So you’re hooked on the idea of playing acoustic guitar, but you want to know: how much does an acoustic guitar cost?
A decent beginner acoustic guitar will probably run you between $150 and $300 dollars, while an intermediate guitar can cost as much as $800. Premium acoustics, like high level Martins and Taylors, can be much more expensive than that.
As you can probably tell already, there are a ton of choices out there when it comes to buying an acoustic guitar, and pricing runs the gamut. Here’s a quick reference for pricing but remember, there are a lot of factors that should play into your purchase decision. These are just rough, general guidelines:
Why Are Some Acoustic Guitars So Much More Expensive?
High-end acoustic guitars can cost thousands, but you are sure to notice a big difference the moment you pick up a custom guitar. You will certainly come across cheaper guitars but don’t rush in and buy just because it seems like a sweet deal. Remember that often times you really do “get what you pay for.”
Guitars vary wildly in quality, tone, and most important, playability. Cheaper instruments can often mean it’s a factory-built guitar that sacrifices tone and may even be tougher to play or learn on. But that also doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy the most expensive guitar on the rack either.
One of the best things you can do is play a bunch of the guitars you’re interested in in person. Then, find a compromise depending on your budget, future dedication, and current skill level.
Tip: In General, The Cost of The Guitar Should Match Your Skill Level
In order to figure out what guitar is right for you, you’ll need a good idea of your skill level. While a good quality intermediate guitar can be purchased between 500 and 800 dollars, if you are just starting out, that’s a big financial commitment, and it’s not necessary.
After all, if you’re new to the instrument you don’t even know with 100% certainty if you like playing guitar yet. So for most people, it may not make that much sense to drop a ton of money on a fancy acoustic guitar when you’re just starting out.
This is why when you’re choosing an acoustic guitar, it’s a good rule of thumb to stay in the price range that matches your current ability on the instrument. Be honest with yourself, are you picking up a guitar for the first time or is this something you have had a little practice with?
If you are new to the instrument, I wrote a guide to some great beginner acoustic guitars that won’t break the bank. Likewise, if you are an intermediate musician, there are some really good instruments that will help you grow even more as a guitarist.
Beyond Just Cost: Playability
After cost, the most important thing about purchasing an acoustic guitar is its playability. Unfortunately, it’s easy to spend a lot of money on a guitar that is difficult to play.
I’d rather see you splurge a few extra bucks on the guitar you think plays like a dream, than to penny pinch only to end up with a a guitar you don’t even enjoy playing.
Learning the guitar can be challenging so if your goal is to learn something new, you want an instrument that encourages practice.
Otherwise, you may end up like a friend of mine who recently contacted a guitar teacher and arranged for lessons. My friend didn’t own a guitar and mentioned it to the teacher who told him not to worry, he had a good beginner guitar that would be perfect.
Unfortunately, the guitar his teacher supplied had cracked and been repaired poorly. The result was a guitar that was very difficult to play. Fretting required a lot of extra pressure which quickly discouraged my friend from practice. In the end, he gave up the guitar and the teacher.
This is why it’s important to do your research and get a quality beginner guitar when you’re starting out.
A Handy Acoustic Guitar Buying Checklist
How much does an acoustic guitar cost? To get the best idea of how much your next acoustic guitar will cost, first, determine your budget. Then screen the guitars that your potentially interested in for these 3 most important factors:
- How well is the instrument made?
- How comfortable is the instrument to play?
- How does the instrument sound?
If you find a guitar that’s within your budget, and scores high in each category, you’ve got a winner!
Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?
Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out my favorite resources below:
Elixir Nanoweb Acoustic Guitar Strings
- Unique polymer coating allows strings to last for months or years at a time, making for an exceptional value.
- Provide the perfect mix of boom, range, twang, and brightness that acoustic music is known for.
- Beloved by everyone from Paul Simon to Gordon Lightfoot, the D-18 is one of Martin’s most legendary guitars ever.
- An excellent, premier quality acoustic guitar for bluegrass, country, folk, rock and more. This is what I play myself.
Chords, Tabs & Lessons for 100 Songs
- This free guide from Acoustic World gives you chords, tabs, and video lesson for the 100 best songs to learn on guitar.
- I spent hours putting this together all by myself to help you get better at guitar, faster!
Fingerpicking vs Flatpicking Guitar
- Learn which picking style is right for YOU by exploring examples, history, and popular players of each style.
- Discover essential techniques and pros and cons of each approach.