How to Choose the Best Guitar for Your Needs and Budget

Jon Clemence
6 min readMar 15
A wall of guitars for sale in a music store.
Photo by Senad Palic on Unsplash

In many ways, we are living in guitar heaven today.

There are countless brands and styles of guitars, almost all of which you can purchase with the click of a button. And these guitars come in all shapes, sizes, and, importantly, prices.

In one sense, this is great: you can get literally whatever you want whenever you want it. In another sense, it’s not so great: with so many options, it can be easy to feel paralyzed. How can I make a good choice? How can I know I’m buying the best guitar when there are so many out there and I can’t try them all?

This is a big question that deserves a longer answer than I can provide in this article, but I do want to tackle one portion of the answer today.

I want to give some advice on how to choose the best guitar for you based on your needs and budget. And instead of suggesting various brands, which is always going to be subjective, I’m going to stick with price ranges.

But first, it’s important to consider a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself if you are in this predicament.

How much do you want to spend?

This is the biggie. There is no right answer to this question; it’s all about your comfort level. Some people adopt a “go big or go home” approach and buy a Gibson Les Paul straight out of the gate. I have a friend who did this. He decided he wanted to learn to play the guitar, and he wanted a Les Paul. So he dropped over a grand on a nice, new Gibson.

Other people have a harder time justifying spending that kind of cash. Maybe their discretionary funds are more limited, or maybe they just can’t bear to spend four figures on one guitar. I’ve been playing for decades, and I don’t own a guitar I spent more than $600 on.

Price is all about comfort level: how much are you willing to pay for an instrument? With price points ranging from just a few hundred dollars to upward of $10,000, it’s wise to give this some thought before pulling the trigger on a new guitar. And remember, if it feels uncomfortable, it’s probably too much.

How much (and where) do you plan on playing?

Jon Clemence

Medium needs more guitar-related content. I. Am. That. Hero!