For Beginners: The Best Acoustic Guitars Under $300

A good acoustic guitar for beginners doesn’t need to cost a ton of money! There are several affordable options out there for people who want a decent instrument to learn and practice on and can even continue to use as they become an intermediate and onwards.

However, no matter what group you fall in, if you’re looking for a steel-string acoustic guitar while on a particular budget, this article will share some of the best acoustic guitars you can find for under $300.

1. Jasmine S35

Jasmine is a brand that used to formerly be a subsidiary of Takamine guitars, a well-known acoustic guitar manufacturer based out in Japan. Although Jasmine is no longer run by Takamine, and instead, KMC Music Company owns the name these days, certain popular models, like the S35, are still around and being offered at great prices.

The Jasmine S35 is a cheap acoustic guitar for beginners that you can get for under $200. Here are some of the specs:

  • Dreadnought body
  • 25.5” scale length
  • Spruce top
  • Nato back and sides
  • Nato neck
  • 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge

This entry-level acoustic also comes in a few standard colors for you to enjoy as well. Personally, I prefer the natural color with a satin finish, but you may like the mahogany, black, or sunburst one instead. No matter what you pick, it’s still a great-looking and sounding guitar, especially at this price.

2. Yamaha FS800

No matter if you’re looking for an acoustic, an electric, or some other instrument, Yamaha is a Japanese guitar brand that will always have you covered with all kinds of affordable options. 

For acoustics under $300 specifically, I am recommending the Yamaha FG800, which actually has a lot in common with the previous guitar, which you can see here:

  • Available in concert or dreadnought body styles
  • 25” scale length
  • Spruce top
  • Nato Back and Sides
  • Nato Neck
  • Walnut fretboard with 20 frets
  • Walnut bridge

Although these specifications are pretty typical for guitars in the price range, you may have noticed that you can actually find this in both concert and dreadnought style. Because of this, the Yamaha FS800 is a fantastic choice for beginners because it’s one of the best small-sized body acoustic guitars available. However, if you prefer the larger body, just know that you can still get that version too.

3. Fender CD-60S

Everyone loves a good Fender, and luckily for you, one of the best acoustic guitars for around $200 is the CD-60S, the CD part standing for “Classic Design.” That’s exactly what you’ll be getting, as this is a solid instrument with a timeless style.

Here are some of the important specs you should know about with the Fender CD-60S that you should know about:

  • Dreadnought body style
  • 25.5” scale length
  • Available with a mahogany and spruce top
  • Mahogany back and sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • 20-fret walnut fingerboard
  • Walnut bridge

If you’re looking for something different, I think the all-mahogany CD-60S is an excellent choice because it complements the large dreadnought body well by providing a deep and resonant sound. However, if you prefer spruce, which is the most common top used for acoustic guitars, just know that it’s still available to you if you want an instrument that sounds brighter.

 

4. Ibanez PF15ECE

The PF15ECE is a very affordable guitar that’s part of Ibanez’s Performance series, and there is one important thing that helps it stand out from the rest of the group here so far in that it’s one of the best acoustic-electric guitars for under $300.

What that means is that it comes with a pickup, which is located under the saddle, as well as a built-in preamp that lets you control the bass, treble, and volume and tune your instrument. Aside from this standout feature, here are some of the general ones that the Ibanez PF15ECE has:

  • Dreadnought body with a cutaway
  • 25.5” scale length
  • Spruce top
  • Okoume back and sides
  • Nato neck
  • Laurel fretboard with 20-frets
  • Laurel bridge

The PF15ECE comes in a few different colors that you can enjoy – natural, black, and blue, and as you’d expect with any Ibanez guitar, this one is super comfortable to play and definitely one of the most affordable acoustic-electric guitars for beginners.

 

5. Dean AXS Exotic Cutaway

The most unique-looking acoustic guitar on this list is the Dean AXS Exotic Cutaway, which is actually another acoustic-electric that’s awesome for those who are on a strict budget. 

The onboard preamp with 3-band EQ and tuner and its piezo pickup are fantastic additions to any acoustic guitar, especially for entry-level instruments, but as mentioned before, this guitar’s good looks are usually what will catch people’s eyes first. Here is what this guitar is made of:

  • Grand concert body shape
  • 25.5” scale length
  • Available in a spalt, koa, or caidie top with a glossy finish
  • Eastern mahogany (a.k.a. Nato) back and sides
  • Eastern mahogany neck
  • Balsamo fretboard with 20-frets
  • Pau Ferro bridge

It’s important to reiterate that this is actually a grand concert-style acoustic, and so it’s shaped like a lot of classical and nylon string guitars rather than your typical concert and dreadnought bodies. I suppose that’s yet another aspect of this guitar that makes it different from a lot of the others on the market. Overall, it looks great and sounds even better!

Conclusion

As you can see, a lot of these guitars have a lot in common with each other aside from being some of the most affordable choices out there and some of the best value for your money.

Most of them have very similar specifications, but they do have their own individual characteristics that you might prefer; for example, you might be looking for a concert-sized body over the larger dreadnought, and so the Yamaha FS800 might be your best option.

In general, though, you can’t really go wrong with any of these acoustic guitars for under $300, especially if you’re a beginner or you’re looking to buy one for a new player. In my opinion, they’re great for people who have been playing for a while as well, but if you think you’re at the stage where you wouldn’t mind spending a bit more on a guitar, I’ve made another guide to the best acoustic guitars for under $500, that you may find informative.

With that in mind, I do hope that one of these steel-string acoustic guitars finds itself in your hands or this guide leads you to find the perfect acoustic guitar that fits your budget. 

Also, if this happens to be your first guitar or it will be for the person you’re buying it for, don’t forget to get some guitar picks! Here, I recommend some excellent picks that are great for acoustic guitar playing and explain why these are ideal. Additionally, you should also take a look at my guide on how to care for an acoustic guitar so you can read helpful tips and learn the safest practices for keeping it clean.