How to test a beginner acoustic guitar in a guitar store: our step-by-step guide to buying your first acoustic in person

Sales assistant showing a customer an acoustic guitar in a guitar store
(Image credit: Matt Baker)

As a former music store employee, I understand that visiting a guitar shop can be daunting, especially for beginners. However, I want to reassure you that most shop staff are not only welcoming but eager to help you find the perfect beginner acoustic guitar. Their goal, and mine, is to ensure you leave with a guitar that suits you best and becomes the catalyst that ignites your passion for music.

Before I began my career as a full-time writer for Guitar World, I spent nearly a decade working behind the counter of a bustling music shop in the heart of Dundee, Scotland – in fact, the photos used to illustrate this article were taken at my old stomping ground, Kenny's Music

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Daryl Robertson
Senior Deals Writer

Daryl is a Senior Deals Writer at Guitar World, where he creates and maintains our 200+ buyer's guides, finds the best deals on guitar products, and tests the latest gear. His reviews have been featured in prominent publications like Total Guitar, Future Music magazine, and

During his career, he has been lucky enough to talk to many of his musical heroes, having interviewed Slash and members of Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Feeder, Thrice, and more. In a past life, Daryl worked in music retail. For a little under a decade, he advised everyone from absolute beginners to seasoned pros on the right gear for their needs. 

Daryl is also a fully qualified sound engineer, holding a first-class Bachelor's degree in Creative Sound Production from the University of Abertay.