If you’re new to the instrument, an acoustic guitar is the perfect way to start. The cheapest models on the market are often made with poor quality material and are very difficult to play however, so you’ll be immediately faced with a difficult decision: opt for something cheap just in case you end up not taking to the instrument, or investing a bit more so that you’ll be able to play a bit easier from the start. Keep in mind that this is the way to go with your younger kids since you really don’t know if they will stick to it. Just remember to shop for a guitar for small hands so that the child will be able to easily learn and play on the instrument.
It’s recommended to try buying at least in the $200 range to start with. That won’t be in everyone’s budget of course, but if you avoid the cheap “starter” acoustic guitar models, you’ll likely have a much easier time learning how to play. Higher price tags generally mean better materials, which in turn equate to an instrument that’s far more comfortable to play. Make sure to scope out eBay, craigslist (so long as you’re careful), and the used section of a store like Guitar Center and you might find some higher quality guitars for a much lower price overall.
If you can only afford a starter guitar however, it’s going to be fine in the long run. The instrument will likely be a bit stiff to play, but your dedication will more than be proven if you’re able to stick with it. You’ll likely build up even more stamina and dexterity at the start given more resistance on the fret board.
For The Intermediate
If you’ve been playing a little while and you have an intermediate skill level, you should start looking into guitars over the $500 range. You can start exploring other options as well, such as extended range necks, cutaways on the body to allow better upper fret access, and even acoustic-electric hybrids. If you’re looking to get more serious with your playing, it’s a necessity to have a guitar that you can perform as well as possible with. Guitars between $500 and $1000 often sound great and are perfectly suitable for recording and gigging.
For The Veteran
If you have several years of playing under your belt and you’re really looking to make a push towards more professional performances, you should consider investing in a guitar over the $1,000 range. It’s not essential, but the higher priced models are likely to have the best material and sound quality possible. Just spend some time trying different models in stores first. Once you find the one that you connect with the most, it will be immediately apparent, and you’ll hopefully walk out with an instrument that will serve you well for a long time to come.