When you’re just starting out, the best way to get into guitar is to purchase a cheap beginner guitar. While not the best quality, these guitars are perfect for beginners, and you’ll get everything you need out one until you decide you’re ready to take to the stage. In particular, starter packs provide a fine complement of the necessary items for playing and can get you started faster than buying each thing separately.
Here’s a mix of electric guitar beginner kit and acoustic beginner guitar set models to get anyone started on their path to rock stardom.
Guitar Beginner Set
1. Yamaha Gigmaker EG Electric Guitar Pack
Above average quality for a starter guitar
Versatile pickup layout
Everything you need to get started
Four colors to choose fromCons:
Fret buzz could be an issue (a proper setup could fix this)
Amp good for practice only
Some packages missing the guitar cable
Cables appear to failOf course we included the Pacifica on our best guitars for beginners and best guitars under $500 lists. The Pacifica was made to address this market, delivering uncommonly good guitar to beginners with enough function to carry them through a long while of playing.This is an agathis guitar like the Squier above, with a maple neck. It has a vintage-style tremolo complete with whammy bar, as well as an HSS pickup layout for a little added flexibility. Color options include Old Violin Sunburst, Black, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Red.What’s Included:
Yamaha PAC012 Pacifica guitar
Yamaha 15-watt amp
Instructional DVDFind more Yamaha Gigmaker EG Electric Guitar Pack information and reviews here.
2. Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package
Included extras provide everything you need
Solid spruce top
Easy-to-read headstock tuner
Full-size dreadnought shapeCons:
Doesn’t include polish
Gig bag little more than a cover
Plastic bridge parts somewhat brittle
Strap uncomfortableThough most people are familiar with Epiphone and Squier, Yamaha these days make the definitive student-level instruments. They’re usually just a bit better, too. This so-called Gigmaker Deluxe package includes their FD01S acoustic guitar, which is a full-sized dreadnought with a solid spruce top and laminate nato back and sides. Nato is one of the harder cheap tone woods, not that you’ll be too bothered about tone when you’re just starting. Everything you need to learn how to string, tune, and play a guitar come in this package, so it’s an excellent place to start.For $30 less, you can step down to the Gigmaker Standard package, which includes the Yamaha F325 that still has a spruce top, but meranti back and sides. The tuner gets a downgrade, too.What’s Included:
Yamaha FD01S acoustic guitar
Instructional DVDFind more Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package information and reviews here.
3. Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special-II Guitar Package
High end materials: mahogany body with flame maple top
Tuner built into the guitar so it can’t be lost
Online lessons available from EpiphoneCons:
No amp included
Color unappealing to some
Relatively heavy for a starter guitarThe other titan of entry-level guitars is Epiphone. They produce the cheaper versions of Gibson guitars, and this Slash signature model is no exception. Like it’s more expensive brethren, the body on this guitar is made of mahogany, capped with an amber-finished flame maple piece that adds a high-end look to a relatively cheap instrument. The price is certainly significant, especially since it doesn’t include an amp.If you want to go for a classic pairing, you could grab a Marshall MG10CF, which is akin to the Fender Frontman in the kit above. One very nice feature is that the tuner is built into the bridge pickup, so the budding guitarist in question will never be far away from being in tune.What’s Included:
Epiphone Slash “AFD” Signature Les Paul Special-II Electric Guitar
Tuner (built into guitar pickup)
PicksFind more Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special-II Guitar Package information and reviews here.
4. Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle
Durable and sturdy case
Full-size dreadnought shape
Everything you need to start playing
May need a professional setup/li>
Can fall out of tune quickly
Some users report wonky soundThis starter pack is notable for one particular upgrade: a hard case. Sure, it has no impact on the instrument nor your playing, but the little added protection is good. We have one of these guitars kicking around our band studio for practice and scratch tracks and it does the job just fine.It’s not quite on par with the Yamaha, but that’s probably a detail you notice after a few years of playing. It’s got a laminate spruce top and agathis back and sides with a rosewood fretboard. The hard case is what sets this offering apart, but you can save $60 if you downgrade to a gig bag here.What’s Included:
Fender FA-100 guitar (this seems to be somewhat variable)
Instructional DVDFind more Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle information and reviews here.
5. Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar Pack
Strat style body with humbuckers
Amp has boost switch
Ultra light paulownia body good for younger playersCons:
Included picks are flimsy
Will likely need a setup
Tremolo tends to knock guitar out of tune
Some included tuners don’t workIf you want something a little more interesting-looking, Dean guitars usually deliver on that front. The Vendetta XMT is a Strat-style guitar with Dean’s signature headstock and a pair of humbuckers. It has a Strat-style tremolo, but be warned: virtually all tremolo activity on cheap guitars is likely to put your strings out of tune. It’s just the nature of the beast. Better to leave the tremolo bar off and just enjoy this for the cheap, but slightly more interesting, Strat pack. The neck profile on this one is a bit slimmer, which might make learning easier for some.What’s Included:
Dean Vendetta XMT guitar
Dean 10-watt amp
Guitar cableFind more Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar Pack information and reviews here.
6. SX RST 3/4 Short Scale Electric Guitar Package
3/4 size great for younger players
Comfortable Strat-style body
Available in several colorsCons:
No tuner included
Setup will be necessary
Tremolo tends to know guitar out of tune
Amp definitely not the bestComing in at a discount of $60 compared to its Squier Mini Strat competitor, this SX kit from Rondo Music is an excellent deal. Three-quarter size guitars are perfect for kids starting out on guitar as the shorter overall length makes it easier to reach the first couple of frets, which is where most lessons start out. I’ve played a few SX guitars and I find that I like them a little more than Squiers, and at this price, they’re worth a look.The RST comes in the pictured red, purple, white, sunburst, pink, surf green, and blue. It doesn’t come with a tuner, however, so you’ll want to peruse our list of the best tuners here.What’s Included:
SX RST Short electric guitar
SX 10-watt amp
Instructional DVDFind more SX RST 3/4 Short Scale Electric Guitar Package information and reviews here.
7. Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Bundle
Comes with a fresh set of stringsCons:
Setup will be necessary
No gig bag
May require frequent tuning
Packaging isn’t always sufficient to prevent damage during shippingIt’s hard to beat the price of this offering, especially given that the accessories they toss in may well outlive the guitar itself. On its own, the D’Addario Eclipse tuner is excellent and worth about $13; you’ll be able to make use of that for a long while.The guitar features a laminate spruce top and nato back and sides as with some of the more-expensive options. A setup at a guitar store will almost certainly be required, unless you want to follow along with YouTube videos. Still, this is more than enough for a beginner’s guitar. I have fond memories of a great many Jasmines played by friends in high school, so I feel confident this is up to the task.What’s Included:
Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
D’Addario Eclipse Clip-On Tuner
Guitar Buying Guide: What To Know Before You Buy an Acoustic or Electric Guitar
Understanding how to select the right guitar type that’s best for your learning style and playing needs can help make the guitar buying process much easier. So, before we can officially salute those who are about to rock, we (along with our friends at Beginner Guitar HQ) have a few tips and recommendations to help you get started:
- Know the term “tonewood.”
- Know which guitar style is best for beginners.
- Know the types of electric guitars.
- Know budget-friendly accessories for your guitar.
1. Yes, “Tonewood” Is A Thing!
Wood is favored for guitar crafting. A guitar needs to hold itself together as well as produce a great tone (aka, “tonewood”). Tonewood has the capacity to effectively produce brighter, sharper sounds as well as warmer, deeper overtones.
However, not all types of wood are suitable for crafting guitar parts, which is why choosing the right type of tonewood is important! Below are three common wood types used in crafting:
- Primarily used for the neck and fretboard
- Produces an extremely clear sound
- Maple resonates well and produces defined tones
- Strong, but malleable
- Produces a full, yet twangy sound
- Many favor the red hue of the wood
- Sustains chords and notes
- Strongest and most economical wood type
Each wood is used for its particular characteristics, so research the different woods suitable for the specific style of guitar you are interested in playing.
2. Beginner? Learn On The Acoustic First.
For a beginner guitarist, we recommend test-driving an acoustic. Acoustic guitars are one of the most beginner-friendly musical instruments and can be learned quickly. Starting on the acoustic is more meant for learning chords and finger placement, as well as understanding how to amplify your sounds or quiet your sounds. Plus, many are low in cost, so they won’t break your budget!
Advantages Of An Acoustic
- Doesn’t need electricity to play
- Doesn’t need a lot of equipment other than a guitar pick
- Usually, strings won’t hurt the fingers as much compared to the electric guitar strings
Never underestimate the wisdom of veteran guitarists when it comes to brand and style advice! Although many musicians will have their preferences, we recommend Washburn’s Apprentice Series as being a great starter for beginner musicians:
- Best to use when learning finger placement and sound desired
- Most affordable
- Premium spruce top
- Mahogany back and sides for a full rich tone
Washburn guitars have plenty of series and styles to choose from. Do some research to find the best acoustic for your learning style!
3. Know Your Electric Guitars.
When choosing an electric guitar, decisions will rely more on the components and the quality of the craftsmanship rather than the type of wood used.
An electric guitar relies on the wood simply as a strong base capable of sustaining the tension of the strings, as opposed to an acoustic guitar using the wood to amplify the sound. The three most-common body styles are featured below:
- Most common for rock, pop, and country genres
- Lacks a hollow resonating chamber, which means the sound can be amplified louderCredit: Guitar Center
- Most common for jazz or blues genres, plus rock n’ roll
- Tone is silky smooth and electrified
- Has a large resonating chamberCredit: Guitar Center
- Versatile and can adapt to any genre
- Has a hollow resonating chamber paired with a solid center blockCredit: Guitar Center
A few components often overlooked are the switches, tone knobs and volume knobs just below the strings. Are they easy to reach and control with the hand not picking or strumming?
4. Budget For The Accessories, Too!
Enthusiastic shoppers may forget about the extras needed once the actual guitar is purchased. Our friends at Beginner Guitar HQ list several great products, including amp suggestions and guitar cases, but we’ve chosen a few common accessories below that are budget-friendly for beginners.
They are the tiniest accessory that can often cause the biggest headache for musicians. That’s because you need to find the right material and thickness that can help you strum or pluck without having to use your fingers all the time. If a pick is too flimsy, they can break easily or won’t provide the right sound you are looking for.
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Stands can be made out of different materials, but they should all be durable. The materials can dictate how much they will stand with your instrument and how much they will be able to shield it from danger and the like.
Top Stage Pro
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Storing your instrument in the right temperature is important. If you are not using your instrument, make sure you store it in the right place to avoid such hassle and damage to your instrument in the long run.
When you choose the best guitar strap, the length can vary depending on the desired length or type of guitar that you have, as well as how tall or short you are.
Protec Leather Ends
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You don’t want your guitar to be too far from your body, making it uncomfortable to play. The thickness can also have an impact, as a thickness that is wider can mean more support for your shoulders.
It is always unpleasant to hear an off tune guitar, so you should make it a habit to tune your instrument before every performance or even practice. Tuning your guitar as quickly as possible is important because it will help save up on setup time; too long a setup time will get the audience bored eventually!
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The standard tuning of a guitar is E A D G B E.
Different guitars have different purposes. Consider your choice in strings to meet the criteria that you expect so as not to waste money in the long run. Electric strings run on amplifier power and can produce loud sounds while acoustic strings are more for the quiet practice purposes, small venues and subtle music.
The gauge or thickness can play a role in a string set. Thickness is how much volume or bass you want or how much treble you want for your strings.
D’Addario EXL 110-3D *for electric guitars
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Acoustic guitars normally use nylon or steel strings. Electric guitars use stainless steel or nickel.