The Absolute Best Guitar for Beginners

When it comes to playing the guitar I have been around the block. Literally. When I was 13 I used to go across the street and learn guitar from my friend George. His Dad was this insanely good musician from Guatemala, so he would teach George and George me. Then I took my skills down the street and learned a few Nirvana tunes and started a band. Our name was Rubber Chicken. We played at my friend Mike’s all the time and probably drove his mom crazy.

So what kind of guitar did I play? A Fender? No. A Les Paul? No. It was a Yamaha Classical guitar. Of all things I ended up with a Yamaha. And I’m glad I did because even today I still suggest beginners get a Yamaha guitar. Why? Because they just make good quality affordable stuff. The Classical I have is probably over 50 years old at this point and it still plays just fine. Now here’s where you need to make a choice. I happened to have a Classical guitar which has nylon strings. Most people opt for a Steel String guitar. Both Classical and Steel String guitars are considered acoustic guitars. The Classical Guitar is a bit easier to play as a beginner because of the nylon strings and the fact that there is a little more spacing between the strings as well, making it easier to visualize chords and put your fingers where they need to go. Also, with the classical, if you lose all of your picks, which usually happens a lot as a beginner, you can strum with your finger. Here is a Yamaha Classical I would suggest but there are other options too.

A good Beginners Classical (Yamaha CG122MSH Nylon Sting)

Steel String is your more traditional “cowboy style guitar” that you would see many famous artists playing. It’s more associated with Rock n Roll as well. I would go with this model.

A good Beginners Steel String (Yamaha FG 800)

Final Thoughts

When choosing your guitar you may also want to consider a 3/4 scale guitar if you are under the age of 11. 3/4 scale is available in similar models as you see above. The main thing is to get a relatively good quality instrument, otherwise you may get stuck with something that is extra hard to play and that can be a game over for many beginners. The last thing you want to do is struggle with a crappy guitar. That’s why I suggest getting a Yamaha. They’ve been at it a long time and have good quality control on their instruments. You don’t have to get these exact models I have suggested here but it is a place to start. Honorable mentions for other brands would be Ibanez and Fender. And most of all, have fun playing! Get creative and do the best you can with whatever you have.