10 Best Beginner Guitar Kits: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

beginner guitar kits

So you’ve seen videos of your favorite musicians jamming, heard shredding solos and decided you want in on the action by learning to play the guitar for yourself. Good for you! To learn the basics of guitar isn’t too difficult, but mastering the instrument is a whole other story. Learning chords and strumming patterns and other the other nuances takes time, patience and discipline. Plenty of would-be guitarists give up the dream when they decide the instrument is too difficult (but we’re sure you’re not one of those).

Since you’re just starting out, the best way to get into guitar is to purchase a cheap beginner guitar. While not the best quality, these guitars are perfect for beginners, and you’ll get everything you need out one until you decide you’re ready to take to the stage.

While you’re considering your options, it isn’t necessary to buy a guitar in a starter pack like this. If you’ve already got an amp, we have a list of the best guitars for beginners that focuses on cheap electric guitars for you to consider. Since you’re just practicing at first, you could pair them with a mini guitar amplifier to customize your setup a little bit.

Nevertheless, these starter packs provide great value and you’ll have everything you need right out of the gate. One thing we noticed that most of them don’t include is a guitar stand. It’s not strictly necessary, but it’s handy to keep your guitar off the floor or from being damaged. We have a whole post dedicated to stands if you want some options.

Here’s a mix of electric and acoustic beginner guitar kits to get anyone started on their path to rock stardom.


1. Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack

Image of squier electric beginner guitar kit

(Fender)

The Squier Strat is well-known as a beginner’s guitar. The Stratocaster was originally designed to be comfortable and easy to play, which is exactly what you need when you’re staring out. It features an Agathis body with polyurethane finish, maple neck, 21-fret rosewood fingerboard, three single-coil pickups with five-way switching.

The guitar itself comes in either black, white, or brown sunburst. This bundle comes with a Frontman 10G amplifier, but for $50 more, you can upgrade to a candy apple red Strat with an HSS pickup configuration and a 15-watt Frontman 15G amp. Almost all of us start out on a black Start, though.

Price: $199.99

Buy the Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack here.


What’s Included:

  • Affinity Squier Stratocaster Guitar
  • Fender Frontman 10G amplifier
  • Tuner
  • Gig bag
  • Guitar cable
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Instructional DVD

Pros:

  • Solid starter guitar guitar
  • Included extras provide everything you need
  • Comfortable body and neck shape
  • Gig bag perfect for toting to lessons

Cons:

  • Not ideal for performance
  • Amp only good for practice
  • Setup may be required
  • Middling production quality

Find more Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack information and reviews here.


2. Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special-II Guitar Package

Image of ephiphone slash afd beginner guitar kit

The other titan of entry-level guitars is Epiphone. They produce the cheaper versions of Gibson guitars, and this Slash signature model is no exception. Like it’s more expensive brethren, the body on this guitar is made of mahogany, capped with an amber-finished flame maple piece that adds a high-end look to a relatively cheap instrument. The price is certainly significant, especially since it doesn’t include an amp.

If you want to go for a classic pairing, you could grab a Marshall MG10CF, which is akin to the Fender Frontman in the kit above. One very nice feature is that the tuner is built into the bridge pickup, so the budding guitarist in question will never be far away from being in tune.

Price: $216.72 (5 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special-II Guitar Package here.


What’s Included:

  • Epiphone Slash “AFD” Signature Les Paul Special-II Electric Guitar
  • Gig bag
  • Tuner (built into guitar pickup)
  • Guitar cable
  • Strap
  • Picks

Pros:

  • High end materials: mahogany body with flame maple top
  • Tuner built into the guitar so it can’t be lost
  • Custom look
  • Online lessons available from Epiphone

Cons:

  • No amp included
  • Pricey
  • Color unappealing to some
  • Relatively heavy for a starter guitar

Find more Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special-II Guitar Package information and reviews here.


3. Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package

Image of yamaha gigmaker acoustic beginner guitar kit

(Yamaha)

Though most people are familiar with Epiphone and Squier, Yamaha these days make the definitive student-level instruments. They’re usually just a bit better, too. This so-called Gigmaker Deluxe package includes their FD01S acoustic guitar, which is a full-sized dreadnought with a solid spruce top and laminate nato back and sides. Nato is one of the harder cheap tone woods, not that you’ll be too bothered about tone when you’re just starting. Everything you need to learn how to string, tune, and play a guitar come in this package, so it’s an excellent place to start.

For $30 less, you can step down to the Gigmaker Standard package, which includes the Yamaha F325 that still has a spruce top, but meranti back and sides. The tuner gets a downgrade, too.

Price: $199.99

Buy the Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package here.


What’s Included:

  • Yamaha FD01S acoustic guitar
  • Gig bag
  • Tuner
  • Strap
  • Strings
  • Picks
  • Instructional DVD

Pros:

  • Included extras provide everything you need
  • Solid spruce top
  • Easy-to-read headstock tuner
  • Full-size dreadnought shape

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include polish
  • Gig bag little more than a cover
  • Plastic bridge parts somewhat brittle
  • Strap uncomfortable

Find more Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package information and reviews here.


4. Epiphone Les Paul Special II Guitar Player Pack

Image of epiphone less paul special II beginner guitar kit

If the price of the Slash signature model is a bit rich for you after you pick up the separate amp, this is the pack for you. If you’ve got your heart set on learning on a Les Paul-style guitar, this vintage sunburst piece is the one for you. It doesn’t have the nicer finish work of the flame maple top, but again, that’s something you won’t worry about starting out. Once you get your chops up on this, you’ll be read to upgrade to another Les Paul in no time.

Price: $209

Buy the Epiphone Les Paul Special II Guitar Player Pack here.


What’s Included:

  • Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LTD guitar
  • Electra 10-watt amp
  • Gig bag
  • Tuner
  • Guitar cable
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Free downloadable lessons

Pros:

  • Includes amp
  • Beautiful sunburst design
  • Strap is good quality
  • Headstock tuner

Cons:

  • Case is soft
  • Included amp only good for practice
  • Some guitars shipped with issues
  • Included picks are weak

Find more Epiphone Les Paul Special II Guitar Player Pack information and reviews here.


5. Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Image of fender squier acoustic beginner guitar kit

This starter pack is notable for one particular upgrade: a hard case. Sure, it has no impact on the instrument nor your playing, but the little added protection is good. We have one of these guitars kicking around our band studio for practice and scratch tracks and it does the job just fine.

It’s not quite on par with the Yamaha, but that’s probably a detail you notice after a few years of playing. It’s got a laminate spruce top and agathis back and sides with a rosewood fretboard. The hard case is what sets this offering apart, but you can save $60 if you downgrade to a gig bag here.

Price: $199.99

Buy the Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle here.


What’s Included:

  • Fender FA-100 guitar (this seems to be somewhat variable)
  • Hard case
  • Headstock tuner
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Strings
  • Polishing cloth
  • Instructional DVD

Pros:

  • Durable and sturdy case
  • Full-size dreadnought shape
  • Everything you need to start playing
  • Surprising tone

Cons:

  • May need a professional setup/li>
  • Can fall out of tune quickly
  • Cheaper feel
  • Some users report wonky sound

Find more Fender Squier Acoustic Guitar Bundle information and reviews here.


6. Yamaha Gigmaker EG Electric Guitar Pack

Image of yamaha gigmaker beginner guitar kit

(Yamaha)

Of course we included the Pacifica on our best guitars for beginners and best guitars under $500 lists. The Pacifica was made to address this market, delivering uncommonly good guitar to beginners with enough function to carry them through a long while of playing.

This is an agathis guitar like the Squier above, with a maple neck. It has a vintage-style tremolo complete with whammy bar, as well as an HSS pickup layout for a little added flexibility. Color options include Old Violin Sunburst, Black, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Red.

Price: $259.99

Buy the Yamaha Gigmaker EG Electric Guitar Pack here.


What’s Included:

  • Yamaha PAC012 Pacifica guitar
  • Yamaha 15-watt amp
  • Gig bag
  • Headstock tuner
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Strings
  • Guitar cable
  • Instructional DVD

Pros:

  • Above average quality for a starter guitar
  • Versatile pickup layout
  • Everything you need to get started
  • Four colors to choose from

Cons:

  • Fret buzz could be an issue (a proper setup could fix this)
  • Amp good for practice only
  • Some packages missing the guitar cable
  • Cables appear to fail

Find more Yamaha Gigmaker EG Electric Guitar Pack information and reviews here.


7. Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar Pack

Image of dean vendetta xmt beginner guitar kit

(Dean)

If you want something a little more interesting-looking, Dean guitars usually deliver on that front. The Vendetta XMT is a Strat-style guitar with Dean’s signature headstock and a pair of humbuckers. It has a Strat-style tremolo, but be warned: virtually all tremolo activity on cheap guitars is likely to put your strings out of tune. It’s just the nature of the beast. Better to leave the tremolo bar off and just enjoy this for the cheap, but slightly more interesting, Strat pack. The neck profile on this one is a bit slimmer, which might make learning easier for some.

Price: $167.92

Buy the Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar Pack here.


What’s Included:

  • Dean Vendetta XMT guitar
  • Dean 10-watt amp
  • Gig bag
  • Tuner
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Guitar cable

Pros:

  • Strat style body with humbuckers
  • 24 frets
  • Amp has boost switch
  • Ultra light paulownia body good for younger players

Cons:

  • Included picks are flimsy
  • Will likely need a setup
  • Tremolo tends to knock guitar out of tune
  • Some included tuners don’t work

Find more Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar Pack information and reviews here.


8. SX RST 3/4 Short Scale Electric Guitar Package

Image of sx rst electric guitar beginner package

(Rondo Music)

Coming in at a discount of $60 compared to its Squier Mini Strat competitor, this SX kit from Rondo Music is an excellent deal. Three-quarter size guitars are perfect for kids starting out on guitar as the shorter overall length makes it easier to reach the first couple of frets, which is where most lessons start out. I’ve played a few SX guitars and I find that I like them a little more than Squiers, and at this price, they’re worth a look.

The RST comes in the pictured red, purple, white, sunburst, pink, surf green, and blue. It doesn’t come with a tuner, however, so you’ll want to peruse our list of the best tuners here.

Price: $115

Buy the SX RST 3/4 Short Scale Electric Guitar Package here.


What’s Included:

  • SX RST Short electric guitar
  • SX 10-watt amp
  • Gig bag
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Guitar cable
  • Instructional DVD

Pros:

  • 3/4 size great for younger players
  • Comfortable Strat-style body
  • Inexpensive
  • Available in several colors

Cons:

  • No tuner included
  • Setup will be necessary
  • Tremolo tends to know guitar out of tune
  • Amp definitely not the best

Find more SX RST 3/4 Short Scale Electric Guitar Package information and reviews here.


9. Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Image of jasmine s35 beginner guitar bundle

(Jasmine)

It’s hard to beat the price of this offering, especially given that the accessories they toss in may well outlive the guitar itself. On its own, the D’Addario Eclipse tuner is excellent and worth about $13; you’ll be able to make use of that for a long while.

The guitar features a laminate spruce top and nato back and sides as with some of the more-expensive options. A setup at a guitar store will almost certainly be required, unless you want to follow along with YouTube videos. Still, this is more than enough for a beginner’s guitar. I have fond memories of a great many Jasmines played by friends in high school, so I feel confident this is up to the task.

Price: $129.90

Buy the Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Bundle here.


What’s Included:

  • Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
  • D’Addario Eclipse Clip-On Tuner
  • Gig bag
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Polish cloth
  • Strings
  • Planet Waves NS Guitar Capo Lite

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • High-quality accessories
  • Headstock tuner
  • Includes capo

Cons:

  • Setup will be necessary
  • Strings may need to be replaced immediately
  • May require frequent tuning
  • Packaging isn’t always sufficient to prevent damage during shipping

Find more Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Bundle information and reviews here.


10. Peavey Rockmaster Electric Guitar Pack

Image of peavey rockmaster guitar starter kit

(Peavey)

This starter pack combines a few interesting features at a very low price. The guitar itself is a very light basswood take off of a Soloist shape. It only has one pickup, but I think this is actually good for an absolute beginner so they focus more on playing than anything else. The tuner is built into the top horn of the guitar, which means it won’t be lost.

The amp is only five watts, but it can run off of batteries for convenient practicing anywhere. It also has an AUX in for playing along to music. It doesn’t have a gig bag, though, which is kind of a drag, but everything else is here.

Price: $156

Buy the Peavey Rockmaster Electric Guitar Pack here.


What’s Included:

  • Peavey Rockmaster guitar
  • Peavey GT5 5W amp
  • Ear bud headphones
  • Strap
  • Picks
  • Tuner (built into guitar)

Pros:

  • One pickup simpler for new players
  • Amp can run on batteries
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • No gig bag
  • Slow to ship
  • Likely to outgrow guitar

Find more Peavey Rockmaster Electric Guitar Pack information and reviews here.


See Also:


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2 Comments

2 Comments

Anne

I am still thinking which one to buy but really thank you for the information. Its helping!

constantine

All the guitar package featured are great for beginner guitar players… just consider this when buying… pick a guitar package that will enable you to learn well with and has the quality in it that you can use even several years after you first bought the guitar. This guitar packages don’t include a metronome, and this accessory is essential on learning how to play the guitar… consider adding it on the guitar package you want to buy. the price range of a guitar packages are not the same, so keep the budget in mind, if you pick a guitar that you like and your budget is not enough, wait until you have the budget and don’t be in a hurry and settling for anything less than you like to avoid regretting in the end.

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