Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners – Under $300

If you’ve read my article on the different types of acoustic guitars and are getting ready to make your first purchase, then this buying guide is for you.  I’ve reflected on the hundreds of hours I’ve spent researching and playing different acoustic guitars and have broken down my top three guitars across various price points and feature categories.  This article focuses on my top recommended best acoustic guitars for beginners that can be purchased for $300 or less.  In fact, I’ve provided you with two lists, one for traditional acoustic guitars and one for acoustic-electric guitars.

All of the steel-stringed acoustic guitars listed below meet the following basic quality requirements:

  • All feature solid spruce top soundboards.  I’ve found this to be the single most important impact on the quality and sound of an acoustic guitar.  Yes, other materials are available for top soundboards that make quality guitars, but for my money, nothing provides the classic tone and balance of a solid spruce top.
  • All feature quality tone woods in the other major structural components of the guitar, such as rosewood fingerboards
  • All guitars are made from reputable manufacturers who have been perfecting their craft for a long, long time.

Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners – Under $300

Yamaha FG830 Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarIbanez AC320ABL Concert Acoustic GuitarWashburn HD10S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Ranking1st2nd3rd
BrandYamahaIbanezWashburn
ModelFG830AC320ABLHD10S
ShapeDreadnoughtConcertDreadnought
Material: TopSolid SpruceSolid SpruceSolid Spruce
Material: Back/SidesRosewoodMahoganyMahogany
Material: NeckNatoMahoganyMahogany
Material: FingerboardRosewoodRosewoodRosewood
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Yamaha FG830

  • Yamaha’s selection of rosewood for the back and sides of the guitar, over the more traditional choice of mahogany, provides the owner of this guitar with a combination of materials normally found in guitars double in cost.
  • The abalone inlay around the soundhole provides an elegant aesthetic that will be appreciated by those with an eye for detailed craftsmanship.
  • Yamaha has been making the FG series for over 50 years and they provide a great balance of quality materials, great playability and beautiful tone.

Ibanez AC320ABL

  • The grand concert body shape is a great guitar for slightly smaller players thanks to its narrower waste.
  • Part of Ibanez’ Artwood Series, this guitar features chrome open gear tuners with ivory knobs which will help to stay in tune longer and a beautiful open pore finish on the top, back and sides.
  • For an affordable guitar, the antique blonde open pore finish gives it a timeless looks and reflects its solid craftmanship

Washburn HD10S

  • The unique rosette and tortoise pickguard on this guitar are especially attractive features.
  • The quarter sewn scalloped Sitka spruce bracing inside the guitar body provides great tone and will only improve with age.

Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars for Beginners – Under $300

Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarYamaha FGX800C Dreadnought Acoustic Guitarepiphone aj-220sce
Ranking1st2nd3rd
BrandFenderYamahaEpiphone
ModelCD-60SCEFGX800CAJ-220SCE
ShapeDreadnoughtDreadnoughtAdvanced Jumbo
Material: TopSolid SpruceSolid SpruceSolid Spruce
Material: Back/SidesMahoganyNato/OkumeMahogany
Material: NeckMahoganyNatoMahogany
Material: FingerboardRosewoodRosewoodRosewood
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Fender CD-60SCE

  • The Fishman low-profile pick-up/preamp includes a 2-band equalizer and tuner so you don’t have to worry about buying or losing an external guitar tuning device.
  • Fender’s unique “Easy to Play” neck profile allows beginner and intermediate guitar players to have their chords ring out with more clarity
  • When you own a Fender guitar, you own a piece of American music history!

Yamaha FGX800C

  • In addition to a standard electronic pickup and tuner, the onboard electronics of this guitar includes a 3-band equalizer allowing for precision control of your sound.
  • The nato wood featured in the back and sides of this guitar is known as ‘eastern mahogany’ and has a beautiful grain structure.
  • This guitar is available in three gorgeous finishes: natural, black and sand burst.

Epiphone AJ220-SCE

  • OK, so this guitar sells for just over $300, but I felt compelled to include it because it provides tremendous quality and value
  • The depth of the body and the width of the guitar shoulders really gives this guitar a full and powerful tone
  • The incredible pickup system includes a master volume, high and low EQ, phase reversal chromatic tuner and dynamics control
  • This guitar is available in both a natural and vintage sunburst finish