7 Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitars (Beginner & Intermediate)

Best Beginner Left Handed Acoustic Guitars

As a new player, choosing the best left handed acoustic guitar for your budget, tastes and ability is crucial to ensure that your practice sessions are both enjoyable and productive. But with so many great beginner left handed acoustic guitars available these days, the choice can be overwhelming!

In this article, we’ll look at my 7 top picks, from ultra-affordable all-in-one kits to the heavy hitters from well-known brands that could potentially last you for life. I was careful to stick with 7 solid guitars so as not to paralyze you with too many options. 

Read through the full list and I am confident that you will easily be able to pick out the perfect guitar for you depending on your budget and personal tastes.

After that, I’ll answer a ton of important questions that you should absolutely know the answers to before pulling the trigger on your new axe. These questions include:

  • What body size is best for you?
  • Which tonewoods are best suited to your tastes?
  • Should you consider an electro-acoustic guitar?
  • Why opt for a solid wood top over laminate?
  • Should you start with a steel or nylon string guitar?

Shorter people or those with smaller hands may also like to check out my guide to the best ¾ sized left handed guitars.

What Is The Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar?

Here are my 7 top picks for the best left handed acoustic guitars for beginners and intermediate players this year. The guitars are arranged from the cheapest to the most expensive, and I am confident that there is a solid option available for all budgets and musical tastes.

Disclosure: If you decide to purchase a guitar using the links in this article I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

You can use these links to jump directly to the guitar reviews. Make sure to also check out the end of this article where you’ll find a ton of useful buying advice.

  1. Donner DAG-1CL
  2. Fender CD-60S/CC-60S
  3. Ibanez AW54L
  4. Fender CD-60SCE/CC-60SCE
  5. Ibanez AW54LCE
  6. Ibanez AC340L
  7. Yamaha FG820L

1. Donner DAG-1CL

Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Package

Donner DAG-1CL Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Package

The full-sized Donner DAG-1CL dreadnought kit is undoubtedly the best choice for new players on a tighter budget. It is even better when you consider that it comes bundled as a package, featuring everything you will need to get started with the guitar!

More affordable guitars are available, but I would personally avoid those as the quality and reliability will take a drastic nose-dive. You’ll kick yourself later if you buy something else to save $50 and find that the thing won’t stay in tune! Guitars under $100 or so are more often than not basically just toys – avoid them!

The guitar itself is a beautiful full-sized dreadnought shape. For most beginners, this versatile guitar size is the one to go for, although smaller players might find the dreadnought body a little large.

It is assembled from the common mahogany and spruce wood combination. This tried and tested tonewood construction gives a very balanced sound that will be suitable for any style of music.

Other standout features include a cutaway for improved upper fret access, scalloped inner bracing for better bass response, and matte black tuners that add to the luxurious aesthetic.

In terms of the bundled accessories, Donner has included pretty much everything you will need to get started right away. You’ll get a quality padded gig bag, digital tuner, comfortable strap, spare strings, picks, and more! See below for the full list.

Notice how the guitar doesn’t have a scratch plate? Donner has included one in the package, so you can decide which look you’d like to go for – a nice touch!

Psst… Not sure what a scratchplate is? Check out my guide to the different parts of the guitar.

A slight downside for some is that the guitar is not an electro-acoustic model, i.e. it does not include electronics. So keep in mind that you won’t be able to hook it up to an amp or computer for recording. Not exactly a deal breaker for new players, plus it helps to keep costs down as well. Why pay for features you are unlikely to use as a fledgling guitarist?

Donner App

It’s worth mentioning that Donner also has their own iOS and Android app that you can download and use for free.

It includes several features such as a community section and online store, but what will likely appeal to you as a beginner is the lessons area. Here you will find a selection of free courses aimed at newer players which will help you to get off on the right foot.

Some of the tutors are actually professors from the esteemed Berklee College of Music, so these lessons are definitely worth checking out.

Key Features:

  • Body: African Mahogany w/ Sitka Spruce Top
  • Neck: Mahogany w/ 22 Fret Purpleheart Fingerboard
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Yes
  • Accessories: Strap, Clip-On Tuner, Capo, Picks, Spare Strings, Cleaning Cloth, Allen Key, Lessons (via mobile app).

What I Like/Dislike About The Donner DAG-1CL

Like:

  • Includes everything you’ll need to get started with guitar.
  • Low price without sacrificing quality and features.
  • 2-year warranty
  • Classic mahogany and Sitka spruce dreadnought body will give a balanced tone suitable for any style of music.
  • Has the look of a guitar which is much more expensive than it is.
  • Also a good option for intermediate players after something less pricey that they don’t have to baby.

Dislike:

  • Dreadnought body size may be a little large for smaller players
  • No ability to connect to an amp or computer.
  • Brand snobs may not approve.
  • A guitar stand would have been a nice addition to the package.

Our friend Shane from InTheBlues has an excellent review video for the Donner DAG-1CL which you can check out below.

Note that the video is a few years old now, so the price has obviously increased a little since. In addition, Donner has also recently redesigned their logo and upgraded the gigbag to a higher quality construction.

Overall, I recommend the Donner DAG-1CL as my pick for the best left handed acoustic guitar package. For the money, it really can’t be beat and should give you a perfect introduction to the world of guitar.

Check it out at the links below! It is available either on Amazon, or you can also buy direct from Donner if you’d prefer.

LINKS TO BUY

If you’re still not quite convinced, check out my full review of the Donner DAG-1CL.

2. Fender CD-60S & CC-60S

Best Cheap Left Handed Acoustic Guitar

Left Handed Solid Top Acoustic Guitar Fender CC-60S

Bet you weren’t aware that you could get a real Fender for around $200, right? Well, you can! The Fender CD-60S and CC-60S were launched in 2017 and have instantly become my top picks for those with a budget of around $200.

These two guitars from Fender’s Classic Design series represent exceptional value for money, with features usually reserved for much more expensive instruments.

For example, both guitars feature a solid wood top for improved sound quality (scroll to the end of this page for info), smooth rolled fret edges, scalloped internal x-bracing for increased bass response, and a beginner-friendly slim neck shape.

One of these two gems is the obvious choice in this price bracket (unless you require electronics!), and because they have solid wood tops, they’ll only sound better with age!

Fender really hit a home run with these.

Both guitars feature a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a mahogany neck with a walnut fretboard. This tonewood combination will offer up a very balanced sound for a bit of a jack-of-all-trades kind of vibe – they’ll be happy playing any genre of music.

Plus you’ve got that famous name on the headstock, ensuring that the guitar will hold its value over time.

The only downside of the Fender when compared to the cheaper Donner above is the lack of any additional accessories. So you will at minimum require to source a tuner and potentially some picks yourself. Again, not a huge issue as you can pick up both of those items for less than $10 in the accessories section of this guide series!

It is also slightly disappointing that a protective gig bag is not included.

But which model should you opt for?

Both guitars are exactly the same, with the exception being that the CD-60S is the more common Dreadnought body shape, whilst the CC-60S features a smaller Concert size body.

Either will be a great choice, but smaller players may prefer the slightly more petite CC-60S, as it will be a little more comfortable to hold.  In addition, the smaller body size lends itself well to fingerstyle playing as you will gain more individual note articulation.

The larger CD-60S will also offer a boomier, louder sound in comparison to the CC-60S which will be a little quieter tonally. 

However, as a beginner I would suggest that the slight difference in sound won’t be too noticeable to your ears. So I would make your own body size the deciding factor!

The video below will offer you an excellent overview of the various sounds that the dreadnought-sized CD-60S is capable of. It is definitely worth a watch if you are considering opting for either of these two models.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Solid Spruce Top
  • Neck: Mahogany w/ 20 Fret Walnut Fingerboard
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Not Included
  • Accessories: Not included

What I Like/Dislike About The Fender CD-60S & CC-60S

Like:

  • The solid wood top offers a more dynamic quality of sound than cheaper laminated guitars, plus the tone will improve further as it ages.
  • Fender quality at a very affordable price point.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Classic mahogany and Sitka spruce body will offer a balanced tone suitable for any style of music.
  • Choice of body shapes to suit all sizes of players.
  • Beginner-friendly slim neck with comfortable rolled fretboard edges.

Dislike:

  • No gig bag, accessories, or lessons are included.
  • Lack of electronics.

I would say that these are definitely the most popular left handed acoustic guitars that we sell. If either of these two instruments sounds like a good fit for you, then please check them out at the links below.

CD-60S LINKS

CC-60S LINKS

3. Ibanez AW54L

All-Mahogany Left Handed Acoustic Guitar

Left Handed All-Mahogany Acoustic Guitar Ibanez AW54L

What should you do if the Fenders above tick all of your boxes, but you yearn for the look and/or sound of an all-mahogany guitar? You, my friend, should probably look into the Ibanez AW54L.

This well-reviewed dreadnought beauty offers up pretty much all of the same features as the Fender CD-60SCE, and for similar money, but has a gorgeous all-mahogany construction.

Aside from offering a different aesthetic, mahogany guitars will tend to sound smoother and warmer, without becoming too muddy. This is because the wood produces more bass and mid-range emphasis. Again, as a beginner you will be unlikely to notice much of a difference in tone, so your choice could simply come down to visual appeal.

It’s also worth pointing out that technically, the AW54L is not constructed from mahogany. Okoume is an excellent mahogany alternative used by many manufacturers and offers up the same tonal characteristics and warm, earthy looks.

The Ibanez AW54L features Okoume back and sides with a solid Okoume top, a Nyatoh neck, and a 20 fret ovangkol fingerboard. All of the hardware is made in-house by Ibanez to help keep costs down, and it also comes equipped with quality D’Addario strings.

Watch the video below for a great demonstration of the sounds that the Ibanez can muster up.

A slight disadvantage of this guitar is that it does not come supplied with a gig bag, or indeed, any additional accessories. So you will need to source your own if you require them – but that’s all part of the fun, right? Head to the accessories section of this guide to see my recommendations.

Another downside is that unlike the Fenders above, you only have the option of a dreadnought body which could potentially be a little large for smaller framed individuals.

Key Features:

  • Body: Okoume w/ Solid Okoume Top
  • Neck: Nyatoh w/ 20 Fret Ovangkol Fingerboard
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Not Included
  • Accessories: Not included

What I Like/Dislike About The Ibanez AW54L

Like:

  • The solid wood top offers a more dynamic quality of sound than cheaper laminated guitars, plus the tone will become richer as it ages.
  • Very affordable
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • All-Okoume construction offers a bassier, smoother tone than the spruce top guitars featured above. 
  • Rustic visual appearance.

Dislike:

  • No gig bag, accessories, or lessons are included.
  • Dreadnought body might be a little large for smaller players

Overall, the AW54L is an excellent alternative to the Fender CD-60S above if you prefer the looks that an all-mahogany construction provides.

LINKS TO BUY

4. Fender CD-60SCE & CC-60SCE

Best Electro-Acoustic Left Handed Guitar

Best Left Handed Electro-Acoustic Guitar Fender CC-60SCE

I mentioned above that the Fender CD-60S & CC-60S were my top picks as long as you didn’t require electronics – but what if you do? Say hello to the new Fender CD-60SCE & CC-60SCE!

For a little extra money (roughly $100), these are exactly the same guitars as above, but with the addition of a cutaway for improved upper fretboard access, plus quality Fishman electronics. 

These electronics allow you to plug the guitars into an amp or computer, plus you also have the benefit of a handy built-in tuner, saving you from having to purchase one separately.

Again, both guitars feature a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with 20 fret walnut fingerboard, scalloped bracing, and rolled fretboard edges.

It’s my personal opinion, but I also think acoustic guitars with a cutaway are more aesthetically pleasing. The overall volume of the guitar will be slightly reduced as you are effectively reducing the size of the body, but as a new player you just are not going to notice the difference – even more experienced players would struggle to tell!

A low-profile Fishman pickup/preamp allows you to amplify the guitar’s sound without compromising its rich and dynamic tone. This also makes it super-easy to record as you will be able to plug directly into an interface or amplifier.

Again, the only real downside here is the lack of any included accessories, lessons, or a gig bag. Additionally, you will need a 9V battery to power the Fishman electronics.

The CD-60SCE features the common dreadnought body shape, whereas the CC-60SCE is a slightly smaller concert model.

As I’ve mentioned in the previous price bracket, smaller framed players may prefer the comfort of the slightly more petite CC-60SCE.

Either of these fantastic acoustics will be my top pick in this price bracket.

The main reason to choose one of these over the Fender or Ibanez models above is the inclusion of the electronics and cutaway, so think carefully about whether or not you would like these features!

If you decide that you need the electronics, and/or crave that improved upper fret access, then you can check out both of these guitars at the link above!

Watch Fender’s demonstration video below to hear the CD-60SCE in action.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Solid Spruce Top
  • Neck: Mahogany w/ 20 Fret Walnut Fingerboard
  • Electronics: Yes – Preamp & Tuner
  • Gig Bag: Not Included
  • Accessories: Not included

What I Like/Dislike About The Fender CD-60SCE & CC-60SCE

Like:

  • The solid wood top offers a more dynamic quality of sound than cheaper laminated guitars, plus the tone will improve further as it ages.
  • Fishman preamp, plus a handy in-built tuner.
  • Excellent upper fret access.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Classic mahogany and Sitka spruce body will offer a balanced tone suitable for any style of music.
  • Choice of body shapes to suit all sizes of players.
  • Beginner-friendly slim neck with comfortable rolled fretboard edges.

Dislike:

  • No gig bag, accessories, or lessons are included.
  • A significant price hike over the CC-60S & CD-60S

CD-60SCE LINKS

CC-60SCE LINKS

5. Ibanez AW54LCE

All-Mahogany Left Handed Electro-Acoustic Guitar

Ibanez AW54LCE Mahogany Electro-Acoustic Guitar Left Handed

The Ibanez AW54LCE is an excellent alternative to the Fender CD-60SCE if you would prefer the look and/or tone of an all-mahogany guitar. It is essentially a cutaway version of the Ibanez AW54 above, but with added electronics.

This dreadnought stunner serves up nearly all of the same features as the Fender CD-60SCE, for the same money, but has a beautiful all-mahogany build.

As we’ve already touched on with the Ibanez AW54, using mahogany as a tonewood will tend to warm up the guitar’s tone by offering emphasized low-end and mid-range sounds. New players will be unlikely to be able to identify much of a difference, however, so I would suggest that you pick whichever guitar you prefer the look of.

It’s also worth pointing out that, technically, the AW54LCE is not constructed from mahogany. However, Okoume is an excellent mahogany alternative used by many manufacturers and offers up the same tonal characteristics and warm looks.

Main features include a laminated Okoume back and sides, a solid Okoume top, a Nyatoh neck with ovangkol fretboard, and an Ibanez preamp with a convenient built-in tuner.

The cutaway will give great access to the higher frets, and the under-saddle pickup offers natural-sounding amplification if you decide to plug it into an amp or computer.

A great advantage associated with Ibanez acoustic guitars is that you will get a lifetime warranty included which covers everything but the electronics. The preamp will be covered for one year only.

Unfortunately, there is no gig bag included with the AW54LCE which is a little disappointing at this price point. Ibanez suggests their PF50C hard case to help protect this model in transit.

Check out the video below to hear what the Ibanez sounds like. The language is German, but it does a great job of showcasing all of the sounds the dreadnough is capable of.

Key Features:

  • Body: Okoume w/ Solid Okoume Top
  • Neck: Nyatoh w/ 20 Fret Ovangkol Fingerboard
  • Electronics: Yes – Preamp & Tuner
  • Gig Bag: Not Included
  • Accessories: Not included

What I Like/Dislike About The Ibanez AW54LCE

Like:

  • The solid wood top offers a more dynamic quality of sound than cheaper laminated guitars, plus the tone will improve further as it ages.
  • Ibanez preamp, plus a handy in-built tuner.
  • Excellent upper fret access.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • All-Okoume construction will offer a bassier, smoother tone than the spruce guitars featured above. 
  • Rustic visual appearance.

Dislike:

  • No gig bag, accessories, or lessons are included.
  • Dreadnought body might be a little large for smaller players

Overall, the Ibanez AW54LCE is a fantastic choice for players looking for an all-mahogany, affordable left handed electro-acoustic guitar.

As a new player, you just aren’t going to notice a massive difference in tone between this guitar and the spruce Fenders above, so your decision will probably boil down to which you find more visually appealing!

LINKS TO BUY

6. Ibanez AC340L

Best Left Handed Electro-Acoustic Guitar For Smaller Players

Ibanez AC340L Concert Left Handed Acoustic Guitar

Stepping up the price ladder a little bit is the superb Ibanez AC340L from the Japanese brand’s Artwood range. You can think of it as a smaller-bodied version of the AW54L above with a few premium features thrown into the mix.

First of all, the AC340L features a thermo-aged bridge – wait, what? This is a process where the wood is ‘baked’ to draw out the elements that would usually dull the response of new instruments. It essentially artificially ages the wood so that it reaches its optimum condition immediately, rather than years down the line.

The end result is a guitar that will sound better straight out of the box. The bridge is an excellent candidate for this treatment as this is the part of the guitar that transmits the vibrations from the strings to the top wood of the instrument.

Secondly, the Ibanez features a real bone nut and saddle which is really unusual to find on budget-friendly guitars. Bone provides a better sound than most synthetic options as it produces fuller tones, improved sustain, and should also last longer!

If you are vegan this may be a downside for you as the guitar uses parts made from animal sources. Read my article Are Guitars Vegan? for more information on non-ethical guitar parts.

Aside from these key premium upgrades, the AC340L is broadly similar to the other Ibanez acoustics in this list. It has a solid Okoume top with Okoume back and sides, a Nyatoh neck and a 20 fret ovangkol fingerboard.

Again, the only real downside here is the lack of gig bag or other included accessories. In my opinion, we’re really into the territory where every guitar should at least have a gig bag supplied with it. A minor quibble!

Check out the detailed video below for an overview of why this little beauty is one of the best budget left handed acoustic guitars currently available.

Key Features:

  • Body: Okoume w/ Solid Okoume Top
  • Neck: Nyatoh w/ 20 Fret Ovangkol Fingerboard
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Not Included
  • Accessories: Not included

What I Like/Dislike About The Ibanez AC340L

Like:

  • The solid wood top offers a more dynamic quality of sound than cheaper layered wood guitars, plus the tone will become richer as it ages.
  • Real bone nut and saddle.
  • The aged bridge should provide an improved tone from day one.
  • Comfortable, smaller body size.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • All-Okoume construction offers a bassier, smoother tone than the spruce top guitars featured above. 
  • Rustic, vintage visual appearance.

Dislike:

  • No gig bag, accessories, or lessons are included.
  • Lack of electronics

If your budget stretches this far, then the Ibanez AC340L is an absolutely superb beginner left handed acoustic guitar that could potentially last you for life.

The smaller grand concert body is the perfect size for new players who may find a dreadnought acoustic a little on the bulky side. Plus the thermo-aged bridge and bone nut and saddle should give you a fabulous sounding instrument straight from the box without having to wait years for the wood to mature naturally.

LINKS TO BUY

7. Yamaha FG820L

Most Popular Left Handed Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha FG820L Acoustic Guitar Left Handed

Every guitar thus far has been a Fender or Ibanez, so let’s give another brand a shout-out! The Yamaha FG820L dreadnought has long been thought of as one of the best budget-friendly lefty acoustics available. The FG series is the best-selling acoustic guitar range in the world, and for good reason!

Yamaha in particular is a brand that is known for punching well above its weight, and the FG820L is no exception. It is a lot of guitar for not a lot of money. 

Main features include a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, a nato neck with 20 fret rosewood fingerboard, and a classy fully bound body and fretboard. It certainly looks like a guitar which should cost far more than it does.

Purchasing a Yamaha guitar will also give you access to their Play Port iOS and Android application. This app is a great tool for new players, providing tips, lessons, and videos aimed at beginners. It even includes an in-built tuner so that you can tune your new FG820L via your phone’s microphone.

Unfortunately, we still don’t get a gig bag bundled here, so make sure to check out the accessories section of this series of guides for some top suggestions.

Check out the excellent overview and demonstration video below to hear the Yamaha in action.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Solid Spruce Top
  • Neck: Nato w/ 20 Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Not Included
  • Accessories: Not included

What I Like/Dislike About The Yamaha FG820L

Like:

  • The solid wood top offers a more dynamic quality of sound than cheaper laminated guitars, plus the tone will improve further as it ages.
  • Punches well above its weight.
  • 2-year warranty.
  • Classic mahogany and Sitka spruce body will offer a balanced tone suitable for any style of music.
  • Premium looks for an affordable price.

Dislike:

  • No gig bag, or accessories are included.
  • Lack of electronics

Beginners will love it, but the best-selling Yamaha FG820L is also a solid choice for any level of player looking for a great all-around instrument or backup guitar.

LINKS TO BUY

Acoustic Guitar Buying Advice

Should I Get An Acoustic or Electro-Acoustic?

The main difference between the two is that you can plug your electro-acoustic directly into an amp or computer for additional volume or for recording. Whereas with a traditional acoustic you will need to use a microphone to amplify the sound when playing live or recording.

A great advantage to starting out with an electro-acoustic guitar is that many will come with a built-in tuner, saving having to carry around an additional accessory.  

If your guitar doesn’t come with a tuner I highly recommend a clip-on headstock tuner such as a Snark – find out more about these in Part 7 of this Newbie Series – links below!

After reading this you may be thinking of just buying an electro-acoustic. Hell, it’s the same as a standard acoustic with a few extra bells and whistles, right? 

This is true, but these extra gadgets obviously come at a price.

Think carefully about what you need. If you don’t see yourself playing through an amp or recording directly to your computer, then you might want to save some money and opt for a regular acoustic with no electronics.

What Size Acoustic Guitar Should A Beginner Get?

This really depends on your musical tastes, as well as your size and physical capabilities.

The most common acoustic guitar size is the Dreadnought, which is a larger style that produces a louder, fuller sound with strong bass response. You can easily spot it by its classic squared-off shoulders and bottom.

Compared to smaller-bodied guitars, the dreadnought’s volume tends to lend itself better to a playstyle that involves mainly strumming. Their boomy nature also helps them to cut through the mix in a band situation.

It is a great option for most players to start out with, but smaller people may find the larger body a bit of a handful.

Another common acoustic guitar size that is a great choice for new players is the Concert shape. This is a smaller body size which, as you would expect, equates to slightly less volume and bass. 

These qualities make concert acoustics perfect for solo fingerstyle playing where the articulation of each individual note is important. In addition, their smaller stature makes them ideal for smaller-framed players.

However, as a new player, you are unlikely to notice a massive difference in sound between the two sizes. For that reason, I would suggest that, for now, you pick the style that is most suited to your body size.

What Is The Best Guitar Wood?

All of the guitars featured in this guide feature mahogany back and sides, so that makes this decision pretty easy!

Where you’ll have to make a choice is when you come to consider the top wood of the guitar. All of the guitars above feature either a spruce or a mahogany top, which are very commonly used woods in guitar building.

Spruce is a very light-colored wood, contrasting nicely with the darker timbers usually used for the guitar’s back and sides. It is a great all-around wood that resonates well and has a wide dynamic range with enhanced highs and lows. It has become the most popular acoustic guitar top wood thanks to its excellent tonal versatility.

Mahogany is a much darker, rich brown/red wood that gives the guitar a more rustic, earthy appearance. While spruce has emphasized highs and lows, mahogany tends to enhance the midrange tones for a warmer, woodier sound.

However, as a new player, you are unlikely to be able to discern a massive difference between the two. For this reason, I would probably suggest picking the one you prefer the looks of unless you really know the type of sound you are after.

Solid Top vs Laminate – Which Is Best?

Broken down into its component parts, an acoustic guitar body is made up of a top, sides, and a back section.

Solid Top vs Laminate Wood - Which Is Best?

As a general rule of thumb, more expensive guitars will be constructed entirely of solid wood, whereas cheaper guitars might be composed of laminate wood sections or a mix of both solid and laminate parts.

Due to the lower prices of most of the guitars I’ve recommended above, the majority are going to be either full laminate, or laminate back and sides with a solid top.

Solid wood is exactly as it sounds – one solid piece of wood.  Whereas laminate is constructed of several thin layers of wood – usually a more expensive/decorative piece on top, and cheaper layers underneath.

As I’ve already mentioned above, as a beginner you really aren’t going to notice too much of a difference, but it’s generally accepted that solid wood sounds better than laminate. Why? Laminate doesn’t resonate as well, giving a slightly thinner sound. Plus you can think of solid wood as being like a fine wine – the sound will improve as the wood ages.

However, the big advantage to a laminate guitar is the much lower cost, as well as the fact that they are more durable, and will be much more resistant to changes in humidity.

Find out more about how humidity can damage your guitar.

Try to opt for an acoustic guitar with a solid top if your budget permits.

Should I Get A Guitar With Nylon Or Steel Strings?

There is a common misconception that new players should start out on a nylon string guitar due to the strings being much easier on the fingers.

My advice is to start out on the instrument that best reflects your musical tastes. Likewise, if you ultimately prefer electric guitar, there’s no need to start out on an acoustic.

For some reason, many people feel like an acoustic is a stepping stone on the way to playing electric guitar. If you are unsure, just take a look at what your favorite artists use and go down that route.

Steel-string guitars are best for rock, pop country, and to be honest, most other styles apart from maybe classical.

If you want to play classical, folk, or flamenco/Latin style guitar then you will need a Nylon String Classical model. While steel-string acoustics have a crisp and bright tone, classical guitars tend to sound a lot more mellow. 

If you decide that you need a classical guitar, click here to go to Part 5 of the Guide to check out the best nylon-string options!

How Much Should A Beginner Spend On A Guitar?

It is my opinion that with acoustic more so than any other guitar, you should try to spend as much as your budget permits. You can somewhat fix the poor sound of a cheap electric guitar using effects, but acoustic guitars are kind of a ‘you get what you pay for’ kinda deal.

As awesome as it would be, I’m not saying that you should go out and buy a $4000 Martin as your first guitar! At the very least, avoid anything below $100 as these are likely to be essentially toys. 

Any of the guitars I’ve listed above will be a solid choice, but if you are back and forth about buying the slightly more expensive guitar, I’d say go for it!

Consider Paying For A Setup

Most acoustic guitars will come from the factory with a higher action than you might like. That is, the distance between the strings and the fretboard might make fretting notes tougher as you will need to press the strings down further.

This is because it is easier to lower the strings on an acoustic guitar than to raise them. So most manufacturers will ship the instruments with the easier-to-correct option.

To make sure you get the best possible start it may be worth paying the store to also give your guitar what is known as a ‘setup’. Essentially, the technician will adjust your new guitar so that it is optimally set up for easy playing.

You can find out more about this in my guide to guitar setups. There you will see what is involved in the process, plus the costs to get your axe in tip-top condition.

Next up? You’ll probably want to check out Part Eight below, to get the low-down on a few accessories that you might also like to pick up with your new acoustic.

Part One : Tips Before You Buy
Part Two : Beginner Left Handed Electric Guitars
Part Three : Beginner Left Handed Acoustic Guitars
Part Four : Beginner Left Handed Bass Guitars
Part Five : Beginner Left Handed Classical Guitars
Part Six : Beginner Guitar Amps
Part Seven : Effects
Part Eight : Accessories
Part Nine : Lessons