Music is a universal language that everyone understands, and people have been using the guitar to pull at human heartstrings for centuries. If you’re reading this then you’ve been bitten by the guitar playing bug and perhaps you want to join the ranks of great guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Van Halen.
However, finding a good quality electric or acoustic guitar is no easy feat nowadays because there are just so many options to choose from. That’s why we’ve put together the following comprehensive guide on how to find the best electric guitar for beginners. This includes a list of great guitars which we’ve personally tried and tested for performance, quality, and ease of use.
No matter how young or old you are, it’s never too early or too late to start learning how to play guitar. There’s a wide variety of guitars out there to suit different budgets, styles, and preferences.
Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Electric Guitar
Understandably, playing an electric guitar is much easier than learning to play an acoustic guitar. That’s because an electric guitar has a shorter neck width and its chords are much easier to handle even for beginners.
Also, the strings of an electric guitar are considerably soft when compared to an acoustic guitar, so they make it easier for your fingertips to maneuver them. But, it doesn’t end there because there are many other differences and similarities between these two types of guitars. Read on for some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a good beginner guitar.
Guitars come in three different types of body styles, namely a hollow body, semi-hollow body, and a solid body. Each style emanates a different level of resonance due to its unique construction. Solid guitars are typically suited for guitarists that are into heavy and fast music.
The hollow and semi-hollow body styles are more suited to those that enjoy playing soft music genres like jazz, blues, and country. Experts recommend starting with solid body guitars that are constructed from solid wood because it’s much easier to figure out.
Solid body guitars come in the form of explorer shape, V-shape, double-cutaway and single cutaway guitar. At the end of the day, the body shape you choose will depend on your aesthetic preferences because it doesn’t really impact the guitar’s performance.
Several different materials are used to make guitars and each material has an impact on the instruments sustain and tone. The most common guitar-making materials include basswood, alder, poplar, mahogany, pine, swamp as and paulownia.
Each has a different level of tonal ability. For example, mahogany will give you a nice and warm sound, while swamp ash has a bright and cheery sound, and basswood offers the best of both worlds.
The type of neck you choose will have an effect on your ability to play your guitar, and the most important thing is to make sure that it enhances smooth and comfortable play. The guitar neck is also available in different shapes and profiles.
There are generally two beginner-friendly guitar pickups to choose from, including the humbucker pickup and the single-coil pickup. The humbucker pickup literally “bucks” the instrument’s hum and has less background noise, while the single-coil gives you a bright and shiny sound. Each pickup is designed to play certain types of music but they’re versatile enough to adapt to different types of music as well.
Budget and Size
Guitars come at different prices from the cheap to the expensive. That’s why budget is such a crucial consideration to make when looking for a guitar. You can get a decent guitar for $100, while expensive and cooler models go for as much as $1,000.
To determine your budget, it helps to consider who you’re buying the guitar for because that will have an impact on the size and price of the instrument.
Finding a good beginner electric guitar is probably much harder than finding a good beginner acoustic guitar because there are a LOT of brands and companies that produce different models and versions of beginner electric guitars
Your best bet is to look for a starter pack with all the different instruments and accessories needed to make the learning process that much easier. Starter packs are a great gift idea and they’re very affordable compared to buying a standalone guitar and getting separate accessories.
The Type of Electric Guitar for Beginners
If this is your first time buying a guitar, then you’re probably in two minds about whether to get a hollow body, a semi-hollow body or solid body. After all, you’ve never experienced either so it’s hard to tell what it’s going to sound like.
For beginners, a solid body guitar is recommended and we’ve featured quite a few options from this category. Solid body guitars are by far the easiest to control, especially when playing in front of an amplifier.
You won’t get any feedback from the amp and you can enjoy a smooth and uninterrupted performance. It’s worth noting here that solid body guitars are much easier to handle because they’re smaller than hollow models.
Should You Get an Amplifier?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question because you can very well play an electric guitar without the use of an amplifier. Playing an electric without an amp is quite common and it’s often referred to as “dry practice.” Sure, you won’t hear yourself as clearly as you would if you had an amp, but it’s a much cheaper option.
With that said, it’s always better to play with an amp than without so if you can afford one then you should definitely invest in it. Playing without an amp for too long can lead to aggressive playing due to wanting to hear yourself better, and the whole experience just doesn’t offer the feedback and response that you’d get with an amp.
If you can, consider buying an amp along with your first electric guitar. There are small practice amps available out there that are built to cater to those shopping on a budget. It might seem like overkill, but the benefits of having an amp while practicing for the first time far outweigh the price you’ll have to pay.
Can You Learn How to Play Guitar Online?
We live in a very beautiful time in history where you can literally learn anything you want online. All you need is a device like a smartphone, tablet or PC and you’ll have access to some of the most talented teachers out there for free.
There are hundreds of useful online guitar lessons from amazing tutors that have years of experience playing and teaching. Online platforms like YouTube are great at finding channels with great tutors and it’s available for free.
Of course, paid courses offer better structure and support because you’ll have access to the tutor for any extra questions you might have. Plus, paid classes have been known to facilitate faster progress as well. But if you don’t have the budget to take paid guitar lessons there’s no shame in going through a few free online lessons on your own.
The most important thing is your passion and level of determination with which you approach the training you receive. If you’re dedicated enough then you’ll succeed whether you’re learning through free or paid lessons.
Also, don’t rush the learning process because as any expert guitar player will tell you, playing the guitar is a lifetime discipline. So, you must open yourself up to becoming a lifetime student of the guitar before you can be a master.
As with anything, practice makes perfect so while it might take a few hours for you to learn chords, perfecting this instrument will take many, many years of consistent practice.
Beginner vs. Advanced Guitars
It’s hard to differentiate between a beginner guitar and an advanced guitar. You can learn from a $200 guitar or a $2,000 model and still be the same guitarist.
Of course, there are a few noticeable differences between a good beginner electric guitar and an advanced model. Beginners are usually advised to opt for something lightweight and comfortable to handle because heavier models usually feature awkward shapes that might be difficult to maneuver for you. In the beginning, your focus should be on learning chords more than showing off a name brand guitar.
Experienced guitar players typically prefer heavier guitars because they have a better tone and sustain. Plus, someone that’s used to handling a guitar will have an easier time playing a heavy-duty model than a newbie.
Basically, it’s better for a beginner to opt for a guitar with a light and thinner wood body such as basswood, while making sure that its shape is easy to handle. A Telecaster, Stratocaster and Les Paul are all good recommendations for beginners.
Also, master players typically prefer their guitars to have multiple controls and pickups as well as a kill switch because they have enough experience to use them properly. Something like a coil-splitting dual humbucker would be perfect in this case.
This would be overwhelming for a novice player who may be suited to using a fixed bridge. Besides, features like a whammy bar or tremolo can be excessive when you’re just trying to figure out how to use the chords and notes.
Plus, tremolos might destabilize the guitar if you don’t know how to properly use them. But we’ve included a few tremolo guitars in our review list below.
How Much Should a Beginner Electric Guitar Cost?
There’s no correct answer to this question as it depends on individual preference and budget. If you can afford to invest in an expensive guitar then you can easily pay thousands of dollars on your first instrument, but this is not always a good idea.
As with anything, it’s always best to learn on something inexpensive because you’re bound to make many mistakes in the beginning. Besides, there are a lot of fantastic budget guitars out there that are perfect for practicing on.
If you spend $100 on a guitar then you’ll feel much better about dropping it than a $1,000 model, because you never know if you’re going to stick with it anyway.
On the other hand, if you fancy yourself an aspiring artist and you see yourself making a career in music then you may want to invest in a more expensive model. That way, you can enjoy high-quality sound and a smoother feel from the beginning.
Plus, you’ll thanks yourself for investing in an expensive model because it’ll work out cheaper in the long run when you start performing for crowds.
Best Electric Guitar for Beginners in the Marketplace
The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments around and that’s because it doesn’t just produce beautiful music but it’s relatively easier to learn than other instruments. So far, we’ve covered all the information you need to find the best electric guitar for beginners.
Below is a list of reviews of all the great guitars available on the market right now.
1 – Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar
This Fender electric guitar emits a beautiful, smooth sound and has a decent amount of useful features. It’s perfect for novice players because it has a lot of features that make for a smoother learning curve. Fender actually specializes in building entry-level instruments and this guitar lives up to their reputation of excellence.
That’s not to say that experienced players can’t use this guitar because it’s suitable for them as well. This guitar owes its flexibility and versatility to its smooth neck which makes it easier to glide your fingers when playing heavy tunes or technical solos.
It’s neither heavy nor light, and we love the glossy finish because it adds a smooth, classic feel to it. It’s suitable for playing classical and modern tunes thanks to the three pickups, and it’s pretty easy to play.
This is basically the ideal electric guitar to get if you want to play different music genres. Plus, we’d be remiss not to mention that it comes at a very affordable price considering all its features.
Comfortable to hold
Plays well even for beginners
Great value for money
Intonation is spot on
Beautiful gloss finish
As the name implies, Epiphone’s Les Paul Standard electric guitar is built to sound like an original Les Paul model but without the ridiculous price tag. This well-made specimen comes with all the controls you need to acclimate to guitar-playing in no time, and it offers a decent combination of price and quality for beginners.
Thanks to the fine craftsmanship involved, this Les Paul guitar delivers exceptional sound quality. It features a rosewood neck and fretboard and it feels phenomenal. If looks are important to you then you’ll be glad to know that this guitar is absolutely beautiful with solid hardware and a smooth finish.
Thanks to the mahogany body, this guitar has great resonance and you’ll experience perfect pickups with no noise disturbances. All in all, this is a well-built guitar that offers great value for money and it’s definitely one of the best electric guitar for beginners.
Has a nice, classic black glossy finish
Very affordable version of a Les Paul
Easy to handle
There have been complaints about problems with the wiring in the toggle switch
3 – Squier by Fender Bullet Strat Beginner Electric Guitar
Squier is known for producing the best acoustic guitar for beginners and this electric model doesn’t disappoint. It has a similar feel and size to a Fender Strat which means users can play a wide variety of music genres with this guitar. It comes with such impressive features like a five-way selector switch, two-tone controls, master volume and a trio of single-coil pickups.
It also features a synchronized tremolo that makes it easy to play the various string gauges, which are fully adjustable using the saddles and truss rod. It’s made from soft and lightweight basswood and will give you more bang for your buck. But its components don’t move as effortlessly as in other, more expensive models.
It makes up for this with stunning aesthetics that look similar to a regular Strat, and we like the sunburst finish. Although it’s available at an accessible price point, this guitar offers top-quality sound that’s well-balanced. Plus, its features are specifically designed for beginners, which is great.
Stays in tune
Great guitar for the price
Easy to set up and play
Best electric guitar for beginners
4 – Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar
Yamaha is one of the most famous manufacturers of musical instruments in the world so you know their products are on point. They initially started with the Pacifica line of guitars which really got them on the map, and now they’ve recently reintroduced this model to the market to a lot of fanfare.
This is known as one of the best electric guitar beginners because it’s a real workhorse. It’s well-made from durable materials and it plays like one of those expensive models that the pros like to play. That’s why most master guitar players who start with a Yamaha Pacifica usually keep it for years after for sentimental value.
This review is based on the PAC112V which is made from solid alder that’ll give you an S-style tonewood. It also features die-cast tuners and a maple neck for a smooth feel. This is in addition to a duo of Alnico V single coil pickups, a well-placed humbucker. Combined, these features provide the player with a crisp and clean sound with heavy and satisfying growls.
To top it off, this guitar comes with a nice tremolo bridge with vintage styling complete with a block saddle that produces better tuning stability and tremolo. Plus, it’s available in a number of different colors like silver, metallic red, sonic blue, and yellow natural stain. That makes it a great gift idea because it’s designed to suit different personalities and tastes.
Made by a reliable and well-known brand
Comes with a 5 position switch
Solid alder body
The packaging is quite flimsy considering that it’s supposed to carry such delicate cargo
5 – Fender 6 String Bullet Stratocaster Electric Guitar
Fender is another trusted name and this Bullet Stratocaster model offers a great sound, classic American aesthetics, and a comfortable feel. The price tag is not too bad either when you consider the features it comes with.
This includes an expansive 21-fret neck, a trio of classic Strat single coils, a soft C-shaped neck and a vintage hardtail bridge for decent tuning stability.
It’s also available in different colors including vintage sunburst, black, fiesta red and artic white. This makes it one of the most customizable guitars for beginners out there. The controls include a tone knob, two volume controls, and a five-way selector switch that allows you to fine tune and dial your tone perfectly. All of this is available at an unbeatable price tag and it’s the best electric guitar under 300.
Great quality for the money
Versatile enough to play different genres effortlessly
Solid body with a great finish
The neck has a natural wood finish
How To Start Playing An Electric Guitar Video Lessons
Electric guitars look mysterious to some people, but once you start playing it the rock star in you might emerge. Like everything else, the initial steps you take to learn how to play any type of beginner friendly electric guitar will be daunting, but you have to give it all you got.
The beginner pains will soon be replaced with audible tunes that will attract more fans. Be sure you have a sound proof room or your neighbors might be annoyed at your growing musical talent. The video above explains the basics steps needed to begin playing an electric guitar.
6 – Ibanez RG450DX Electric Guitar
The super resonant Ibanez RG450DX is one of the well-made guitars for beginners that many keep it for many years after. It’s lightweight, easy to handle and comes with a maple neck, mahogany body, and rosewood fingerboard.
Although it’s an entry-level model, it’s a 3-piece beauty that’s a joy to play for newbies thanks to the jumbo frets and ultra-fast performance. It also features a single-coil and two humbucker pickups for accurate tonal diversity and it works even better when plugged into an amp.
It doesn’t end there, however. This guitar has a great feel and this is in part due to the custom neck shape that offers quick and smooth playing. It comes with ideal frets that offer smooth action that make it superbly easy to play as well.
You can play all types of music genres with this guitar because it has 5 available pickups so you can play it right out the box with no problem. You’ll easily keep a tune on this guitar thanks to the whammy bar, and it has balanced tuning to boot.
Lastly, this guitar is very aesthetically pleasing, due to the stunning metallic flecks on the blue paint job. This is complimented by a mother of pearl pickup that finishes the look with a classic feel, while the shark tooth inlay enhances the look perfectly.
Made from high-quality materials
Versatile and smooth
Next on the list is the G-310 from Epiphone. It offers classic styling which is what you’d expect from the SG brand and it comes at a really affordable price tag. It has vintage style ’67 carving and it’s made from a lightweight alder body. This makes it a top quality option because alder is known to be the best guitar making material ever.
It’s easy to practice on because of its lightweight frame, and the rosewood fretboard and mahogany neck don’t hurt either. It produces a classic tone courtesy of the 650R open-coil humbucker pickups and two great 700T. This is topped off by a ’67 style pickguard which makes this a magnificent specimen.
You thought that was it? Nope! Epiphone made sure that this guitar would have a great sustain thanks to the inclusion of custom LocTone hardware with a Stop-bar tailpiece and a Tune-o-matic bridge. Beginner players will definitely enjoy discovering all of the incredible features offered by this guitar.
Best electric guitar under 500
Absolutely great value for money
8 – Fender Squier by Affinity Series Jazzmaster Electric Guitar
This Fender Squier is a classic design and comes with two humbucking pickups that deliver a rich and satisfying sound. It’s ideal for beginners and skilled players alike because it’s easy to play and offers a sooth offset style.
You’ll be glad to know that this guitar is equipped with a classic Fender toner, a relaxed “C”-shaped neck, medium frets and a 12″-radius rosewood. As if that weren’t enough, Fender added flexible controls and a six-saddle bridge so you can produce beautiful jazz sounds that are smooth and classic.
This guitar is backed by a 1-year warranty and can withstand frequent use without disappointing one bit.
Best electric guitar for the money
Great for any skill level
Backed by 1-year warranty
Neck is comfortable and easy to play
Here’s yet another Yamaha which is similar to the previous model but with a few differences here and there.
It’s available in four different colors including old violin sunburst, blue, red and black. It comes with features like a humbucker, a duo of single coil pickups, a five-way pickup selector switch, and playable chords.
This is in addition to the master and volume control which allows you to create different combinations and you’ll be able to enjoy a balance between a rich tone and a bright clear tone.
It doesn’t come with any interference or hum, and it’s super easy to play whether you prefer solos or chords. The tremolo bridge is complemented by a good quality whammy bar that you can use to make all kinds of music magic!
Everything you need in a guitar
Flawless body finish
Easy to play
The Jackson JS22 Dinky was made for metalheads! It’s perfect for heavier genres because it comes with aggressive humbuckers, comfortable play, a thin but comfortable neck, and a super lightweight body.
It delivers a powerful sound although it has a clean tone, and it’s available in colors like gloss black, satin black, metallic blue and white. It definitely deserves a spot on any list that includes the best electric guitar.
Comes with sharp and crunchy pickup
Lightweight and easy to play
Holds a tune well
Well-designed neck and frame
Great for metalheads
Once you’ve invested a couple of bucks on a beginner friendly electric guitar taking good care of it becomes a top priority. Sharing your new guitar with friends should be done with caution. Others, might not cherish the guitar like you do.
Like any electrical musical instrument, guitars are sensitive to moisture including extreme cold or hot temperature. The worst place to store any electric guitar is inside your car or garage. Better to store the best electric guitar inside your home.
Electric guitars tend to last longer when kept inside a hardshell case when not in use. Not only will it prevent accidental string damage, the nasty elements will also be kept at bay. You can look on youtube to see stories of guitars destroyed due to poor storage location.
Regardless of how much your electric guitar cost, try your best to keep it out of direct sunlight. The outer shell is usually made out of fine wood and too much direct sunlight can alter its exterior finish or completely change the color.
A soft microfiber cloth should be used to wipe-off dust and fingerprints after every use. In fact, the Dunlop 6500 System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit comes with all the stuff needed to keep any guitar looking like new, and it cost less than twenty bucks!
Well, there you have it! If you’re looking for the best electric guitar for beginners then you’ll have a much easier time finding it now that you have all this information. We made sure to cover all the important features that you need to consider as well as some common concerns that you may not have thought about. This will come in handy when searching for a well-made, long-lasting and playable guitar, whether electric or acoustic.
From one of the best electric guitar brands on the market, the Ibanez RG450DX takes the number one spot as the best electric guitar for beginners. That’s because this guitar features a resonant and lightweight frame, jumbo frets, two humbucker pickups and a single coil for tonal diversity.
It’s made with a maple neck, mahogany body, a rosewood fingerboard ad beautiful metallic flecks for a classic finish. Don’t let its good looks fool you though, because this guitar delivers in the performance department as well, thanks to the classic tremolo bridge, jumbo frets, and the mother-of-pearl pickup.
All of this is available at an affordable price tag that makes it an ideal option for beginners. Plus, it comes highly recommended by pro players who started with it, and it’s so durable that it’ll probably last you for decades to come.
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