7 Best Guitar Starter Kits: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

guitar starter kits

When 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. In particular, starter packs provide a fine complement of the necessary items for playing and can get you started faster than buying each thing separately.

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

Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Venerable Yamaha Pacifica guitar
  • Color options
  • Versatile
Price: $259.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Solid spruce top
  • Headstock tuner
  • Full-size dreadnought shape
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
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  • Mahogany body with flame maple top
  • Built-in tuner
  • Online lessons available
Price: $249.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
guitar for beginners, best beginner guitars, guitars for beginners, guitar kits, best guitar for beginners, beginner guitar Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sturdy case
  • Decent tones
  • Full-size dreadnought shape
Price: $189.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes amp
  • 24 frets
  • Very light body
Price: $329.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super inexpensive
  • Includes amp
  • Color options
Price: $135.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very affordable
  • Headstock tuner
  • Good tone
Price: $129.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. Yamaha Gigmaker EG Electric Guitar Pack

    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

    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.

    What’s Included:

    • Yamaha PAC012 Pacifica guitar
    • Yamaha 15-watt amp
    • Gig bag
    • Headstock tuner
    • Strap
    • Picks
    • Strings
    • Guitar cable
    • Instructional DVD
  2. Yamaha Gigmaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Package

    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

    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.

    What’s Included:

    • Yamaha FD01S acoustic guitar
    • Gig bag
    • Tuner
    • Strap
    • Strings
    • Picks
    • Instructional DVD
  3. Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special-II Guitar Package

    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

    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.

    What’s Included:

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

    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

    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.

    What’s Included:

    • Fender FA-100 guitar (this seems to be somewhat variable)
    • Hard case
    • Headstock tuner
    • Strap
    • Picks
    • Strings
    • Polishing cloth
    • Instructional DVD
  5. Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar Pack

    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

    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.

    What’s Included:

    • Dean Vendetta XMT guitar
    • Dean 10-watt amp
    • Gig bag
    • Tuner
    • Strap
    • Picks
    • Guitar cable
  6. SX RST 3/4 Short Scale Electric Guitar Package

    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

    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.

    What’s Included:

    • SX RST Short electric guitar
    • SX 10-watt amp
    • Gig bag
    • Strap
    • Picks
    • Guitar cable
    • Instructional DVD
  7. Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar Bundle

    Pros:
    • Very affordable
    • High-quality accessories
    • Headstock tuner
    • Comes with a fresh set of strings
    Cons:
    • Setup will be necessary
    • No gig bag
    • May require frequent tuning
    • Packaging isn’t always sufficient to prevent damage during shipping

    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.

    What’s Included:

    • Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar
    • D’Addario Eclipse Clip-On Tuner
    • Strap
    • Picks
    • Strings

See also:

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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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