h2 { font-size: large; }

Shopping for a new acoustic guitar is time consuming.

To help you out, we asked 8 guitarists to provide their advice and recommendations for those looking for a new acoustic guitar by asking each of them these questions:

  • What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?
  • What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall, and what makes it awesome?
  • What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners, and what makes it awesome?

After reading the responses, we searched for videos of each of the recommended guitars so you could hear what they sound like to make a more informed decision. We couldn't find videos for all of the guitars, but for the ones we could find, the videos are embedded with the responses below. Any other comments made by us are italicized.

We also included videos of the artists that responded, along with their websites and social media profiles so you can check them out.

Note: This article includes affiliate links where the author may receive a commission.

Here's the feedback we got from 8 experienced guitarists.


1. Mike Dawes

Website | Facebook | Twitter


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

The most important thing to do in my experience is play as many acoustic guitars as possible beforehand. My first acoustic was a Taylor 214e. It was at the top end of my budget but through playing every acoustic guitar in a few shops I knew it just felt right. From there you learn what you like in terms of woods, sound, construction etc and ordering a bespoke guitar comes easier.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

No such thing, it's all to do with individual taste and specifications. That being said, I believe handmade or well aged guitars produce a better balanced tone, generally. I'd recommend anything with a spruce top and mahogany or rosewood back and sides, this is your 'classic' acoustic guitar wood combo that most people would be comfortable with. My Taylor 214e that I started on was just that, and it sounds very pleasing as a result. My current touring guitar is an Andreas Cuntz Indian Rose Mike Dawes model. I also have a couple of Nick Benjamin guitars, similar wood combos.

Note: Since Andreas Cuntz and Nick Benjamin make custom guitars, they aren't readily available online, so for more information on these guitars please check their websites.

Taylor 214e

Get the Taylor 214e on Amazon.

What makes a guitar awesome?

Frequency response, low action (for me) good pickups are also a consideration for live work.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

Like I said, it's all to do with the individual. I'd recommend a Martin or Taylor around the £500 mark to get started because you generally know what you're getting, but again every guitar is different and two guitars made identically from the same materials can sound different.

What makes a beginner guitar awesome?

  • Price
  • Playability
  • Robustness

2. Charlie Ferriday of Narrow Plains

Website | Facebook | Twitter


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

  • Always do your research before shopping around.
  • Ideally, you should find a guitar that best suits your playing style.
  • Speak to other guitarists about their experiences with a guitar that you like the sound of.
  • Always try out the guitar in the shop first.
  • Play something you know or have learned recently and see how it sounds - you can’t beat getting a real feeling for the guitar before buying!

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

Taylor DN5 Dreadnought Acoustic

Get the Taylor DN5 Dreadnought Acoustic on Amazon.

Note: The right handed model is no longer available as a standard production model, but you can custom order it from Taylor

What makes it awesome?

  • Taylor uses highest quality woods (mahogany, cedar)
  • Sound is always just right.
  • Strong bass register for fuller, sounding chords.
  • Powerful tone.
  • Traditional, acoustic guitar shape.
  • Simple but beautiful design.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

I learned how to play on an inexpensive, Ibanez starter kit.

Ibanez Acoustic Guitar Jampack

Get the Ibanez Acoustic Guitar Jam pack on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Beginner steel-string guitar that comes complete with all the accessories so that you can just get playing right away.
  • Reduces hassle of working out all the bits and pieces you need but may forget, like tuners, guitar bag, accessory bags and so on.
  • Nice looking (laminated top and a high-gloss natural finish).
  • Sounds pretty good.

3. Whitney Dean of The Sweeplings

Weebsite | Facebook


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

Playability, playability, playability. Acoustic guitars are all about feel. You'll want to try a few brands and models to get an idea of what you like, and if you can afford or find someone to custom craft you one like I've been fortunate enough to have in Danny Davis Guitars, that's the best option. If not, again get familiar with the styles and manufacturers so you can find the one that suits your playing style and sound the best.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

I may be a little bias, but my two custom made Danny Davis dreadnought's are by far the best overall guitars I've ever played. Tone, feel, playability...they have it all. The next best would be a Martin I started out on before I was lucky enough to have the custom Danny Davis guitars made for me.

Martin Performing Artist Series GPCPA4

Get the Martin Performing Artist Series GPCPA4 on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Feel. Playing a guitar and not thinking about frets or anything, only playing.
  • Look. If you're on stage, the guitar is as much a part of the show and vibe as anything. You want something that shows you personality or brand identity well.
    • Fret inlays
    • headstock shape, look
    • color, stain, or body shape
  • Sound. A full range, well rounded sound that can both Lead a song or be background is pivotal of me. so, versatility is key.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

Honestly I think with acoustic guitars you need to be careful with what you start with. If it's at all possible and affordable. I'd suggest the below:

Martin 000-15M

Get the Martin 000-15M on Amazon.

Alvarez AP66ESHB Artist Series Guitar

Get the Alvarez AP66ESHB Artist Series Guitar on Amazon.

You are what you surround yourself with, and when it comes to acoustic guitars you have to be more mindful that just an electric player since there are more factors that effect the style of play, sounds and wood response.

What makes them awesome?

  • Smaller body frame for easy use and playing
  • Great sound.
  • Playability and simple style.
  • Good look and vibe for most artists or players.

4. Jay Elle

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

We are all bound by our budget of course, but few, if any, low priced acoustic guitar will have a good intonation. You will end up with difficulties tuning your guitar especially if you play pieces that make use of the entire neck. If you plan on taking your guitar to the beach and strum along by the fire, then no worries, but if you are looking to record your songs and not have to worry about the tuning then consider a more expensive guitar. STILL! Beware of this issue no matter how expensive the guitar is. The quality of the neck and the intonation varies even when the guitar is made by a well known manufacturer and is sold at a high price.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

I have had great results with Ovation (nylon strings) and Martin (steel strings).

Ovation Elite AX

Get the Ovation Elite AX on Amazon

Martin Performing Artist Series GPCPA1 Plus

Get the Martin Performing Artist Series GPCPA1 Plus on Amazon.

What makes them awesome?

  • Great sound.
  • Great intonation.
  • Perfect width of the neck to fit my hands.
  • Can plug in. Has microphone incorporated.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

I recommend a Yamaha. In my experience you get the best possible sound and intonation combinations at an affordable price. Either nylon or steel strings.

Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar

Get the Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Sturdy.
  • I can take it anywhere and not have to treat it like a jewel. I don't feel guilty if it gets scratched or banged around.
  • Sounds good.
  • I can write with it and practice until I am ready to record.

5. Ryan Knecht of The World Over

Facebook | Instagram


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

Honestly you should just buy the guitar that feels the best to play and sounds good to you. Don't worry about price tags, reviews or anything like that.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

Personally I prefer Taylor guitars because they feel and sound amazing! I could play on them forever. For learning and around the house playing I'd recommend any Baby Taylor. They still have the nice tone and playability despite being so small. For shows anything in the $1000 range will probably give you the most bang for your buck.

Taylor 214ce Deluxe

Get the Taylor 214cd Deluxe on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

The tonality of them is so pristine; it sounds like how an acoustic guitar should sound like in my opinion. I really love the wood that to use on their guitars as well. I don't know all that much about how guitars are made but I know that it sounds great when i play them!

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

My first acoustic guitar was a Yamaha. It was really cheap and it felt nice to play starting out. I would recommend it for anybody starting out.

Yamaha Gigmaker Standard Acoustic Guitar Kit

Get this beginner guitar set on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

I think it's awesome because it's great for the price. Beginners don't know if they want to play guitar for a long time so it's a good brand to start off on to get your feet wet.


6. Deric Becker of Decedy

Bandcamp | Facebook


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

Play a lot of different types of guitars, sizes, wood types, shapes etc. The best guitar for you is the one you're most comfortable with and enjoy playing the most; not necessarily the one with the best reviews or is what's suggested at the music shop.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

I just got a Mini GS Mahogany Taylor that is a blast to jam on and very comfortable and playable rather just lying in bed or out gigging.

Mini GS Mahogany Taylor

Get the Mini GS Mahogany Taylor on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Small portable size.
  • Great sounding easy pickup with treble, bass, and volume controls.
  • Low action.
  • Deep full sounds.
  • Classic look.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

The Martin LX1 Little Martin. A steeper price than the average first guitar but will last way longer than your $99 and will make learning so much less of a hassle. Learning your first song is hard enough, learning on a guitar that has trouble staying in tune or has other issues can only make that experience more frustrating.

Martin LX1 Little Martin

Get Martin LX1 Little Martin (Koa) on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Major bang for your buck.
  • Comes in all black or koa.
  • Very durable.

7. Dane Myers of Custom Tracks

Website | Facebook | Instagram


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

Guitarists should always play the guitar before they buy it. Unlike other musical equipment, acoustic guitars can vary a lot in sound from guitar to guitar, so even if you’ve played a guitar before and you want to buy that same model, always check out the specific guitar to make sure you’re getting a good one.

Always plug it in and check out the pickups. A great guitar with lousy pickups sounds lousy when it’s plugged in. The L.R. Baggs Anthem is nice. I have the Fishmann Matrix Infinity and it’s ok, but I haven’t been blown away. Pickups like the Anthem can be more inclined to having feedback problems though!

Keep in mind your use for the guitar. If you’re going to be using it to record, don’t worry about getting a guitar with a pickup installed; you’ll get a better sound mic'ing it in the studio. I felt like when I had a pickup installed in my acoustic that it lost a bit of resonance and the tone became a little less full. Not ideal for studio recording.

If you’re going to gig with the guitar, consider if you’ll have a good sound guy who can keep your condenser mic pickup (Anthem) from feeding back, or if a piezo pickup (Matrix Infinity) is a safer bet.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

The nicest acoustic guitar I’ve ever played was a Santa Cruz Model D.

Santa Cruz D.

Santa Cruz only makes a limited number of these guitars each year, so they aren't regularly available online. Check eBay, or see if they're available locally using their store locator.

What makes it awesome?

  • The tone really fit my style and had a rich low end to it that I’d never had before.
  • The action and neck felt really comfortable.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

I’ve played a couple of nice Jasmine acoustics by Takamine.

Jasmine S35

Get the Jasmine S35 on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Sounds fine.
  • Feels comfortable to play.
  • < $100

8. Josh Cravey of Palm Trees & Power Lines

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


What should a guitarist keep in mind when shopping for a new acoustic guitar?

Try it before you buy it. Looking online to get an idea is great and all, but nothing compares to actually going to a store and trying out different guitars until you find what feels and sounds best for you. That’s where the magic happens. You might just discover that the $300 acoustic you didn’t think about buying online actually sounds better than the $2,000 one you were looking at.

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar overall?

I’m a sucker for Taylor acoustic guitars. Yes, I’ve played some that didn’t sound so great, but most of their acoustics are awesome. I prefer the Grand Auditorium series.

Taylor 100 Series 114e Grand Auditorium

Get the Taylor 114e Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • The action is super smooth
  • Doesn’t kill your fingers
  • The sound on these is super full and bright, which is what I love.
  • Acoustic/Electric is always nice to have because you never know when you’ll need one or the other
  • Taylor is a solid brand and their guitars are built with quality in mind

What would you say is the best acoustic guitar for beginners?

For beginners, I prefer Ibanez. Their dreadnought guitars sound as good and sometimes better than guitars with triple the price tag.

Ibanez AW400 Dreadnought

Get the Ibanez AW400 Dreadnaught on Amazon.

What makes it awesome?

  • Although it’s not acoustic/electric, you’re paying for pure tone out of this one
  • The action is really nice on these, for being acoustic. Your fingers won’t cramp up or start to hurt as much as they would on other guitars.
  • Lightweight.
  • Best of all, it’s affordable!


Show Comments