10 BEST ”First” Acoustic Guitars for Beginners • Acoustic Tuesday 300

300 episodes later and I’m still getting asked, “how do you pick out a first guitar?” Well, here goes nothing!

This week, we’re diving headfirst into the vast world of acoustic guitars to bring you my top 10 picks for the best first acoustic guitars for beginners.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be focusing on guitars that deliver the perfect balance between quality, tone, and price—and trust me, these guitars are some of the best the market has to offer. It can be a daunting task, picking your first guitar. You want to get the best bang for your buck, a guitar that sounds good, feels good, and will be with you as you progress through your guitar journey.

Some of the shining stars on this list include the compact yet powerful Taylor GS-Mini, the incredibly valued Yamaha FG800, the always reliable Seagull S6, the pleasantly surprising Bristol BD16, and the sublime Orangewood Echo. But that’s not all, we’ve got five more fantastic instruments for you to consider, each with its own unique qualities.

No spoilers here! You’ll have to tune in to find out the rest of my top picks. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique and so is every guitar, so take your time, do your research, and most importantly, enjoy the process. Get ready to pick up some key insights on what to look for in your first acoustic guitar. 

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below!

Featured in this episode…
– Taylor Guitars
– Jalopy Records
– Michael Watts  
– Maneli  
– Eddies Guitars  
– Lessons with Marcel  

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  1. My first guitar was a Yamaha FS800, very similar to the Yamaha on Tony’s list. It was perfect for me for two reasons. The price was reasonable. I think it was $299 but used ones can be had for less. Second reason was because it felt good in my hands. I was not certain I would continue to play a lot and didn’t want to invest a lot, initially. Now, eight additional guitars later I am certain I made the right decision for a first guitar. I didn’t have Tony’s list for reference but the two reasons I listed are huge for buying a first guitar.

  2. My recommendation for a first guitar would be an Eastman E1D. It is a dreadnaught constructed from all solid wood for less $600. A high quality gig bag is also provided

  3. Hi Tony happy 300. I have been a TAC member for a year and have only been playing for that amount of time, luckily I’m retired so I play and practice around 1to2 hours a day.
    I decided not to get a new acoustic guitar when I started and got a second hand Martin Smith great sound. When my playing gets to a better standard then I will look to upgrade.
    Thanks for a great show
    Graham from England

  4. I have a number of high-end Martin and Taylors. Recently I decided to buy an “inexpensive” guitar just to see what it would be like. I picked the PRS Angelus A40ETS. I now prefer to practice with this guitar. Cheers!

  5. Hey Tony my first acoustic was a Yamaha F335 the action is high and makes it a little hard to play and it never sounded so great to me.I guess the good news is it builds finger strength and no fret buzz…Ha,ha. Many years ago I bought my Dad a Epiphone Gibson PR-100 to try and get him playing again, I picked this one for him because it was one of those guitars that spoke to me it had such a rich sound and it might have been one of those one in hundreds that sounded that good and it didn’t hurt a good price as I remember. My dad has past I have inherited it, it still has that rich sound and maybe even better with age. I have often thought of buying something else like a Taylor or a Martin. It’s funny how just putting on a shin and fresh strings on an old friend can make it feel new to you again. Maybe that’s why old Willy stuck with old Trigger so long!
    Thanks for what you do here,

  6. Tony, you did say there would be something for everyone. Well, I learned something that I didn’t know, Picker’s grip. I have had trouble hanging on to a pick and finally went to a little guitar store and asked what the owner thought. He said that is easy, get a jar of drumstick wax, which drummers use to hold onto the sticks. Well, it worked very well, however you have now given me another avenue to try. Thanks. Steve

  7. Greetings from Northern Ireland, and what a great edition to celebrate the 300th presentation! A perfect subject to major on too.
    Appreciate the predicament of having such varied experiences amongst the family, but truly we are a ‘broad church’, with perhaps more folk with less experience?
    However, more questions than answers…I guess most novices like me have questions that they are too embarrassed to ask, especially in a shop! So with your experience and background, how about covering a range of these on the show? For starters, what about guitar set-up. Who does it? is it personal to the guitarist? And there are many more…
    Cheers, Pearse

    1. My favorite acoustic at the moment is a Ovation Celebrity found it at a pawn shop 3 years ago and have been happy with it ever since.

      1. After I “had” to sell my 76 Silver Anniversary Strat to make rent in 1980, I picked up an Ovation Celebrity and I live near the beach and it stays in tune and has been amazing for 43 years! It’s an awesome guitar with a neck similar to the Strat. Enjoy it in good health trimman66!