TrueFire's Guitar Blog

How to Choose the Best Acoustic Guitar for You

These days, acoustic guitars are more popular than ever. With so many great singer-songwriters and acoustic guitar players, it’s no wonder why. If you are looking to get into the game then you need to remember that your guitar should feel like an extension of yourself, but finding that perfect fit is no easy task.

With so many different manufacturers, styles, bodies and features out there, it can make your head spin. Stand back for a minute and take a deep breath because before you purchase your next acoustic guitar, be sure to follow these tips to make sure you find the guitar that best suits you.

Related: The 10 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

1. Budget

For most of us, this is the first (and perhaps most important) consideration. Like anything, your budget will determine a lot about the quality of the instrument that you purchase, but there is a certain point where the returns really won’t matter unless you a serious professional. And in that case, you probably don’t need to be reading this guide!

For beginners, $300 is usually a pretty good number. There are plenty of cheap acoustic guitars out there for between $75-$150 and while these can be tempting, as they may often include kits such as a carrying case, a learning book, and a stand, these kinds of package deals are usually a little too good to be true.

These low-priced guitars are usually quite difficult to play and sound bad, so spend a little more and get something you’ll enjoy playing. Instead, check out our list of the 10 best acoustic guitars under $500 for a few great choices.

For intermediate and advanced guitarists, about $700 is typically a good price point. Around here, you will find the quality, durable acoustic guitars you are looking for. At this point, the guitar should include a spruce (wood) top and the plastics in there should be directly related to any electronics that you may be looking for.

For the collector or aficionado, certainly there are plenty of amazing and beautiful acoustic guitars over $1,000. If you’re looking that range, you probably don’t need this article. 🙂

2. Style

There are several different acoustic guitar styles out there. If you are a beginner, you may want a standard acoustic guitar, but there are plenty of other great options out there. Acoustic guitars can be broken down into three different categories: standard, classical and fingerstyle.

Each of these sounds different so try them out and see what fits you. There are advantages to each of them. For example, with a fingerstyle guitar , you have some excellent playability for blues and jazz styles while you can get the shimmering Spanish sound with a classical axe.

3. Acoustic-Electric

Speaking of electronics, this is a decision you should already have made in the positive. There are some great straight acoustic guitars, but the usefulness is more limited. They require you to have more equipment if you want to record (i.e. you will need a separate microphone) as well as for gigging in loud environments.

When deciding on your acoustic-electric guitar, check out how it sounds hooked up to an amp. Although you can play on nearly any amplifier, you will want to also purchase a good amp that is designed for acoustic guitars. These usually have brighter, clearer sounds than those designed for an electric guitar and will be worth the investment once you decide to start playing live. They also can help you modulate your sound and use different effects such as reverb and echo so you can really tweak your style.

4. Set-Up

Acoustic guitars can vary widely on how they are designed. For example, there are dreadnought style guitars which are massive (hence the name) and have a loud, booming sound. On the other hand, you acoustic-electric models that look like hollowed out Fender Strats. Again, this is determined by what kind of player you are.

Many acoustic guitars are designed so that the neck joins that body at the 12th fret making playing the higher notes more difficult. If you are looking to shred all the way up and down the neck, then you may want to look for a cut-out. If you are more into a rhythmic style than you may want to go with a more traditional shape. Either way, be sure to find a guitar that is comfortable for you to play so be sure to consider additional factors such as the action and the fret buzz.

5. The Guitar For You

Many of these tips could apply to any type of guitar you purchase, acoustic, electric or even instruments like basses and ukuleles. There are some additional factors you will want to consider such as the materials it is made from (don’t even get us started on the different woods out there) as well as different “beauty marks” like fretboard inlays and designs.

Remember, the most important things are how it sounds and how it feels. Everything else is a bonus!

Diego has a passion for music since he was 12 years old. Enjoying jamming and teaching, he runs The Musician Lab and get involved with music.

Allef Vinicius