Whether you’re a beginner to the guitar itself or a newbie to the awesome acoustic electric guitar combo, there’s an instrument that will get you up to strum in no time.
All troubadours had humble beginnings, but they also had a passion for music that skyrocketed their careers.
Are you ready to make your leap of faith into discovering your passion?
A great beginner guitar just might be the start of making music magic!
The Best Beginner Acoustic Electric Guitars
The best acoustic electric guitar for beginners is the Yamaha SLG200S Silent guitar. It is quieter than a traditional acoustic electric guitar so makes it ideal for the beginner guitarist. It is also slim which makes it great for transportation or storage.
However a silent guitar won’t be the best match for every beginner so with this lineup, you’ll have your choice between an affordable acoustic electric guitar under $200 or a brand-name art piece.
But, despite its price tag, the most important aspect is that you should love it!
Starting off with a beginner acoustic electric guitar is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s your entry ticket into discovering what kind of musician you are, and you’ll also have the chance to grow into your talents without out-growing your guitar.
A starter guitar can be a long-time companion as a practice guitar once you’ve got a good collection going. Don’t be surprised to find you just might keep picking this one up because you’ve become so attached.
With that in mind, let’s see what gems are waiting to be discovered!
Our 5 Top Electric-Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
1. Yamaha SLG200S Silent Guitar – Best Overall
- Steel Strings, Translucent Black Finish
- The SLG is the perfect instrument for practice, travel or stage use – any time an acoustic guitar just won’t do.
- Near-silent performance makes discrete practice simple
One look at this sui generis guitar, and you might think you need more skills than you have to do its unique look justice. However, apart from its funky design, it’s definitely outfitted for a beginner player.
What’s the one thing a newbie needs when they get their brand new guitar? Practice, and lots of it. The bodiless design of the Yamaha Silent Guitar makes this instrument 80 percent quieter than a traditional acoustic. This means you’ll be free to practice as often and as long as you want. You won’t have to be criticized so harshly during your learning curve, and the Silent Guitar helps you to achieve all the practice you need!
However, its price tag is one that a beginner player most likely won’t pay. But, the investment is worth it since it’s a guitar that can stay with you during your entire music career. It’s versatile and slim enough for easy transportation and storage. We can guarantee you won’t be putting this thing away after you find how useful it is!
2. Taylor GS Mini-e Koa – Best Small Body
- Back/Side Wood: Layered Koa / Top Wood: Hawaiian Koa
- Fretboard Wood: Ebony
- Neck Wood: Tropical Mahogany
Maybe it’s uncouth to present such an expensive guitar in a beginners lineup, but we couldn’t resist. It is a Taylor, so you know quality and brand reputation are going to cost you, and it does. But, it’s an entry-level guitar for the brand, and it might be the only affordable Taylor you might ever invest in.
The GS Mini-e is not small on sound. It’s well-endowed with its round keister and scaled-down dreadnought body. With these two shape features and Hawaiian Koa wood to boot, sound is going to be full and rich. Playability will be improved, especially for a newbie, as its smaller size caters to learning curves needed for beginner finger-players with comfortable travel on the neck.
If you’re a beginner player sporting a Taylor as your first guitar, you’ll be the envy of the crowd for blocks – maybe even between cities! It’s definitely worth bragging about and sporting around. Luckily for you, the size makes it perfect for toting to every jam session you strum by.
3. Fender CD-140SCE – Best Bundle
- Single-cutaway dreadnought body style
- Fishman Presys electronics
- Solid mahogany top with scalloped "X"-bracing
If you’re going to spend around $300-$400 on an acoustic electric guitar as your first-time buy, the Fender CD-140SCE should be on the top of your list. This guitar has a solid top that lends to its quality and fuller, more natural tones.
The action arrives set at medium-low – great for the beginner who wants the versatility of playing either acoustic or plugged-in at the whims of your mood when you’re just starting to discover what they are.
The guitar is a Fender in every way with a few, nice touches that does justice to the brand. With that said, you know it’s going to be a quick learn to master the basic features of the CD-140SCE. However, if the price is still a little high, you might want to consider the laminate model, the Fender CD-60CE.
It’s cheaper, and still affordable if you opt for the CD-60SCE accessories package. Either guitar is an ideal instrument for the beginner if you want value on your side!
4. Martin DJr-10E Acoustic-Electric Guitar
With benefits that go far beyond its beautiful design, we had no choice but to include the Martin D Jr-10E in our list. Be reassured by the iconic Martin label that this guitar will not compromise on sound quality while offering a smaller size for ease of use while you are learning.
✔️ What we like: Compact size without compromise on richness of sound
❌ What we don’t like: It is pricey for a beginner guitar.
- Stays in tune well
- Thinner neck for easy learning
- Protective bag
- Beautiful spruce wood design
At just under $600, this guitar is not the cheapest option on the list. However, as a beginner you’ll want to give yourself the best possible experience with learning so that you will keep playing! The Martin D Jr-10E really does offer value for money.
Not only does it deliver the highest quality of sound (with no ringing) but its clever design offers many other significant benefits. It is sturdy and, when stored in a temperate and dry climate, it will stay in tune for a good while, so you won’t have to fiddle around with tuning it.
This guitar might not offer the very highest quality of sound when amplified but, since it is unlikely that you’re going to be selling out huge stadiums any time soon, this really shouldn’t matter! The Fishman Electronics incorporated enable a great volume and quality of sound for any every-day situation.
The Martin D Jr-10E is a stand-out option for any beginner guitar player looking for a compact guitar with an awesome sound that they can travel with or simply take over to jam at a friend’s place!
5. Ibanez PF Series PF15ECE
- Mahogany back and sides
- Spruce top
- Fishman Sonicore pickup
This is the most affordable beginner guitar in our lineup, but everything about it is top-notch. While laminate has always been the build for a cheap guitar, this one actually looks good in either finish that pleases your fancy – yes there’s more than one finish that won’t cost you a penny more!
As a full-size guitar, you might find it a little awkward to start out with, especially if you’re a smaller person or a younger player. But, many buyers say that they won’t ever part with their Ibanez guitar. It’s going to last and hold up to unintended damage since the laminate construction makes it more durable against environmental and climate effects.
This means, you can take it with you where you want, and still love on it as you would an expensive guitar to have it last through your learning curves.
The action comes set at low making it a breeze for newbies to get lots of practice in. With a guitar that has the right features for the right price, it definitely earned its spot in our lineup.
What to Look for in a Beginner Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Picking a beginner guitar can be an overwhelming experience. Where do you start? What do you look for? Is expensive always better? With so many questions governing your every buying move, here’s a few tips in what to look for when you’re looking for your perfect, first-time buy.
- Tone woods: Laminate is the cheaper option in build. However, it can present diminished resonance, but it’s more durable against unintended abuse. You can find solid top guitars (per brand) with a higher budget.
- Size: If you’re a smaller adult, have small hands, or you’re shopping for a child or youth player, a small, scaled-down, and compact design will be the best fit.
- Shape: Shape can vary. Dreadnoughts are usually the standard for full-size guitars, but cutaways make the difference in comfort and handling.
- Electronics: Being brand-specific can help if you’re looking for a particular electronic system. But, the general rule is, the more expensive the guitar is, the better the electronics.
- Accessories: Additional accessories and equipment are typically offered with the cheaper guitars. If you already have equipment, you might just want to spend a little more on a higher-quality guitar.
- Value: This all depends on brand, quality, features, and included accessories/equipment. Ensure money spent is inline with the guitar or the whole shebang that you’re after.
Your Start at Making Music Magic!
Beginner guitars don’t have to be just cheap instruments. In fact, many cheap guitars often don’t last as long as you need them to, and they just might be too poorly built to help you discover your talent.
To be fair, we’ve offered quite the lineup in various price ranges that will help you pick the right guitar for your music passion. If you love it, you can make a lot of music magic!
- Taylor 224CE-K DLX Review – Koa Acoustic Electric Guitar (Excellent Craftsmanship)
- Fender FA-235E Review – Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar (Viking Bridge & TUSQ Nut)
- Yamaha FGX800C Review – Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Takamine GD30CE Review – NAT Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Martin DRS1 Review – Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Trent is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado.