“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
― Brad Paisley
Yeah, we always tend to set our New Year's goals right around Christmas. Maybe it has something to do with wishful thinking and what not...
In any case, if any of your goals include learning to play guitar, this guide will help kickstart your goal completion early this year, and not panic when November comes crawling and suddenly realize you never got to even start.
This guide will include my top picks of guitars for beginners. I'm going to focus on guitars you can get online from various online sellers, but you can always look for similar ones (or the same) in your local store. I'll also be giving you my recommendations depending on the music styles you prefer the most.
Fair enough, I'm going to be covering the lower-ish end spectrum of guitars. If you have plenty of money, you don't need much worry, and you can basically buy whichever instrument you like. Also, please tell me how you managed to come up with so much money, because I'd love to learn.
While many of these guitars can also be good choices for more experienced guitarists, if you already have an instrument which you are happy with, you can skip this guide. Yeah, I won't tell anybody.
Before getting started, I will give you some general advice.
In my experience, you should avoid buying starter packs. Most of the times these instruments and other accesories includes tend to be of too low quality to be worth of even a couple of days' worth of practice (especially those below $ 100). There might be a couple of packs out there that might be acceptable, but as a general rule I will recommend you don't purchase any of those.
I'll be mostly focusing on stand-alone guitars, but I will also include some accessories that are useful to have.
Let's get started!
Donner DAG-1 ($ 135)
This is a starter pack. Yes, I know I've literally just said that you should avoid them, but this one seems that it can make a good one. It's cheap but not so cheap as to be clearly junk, and you get virtually everything you need to get started. You even have a couple of colors to choose from, as well as models with and without cutaway.
If you have very little money to purchase, you can give this a try, since you even have a 30-day money-back guarantee by Amazon.
Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar with Gig Bag ($ 159,99)
Fender guitars tend to be very good, even their lower-end ones. This model will surely serve you well for a long time, so if you can pay the price, go ahead. You get a gig back included as well.
Because it's made of basswood and it has a big body, it will produce pretty hefty sounds.
Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar - Black Bundle with Gig Bag ($ 219,99)
This is also a bundle, but it is a little bit pricier. Although I haven't tried one of these Jamaha guitars, I'm certain the quality is pretty close to the Fender FA-100 model I recommended before, so if you are willing to invest a couple more bucks for the other items included, go ahead.
Stagg SA20ACE NAT Auditorium Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar ($ 132,68)
My experience with Stagg guitars has not been that good. I've tried a couple of their electric guitars and somehow I've not felt right with them, but this electro acoustic guitar looks pretty good. You have similar options with other colors for a bit more money, but this one looks like a good bang-for-buck.
Donner DAG-1E ($ 135)
Just as the acoustic model I recommended, you can get this pack with an electric acoustic option, with the same price.
G.Great Acoustic Electric Cutaway Guitar ($ 129,99)
I don't know this brand, but it looks very cool, the price is accessible, and it has many good reviews. You might want to give it a try if you like exotic shape of this axe.
Epiphone Les Paul Special II ($ 199)
Epiphone guitars are usually enough for many intermediate players, so if you are starting out and can dish out the $199 price tag, this is a nice guitar to have, especially if you want to rock those hard rock tunes (extra points if those are on the classic side).
You also get a couple of colors to choose from, which is always nice.
Ibanez GAX30TCR ($ 149,99)
Ibanez is probably my go-to brand. I've played on many of their guitars over the years and can vouch that they feel very comfortable, even their lower-level models. This guitar will be great for you to start out, and you probably won't need to get rid of it unless you can buy a semi-pro instrument.
You have three color options you can choose from.
Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro 3/4 Size Electric Guitar ($ 149,99)
This one will do just about anything the previous model does, but I think it looks way cooler, which is very important so you can impress your friends with your skills :D
Jackson JS Series Dinky Minion JS1X ($ 149,99)
Similar to the Ibanez ones before, but this one has a more exotic look.
Jackson JS22 Dinky ($ 199,99)
Similar to the previous model, but this one is of better quality. The curved body is usually a good sign of better construction, in addition to looking very slick and nice.
You can choose among three colors, but the black one is my favorite.
Fender Frontman 10G ($ 59,99)
I bought the 40W version of this amp recently to have as a backup to take on gigs. If this smaller model is anything like the more powerful one, then it's a very good choice to have as a starter amp for your electric needs. It comes together with overdrive effect you can use to get started rocking.
If you want, for $79,23 you get a bundle with a cable and a wiping microfiber cloth you probably will need. Definitely recommended.
Fender Mustang I V2 20-Watt ($ 119,99)
This model of Fender amps has a lot of good reviews all over the web, so if you want a little more power and can spare a few more bills, give it a try. For $136,23 you get a bundle with a cable and picks.
Sawtooth ST-AMP-10-KIT-1ST-AMP-10-KIT-1 10-Watt ($ 42,13)
Normally I wouldn't recommend this amp, but since starting on an electric guitar requires both the guitar and the amp, it takes a couple more dollars to get started. If you are short on money, I recommend getting a decent guitar, and you can skimp a few dollars on the amp, so this one will fit the role well in the beginning.
This one includes a cable already, so you can save a bit more.
Peavey Rage 258 25W 2 Channel ($ 129,99)
This one starts getting a little pricier, but if you are looking for a two-channel amplifier that you can use for two guitars at the same time, this one will do. This one also has a "lead" sound (which sounds like distortion rather than overdrive) in addition to a cool eq and sounds. Small, but quite powerful.
AmazonBasics Guitar Folding A-Frame Stand ($ 12,99)
This is cheap and worth it, so if you don't have one and want to place your guitar correctly instead of relying on the bed to be free of clutter for it to rest on, then get one of these. It will work for both electric and acoustic guitars.
3 Pack Guitar Wall Mount ($ 22,99)
Just like the folding stand, you can use these to keep your guitar in place. Not really necessary for it to be on the wall, but if you have limited floor space, you can certainly use the walls, and it will also look cool to have your guitar there. The downside is you can't store the guitar on a bag to protect it while hanging on these hooks, so choose wisely.
You get 3 hangers, so if you are planning on getting more guitars in the near future, save the other two.
3-PACK Top Stage Acoustic Electric Guitar Hanger Keeper Wall Stand ($ 14,95)
Similar to the previous one, but a little cheaper.
Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables ($ 13,49)
Simple and cheap; you need one of these. You can buy longer cable if you want, but for practice purposes this one is long enough.
Glarry ST Deluxe Electric Guitar Hard Shell Case ($55,99)
While not at all essential, I like storing my guitars on hard cases. This one is pretty cheap, and will store most electric guitars (you might want to check on your guitar's measurements and even take it to try the fit).