Listen to any life coach during lockdown, and they’ll tell you now is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby. We’re not quite convinced that putting everyone under pressure to learn something new while staying at home is the best solution, but we do recognize that some activities, like learning a new instrument, can have immense benefits for anyone feeling stuck. For example, playing the guitar can:
- Lower stress levels
- Increase coordination
- Improve self-discipline
- Encourage creativity
- Provide a sense of achievement
Whether you’re learning to play the guitar because you are quarantined and bored or it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, there are plenty of free lessons and resources for doing so available right now. All you need to add into the mix is the guitar.
So, we’ve listed the eight best cheap guitars for beginners below. But, first, we’ll run through the difference between acoustic and electric guitars for beginners, so you can choose the one that’s best for you.
Acoustic vs. Electric Guitars
If this is your first time purchasing or playing a guitar, you’ll first need to choose between an acoustic and an electric guitar. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and the best way to choose is really to think about the type of music you like to listen to and want to play. Country fans or people who enjoy listening to Ed Sheeran will want to buy an acoustic guitar, while AC/DC and rock ‘n roll followers may prefer an electric guitar. Here’s a brief breakdown between the two:
Acoustic guitars are simple instruments with few complicated parts. They are often seen as the better guitar for beginners due to the fact that they are more traditional and self-sufficient. In addition, acoustic guitars offer the ability to play both soft and rocking melodies.
Pros: Acoustic guitars tend to be cheaper than electric guitars and require fewer accessories.
Cons: The strings on an acoustic guitar tend to be heavier and higher than those on an electric guitar, making it slightly more difficult to play.
While electric guitars may look more complicated than acoustic guitars, they are essentially the same instrument with electric switches added to the body. You can use those switches to plug the guitar into an amplifier to feel cooler instantly. And, one of the major benefits of using an amp is that it allows you to distort the sound coming from the guitar in a myriad of ways, providing more creativity to a beginner.
Pros: The strings on an electric guitar are lighter than those on acoustic guitars, and electric guitars tend to be smaller, making them more comfortable to play.
Cons: Electric guitars require expensive accessories, like an amplifier, guitar lead and tuner.
1. Learn to Play Kona Starter Pack For Dummies
The Learn to Play Kona Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack For Dummies boasts over 150 five-star reviews from Walmart customers. It’s an ideal choice for beginners and includes everything you need to start on the road to becoming the next Hendrix. The guitar features a spruce top, linden sides, steel strings and an attached pick guard. In addition to the all-important Kona acoustic guitar, you’ll find a digital tuner, gig bag, picks and a Guitar Basics for Dummies book with an accompanying CD in the beginners kit. This is an ideal choice for both adults and children.
2. Best Choice Products Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit
With its included guitar, pick, shoulder strap, pitch pipe, digital tuner and carry case, the Best Choice Products 38-inch Beginner Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit is a budget-friendly option for budding guitarists. The all-wood guitar included in the kit is right handed, measures 38 inches and comes in a choice of brown, natural and pink finishes. While this kit doesn’t come with learning materials, the set is great for anyone planning to learn in classes or from online materials.
3. Glarry 40-inch Spruce Front Cutaway Folk Guitar
At 40 inches, the Glarry 40-inch Spruce Front Cutaway Folk Guitar is the largest acoustic guitar on our list. It’s a good choice for adult beginners and professionals and comes with a wrench, protective board and carry bag. The body of the guitar is meticulously crafted and follows a classic body style with a single cutaway, allowing the guitar to consistently produce a pleasing, mellow tone with a deep and powerful bass.
4. Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Starter Kit
If you find the plucky sweet sound of the ukulele more appealing than its larger brother, consider investing in the Official Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit. Having awarded the kit over 750 five-star reviews, it’s clear Amazon customers love this ukulele starter kit. It comes with everything you need to get started on the four-string instrument and, as it includes online lessons and an instruction booklet, you’ll be ready to start making music right out of the box.
5. Pyle Beginner 36-inch Classical Acoustic Guitar
BEST FOR CHILDREN
The Pyle Beginner 36-inch Classical Acoustic Guitar is the right size for budding juniors picking up an axe for the first time. The kit includes a gig bag case, pitch pipe tuner, strings, picks and other beginner essentials. The six-string guitar sports a handcrafted construction with an attractive, high-gloss body. Additionally, the guitar’s soft nylon strings feel more comfortable in hand and allow for hours of practice without pain.
6. Donner Full-Size Electric Guitar
Look like a rock star while learning to play the guitar with the Donner Full-Size Electric Guitar. Made from AAA Canada maple with an ebony fingerboard, this beauty promises a rich sound and balanced tone thanks to Donner’s unique S-S-H pickups. Plus, the kit comes with everything a beginner would need, from a gig bag and guitar strap to a guitar cable (amp sold separately). And, unlike many competing beginner guitars, this one was built to last through the first several years of your musical journey. It’s available in either blue or black.
7. Rise by Sawtooth Beginner’s Electric Guitar
BEST ELECTRIC KIT
If you choose to start playing on an electric rather than an acoustic guitar, the Rise by Sawtooth Beginner’s Electric Guitar is worth consideration. This pack comes with everything you need to get started playing an electric guitar, including the guitar, picks a carrying case, a strap and an amp. As an added bonus, the pack also comes with online guitar lessons, so you can even start playing if you don’t have access to an in-person teacher. Finally, the 25.5-inch length makes this guitar ideal for both children and adults.
8. Fender Beginner Dreadnought Guitar
If you’re looking for a guitar set from an established and renowned maker, the Fender Beginner Dreadnought Guitar is for you. It’s available in a choice of five different colors, including black, natural and pale cherry. The dreadnought-style guitar features a solid spruce top with scalloped bracing along with a mahogany back and sides. The set also comes with a gig bag, strap and picks along with a three-month subscription to Fender Play, a video-centric learning platform with instructor-guided videos at your disposal.