Buying Your First Guitar: A Guide for Students and Parents

Congratulations on beginning your journey with guitar! With so many options available, buying your first guitar can be an overwhelming process, but we’re here to help! Today, we’ll review some important things to consider when buying a guitar for yourself or your child, and offer some of our favorite recommendations in different prices ranges for beginners!

Electric vs Acoustic vs Classical

Your can learn on any style of guitar, and there’s no “right” answer when choosing between an electric, acoustic, or classical guitar. The choice depends completely on you! Maybe your interest in music was sparked by hearing an electric guitar riff in a rock song, or maybe you were inspired by a family member strumming on an acoustic guitar around the campfire. What’s important is that the guitar fits your interests. From a practical standpoint, an electric guitar requires an amplifier and cable, while acoustic or classical guitars are portable and can be played on their own (although you can always play an electric guitar unplugged for a much quieter experience)! Classical guitars have softer strings that can be easier on the fingers, while electric guitars have thinner strings and a lower “action,” which makes the strings easier to press down.

Selecting the Right Size

It’s important to consider guitar size when choosing an instrument, so you have a comfortable, enjoyable playing experience. In general, you’ll want to consider both age and height when choosing a guitar. This chart acts as a reference:

Everyone is different, so if your child has larger hands or is tall for their age, consider going up a size, as they’ll grow into the instrument.

Electric Guitar Recommendations

Electric guitars are great for players who are trying to play modern popular music such as rock, metal, jazz, pop, and R&B. They typically have softer, more flexible strings which make playing on them much more comfortable. They are also very versatile in tone when paired with an amplifier. However, the electric guitar cannot be played to its fullest potential without an amplifier and power source. They are also generally heavier than most acoustic and classical guitars.

RockJam Full-Size Electric Guitar Starter Kit

Ibanez Full-Size Electric Guitar

WINZZ 30-Inch Kids Guitar

Acoustic Guitar Recommendations

Acoustic guitars are great for players who love playing in genres such as singer-songwriter, country, and some styles of rock. They can be plenty loud for lessons and small gatherings, even without an amplifier. However, since many acoustic guitars cannot be plugged into an amp, they are restricted in tone versatility. Acoustic guitars also may have thicker strings and bulkier bodies than their electric counterparts.

Ibanez Dreadnought Full-Size Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar

Classical Guitar Recommendations

Classical guitars are a good mix between electric and acoustic. They typically have soft, nylon strings that are easy to press down on. They also can be played loudly without an amp. However, they are quieter than the average acoustic guitar. They also have a similar bulky body like the acoustic guitar.

ADM Full-Size Classical Guitar Kit

J&Z 3/4 Size Classical Guitar Kit

Yamaha Half-Size Classical Guitar

Tuners and Other Accessories

Some guitars come as a package with everything your child needs to start playing. If not, be sure to get some guitar picks, a tuner, a strap and spare strings.

Snark Clip-On Tuner

KLIQ MetroPitch Metronome Tuner

BOSS TU-3 Tuner Pedal


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