Guitars
The Top 15 Best Acoustic Guitars For This Year
15. Taylor 214ce Grand Auditorium
Taylor is known for manufacturing some extra solid acoustic guitars, and there is generally the safest choice in the market when it comes to acoustic guitars. Its 200 Deluxe series has been always one of the best high-end instruments, and the 214ce DLX Grand Auditorium we are going to talk about today is one of the best acoustic guitars in the market.
This is a very well constructed guitar, with premium parts and some great tonewood selection, it is also very ergonomic and easy to play on, and overall I can’t find any negative about this guitar, except its price which is a little steep. Let’s take a closer look.
Right from the get-go, you will notice that this acoustic guitar is excellent, and if you know the standard model of the 200 series. However, it still rocks the Taylor traditional Grand Auditorium body size as its name implies and you will also see the Venetian cutaway that gives you easy access to the higher frets.
The 214ce from Taylor has a solid sitka spruce top , and on the back and sides, you will see the laminated rosewood, which gives a premium feel to this guitar. The neck of this guitar has the trademark Taylor body shape, that boasts high-playability and is built out of Sapele with a satin finish. On top of it, you will also see the ebony fretboard with 20 frets, which has small diamond inlays on it. The whole guitar has a striking glossy finish with the beautiful single-ring rosette. You can buy this acoustic guitar in either natural finish or the vintage-tinted sunburst, the former being the more affordable option of the bunch.
Like a proper electro-acoustic guitar, the Taylor 214ce Grand Auditorium has the company’s high-end Expression System 2 electronics, and on top of that, it also rocks behind-the-saddle pickup and some controls up there, which include the volume bass and treble dials, which aren’t a lot but enough to get the job done.
The company has used homegrown parts only in this acoustic guitar, as we see the manufacturers sealed nickel tuners, the NuBone nut, a Micarta saddle, and an ebony bridge, all of these come as a premium choice and will take the acoustics of this guitar to another level.
Because this guitar has a solid sitka spruce top, It does not disappoint when it comes to sound and performance. This acoustic guitar delivers, as it provided some rich and balanced tones which works for many different playing styles. The articulation was amazing, and the rosewood added its qualities despite being laminated. An extremely versatile acoustic guitar capable of being played in any style.
14. Yamaha APX600
In the recent years, the Japanese music giant Yamaha has designed and manufactured tons of acoustic models that have delivered excellent value for their affordable price and I can comfortably say that most of the models are just perfect and you can’t really go wrong with any of its acoustic guitars, and to be precise neither of its instruments.
The Yamaha APX600 is one of its most popular guitars delivering excellent value for its affordable price, and it has built a reputation for itself as one of the best guitars for those just starting out, and I couldn’t argue with the claim since I could recommend this to every player that is just starting out. It is perfect for electric guitarists who want to give acoustic a try, great tones and playability shine on this guitar. This means that you can use this guitar to play any style of music you like.
If you have followed Yamaha, you know that this is the predecessor of the excellent APX500III, and it would be intuitive for Yamaha to opt for the same body for the new model, however, the manufacturer has made a gamble and it has hit the jackpot with the new updates. For example, know you will find a thin body with a familiar body shape with a dreadnought tonewood to give a nice experience and it now has a 25-inch scale with a reduced string spacing to deliver better playability.
On the top of the guitar, you will find spruce, and on the back and sides, you will spot the three-ply nato. The neck is also made from a satin-finished nato, which was pretty good in my opinion, and on top of it, you will find the 22 fret rosewood fretboard that is pretty accessible thanks to its nice cutaway.
It comes in various colors including Black, Natural and White, all of which are excellent and the guitar overall is one of the best made for newbies, the aesthetics are also on point with inlay dots and genuine abalone soundhole rosette.
The Yamaha APX600 is an electro-acoustic guitar designed by Yamaha’s homegrown piezo pickup system, working with two AA batteries preamp that offers some nice flexibility.
In terms of controls you will spot the volume knob, separate mid-range frequency slider, and 3-band equalizer controls, the onboard digital tuner is a nice bonus as well. The rest of the hardware is perfect as well, with the die-cast tuners, and a rosewood bridge. Definitely a great option to play any style of music you want.
13. Rogue RA-090
It would be surprising to see a super-affordable acoustic guitar in this list, however, I have decided to include this excellent instrument made by Rogue, the RA-090. I can comfortably say that most affordable acoustic guitars are trash, but if you look close enough, and make your research you can find a perfect model that will fit your needs such as the Rogue RA-090.
Despite being on a budget price range, the Rogue RA-090 has some good looks, amazing construction, solid parts, and some durability to go along with it. It is a pretty solid guitar that you will make some good progress while learning, and it can also hold itself as a good secondary acoustic guitar.
Whatever the case the Rogue RA-090 is a super solid tool that will satisfy your needs.
The Rogue RA-090 impressed me right from the first look, maybe because I didn’t expect much when I saw the price of this guitar. Right out of the package I saw that this had some good looks, and it wasn’t hideous like most of the budget acoustics in the market. I would happily add it to my mancave collection as it looks good, super solid steel-stringed guitar. However, it sacrifices a little on the tonewood department as we will see in a few moments.
This acoustic guitar has a pretty large dreadnought size, the Rogue RA-090 has a complete laminated whitewood construction, that comes with a glossy finish and a black pickguard on the front which elevates the aesthetics of this guitar. Without forgetting, I should mention that the Rogue RA-090 is available in multiple colors including Black, Mahogany, Natural, and Sunburst.
The neck is attached at about the 14th fret and is made out of solid nato, and on top of it you will spot the maple fretboard with 20 playable frets, but I found the lack of the cutaway a little disappointing, and it denied clear access to the higher frets.
About the design and construction, I can comfortably say that it has nothing that can be considered premium, but I see that with a string change and set-up out of the box the tone can be expanded.
In terms of hardware, this guitar has a pretty mediocre sealed nickel tuner, a maple bridge, stock steel strings which are a little hard on the hands, and a plastic nut and saddle, but for the price range it is excellent.
12. Taylor 114ce
Next up we have another Taylor model, this time an amazing one that is capable of delivering some great tones and amazing playability, without going to the high-end price range, since this acoustic guitar has some great affordability, the 114ce. Don’t let the price put you down because it really is a very high quality guitar.
This is a flagship model of the company’s acoustic line and it comes as a great choice for those that want a little upgrade from the company’s Baby and Academy series which are considered entry-level models, and the Taylor 114ce truly delivers the proper Taylor experience without burning a hole in your pocket.
This acoustic guitar boasts solid tonewoods, amazing craftsmanship, perfect looks, amazing playability, and an adequate Taylor versatility.
In the design and aesthetic department, the Taylor 114ce has the contemporary Grand Auditorium body shape that is a fan favorite and has a 25.5-inch scale length, and it comes off as one of the best all-rounders in the market, and you will feel it from the first strum. In addition to the Grand Auditorium body shape, it also has a small Venetian cutaway that fits perfectly with the overall design and aesthetics, plus on top of all that, it enhances the playability and gives access to higher-notes of the fretboard.
The Taylor 114ce has a body that is crafted from solid sitka spruce on the top, with solid wood, and a forward shifted bracing pattern, going hand to hand with the matte varnished finish like a proper flagship Taylor. Solid wood is really high quality, and i own a few guitars that are made out of solid wood.
On the back and sides, you will spot walnut, which is not the most popular choice but it delivered some good tones despite being laminated. It has a perfect Sapele neck which is extremely slim and which has a very smooth satin finish, making it extremely playable when combined with the 20-fret ebony fretboard up top.
Overall the construction of this guitar is perfect and everything feels right at home, and I don’t have anything but praise for this guitar, one of the best premium choices in the market.
To go along with its looks and perfect build, the Taylor 114ce has perfect hardware as well, as it is equipped with the homegrown, Expression System 2 that comes with a behind-the-saddle pickup, with three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors that work to perfection.
It also has a built-in preamp that has EQ controls and the other part of the hardware is also very solid and you can’t really go wrong with this perfect guitar. The solid sitka spruce top combined with the other high quality materials on this guitar makes it one of my favorites.
Definitely one of the guitars I’ve had the most fun playing and I would pick it any time of the day.
11. Yamaha FG830
Its acoustic models are one of the best in the market, and they haven’t lost their charm, and their FG line is the most sold acoustic guitar series in history, and the company is still continuing to produce it since the 60s, and of course it has received plenty of upgrades throughout the history and we will see the FG830 today which is one of the most versatile options in the market.
Let’s take a closer look at this exceptional guitar that will be by your side for a long time.
The Yamaha FG830 comes in the standard dreadnought body shape which is decent and also one of the most popular choices in the market, and it really looks good and nothing is to complain about the design of this guitar. It has a solid sitka spruce top which is a failsafe choice, but on the back and sides, you have rosewood, which makes this guitar look more than it is worth.
The neck has a very slim profile making the whole thing very easy to carry and playing it feels great. It is extremely smooth overall and delivers some great playability. Overall I have nothing to complain about the construction of this guitar, and aesthetically it looks pretty good as well, and without forgetting I should state that it comes available in different paint jobs, including Natural, Autumn Burst, and the classic Tobacco Sunburst.
To go along with the rosewood fingerboard, the Yamaha FG830 has great die-cast tuners and a nice rosewood bridge, which is pretty good. The bracing pattern is also very good and it works properly as it should.
This affordable and entry-level acoustic guitar delivers sound for ages. Right from the first strum, I saw that this excellent instrument is destined for bigger things and even the sustain of this guitar is better than most entry-level guitars you will find in the market. If you are looking for an affordable entry-level acoustic guitar that is capable of performing, the Yamaha FG830 checks all the needed boxes. Definitely deserves its spot in this list of the best acoustic guitars.
10. Yamaha FG840
If you’re just starting out and this is the first time you’re buying a guitar, you just can’t go wrong with the Yamaha FG840. It’s often considered as one of the best acoustic guitars for those that have never played the guitar before.
People often buy musical instruments to play them for a month or so, and then forget about them. That’s why, instead of spending a large amount of money on a guitar, you should first get a guitar that is affordable and has a lot of things to offer for those that have not played a guitar before.
One of the most popular options for that is the Yamaha FG840. It looks great and is made of strong materials that ensures a long life for the guitar. The guitar itself has an attractive western body, which is a common thing on most of the best Yamaha Guitars.
The FG840 comes with a solid spruce top which is a common material used for bodies. What’s interesting about guitars with solid spruce top is that they get better with age, which means that the longer you use it, the better it will perform. The body and the sides are made of maple, whereas the fingerboard & the bridge is purely made of Rosewood.
The sound that comes from this guitar is great. Considering the price, this guitar has crisp highs, great mids and has more than enough bass to satisfy even the most demanding users.
Wooden things get damaged very easily, but this isn’t the case with this product. Even though it’s pretty cheap compared to some other models out there, Yamaha managed to make a guitar that is very solid and durable without making the price skyrocket, so that’s a great thing.
Overall, I would say that this guitar is definitely one of the best out there, especially if you are looking for a guitar that you will play during your free time. This might not be a great option for people that want to seriously learn about them, but it’s great for playing it here and there. Definitely one of the best acoustic guitars out there. For more information, read our Yamaha FG840 review.
9. Cordoba C9 CD/MH
This guitar has a solid Canadian cedar top, solid mahogany back and sides, rosewood fingerboard, and an Indian Rosewood bridge. If you paid attention earlier when we talked about the materials, you will know that these materials are very strong and durable.
Considering the materials used to construct this instrument, it managed to be a pretty lightweight guitar. That’s a great thing because this means that it’s very easy to handle and take it with you wherever you go.
This guitar makes a very round and warm sound that has enough power to satisfy even the most demanding listeners.
What I like the most about this guitar is that you can use it for playing it at home for fun or even take it to concerts. It can be considered as a multi-purpose guitar that can be a great fit for any event or any occasion.
Overall, I would say that this guitar is a great option for people that want to learn to play the guitar and also move to play it professionally in the future because it’s a perfect fit for both students and professional players, similar to the Epiphone guitars. If you got your eye on this guitar, I recommend you read the full Cordoba C9 Review.
8. Taylor GS Mini
The GS Mini has been created with travelers in mind. Even though it didn’t make it to our best travel acoustic guitars list, it’s hard to beat. It’s a very portable option which you can take with you wherever you go. Since it is smaller than average guitars, you can take it with you on a plane, on a hike or on a car ride, making it a great travel guitar. Portability is a very important factor when it comes to guitars, so Taylor gets a big thumbs up in that field.
With the Taylor GS Mini acoustic guitar, you definitely get what you pay for. It has a solid sitka spruce top, Sapele back and sides and an ebony fretboard. This is very important because guitars with these materials are usually more expensive, and I think that Taylor did a great job with this particular model.
It has a pretty loud sound which sounds nice. Because it’s a small option, we were amazed at how loud it was. I was completely shocked and it continues to stun me every time I play it.
The tone itself is bright & warm. Professional players do not prefer mini guitars, because they usually lack bass but this isn’t the case with the GS mini. I can call myself a professional player, and i can say that i love the style of this guitar.
The GS mini can also be considered as a great acoustic guitar for kids aged between 13 and 16. Teens of that age usually find full-sized guitars hard to play, so the proportions of the GS Mini are perfect for them.
Overall, I would recommend this guitar to everyone that is looking for a smaller instrument that can output a large volume and doesn’t cost too much, and that is one of the main reasons why this guitar is on our best Taylor guitars list. Definitely a quality product. Read our full Taylor GS Mini review here.
7. Seagull S6
As it may be already well known, Godin is the brains behind most of the brands such as Art & Lutherie, Normans, La Patrie and many more other brands that have gathered numerous awards in the music making industry. It is also a guitar that can be commonly found on best seagull guitar lists over the web.
Yet, out of all of Godin’s designs, probably the most groundbreaking is the Seagull S6.
Safe to say that there is not much to look at when your eyes meet this guitar and that’s because Seagull S6 is highly known in that manner that the quality sound it produces makes you overlook its aesthetics.
There’s nothing truly extraordinary about it, there’s no sumptuous inlay, no cutaway and the design is mainly traditional.
But, let that not carry you away from the fact that Seagull S6 has a masterfully crafted construction which boosts the guitar’s playability to convey the smoothest quality and a serene sound.
Part of what makes this a quality and a durable guitar is the material that Seagull Guitars use. Instead of the usual laminate spruce tops, you find on most of the traditional guitars, Seagull S6 uses a well-built cedar top. It is common in the guitar-making sphere that the guitar face is one of the main factors in creating the tone of a guitar, so this well-constructed wood top is a difference-maker. Tonally, the S6 conveys a maturity far beyond its years. This is the cedar top for you.
In conclusion, this guitar is sufficiently good for newbies, but versatile enough and satisfying for veterans. Its sound is delightful and the design has a lustrous feel to it. In our detailed review of the Seagull S6, we take a look at its body parts too, so make sure you read that too!
6. Fender FA-100
Speaking of entry-level guitars for people who are just starting to learn about guitars you have to look no further than the craftsmanship products of the most affirming American manufacturer Fender. With a century of experience in the guitar making business, you can be assured to buy a carefully crafted guitar from Fender, because they almost never disappoint when it comes to sound quality and is very affordable.
When it comes to Fender FA-100 you can see without a doubt that this guitar was created specifically for the people who are just grasping the concept of what it means to play an instrument and with the crisp sound quality it provides, it gives you a simpler way of understanding the instrument and helps you improve your skills rapidly.
Its simplicity allows Fender FA-100 to convey a crisp clear vibrant sound and its dreadnought body has a clean, unchallenging feel, making it a great fender acoustic guitar for starters.
FA-100 has a laminated spruce top, the back & sides are made of basswood which helps the instrument maintain the affordable cost. You can see why Fender FA-100 is suggested by many professional guitar teachers as a first guitar, because its quality is hard to beat at this price.
Fender FA-100 is easy to use and its size provides you with the opportunity to take it with you on a road trip and play at some events such as camping with friends, or maybe just playing at a family event, and the sound it provides assures you with the confidence you need to play at a party over your friends house. The Fender FA-100 also earned its spot on our best fender guitars list.
5. Taylor 110e
If you have ever encountered someone playing on Taylor guitars or have had the chance yourself to play on a Taylor guitar, you know you were witnessing a premium high-quality sound and a dreadnought long-lasting build. Its unique sound, and design elements classify this guitar as an excellent choice for both intermediate, and professional players as well, but it can also be fun for just about anyone at any level.
If you’re fairly new to the Taylor 110e then this guitar would definitely be the choice for you, it is a well rounded acoustic guitar with awesome sound quality and a perfect projection of tonality.
Thankful to the size it has, you can take this fine piece of craft with you just about anywhere without taking overwhelmingly much space.
Even though their life span may not be at the mid-range, its tonewood maturity will improve similarly with the sound quality at which it’s projected.
The Taylor 110e guitar has a beautiful well-crafted solid sitka spruce top with layered walnut back and sides, it has a Sapele neck and ebony fingerboard.
Solid sitka spruce is a dense wood that is fairly strong, providing the kind of vibration which makes room for the sound to produce such great quality.
The Taylor 110e provides you with an inbuilt pickup, the “e” in the name stands for the fact that you can set it up with electronics, which means you can use it plugged in or unplugged. It has an all-round accommodating pickup system. This acoustic guitar being a dreadnought is mostly suitable for flat-picking and strumming, but it also resonates well with finger-picking too if that’s your approach. It’s an amazing acoustic guitar overall, and i’d recommend you read our full review on the Taylor 110e.
4. Martin D-18
When you’re listing some of the best dreadnoughts you cannot miss out on the “Martin D-18” the benchmark for all dreads. The Martin D-18 dreadnought has helped exemplify what an acoustic guitar can and should be, and there’s no surprise to why this model is the most sought-after acoustic guitar design in the world.
With a powerful dreadnought design and a great sounding combo of solid sicka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides, a smooth fingerboard, a bone nut and a saddle for improved intonation you’re bound to find yourself entertained with this guitar for a long-lasting period of time.
To conclude the purpose of firm solid mahogany back and sides further enhances this dreadnought’s precise, distinct treble and a warm, middling bass.
Although Martin D-16 is known for its great tonality, a well built and stable design this acoustic guitar offers many other characteristics that are bound to please the player. Here you can witness Martin’s typically high standard touch of presentation correspond to, if not surpassed.
Overall, I honestly love the sound that comes out from this acoustic guitar, and I would recommend it to everyone that is looking to buy a guitar that sounds and performs great. It has the style, the sound, the build quality and everything else. In our Martin D-18 Review, we called this guitar the king of acoustic guitars, so I’d say that it’s definitely one of the best acoustic guitars out there.
3. Martin D-16RGT
Acoustic guitars and hidden gems. When you come across the Martin D-16 RGT you know you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem in the Martin guitars lineup. The D-16RGT even though it features similar installations to the standard series Martin D-28, this gem delivers another sense of the tone with significant value. On the full review of Martin D-16RGT, we made sure to mention all of its pros and cons.
Featuring a solid sitka spruce top and east indian rosewood back and sides the Martin D16-RGT offers a glossy finish while the back and sides are complimented with satin. Furthermore, the neck is polished with solid Spanish Cedar.
Martin uses wood to craft the body of the dreadnought and its qualitative craftsmanship shows.
Even though the sound of the Martin D-16 RGT has been continuously compared to the amazing Martin D-28, with the D-16RGT you’ll get a richer hurling bass, typical to the Martin guitars lineup.
Nevertheless, Martin D-16RGT produces a well-balanced and fine distinction than its standard Martin guitars cousins provide.
This easy-to-play acoustic guitar features an altered low neck profile. The Martin D-16 RGT even though in the Martin acoustic guitar lineup falls in the category of mid-range acoustics guitars, in comparison to other acoustic guitars this appears to be far more superior thanks to its impeccable construction and the overall feel which gives you a great dose of stylishness and everlasting elegance.
Overall, this gem by Martin is best known for its design qualities and the everlasting life span, if you need a stable guitar that can provide you with quality sound and stylish look, then the Martin D-16 will fulfill that purpose.
2. Yamaha FG800
Being the best selling acoustic guitar of all times Yamaha FG800 provides you with the best option If you’re looking for well-balanced guitar who provides a high-quality sound with a well solid build which won’t take lots of money off the bank balance for the training sessions you’re about to take, then you’ve found your sure bang for your acoustic guitar.
You will find with Yamaha FG800 acoustic guitar that it is easily adaptable for newbies and experienced players alike. The headstock is equipped with a set of sealed tuners that help the guitar stay in tune, the urea nut and saddle go along with a standard rosewood bridge at the bottom.
The FG800 offers one of the greatest sounds you can witness on a budget acoustic. It’s blasting and has a very rich and vibrant sound which is a result of the dreadnought body shape.
Its tone is lighter but nonetheless, it provides you with very sweet and warm color.
The benefit of having a robust dreadnought is that it gives the guitar a powerful sound to them. the Yamaha FG800 stands out compared to any other dreadnoughts you’ll find in this a price range. While the sound it produces is not as powerful as most of the acoustic guitars that fall in the expensive price range, anyone who’s a starter should be grateful to have access in this sort of quality sound without breaking its bank.
1. Martin D-28
We saved the best for last. The looks, the sound, the quality of the woods used to construct this guitar are all perfect. This guitar is definitely one of the best acoustic guitars out there in every aspect and can be easily compared with some of the best Gibson guitars.
I don’t even want to talk about the workmanship on this guitar because there is literally nothing to criticize it about, and I hate that. Everything about it perfect. For the back and sides of the D-28 they used East Indian Rosewood and for the top they used the traditional solid sitka spruce top, meaning the guitar is very well built.
It’s pretty hard to describe the tone of the D-28. Let’s do it like this – think of the best guitars you played in your life, and mix them all into one. That’s what you will get with the Martin D-28. The balance of the sound is great and the overall sound that comes out of it is very pleasing.
Quality things come at a high price, and that is also the case with this guitar. It’s pretty expensive compared to some other models we talked about in this list, but I think that every penny is worth it. I wouldn’t recommend this guitar to beginners, because it’s way more than what they can handle. If you’ve been playing your guitar for a while and you are looking for an upgrade, then this is the perfect option for you.
If you decide to go with this option, you won’t have to look for any new acoustic guitars ever, because this acoustic guitar can basically do it all. This acoustic guitar is one of our all-time favorites, and if you’re a frequent browser of our website, you will know that we mentioned the Martin D-28 in almost all of our top lists, such as the best martin guitars one.
Martin is known to be all about quality, so picking any guitar on the martin acoustic guitar lineup can be a good choice and you won’t regret it. Playing a martin guitar is definitely one of the best feelings a guitarist can get, that’s why I always recommend people to get a high quality instrument from Martin.
It’s one of the few acoustic guitars that doesn’t have any cons (as we mentioned in our Martin D-28 Review), and that makes it a great pick if you have the money for it.
What should you look for when buying a guitar?
Before we jump into the list about the top acoustic guitars, I want to take a moment to inform you about what you should look for when buying an acoustic guitar. The guitar is made of several parts, with the most important ones being the Headstock, The Fingerboard, Nut, Neck, Body, Waist, Tuning Peg, Bridge & Saddle. Each of those parts play an important role in the outcome of the sound, so you need to understand which materials and types are the best before deciding.
The build quality of a guitar is the most important thing you should look for. If the build quality of a guitar is poor then it won’t last long. Popular brands such as Martin, Taylor and Fender guitars usually have a great build quality on all of their products, so I’d highly recommend any of their guitars if you want a guitar with a great build quality.
The most common guitars out there have solid spruce materials, mostly solid spruce tops. I personally like them, but when compared to guitars with mahogany back and sides, solid spruce guitars are usually less durable, so you should keep that in mind.
The Body & The Neck Of The Guitar
One of the most important parts of an acoustic guitar is definitely the body and the neck, and that’s one of the things you should focus the most on during your decision process because the build quality is dependent on that.
I’ve owned a lot of different guitars during the years, and i’ve had guitars that have a mahogany neck , maple nack, rosewood neck etc. Mahogany neck guitars are a bit lighter than other materials, and that’s why most travel guitars have a mahogany neck. I personally travel often, and i have a mahogany neck guitar in my disposal at all times.
All wood types produce a different sound compared to each other. Even though it’s not a huge difference, you will start to notice it when you get used to playing the guitar. If you’re new to the topic of guitars, you probably know nothing about the wood types. Don’t worry, I am here to help you with that.
Most low-cost guitars have a solid spruce top, because it’s more affordable for manufacturers, but it doesn’t fall short when compared to high-end guitars that use different materials. I’ve started my guitar journey with a guitar that had a solid spruce top, and it’s been serving me well.
As i mentioned earlier, one good thing about solid spruce top guitars is that they get better with age, so the longer you keep your solid spruce top guitar, the better it will perform.
The Types of Guitar Body Woods
- Alder is one of the oldest types of wood used for making acoustic guitars. A popular brand which uses alder for their products is Fender. When the body is made of alder wood, the sound will come out strong and clear, with lower notes being easier to hear than the higher ones.
- Sitka Spruce – This wood is also very popular in the acoustic guitar world. Manufacturers prefer this type because it’s very lightweight and sturdy at the same time. The tone that comes out because of it is very powerful and clear. Most high-end guitars have a solid sitka spruce top, and that is for a good reason.
This should not be confused with Solid Spruce, which is something different.
- Koa is a very dense hardwood that is used for the back and sides of the instrument and also the sides. It is able to produce a pretty solid tone with good quality. It sounds pretty similar to a mahogany one.
- Mahogany – It’s pretty commonly used because it’s very durable and cheaper compared to some other types. I personally love this type, because it can be used to make acoustic guitars which have a great value. Most guitars made from this material have a pretty solid build quality
- Rosewood – When it comes to quality and sound, rosewood is undoubtedly the best. Brazilian rosewood is considered to be the best option, but they are not available in the market anymore. A substitute for that is the Indian Rosewood, which is pretty similar to the Brazilian. It’s not as attractive as the Brazilian one, and it has a bit brighter sound when compared to it. It’s a very hard wood and the tone is generally warmer in instruments made of Rosewood.
The Types of Guitar Neck Woods
- Mahogany – This type is mostly used on guitar necks because it’s pretty durable and strong. The density of the wood is pretty even, meaning that the risk of warping will be reduced to the minimum.
- Rosewood – This type is mostly is known to smooth out the highs. It mutes the high-frequency overtones, resulting in a strong fundamental that still has all the complexities of mid and low overtones.
- Maple – Maple is one of the strongest, hardest and most dense wood types out there. That’s why its great for stability.
Now that you know all the parts & wood types of guitars, it should be easier for you to be able to find out which are the best acoustic guitars.
Are You Left-Handed?
If you’re a left-handed guitar player, you should skip this list and take a look at our best left-handed acoustic guitars list. In that list, we listed the 5 best options for lefties, because it’s almost impossible to use the traditional guitar if you are left-handed. With proper training, you can probably do it, but it’s best to start on a left-handed one so you can learn the ropes. Serious guitar manufacturers always try to create guitars with the same build quality and sound for left-handed people, so you should not worry about that.
How Much Money Should You Spend In Your First Guitar
If you are serious about it, I would recommend you spend as much as you can when purchasing your first guitar. Let me explain why.
The quality of the guitar changes as the price does, meaning that a $200 guitar is not nearly as high-quality as a guitar that costs around $1000. I am not saying that you should sell everything you own and buy the most expensive guitar you can find, but I highly recommend you allocate a good budget so you can get yourself a proper guitar that will fulfill all your needs.
Most guitars that cost less than $300 are made on Chinese sweatshops and are not high-quality, which means that the sound they are able to produce is not comparable to the guitars made in the USA or somewhere else.
The more expensive your instrument is, it will be more durable, more stylish and have a better tone overall, so that is something you should consider.
In the end, it all comes to what you are planning to do with the guitar. If you just want to see how it feels to play the guitar, then spending $2000 on a high-end Martin guitar without having any future plans is not a good idea. On the other hand, if you want to seriously learn how to play it and see yourself playing in pubs or having your own band in a few years, investing large numbers into the instrument is definitely worth it.
As the saying goes, an acoustic guitar can last you for a lifetime if you take care of it.
Should you start with an electric or an acoustic guitar?
Once again, it all comes down to personal preference and your future plans. If you like to listen to classical soft rock, and want to learn to play the same, then an acoustic guitar is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want to be able to play metal or hard rock, then an electric guitar is your best bet.
However, there are some more differences between them that you should consider before deciding on which one you should start with. With acoustic guitars, you don’t have to worry about amps, pedals or any other equipment. Just take out your guitar, tune it using a clip-on guitar tuner and start playing your favorite songs.
Acoustic guitars can be a good option for those who want to take their guitar with them wherever they go, without having to worry about extra necessary equipment such as amplifiers, pedals, a pick and audio cables. You can just pack your guitar and go. Their prices can range from $100 up to $2000 for a middle-range acoustic guitar. There are some amplifiers that can be used for acoustic guitars, but they are definitely not necessary.
In my opinion, it is true that they are harder to handle when compared to electric versions, but learning to play the guitar with an acoustic guitar can make learning the other guitar types much easier. Basically, if you know how to play the acoustic guitar, playing their opposite version won’t be a problem.
On the other hand, to be able to get the most out of an electric guitar, you need a lot of extra equipment, which makes it hard to carry around. When it comes to the price, those guitars are usually more expensive when compared to their acoustic partners, and that is without considering the extra equipment required.
Physically, handling it is much easier if we compare it to the acoustic version. That is because their strings are lighter and more comfortable to pluck on. As a bonus, they are also usually smaller in size, which makes them easy to hold.
With that being said, i recommend that you plan ahead what you want to do with the instrument. If you want to start a metal band, it would make sense to get an electric version, but on the other hand if you want to be an all-round guitar player, then an acoustic guitar is your best bet.
Acoustic Electric Guitars
If you want something in the middle of acoustic & electric guitars, then you can go with an acoustic electric guitar. They gained a lot of popularity recently because an acoustic electric guitar offers the simplicity of an acoustic, and the versatility of an electric guitar. That’s why, if you’re buying your first guitar and you are still not sure what you like, the option of an acoustic electric guitar is always there!