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Guitar Value Package Buying Guide

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A guitar value package that includes all the the right accessories can be a great choice for beginning guitarists. They’re not only budget-friendly but also let you get started playing right out of the box. Read on to learn how to choose the right electric or acoustic guitar value pack for your music and budget.

Squier Affinity HSS Strat Pack Candy Apple RedeMedia Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar Pack

The Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack is based on Fender’s most popular design, includes a great little practice amp, and comes with all the extras so you can start learning and playing right out of the box.

The eMedia Learn to Play Acoustic Guitar Pack includes all the essential extras as well as the acclaimed eMedia Guitar Method with more than 165 guitar lessons and 50 videos to help you start strumming and picking the right way.

Table of Contents

Why consider a value guitar value package?
Get started playing
What’s included in guitar value packages?
Important considerations
Hardware and materials
Acoustic guitars
Comparing popular guitar value packages
Got more questions? We’ve got answers.

Why consider a guitar value package?

There are hundreds of guitars on the market, each designed to produce a specific sound and meet the varied musical tastes and budgets of today’s players. If you’re ready to get started playing, or you are looking for a gift for a budding guitarist, it may seem overwhelming deciding where to start and what to buy. Guitar value packages can help eliminate some of that confusion while helping you save money.

For a more in-depth look at guitars, take a look at our Electric Guitar Buying Guide or Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide.

Get started playing

This guide will introduce you to some popular options in Guitar Value Packs. These packages are designed to give you everything you need to get started playing—all together in one convenient package at a price that’s far lower than purchasing each item separately.

What’s included in guitar value packages?

A guitar value package comes with a guitar (acoustic or electric) and all the essentials you’ll need to play that guitar. These usually include:

  • a gig bag (a soft case to protect the guitar in storage and transport).
  • a strap (to position and hold the guitar in place).
  • a tuner (to make sure each string is tuned to the proper pitch).
  • picks (to pluck the strings).

Electric guitar packs will usually include the following as well:

  • an amplifier (so you can hear the guitar).
  • a cable (to connect the guitar to the amp).

Each package includes a different guitar, of course. But the other elements in the pack can also make a difference in the quality of sound and the playing experience. Some packages may include other accessories like a guitar stand, headphones for silent practice, extra strings, or an instructional CD or DVD. Consider who will be playing the guitar and how these accessories can contribute to his or her playing and learning experience.

Important considerations

There are two main things to consider when choosing a guitar pack: Price and style.

Price

The many value packages offered by Musicians Friend fall within a fairly narrow and wallet-friendly price range. As with most products, different levels of quality come with different price tags. If your budget allows, consider going for the better quality package. Upgrades in quality can often make a significant difference in the experience of the beginning guitarist. Upgraded hardware, for example, can ensure better tuning stability. With electric guitars, better pickups and amplifiers will offer better sounds and more features. With acoustic guitars, higher quality tonewoods will help them sound better.

When you shop at Musician’s Friend, we make it easy to hone in on the right value package. Just select your price range to see what’s available.

Shop the complete Musician’s Friend selection of acoustic guitar value packs.
Shop the complete Musician’s Friend selection of electric guitar value packs.

Style

The second significant consideration is the style of guitar and how well it matches the style of the player and his or her favorite music. The budding bluegrass or folk music player is unlikely to find an electric guitar aimed at the heavy metal or hard rock fan very satisfying and vice versa.

Hardware and materials

Before you choose a guitar, it’s important that you understand the major factors that contribute to the sound of a guitar. You’re probably familiar with the basic differences between electric and acoustic guitars, but there are individual components and materials that will determine how the instrument sounds and plays.

With electric guitars, the primary factor is the type of pickups used. Pickups capture the sound of the guitar’s vibrating strings, converting the sound into an electronic signal that’s then transmitted to the amplifier which produces the sound you hear. The amplifier and its control settings can also significantly affect the overall sound of the guitar.

Acoustic guitars produce their sound from the vibration of the strings that are magnified by the top and body of the guitar. The type of woods, especially the tonewood used for the top, along with the body size and shape, primarily influence the sound of an acoustic guitar.

For more in-depth details, check out our Electric Guitar and Acoustic Guitar buying guides.

Electric guitar pickups

There are two main types of pickups: single-coils andhumbuckers. We’ll describe their characteristics next.

Single-coil pickups

Single-coil pickups have a single magnet with fine wire wrapped around it, creating a magnetic field that captures the strings’ vibrations and converts them into an electronic signal. Single-coil pickups tend to be bright and crisp sounding. The tone they produce cuts through dense band sounds well, but they may produce hum and are subject to magnetic interference. Many great artists play guitars equipped with single-coil pickups. Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, Merle Travis and many others are famous for their use of single-coil tone.

Humbucker pickups

Humbucker pickups were designed to deal with hum while also offering a warmer, “fatter” tone. They have two single-coils wired together with magnets arranged to eliminate hum, hence it’s name. Humbuckers usually have a thicker, louder, more powerful tone when compared to single-coils. While they are very versatile, humbuckers lend themselves especially to rock, heavy metal, and jazz styles. Famous guitarists who have used humbuckers include Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Pass, and Duane Allman.

Shop the complete selection of electric guitar value packs at Musician’s Friend.

Acoustic guitars

The main factors in acoustic guitar design that affect the sound of the guitar are the type of woods they are made from and their body shape and size.

Wood type

The single most significant factor in an acoustic guitar’s sound is the material used for the top, also called the soundboard. Solid wood has a fuller, richer, more robust sound than laminated wood. Solid wood is more flexible, and resonates more freely when strings vibrate producing more volume and better tone. That said, starter acoustic guitars when properly designed and braced are capable of producing pleasing tone and respectable volume. You can usually assume that the wood is a laminate in inexpensive guitars if the word “solid” is not included in the description.

Body shape and size

Another important factor in the sound of an acoustic guitar is its body shape and size.

A bigger body produces louder and deeper sounds than a smaller body. The larger sound chamber and top produce more volume with deeper bass frequencies. Dreadnought and jumbo acoustics typically produce a bigger, warmer tone than smaller instruments.

A smaller body, however, may be the right size. While usually having a somewhat less powerful sound, a smaller body may be more comfortable for the beginning guitarist—whether they are young or just petite. A guitar that is difficult to hold and play may be discouraging, regardless of its sound.

Smaller concert-size and “parlor” guitars sometimes offer a brighter, more articulate sound than their larger dreadnought and jumbo-bodied cousins.

Acoustic-electric guitars—a popular option

Acoustic-electric guitars have a built-in pickup allowing them to be easily amplified. Some include an onboard preamplifier with tone controls. Because they can also be played acoustically without an amplifier, they’re a good choice for a guitarist who plans to play in both amplified and acoustic settings.

Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic Electric Guitar Player Pack

The Epiphone PR-4E Acoustic Electric Guitar Player Pack comes with a full suite of essential accessories and a 15W amplifier with 3-band EQ and chorus effect.

Shop the complete Musician’s Friend selection of acoustic guitar value packs.

Classical and Nylon String Guitar Value Packages

For the student who wants to learn how to play classical or flamenco guitar, there are a number of affordable package options. Unlike other acoustic guitars with their steel strings, they have nylon strings that produce mellow tones and somewhat less volume. The strings are easier on the fingertips and don’t require the callus-building involved with learning to play standard acoustic and electric guitars equipped with steel strings.

Manuel Rodriguez Caballero 10 Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar Pack

The Manuel Rodriguez Caballero 10 Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar Pack features a solid cedar top guitar and includes all the essential accessories including a clip-on digital tuner and a footrest for developing the correct playing posture.

Shop all classical and nylon string guitar value packs at Musician’s Friend.

Comparing popular guitar value packages

Let’s look at a few of the popular packages available at Musician’s Friend and compare the features and accessories. This should help you learn what to look for.

Electric guitar value packs

Here’s a sampling some of our most popular value packs that offer a combination of good playability and wallet-friendly prices.

Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack w/ 15G Amplifier

This package features an iconic guitar—The Stratocaster— paired with a great little practice amplifier and quality accessories. The guitar has an HSS (humbucker/single/single) pickup configuration. Having both types of pickups makes this guitar very versatile. A pickup selector switch allows you to choose various pickup combinations for a great range of tones. The package also includes a tuner (very important) and instructional DVD to get you playing right away.

The Stratocaster is especially well suited for blues, country, pop and rock music styles.

Squier Affinity HSS Strat Pack Sunburst

A versatile Stratocaster with all the essentials at a great price.

Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Performance Pack

This package features another legendary guitar—the Les Paul. Its comfortable, classic feel and shorter scale length will help smaller hands develop playing skills more easily. The amplifier in this pack features reverb and overdrive effects, which add depth and warmth to your sound. The pack also includes a clip-on tuner for easy tuning and access to a library of online guitar lessons.

The Les Paul is especially great for blues, rock, metal and jazz music styles.

Epiphone Les Paul Performance Pack

This Epiphone Les Paul Performance Pack is a great value and an excellent choice for the new electric guitarist who loves the sounds of classic rock.

 

Take a video tour of the Les Paul Performance Pack

Ibanez IJX200 Electric Guitar Value Pack

This Ibanez blends the brighter, “chime-y’” tones” of a 25.5” scale length and the beefy, full-flavored tone of dual humbuckers. The tremolo bridge lets you create wild “dive-bombing” effects. Favored by many modern guitar virtuosos, Ibanez delivers smooth playability in a serious guitar. Along with the usual accessories, this package includes headphones for silent practice.

The IJX200 is great for everything from classic and modern rock styles to heavy metal.

Ibanez IJX200 Electric Guitar Pack

The sleek Ibanez IJX200 has a fast neck, powerful humbucker pickups, and is a great first axe for the future shredder!

Acoustic guitar value packs

It can be tough to figure out which acoustic guitar best fits your needs, especially if you’re a beginner. Learn more about our acoustic packs below.

Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Value Pack

The GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Package is a terrific value. Featuring Yamaha quality construction, the dreadnought guitar has a solid spruce top for excellent resonance and sustain. The package includes picks, strap, electronic tuner, gig bag, extra strings, and an instructional DVD.

Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Pack

With its solid spruce top dreadnought guitar accompanied with a full slate of quality accessories, the Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Pack makes a super-affordable first guitar with great sound and playability.

Mitchell MO100SPK Folk Acoustic Guitar Pack

Featuring a solid spruce top and a comfortably compact “O”-style folk body, this package is another favorite. Although the neck is full-scale, the smaller body is easier for younger and smaller beginners to hold and play. The package includes strap, picks, electronic tuner, gig bag, extra strings, and an instructional DVD.

Mitchell MO100SPK Folk Acoustic Guitar Pack

The Mitchell MO100SPK Folk Acoustic Guitar Pack is a good choice for the smaller player. Its solid spruce top and mahogany body produce great tone.

Daisy Rock 3/4 Dreadnought Wildwood Cutaway Pack

This package features a cool-looking pink guitar with a cutaway for easy upper fret access. The 3/4 scale is excellent for smaller hands. This guitar will encourage younger players with its smooth playing experience. This package includes a gig bag, electronic tuner, extra strings, strap, picks, polishing cloth, and instructional material.

Daisy Rock Pink 3-Quarter Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Pack

Loaded with style, the Daisy Rock ¾ Dreadnought is sized for smaller hands and includes all the essential accessories to get your budding guitarist involved and playing.

Got more questions? We’ve got answers.

If you need more help settling on the right guitar value pack, we invite you call to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Gear Heads at (800) 449-9128.

Tags: Electric Guitars Acoustic Guitars Classical & Nylon Guitars

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