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Acoustic Guitar Cost

How Much Does an Acoustic Guitar Cost?

low costBeginner's Model for Children: $50-$200average costBeginner's Model: $100-$400+high costHigh: $500-$3,000+
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From fast-fingered classical phrases to sing-along chords and more, an acoustic guitar is a versatile instrument that appeals to all ages and is used in a wide variety of musical styles.

Typical costs:

  • Half-size acoustic guitars for younger players start around $50-$200 for a basic beginner model -- but have it checked by a teacher or other expert to be sure it's a playable musical instrument and not simply a toy.
  • The modern classical ("Spanish") acoustic guitar uses nylon strings and has a fairly wide neck and an hourglass-shaped body with a flat back. A beginner's nylon-string guitar starts around $100-$400; better quality models run $500-$3,000, and can cost $3,000-$5,000 or more.
  • A steel-string acoustic guitar is shaped the same as a classical model, but can have a narrow or wide neck and a flat or rounded back. Used for primarily for country, folk or blues, these guitars run $100-$500 for basic beginner models; better quality versions range from $600-$1,200 and high-quality acoustic ones cost $2,000-$3,000 and up.
  • An acoustic-electric guitar is a hybrid; it's a hollow-bodied instrument with pickups installed to amplify the vibrations of the guitar top and body. Acoustic-electrics start around $80-$250 for beginning models, run $250-$900 for better quality and can run $1,000-$5,000 or more.
  • A twelve-string acoustic guitar has pairs of strings that are strung close together and played as a single string. A basic twelve-string guitar starts around $100-$300; better-quality models are $500-$1,500 and can run $2,000-$4,000 or more.
Related articles: Guitar Lessons, Electric Guitar, Singing Lessons

What should be included:
  • Children under 10 will probably need a half-size or three-quarter-size guitar; most adults can play a full size instrument. One of the most important factors in selecting your first guitar is its playability, determined primarily by the height of the strings, the spacing between the strings and the overall neck width. describes the anatomy of an acoustic guitar[1] and explains the various woods used and how they affect the instrument's tone.
  • Guitar enthusiast Ben Newbold compares the pros and cons of steel string acoustic, nylon string acoustic and solid body electric guitars[2] and explains how to care for your guitar[3] .
Additional costs:
  • A case helps protect your guitar from excessive humidity, dryness or temperature changes, and prevents scratches when transporting the instrument. Softshell (cardboard) cases are about $20-$80; hardshell cases are $60-$300 or more.
  • If you want to perform before an audience with an acoustic guitar and need a louder sound, you can add an electric pickup for $50-$300.
  • Guitar picks average $2-$4 for a pack of 12; they're easy to lose, so buy a lot. A guitar strap averages $10-$30 but can be more if you want something fancy, and a guitar tuner runs about $15-$100. Extra strings (they break at inopportune moments) are $2-$20 or more for a set of six.
Shopping for an acoustic guitar:
  • Play a lot of different guitars before buying one. Even if you don't know how to play, hold it and see how it feels. Examine the construction and finish for any scratches, gaps, blemishes or other problems. outlines things to consider when buying a guitar[4] and guitar hobbyist Mark Vassberg offers a detailed guide for buying an acoustic guitar[5] .
  • Your local music store is a good place to try out instruments; the Guild of American Luthiers lists makers of hand-crafted instruments; and there are numerous online acoustic guitar sites, including[6] and[7]
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