Buying a guitar can be a challenging process. There is no doubt that these instruments can be rather expensive, and based on your skill level and budget, you will need to have at least some kind of a plan.
Here, you will find everything you need to know about buying an acoustic guitar, what you need to pay attention to, the price range, and what can impact the overall cost of the instrument.
So, how much does an acoustic guitar cost?
- Beginner acoustic guitar is between $100 and $300
- For intermediate players, the price is between $300 and $800
- High-end acoustics for advanced players are over $800
- Custom and professional instruments are usually over $1,500
Fortunately, whatever your skill level is, you can find a decent guitar without spending a fortune on it. Of course, you can buy a $4,000 acoustic if you want to, but it is not always necessary.
How To Choose The Right Acoustic Guitar
Now, there are a couple of things that you need to know and consider before you buy an acoustic guitar.
Firstly, you need to know your budget or how much you are willing to spend on an instrument. Since the price can vary between $100 and $10,000. If you are buying a guitar for the first time it is hard to set the price limit. Because you may be conflicted between not spending too much and not buying something that will break next week.
Therefore I suggest that you stick to the price range specified above. For intermediate and advanced players it is easier because they already know a thing or two about guitar and what they are looking for, if it a specific sound, features, or feel while they hold the guitar.
But if you are in that category and having a hard time deciding on a price limit just stick to the price ranges above, I’m sure you can find what you are looking for in no time.
Furthermore, the second important factor is the age and skill level. Are you a beginner or an advanced player? For beginners, it would be a good idea to seek an instrument that’s in the lower price range, since the player might lose interest in playing, and a huge investment might be wasted.
However, you shouldn’t look for the cheapest guitar available since it might be so bad that learning anything would be rather difficult.
The third thing is the size. If you are buying a guitar for yourself or for your child as a first instrument, you should find something that is beginner or child friendly.
When it comes to acoustic guitars, they come in several sizes, and getting a smaller one will do wonders for children or people with smaller hands. Of course, you can buy a full-size guitar anyway, but it might be a bit challenging for the child to navigate across the fretboard.
For beginners the best idea would be to try and find a guitar that’s not expensive, that will last for a long time and can be played without any discomfort.
If you are serious about playing guitar you can invest a bit more in the instrument, even $100 above your price limit can make a difference, and you will be able to continue using it even after your skills are improved.
Acoustic Guitar For Beginners Players – Starter Kits
One of the cheapest options for beginners is getting a starter kit. These acoustic kits or bundles are rather popular among the beginners since you will get everything you need to start playing.
Usually, you will get a set of strings, gig bag or a case, tuner, strap, set of extra picks, and similar things you might need when you start learning how to play the guitar.
Furthermore, it is possible to get a beginner kit with a book or DVD lessons or access to online courses, which will undoubtedly speed up the whole process of learning your way around the instrument.
Of course, the most appealing thing is the price. These kits are not really expensive, and they can be worth the price. Needless to say, you won’t get the best possible instrument. This doesn’t mean this is a bad instrument.
By getting a kit like this, you won’t have to worry about additional accessories you might need, and as you progress in your music career, you will better understand your focus and what you’ll need in the future.
Fender FA-115 Bundle
Here, you will get everything you need to start learning how to play the guitar. But even if you are an experienced player, this bundle is still a great deal.
The guitar is a dreadnought size, which means it’s a bit larger, and if you are buying it for a child, you should consider the size of the instrument.
Additional accessories are also great since you will be able to keep your instrument in tune, carry it, and learn using materials that come with the bundle.
Fender CD-60 Bundle
Another similar example is the CD-60 bundle which offers the same accessories as the previous bundle, but the model of the guitar is Fender CD-60S.
if you are looking for the guitar with a cutaway, there is a bundle with CD-60SCE guitar which can be great for both beginners and experienced players.
If you are looking for more budget guitars you can check out my post Top 20 Budget Acoustic Guitars Under $100, $150, $200, $300 For Beginners
Donner DAG-1C Bundle
Since all bundles are rather similar, you should focus on the model of the guitar. Almost every bundle will come with accessories like strings, picks, tuners, gig bag, and Donner is no different.
The guitar has a cutaway, which allows easier access to higher frets, and it is a rather decent instrument for a beginner.
Yamaha FG800 Bundle
Yamaha is one of the largest brands when it comes to affordable acoustic guitars. While they offer more expensive instruments as well, you can easily find something for a lower price.
Yamaha FG800 bundle is something you should definitely check out if you are looking for a great acoustic bungle.
Yamaha JR2 Bundle
If you are looking to get a guitar for your child, the JR model is probably one of the best choices. The reason why this bundle is perfect is thanks to the guitar’s size.
Instead of having a dreadnought model, you will get a 33-inch acoustic guitar that will be more suitable for a child. The scale length on this model is 21 ¼ inches, and the full length is 33”. The package also comes with a gig bag, extra strings, tuner, picks, and learning materials.
While you can get an acoustic guitar only, without a bundle, getting an all-in-one package might be the best choice for beginners.
I would highly recommend getting one of the bundles since you won’t need to get tuners, picks, and other necessary accessories.
What To Avoid When Buying Bundles
The first thing you’d like to avoid is bundles that are around $50. These are usually low quality, and you will essentially waste your money. With cheap guitar, you will have trouble keeping it in tune, they are difficult to play, the action is bad, and the guitar can be quite uncomfortable.
Some bundles arrive with either incomplete or useless accessories. If you have to change strings as soon as you buy a guitar, why bother getting that bundle at all. This might seem like an insignificant issue, but beginner players might have trouble changing strings as soon as they buy a guitar, and maintenance of a brand new instrument shouldn’t be a problem.
It would be incredible if you had an option to try out the guitar from the bundle since it is possible for the instrument to buzz on certain frets.
Similarly, checking if there is any damage or irregularity is also a plus. This is why you should also avoid going in blind, and ordering something like a guitar without seeing it first.
Acoustic Guitar For Intermediate Players
For everyone who already had experience playing the guitar, they might want to look for something more. Of course, Fender and Yamaha’s models are great even for more experienced players. But for everyone longing for a bit more, they should be prepared to pay between $300 and $800 for a good acoustic guitar.
With these instruments, you won’t face problems like staying in tune, or low-quality materials. Moreover, intermediate players might look for something like a cutaway or piezo pickup, and many companies can provide such guitars.
When it comes to brands, it is all up to you, and your taste. You can choose nearly any brand in this price range, and I firmly believe that Yamaha dominates in this category as well.
Yamaha L-series LS6
Yamaha L-series LS6 is a concert size acoustic, without cutaways. The price of this model is over $500, but you will surely get the quality you deserve.
It is one of the most popular models and shapes, and it’s not too large which makes it perfect for everyone. The guitar also has a pickup which allows you to plug it into the amp and play it on stage as well.
You can also hear how it sounds, and check out more details about this incredible instrument.
Taylor 110e 100 Series
Other brands that you might find in the intermediate category are Taylor. One of the models, 110e, is a dreadnought size, without a cutaway, and with a pickup. The guitar is around $800 and will satisfy almost every user.
Acoustic Guitar For Advanced Players
Now, the next category is for advanced players which are over $800. These are all high-end instruments, and it is highly unlikely that you will find a bad one. They are designed for advanced players who know what they want, and who don’t have a problem paying $1,500 for an instrument. Needless to say, for this price, you will get the best quality and design possible. Similarly, brands you might find in this category are Gibson, Godin, Yamaha, Takamine, Fender, and others.
Washburn WCG66SCE Comfort Deluxe
One of the perfect examples for this category is Washburn. The WCG66SCE-O model comes with a pickup, which means that you can play it live using an amplifier.
As you probably know already, Washburn guitars can be quite expensive. This model is undoubtedly a high-quality instrument. The size is the grand auditorium, and it’s made of solid cedar on top and maple on the sides and back.
Check the following video if you want to hear this guitar.
Yamaha L-Series Transacoustic
As I already mentioned, Yamaha makes guitars for all price ranges, and this one is a bit more serious and expensive.
Transacoustic series comes in dreadnought, classical, concert, and parlor size. These guitars are amazing, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. But with high-quality comes a higher price.
Taylor 214ce Deluxe Grand Auditorium
The guitar comes with a “signature” Taylor cutaway, and it’s in the grand auditorium size.
The wood used for this model is a combination of rosewood and Sitka spruce, and it is one of the most popular series from Taylor. The guitar is perfect for both intermediate and professional players.
Guitars in that price point always requires more research. So here is a review which you can also hear it.
Acoustic Guitar For Professional Players
Finally, for professional players, guitar prices can be mind-blowing. If you play guitar for a living, you will want to invest in the best possible instrument, and it can cost a lot. If you are looking for a high-end instrument, and you have a buck to spare, Martin is the way to go.
For years now (since 1833), Martin has been creating the best acoustic guitars in the world. Maybe someone will disagree with me, but you won’t convince me that there is something as good as Martin & Co.
This company is the name behind the famous dreadnought design, and all other manufacturers followed the example. As you can imagine, these are not exactly cheap, especially if you are looking for models made in the U.S.
Martin Standard Series D-28
Standard Martin D-28 is a dreadnought model made of solid East Indian rosewood. The fretboard is made of ebony, with a Sitka spruce body top. The price for this beauty is over $3,000.
As you can imagine, it’s not rare to find a Martin that’s $6,000 or even more. But if you are thinking that there is no way that this guitar is as good as its price, you can check the difference between a “regular” guitar and expensive Martin.
The difference is quite obvious and you can understand why professional players are looking for something like this.
Furthermore, companies that are focusing on making acoustic guitars are usually quite old, and the tradition and quality behind them are one of the main reasons why guitars are so expensive, even compared to electric guitars.
Custom Shop Guitars
But if this is not enough for you, and you are still looking for something that’s tailored specifically for you, you can contact a custom shop to get a unique guitar designed just for you.
Now, this doesn’t mean that it has to be one of a kind, and you can order a whole series of your model.
Martin offers a lot of signature guitars, and they are specifically designed for one artist.
One of the examples of their models is 000-28EC, that Eric Clapton plays. If you are looking to get your hands on this model, the price is a bit under $5,000.
Furthermore, you can buy Clapton’s limited Crossroads model. You can do it for a bit under $16,000
Many famous guitar players have their own signature models like Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and Johnny Cash.
So, if you are looking for something that’s not available in the market, you can always order a custom shop version of the guitar.
Needless to say, you will probably pay a lot, but you will get a guitar that’s specifically designed for you. You will get the chance of picking materials and each component of the acoustic guitar.
This way, you will get a guitar that is perfect for you and the style you play.
Professional Vs Advanced Models
Now, there can be a significant price difference between professional and advanced models, and that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
If you get a $5,000 guitar, that doesn’t mean that it is five times better than a $1,000 model. There is a thing called diminishing returns, and as the price gets higher, the difference in quality becomes smaller or insignificant.
If you are interested to know more about expensive verse cheap guitar you can check out my post Expensive Vs. Cheap Acoustic Guitars – Are They Worth It?
For expensive models, let’s say, over $3,000, you are buying a brand, quality, or a unique trait. The materials are not necessarily better, and you might be paying for additional work for guitars like a custom shop.
When you design your own guitar, you will need to pay for the master crafter’s work. They will have to build you an instrument from scratch, and getting your own model is expensive.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s the best. There is no doubt that the guitar will be perfect for you, but someone else might not find it special at all.
What you are paying for is that custom-tailored model, unique trait, or feel you will get from something uncommon and unusual.
Used Acoustic Guitars
As you could have seen, buying a guitar can be quite expensive, and not everyone can afford to get one at a full price. But what can you do if you need a new guitar for whatever reason? After a couple of years of playing, you might have discovered that you are advanced enough to need a new instrument.
It is also possible that there is some kind of damage to your old guitar, and you need to get a new one. So, what should you do if you can’t really afford to get a brand new Taylor or Martin?
You can always get used to acoustic guitar. Second-hand guitars are always cheaper than the new models, as you can expect. The only factor that will determine the price of the instrument is the condition it’s in.
If you are interested in the used market, I suggest you check out my list 17 Useful Tips You Must Know Before Buying A Used Electric Guitar
Although it isn’t about the acoustic guitar you can still use almost all of the tips to buy a great used acoustic guitar.
If the previous user played it a lot, and there are signs of use, the price will be significantly lower. But even if the previous owner kept it in a box, it will still be a lot cheaper than the new model.
This way, you can get a great guitar for a fraction of the price. Needless to say, if the guitar is in mint condition, the price will be close to a new model, but you will be able to save a few bucks anyway.
There are so many websites like Reverb.com, that are based on reselling instruments, and finding a used guitar in great condition is no challenge at all. And if you are wondering how cheaper a guitar can be, you can find Martin’s D-28 for almost half the price if you get a used model.
Playing an instrument can be an expensive hobby, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Getting a guitar is mostly based on your skill level and quality of the instrument.
If you are a beginner, you can find cheap models for around $200. These guitars are great, and you will be able to learn so much about music and guitars even if you start on these cheaper models.
The price range for beginners is usually between $100 and $300. While it is possible to find something even cheaper, it would be a waste of money since most of the cheap models are unplayable.
If you have experience playing music, you will have to invest between $300 and $800 for a better model. These are usually equipped with a pickup which means that you can play them on stage as well. The quality of these guitars is excellent, and some players might not need a better guitar ever.
However, if you are interested in something more, getting an advanced guitar can be over $800. By investing this much money, you will get a high-quality guitar, that will undoubtedly satisfy your needs.
But there are models that can be even more expensive. These guitars are designed for professionals, and prices are usually well over $1,500. While the quality is rather similar to advanced models, you will be able to get something unique and otherwise unavailable on cheaper models.
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