Breedlove acoustic guitarsSource: Breedlove

Best Beginner Acoustic Guitar Android Central 2020

One of the few positives of being stuck in quarantine is having some extra free time to pick up a new skill. Maybe you've had a hand-me-down acoustic gathering dust in the corner of your room for the last few years, or maybe you're looking for something new to spark a new passion. Whatever the case, this is as good a time as any to learn how to play guitar. Here are some acoustic options to get you started, although our favorite is the Breedlove Pursuit Concert E because the quality is unmatched.

Best Overall: Breedlove Pursuit Concert E

Breedlove acoustic guitarsSource: Breedlove

Breedlove exemplifies excellent build quality, great tone, and gorgeous looks with the Pursuit series. This guitar has a unique and modern design that doesn't try to pull too much inspiration from other brands — but you almost wouldn't notice, since your eyes will likely be glued to the drop-dead gorgeous mahogany top.

One of Breedlove's signature features is its pinless Delta bridge, which makes string changes easier and means that you won't have to worry about the pins popping out like on many other acoustics. The Pursuit also features a thin and extremely comfortable neck and a cutaway design for easy access to all 20 frets.

The 25.5-inch scale length adds just a bit of extra tension to help keep the lower strings in tune, and the L.R. Baggs EAS electronics sound great and allow you to plug into an amp or PA without needing to position a mic over the soundhole. The Pursuit Concert E certainly isn't the cheapest guitar, and it may not be worth investing so much money before you know that you'll play often, but it's money well spent for a committed guitarist.

Pros:

  • Thin, comfortable neck
  • Gorgeous mahogany body and top
  • Pinless bridge design
  • Cutaway for high fret access
  • Excellent electronics

Cons:

  • Expensive for a first guitar

Best Overall

Breedlove Pursuit Concert E

An incredible guitar for the right budget

The Pursuit Concert E isn't the cheapest guitar out there, but it's an incredible instrument with top-notch build quality.

Best Acoustic-Electric: Yamaha APX600

Yamaha APX600Source: Yamaha

My first acoustic guitar was a hand-me-down Yamaha that I played until my fingers went numb most nights throughout high school. The APX600 is a relatively slim, thin acoustic with a nato body and piezo pickups that let you just plug in a 1/4-inch cable and play through an amp or PA, without fussing with mic placement. The electronics don't stop there; you also get a small control panel on the side with a built-in tuner, three-band EQ, and an adjustable midrange frequency slider.

The APX600 includes a soft shell gig bag for easily and safely transporting it around, with a padded front pocket that's big enough to hold your picks, cables, and sheet music. One of its best features, at least as far as playability is concerned, is the large cutout, which makes it much easier to reach the high frets lower down the neck.

Pros:

  • Piezo pickups for a direct signal
  • Simple controls with a three-band EQ
  • Easy high fret access
  • Included gig bag

Cons:

  • Smaller sound hole means less projection
  • Electronics require batteries

Best Acoustic-Electric

Yamaha APX600

Everything you need to play a gig

The APX600 is an excellent guitar for the gigging musician, with high-quality electronics and a convenient gig bag.

Best Value: Fender FA-125CE

Everybody wants to own a Fender at some point in their life, right? The FA-125CE bears the Fender name, but not the high price typically associated with it — at a penny shy of two Benjamins, this is about as affordable as a brand new acoustic guitar gets. And surprisingly, it comes loaded with electronics, too; you get a Fishman preamp with a two-band EQ and a built-in tuner.

The FA-125CE doesn't have the highest quality woods or hardware, but it's well-built and has easy high fret access, thanks to the cutaway by the base of the neck. The pickguard keeps the body of the guitar from getting scratched up in case you have a loosey-goosey picking wrist, and the large dreadnought body projects your playing loud and clear.

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Preloaded with Fishman electronics
  • Easy high fret access
  • Comfortable Viking bridge

Cons:

  • Glossy neck can slow you down
  • Laminate top

Best Value

Fender FA-125CE

Cheap doesn't have to mean bad.

The FA-125CE brings the Fender name to an affordable price point. It's comfortable to play and even comes with relatively high-end electronics.

Best Small Guitar: Taylor Baby Taylor BT2

Taylor Baby Taylor BT2Source: Taylor

There are few acoustic guitar brands as iconic as Taylor, and while many of its guitars can cost well into the thousands of dollars, the Baby Taylor is an affordable option specifically made for young beginners. This "three-quarter" guitar has a small 22.75-inch scale length (for context, most acoustics sit around 25 inches) that allows it to be not just smaller, but easier to play with less tension.

Of course, it isn't just great for younger players, or even just for beginners. The Baby Taylor's small size makes it a great travel guitar, and you still get the bright, clear sound that Taylor guitars are famous for. The African ebony fretboard is smooth and non-porous, allowing your fingers to glide from fret to fret, and the mahogany top is gorgeous, to boot.

Pros:

  • Compact, portable body
  • Bright sound with plenty of note clarity
  • Easier to play than larger guitars with more tension
  • Great-looking mahogany top

Cons:

  • Only 19 frets
  • Frets get very small near the bottom of the neck

Best Small Guitar

Taylor Baby Taylor BT2

Perfect for beginners and frequent travelers

The Baby Taylor may be small, but it packs a punch with a large sound and a stunning top. The short scale length makes it easier to play, and it's excellent for travel.

Bottom line

If your budget can swing it, the Breedlove Pursuit Concert E is an outstanding acoustic guitar with a stunning finish and a comfortable neck that makes it hard to put down. It has an excellent onboard preamp, allowing you to get a great-sounding direct signal out to speakers when you're playing live or even conveniently recording.

Its pinless bridge is a huge convenience that saves you time while restringing the guitar and even helps with tuning stability. The guitar is also fairly thin, and the unique design makes it distinctively Breedlove.

And if electric is more your style, we have a roundup of the best beginner electric guitars, too.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Hayato Huseman has been playing Coheed and Cambria songs on acoustic guitars since his freshman year of high school. He can mostly be found posting bad guitar videos and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.

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