Acoustic Guitar (Six String) Profile for Beginners

Grandfather teaching granddaughter how to play guitar
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Recommended for New Guitarists?:

Yes. Although six-string acoustic guitars tend to be somewhat more difficult to play than electric guitars (the strings are thicker thus harder to hold down), there are no amplifiers or cables to worry about.

Popular Beginner Models:

 

 

Starting Prices for Popular Beginner Models:

You can find playable beginner six-string acoustic guitars for as little as $100 (USD), with many more options available nearer to $200.

Acoustic Guitar - Beginner Profile:

This six-string acoustic guitar is the instrument many people choose when first learning to play guitar. The six-string acoustic guitar is a hollow instrument constructed from multiple pieces of glued-together wood. The "sound hole" - a round hole on the face of the guitar - allows sound to reverberate inside the instrument when the strings are struck. This sound eventually escapes back out of the sound hole, providing considerable volume. The volume produced from an acoustic guitar is much greater than an electric guitar, whose output needs to be externally amplified to be heard.

The sound of an acoustic guitar also differs dramatically from that of an electric guitar. Acoustic guitars have a full tone that is best expressed through the rhythmic strumming of chords. In musical situations featuring only one instrument - for example in a group of two singers and a single guitarist - the acoustic guitar is much more commonly chosen over the electric guitar.

Although it is a generalization, an acoustic guitar can be thought of as a "rhythm instrument" whereas an electric guitar is more likely to be a "lead instrument".

The strings of the six-string acoustic guitar are most commonly made from bronze, which produce a bright, crisp tone (learn more about how to choose the right guitar strings).

The strings on an acoustic guitar are somewhat thicker than those on an electric guitar, making them somewhat harder for novices to press down. The strings themselves are tuned identically to an electric guitar (read about how to tune a guitar).

Typically, the neck of a six-string acoustic guitar is narrower than that of a classical guitar, but wider than that of an electric guitar. People with slightly larger fingers may find the neck of the acoustic guitar easier to play than an electric guitar. For small children, the neck of a full-size six-string acoustic guitar may prove to be too wide. Many guitar manufacturers make three-quarter size acoustic guitars for this reason. The neck of the guitar generally joins the body of the six-string acoustic at around the 14th fret. This provides more room for playing higher up on the neck than most classical guitars, whose necks generally meet the body at around the 12th fret. Most novice guitarists don't spend much time playing in this area of the neck, however, so this impact isn't significant.

Although six-string acoustic guitars can cost many thousands of dollars, a beginner's instrument of reasonable quality can be had for less than $200.

The overall cost of a first guitar will be cheaper if choosing an acoustic, as there is no need for guitar cables and an amplifier. For more insight, take a look at this list of the best acoustic guitars for beginners.

In general, acoustic guitars are a little harder to learn on than electric guitars, due to their larger size and thicker strings. Despite this, they are typically the first guitar many learn on, as they are both simpler to understand (no knobs or switches) and convenient (no cables or amplifiers).