Learning to play the guitar was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s a challenge like no other, and you instantly feel way cooler with a guitar in your hands. Having played the guitar for more years than I’d care to mention, I’ve seen plenty of good and bad guitars targetting at the beginner market. I’ve made a list of what I believe are the best beginner electric guitars, to help you choose a first guitar you can grow into and love for as long as you play.
A good electric guitar doesn’t have to be expensive but equally, you don’t want to skimp out and end up with a poor quality guitar. I’ve trawled the current market and use my own experience handling guitars to come up with this list of the 7 best electric guitars for beginners:
1. Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard electric guitar has a classically designed body made of mahogany with a maple veneer top for a shine that lasts. This guitar features Grover machine heads so you can tune the instrument effortlessly, an ideal feature for those with no tuning experience. The sound quality on this guitar makes it a great option for beginners or experienced guitarists. It connects easily to an amp with a 6.5mm instrument cable.
This guitar has Epiphone Alnico Classic humbuckers to help enhance the hum that comes from electromagnetic interference. The design and manufacturing of the body provide super resonance. The neck has a slim profile and feels comfortable in your hands. This guitar has a rosewood fretboard for that classic Les Paul look and feel. The LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece make the string changing process quick and easy.
2. Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar
The Fender Modern Player Tele Plus electric guitar offers many usable tons which is great for those learning to play. This guitar has a 9.5″ radius with 22 jumbo frets to allow you to put better sideways pressure on the strings. It comes in the following color options: black transparent or honey burst. This guitar has a classic look and shape which makes it comfortable to hold in your hands. It features a humbucking bridge pickup to enhance the hum from the electromagnetic interference for a better sound.
The coil splitting mini-toggle puts you in complete control of the sound. This guitar also has a Strat middle pickup and Tele single-coil neck pickup. It offers 5-way switching so you can easily reach the tones you’re looking for, no matter the style of music you play. When it comes to appearance, this guitar has a timeless look with vintage-style tuners and hardware made of nickel and chrome.
3. Fender 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar
The Fender 6-string solid body electric guitar comes in a beautiful 2-color sunburst design and is inspired by the well-known Stratocaster models. This guitar has an alder body with a gloss polyester finish that’s designed to be durable. The neck of the guitar has a one-piece design and is made from maple. It’s also finished with a vintage tint gloss to give a naturally aged look. The maple fingerboard has a 9.5″ radius and includes 21 medium jumbo frets for better string control.
This guitar has 3 vintage-style single-coil start pickups with staggered pole pieces to provide you with improved string-to-string balance, a key feature for those who are just learning to play. This guitar was designed to resemble class electric guitars from the 1950s and provides a similar tone and vibe to vintage guitars. The hardware on this guitar is nickel-plated and designed to last without tarnishing or chipping.
4. Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club Electric Guitar
This sleek guitar from Gretsch has a stylish and durable gloss urethane finish to reduce scuffs and chips. The neck of this guitar has a bolt-on design and is made of beautiful maple wood. The body of the guitar is also constructed with an arched maple top and chambered basswood bodies. It’s equipped with an anchored adjustment bridge, a stop tailpiece, and dual-coil pickups to provide excellent sound quality to help beginners learn the notes and tones more easily.
This guitar features neo-classic thumbnail fretboard inlays to help the fingers learn how to work the guitar and to add another element of style to the instrument. The pickguard is a stylish white pearloid that includes the Gretsch logo. This guitar weighs in at just over 13 pounds which makes it a good option for beginners of all ages. The chrome accents on the guitar give it a classic and timeless look.
5. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar
The Yamaha Pacifica Series electric guitar has a solid alder body with an old violin sunburst color scheme. This guitar is known for being easy to play, a huge plus for beginners, as well as for having great tone. Plus, it’s very affordable. The neck is made of maple and it has a rosewood fingerboard. This guitar has a coil tap to help you achieve better sound with more options. It has a vintage-style tremelo with block saddles for function and style.
The hardware on this guitar is very well made and similar to what you would find on instruments that are much pricier. The pickup switch on this guitar has a 5-position design with humbucker coil-splitting for enhanced humming from electromagnetic interference. The pickguard is 3-ply with a white/black/white configuration. The dome-style knobs make it easy to you to control the master volume and the master tone.
6. Ibanez RG450DX Electric Guitar White
The Ibanez electric guitar comes in a classic white color with a Wizard III maple neck for maximum comfort and speed. The body is made from mahogany and the fretboard is constructed of bound rosewood with a shark tooth inlay. This guitar has black hardware to contrast the white color of the body. It features Quantam pickups which help provide an accelerated bass response and precise high-end articulation.
The fretboard has 24 frets so you can take advantage of a wide tonal range. The triple Ibanez INF pickups are wired to a 5-way switch so you can choose from a variety of sounds and coil combinations. The Edge-Zero low profile design makes this guitar comfortable to hold. It includes a stud lock function to help you tune your guitar easily. The guitar weighs just 11 pounds making it a good option for players of all ages.
7. Oscar Schmidt OE20B-A-U Solid Body Electric
The Oscar Schmidt solid body electric guitar features a mahogany body that’s available in several glossy-finished colors. This guitar has a maple set neck and a fretboard made of engineered wood. It’s styled in the traditional single-cutaway style for a timeless look. The Tune-O-Matic bridge makes it easy to get the sound you’re looking for. The fingerboard on this guitar is easy to memorize and navigate, which makes it a great choice for beginners.
This guitar is also affordable when compared to many others. The dual humbucking pickups enhance the surrounding interference for a better hum. The hardware on this guitar is chrome colored for contrast to the body color. The knobs are easy to turn so you can make adjustments needed for better sound. This guitar connects to an amp using a standard 6.5mm cable.
Buying an Electric Guitar for Beginners
Style and Shape
The style of your guitar may the first impression you give to your audience which is why many musicians are picky about the style of the guitar. Beginners also have many choices when it comes to the style and shape of their first electric guitar. The three main body styles of electric guitars are hollow body, semi-hollow, and solid body. These guitars come in several colors with black and white being popular options.
You should also consider the shape of the guitar body. Some are designed to look like vintage guitars with classic shapes and cutouts while others have a more modern appearance. The hardware on the guitar should be well-made of a material that won’t after heavy usage. Plus, the hardware is a great way to accent the overall look of your instrument.
Guitars are made from wood types that tend to have good tonal properties like alder, ash, mahogany, and maple. When choosing a beginner’s electric guitar it’s important to be aware of the construction of the instruments so you can choose one that’s well-built and comfortable to use. Fingerboards come in several styles and are usually made from rosewood, maple, or ebony. The fingerboard should feel comfortable in your hands so you can reach the chords easily.
Also, consider the type of neck the guitar has. Bolt-on necks are bolted onto the guitar body just as the name suggests. They are easier to repair or replace as needed. Set necks are glued into the body which can make them more stable and have better resonance. The last type of neck, the “neck-through” has a neck that runs the entire length of the body. This also adds to its stability.
The sound capabilities of an electric guitar are extremely important, even to beginners. Guitars have several features that contribute to the overall sound quality. Electric guitars have pickups which act as magnetic field using the vibration from strumming the strings to create an amplifiable signal. A single-coil pickup usually provides your instrument with a crisp sound where a humbucker acts in a different way. Humbuckers are known for having a smoother sound which makes guitars with humbuckers a popular choice for those who play rock style music.
The bridge of the guitar is also important to sound quality. The bridge acts as an anchor for the strings. Plus, the bridge is used to adjust the intonation and action. There are 2 main types of bridges: tremolo and fixed. Tremelo bridges, also called vibrato, work to create a vibrato effect to bend the pitch of the strings. Fixed bridges, sometimes called stoptail, offer a more stable tuning system.
Learning to play the electric guitar can be fun for anyone who’s into music. It’s important for those who are beginners to choose a good guitar that’s easy to use and has good sound. It’s also helpful to choose an option that can be precisely tuned so you can easily learn the notes and how to play them. This list of the best beginner electric guitars can help you choose the best instrument that meets your budget and your guitar playing capabilities.