When they first came to me, most of my students asked “what acoustic guitar should I get?” Would-be students still ask that, so I thought of making this guide where I can refer them to.
Below, I discuss the important things to consider when buying a guitar. As you shop around, you’ll see that there’s a lot to choose from and it’s time consuming to consider them all. So if you want a quick suggestion, I recommend the best acoustic guitar under 500 US dollars. Value for the money is important for beginners, and below $500 is where it’s at.
If that price still sound too much, take note that top of the line acoustic guitars actually cost thousands. Thankfully, competition in the 500 bucks range is forcing major brands to lower prices without sacrificing quality. These days, stumbling upon a great acoustic guitar with a reasonable price is not at all impossible.
Things to Look for in Acoustic Guitars Below $500
Whether you’re searching for your first instrument or for an upgrade, the critical factors you should look at are the same. Unfortunately, stores are packed with acoustic guitars that are priced above their real worth. But fret not — with persistence and thorough research, you’ll stumble upon a guitar that’s like a diamond in the rough.
That’s not to say that you’ll have to dig very deep just to get to that shining shimmering axe. In the $300 to $500 range, there’s a lot of options with admirable craftsmanship, so don’t make do with anything less. Actually, getting a guitar made of nice tonewoods is really possible. In addition, you might even get a nut and saddle made of bone and a bridge and fretboard made of Indian rosewood (plus much more).
Found a great axe around the lower end of the price range, but it has one or two minor flaws? Don’t scratch it off your options list just yet. For example, a nice sounding guitar that requires bridge replacement is actually still a great deal. You shouldn’t ignore options that can gain significant performance improvements by just doing minor adjustments. Veteran guitarists do it most of the time. If you’re a complete novice though, it’s better to buy an acoustic guitar that works well right off the bat.
Now you might ask, “how about used, top of the line models that are sold within the same cost bracket? Unless you really know what you’re looking for, I generally advice against going that route. For novices to practice with, and for artists to perform with, a brand new acoustic guitar is ideal. The risk with used axes is that you’ll never know when it will suddenly break down. You can’t afford that to happen when you least want it to.
Picking “The One”
Still can’t make up your mind about which acoustic guitar to finally buy? I personally recommend the Seagull S6 Original (shown in the video above) or the Taylor GS Mini. Either of them can be considered as the top acoustic guitar for under $500. And for the money, beginners can’t go wrong with any of the two.