I am thinking about getting a new acoustic guitar. I have one that I got as a starter kit over 7 years ago and I think it's time for a new one. It doesn't play very well. What do I look for when I'm getting a new acoustic guitar?
Look for one with a headstock, a nut, machine heads (or pegheads, tuning keys, tuning machines, tuners), frets, a truss rod, inlays, a neck, a heel, and a body.
there are many variables to consider. the biggest is the question of what your budget is. another would be the question of what size/bodystyle you prefer. fingerstylers tend to like the smaller GC or 00 sized guitars for note clarity. strummers usually like the larger GS and dreads for their boomier voice. onboard electronics or not?
the least important thing would be how it looks. once you get to playing it, you really dont pay attention to how it looks as it's sitting on your lap. if you worry about how it looks to others while your playing, your playing for all the wrong reasons. remember... most people only see "guy with guitar". only other players see the different appointments.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
I second stepchild. First figure your budget, then go looking. It's pretty easy to go to GC or Musician's friend (same company, really) websites and put in your price range and see what's available.
Then, if you have a big music store nearby, go play as many as you can. Something might jump out at you.
Body size is a big consideration for many, and a solid top is always nice. Higher-quality features like bone nuts and saddles and better tuning machines are good as well.
But the important thing is if the critter sounds good to you.
Also, as a newer player, consider holding enough money in reserve for a good set-up. Your fingers will thank you.