acoustic guitars with low action beginners

If you are here to find out about the Acoustic Guitars With Low Action Beginners edition or The string action (meaning how high the strings are from the fretboard) on acoustic guitars is a huge factor in deciding which model may be the best for you. Just as with an electric guitar, many players prefer string action that is low, as it usually makes it much easier to play. So what are the best electric guitars with low action and the best electric guitar with low action and thin neck??

I’ve done the research and have come up with, in my opinion, 8 of the best affordable acoustic guitars with low action (around 1/16” on the high E (1.6mm) to 3/32” (2.4mm) for the low E.).

I’ve made my choices based off of a few overall criteria, mostly the manufacturer’s specs along with featuring only respected guitar brands.

One thing to keep in mind – acoustics can be very sensitive to the environment, and that has a big effect on string action. I’d always recommend a full setup by a professional as a first step. That’s true regardless of the model that you may end up buying.

electric guitars with low action

Acoustic Guitars With Low Action Beginners

We’ve come now to the guitars with the lowest actions. 

There aren’t that many manufacturers who produce a guitar with shallow action. Simply because it’s not practical.

Here’s the thing:

If the string height is too low, the guitar will basically be unplayable. So, as a buyer, would you buy an unplayable guitar?

Which is why the guitars on this list have adequate low action. Perfect for beginners, finger stylists, and bluegrass players.

Fender CD-60s Review

This guitar is probably the cheapest on this list but still holds excellent value.

The Fender CD-60s has different versions: with a cutaway, with pickups, and my favorite, an all-mahogany version.

A little extra:

The all-mahogany version gives it an extraordinary look.

It features a solid top and mahogany back and sides. With its top, it’ll definitely last you a long time.

Hence, it’s an excellent investment, even for beginners.

Here’s the kicker:

This entry-level guitar is exceptionally comfortable to play that you’d have more practice time!

CD-60s features an easy to play neck with rolled fingerboard edges and its low action, of course. Easy to fret, simple to shift, and light to hold.

This dreadnought has a powerful, well-balanced tone. Besides, it’s X-bracing gives it a stronger projection. Altogether it has an excellent dynamic range.

Better yet:

It comes as a bundle, so your money will definitely be well-spent.

fender cd60s

Ibanez AE245JR Review

Ibanez may not be that famous when it comes to acoustic guitars, this guitar is still worth mentioning.

The Ibanez AE245JR features a short-scale JR body with a solid Okoume top and laminated Okoume back and sides. It’s a small body, which means it’s comfortable than a dreadnought. (Though that doesn’t apply to everybody.)

Bonus:

Its open pore finish conveys a pleasing aesthetics.

Here’s the thing:

One disadvantage of a smaller body is its sound. It has a lower projection, and its bass is not emphasized.

Even with that, the sound is still nice and crisp. It’s excellent for fingerstyle because of its sweet mids and bright trebles.

Better yet:

It has a relatively convenient neck. The width and thickness of the neck are going to be comfortable for you. Of course, let us not forget its low action.

Furthermore, it has a cutaway and electronics. With this, you’d be able to reach higher notes, no problem.

Given its Onboard Fishman Sonicore Pickup system,  you can simply plug it in. Whether you’re in a gig or if you just want to use an amplifier.

Here’s the kicker:

If its time to change the strings, you’ll find it rather easy to do so. Ibanez has its own Advantage pins that are easier to take out and put in.

ibanez ae245jr

Washburn WLD10SCE

Washburn guitars aren’t that popular, but they still produce great guitars. 

This affordable dreadnought features a solid Sitka Spruce top and layered mahogany back and sides. These tonewoods give it a beautiful look and excellent tone.

Better yet:

This can be considered an investment instead of a luxury expense. That’s thanks to the solid top, which will last and improve after some time.

Furthermore, its Cathedral Peaked Scalloped-X gives it an excellent projection. Overall, it features a lovely high-ends, and warm lows together produce a well-balanced tone.

The WLD10SCE features a natural glossy finish giving it a surprising look. It also has a unique detailed rosette and pickguard perfect for its aesthetics.

Its playability, of course, is excellent for beginners. It has a satin finish mahogany neck. This will give you an easy time when moving around the neck.

Let’s not forget about the low action. This kind of action will make your practice a child’s play.

It also features a two-way truss rod. So, when your guitar’s neck suddenly curved, you can quickly fix it.

Here’s more:

Not only does its cutaway improves its appearance, but it also enhances your playability. With this, you can reach the high frets, no problem.

Its built-in electronics are also a huge help, particularly the tuner. 

I mean, let’s be honest, you have to tune your guitar frequently, and this built-in tuner is like a cheat code.

Other than that, if you want to play on the stage. You can simply plug it in with control over the volume, bass, treble, and phase switch.

washburn hd10sce

Taylor 114E

The Taylor 114E is the perfect all-purpose Grand Auditorium guitar. It’s an excellent choice for most genres.

This top-quality craftsmanship is made with solid Stika Spruce top and laminated walnut back and sides. 

The tonewoods plus the matte finish gives it a pleasing look.

Walnut isn’t usually used as a back and sides, but this one gives it a warm tone.

Overall the 114e has a clear and balanced tone. It has a midrange focus and boomy bass. Also, the sustains of this guitar is sweet.

Here’s the thing:

Even though it’s not a dreadnought, it still has that clean and full sound that can compete with a regular-sized guitar.

The playability of this Taylor is also excellent. Other than its low action, it has a narrower nut width. With it, you’ll find that playing this guitar is a breeze.

Better yet:

It comes with a gig bag. No need to worry about any damages that may occur!

One more thing:

Taylor’s onboard Expression System 2 pickup is installed in this guitar. Plug n’ play, right?

Best of all:

If you must know, this is actually a budget guitar in the Taylor line. Compared to other guitars on this list, it’s a little expensive.

But, the quality? 

Off the charts!

It can even compete with a premium guitar that costs around 2 grand.

So, if you ever get this guitar, you’d be getting the most of your money as an investment. Not bad, don’t you think?

taylor 114e

Washburn D20SE

The second Washburn on the list. Perhaps they like low action guitars.

Moving on:

The Washburn D20se is almost the same as the HD10SCE, but cheaper.

Here are the main differences:

The back and sides material of the aforementioned is Pau Ferro. It’s not a popular tonewood, but it’s a great alternative to rosewood.

In fact, it’s used more as a fingerboard than as back and sides.

Anyway, it features a warm tone and articulates a clear sound.

Compared to the Washburn HD10SCE, it doesn’t have a cutaway.

It’s electronic is also limited, primarily volume and tone control only.

Between the two, I like the first one. It’s more expensive, but it also holds more value.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cheaper guitar, the D20sE isn’t so bad.

washburn d20se

Martin DJR-10e

Martin Guitars is one of the best in the acoustic race. So, from this point, I can already tell you that this guitar isn’t half-assed.

In fact, the Martin Dreadnought JR (DJR) has been updated to Martin DJR-10e.

Now, it looks more appealing or more luxurious per se.

It features a junior body with a depth of 000. To compare, it’s smaller than a dreadnought, but not as small as a little martin.

It’s somewhere in the middle, which makes it comfortable for everyone.

Also, despite its smaller body, the sound of this guitar is quite close to a dreadnought. You’ll fall in love with its rich lows and crisp highs.

This JR has either a Sitka Spruce top or Sapele top and Sapele back and sides. You can choose which color suits you more.

The playability is one of those remarkable qualities of this guitar, of course. It has a slim hand-rubbed neck to help you move around the neck without hassle.

In fact, this guitar has a dreadnought version. It’s brother, Martin D-10e, is actually my choice for the best travel guitar.

If you want a more prominent guitar than this, you should check it out.

A little extra:

It has an easy plug and play electronics.

Martin dJr10E

Taylor Academy Dreadnought 10e

Do you know the saying save the best for last? For this roundup, that’s what I did.

It’s my best pick amongst the other guitars in this list. You’ll see it soon enough.

Apart from the low action that you’re looking for, this majestic dreadnought is mainly made for beginners. In other words, it is an incredibly comfortable guitar to play.

It even has a built-in armrest to soften the edge of the guitar’s lower bout. With this armrest, your strumming hand won’t get instantly fatigued.

You’ll have fun playing the guitar for a longer time.

Here’s the thing:

It is actually cheaper than the previously mentioned Taylor guitar. Yet it holds great value!

Taylor’s fantastic craftsmanship sports a solid Sitka Spruce top and laminated Sapele back and sides. It’s a typical but excellent combination.

So, the sound? Wow!

It generates a dynamic range and bold response, the lows are warm and sustainable, and the trebles pack a punch!

Bonus:

The A10e is actually an acoustic-electric. Its onboard ES-B electronics have a built-in tuner. By now, I’m sure you know how helpful that is for beginners.

It’s a beginner guitar that will definitely not disappoint you.

Oh, and one more thing, it will only improve the longer you have it. Hence, it is also a significant investment.

Common Mistakes When Buying Your First Guitar

Often people get inspired to play guitar and jump straight to purchasing something that might not suit them. Here are seven common mistakes people make when buying their first guitar:

Mistake #1. Getting the wrong sound – Classical, Acoustic or Electric?

You have 3 basic choices of sound when you buy a guitar:

  • Nylon String Classical
  • Steel String Acoustic
  • Electric

A lot of people believe that the best choice is to start on an Acoustic Guitar and build up to an Electric Guitar. However, I think that your first guitar should be appropriate to the style of music you enjoy listening to.

If you like AC/DC, Green Day, or say the Foo Fighters, you really need an Electric Guitar to get the sound you want. If you like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper or Taylor Swift, an Acoustic Guitar could be a good choice. Nylon String Guitars sound great for flamenco music, classical music and a lot of traditional music.

Having said this, if it’s for a child under 12 we normally do recommend a nylon string as it’s easier for them to press the strings down. Some children can have tougher hands than others, so if you have a rough and tumble child, they mght be able to handle steel strings earlier than usual. Check out our buying guide for Choosing a Guitar for a Child for more information.

If you’re not sure what type of guitar is best for you, then just think of the music that you like to listen to the most, and call or email us. We will give you a personalized recommendation.

Mistake #2. Getting the wrong size

This is something that a lot of people get wrong. Electric Guitars are much smaller than Steel-String Acoustic Guitars and Nylon String Classical Guitars, they can basically be used by most people, but you do need to consider the extra weight. An Electric Guitar can weigh 5-6 Kg which can be difficult for children to handle. We would normally recommend children be at least 13 years before they try an Electric Guitar, but this is a generalisation and some children (sometimes as young as 10) have been ok. Every child is different, and some children may be capable at a younger age, so if you consider your child to be quite strong for their age, then by all means go for an electric. We carry a broad range of sizes in our entry level range. The correct size is most accurately determined by the player’s heightage and in some cases gender. If you can tell us these three details we can give you a personal recommendation.

Electric Guitar:

  • Smaller in size than acoustic or classical
  • Good for rock, metal, pop and country music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Can be heavy, depending on the model.
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
5 – 1280 – 125 1/2 Size – See MiniS
12+125 +Full Size – See STH

SHOP BEGINNER ELECTRIC GUITARS

Acoustic Guitar:

  • Good for folk, pop, country, slow rock music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Sounds bright and loud, great for strumming chords 
  • Light weight but bulky
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
5 – 12100 – 120 3/4 Size – See LSP34
12 – 15 120 – 165 Small Body – See LSPS
15+165 +Full Size – See LSP

SHOP BEGINNER ACOUSTIC GUITARS

Classical Guitar (Nylon String Guitar):

  • Good for classical, flamenco, Spanish music.
  • Available in the smallest size – 1/4 size.
  • Gentle on finger tips – perfect for young children
  • Sounds mellow and soft – not as loud as acoustic
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
2 – 575 – 100 1/4 Size – See CL14
5 – 8 100 – 125 1/2 Size – See CL12
8 – 12125 – 1653/4 Size – See CL34
12+165 +Full Size – See CL44*

* A full size classical guitar has a wider neck than other guitars. If you have small hands we recommend the CL44S slim neck classical guitar.

SHOP BEGINNER CLASSICAL GUITARS

Mistake #3: Buying a guitar with strings that are too high and hard to play

String action is one of the critical things for getting an easy to play guitar. The easiest way to understand action is that it’s just the measurement of the gap from the bottom of the string, to the top of the fret and it’s measured at the 12th fret (the half way pint of the string).

For a beginner we recommend an action of:

  • Electric Guitars 2-2.3mm
  • Acoustic Guitars 2-2.7mm
  • Nylon String Guitars 3-3.6mm

A common issue with most entry level nylon string guitars is that the necks are usually made in a very traditional manner using a section of metal bar a few mm thick to keep the neck straight (you can’t see this bar it is built into the neck).

We started finding that this type of construction leads to the neck bending (or bowing) after about 6 months. Unfortunately with the traditional method there is not an easy way to adjust it back to normal – once it is bent it’s time to get a new guitar! This lead us to re design our classical guitars to use a truss rod. A truss rod is a much stronger example of the bar used in traditional manufacturing, but its main advantage is that it is adjustable. So if in the future you neck begins to bend it can easily be adjusted back into correct shape. Here’s our guide to adjusting your truss rod.

Mistake #4: Getting stuck with bad machine heads guitar that don’t stay in tune

Here is an example of a basic covered machine head:

These are made out of gears and pressed metal, it used to be the only way to make machine heads (so a lot of vintage guitars use this type). While it can look cool and retro, these vintage style tuners are often very hard to tune and to keep in tune.
Now there is a modern way to get a much better guitar – the die-cast machine head:


Made from a mould these machine heads are much smoother and more accurate than a covered machine head.

Mistake #5: Choosing a popular brand name because you think you’re getting a superior product

Most popular brand name guitars are indeed very good quality at the higher levels but their entry level guitars, in our experience, are not such a great deal.

In the entry-level market, brand-name guitar companies are usually forced to make their guitars with cheaper materials. There is a simple reason for this. Most major brand-name companies have a brand owner (sometimes an American company). That company buys from a factory in China, and in Australia they will have a distributor who will sell to a retailer (your local music store). It’s pretty easy to see why they can be forced to use cheaper materials. There is a lot of price pressure to get a guitar manufactured at a low enough price for everybody to take their cut of the profit down the chain.

At Artist Guitars we manufacture our Australian designed guitars at our trusted factory in China and sell direct to you. There is no need for us to choose inferior components because we don’t have the pressure of keeping the costs low.
 

Mistake #6: Buying a guitar without any support materials

When most people buy their first guitar they can be a little confused about what to do. A guitar can be a confusing purchase and most guitars don’t even come with a manual explaining how to use them. That becomes a problem because most people then have to search for the information (which
can be hard to find).
Unfortunately it’s during this critical time that a lot of people get discouraged and may even give up on playing altogether. The first 6 months of learning guitar are critical, statistics show that if someone can still be playing at 6 months they will be much more likely to go on to play guitar for life, so the first 6 months are actually the most important time.

Mistake #7: Paying for features you just don’t need

At the beginner level, you need a good quality instrument, but having a more expensive instrument generally doesn’t make your playing any easier. Higher level instruments are designed for high-level players who want the ultimate in sound.

As a beginner most people are not very sure of the sound, style or type of guitar that they would ultimately like to play, but after playing for 6 months or so I’m sure you will know a lot more about guitars and when it comes time to choose your next guitar it will be an easy choice. The key features a beginner needs is a guitar that is well set-up and easy to play, but you don’t really need to spend too much money on getting a better quality of sound. Higher level guitars will only sound better when your playing has progressed to the level that you can play quite well.
Most beginners find that during the process of learning (after a year or so) you will figure out your own sound. You will naturally be drawn to music that features guitar in it, and great guitar parts. So what usually happens is that your own musical tastes will change and with this change the type of instrument that suits your sound the best will also change. So when you’re ready to take the next step, you will have a much better idea of what you really want.


So in summary…

The 7 key mistakes when buying a beginner guitar are :

  1. Getting the wrong sound
  2. Getting the wrong size
  3. Buying a guitar with strings that are too high and hard to play
  4. Getting stuck with bad machine heads guitar that don’t stay in tune
  5. Buying a brand name and thinking you will be getting a better guitar.
  6. Buying a guitar without any support materials
  7. Paying for features you just don’t need

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