When I think of sing-a-long guitars I think of parties, family get togethers, and camping. Really just any situation where you can pull out a guitar and play, sing a couple of popular songs, while every one sings along.
Therefore in my opinion it first must be acoustic. Acoustic are very portable and convenient and can be taken just about anywhere. Usually when you think about these circumstances you don’t really think about amps and other equipment, just the player, the guitar, and maybe a pick.
Because of that just about any “decent” acoustic guitar will do but just remember all acoustic guitars are not designed the same. You have several types of acoustic guitars. There are parlor, classical, jumbo but for me the best “sing along” guitar is the Dreadnought.
Dreadnought’s are one of the most popular designs of acoustic guitar. It has a somewhat large resounding sound without being too big to lug around everywhere. You can easily put in your car, take it to a party, or lug it to a campground. The best thing about them is that they are also one of the most popular acoustic guitars made, and you can get a relatively good sounding one fairly cheap.
As with other things, cheap is a relative word but I usually break them into three categories for pricing, Upper, middle, and lower tier.
First of all you have Martin and Taylor. In my opinion these are two guitars that you can by off the rack that will cost you the most. A good Martin will cost you starting around a grand and can go up into $8 - $12K, but in my opinion the sound is remarkable. Also Taylor is right up there with them. In country music, Martin is usually the standard as is with other types of music as well.
Next you have the second tier of guitars. These include guitars like Alvarez, Epiphone, Takamine, Guild, and several others. These guitars will cost you anywhere from the $300 - $1,000, and this is where I would try to start. Fender makes some guitars that fall into this category but as good as a reputation as Fender has, most of their acoustic guitars fall into the 3rd category. This category will give you a good sounding guitar at a very reasonable price, and if you shop smartly you can get an acoustic /electric which means it is an acoustic with a pickup in it if needed.
The last category are the lower end ones. You’ll find these for anywhere between $100 -$300 bucks. I would try to stay away from these if financially able. These include Rogue, Jasmine, Mitchell, also some Ibanez, Fender, and Epiphone. The reason I list Fender and Epiphone in both is because as the two major manufacturer of guitars both make “entry” level starter pack guitars that are really not that good .
If I just couldn't spend $300 on an acoustic guitar at this moment, I would get the nicest Epiphone or Alvarez I could afford, or maybe even an Ibanez. There are plenty around the $200 mark that will keep you happy for a while.
Now what I just told you is not set in stone, there are numerous exceptions. Some guitar makers have better guitars that what I’ve listed, and some guitar makers produce guitars below the standards I have listed, but as a general rule you should be able to find the guitar you are looking for by taking my advice.
I for example have several acoustic guitars, several upper tier ones included. My go to guitar though is a hand made Alvarez produced in 1985 by a Japanese Luthier named Yairi. Here is a pic of it.
This hand made guitar is perfect for what you describe, and that is exactly what I use it for. If you, or anyone else, would like to know more about it you are welcome to check out my blog post talking about this guitar at:
I hope this helps you out. If you have any further questions about guitars, don’t hesitate to ask.