What Makes a Good Acoustic Guitar?

Makes a Good Acoustic Guitar

Quick Answer: Higher price means the guitar is of good quality, but that’s not always a guarantee. A good acoustic guitar should fit you well and you should be comfortable to play it. It should be made of quality materials to ensure durability and it should excel in terms of sound, too – that’s what makes a good acoustic guitar.

Hold and Play

What is a good guitar for you may not always be a good guitar for others. This is a player’s personal preference. That is why it’s very important to go to a music store and try all the guitars you fixed your eyes on.

A good guitar should be comfortable to play with. Check the action — the distance between the strings and the fretboard. It shouldn’t be too high because it’s difficult to fret the chords.

You should check the neck width as well. Your hand should fit the neck, especially if you need to reach the top strings with your fretting hand.

And, lastly, don’t forget to pick the right size of your acoustic guitar. The right size is the one that fits your profile. Whether you play sitting or standing, you shouldn’t feel unease even for extending hours of playing.

Solid wood vs Laminate

Aside from comfort, you should check the topwood. The piece of wood at the top is very important since it can greatly affect the sound of your guitar. While it can be made from different materials — Spruce, Mahogany, Maple, Sapele, Cedar and more — it can only be solid wood or laminate.

Solid wood — Uses one or two pieces of solid wood to construct the top of the guitar. Manufacturers have their unique process to line up the grain patterns so it looks unique and aesthetically beautiful.

Laminate — Made of several pieces of plywood, around 4-5, pressed or glued together. Although the process is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, it usually involves pressing the plywood.

While both topwood construction produces good acoustics, the solid wood provides great resonance which results in a richer and fuller tone. And, they are generally more expensive than laminate.

Check the Sound

A good guitar should have a balanced tone. However, guitar sound can be influenced by the wood used, topwood construction, the size, and so on. Hence, dreadnought and jumbo produce deep and big sounds. On the other hand, parlor guitars produce a bright ring to your notes.

That is why, if you only play at home for pastime, maybe a good parlor or any quality guitar is okay. However, you’ll use it to jam with friends or be in a band. You need the dreadnought to get a bigger sound, which blends perfectly with other instruments.

Ensure Excellent Craftsmanship

Have a much closer look. While it’s comfortable to play and have a good sound, check the small details. The tuning pegs, are they easy to turn and concise? Are the parts secured or completely glued in place?

Check for excess glue, chips, cracks, marks or any flaw in the aesthetics and construction. These may be small, but they may affect the playability and performance of your guitar soon.

You should know if there’s an adjustable truss rod. Check the neck if it’s even with the top of the guitar. Check the bridge and all the strings. If there are electronics onboard, you should also try them. Ensure that everything is well set and that everything is properly working.

So, How Much Does a Good Acoustic Guitar Cost?

Quick Answer: Perhaps, you should start at $300 to around $800. If you go down this budget, you might get a low-quality guitar which demands expensive professional setup. Of course, going beyond $800 lets you have a great guitar. But, do you need to spend so much on your guitar?


A good acoustic guitar doesn’t mean an expensive one. Rather, it should be comfortable to play with excellent top wood material and outstanding overall construction. The sound quality should be good and it should serve its purpose well.


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