Buy, Borrow, or Rent your First Starter Guitar?

Buy, borrow, or rent your first starter guitar?

There are a number of options you can exploit to get your first starter guitar. If you're like most beginners, chances are that you'd rather not spend a pretty penny on a new one. After all, you're just trying it out.


The cheapest way to get your first guitar is to borrow someone else's. The upside is obvious: Free!

This option should only be taken if you're either dipping your toes into the water and aren't yet committed to learning guitar, or if you're super cost-effective. If you're committed, it might be time to rent or buy a guitar. Let's talk about renting, first.


There's a place in Austin called Rock and Roll Rentals that rents starter guitars for a small amount of money per month. Chances are that a guitar shop near you does the same. 

Not only is this a great way to get your hands on a starter guitar without killing your bank account, but it's also a great way to try out a ton of guitars before you commit to buying one. It's nice to have a little variety.


Many beginners buy a first guitar right off the bat because they are committed and they want to learn.

My suggestion is to buy a guitar only when you're absolutely sure you're ready to commit to learning. A good starter guitar can cost you anywhere from $200-$300, with varying ranges of craftsmanship beyond the $300 range.

My recommendations:

  1. Borrow a guitar if you're just dipping your toes in the water and haven't made a commitment to learn guitar yet.
  2. Rent a guitar if you want to explore the options. 
  3. Buy a guitar if you're all in.