How Much Do Guitars Cost? Essential Factors To Know Before Parting With Money

The world of guitars is vast and overwhelming, with prices ranging from $50-$6000 (and more for custom build!)

It can be hard to know how much to spend! But don’t worry – Authorityguitar have an answer to all your questions you may have: whether you’re after an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or a starter instrument for a child.

Beginner guitarists often ask the question-‘how much should I spend on an guitar?’ ‘How much does the average guitar cost?

If you’re a total beginner, buying an expensive guitar is not the best idea. Most beginners won’t be able to play it due to the set up or specific build. It’s also not cost-effective if the player decides it’s just not for them. 

I’ve also suggested a range of guitars that I’ve either owned, played or reviewed in my 25 years of playing guitar.

Some top end guitars are built around a specific type of player. I.e., Fingerpicking, Heavy Metal, Blues etc., etc. 

While real cheap guitars can come at a low cost, you may be sacrificing quality for price.

A common concern among those just starting out in music and performance has been whether purchasing an expensive model makes more sense than buying something cheap. 

The truth? It doesn’t matter what type of guitar you choose. There is no shortcut in learning an instrument; you will need to get many hours of practice under your belt to receive any model of guitar’s full potential!

It can be hard to know exactly what makes a ‘suitable’ guitar for your personal requirements. 

This article will answer all your questions about how much you may want to spend when considering your skill level. I’ve examined guitar costs for the best electric guitars, acoustic-electric, and guitars for children. 

Price Chart Breakdown; Approx Costs

  • Starter Kits $100-$200 (Children, Entry Level)
  • Beginner Guitars $200+ (Larger Children, Beginners,)
  • Standard Guitars $600-$1200 (Beginner, Intermediate, Hobbyist, Pro)
  • Top End Guitars $1400+ (Pro, Performer, Studio Work, Enthusiast, Collector, Perfectionist)
  • Used Guitars -If Useable Up To-50% Off New Price



Beginners Acoustic Guitar Cost/ Electric Guitar Cost/ Kids – Approx $200+

Cheap acoustic guitars are often made with lower quality materials and construction methods. 

They may not have the same ease of playability or sound quality as more expensive models. However, they can still be an excellent option for beginners. 

When shopping for an acoustic guitar, it is essential to consider the type of wood used for the body and neck, the quality of the hardware, and the overall construction. 

Here’s some valuable information you should take in about body wood type:

Laminate

Laminated parts of a guitar are various layers of wood glued together. This type of construction is more affordable but doesn’t give the player the resonance and tone a solid wood body has to offer. 

A laminate build gives the guitar a tougher physique. But what you make up for in lastability, you lose in a higher caliber of sound.   

That’s not to say that laminate is not a good choice of soundboard material. It can stand up to various climates much better than a solid wood build. 

Solid Wood

A ‘solid’ wood guitar is made with single cuts of wood. Some solid woods (spruce) will improve over time, giving you a better vintage tone. When the wood dries out, the resonance then becomes even better. 

In comparison, laminate wood does deteriorate over time (a long time!).

Solidly constructed guitars hold their price and may sound better.

One thing to remember is; if you run into trouble and require a repair to the body. Luthiers may find solid wood harder to work with. This will obviously cost you more if it takes them longer to fix. 

How do i tell if a guitar is laminate or Solid wood? Find out here

Our essential article on Tonewoods will answer any questions you may have:

What To Think About As A First Time Buyer

When starting out on the acoustic or electric guitar, it is crucial to have an instrument that is comfortable to play. 

As a beginner, you will likely be playing for shorter periods. You may not have the stamina to play a larger-bodied guitar or one with a full-size neck. 

The body size and shape, neck width, and string action are essential factors to consider when purchasing your first guitar. 

Additionally, it is crucial to choose an appropriately sized guitar for your body type. If you’re buying for a child, see my age/size chart below:

Age Height Guitar Size Total Guitar Length

AgeHeightGuitar SizeTotal Guitar Length
4-6 1.04 to 1.14 m1/4 30′
6-91.14 to 1.30 m1/2 34′
9-121.30 to 1.42 m3/4 36′
10-121.44 to 1.60 m7/8 38′
12+1.60+ mFull41′

While a small guitar may be easier to hold and play, it will likely have a shorter scale length and smaller frets. This may make learning certain chords and melodies more difficult as you improve.

More expensive guitars have an action that’s been set up, so the guitar is playable, right out of the box. The ‘action‘ is the distance between the strings and the fretboard.

Low action means the strings are close to the fretboard, making it easier to play.

High action means the strings are further from the fretboard, making it more challenging to play. But, of course, both are great for guitarists depending on what type of tone and style you’re after. 

The string gauge is also an essential factor to consider. A thicker string will be harder to press down but produces a louder, bigger sound. A thinner string will be easier to press down but creates a softer sound. 

Most beginner guitars come with a light to medium string action, which is ideal for those who are just starting out. Those string sizes are 9 and 10.

When trying out different guitars, be aware of the ‘action’ to see if it is comfortable for you. Anything too high will be far too tricky for beginners to play. 

Neck width is also an important factor to consider when purchasing a guitar. A wider neck may be more comfortable for someone with larger hands. In comparison, a narrower neck may be more comfortable for someone with smaller or beginner fingers. 

You will also want to consider the price of the guitar. A good-quality beginner acoustic guitar can be purchased for around $200. Anything below this could be a ‘toy’ or just plain awful. 

So: Which guitar is best for beginners?

BEGINNER & STARTER KIT: Here Are Our Suggestions




Standard Acoustic Guitars & Electric Guitars $600-$1400

A mid-priced guitar is an affordable option for those looking to purchase their first instrument or those who are not interested in investing a lot of money into a high-end model. 

There are several things you should keep in mind when purchasing a standard guitar:

  1. Quality can vary significantly from one instrument to another, even within the same price range. Therefore, it is essential to do your research and read reviews before purchasing.
  2. You get what you pay for with guitars. In general, the more expensive a guitar is, the better the quality will be. There are exceptions to every rule, so it is still important to do your research before making a purchase.
  3. A standard guitar is not typically as versatile as a higher-end model. However, suppose you are looking for a guitar that can be used for a variety of genres or one in specific. You may want to consider investing in a more expensive option.
  4. Standard guitars are not always the best choice for complete beginner players. They can be more challenging to learn due to their size and action. With mid-priced guitars, you stand a much better chance of getting an instrument you can play for years to come. They’re even suitable for live performance and touring. 
  5. . You will find that standard guitars come in various styles and designs. Some are better suited for specific genres of music than others. Therefore, choosing a guitar that matches your playing style is vital. Standard guitars are built substantially better than beginner models and can withstand more abuse. If you are looking for a guitar that will last you for years, a standard model is a great option. 

How much should I spend on a decent guitar?

I would definitely recommend a mid priced guitar if you want to take guitar playing seriously. Some models are fantastic in all areas. I’ll suggest those below:

STANDARD GUITARS: Here Are Our Suggestions




High End Acoustic & Electric $1400+

What should I expect from a high end guitar?

A top level guitar will be well built from professional luthiers or skilled builders. It’ll be constructed with high quality materials. It will also usually sound so much nicer than mid priced guitars. 

Top notch guitars are also a pleasure to play. If you’re already a player, playing an expensive model is a breeze. 

You can expect to pay a premium for a top level guitar. But in the long run, it will be worth the investment. In some cases the guitar may increase in value. 

Having a beautiful expensive guitar is one of life’s luxuries 

What materials are the best guitars made from?

Top end guitars are usually made from high quality wood, such as maple, mahogany, or rosewood. They also have other expensive materials, such as gold or platinum hardware. 

What type of pickups are on top end guitars?:

The best guitars will have the best quality pickups available. This means that they will have a clear and powerful sound. They will also be less likely to wear out over time. This should be firmly in your plans if you’re a working or live musician. 

What is the difference between a top level guitar and a standard one?:

The main difference between a top level guitar and a standard one is the quality of materials and construction. This makes them last longer and sounds better. 

They are also usually easier to play, thanks to the skill level that’s gone into the construction. 

How much should I expect to pay for a top end guitar?

It’s a difficult question to answer, but I would say anything from around $1400-$1800 upwards would get you the very best build. Here

TOP END GUITARS: Here Are Our Suggestions




Used Guitars

What should I expect from buying a Used Guitar?

Buying a used guitar can be a great way to get a high-quality instrument at a fraction of the price of a new one. 

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before making your purchase. 

It is also a good idea to have a friend or family member who is experienced with guitars take a look at the instrument before you buy.

Here are some pointers if you need to check out a Used Guitar

First, it is a good idea to inspect the guitar thoroughly. Check for any signs of damage, such as dents, scratches, or discoloration. Ensure all of the hardware is in good condition and that the strings are usable.

Second, know what type of guitar you are buying. Not all guitars are created equal, and each one has its own unique set of characteristics. Google search the model and carefully check the specs. 

Third, know what you are looking for in a guitar. Are you looking for an instrument that is easy to play? One that has a great sound? One that is versatile? Knowing what you want from your guitar will help you narrow down your search and find the perfect one.

What are the best things about buying a used guitar?: 

There is so much to love about buying a used guitar. You can get an amazing instrument if somebody is looking for a quick sale. 

Second, you may discover an old classic guitar that is no longer being manufactured. Some Youtube guitarists do this as a job!

Thirdly, If the guitar has been ‘worn in’ by the previous player, it may fit you like a glove. I always shop second hand for this reason alone.

You can usually find a great deal on a used guitar if you know where to look. Finally, buying a used guitar can be a great way to support your local music scene. 

Are there any drawbacks to buying a used guitar?: 

There are a few potential red flags to buying a used guitar. 

  • You may not be able to try the instrument before you buy it. 
  • You may have to repair the guitar if it is not in good condition or vintage. 
  • You may not be able to get a warranty with a used guitar. 
  •  Finally, there is always the potential that the guitar could be stolen. 

Use authorityguitar serial number finder to find out the history of a guitar here. 

In conclusion, buying a used guitar is a fantastic way of saving money on an instrument. See what’s on Sale right now!

USED GUITARS: Here Are Our Suggestions




Acoustic Guitar vs. Electric

The first thing you’ll notice about electric guitar vs. acoustic is that they have very different body types.

Most notably, acoustic guitars are known for their large bodies and natural wood finishes. In contrast, electric guitars feature slim bodies, usually with interesting cutaways that may or may not serve a purpose for playability.

We have an in depth article which digs deep into the differences right here:

I always recommend that you try out a wide range of different body styles to see what feels natural to you, but don’t despair if nothing feels quite right just yet.

It takes a while to get your posture perfected, and you will probably feel like some body styles are too bulky for you. That is totally normal! I still prefer slimmer acoustic bodies to a jumbo. 

How Much Do Guitars Cost?-Final Words

The price of a guitar is often based on the quality of the materials used to make the instrument. This also includes features, the builder, and various reputable brands. 

For example, more expensive Martin acoustic guitars usually have a better sound quality and construction. Martin guitars have a long history of being very reliable guitars, so you may pay for that privilege, which is rightly so.

Ultimately, the cost of a guitar is up to the individual buyer and what they are willing to pay. Most guitarists will edge towards an instrument that is comfortable.

I hope my article has given you plenty of insight into the cost of guitars.

Good luck on your musical journey!

About Lee

Lee has been playing guitar for over 25 years. In the 1990's he made a few TV appearances in London and supported a few big bands at festivals. He's recently sung on radio and worked as a full-time guitarist/singer. Lee is the founder of Authority Guitar, a site where he wants readers to enjoy every aspect of learning the guitar.

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