Many people who inquire about guitar lessons often are in the process of purchasing one and have no idea of where to start. This page is to inform and give a general idea of what to look for.
When shopping for an acoustic there are a few things to consider. First, any new instrument you get for less than a hundred dollars usually isn’t worth playing. It will not sound or play very well and sometimes will not even play in tune. These are a waste of your money!
If you are looking for a guitar for a younger person, durability is a big concern. This is the only time where a cheaper guitar is better. Here's why: Inexpensive acoustic guitars are constructed of laminated wood, which is not nearly as good for the tone of the instrument but is much more durable and will withstand the bumping and handling a child will likely put it through. A completely laminated guitar is the best choice for a child.
The next step up is a laminated guitar with a solid top. The top of the guitar is called the sound board and is very important to the fundamental tone and the overall sound of the instrument. An instrument with solid woods on it is always better for tone quality but, a guitar with solid woods will require much more care and is much more prone to damage caused by humidity and bumping. If you are an adult just starting out and want to get your feet wet, an acoustic with a solid top is a great choice.
Make sure where ever you buy your guitar it comes with a return policy. If you don't have experience with the guitar you should have someone who is an experienced player, inspect and play the instrument before you commit to buy it.