Top 15 Acoustic Guitars Under $300 – Sweet Deals!

I remember going to buy my first starter guitar. My friend Fran, who had been playing for several years, took me to the local music store to pick out an instrument. I had no idea what I was looking at other than they were six-string works of art. He might have underestimated my interest in learning how to play, since the guitar he had me buy was less than ideal. The neck was pulling away from the body before too long. It didn’t help that my other buddy tuned it an octave too high. Just remember you aren’t just buying a guitar, you are buying a story.

Here we will give you tools to find the right guitar for you (lessons on how to tune are your responsibility). We’ll compare models and their features, show their ratings, and give you links to detailed reviews. After that we’ll give you a bit more advice to help make a decision that you will be happy with, and not end up with a lemon.

Top 15 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300

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FEATURES

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PRODUCT

FEATURES

AR RATING 83/100

  • Rock solid build quality paired with great materials.
  • One of the best dreadnoughts in this price range.
  • Impressive build quality for this price range.
  • Hand selected tonewood that sounds and feels amazing.

AR RATING 81/100

  • A proper orchestra body that feels and sounds good.
  • Great build quality synonymous with Yamaha's brand.
  • One of the best looking guitars in this price range.
  • Great bang for the buck when it comes to performance.

AR RATING 78/100

  • Aesthetics which break the monotony of your usual finishes.
  • Great tonewood combined with good hardware make a great guitar.

AR RATING 78/100

  • A classic FG series workhorse which won't disappoint.
  • Great selection of tonewood as well as hardware.
  • Very good build quality including scalloped sitka spruce bracing.
  • Fit and finish which inspire confidence all around.

AR RATING 77/100

  • A straightforward dreadnought that offers great value for the money.
  • Washburn did a good job with their choice of materials.

AR RATING 76/100

  • A refreshing sound profile which is pretty awesome.
  • Great build quality that inspires confidence.

AR RATING 75/100

  • A great pack which comes full of awesome accessories.
  • Good build quality which is pretty robust.

AR RATING 85/100

  • One of the most solid acoustic electric classical guitars available.
  • Great build quality all around as we're used to.

AR RATING 84/100

  • Fairly unknown guitar which is made by Kennedy Violins.
  • Impressive quality controls and build quality.

AR RATING 84/100

  • A powerful tone which inspires confidence.
  • Great build quality with standard Takamine attention to detail.

AR RATING 83/100

  • Standard Cordoba build quality and attention to detail.
  • One of the best 3/4 classical models on the market.

AR RATING 82/100

  • A pretty unique setup that works quite well.
  • A great selection of tonewood and great build quality.

AR RATING 83/100

Takamine needs no special introduction as a brand. They're among the very elite manufacturers of acoustic guitars and a true authority in the industry. However, that doesn't mean that Takamine doesn't produce some of the best lower mid range models on the market. Case in point Takamine GD20-NS. This dreadnought brings you just about everything you'd need for the money.

You are looking at a solid cedar top paired with mahogany back and sides. This gives a pretty sharp but still very warm sound. This Takamine also features some of their unique hardware solutions such as the split saddle and a bridge that has no pins. Overall, this guitar is a true performer and a great choice for anyone really.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Rock solid build quality paired with great materials.
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    One of the best dreadnoughts in this price range.
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    Sound that is strong but warm enough.
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    Interesting hardware solutions which work.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    This guitar really benefits from a proper setup job.

AR RATING 82/100

It isn't often that we see guitars such as Alvarez Artist AD 60 on the market. Without context, you might mistake for a model that is much more expensive. However, that only goes to show how far Alvarez is willing to go. Guitar itself is a dreadnought that brings no special surprises. What it brings are awesome details all around.

You have a very good quality solid sitka spruce top that has been hand fitted to a mahogany shell. All of the tonewood has been carefully selected and is truly great in quality. Then there's binding all round the neck while the body features double binding. Looks aside, Alvarez Artist AD 6 sounds incredibly good. It's rich, warm and loud.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Impressive build quality for this price range.
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    Hand selected tonewood that sounds and feels amazing.
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    Awesome attention to detail with great binding and inlays.
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    A mighty sound that is full of warmth and power.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Requires a proper setup for optimal performance.

AR RATING 81/100

The current state of the acoustic guitars market is quite saturated with awesome models. As it just so happens, Yamaha makes a good number of them. The first one we want to show you goes under the name of Yamaha FS820 and it is pretty great. As a matter of fact, this one comes with an amazing set of accessories.

The guitar itself shows you just how good Yamaha's mass production technology is. This is an orchestra body acoustic made using a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The sound it produces is quite impressive. On the other hand, you get a hard case, spare strings, a tuner, strap and much more in the accompanying set of accessories.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A proper orchestra body that feels and sounds good.
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    Great build quality synonymous with Yamaha's brand.
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    Solid choice of materials which include sitka spruce and mahogany.
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    One of the best sounding models in this price range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    The quality of strings isn't the best.

AR RATING 80/100

Ibanez is known for creating truly impressive instruments from time to time. Ibanez  AC240OPN Artwood Series definitely belongs to that group. This guitar features some of the best aesthetic solutions as well as hardware in this particular price range. On top of that, it sounds pretty amazing all things considered. If you want a solid work horse, this is it.

Looking a bit deeper we find a grand concert body that is made of mahogany all around. They have used solid mahogany top, which gives it a very punchy sound. The abalone rosette and binding make it one of the best looking acoustic guitars in this category, especially if you have had enough of blonde finishes. Overall it is amazing.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the best looking guitars in this price range.
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    Great bang for the buck when it comes to performance.
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    Solid mahogany build gives it plenty of punch.
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    Orchestra body shape which is comfortable but also loud enough.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    The fretboard is missing some binding in our opinion.

AR RATING 78/100

Lets be real for a moment, Schecter is definitely not a name you have expected to run into. Even though they are one of the absolute authorities when it comes to guitars for metal, Schecter definitely knows how to build a good acoustic guitar. Schecter 3716 is all the proof we need. It is stylish, sounds good and feels great.

What more could we want? Schecter went with an orchestra body that has a cutaway. The tonewood of choice is pretty straightforward. You have a solid spruce top paired with a mahogany back and sides. All of that is covered with a satin see-thru black finish. The sound is is pretty powerful and worm despite the cutaway. Overall, it rocks.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Aesthetics which break the monotony of your usual finishes.
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    Great tonewood combined with good hardware make a great guitar.
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    Good build quality that inspires confidence.
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    A very powerful and warm sound which is pretty agile.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings don't do this guitar justice.

AR RATING 78/100

No list of acoustic guitars would be complete without at least one FG series Yamaha. This time around we are looking at Yamaha FG820. It's a pretty retro looking dreadnought, but one that brings you all the qualities of the FG series. If you're after a guitar that is familiar and consistent in terms of sound quality, this is it.

On top of that, it looks pretty amazing. Yamaha went with a classic sitka spruce top and mahogany combo for this build, which is not all that surprising. The finish is a deep brown sunburst which is what gives it that classic look. On top of that, we have a great rosette and binding all around the body and neck.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A classic FG series workhorse which won't disappoint.
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    Great selection of tonewood as well as hardware.
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    Built using Yamaha's famous production methods.
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    One of the best sounding models in this price range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Tuning and setup might be off out of the box.

AR RATING 77/100

Washburn may not be as popular as some other brands when it comes to acoustic guitars, but they sure are capable of holding their ground. Washburn WD20 is a really good dreadnought that comes at a fairly competitive price. Overall it is a pretty straightforward deal, but one that has proven to be a good workhorse. That means a lot.

The guitar features a solid sitka spruce top laid over rosewood shell. By default that combo tells you that this guitar is going to be fairly loud and strong in mids. The actual sound is pretty warm which usually catches people by surprise. Overall, Washburn did a amazing job with this dreadnought. It has both the sound and the looks.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Very good build quality including scalloped sitka spruce bracing.
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    Fit and finish which inspire confidence all around.
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    Great tone that is full of warm overtones but also clarity.
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    Real bone nut and saddle are always a plus.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    It might require a proper setup out of the box.

AR RATING 77/100

Finding a refined dreadnought in this price range is fairly easy. Some are better than others but some are really impressive when it comes to bang for the buck you are getting. Bristol BD-16 is arguably not as popular as some of the other models out there, but it sure has a lot to offer. It's worth a closer look.

Once you do that you will find a body which features a nice spruce top paired with mahogany back and sides. Washburn also used scalloped bracing for this build, which gives the guitar a very refined tone. What we like about this model the most is the neck. It is comfortable, fast, but also meaty enough for a positive grip.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A straightforward dreadnought that offers great value for the money.
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    Washburn did a good job with their choice of materials.
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    Awesome sound enhanced by scalloped bracing.
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    Holds a key quite well.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Factory strings leave a lot to be wished for.

AR RATING 76/100

Fender's mid range guitars are pretty well balanced all things considered. If you look at Fender CD-60S, you see a robust dreadnought which is rock solid in terms of build quality and performance, but brings a bit of a surprise in terms of sound. If you are looking for something that is slightly different this guitar might just be it.

What makes this particular guitar so interesting is the fact that Fender went with a full mahogany build. That means a solid mahogany top in addition to the shell. They have also applied scalloped X bracing, which definitely adds to the sound. Speaking of which, it has a somewhat sharper tone but it is still a fairly warm guitar overall.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A refreshing sound profile which is pretty awesome.
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    Great build quality that inspires confidence.
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    Great set of accessories make this a perfect starter choice.
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    Comes with a hard shell case.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Might need a setup right out of the box.

AR RATING 76/100

Speaking of awesome Fender starter packs which can be had in this price range, it would be a mistake not to mention Fender DG-8S. It's another dreadnought that is all about giving you that balanced tone and performance. The deal with this one is also straightforward. It's a solid top guitar designed to give you more bang for your buck.

The tonewood of choice is spruce for the top while the back and sides are made of laminated mahogany. The fact that DG-8S features laminate wood scares some people, but considering the price and the fact that it comes with a whole bunch of accessories, we can forgive it. From a sound point of view, it is pretty good overall.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A great pack which comes full of awesome accessories.
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    Good build quality which is pretty robust.
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    Sounds awesome considering the price.
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    Decent hardware which has no issues retaining a key.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The black finish can be quite difficult for maintenance.

AR RATING 85/100

Yamaha CGX102 belongs to a very special category of classical guitars. On a first glance it may look normal, but once you get closer you will notice that this is an acoustic electric classical guitar. Not only that, but it is actually one of the few models in this price range which are actually worth investing in. It's that good.

Yamaha went with a spruce top paired with a nato shell. As usual you don't have anything to worry about when it comes to the build quality. Its acoustic tone is on point and has quite a bit of finesse to it. When you decide to go amplified, the System68N preamp is there to take care of you from there.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the most solid acoustic electric classical guitars available.
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    Great build quality all around as we're used to.
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    Pretty decent preamp which does a great job.
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    Good tone overall with plenty of warmth across the range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Might require a setup right out of the box.

AR RATING 84/100

Antonio Giuliani may not be a familiar name to most guitar players. However, those who are familiar with other stringed instruments have probably heard of Kennedy Violins. This is the actual manufacturer of this guitar. Antonio Giuliani CL5 brings many of the features which have made Kennedy one of the legendary brands. If you appreciate quality, you'll absolutely love it.

The reason why we say that is because Kennedy's master luthiers are the ones who are putting these things together and clearing them for shipment. You also get a wide variety of accessories which include an amazing padded gig bag, a tuner and more. What matters the most is that CL5 sounds and feels like a proper mid range guitar.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Fairly unknown guitar which is made by Kennedy Violins.
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    Impressive quality controls and build quality.
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    Great sound which stems from all of the above.
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    Comes with an awesome set of accessories.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Might need a setup upon arrival.

AR RATING 84/100

Takamine's classical guitars are pretty far out there when it comes to quality, but most importantly their bang for the buck value. Case in point Takamine GC1CE. This is a jumbo sized classical guitar with a cutout. Not only that, but it is also amplified. Takamine also ships these with a wide array of accessories which include some rare ones.

Seriously, you get a foot stool. Where else can you find that? As for the guitar itself, it is a no brainer. Takamine went with a spruce top combined with mahogany back and sides. The result is a mellow tone which has plenty of power thanks to the larger body. The preamp is pretty decent and belong to TP-E series.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A powerful tone which inspires confidence.
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    Great build quality with standard Takamine attention to detail.
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    Comes with a fairly diverse and unique set of accessories.
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    Easily one of the best sounding guitars in this segment.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Not the most comfortable choice for those with small hands.

AR RATING 83/100

Comfort is by far one of the most important metrics when you are choosing your first, or any other guitar. In case of classical guitars, that means that not every body size is going to work for everyone. Cordoba Cadete represents a solution aimed at younger individuals and those with smaller hands. This is a 3/4 model which rocks.

In a standard Cordoba fashion, they went with a Canadian cedar top paired with mahogany shell. As such this guitar is up there with the rest of the heavy hitters. When it comes to sound, you aren't being robbed because of the smaller body. Cadete packs a mighty punch for its compact size and lacks nothing in terms of volume.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Standard Cordoba build quality and attention to detail.
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    One of the best 3/4 classical models on the market.
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    Great sound which packs plenty of power.
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    Great tonewood gives it great overtones.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Might arrive out of tune.

AR RATING 82/100

Ibanez offers a pretty diverse array of models which include just about anything. One of the interesting models we wanted to show you is the Ibanez GA5TCE. It is a very well built model which is interesting for a few reasons. One of them is the fact that it comes from their ThinLine series. In other words, it's pretty slim.

That combined with its jumbo shape gives it a very unique sound signature. Overall it is standard setup consisted of a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The electronics on this bad boy is good enough for all kinds of applications. Generally speaking, the sound is a bit thin but still quite massive. It's pretty great all things considered.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A pretty unique setup that works quite well.
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    A great selection of tonewood and great build quality.
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    Good set of electronics which translate source sound quite well.
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    Comfortable despite its size thanks to ThinBody layout.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

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    Factory strings aren't all that great.

New acoustic guitars at this price point have to make sacrifices. The manufacturers have to decide what is most important to invest in to make these instruments. You as the consumer have to make decisions about what you want, and what you are willing to live without.

Upgrades can be made to the nut and saddle, electronics can be added or upgraded later, new frets can be installed, and tuning machines can be replaced, at a reasonable investment. The top, body, neck, and fingerboard, are things you are stuck with, and should not be second rate. You should never sacrifice playability and tone for looks or the name on the headstock.

Looks Matter, Looks Will Keep You Motivated

I want to take a moment and talk about looks. A pretty guitar is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with spending a little extra to get a guitar that has the right look or that you think is beautiful. A guitar that you find appealing will get played more. An ugly duckling will sit unused in the corner.

I believe you get more bang for your buck from a big name builder. Their innovations and know how migrate down from their more expensive models. They are also trying to instill brand loyalty, and what better way than to make a very good entry level instrument.

Other Important Considerations

I’m going to assume that this is your first guitar or your first acoustic guitar. As a new player there are plenty of things you will need to buy along with your new guitar. At this price point cases or gig bags are generally not included with the guitar. If you plan on taking your guitar out of your house you should either buy a case or gig bag. A hardshell case will protect your guitar from most things that could harm it, but a gig bag is fine to keep the potential blemishes to a minimum.

The things you should also get are a music stand and a tuner. Music stands are very useful even if you don’t read music. It is a good place to keep the other accessories that come along with playing guitar like spare picks, a capo, lesson books, or clip on tuner. Speaking of tuners, have something to tune your guitar with. Please get something to tune your guitar with. Clip on tuners are inexpensive and easy to use. A tuning fork is even less expensive and very effective at keeping you in tune as long as you know how to use it.

Another initial investment might be in having the guitar professionally setup. This can lower the action, clean up the fret work, or replace subpar parts. This can be a small invest that makes your new acoustic play easier and sound better.

Get a strap so you aren’t stuck in a sitting position while you play. A guitar stand is also a good idea, unless you are overly worried about dust or damage. An easily accessible guitar will be played more than one that is kept out of sight in protective custody.

If you bought an electric/acoustic you’ll have to look into amplification at some point. There are plenty of acoustic guitar amps to choose from. Do not buy an electric guitar amp for your electric/acoustic, you will be disappointed since it will not sound as full. If you are in a position where you would plug into a mixing board, then you’ll need to buy a direct input (or DI) box. You’ll also need a cable.

Guitar Accessories Are Inevitable

Buy a pack of strings, you’ll need them eventually. Try a couple different brands to find what you like the best.
If you wanted to spend a little more for your new guitar it opens up more possibilities tonally, aesthetically, and playability. The electronics are better, the wood choices are better, the looks are better with the addition of abalone and mother of pearl.

An extra hundred or two can save you from having to purchase a case, because one will be included with the purchase of the guitar. These guitars are also more road worthy and will last longer. Spending more now can save you in the long run, since you won’t have to buy a new guitar any time soon.

Guitars that cost less will be a world filled with laminate and lesser woods. A nice used acoustic can be found for less, but you never know what will be available day to day. If you are willing to be patient, then the right instrument might come along. This could get you an instrument that will stay with you for many years. You’ll have to do a lot of research to know what to look for.

If you are really not sure that playing guitar is the right thing for you, then a good cheaper acoustic guitar would be the right choice. The first time I bought a guitar I had no idea that decades later I’d be still playing. There is no reason to spend a ton of money on something that might spend more time collecting dust then being played.

No Experience? Use Your Friends! If this is your first guitar purchase take someone with you who knows something about guitars. Take a friend, relative, or your guitar teacher, even if they only know one more chord than you do (if your guitar teacher only knows one more chord than one, get a new teacher). Not that I don’t trust the salesperson at your local store, but they are trying to sell the instruments that hang on their wall. Generally, they are good people and they aren’t going to take advantage of you, because they want you to come back to buy strings, picks, lesson books, and to buy more guitars (can you ever really have only one?). They might not have the instrument that is right for you, but it is their job to make you believe that they do.

You have to enjoy the sound of the instrument. If you don’t know how to play, then having someone who does with you can be very helpful. You will be able to hear how the guitar sounds when it is played well. Plus they might have insight into problems or see the potential of an instrument.

Know what you want out of the instrument. Is this just to get you started or is it something you want to play on stage. This may be asking a lot of you to look that far ahead, but if you can it will help in the long run. Someone with more experience will be able to help guide you to the right instrument.

Dig Deep! Get As Much Information As You Can

Check the reviews online. Skip the perfect scores, go directly to the reviews that are bad. If the complaints focus on slow shipping, then this is a very good sign. If there is a consistent complaint about wonky tuners, bad strings, or poor set-up, these are all fixable problems. This should not scare you away. Inconsistent finishes don’t really scare me as well, such inconsistencies give the guitar character. Now if the problem is the bridge pulling away from the body, then this should be a major red flag.

Guitars in this price range are not worth much in resale or as trade-ins. You are going to get pennies on the dollar for trade in value. Don’t think of this guitar as an investment for your future purchase. Guitars that maintain or increase in value do not generally come from this price point. It also takes many years if not decades for guitars to find increased value in the collectors market.

The $300 Acoustic Guitars Summary:

You may decide that you want to spend more or less money, then I suggest you take a look at some our other articles to help you decide or you can star with the round up article on all of the acoustic guitar reviews. Take the time to subscribe to our newsletter so you can stay up to date with all that’s going on in the world of guitars. Make sure to come back regularly, because we add new reviews all the time, and have interesting commentaries. Until next time, may your D chords sustain and your leads impress.

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