Those of you thinking about entering the guitar world may be wondering what it costs to get a guitar.
Should you expect to pay loads of money to purchase a usable guitar? Will you have to save for years before you can acquire your first guitar?
The good news is, guitars come in a range of prices hitting budget points for all aspiring guitar players. You can purchase a guitar for as little $100 to as high as $3,000 or more.
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To purchase a good guitar, you may have to spend a little more, but that doesn’t mean you have to fork over your life savings. Below is a detailed review showing you what a beginner or intermediate guitar player might expect to pay for a good guitar.
Why Buy a “Good” Guitar?
Though you can find many cheap guitars on the market, if you’re serious about playing, you may want to invest in a higher quality guitar.
If you’re buying your first guitar and you’re not sure whether you’re planning on sticking with it, a cheap guitar can be a good option. However, if you know you’re in it for the long haul, getting a good guitar is the right move.
So why buy a good guitar as opposed to a cheaply made one? Here are some compelling reasons to invest in a good guitar:
- It stays in tune longer. Often when you purchase a cheaply made guitar it goes out of tune easily. This is a real frustration and can get in the way of enjoying the instrument.
- The strings are closer to the fret and easier to play. When you purchase a cheap or poorly made guitar, the strings are sometimes high off the fret. This makes it more difficult to play and could be a deterrent for people learning.
- The sound is better with better guitars. There’s really no two ways around this one — a better quality guitar sounds better than a poorly made one. They’re engineered better with better materials. You can easily tell the difference when you pick up a well-made guitar vs a cheap guitar made with cheap parts.
Expensive is Relative
A guitar is an investment, and any amount of money is a consideration. Expensive is also quite relative as some people may think one sum is too much to spend while it might make sense for another buyer.
When we talk about a “good” guitar vs a “cheap” guitar, we’re not necessarily suggesting you run out and spend thousands of dollars on a guitar. You can purchase a good guitar for far less and it will have everything you need and more. In fact, many budget guitars from reputable brands have amazing sound and quality builds.
Test Before You Buy
If you’re not sure what kind of guitar you want, try them out first. Those who are just starting out may want to borrow a guitar and play around with it to see what they like and what they don’t like. That way, when it comes time to make a purchase, you know what best fits your style and the type of music you want to make.
The Price Difference Between an Electric Guitar and an Acoustic Guitar
Generally, when you look for a guitar, you’ll find that apples to apples, electric guitars are more expensive than acoustic guitars. So for example, if you looked at the base model of an electric guitar compared to the base model of an acoustic guitar, the electric one will cost more.
Of course, you can find some electric guitars that cost less than some acoustic guitars, but if you’re comparing the same level of guitar you’ll spend more buying an electric one.
In addition, when you purchase an electric guitar you also have to factor in the additional cost of a cable and an amplifier. The cost of an amp isn’t a huge expense, but its something to keep in mind.
Those who want to play an acoustic guitar for an audience may want to purchase an acoustic-electric guitar. These guitars generally run about the same (maybe a bit more) than a non-electric acoustic guitar, but you will have to purchase the extra equipment if you want to use the electric capability. The one nice thing about acoustic-electric guitars is they can be played with or without an amplifier.
The Cost of Good Electric Guitars
If you’re interested in buying an electric guitar, there are a lot of options. Below is a list of some good guitars for beginner or intermediate guitar players.
1. Squier by Fender 50’s Telecaster
The Squire by Fender 50’s Telecaster is a 1950s inspired electric guitar. This design is one of Fender’s most famous, and they’re not as expensive as some higher-end guitars. It has a powerful sound output, good tone, and has a nice classic look. This guitar is usually available for between $400-$450.
2. Squire by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Stratocaster
The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Stratocaster is an electric guitar inspired by the 1970s Stratocaster models. This guitar is lightweight, has a poplar-wood body, spectacular tone, and is versatile for many different styles of play. Like the 50’s Telecaster, it can be picked up for around $400-$450.
3. Yamaha PAC112V Pacifica
The Yahama Pacificas are known for having great tone and versatility. The Yamaha PAC112V is made of solid Alder wood with a smooth maple wood neck. The fingerboard is made of rosewood and it has a double-cutaway shape. This guitar is well-suited for guitarists interested in playing rock, punk, or metal music. You can expect to pick up this guitar for between $300-$400.
The Cost of Good Acoustic Guitars
If acoustic guitars are more your style, there are also many options. Here are some good acoustic guitars available on the market today.
1. Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
The YAMAHA FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar is made of a variety of woods including mahogany, nato wood, spruce wood, and rosewood. The guitar produces a rich warm sound and has a very traditional acoustic guitar look. You can find this guitar at a budget-friendly price of $200.
2. Fender CC-60S All-Mahogany Acoustic Guitar
The Fender CC-60S is an entry-level guitar that offers warm and balanced tones. The body of the guitar is all mahogany and it offers a walnut fingerboard with rolled edges that make it more comfortable to play. It has a “concert-sized” body that’s a tad smaller than a traditional guitar, but can also be helpful for beginners and fingerpickers. This guitar is available for between $220-$250.
3. Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
The Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar is a mid-level guitar with a traditional design, but surprisingly good sound and quality that you would expect from a more expensive guitar. The top is made out of cedar which is partially responsible for that amazing tone, and it gets high reviews on Amazon and other online guitar vendors. You can usually find this guitar for between $460-$600.
The Cost of Good Acoustic-Electric Guitars
Guitarists that want to play an acoustic guitar but also want to amplify the sound may want to invest in an electro-acoustic guitar. These are often a tad more expensive than their non-electric counterparts, but generally in the same ballpark. Here are a few good acoustic-electric guitars that offer a taste of both worlds.
1. Yamaha FGX820C Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Yamaha FGX820C Acoustic-Electric Guitar has great playability with surprising volume and resonance. This guitar is angled for beginners but the mahogany back and sides and spruce top create a quality sound. This guitar can be purchased for around $430.
2. Taylor 110e Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Taylor guitars are some of the most renowned guitars offering incredible sound and superior design. Though you can expect to pay quite a bit more for these guitars, the Taylor 110e Acoustic-Electric Guitar is their more affordable option.
This guitar is best for beginner to intermediate level players and is built well for both playing on stage and recording music. It’s a versatile guitar that would be a good fit for different playing styles including contemporary, bluegrass, or picking. You can pick up this guitar for around $800.
Conclusion of How Much a Good Guitar Costs
How much a good guitar costs is largely dependent on what you want and what suits your playing style and desired use.
Modern-day guitar makers try to strike a good balance between budget-friendly and quality builds which makes it easier for entry-level guitar enthusiasts to start. Thankfully, in today’s world, you can find great sounding well-built guitar without completely breaking the bank.
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Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.