Best Budget Guitar Options for Beginners in 2024

Updated on February 13, 2024

Choosing the right guitar can be a daunting task, especially if you’re on a tight budget. With so many options available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which one offers the best value for your money. That’s why we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing various budget guitars to help you find the one that suits your needs.

When it comes to budget guitars, there are several factors to consider, such as the type of guitar, the materials used, and the overall build quality. While some budget guitars may skimp on quality, others can offer excellent sound and playability without breaking the bank. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to the critical features that can make or break a budget guitar.

One of the essential things to consider when buying a budget guitar is the type of guitar you want. Acoustic, electric, and classical guitars are the most popular types of guitars, and each has its unique sound and playing style. Additionally, the materials used can significantly affect the guitar’s sound and durability. For instance, solid wood guitars tend to produce a warmer and richer sound compared to laminated wood guitars.

After testing and reviewing several budget guitars, we’ve identified the critical features that you should consider when buying a budget guitar. By paying attention to these factors, you can find a guitar that offers excellent sound, playability, and durability without breaking the bank. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, we’ve got you covered.

Best Budget Guitars

We know that finding a quality guitar that won’t break the bank can be a challenge, but fear not, because we’ve done the research for you. Our team has scoured the market to find the best budget guitars out there, so you can rock out without breaking the bank. Below is our list of the top budget guitars that deliver on both quality and affordability.

Best Choice Products 38in Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit

Best Choice Products 38in Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit w/Gig Bag, Digital Tuner, 6 Celluloid Picks, Nylon Strings, Capo, Cloth, Strap w/Pick Holder - Natural

If you're looking for a budget-friendly guitar to start your musical journey, the Best Choice Products 38in Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit is a great option for you.

Pros:
  • The all-in-one kit comes with everything you need to get started, including a digital tuner, gig bag, guitar strap, extra strings, picks, capo, and cloth.
  • The upgraded design of the guitar reduces finger fatigue and makes it easier to play for longer periods of time.
  • The nylon strings produce a beautiful tone while playing and are easier to hold down, making it perfect for beginners.
Cons:
  • While the guitar is great for beginners, it may not meet the needs of more advanced players.
  • Some users have reported issues with the quality of the guitar, particularly with the frets.
  • The carry bag included in the kit is made of cheap material and may not provide adequate protection for the guitar.
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Overall, we recommend the Best Choice Products 38in Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit for those who are just starting out and looking for an affordable option. The all-in-one kit provides everything you need to get started, and the upgraded design of the guitar makes it comfortable to play for longer periods of time. However, more advanced players may want to look for a higher quality instrument.

Smartxchoices 38″ Kids Acoustic Guitar Bundle Kit

Smartxchoices 38" Kids Acoustic Guitar Bundle Kit for Starter Beginner Music Lovers, 6-String Folk Guitar with Gig Bag, Extra Set Steel Strings, Strap, Pitch Pipe and Pick (Natural)

If you're a beginner on a budget and looking for a decent and stylish guitar to practice and mess around with, Smartxchoices starter kit is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The kit comes with everything you need to start playing instantly, including a case, guitar pick, pitch pipe, a shoulder strap, and an extra set of strings.
  • The guitar has a nice shiny finish with some floral decoration around the sound hole, making it decent and stylish.
  • The guitar is designed specifically for young learners or women with a scale and compact body that offers excellent playing comfort.
Cons:
  • The guitar comes un-tuned, so you need to tune it yourself.
  • It takes a little time for strings to settle and hold tuning, so you need to be patient and stretch the strings properly.
  • The guitar is intended for right-handed users only.
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The Smartxchoices 38″ Kids Acoustic Guitar Bundle Kit is a complete set that contains everything a beginner needs in one box. The guitar has a full-bodied sound and sounds great, thanks to its 6-steel strong and sturdy strings. The slim neck provides a comfortable feel and excellent playability, and the smooth satin effect maximizes resonance for optimal sound quality.

The guitar comes un-tuned, so you need to tune it yourself. The pitch pipe is very easy to use and doesn’t require any batteries. It’s also important to stretch the strings properly, which can take some time before they achieve optimal tension and hold tuning.

The guitar is designed specifically for young learners or women with a scale and compact body that offers excellent playing comfort. The body features a 19 fret fingerboard and an easy-to-use tuner. The guitar comes with a nice adjustable guitar strap that fits securely onto the strap pin on the body end of the guitar, and the other end is tied to the head side of the neck.

In conclusion, if you’re a beginner on a budget and looking for a decent and stylish guitar to practice and mess around with, Smartxchoices starter kit is a great option to consider. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to satisfy a child that states they want to learn to play the guitar this week and then move on to something else the following week.

Joymusic 38 inch Blueburst Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit

Joymusic 38 inch blueburst beginner acoustic guitar kit,bundle with a strap with picks holder,digital tuner, set strings, capo,cleaning cloth,6 picks,gig bag.(JG-38C,BLS)

If you're looking for an affordable beginner acoustic guitar with a variety of accessories, the Joymusic 38 inch Blueburst Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit may be a good option for you.

Pros:
  • Good for beginner: Its smaller size and lighter weight make it more comfortable and easier to handle, especially for beginners or players with smaller hands.
  • Portable: It offers a balance between a full-size guitar and a smaller travel guitar, making it a versatile option for both practicing at home and taking on the go.
  • Variety: The folk guitar's sound is known for its warm and rich tone, which is well-suited for a variety of musical styles, from folk to country to pop.
Cons:
  • Plastic fretboard: Some players may prefer a wooden fretboard for a more authentic feel.
  • Fragile: It is not as durable as more expensive guitars and may need to be handled with care.
  • Limited sound projection: Due to its smaller size, it may not produce as loud or full of a sound as a full-size guitar.
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We found the Joymusic 38 inch Blueburst Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit to be a highly cost-effective option for beginners on a budget. The guitar bundle comes with a gig bag, strap with pick holder, extra set of strings, digital tuner, capo, cleaning cloth, and six picks. The guitar itself has a full wood construction with geared tuning, wood frame, and steel strings.

The smaller size and lighter weight make it more comfortable and easier to handle, especially for beginners or players with smaller hands. It offers a balance between a full-size guitar and a smaller travel guitar, making it a versatile option for both practicing at home and taking on the go. The folk guitar’s sound is known for its warm and rich tone, which is well-suited for a variety of musical styles, from folk to country to pop.

However, some players may prefer a wooden fretboard for a more authentic feel, and the guitar may not be as durable as more expensive options. Due to its smaller size, it may not produce as loud or full of a sound as a full-size guitar. Overall, we recommend the Joymusic 38 inch Blueburst Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit as a great value for beginners on a budget.

Donner Acoustic Guitar for Beginner Adult 36” Dreadnought 3/4 Size Black Guitar Bundle Package Kit Travel, Spruce Wood With Gig Bag Capo Tuner Strap String Guitar Picks DAG-1MB/DAT-110D 3/4 Black

Donner Acoustic Guitar for Beginner Adult 36'' Dreadnought 3/4 Size Black Guitar Bundle Package Kit Travel, Spruce Wood With Gig Bag Capo Tuner Strap String Guitar Picks DAG-1MB/DAT-110D

If you're looking for a budget-friendly acoustic guitar package that comes with all the necessary accessories, the Donner Acoustic Guitar Kit is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The package comes with all the necessary accessories, saving you time and money on buying them separately.
  • The 36 inch dreadnought body shape offers a great combination of tone and playing comfort, making it a great beginner guitar for adults with small hands.
  • The spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides with scalloped X bracing offer a rich, warm, and resonant sound that is suited for all styles of music.
Cons:
  • The guitar may require some tuning adjustments after the initial tune-up of strings.
  • The craftsmanship may not be as refined as more expensive guitars.
  • The Donner logo on the product may differ from what is shown in the product image.
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We were impressed with the quality of the Donner Acoustic Guitar Kit for its price point. The package comes with a padded gig bag, strap, digital clip-on tuner, capo, pickguard, extra pack of steel strings, 4 celluloid picks, and clean cloth, making it a complete beginner guitar package.

The 36 inch dreadnought body shape offers a perfect combination of tone and playing comfort. The guitar’s size also makes it more portable for travel, gigs, or classes. The spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides with scalloped X bracing offer a rich, warm, and resonant sound that is suited for all styles of music.

The guitar is constructed with high-quality alloy metal made tuning machine, phosphor bronze strings with high carbon steel hex core, high hardness bridge saddle, and bone nut, making it easy to tune and hold tune after the first tune-up of strings. The smooth fretboard and C shaped neck profile allow sliding fretboard smoothly without scratching fingers and offer players a comfortable and secure grip.

Overall, the Donner Acoustic Guitar Kit is a great budget-friendly option for beginners who want a complete package with all the necessary accessories. While it may require some tuning adjustments and the craftsmanship may not be as refined as more expensive guitars, the guitar’s quality and sound make it a great value for its price.

GLARRY Full Size Electric Guitar for Music Lover Beginner with 20W Amp and Accessories Pack Guitar Bag (White) 39″ Right Handed WHITE

GLARRY Full Size Electric Guitar for Music Lover Beginner with 20W Amp and Accessories Pack Guitar Bag (White)

If you're looking for an affordable electric guitar to start your musical journey, the GLARRY Full Size Electric Guitar is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The guitar comes with a complete set of accessories, including an amplifier, guitar bag, shoulder strap, plectrums, tremolo arm, connecting wire, and spanner tool, making it easy to start playing right away.
  • The fretboard and face/back material are made of basswood, which produces a warm and rock sound. The materials used to make the guitar are strong and durable, ensuring that it will last for years.
  • The guitar bag is portable, allowing you to take your guitar with you to class, performances, or play music with your band friends.
Cons:
  • The pickup selector switch may be defective in some units, which can be inconvenient for players who need to use the center position.
  • The amp may produce static noise, which can be distracting and affect the sound quality.
  • The guitar may arrive with some minor damage, such as scratches or dents, which can be disappointing for some players.
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In our experience, the GLARRY Full Size Electric Guitar is a great choice for beginners who want to learn to play guitar without breaking the bank. The guitar is easy to handle and has a comfortable touch feeling, thanks to its standard string spacing and smooth neck. The accessories included in the package make it easy to start playing right away, and the portable guitar bag allows you to take your guitar with you wherever you go.

Overall, we recommend the GLARRY Full Size Electric Guitar for anyone looking for an affordable and reliable electric guitar to start their musical journey.

Ashthorpe 38-inch Beginner Acoustic Guitar Package (Sunburst)

Ashthorpe 38-inch Beginner Acoustic Guitar Package (Sunburst), Basic Starter Kit w/Gig Bag, Strings, Strap, Tuner, Pitch Pipe, Picks

If you're looking for a budget-friendly guitar that comes with everything you need to get started, the Ashthorpe 38-inch Beginner Acoustic Guitar Package might be the one for you.

Pros:
  • Designed for students and teens who are just getting started
  • Complete starter kit with all the essentials
  • High-quality tonewoods for versatility and warmth
Cons:
  • May not be suitable for experienced players
  • Some users reported issues with the tuning pegs
  • Nylon bag may not be very durable
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We were impressed with the overall quality of this guitar, especially considering its affordable price tag. The laminated basswood construction gives it a warm, full sound that’s perfect for beginners who are still getting the hang of things. The 18 smooth frets and easy-to-hold neck make it comfortable to play, even for extended periods of time.

The complete starter kit is another big selling point. It comes with a nylon bag, three picks, a shoulder strap, a digital tuner, a pitch pipe, an extra set of strings, and an instructional sheet. This means you’ll have everything you need to start playing right out of the box.

Of course, there are a few downsides to keep in mind. Experienced players may find the sound and construction a bit lacking, and some users reported issues with the tuning pegs. Additionally, the nylon bag may not be very durable, so you may want to invest in a sturdier case if you plan on taking your guitar on the go.

Overall, we think the Ashthorpe 38-inch Beginner Acoustic Guitar Package is a great choice for anyone who’s just starting out. It’s affordable, well-made, and comes with all the essentials you need to get started on your musical journey.

SereneLife Pyle Acoustic Electric Guitar ½ Scale 34” Steel String Spruce Wood w/Gig Bag,4-Band EQ Control,Clip On and Onboard Tuner,Picks,Shoulder Strap for Beginners Students and Kids

SereneLife Pyle Acoustic Electric Guitar ½ Scale 34” Steel String Spruce Wood w/Gig Bag,4-Band EQ Control,Clip On and Onboard Tuner,Picks,Shoulder Strap for Beginners Students and Kids

If you're looking for a budget-friendly guitar that's perfect for beginners and students between 5-8 years old, the SereneLife Pyle Acoustic Electric Guitar is an excellent option. With its spruce plywood body style and steel strings, this guitar produces a brighter and crisper sound than its nylon alternatives. It also comes with a full starter bundle that includes a digital guitar tuner, travel/storage guitar gig bag, guitar picks, guitar shoulder strap, and an extra set of strings.

Pros:
  • The 4-band equalizer includes an onboard digital tuner, volume bass middle treble & presence control, and low-battery display, making it easy to plug into an amplifier and go electric.
  • The handcrafted construction includes spruce plywood body w/ linden plywood at the back & sides, natural matte finish w/ white ABS & celluloid inlays binding, X-shape bracing, 2-way truss rod, and full die-cast machine head.
  • The guitar is designed with high-density man-made wood for the fingerboard and bridge, providing a sturdy and durable playing experience.
Cons:
  • Some users have reported issues with the tuning nut breaking.
  • The product may not come with all the advertised accessories, so be sure to check before purchasing.
  • The guitar may not be suitable for more advanced players or those looking for a professional-level sound.
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Overall, the SereneLife Pyle Acoustic Electric Guitar is a solid choice for beginners and young students who are just starting to learn how to play. Its compact size and steel strings make it easy to handle, while its 4-band equalizer and onboard digital tuner provide a versatile sound experience. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly guitar that’s perfect for practice and learning, this one is definitely worth considering.

RockJam Acoustic Guitar Superkit

RockJam Acoustic Guitar Superkit Includes Stand, Gig Bag, Tuner, Picks, Plectrum Holder, Spare Strings & Online Lessons 6 Pack, Right, Black, Full (RJW-101-BK-PK)

If you're a first-time guitar player on a budget, the RockJam Acoustic Guitar Superkit is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The dreadnought ergonomic body with a high-gloss finish is both playable and visually appealing.
  • The metal gearheads and steel strings make tuning easier and ensure your guitar stays in tune for longer.
  • The package includes a foldable guitar stand, padded gig bag, clip-on guitar tuner, guitar picks, and a plectrum holder, making it a complete beginner kit.
Cons:
  • The guitar may not be suitable for more advanced players looking for higher quality sound and build.
  • Some users have reported issues with the frets being sharp or uneven.
  • The included accessories may not be of the highest quality.
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We were pleasantly surprised by the RockJam Acoustic Guitar Superkit. The guitar’s slimline body and high-gloss finish make it a visually appealing instrument, and it’s ergonomic design makes it comfortable to play. The metal gearheads and steel strings make tuning easier and keep the guitar in tune for longer periods of time.

The package includes a foldable guitar stand, padded gig bag, clip-on guitar tuner, guitar picks, and a plectrum holder, making it a complete beginner kit. However, some users have reported issues with the frets being sharp or uneven, and the included accessories may not be of the highest quality.

Overall, the RockJam Acoustic Guitar Superkit is a great option for first-time guitar players on a budget. While it may not be suitable for more advanced players, it’s a solid choice for beginners looking for a complete kit to get started.

Pyle Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit

Pyle Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit, 4/4 Full Size All Wood Instrument for Beginners, Adults, 39" Natural Gloss

If you're a beginner or looking for a budget-friendly option, the Pyle Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit is a great option.

Pros:
  • Soft nylon strings provide a warm, rich tone that's perfect for fingerstyle play
  • Comes with everything you need to start playing, including a storage gig bag, clip-on digital tuner, spare strings, picks, cleaning cloth, and detachable shoulder strap
  • Handcrafted wooden construction with linden wood body, birchwood headstock, dyed hardwood fretboard, and high gloss polished finish
Cons:
  • Tuner may be difficult to use for some beginners
  • Some users have reported issues with staying in tune
  • Strap and bag may have a strong petroleum smell
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The Pyle Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit is a great starter guitar for anyone looking to get into playing. The soft nylon strings provide a warm, rich tone that’s perfect for fingerstyle play. Plus, it comes with everything you need to start playing right out of the box, including a storage gig bag, clip-on digital tuner, spare strings, picks, cleaning cloth, and detachable shoulder strap.

The handcrafted wooden construction with linden wood body, birchwood headstock, dyed hardwood fretboard, and high gloss polished finish give this guitar a classic and timeless look. However, some users have reported issues with staying in tune and the tuner may be difficult to use for some beginners. Additionally, the strap and bag may have a strong petroleum smell.

Overall, the Pyle Beginner Acoustic Guitar Kit is a great option for anyone looking for a budget-friendly guitar to start playing on.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best budget guitar, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best value for your money. Here are some features to consider when making your decision:

Body Type

The body type of a guitar can greatly affect the sound it produces. There are three main types of guitar bodies: solid body, semi-hollow body, and hollow body. Solid body guitars are the most common and are great for playing rock and metal music. Semi-hollow body guitars are versatile and can be used for a variety of genres. Hollow body guitars produce a warm, rich sound and are ideal for jazz and blues.

Neck

The neck of a guitar is another important feature to consider. The length and width of the neck can affect the playability of the guitar. A wider neck can be more comfortable for players with larger hands, while a thinner neck can be easier for beginners to play. The length of the neck can also affect the sound of the guitar.

Pickups

Pickups are responsible for converting the vibrations of the strings into electrical signals that are amplified by the guitar’s amplifier. There are two main types of pickups: single-coil and humbucker. Single-coil pickups produce a bright, clear sound and are great for playing clean tones. Humbucker pickups produce a thicker, warmer sound and are ideal for playing distorted tones.

Hardware

The hardware of a guitar includes the bridge, tuners, and knobs. The bridge affects the intonation and sustain of the guitar, while the tuners affect the tuning stability. Knobs control the volume and tone of the guitar. It’s important to choose hardware that is durable and reliable.

By considering these features when choosing a budget guitar, you can ensure that you get a quality instrument that meets your needs and fits your budget.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.