When I was purchasing my first electric guitar, I didn’t know much about the instrument. I looked around online and watched videos, but with so many models to choose from the whole process was still overwhelming.
The good news for you is that I have learned a ton about electric guitars over the past decade, and in this article, I’m going to share exactly what a beginner should look for in a guitar. I’ll also show you which models are best suited for a beginner. Keep in mind that the ideal guitar will differ from person to person depending on preferences, but overall every great guitar should feel great, look great, play great, and just generally be inspiring to play.
Choosing the right guitar will make it easier to develop technically and make playing the guitar a whole lot more enjoyable.
I’ll start this article by reviewing the best beginner electric guitars at each price point, but if you want to learn more about how to choose a beginner guitar, check out our electric guitar buying guide at the bottom of the page here.
|Name of Product||Image of Product||Description||Price Range||Check Price|
|1. Fender Player Series Stratocaster (Best Overall S Type)||Solid Body|
|$700||Read Full Review Below|
|2. Fender player Series Telecaster (Best Overall T Type)||Solid Body|
|$700||Read Full Review Below|
|3. Gibson Les Paul Tribute (Best Overall Single Cut)||Solid Body|
|$1200||Read Full Review Below|
|4. D'Angelico Premier Series DC Boardwalk (Best Overall Semi-Hollow)||Semi-Hollow|
|$800||Read Full Review Below|
|5. Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster (Best Value)||Solid Body|
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|6. Squier Bullet Mustang (Budget Pick)||Solid Body|
|$180||Read Full Review Below|
|7. Yamaha Pacifica 112V||Solid Body|
|$320||Read Full Review Below|
|8. Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT||Solid Body|
|$250||Read Full Review Below|
|9. Ibanez Artcore AS53||Semi-Hollow|
|$300||Read Full Review Below|
|10. Gretsch G2420 Streamliner||Semi-Hollow|
|$450||Read Full Review Below|
|11. Epiphone SG-Special Beginner Electric Guitar||Solid Body|
|$175||Read Full Review Below|
|12. Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Starter Electric Guitar (Best Overall - Metal & Shred)||Solid Body|
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|13. Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club||Solid Body|
|$350||Read Full Review Below|
|14. Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitar||Solid Body|
|$250||Read Full Review Below|
|15. Squier Classic Vibe ‘70s Telecaster Electric Guitar||Solid Body|
|$450||Read Full Review Below|
|16. Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster||Solid Body|
|$330||Read Full Review Below|
|17. Ibanez GRGA120||Solid Body|
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|18. Epiphone Dot ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody||Semi-Hollow|
|$450||Read Full Review Below|
|19. Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro III||Solid Body|
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|20. Ibanez Gio GRGR120EX (Budget Pick)||Solid Body|
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|21. Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster V2 Electric Guitar||Solid Body|
|$180||Read Full Review Below|
Here Are the Best Electric Guitars for Beginners
1. Fender Player Series Stratocaster (Best Overall S Type)
|Neck||C shape maple bolt-on neck|
|Pickups||3 single coil Player Series Alnico 5|
My Review: Fender is a leader in delivering classic tones at good prices. The latest line from their Mexican factory, the Player Series, is authentic Fender through and through. The quality of these instruments even stands up to professional American models. Make no mistake, just because the word isn’t in the name doesn’t mean Player Series instruments aren’t professional. Though they aren’t the cheapest option on this list, if you’re willing to pay up a little bit to get a Fender as your first guitar, you won’t regret it. The investment upfront will save you from the need to upgrade later down the line, and you’ll have an instrument that will last a lifetime. The Player Series Stratocaster is just that: a Strat. This is an instrument that has gone through very few changes since guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn first picked one up. It will have the feel, tone, and look of a legendary guitar, guaranteed.
Build Materials: The alder body keeps the guitar light, without sacrificing any quality. The maple neck and fingerboard are not only durable, but they also have a classic, unmistakable look.
Hardware: The most significant deviation from the original Strat design in this model is the two-point fulcrum tremolo. Rather than pivoting on six screws, this bridge only has one bolt on either side. This reduces friction which results in a smoother feel and better tuning stability. However, the bridge still has its original bent steel saddles. The tuning machines are die-cast, and all of the hardware is chrome, to add to the traditional aesthetic. There are three single-coil pickups that can all be selected alone or in different combinations with the 5-way switch, giving you a lot of different tonal options.
Finish: This guitar is gloss all over, so if you’re interested in that classic Strat look, then it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. Besides being easy to clean and resisting sweat, the glossed neck will have an incredibly sleek feel. With several colors ranging from a vintage Black or 3-color Sunburst to a unique Tidepool or Capri Orange, this guitar is sure to be available in a finish that will suit your taste.
Bottom Line: The Strat is one of the most popular guitars in modern music, and it’s for good reason. It’s versatility and quality well outway the price, and few guitars can match the comfort and playability it offers. If you aren’t one for compromise and you’re willing to pay extra for the real deal, then you absolutely can’t go wrong with the Player Series Stratocaster.
2. Fender Player Series Telecaster (Best Overall T Type)
|Neck||C shape maple bolt-on neck|
|Bridge||3 single coil Player Series Alnico 5|
My Review: The Telecaster has been just as, if not more popular with professional guitarists throughout the years. This can be directly attributed to its simplicity and elegance. With one less pickup and no tremolo, the Tele is about as bare-bones as it gets. This is great for two reasons. First, it’s perfect for a beginner because the controls are incredibly easy to wrap your head around. Second, this guitar is sort of like a blank canvas. Since it’s so simple and clean, it will pair flawlessly with any effect or amplifier. You can plug it into a Roland JC and get a clean jazz sound, or you can put it through a fuzz pedal and a tube amp to get something heavy and distorted. The Telecaster can play almost anything.
Build Materials: Just like the Strat, the alder wood keeps this guitar light, while also providing durability. The neck and fretboard are again made of maple. However, the option of a Pau Ferro fretboard is there if you’d prefer to have an unfinished feel under your fingers, or even if you just like the look of it!
Hardware: The hardware is a mixture of chrome and nickel. It has die-cast tuning machines and a hardtail through-body bridge which is great for keeping the instrument in tune if you don’t mind sacrificing a tremolo. The Tele has single-coil neck and bridge pickups that can be switched between or used in combination. There is also a master volume and tone knob.
Finish: Again, the Player Series offers a wide variety of finishes for its Telecaster model. There are classics like Butterscotch Blonde and Sunburst alongside modern colors such as Polar White or Sonic Red. The neck finish is satin and that gives it more of a grip than gloss which is perfect for sweaty handed guitarists, like me.
Bottom Line: As I said before, it comes down to preference. Some folks like the extra tonal options and the tremolo of the Strat. If you’re like me, the simplicity of the Tele and it’s inherent versatility might be enough to win you over. It’s simple, elegant, and perfect for a beginning guitarist in almost any genre.
3. Gibson Les Paul Tribute (Best Overall Single Cut)
|Body||Solid mahogany body topped with maple|
|Finish||Satin nitro body finish|
|Neck||Rounded maple set-in neck|
|Pickups||2 Alnico II 490 humbuckers|
|Bridge||Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece|
My Review: If single coils won’t cut it, and you want a legendary guitar with more bite, the Gibson Les Paul is the way to go. Wildly famous for its use in classic and hard rock, the Les Paul is a staple on the guitar market, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. Though it might not be quite as versatile as a Tele or Strat, it has seen some use in blues, pop, and even jazz (which is actually what the original Les Paul was intended for). Just keep in mind that it will have a thicker tone than a guitar with single coils. Gibson is known for making some of the highest quality guitars on the market. They don’t come cheap though. The Les Paul Tribute is a good bit more expensive than the midrange Fenders on this list. However, if you want an authentic Gibson to rock on, it may just be worth it.
Build Materials: A solid mahogany body and set-in neck do wonders for the sustain of this guitar. When this is paired with a set of humbuckers and played through a distortion effect or a tube amp, you could hit a sweet note in an epic rock solo and let it ring out for days! However, your back may give out before the sustain does, because mahogany is notoriously heavy. If you can bear the weight though, the quality of this tonewood in sound and durability will make it up to you.
Hardware: Though it’s not as flashy as chrome, the Tribute’s nickel hardware complements its satin finish wonderfully. It sports an ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge, a stopbar tailpiece, and vintage Grover Rotomatic tuners to complete the look of the headstock. The humbuckers can be switched or combined with a 3-way switch, and they have their own volume and tone, so you can blend them however you want.
Finish: Rather than a glossy polyurethane finish that is common on modern guitars, the Tribute has a satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish. It’s not as durable as poly shells, but it allows the guitar to breathe more, improving the tone and increasing the sustain even more. Nitro also wears better over time. While poly shells can crack and split, nitro finishes wear gradually and produce a unique vintage look.
Bottom Line: The Tribute is the most expensive guitar on this list, and for that reason, many beginners would probably pass it up. However, if you are serious about playing guitar (good ol’ rock’n’roll in particular) you may want to consider kicking off your music career with an investment that will last you a lifetime. The tone is undeniable, and the quality is top of the market. Knock-off models and Epiphones will save you money upfront, but they may be in for an upgrade in a few years. That’s alright if you just want to give this style a try for your first guitar. However, if you know for a fact that you are in it for the long haul and the Les Paul is the model for you, consider getting the real deal. Besides, the happier you are with your guitar, the more you’ll want to pick it up and play it.
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4. D’Angelico Premier Series DC Boardwalk (Best Overall Semi-Hollow)
|Body||Semi-hollow laminated maple body|
|Finish||Gloss body finish|
|Neck||C shaped set-in maple neck|
|Pickups||2 Seymour Duncan P90 pickups|
|Bridge||Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece|
My Review: This guitar is a diamond in the rough. Beginners may be tempted to skip over D’angelico guitars since they aren’t one of the big brand names that are constantly advertised, but they’d be missing out on one of the best hollow and semi-hollow guitar manufacturers in the market today. Though their Premier Series is priced slightly higher than Fender’s Player Series, the quality of the craftsmanship is on par with it, and it has a unique style that doesn’t come with a Strat or Tele. This Premier Series DC Boardwalk is especially unique considering that it has Seymour Duncan P90 pickups. Seymour Duncan is the most popular third party pickup manufacturer, and many guitarists use their products if they want to upgrade a guitar. To have these pickups installed stock is a rare sight and an excellent feature.
Build Materials: Laminate maple is common in semi-hollow and hollow-body guitars to provide durability and keep costs low. Though solid wood tops allow for more resonance, they are susceptible to cracks, especially during humidity changes. Laminate wood is much more tolerant and durable. Ovangkol is a hardwood similar to rosewood and some say it’s brighter sounding as a tonewood (though I doubt anyone could tell the difference when it’s only used for the fingerboard).
Hardware: Each P90 has its own volume and tone knob allowing you to blend them to your taste, just like the Les Paul Tribute. The hardware is chrome all around on this guitar, and the tuning pegs are beautifully designed to complement the style of the headstock.
Finish: The body and neck are both finished in gloss. The DC Boardwalk comes in a large variety of colors including a Vintage Sunburst, and a more modern-looking Ocean Turquoise. Each color pairs wonderfully with a tortoiseshell pickguard.
Bottom Line: The D’angelico DC Boardwalk is certainly a rarity. It would be well suited to anyone who wants to get started in indie rock, blues, r&b, or jazz. The Seymour Duncan P90s guarantee an excellent tone out of the box. They provide a sound that’s not quite as fat as a humbucker but has more bite than a single-coil. The style is also something to note. From the gorgeously detailed headstock, all the way down to the shape of the pickguard, this guitar embraces an art deco aesthetic that you can’t find elsewhere. Though there are cheaper options for those looking for an archtop semi-hollow, D’angelico produces some of the best in the business, so you won’t regret the investment if you choose to make it.
5. Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster (Best Value)
|Neck||C Shape neck|
|Fretboard||Maple, 9.5” radius fingerboard|
|Pickups||5 pickup switching options (Neck, Middle, and Bridge Pickups)|
My Review: The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster is an amazing beginner’s electric guitar. It is a perfect alternative to those hoping to purchase a fender, but who can’t afford the hefty price tag. This particular electric guitar is the best overall in terms of quality and price. When you are playing the Squier Stratocaster, it is difficult to believe that the price comes in at $400. The neck and shape of the body of the guitar make this great for beginner players. It is incredibly comfortable to move up and down the fingerboard, and the body makes it easy to reach those high frets. The overall tone of the Squier is excellent, and the guitar gives you many options for modifying it with the controls on the body. Overall, this is the best choice if you are searching for an electric guitar that will balance quality and price.
Build Materials: The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster is fitted with Alnico Single-Coil pickups. The C shaped neck is made from maple to ensure that not only is your playing experience as comfortable as possible but also that the neck is incredibly durable. The fingerboard is also made from Maple wood, a common material used in this part of the guitar. The hardware throughout the guitar is Nickel-plated, giving it a great finish.
Finish: The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster is available in a variety of colors, including Vintage sunburst, Fiesta Red, Black, Blue, and more. The neck is finished with a vintage-tint gloss that gives it an old-school vibe. This gloss on the neck enhances the playability of the guitar and ensures that moving around the fingerboard is as comfortable as possible.
Bottom Line: In terms of price, it is not the cheapest guitar you could buy, but for the quality and level of craftsmanship, the price is quite the bargain. Squier is a reputable brand of electric guitars, and you can be assured that you will have this guitar for many years to come. This is my choice as the best electric guitar for beginners under 500 dollars.
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6. Squier Bullet Mustang (Budget Pick)
|Body||Double Cutaway body|
|Neck||C Shaped neck|
|Bridge||Synchronous Tremolo with Cast Saddles|
My Review: The Squier Bullet Mustang is the perfect choice for anyone searching for their first electric guitar but is also on a tight budget. At under $200, it is hard to believe the high level of quality craftsmanship that you get with the Bullet Mustang. The body is one of the lightest around, and the fact that it is very thin also will suit beginner players. You won’t have to worry about this guitar becoming uncomfortable after a few hours of rehearsing or playing on stage. What is unique about a guitar with this weight and at this price, is the feature of Humbucker pick-ups. The humbuckers will give your playing a bit of an edge that other Squier models won’t.
Build Materials: The Squier Bullet Mustang has a solid wood body, with a Maple Wood neck. Not only is this guitar incredibly comfortable and easy to play, but you can be assured that the quality craftsmanship will enhance the durability.
Hardware: The Hardware on the Squier Bullet Mustang is made from Standard Cast. It has a 6-saddle hardtail bridge.
Finish: The Squier Bullet Mustang has a beautiful finish, with a satin finish on the neck and gorgeous chrome hardware. The Satin finish on the neck ensures that you can easily move up and down the fingerboard with no problems.
Bottom Line: The Squier Bullet Mustang is one of the best beginner electric guitars for the money. If you want to look like Kurt Cobain on stage without paying the hefty price tag of a Fender, then this is the guitar for you.
7. Yamaha Pacifica 112V
|Body||Adler Wood Body|
|Neck||Soft D Neck Shape|
|Pickups||Humbucker Bridge Pickup|
|Bridge||Tremolo Bridge type|
My Review: Coming in at under $400, the Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a great guitar for beginners out there. The price is fair, and the quality of craftsmanship is wonderful in comparison to other models on the market at this price. The hardware ensures the guitar produces a beautiful tone while giving it an expensive-looking finish. The pickups are particularly impressive on this guitar, giving the overall tone warmth and depth beyond other guitars retailed at this price.
Build Materials: With a solid wood, double-cutaway body, the Yamaha Pacifica 112v is a great guitar in terms of durability and playability. The cutaway makes it easy to reach all 22 frets. The neck is made from maple wood, and the body is made from alder wood. These are both woods that make this instrument long-lasting and able to take a little wear and tear.
Hardware: The hardware throughout the body of the Yamaha Pacifica 112v, including the bridge, tuning pegs, and tuning machines, are all made from die-cast. The bridge features a 6-point tremolo design. The pickups are Alnico single coils and humbucker.
Finish: Available in beautiful Grey and Ice Blue colors, the Yamaha Pacifica 112V is perfect for anyone looking for a classic design, without standing out too much. The finish on the neck of the guitar is gloss, providing easy playability and a gorgeous shine.
Bottom Line: For under $400, you can’t do better than the Yamaha Pacifica 112V for your first electric guitar. It will stand the wear and tear of being on tour, while also being an incredibly comfortable guitar to learn on. The double-cutaway feature is particularly helpful when you are learning all those scales!
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8. Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT
|Body||Solid wood body|
|Pickups||2 Humbucker pickups|
My Review: The Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT makes the iconic Les Paul style guitar, originally from Gibson, accessible for everyone. For $250, you can’t beat having this Les Paul look alike with some great features too. What is interesting about this Epiphone is that it is slightly lighter and thinner than the Gibson models, making it even more ideal for beginner learners. If you love the Gibson style guitars but would struggle with the wider neck and heavier feel, then try out this Epiphone model. The Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT has a mahogany body and neck, which is also used by more expensive Gibson models. The drawback of this is that it is one of the heaviest woods. If you are worried about having the strength to hold a heavy guitar for an extended period of time, then you should think carefully before purchasing a guitar such as the Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT.
Build Materials: The Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT has a solid wood body made from carved Mahogany. The neck is also made from Mahogany with a ‘60s SlimTaper D shape. The body finish is Satin, giving it a beautiful shine and expensive look. Rosewood is used for the Fretboard, the most common and durable of all the fretboard woods.
Hardware: The pickups on this guitar are Zebra coil, made from ceramic. Each of the tuning pegs and tuning machines are die-cast. The bridge is a fixed type with a Tune-O-Matic design, slightly different from the other models we have previously mentioned here.
Finish: The overall finish of the body on the Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT is Satin, giving it a beautiful shine. The neck has also been finished with satin, enhancing the playability. This guitar is offered in three great colors: Ebony, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, and Walnut. The sunburst color gives the guitar a particularly vintage look.
Bottom Line: The Epiphone is a great alternative to the more expensive Gibson models. If you are searching for a Gibson for your first electric guitar, but your budget won’t allow it, then the Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT is a perfect match for you. This is easily one of my favorite electric guitars for beginners out there. Being under $300 it’s truly an incredible value.
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9. Ibanez Artcore AS53
|Body||Sapele wood body|
|Fretboard||Bound Laurel Fingerboard|
|Pickups||2 Ceramic Humbucker pickups|
My Review: At $300, the Ibanez Artcore AS53 offers good craftsmanship and sound production. Although it is slightly heavy, it is comfortable and easy to play for beginner learners. The semi-hollow body will ensure that your sound is rich and sustained. If you’re searching for a semi-hollow bodied electric guitar but your budget won’t allow you to buy some of the other expensive models, the Ibanez Artcore As53 could be a great alternative for you. Overall, the Ibanez Artcore AS53 delivers a very clear and crisp tone, so it may not be suited to those looking to play grunge music.
Build Materials: The entire body of the Ibanez Artcore AS53 is made from Sapele wood, with a Mahogany neck. The fingerboard is made from bound laurel, an unusual material to use for a fingerboard. The Ibanez Artcore AS53 has a wood centre block, which ensures that a lot of the feedback is eliminated.
Hardware: With two ACHT-ST open-coil humbuckers, this Ibanez will give you a punchy and unique sound. The Ceramic material of the humbuckers gives it a clean sound production with rich harmonics.
Finish: The finish on the Ibanez Artcore AS53 hasn’t got that shiny and expensive look that other models that we have previously mentioned have. However, it is available in two different colors and is sure to satisfy those looking for a matte looking finish on their first electric guitar.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a guitar to play blues and jazz, then this is a great budget guitar for you!
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10. Gretsch G2420 Streamliner
|Body||Laminated maple wood for the body|
|Neck||C shaped neck|
|Bridge||Fixed Bridge Type|
My Review: The Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is a great beginner’s electric guitar, especially if you are interested in playing country or folk music. At $450, it is a little more expensive than the other models we have mentioned so far, but for the quality of what you are getting with this guitar, the price tag is worth it. The Gretsch G2420 is a hollow-bodied guitar with a single-cutaway design on the body. The tone produced by this guitar is different from many other models due to its semi-acoustic nature. Thus, your playing will automatically feel much richer.
Build Materials: The body of the Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is a single-cutaway design. The body is made from laminated maple, with a Nato wood neck. The fingerboard is made from Laurel wood and includes 22 frets. The pickups are humbuckers that will give you a bit of punch in your playing!
Hardware: The Hardware on the Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is of superb quality, with Die-Cast tuning machines and tuning pegs, coated in Nickel. The C shaped neck ensures that playing is easy for even beginner learners.
Finish: The finishes available on the Gretsch G2420 Streamliner includes beautiful aged Brooklyn Burst, Village Amber, Phantom Metallic, and Walnut. The C Shaped neck is made from Nato wood and finished in a gloss, presenting a shiny and pricey look.
Bottom Line: The Gretsch G2420 Streamliner is a great option for those searching for a vintage-style guitar with all the features of a modern-day, brand new instrument. The sound it produces is powerful and with a bit of bite, so would suit someone looking to play music in this style.
11. Epiphone SG-Special Beginner Electric Guitar
|Body||Mahogany solid-wood body|
|Neck||60s SlimTaper D Neck Shape|
My Review: The Epiphone SG Special Beginner electric guitar is for any beginners out there who want an inexpensive choice that will have them playing like Angus Young from AC/DC! As this guitar is from Epiphone, you can be assured that the craftsmanship and quality are up to the highest standards, and the instrument is made from one of the most reputable brands on the market right now. The Epiphone SG-Special beginner guitar is unique in that it has been specifically set up with a beginner learner in mind. Everything that is offered with this guitar will assist you in developing your technical and musical skills. The overall sound produced by this Epiphone is clear and rich. The guitar is extremely lightweight when compared to other Epiphone models of the same caliber, so it is perfect for someone who is not used to holding a guitar for extended periods. Best of all, the price for the Epiphone SG-Special Beginner guitar is one of the cheapest around!
Build Materials: The Epiphone SG Special Beginner Electric guitar has all the excellent-quality build materials that any other Epiphone or Gibson guitar has. The solid wood body is made from Mahogany with a gloss finish. The neck is also made from Mahogany, an incredibly durable wood. The fingerboard is made from the popular material, Rosewood. Having a rosewood fingerboard will ensure that the wood will not deteriorate over time and through excess use.
Hardware: The pickups on this Epiphone guitar are chrome humbuckers. The tuning machines, tailpiece, and bridge are also Chrome.
Finish: The entire body on the Epiphone SG Special Beginner guitar is coated in gloss, giving it a professional finish overall. The neck has been finished with gloss also, allowing the hand to easily graze up and down the fingerboard.
Bottom Line: If you are a fan of the AC/DC style guitar playing, but your budget will not allow you to purchase the more expensive models, then the Epiphone SG-Special beginner electric guitar is the perfect instrument for you. This guitar has been made with beginners in mind, so playing this will be easy and comfortable. With this guitar, you will develop your guitar playing skills in no time!
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12. Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Starter Electric Guitar (Best Overall Metal and Shred)
|Body||Mahogany solid-wood body|
|Neck||Wizard III Maple neck|
|Fretboard||Bound Jatoba fretboard w/Sharktooth inlay|
|Pickups||2 humbucker pickups|
|Bridge||Floyd Rose Bridge|
My Review: Ibanez is a Japanese company famous for electric guitar making, so you can be assured that you are getting great quality when you purchase this model. This guitar is unique as it is one of the very few guitars on the market specifically tailored to beginner learners. The maple and mahogany wood used gives the guitar a great and clear sound. Ibanez is known for its use in heavy metal music, so if this music appeals to you, the Ibanez could be perfect! At $400, the Ibanez may seem to be quite expensive, but the sound produced is great and the aesthetics and materials ensure that a beginner player will find this guitar comfortable and easy.
Build Materials: The body of the Ibanez RG450DX RG is made from Mahogany wood, a popular material for most guitars, and a great wood for durability. The neck is made from maple, which is durable and makes playing comfortable.
Hardware: There are three pickups on this Ibanez; neck, middle, and bridge. They are Alnico pickups made from ceramic, and they are black, which is a nice addition!
Finish: The Ibanez’s gloss finish may not be as spectacular as some of the other models on this list, but it is still beautiful and professional-looking. The Ibanez is available in a gorgeous deep blue color.
Bottom Line: If you’re a heavy metal fanatic looking for their first electric guitar then this could be the instrument for you. This Ibanez has been designed for beginner learners, so you get all the perks of a heavy metal guitar while still being able to play the instrument comfortably!
13. Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club
|Neck||Maple, Gloss Urethane Finish|
|Pickups||3 pickup switch|
|Bridge||Anchored Adjusto-Matic Bridge|
My Review: If you are on the market for a beginner’s guitar with a vintage flair, then the Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club is the perfect choice for you. Gretsch is a renowned brand for producing vintage-style guitars, including hollow-bodied guitars. This particular model of Gretsch is perfect for beginners looking for a solid-body guitar. With the inclusion of two humbuckers, you can play incredibly punchy, vintage-style music. The woods used here ensure that the overall sound production is perfect and the instrument is easily played on. Not to mention, this Gretsch model looks great on stage!
Build Materials: The Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club electric guitar is made from an arched maple top with a basswood body and a maple neck. The fingerboard is made from rosewood, to ensure durability and easy playing.
Hardware: All hardware on this Gretsch is chrome, including the control knobs.
Finish: The overall finish on the Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club is what gives this guitar a lot of appeal. It has a two-tone body color scheme with either silver or black for the body, and walnut stained color for the back and sides. The overall look of the Gretsch is a classic vintage.
Bottom Line: The Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club is perfect for any beginner learners who are looking for a more vintage-style guitar. The materials are of excellent standard ensuring that the guitar is easy and enjoyable to play on.
14. Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitar
|Body||Solid poplar wood body|
|Bridge||Tune-O-Matic bridge design|
My Review: Jackson is another well known brand for heavy metal electric guitars. The Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitar is made from poplar with a gloss finish. The neck is a bolt-on maple speed neck, which makes it a lot easier to slide up and down the fretboard during those fast heavy metal solos! Compared to other heavy metal guitars on the market right now, the Jackson is a lot easier to play. The V body shape is iconic and perfect for anyone playing on stage and hoping to look like their heavy metal icons. The V shape does make it a lot more difficult to play sitting down, so this is a big consideration that needs to be made before purchasing this style of guitar.
Build Materials: The Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitar is made from Poplar wood for the solid body. The neck is a bolt-on style made from Maple wood. The Rosewood fingerboard ensures it is durable and easily playable.
Hardware: The Humbucker pickups on the Jackson are made from ceramic magnets. All of the hardware is black, giving it a sleek look.
Finish: The gloss finish of the Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitargives it a perfect shine and professional look. The black color gives it a slight edge, making it perfect for heavy metal players.
Bottom Line: For anyone on the market for a guitar with the iconic V shape body then the Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitar is the guitar for you! With quality craftsmanship at a reasonable price, this Jackson model is a great choice for beginners.
15. Squier Classics Vibe ‘70s Telecaster Electric Guitar
|Neck||C Shaped neck|
My Review: As we have previously mentioned, Squier is a reputable brand by Fender. By purchasing a Squier you can be sure that you are purchasing from a reliable brand known for excellent quality. The finish of the Squier Classic Vibe ‘70s Telecaster Electric Guitar makes this guitar so appealing and is available in two vintage-style colors. At $450, you would struggle to find a guitar at this level of craftsmanship anywhere else. The Squier would make a perfect choice for any beginner player looking for a great guitar at a reasonable price.
Build Materials: The Squier classic vibe telecaster has a single-cutaway body made from solid poplar wood. The neck is made from maple and is in a C shape, making it easier for beginner players to use. The fingerboard is also maple wood.
Hardware: The fixed bridge has a 6-saddle design and is made from Nickel. The tuning pegs and tuning machines are also made from Nickel in a vintage-style.
Finish: The finish on the Squier Classic Vibe ‘70s Telecaster Electric Guitar is gloss, giving it a beautiful shine and professional look. It is available in a black or Olympic white, adding to its vintage-style appeal.
Bottom Line: The Squier Classic Vibe ‘70s Telecaster Electric Guitar is an excellent choice for beginners due to the high level of craftsmanship of the instrument, and the reasonable price. Although it is certainly not the cheapest guitar mentioned on this list, we believe paying the extra cash is worth it for this model.
16. Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster
|Body||Poplar solid-wood body|
|Neck||C shaped neck|
|Fretboard||Indian laurel Fingerboard|
|Pickups||2 single-coil pickups|
|Bridge||Tremolo Bridge Type|
My Review: The Squier Affinity series guitar is the perfect choice for a beginner as it comes in a pack including an amplifier, cable, strap, and a gig bag. If you’re on the market for everything you need and want the ease of making one choice, then the Squier Affinity series is for you. The Humbucker pickup gives you a bite to your playing and the Squier affinity also includes a C shaped maple neck, making it perfect for beginner players to learn on. This particular squire is also very lightweight so it is great for those who are not used to holding a guitar for long periods of time.
Build Materials: The double-cutaway body on the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster is made from solid poplar wood with a gloss polyurethane finish. The C-shaped neck is made from maple wood, and the fingerboard is made from Indian Laurel.
Hardware: The Tremolo style bridge on this Squier is chrome, with a 6-saddle vintage-style design. Alongside this, the Squier includes standard cast tuning pegs and tuning machines.
Finish: The finish on the Poplar wood is gloss polyurethane. The Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster guitar is available in two colors: Brown Sunburst and Candy Apple Red.
Bottom Line: For anyone looking for the whole package and everything you would need to get started in electric guitar playing, the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster guitar pack would be the perfect place to start!
17. Ibanez GRGA120
|Body||Solid poplar wood body|
|Fretboard||Treated pine fingerboard|
|Pickups||Humbucker bridge and neck pickup|
My Review: The Ibanez GRGA120 is another great guitar for any beginners interested in playing heavy metal music. It has a thin neck which makes it ideal for smaller hands or anyone just beginning to learn chords. The neck also makes it incredibly easy to move up and down during those fast solos! It has a double-cutaway style body making it easy to reach the 24 frets that are available on this model. Although this is not the most versatile guitar as the makeup of the model suits exclusively heavy metal music, it is certainly one of the best for beginners interested in this genre.
Build Materials: The body of the Ibanez GRGA120 is made from solid poplar wood, with an arched top and body binding. The neck is made from maple wood and the fingerboard is made from a treated New Zealand pine wood.
Hardware: The Ibanez GRGA120 includes two infinity pickups and a 3-way switch. All hardware on this particular Ibanez black, which is a great touch for a heavy metal guitar!
Finish: The finish on the Ibanez GRGA120 is particularly unique as it is finished with Black Night. This gives it a unique flair and looks great when you are playing it on stage!
Bottom Line: If your only interest is learning heavy metal music, then this is a great budget choice for any beginner out there!
18. Epiphone Dot ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody
|Body||Maple wood for the bod|
|Pickups||Two humbucker pickups|
|Bridge||3-way pickup switch|
My Review: The Epiphone Dot ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody is an affordable alternative to one of the most famous of Gibson’s models, the ES-335. The Epiphone Dot gives off a vintage air while also having all the perks that a modern-day electric guitar has. The sound from the Epiphone dot is warm with incredible depth, especially considering the price of this instrument. The semi-hollow body feature makes this guitar stand out from most of the instruments mentioned on this list. The Epiphone Dot ES-335 is an incredibly versatile instrument. So, if you want to expand your learning across multiple genres then this would be a great instrument to start with.
Build Materials: The Epiphone Dot ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody has an amazing semi-hollow body made from Maple Wood. The neck is made from mahogany, a durable material that produces high-quality sound production in guitars. The rosewood fingerboard will give beginner learners an easier time moving around the instrument.
Hardware: The two humbucker pickups are chrome. The bridge has a LockTone Tune-O-Matic feature and a stopbar tailpiece to make changing the strings a lot easier, which is perfect for a beginner player.
Finish: The finish on the Epiphone Dot ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody is in a beautiful gloss giving it that professional standard look. The Epiphone Dot ES-335 Semi-Hollowbody is available in a variety of colors including Cherry, Black, and Aquamarine.
Bottom Line: The fantastic craftsmanship that you get with this Epiphone Dot makes the price tag of $450 quite unbelievable. If you’re on the market for a vintage, semi-hollow bodied guitar but do not want to break the bank with the purchase, then this could be the guitar for you! If you’re looking for the best electric guitar for beginners and want a hollow body guitar, this is a great option.
19. Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro III
|Body||Solid Maple and Mahogany wood|
|Neck||60s Style Les Paul Neck|
|Fretboard||Pau Ferro Fingerboard|
|Bridge||Fixed bridge in Tune-O-Matic style|
My Review: Here we have another guitar for those Les Paul fanatics out there! If you’re searching for a cheaper alternative to a Les Paul then this Epiphone version would be a great place to start. The Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro III gives you that iconic look and feel without the hefty price tag! The two humbuckers on the guitar allow you to play with a real punch, and the other hardware features are up to superb standard. The mahogany body ensures that the overall sound produced is at the highest quality. It is hard to believe that this special guitar is only $400!
Build Materials: The mahogany and maple solid wood body on this Epiphone ensures that the overall sound produced is of the highest standard, while also being durable enough to transport around from gig to gig. The ‘60s style Les Paul neck may be slightly big for some beginners, but you get one of the classic features of a Gibson for the price of an Epiphone!
Hardware: The Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro III features two humbucker pickups made from Alnico. The tuning machines, stopbar tailpiece, and the tuning pegs are all die-cast and nickel. The fixed bridge features at Tune-O-Matic design.
Finish: The body of the Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro III is finished in a gorgeous gloss, while the neck is finished to ensure easy movement up and down the fingerboard. This Epiphone is available in 5 beautiful colors including Pacific Blue, Metallic Gold, Wine Red, Ebony, and Pelham Blue.
Bottom Line: If you are searching for a Les Paul equivalent then this would be a great guitar for you. The Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro III has all of the classic features of a Gibson Les Paul but for much less in price. It is a great guitar for beginners and is sure to last you many years.
20. Ibanez Gio GRGR120EX
|Body||Solid poplar wood body|
|Neck||Maple wood neck|
|Pickups||2 humbucker pickups|
My Review: With two humbucker pickups and a tremolo bridge, the Ibanez Gio GRGR120EX is a great guitar for anyone interested in playing heavy metal. This particular model of Ibanez boasts a very thin neck, which makes it perfect for beginner players. You will find it a lot easier to practice chords and move around quickly with the thin neck of this guitar. This Ibanez is very lightweight, making it ideal for beginner learners who will struggle to hold a guitar for long periods. Although this guitar is not versatile, it is a perfect choice for those interested in metal music.
Build Materials: The solid poplar wood body and maple neck ensure that this Ibanez is made from top quality materials, without being too heavy. The fingerboard is made from New Zealand pine with a sharktooth inlay and jumbo frets also.
Hardware: The Ibanez Gio GRGR120EX offers two Infinity R pickups with a 3-way selector and volume and tone controls. All hardware on this particular model is black which is a great feature for playing on stage. It also has a tremolo style bridge.
Finish: The overall finish on the Ibanez Gio GRGR120EX is not as glossy and shiny as some of the other models mentioned on this list, but it’s still a perfect look for heavy metal players. It is available in unique colors such as Black Night, Jewel Blue, and White.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an iconic heavy metal electric guitar for a reasonable price, then the Ibanez Gio GRGR120EX is most definitely for you. If you’re on a tight budget, this is easily one of the best beginner electric guitars under 200 dollars.
21. Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster V2 Electric Guitar
|Body||Solid laminated hardwoods|
|Neck||C shaped neck|
|Fretboard||Indian Laurel Fretboard|
|Pickups||5-way pickup selector|
My Review: The last guitar on our list is specifically for little fingers. The Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster V2 Electric Guitar is the perfect guitar for children to start learning while looking cool with the Strat style! It is incredibly lightweight so your little one can hold it while practicing. It features a wafer thin, short-scale neck to allow even the smallest of hands to master those power chords. The overall sound production is surprisingly great, even with its miniature size. If you have a little one at home dying to learn the electric guitar then this is a perfect choice!
Build Materials: This mini Squier Stratocaster has a double-cutaway body made from laminated hardwood. The neck is C Shape making it perfect for little fingers. The fretboard is made from Indian Laurel, a less popular but still great wood for this part of the instrument.
Hardware: The Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster has 3 single-coil Strat pickups. The fixed bridge features a 6-saddle vintage-style design with a thru body tailpiece. All of the hardware is chrome.
Finish: The overall finish of the Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster is Gloss Polyurethane, with Satin Finish neck, making it a lot easier for smaller hands to play. It is available in Dakota Red, Black, Torino Red, and a unique Shell Pink.
Bottom Line: If you’re on the market for your child’s first electric guitar but are worried they may be too small yet, then the Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster is the perfect choice for your little one!
Choosing a Good Electric Guitar for Beginners (Buying Guide)
There are many factors to take into account when choosing a beginner electric guitar. With so many models and brands out there in the marketplace right now, it can be extremely difficult to know what exactly you should be looking for in your first electric guitar. We want to ensure that you are as prepared as possible before you hand over hard-earned money for your new purchase!
As there is so much information out there around electric guitars, and buying your first guitar, we have compiled all the necessary considerations you need to make. From my personal experience as a qualified guitarist and working in the music industry, I have noted the exact features you should be looking for in your first electric guitar. Below you will find this comprehensive list, with detailed information on why each feature is important.
The Most Popular Styles of Electric Guitar Right Now
If you have been following some of your favorite guitarists, you might recognize these models! Knowing what the most popular choices are right now will definitely help narrow your search down. If you are drawn to one of these guitars then you will find searching for the same model or a cheaper alternative much easier! While the models mentioned here are from huge brand names in electric guitars, Gibson and Fender, there are many cheaper alternatives on the market. If you can’t afford one of these branded guitars, then you will certainly be able to find another great quality guitar at a cheaper price that is very similar!
Fender Telecaster (T Type)
The Fender Telecaster is a famous model of guitar most known because of Joe Strummer from The Clash. If you are a punk fan, then this could be the guitar for you! The Fender Telecaster sound production is light and slightly ‘twangy.’ It is also famously played in country music because of this signature ‘twanging’ sound. The Fender Telecaster is considered an expensive guitar, and because of this may not be the best suited for beginner players. However, there are many cheaper copies out there. If this is your preferred style of an electric guitar, but you don’t want to break the bank, check out some of Fender’s cheaper Squier models.
Fender Stratocaster (S Type)
After the Les Paul, the Fender Stratocaster is one of the most iconic and popular electric guitars around. It is one of the most instantly recognized guitars within a variety of music genres. You may recognize it if you are a fan of Jimi Hendrix. The Fender Stratocaster is probably the most suited to beginner players. The body is thin and light making it easy to hold for an extended period of time. It features double-cutaway so you can easily access the highest frets on the fretboard. The sound produced by the Fender Stratocaster is the cleanest and thin sound of all the most popular styles of electric guitars. As this guitar model is so popular, it can be a very expensive guitar. If you want an electric guitar in this style, but your budget will not allow you to buy the Fender, then check out some of the Squier models in this style.
Gibson Les Paul (Single Cut)
Probably the most iconic and recognizable electric guitar that has ever been made, the Les Paul is a favorite among many famous guitarists across a wide spectrum of music genres. If you are a fan of Guns N Roses guitarist, Slash, or Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, then you will immediately recognize the Gibson Les Paul. The Gibson Les Paul is definitely one of the bigger and heavier guitars, so this is something you need to think about as a beginner learner. The sound produced by the Gibson is thick and heavy, making it ideal for those heavy rock solos!
The Gibson SG is a great alternative to the Les Paul. This particular style of an electric guitar was made famous by Angus Young from AC/DC. This guitar still produces a heavy and thick rock tone but is generally a little bit smaller and lighter to hold. The body on the Gibson SG is much thinner than the Les Paul, meaning that if you are expecting to play your guitar while standing for hours in rehearsal or at a gig, this may be a better alternative for you. The Gibson SG also features a double-cutaway style, which makes it much easier for the beginner player to access the highest frets. Although for some, the Gibson SG may still be considered an expensive guitar, it is significantly cheaper than the Gibson Les Paul model.
Guitar Shapes Explained
If you have been watching videos online of your favorite guitar players you will have noticed the large variety of shapes of electric guitar out there. The shape of your guitar is an important aesthetic aspect that you will need to consider before you start researching models and brands, and, of course, before you make your purchase. You will want to choose a shape that you love the look of, but that will also be suitable for your level of playing. The shape of the guitar can influence how comfortable it is to play. There are a variety of shapes to choose from, but here I will mention some of the most common:
Double Cutaway: A Double Cutaway style guitar is one with two ‘indents’ in the body of the guitar near the neck. An indent makes it a lot easier to access some of the frets at the very top of the fingerboard.
Single Cutaway: A single-cutaway style guitar will only have one indent in the body of the guitar, but still offers ease of access to the top frets.
V Shape Guitars: V Shape guitars were made popular by the Beatles and then by McFly guitarists. They are a very unique style so if standing out is what you’re after, this may be the perfect shape for you. However, this shape does make it very difficult to play these guitars sitting down, so this is something you should think about.
Guitar Body Style
As you may have noticed from seeing pictures and videos of others playing electric guitars, the style and aesthetics of an electric guitar can vary widely. Right now, there are so many styles to choose from, including a wide variety of colors, so you must narrow down what type of body style you would like. This will make the decision a whole lot easier!
The different body style is important depending on what style of music you would like to play also. Perhaps you’re in the market for a guitar to play heavy metal, or indie music, or blues. All of this will determine what kind of body style will be perfect for your first electric guitar.
There are two body styles in electric guitars – solid body and hollow body. Solid-body guitars are the most common and seen as the standard body style for most electric guitars. Solid-body guitars are made from solid wood and are considered the most versatile electric guitars. You could play pretty much any style of music on solid body guitars and get away with it! Hollow body guitars can be bought as Semi-Hollow or Hollow.
Semi-Hollow bodies produce a sound with increased resonance, and thus, sound more like an acoustic instrument. Semi-Hollow bodied guitars are also pretty versatile and can be played in a range of musical styles including Jazz, Funk, Soul, Indie, Blues, and more. Hollow bodied guitars have much larger bodies when compared to other electric guitar body styles. This may make it more difficult for a beginner or a small player, because it may seem bulky and less comfortable to hold. Hollow-bodied guitars produced the most acoustic sound of all the electric guitars out there. Hollow-bodied guitars are not commonly found in heavy types of music but are perfect for playing Jazz or Blues.
Electric guitars are made from a variety of tonewoods, and these will affect the sound produced by your instrument. While the quality of tonewood is particularly important on an acoustic guitar, it is also something that you must think about before you purchase your first electric guitar.
The neck of the guitar will usually be built with a separate wood to the fingerboard. Generally, the fingerboard will need to be made from a harder wood to ensure it is durable enough.
There is a lot to be said on the topic of tonewoods but here I will list the most commonly used in electric guitars and how they affect the sound quality produced.
- Rosewood – Rosewood is commonly used for the fingerboard of electric guitars. It is dark in color and extremely durable, so you won’t have to worry about your fingerboard wearing away too quickly with this material.
- Mahogany – Mahogany will produce a warm sound to your electric guitar. It is most commonly used on the neck and the body of the guitar.
- Maple – Maple produces a very clean and bright sound. It can be used for all parts of the guitar including the neck, body, and fingerboard.
Sound Production and Tone
Probably the most vital consideration that you need to make before you purchase your first electric guitar is the sound production and the tone that the particular instrument will produce. This can be tricky to decide yourself if you are a beginner player, as it does take some experience and time to be able to decipher what great tone and sound quality are on an electric guitar. However, that is why we are here to help you! Through our guidance, you will have a much easier time knowing what kind of sound and tone a certain electric guitar will have.
The tone is a commonly used term to refer to the general, overall sound that the electric guitar makes. You will hear this term thrown around a lot when experts are discussing guitars. There are varying tones and some tones will be more suited to certain styles of music. You will need to think about what kind of music you would want to play on your guitar, and thus, what kind of tone you will want your guitar to make. This will make the decision-making process of buying your first electric guitar much easier. You will be able to narrow down the diverse range of choices to the guitars that will make the specific tone that you will want.
After all this discussion around your first electric guitar, it is easy to forget one vital thing; the amplifier! Obviously, due to you buying an electric guitar, an amp will be necessary to ensure that what you are playing is heard. Purchasing a guitar amp will be just as important as purchasing your guitar, and this process should not be overlooked. Some would even argue that your amplifier is more important than your guitar in producing the right tone and sound quality. You should ensure that you do your research on how much amplifiers cost and how much you are willing to spend. Having a set budget for the amplifier will make the entire decision-making process a lot easier.
The Anatomy of an Electric Guitar
Before we get into specifics about buying your first electric guitar, it is worth learning the anatomy of the instrument. We will be using a lot of terms that may be new to you in order to refer to specific parts on the guitar. Ensuring that you are aware of these parts and how they should look and sound will be the first step in purchasing your electric guitar.
Body: The body of the electric guitar is the largest aesthetic difference between guitars. Varying guitars will have a range of body styles and colors to choose from. The body of the guitar is usually made from wood such as maple, mahogany, or ash.
Bridge: The bridge is a piece of hardware that pulls the strings tight and anchors them to the front of the guitar body. The quality of the bridge is important in ensuring that your instrument stays in tune and the neck does not become warped over time. Depending on the guitar, the bridge may also pivot with a whammy bar, allowing you to produce vibrato.
Output Jack: The output jack is where you plug in the ¼” cable that connects the guitar to the amplifier.
Control Knobs: Most electric guitars will have control knobs of some sort. These will allow you to control your volume and tone while you are playing. While these functions will be available on your amp, the control knobs on the guitar are particularly useful if you need to quickly control your sound output in the middle of a song. They enable you to adjust your volume and tone without having to work with your amplifier, which could be on the other side of the stage!
Selector Switch: The selector switch is also sometimes referred to as the pickup switch. The type of switch will differ depending on the brand and model of the guitar. The selector switch will allow you to easily choose which pickup is used. The sound produced by your guitar varies greatly on the type and placement of its pickups, so this switch is quite important in shaping your tone.
Pickups: The pickups are small magnets that are used to turn the strings’ vibrations into electrical signals, allowing you to play your electric guitar through an amplifier. On the diagram listed above, the guitar has single-coil pickups, though there are a few different types.
Fretboard: The fretboard is on the front of the neck and is where you will place your fingers while playing. Fretboards will vary in size depending on the guitar brand and model, and therefore, they will vary in the number of frets. Usually, fretboards are made from woods such as rosewood, maple, or mahogany.
Frets: The frets are metal strips that are embedded in the fretboard. By placing your finger on the string behind a fret, you stop it at that point, which shortens the string and raises the pitch when it is played.
Truss Rod: The truss rod adjusts the bend (or relief) in the neck of the guitar. The neck must be slightly bowed to stop the strings from buzzing on the frets, so the truss rod is important for the overall setup of the guitar. It can be adjusted by a professional luthier if you are having problems with your neck. You should refrain from adjusting it yourself until you are more familiar with guitar setup because over tightening or loosening of the truss rod can permanently damage the neck.
Tuning Pegs: There are six tuning pegs, one for each string. The end of each string is wrapped around a tuning peg. On electric guitars, the pegs are driven by a gear and a tuning key. These keys allow you to tune the instrument by tightening or loosening the string.
Nut: The nut is located at the top of the fretboard and it stops the string at the open sounding length (or the amount of string that vibrates when it is played). Nuts can be made of bone or different types of plastic that imitate bone.
The pickups are located underneath the strings, on the face of the guitar. The pickups are small magnets wrapped in wire that convert the strings’ vibrations to electrical signals. This is how electric guitars are amplified. Pickups are very important to ensure that the sound quality produced is at a good level. You should be looking for a guitar with good pickups for your first electric guitar. There are many different types of pickups, but, for the sake of this article, I will mention the top 3 choices below:
Humbucker: This is one of the most common types of pickups used in larger and heavier guitars. Humbuckers are much more powerful than the other types of pickups and can be seen on guitars used for blues, heavy metal, and rock music.
Single Coil: These pickups are most seen on fenders and smaller electric guitars. The single-coil pickups produce a brighter sound than humbuckers. The single-coil pickups are the most versatile and are used mainly in pop, funk, rock, and country music.
P90: A P90 pickup is a mixture between a humbucker and a single-coil pickup. The sound production is bright like a single-coil pickup, but with a little bit of edge, similar to a humbucker.
Neck: The neck of the guitar is a very important consideration to make as it can greatly affect the level of comfort you have while playing the instrument. There are two different styles of neck on electric guitars: Bolt-on neck and Set-neck. The Bolt-on neck is used in Fender guitars and many solid body guitars. The Set-neck style is most commonly found on Gibson guitars and hollow or semihollow models.
The neck on your guitar must be good quality as the most common way a guitar is damaged is when the neck snaps or is broken. A durable neck will ensure that the sound on your guitar is great and that you will not have to worry about it being too fragile to transport around to gigs and on tour.
Within these two styles of the neck there are also three primary shapes to choose from; C, V, or U Shape. The most popular shape is the C Shape, which has the smallest depth. The C shape is the most versatile for many playing styles and hand shapes. We would recommend purchasing a C Shape neck as a beginner, as it will make your playing experience a lot easier and more comfortable. The V shape is usually found on vintage guitars and is not commonly seen on modern guitars.
It is important to choose a neck style that will suit your level and your hand size. For beginner’s a Bolt-On neck is probably the wisest choice as your hands will need to get used to playing the guitar before you can be comfortable playing on a larger style neck. If you have small hands, then a set-neck will probably cause you some discomfort due to its larger size.
Other Important Considerations
Obviously, the most important aspect of your new electric guitar should be the quality of the instrument. The materials used to make an electric guitar can vary widely depending on the price of the instrument and the brand. It is so important that you take your time to consider what kind of materials will be right for your level of playing, your style of playing and, of course, your budget. Each material used to make an electric guitar will contribute to the overall sound quality of the instrument, and the level of comfortability when you are playing it. This is why it is vital to ensure that you are getting the best quality electric guitar for what your budget will allow.
Another vital thing to think about before you purchase your first electric guitar is your budget. You will need to think carefully about what you can afford before you even begin to search for models. Prices for electric guitars will vary widely depending on the style, model, and brand. Ensuring that you have set a strict budget before you start looking will narrow down your searches immensely.
Like most things, spending more money will get you better materials and better hardware all in a guitar made from a more reputable brand. However, this is not to say that you will need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a great electric guitar. There are many brands and models out there that are affordable and still of fantastic quality. That’s where we come in! We will help you understand how to look for great prices, and exactly what electric guitars can be bought within a reasonable price range.
Another thing to think about when considering your budget is that you will not only be purchasing your guitar. As this is your first electric guitar there will be many extra accessories and products that you will need to purchase to ensure that you can play your guitar comfortably. You will need to purchase an amplifier because, without one, you will not be able to play your electric guitar at any sort of reasonable sound level! Amplifiers can also vary in price depending on the brand and the level of quality. It is vital that you also set aside some cash to purchase a decent quality amplifier. There is no point in spending all your budget on a fantastic guitar in you have to play it through a sub-par quality amplifier. This will greatly decrease the sound quality of the music you will be making.
Evaluating a Guitar
Now that we have given you all of our tips on what you should look for in your first electric guitar, you should have a much better understanding of the decision-making process. A large part of this process is also being able to go into a music shop, try out the electric guitars, and evaluate them for yourself. After all, you could read amazing reviews online about a particular electric guitar, but if you simply do not like the tone or how it plays, then there is no point in buying it.
Perhaps you are nervous about this and think that you would not be able to evaluate a guitar on your own, but you most certainly can. You can use your intuition. After all the information we have given you, you have a great foundation knowledge of what your first electric guitar should be like. You want to look for a guitar that has great reviews, solid craftsmanship, and that just feels right for you to play.
When you are looking at an electric guitar for the first time, the first thing you should do is ensure that there are no gaps or faults in any of the joints around the entire instrument. Ensure that the neck is perfect and does not have any cracks. Check the frets are snug to the fretboard and are not sticking out the side.
The tech in the shop will most certainly be able to walk you through various guitars and their features, and if you are going to a reputable music shop then you shouldn’t run into too many problems. Tell the people working in the store that you are a beginner learner and you would like some help trying out different guitars. If you feel like you won’t be able to play anything on the guitar, then you should bring along a friend that can play. A trusted friend will help you a lot in this situation.
If you choose to buy your first electric guitar online, that is perfectly fine too. Many online stores will have a period in which you can try out the guitar and send it back if it is not to your taste. Ensure that you choose a site with this option and a site that is reputable with good reviews.
We hope that you have found this article helpful and you are on your way to deciding what electric guitar is the right one for you. We have no doubt you already have in your mind what model your first electric guitar will be! Remember that while purchasing your first electric guitar can be a confusing and daunting task, it is also very rewarding! You are about to embark on a wonderful journey of musical education that will continue to benefit you for many years to come. Remember to stick by our top tips and you will find your first electric guitar in no time.
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.