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    With an electric, you can layer on the effects and add pedals, but with an acoustic guitar, the sound is stripped down to the simplest, most vulnerable elements that separate the skilled, virtuosic players from the rest. Even the flashiest rock stars once honed their skills on an acoustic - and they might even bring one out for a number or two during a show. Almost every guitar player begins on one, and whatever your aspirations, Alamo Music offers a selection from Taylor, Gibson, Martin, Yamaha and many more brands.

    Although your skills make or break the melody, far more elements come into consideration as you're shopping around for an acoustic guitar, from body type and the wood used to the strings. Whether you're thinking about your first lesson or looking to upgrade to a more professional model, browse acoustic guitars from the following brands:

    Taylor Guitars

    Started in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor manufactures its guitars in El Cajon, where the company is located, and across the border in Tecate, Mexico.

    Since the beginning, Taylor has been at the forefront of developing innovative, well-crafted acoustic guitars that are relatively straightforward to play yet ring and resonate no matter where you practice or perform. Taylor led the way in terms of using technology to craft its instruments and was one of the first to implement computer milling and lasers. Today, Taylor Guitars are based on five general body shapes, each with a distinctive voice and tone, and construct their models out of fine woods sourced from across the globe, which in turn expand their variety of sounds. Between these aspects, Taylor has further pioneered acoustic-to-electric technologies, including its Expression System® 2 (ES2) pickup and a true hybrid guitar.

    C.F. Martin & Co. Guitars

    C.F. Martin & Co. believes that all parts of an acoustic guitar should reflect quality. This attitude goes back to their centuries of manufacturing these instruments and their acquisition of Darco String Company in 1970. Today, a Martin acoustic guitar reflects the company's history of craftsmanship - both visually and in its tone - and its current sustainability initiatives emphasizing responsible manufacturing practices.

    Because string quality greatly affects how well an acoustic sounds, Martin has innovated in this area with high-tensile steel strings, nickel acoustic strings, Titanium Core strings and their newer Authentic Acoustic line known for a longer lifespan and improved tone.

    Gibson Acoustic Guitars

    When even casual rock fans think about Gibson Brands, their mind automatically drifts to the Les Paul - a quintessential, genre-defining electric guitar. But, much like the professional guitar player, Gibson got its start in acoustic models: specifically, it debuted in 1894 with an arch-top mandolin. By the early 20th century, Gibson introduced a flat-top guitar marketed as an affordable model geared toward returning servicemen that, within a few decades, proved to rival the Spanish-style arch-top guitar. Today, decades of innovation across electric and acoustic guitars and partnerships with leading musicians shape all Gibson products.

    Yamaha Guitars

    Although the company started out with keyboard instruments, Yamaha is often the best-kept secret among guitar players. In fact, due to their emphasis on affordable acoustic guitars, many get their start on a Yamaha model.

    Although Yamaha's U.S. presence goes back roughly 50 years, the Japanese company started manufacturing acoustic guitars in the 1940s. By the 1960s, they branched out to North America with the G50, G60, G80, G100, G120 and G150 classic guitars, considered more affordable than other comparable models on the market.

    Yet, while their message centers around value, many guitar players stick by Yamaha's quality and continue to use their instruments far after they've exceeded intermediate-level instruction.

    Interested in purchasing a new or acoustic guitar? Alamo Music provides 48-month no-interest financing, expert guidance through the sale process, extended warrantees, and trial lessons. Browse online for a model that speaks to your musical vision or reflects your current skill level.