best starter guitar for adults

Finding the Best Starter Guitar For Adults is easier than you think. However, there are so many of them to find around. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the best beginner guitar 2020 in the category.

Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.

Best Starter Guitar For Adults

– Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar (Vintage Sunburst)Price:$199.00

Price Disclaimer

Learning to play the guitar as a young person is one thing, but picking it up as an adult is something else entirely. Adults often have less time to practice their new craft, and less disposable income to buy their first instrument and all the other things they will need.

Simply put, if you are learning to play the guitar as an adult, you need to find the best bang for your buck, an instrument that includes everything you need to get started and one that will not break the bank. Each of the five starter guitars on our list is perfect for the first-time adult player, and each has the must-have features every new guitar player needs, including:

  • An affordable price
  • The right accessories
  • A comfortable design
  • Sturdy construction
  • A rich, resonant sound

Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst

Best Epiphone Starter Guitars For Adults

First up on our list is the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst, arguably one of the best starter guitars on the market today. Every guitar fan knows the name Les Paul, and this exceptional instrument comes with an extensive list of features new players are sure to appreciate.

Among the benefits of bringing the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst home to your studio or practice space are:

  • Stunning vintage starburst color
  • 700T Humbucker pickups
  • Genuine rosewood fretboard
  • 24.75 scale

If you are looking for a great starter guitar at an affordable price, you are sure to appreciate the style and beauty of the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst. With the classic Les Paul name and its long list of features, this one is worthy of consideration.

Jackson JS22-7 Dinky – Satin Black

Best Jackson Starter Guitars For Adults

The Jackson JS22-7 Dinky – Satin Black is another worthy contender on our list. Easy to play but built to last, this is one guitar that can take you from the practice room to the stage in style.

When you choose the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky – Satin Black, you can enjoy some features typically found on higher-priced instruments. Among this great beginner-friendly guitar’s attributes are:

  • Stylish satin black finish
  • 16″ radius rosewood fingerboard
  • 24 jumbo frets
  • 26.5″ scale
  • Dual high-output Jackson humbucking pickups
  • Seven-string arch-top basswood body
  • Easy volume and tone controls

Whether you are new to music or just to the guitar, you will find plenty to love in the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky – Satin Black. With its excellent reviews and its professional-quality features, this instrument undoubtedly should be on your shortlist.

Squier by Fender Affinity Strat HSS Pack

Best Squier Starter Guitars For Adults

Next up on the list is the Squier by Fender Affinity Strat HSS Pack, another excellent choice for the new adult guitar player. What sets this guitar apart is its generous list of accessories, and when you buy it, you will have everything you need to start playing.

The Squier by Fender Affinity Strat HSS Pac is also distinguished by its high praises online. It is rare for an instrument to achieve such a high score, but this outstanding guitar does.

In addition to its perfect Amazon.com rating, the Squier by Fender Affinity Strat HSS Pac comes with plenty of accessories, giving the new player everything he or she needs to get started. Just look at this fantastic accessory list.

  • Includes Frontman 15G amplifier
  • Comes with gig bag
  • Includes cable, tuner, strap and extra picks
  • Includes instructional DVD and even a polishing cloth

If you are looking for a great instrument you can play right out of the box, the Squier by Fender Affinity Strat HSS Pac could be your perfect learning partner. Whether you are taking formal lessons or learning on your own, you will find a lot to love in the Squier by Fender Affinity Strat HSS Pack.

Fender FA-100 Limited Edition Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Pack

Best Fender Starter Guitars For Adults

Next up is the Fender FA-100 Limited Edition Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Pack, another good choice for the beginning adult player. This exceptional value includes everything you need to get started; just open the box and start playing.

The Fender FA-100 Limited Edition Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Pac is also one of the best reviewed on our list. This instrument comes complete with a gig bag, extra strings, tuner, strap and extra picks so that you can start your guitar playing career right away.

In addition to the long list of extras, the Fender FA-100 Limited Edition Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Pack also comes with:

  • Natural high-gloss finish
  • Spruce top with X bracing
  • Basswood back and sides
  • Maple neck
  • 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Dreadnought body style
  • Natural tone

If you are new to the guitar, you need an instrument that comes with everything you need to get started, and the Fender FA-100 Limited Edition Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Pack is such an instrument. With its affordable price and a long list of extras, it is easy to see how this great guitar made our list.

Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package

best starter acoustic guitar pack for adults Yamaha Gigmaker

Last but certainly not least is the Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package, another package deal that delivers excellent value for the money. Due to the high volume of online praise, it is clear that current players love this instrument.

The Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package comes with an impressive list of extras that you would otherwise have to pay extra for, including a sturdy gig bag, an instructional DVD, guitar strap, tuner, strings and picks. In addition to those extras, you get:

  • Spruce top
  • Qwik Tune QT-11 tuner w/pitch pipe functionality
  • Quality construction
  • Rich, resonant sound
  • Includes everything you need to start playing; just unbox and go

If you are looking for a great guitar package at a great price, this is one to consider. With a lengthy list of extras and plenty of professional-quality features, it is easy to see why this one made our list of best values.

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

Takeaways

Finding the perfect guitar is never easy, especially if you are taking up playing later in life. Each of the guitars on our list is a worthy contender for best value, so feel free to pick the one that best meets your needs and budget.

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