Wood Shop: A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Low-Cost Steel-String Flattop Acoustic Guitar

In the not-too-distant past, going shopping for a low-cost acoustic steel-string flattop guitar was a journey into the musical instrument industry’s heart of darkness. Shoppers who ventured into retail shops discovered a jungle littered with inferior-quality guitars that could alternately be used as torture devices, made out of woods of questionable provenance and bound together with enough glue to build 200 scale models of the Titanic. Good sounding, playable instruments were out there, but finding one required patience, perseverance and more than a little luck, as they were the rare exceptions.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.