How to choose your first electric guitar ?
Electric guitars are a great choice for beginners, but to make sure your instrument meets your expectations and drives your passion for music, your first electric guitar should be comfortable, easily playable, produces the desired sound and of course aesthetically appealing.
Why Electric Guitar?
Albeit what you often hear from people or forums about having to start on acoustic, the best guitar for beginners is the one you feel most comfortable using. But generally, the electric has a couple of features that gives it the edge over acoustic for learners.
The strings are way softer and will not give you troubles and pains specially when still learning to adjust your fingers, eliminating unnecessary struggle.
You can practice quietly without an amp, pretty suitable for late night workout. Plugin an Amp and unlock your way in many genres, the different sounds electric guitar makes will fuel your enthusiasm and help you keep practicing and playing the guitar.
Features to look out for :
Type of Wood
Mahogany is accepted as the best but you’ll find many other types that provide competent sound e.g Alder.
Single coil, P90, Humbucker (Active/Passive).
Pickup Switch/Tone Features
Pickup modes, coil splitting and tone control.
Whammy bar/Bigsby and killswitch.
We researched the Best Beginners Electric Guitars according to consumers, musicians and critics, these are the finest models with the right sound and build quality.
Squier Affinity Stratocaster
Squier has been upping their quality since the past 10 years. Back in the early 2000’s affordable guitars had horrible quality and you couldn’t get your hands on any truly playable guitar less than 500$. Thankfully, that is not the case nowadays. The affinity series brings the remarkable Stratocaster form, with quality that outmatches any copies at that price tag. The stability of tuning, build quality and very acceptable sound makes it a solid choice. You might have browsed around the web and found Squire Bullet, the cheaper version, well you might want to invest a bit more in the affinity because the difference in build quality and playability is noticeable. Stratocaster style guitars have been used by legends including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
squier affinity stratocaster sss price
squier affinity stratocaster Hss price
squier stratocaster pack price
Squier Affinity Telecaster
Pretty much like the Squire Strat the Affinity Telecaster brings the renowned and loved by many Tele style at a bargain with solid build quality and sweet tone. The Telecaster is generally known for adopting an easier approach to playing, it’s less complicated straightforward controls and single pickup has proved worthy and capable of satisfying a plethora of music genres. It retains the vintage look and feel with the C shape maple neck and Alder body. Just like the original design that was inspired by Leo Fender the Squire Telecaster is a no frills instrument and dependable, unlike plenty of guitars that require plenty of fighting to get something out of them. The sound comes from two single coil pickups reproducing authentic Telecaster notes.Drive the bridge and you can get lovely blues sounds, the neck seems suitable to jazz and rhythm, combined they produce balanced crunch and warm tones.
Squier Affinity Telecaster pack price
Squier Affinity Telecaster price
Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT
The Epiphone Studio LT takes things up from the special, with more powerful ceramic pickups and better tone controls. The body and neck are mahogany with carved top and the fretboard is rosewood. If you really love the heavier side of music the Studio LT won’t disappoint, it easily covers a plethora of music styles and packs a punch with the zebra ceramic humbuckers. If you don’t care about coil splitting and like playing dirty with extra drive you could go with this rather than the Epiphone SG pro and save some buck.
Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT price
Epiphone Les Paul Special II
If you want to get to Les Paul world, the Epiphone Special 2 delivers unmistakable Les Paul tones with a friendly price tag. The body is mahogany with a bolt on mahogany neck, the 650R/700T humbuckers inspired by Gibson deliver authentic tones and very pleasing sustain. At this price point the Special 2 is a worthy package and a competent performer.
Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 price
The Epiphone SG is a fantastic way to experience the SG style (inspired by Gibson) without breaking your bank. Various players have preferred individuality over Les Paul players, it found its way in the hands of infamous rockers like Angus Young (AC/DC) and Tommy lommi (Black Sabbath). The SG has a unique attractive design and raw bitey tones, Epiphone offers various models starting from around 200$. The standard SG comes with 650R and 700T humbuckers, while the G-400 pro has custom Alnico pro 4 wire humbuckers that sounds like early 60’s SGs, it also has coil splitting control for further tone options. The pro costs more but it’s a definitely a fine sounding guitar that players keep returning to even after owning more expensive guitars.
Epiphone SG Special price
Epiphone G400 Pro price
The Epiphone Es339 is the affordable version of the ES-339 model by Gibson (The smaller version infamous ES 335) , which has been a consistent choice for countless blues and rock songs since its inception in the 1950s.
What is especially lovable about it is the Alnico Classic neck humbucker, when used through a clean amp, it produces its notoriously warm and clear tone. Resonance and sustain is addictive and adds that extra spice to solos. An example to it’s applicable tone quality is BB king’s “Lucille”
The 339 is easier to play, handle and transport than the larger 335 which makes it an appealing choice for beginners and travellers.
Epiphone ES339 price
The Yamaha Pacifica series, originally produced in the 1990’s, has become one of the company’s best-selling entry-level electric guitars. They sound fantastic, offer a great bargain and they look amazing.
What makes the pacifica lineup unique is their build quality consistency. Albeit being manufactured at different locations across asia, whenever you pick up one you’ll feel the massive effort on quality control.
The pacifica models vary through different pickups and fretboard setup. We have picked the Alnico equipped PAC212VFM as it is top of the line and still costs less than other similarly equipped guitars. The body is Alder with a flamed top, neck is maple, the 22 fretboard is rosewood. Pickups are quality Alnico-V in HSS configuration with 5 position controller plus coil tabbing option.
If your budget is a bit limited and you still wanna enjoy yamaha’s quality, the Pacifica PAC112J is a very attractive guitar and the factory pickups can still produce very acceptable tones. The high quality solid alder body and neck construction makes an excellent platform to upgrade and customize to the spec you want.
Another enticing model is the PAC120H, it comes with dual humbuckers setup to nail the deep and heavy tones common in rock and metal music. This is a solid rock guitar at this price tag combining Yamaha’s build quality with above average humbuckers quality. It’s also possible to reach high end sounds if you decide to upgrade the pickups later on, an aftermarket humbucker swap from manufacturers like EMG or Seymour Duncan will have your guitar sounding like hefty expensive Gibsons.
Yamaha Pacifica PAC212VFM price
Yamaha Pacifica PAC112JL price (left handed)
Yamaha Pacifica PAC120H price
Ibanez is a big name in the Metal world, their guitars are built for high end tones and heavy riffs. The Ibanez GRX70 is a very affordable way to start experiencing this genre and getting to learn songs from your favorite metal bands. Basically it’s a lightweight Superstrat style that feels and handles great. The frets are close, enabling fast transitions, the humbuckers handle the most demanding notes nicely with enough gain that will satisfy most players.