Let me start off by saying that, there is no shortage of information to be found and emphasis given to follow as guidelines on how to pick the best electric guitar for beginners. Some of them will be met and others aren’t, because as we all know every guitar is different from one another.
Choosing a beginner guitar should still rely heavily on feel and hearing it live. Then mix it with some of the proper information we get as guide on choosing a guitar before we can really say that now we are assure and fully realizing what is most appealing to us, and of course not to forget knowing how far our budget can go when buying a guitar.
With that being said, and assuming you know a little on how to play the guitar. There is still no substitute buying a guitar by going to an actual guitar store than purchasing the guitar online. For the obvious reasons that on a guitar center, you have the privilege of picking up the guitar and amplifier you want, to try it out. This is the best practice on buying a guitar or any other instrument for that matter.
Also if it is possible another thing that you could do especially if you are a complete beginner, not having to play even just a single chord yet and to overcome the fear of entering a guitar store is. It would be a lot better and beneficial if you knew someone close enough to you who happens to play the guitar for quite sometime now, and ask for his/her help in assisting you throughout the rest of the way on your guitar selection process.
Moving on to the electric guitars. The best electric guitars for beginners listed here are just some of the plausible guitars to be picked, not only by beginners to get them started learning and playing, but also for seasoned guitar players to play with as well. The list is based on the available information you can find on these guitars to do some research on how they perform and operates, price points to fit reasonably on the budget and they are guitars coming from notable brands for familiarity.
- 5 Best Electric Guitar Starter Pack For Beginners
- 12 Best Electric Guitars Under $200
- 12 Best Electric Guitars Under $500
- 5 Best Guitar Amplifiers for Beginners
Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Electric Guitar
Read Full Review Epiphone is a sister company of Gibson that also makes the famous Les Paul and SG models but on a much cheaper price a beginner can easily save their money for. The core design of the LP-100 is derived from the 1952 Les Paul, which gives this guitar its classic look and feel of a proper Les Paul.
It has a mahogany body with a maple top to achieve a warm clean tone and for the overdriven sound that guitar player plays a lot. Removable scratch plate is placed to protect the different finishes available on this guitar namely in ebony, vintage and cherry sunburst. The guitar is also equip with a Tune-O-Matic bridge and Tailpiece just like any other Les Paul.
Something new for this guitar is the bolt-on neck unlike what we used to see on a Les Paul were the neck is glued to the body. Headstock is also less angled that many says it is more capable on keeping the guitar in tune without losing much sustain. 22 frets rosewood fingerboard garnished by inlay dots gives it a more warm spacious kinda sound, 1.68” nut width and chrome tuners completing the main features of the neck.
The LP-100 gets its creamy warm tone from two hum canceling humbucker pick-ups, the Epiphone’s 650R for the neck and 700T humbucker for the bridge. Each humbukers pick-ups has separately volume and tone knobs for better control of sound output then a 3-way toggle switch for pick-up selection.
For an entry-level Les Paul guitar, this is one of the best if not the best within Epiphone’s guitar line as well compared with other LP design guitar of other brands when considering the overall build, classic look and workhorse features to muster the sound of a nice LP guitar.
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified 70’s Stratocaster Electric Guitar
Read Full Review The Stratocaster together with the Telecaster is arguably the top selling guitars of all time. Both guitars has the most recognizable body to headstock design that also lead these guitars to achieve the highest status by becoming the standard design to follow in making guitars. These two guitars without a doubt are two of the most favorite guitars to play among beginners and veteran guitar players alike.
For the body, it is made of solid basswood crafted to mimic the Fender Stratocaster, but it is slightly slimmer making it more lighter to the original, noticeable when the guitars are held together and when compared side by side. It has a black gloss polyester finish complimented by a 3-ply black & white pickguard and matching knobs that are also all in black with white dial marks to fit the look as well.
To fully achieve the 70’s Fender Stratocaster look and feel, it has a large headstock design of that time, 6-saddle vintage style synchronized tremolo for bridge, vintage style die-cast tuners and the C-shape maple neck with the 21 fretboard has the vintage tint finishes for lots and lots of clarity in the tone at the same time punchy.
What makes this guitar extra special among other Squier by Fender Strat is the guitar is equip with Duncan designed single coil pick-ups for the neck, middle and bridge controlled by 1 master volume, 2 tone neck/middle and 5-way switch blade for pick-up selection.
Overall the guitar has achieved and very much well represented the classic look of a 70’s Fender. The maple fretboard with black inlays is a steal for the price on this guitar and the Duncan designed single-coil pick-ups makes this guitar above the entry level making it a more of a mid-range Stratocaster model for Squier.
Gretsch Guitars G5425 Electromatic Jet Electric Guitar
Read Full Review Long before Gibson and Fender, Gretsch was already making guitars in the 1920’s and has been the go to guitar for musicians notably in the 1950’s to 1960’s as its heydays. It lost steam being the guitar of choice during the 1970’s due to various reasons, then Gretsch entered a business agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation under the terms that Gretsch would still retain ownership while FMIC would handle most of the development, distribution and sales that stands until today.
Gretsch Guitars G5425 Electromatic is an entry-level guitar. It has a chambered single cutaway basswood body with an arched laminated maple for top protected by a scratch plate. The Electomatic Series comes in three colors. Fire bird red, silver and black.
The neck of the guitar is made of maple coated by a gloss polyester finish. Rosewood fretboard 22 in number medium jumbo in size with neo classic thumbnail as inlays, synthetic bone nut, black jet style headstock and chrome machine heads.
It has two humbuker pick-ups, Gretsch Dual-Coil Humbucking for the neck and bridge controlled by 1 master volume, 1 master tone and 3-way toggle switch. Position 1 bridge pick-up, Position 2 bridge and neck pick-ups, then position 3 neck pick-up.
Strapping this guitar on some may stereotype or might be thinking that you only need to play jazz, blues and country, but apparently you don’t need too and that is not the case for this guitar. The guitar is just like any other guitar that can be played for all sorts of genre of music. Good sounding, unique tone, original design and with its long the history makes the guitar awesome and an excellent choice.
Where to buy: Gretsch Guitars G5425 Electromatic Red $299.99 Amazon
ESP LTD M100FM Electric Guitar
Read Full Review Before becoming a major brand, and soon started signing in musicians the likes of James Hetfield, and Kirk Hammet of Metallica etc, as endorsers. It started out as a small shop in Tokyo Japan selling quality replacement guitar parts that eventually transitioned from just making parts to their own guitar line. The guitars made by ESP got its big break when it burst in the thrash metal seen of 1980’s and still carried throughout this day.
The M-100FM offers a flamed maple top in see thru black or black cherry over its basswood body. It has a extra thin-U shaped maple neck for fast shredding on its 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. It includes two ESP Designed LH-150 humbucking passive pickups for the neck and bridge controlled by 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3-way toggle switch for pick-ups selection.
A feature on this guitar that needs a little bit of a know how is the LTD by Floyd Rose style bridge tremolo and locking nut. The main thing here is the design. There is more hardware to deal with even when you just wanna tune your guitar and especially during re-stringing it.
The Floyd Rose is still the best floating tremolo system around, but needs to be learned and demands a lot of work from the player. Some players may not like it because of the hassle involve to set-up saying its not for them. While others loves it so much and almost cannot play without it for their dive-bomb tones and high pitch pulls.
Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Package
Read Full Review When well-known brands like Squier by Fender, Epiphone and Yamaha etc. started offering electric guitar starter kit, owning a first electric guitar and amplifier became far more reachable to many. A great gift to someone who shows interest in playing the guitar and for sure they will be delighted to have as a present.
The Yamaha Gigmaker in particular is dub by many as the perfect beginner electric package. It feature the Yamaha Pacifica 012 that has a Super-strat body design made of solid agathis which provides the needed tight low ends, firm mids and mellow highs tones. For the bolt-on neck and headstock it is crafted using maple with a 22 fret sonokeling fretboard fitted with white position dots.
Pick-ups on the guitar are two single-coil pick-ups for the neck and middle, humbucker for the bridge controlled by a 5-way pick-up selector switch, a master tone and master volume control knobs to muster a wide range of sounds. Functional and heavy duty die-cast tuners and tremolo bridge keeps the guitar in perfect pitch and for the needed vibrato effect when using the whammy bar.
Gigmaker pack comes with an amplifier and basic accessories like a gig bag, cable, strap, plectrums, clip-on digital tuner and instructional DVD to get start playing out of the box. The amplifier included is Yamaha’s 15 watts amplifier with an overdrive effect for switching from clean to dirty tones which is essential for practice and small jam sessions. Main controls are volume, bass, middle, and treble controls with separate volume, gain and a channel switch from clean to overdrive.
If you’re a beginners on a small budget or for the reason of you just wanna start in a conservative way by just spending a few bucks for a decent electric guitar and small practice amplifier that you can play around the house and will already enable you to learn well with. An electric guitar package is the right one for you.
Reason to Buy an Electric Guitar
Music is universal that appeals almost to everyone. Moreover, you can enjoy this fully by playing an instrument and for this reason you want to buy an electric guitar. Finding the right electric guitar is not that difficult as long as you set goals and a budget willing to spend. Is it for the purpose of a hobby playing with friends and family or for much greater things like creating a band that if serious enough could turn into a career.
The ideal way to start would be is with an electric guitar that is coming from a named brand to ensure quality. They offer a number guitars right on the budget starting from entry level up to mid-range model varying in price.
Entry level guitars are the most affordable. They are assembled from acceptable components by standards that are considered decent sounding and playable best for beginner on a small budget. While on the other end of the spectrum are the mid-range models and high end models of electric guitars. Offering better parts quality and arguable better sounding than the entry level. Key features to look into when buying an electric guitar are:
Tuners: Tuning keys is something to be critical on a guitar. This is the part that keeps the guitar in perfect pitch and it should take care of it all the time. Most of the tuning keys use on less expensive guitar are labeled to be respectable, yet not good as it supposed to be. They are made from steel, but not like the ones used on mid-range guitars and to higher end models were the metal is really hard steel and not recycled.
Another thing to look at on tuning keys is the tuner gear ratio. There are brands that includes this information on their catalog and some aren’t to really know, unless of course if you have tried tuning that specific guitar out before buying. The most sought after would be is the 18:1 gear ratio. It is finer and smoother when turning making it easier to tune your guitar.
In case planning to replace the tuning machine on your guitar, always remember there are a couple of machine head types. They are very different from other to take note when replacing them. Make sure you are installing the exact tuning keys to avoid modification.
Bridge: Even though the steel used on making the guitar bridge for cheaper guitar models is not as pure metal compared to their premium guitar counterparts. The hardness of the bridge steel, saddles and tremolo for these instruments is adequate to support the strings in place, intonation and use a whammy bar.
Spacing of the strings, height and attachment depends on what type of bridge system. This can be critical to some players preference impacting the sound and a matter of getting familiar with especially if preferring to use a Floyd Rose bridge.
Looking at it in general, electric guitars recommended for beginners with an affordable price and the expensive models, the string spacing as well as attachments are the same. They are well aligned and properly apart form each other.
Type of Electric Guitar Bridge:
Hard-Tail Bridge: This electric guitar bridge system is widely utilize on many guitars of different brands. It combine a bridge and saddles by attaching the string on the bridge or string through body. These styles of bridge are best known for Fender Stratocaster and the Telecaster that other soon followed.
The hard-Tail bridge is an excellent choice for beginners. It is not a complicated bridge to stay in tune, easy to adjust the height and holds adjustments well when already set-up.
Synchronized Tremolo Bridge: This bridge gives guitar players vibrato effect using the whammy bar by pivoting the bridge attached by screws and springs mounted inside the guitar body applying tension which is counteracted by the tension produce by the strings.
Play of the tremolo depends on the set-up. The upward and downward movement influence the string height, action, and tuning of the guitar, so better take note of this to maximize its functionality.
Tune-O-Matic Bridge: Tune-O-Matic bridge effectiveness is made famous by Gibson and Epiphone. The bridge has individual saddles for string placement and a pair of posts on both side to lift and lower the bridge. It can be string-through body or be paired typically with a StopBar tailpiece to anchor the strings.
Tune-O-Matic bridge tuning stability is excellent and provides sustain on the sound to be solid pick for beginners. It’s not difficult to set-up and during string change.
Bigsby Bridge: The stunning vintage look of this bridge makes it popular until today. This bridge system is mostly installed on classic archtop guitars. It presents a distinct vibe and feel to the sound, however somewhat similar to the Synchronized Tremolo Bridge and less explosive as the Floyd Rose even though it has a bulky look.
Floyd Rose Bridge: Love it or hate it, this bridge system is ground breaking. The Floyd Rose design drastically increase and decrease string tension to produce huge dive-bombs and squealing long high-pitched cry without worrying your guitar will be out of tune every time you use the whammy bar. There is nothing wrong or disadvantage for beginners to use this type bridge. Like any other bridge, the Floyd Rose needs only to be set-up, and when you master using this bridge system, you become one of the few players to be hold.
Pick-ups: When it comes to sound alone especially in the realms of rock. Playing with an overdrive or distortion, this set of pick-ups on affordable models of guitars is not that far to the sound produce by the expensive ones. These pups are very much capable to get the job done and has a decent quality materials used on building it to last. Combination of pick-ups can be in SSS three single-coil, HSS humbucker for the bidge, HSH humbucker on the middle, HH and SS that can be passive or active pick-ups.
Passive pick-ups are the first and most common transducer. It is built by wrapping many coils of copper wire around a permanent magnet, usually made of Alnico or Ceramic. Compared to Active pick-ups, this type also use coils of wire but fewer because this pick-ups relys on active preamp powered by 9V battery in order to boost the signal level controlled with an EQ treble, mid and bass cut.
Types of Pick-ups:
Single-coil Pick-ups: This type pick-up produce a clear, bright and twangy. They are preferred on genre of music like Pop. Country, Blues, Jazz, Rock, and almost everything. The drawback of using single-coil is the hum sound it generates due to its nature of having one coil.
P90 Pick-ups: Similar to a single-coil for having one coil yet has a better output of volume because of more winding of copper wire and by the use of bar magnets. It can deliver a clear clean sound and hairy runchy to very nasty as you crank the volume up making this pick-up a popular choice for punks and rockers.
Humbucker Pick-ups: Offering similar power on the output sound like the P90 yet less the hum is the Humbucker Pick-up. The heart of the sound of this pick-up is warm that makes it best played overdriven and with a distortion. In regards playing it clean, the clarity of sound is there but less bright. Humbucker Pick-up can be regular size or mini humbuckers.
Wood: The type of wood comes in variety for low end and mid-range guitars/basses. The most common tonewood to craft bodies of guitar is basswood and poplar. These woods are easily available on the market and are cheaper than mahogany, swamp ash, alder, agathis and of the same species of these woods. In spite of that, they are still good quality wood to use on guitars/basses that can last for years, as well as presenting tonal characteristics unique only to them to be appreciated.
Body Shape and Style: Stratocaster, Telecaster, SG, Les Paul and Superstrat body are the most common body shape of electric guitars. Each body shape presents a different feel, comfort and style to suite a player preference. Some other shape are the V and Explorer etc. preferred by our brothers who plays heavy metal music.
Neck and Fingerboard: Neck construction is either in full maple or with a rosewood fingerboard with medium jumbo, medium or XJ frets. All maple neck is bright sounding and best for extra clarity, while rosewood is the opposite giving a warm and roomy feel to the sound. For the frets, size does matters because it affects the play of the guitar. The bigger and wider the frets like the XJ frets, it will need a lighter touch to keep it in tune and this type of frets is better to have for fast shredding.
Finish: Details on finish should be spot no matter what the cost of the guitar. The body must be evenly painted for solid finishes and the effect of burst, translucent finish is present and can be seen.
Well that’s all for this post. Hope you find the beginner electric guitar you are looking from our list and the guide we gave on choosing the electric guitar for you helped. Goodluck!