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As a new guitarist, the sheer number of budget and beginner acoustic guitars available for purchase can be overwhelming. There are a lot of bad choices out there. A bad instrument will suck all the fun out of playing and will increase the changes of you quitting significantly!
Below is our list of recommendations for the best budget/beginner acoustic guitars under $500. Of these, we've featured our 3 highest-rated guitars below for those of you in a hurry. If you keep scrolling, you'll see each of the guitars with a brief description and links to full reviews (coming soon!).
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Here are our top 3 picks for best acoustic guitars under $500. For those on a very tight budget, the Jasmine S35 will get you a long way for not much money. If you have a little more room in your budget, then Yamaha FG800 is a worthy upgrade with better build quality and sound. However, if you want the absolute best of the best under $500, then the Seagull S6 is the ticket. It's not only a looker, but it plays and sounds like guitars twice its price. Regardless of which you of these acoustic guitars you choose, you will get an instrument with great build quality, easy playability, and beautiful tone.
Affordable, simple, and easy to play - the Jasmine S35 ticks all the boxes for a beginner acoustic guitar
The Seagull S6 is our favorite acoustic guitar under $500. It's beautiful, solidly built, and sounds like guitars twice its price.
Amazing value and great build quality combine to create one solid, reliable acoustic guitar. The FG800 is a fantastic beginner's instrument.
One of the best name brand budget acoustic guitars you can buy - period! The Jasmine S35 is a no-frills acoustic guitar that will serve any guitar player regardless of experience level. Don't let the price tag fool you - this is a full-size dreadnought guitar (with a true 25.5" scale length) meant for the serious beginner. The smooth, satin-finished spruce top resonates beautifully and the rosewood fretboard is both nice to look at and easy to play. Its neck profile is quite slim, so it's ideal for guitarists with small to medium sized hands, but with some effort, even those with large hands can comfortably play it. If you need a great acoustic guitar for less than a Benjamin, this is the guitar for you.
Check out our full review of the Jasmine S35 acoustic guitar.
The Fender FA-115 Acoustic Guitar Bundle has everything a beginner guitar player could possibly need! For less than a couple hundred dollars, you get a very good acoustic guitar, a tuner, picks, a strap, and even some extra strings! Like we mentioned before in our Acoustic Guitar Beginner's Guide, you're going to need more than just a guitar when you start out. Luckily, this bundle has it all and it's super convenient for those of you who don't want to go out and buy all of these accessories separately. If we ignore the extra accessories, the Fender FA-115 is still a fantastic beginner's acoustic guitar. It's one of the best-selling acoustic guitars and it's easy to see why. The dreadnought style is comfortable to hold and the combination of laminated mahogany body and spruce top provides a sound that is both rich and soulful. Depending on the retailer you buy from, you may get some extra accessories. All-in-all, the Fender FA-115 Acoustic Guitar bundle is one of the best values in acoustic guitars today.
Yamaha is one of the most consistent, bang-for-the-buck guitar manufacturers in existence today. The Yamaha FG800 is a shining example of everything that they do well: solid build-quality, great tone, and affordability. You have two choices of body size with the FG800: Dreadnought (the larger, 'standard' size) or Concert (with a more compact body great for children or smaller adults). Regardless of which body size you choose, the FG800 sounds amazing thanks to years of research and development by the experts at Yamaha. The solid sitka spruce top creates a grand, mellow tone great for both strumming and fingerpicking styles.
The Seagull S6 is a force to be reckoned with among beginner and budget acoustic guitars. While this Canadian brand may not have the same name recognition as Fender, Martin, or Taylor, Seagull brand guitars provides some of the best bang-for-your-buck acoustic guitars on the market. The Seagull S6 is the definition of substance and style. The body is beautifully crafted out of cedar and wild cherry. It's very rich in the mid range and has crisp, tight bass response thanks to its semi-gloss finish. The wide silver leaf maple neck is a joy to play, especially for guitarists with slightly larger-than-average hands. This is one of our favorite guitars on the market and absolutely our favorite under $500.
if you're a smaller-framed adult looking for a great quality acoustic, then the Taylor Mini is exactly what you're looking for. The Taylor GS Mini Mahogany is a great, insanely good quality 'mini' style acoustic guitar. It's about 3/4 the size of a 'regular' dreadnought acoustic guitar, which makes it worlds easier to handle if you're under 5 foot 5 inches or shorter. The body AND the neck are physically smaller than 'standard' sized acoustics, which makes it great for players with small hands. Because of its compactness, it's also a great 'travel' sized guitar for the musician who is always on-the-go. The beautiful dark ebony fretboard is easy to play and the mahogany gives the guitar a very rich, warm tone that sounds like guitars twice its price.