Finding the best electric guitar under $500 can be tough. However, it’s definitely possible to get yourself a great guitar for less than 500 dollars. When looking for guitars in this price range you’ll need to be cautious. You’ll want to find a model that you won’t outgrow (ability wise) too quickly. If you pick the right guitar you may find that you never need to upgrade to a more expensive model.
After some consideration we found the Yamaha RevStar RS420 to be the best electric guitar under 500 dollars. To find out why keep reading!
Below we’ve listed 5 of the best electric guitars under $500 which you’ll be sure to love.
1. Yamaha RevStar RS420
Here is another example of a guitar that only just makes it in under the $500 mark. This instrument from Yamaha aims to be bold and innovative in both its sound and its design. The materials were all carefully chosen and the engineers at Yamaha designed custom pickups for this instrument.
The pickups are only one of the custom features for this instrument. Much of the hardware is customized, as well. The floating aluminum tailpiece was inspired by the Café Racer motorbikes that were so popular in the 1960’s in London.
One of the best things about this instrument is what Yamaha calls its “dry switch.” It is similar to a coil split, but has much more advanced tone. This instrument uses a passive filter circuit that’s purpose is to give you perfected frequency response. As a filter circuit, it can work equally well on humbuckers and P90s. The tone you get from this guitar is like no other.
2. Yamaha Pacifica PAC311H
Coming in seven beautiful finishes, this electric guitar from Yamaha is a great value. It features a solid body made from Alder. Perfectly complementing this wood is the Maple in the neck and the Rosewood in the fingerboard. This is a lightweight guitar that is very comfortable to play for extended periods of time. It features a slim neck that is not cluttered with too many unnecessary things.
The Pacifica has been a leader in inexpensive guitars since the 1990s. Despite their lower cost, they are still able to deliver a wide range of tones and sound character. This series of guitars puts emphasis on individuality, as well as versatility and playability.
This guitar features Grover locking tuners and a Hardtail Bridge. As for pickups, you get the P90 Alnico V and the Humbucker Alnico V. To control this guitar, you get a push/pull coil split for Master Volume and Master Tone.
3. Schecter Omen Extreme-6 FR
This stylish electric guitar features a carved maple top that rests on a double cutaway, Basswood body. The cutaways provide access to the fingerboard, which features 24 frets and is made from beautiful Rosewood. You can get this guitar in See-Through Black, Sunburst, and Black Cherry finishes, all under $500.
One of the great features of this guitar is its Floyd Rose Treolo, which is designed to make sure you stay in tune. You also get Dual Schecter High-Output Alnico Humbuckers so you can play a wide range of musical styles.
This guitar features the Schecter Omen FR Extreme, which makes controlling your guitar simple and straightforward. There is a 3-way toggle switch as well as Master Volume and Tone controls. This is considered a passive guitar, with no batteries required. That being said, the pickups sound amazing. Be aware that this guitar comes with neither a bag nor a case.
4. Squier by Fender
Here you have an affordable option from the guitar giants at Fender. There are six color options. Coming with a Pine body and a Maple neck, this guitar is attractive and it sounds great. The neck is C shaped and has a 9.5-inch radius. You will find 21 medium jumbo frets on this instrument.
One great thing about this guitar is it is available in both right-handed and left-handed configurations. The Telecaster guitar series has long been considered the everyman’s guitar. This is due to its affordable price in combination with its very versatile sound.
Giving this instrument a vintage feel is the string-thru-body Tele bridge. You will also find two single-coil Tele pickups that greatly add to the overall vintage style. There are Master Volume and Master Controls. This instrument is ideal for those looking to play rock, jazz, country, and blues music due to its warmth and clarity.
5. Silvertone Classic 1478
Squeaking in at the under $500 mark is this beautiful guitar that features a double cutaway Mahogany body. To give it a deep rich tone, it has a Maple top. You will find a Rosewood fingerboard with a 12″ radius. This guitar has 20 silver nickel frets. There is a gorgeous pearl block inlay as well.
Musicians love the vintage single-coil pickups that come on this guitar. This instrument is actually a reissue of a classic guitar that had a lot to love, but a few kinks. These kinks were worked out in this new release. One of the biggest updates came in the hardware. On this instrument, you will find a fully adjustable bridge as well as smooth individual tuners. Rounding out the updated hardware is the authentic Bigsby® tremolo tailpiece.
The neck on this guitar is a thing of beauty. It is C shaped and has a two-way truss rod. This allows you to adjust your instrument accurately, every time.
Electric Guitars Under $500 Buyers Guide
Planning on becoming the next Slash or just passionate about music? Chances are, you’ve dreamt of being able to play the electric guitar like a pro! If this sounds like you, you’re on the right page. In this article we explore when searching for the best electric guitar for you. We also go into a detailed buyers guide to help you pick the best one for you.
Looking for something more high end? We’ve also got a post on electric guitars under $1000.
Without doing research, you could end up with the wrong guitar and be out of pocket. This is why we’ve decided to bring you this buyers guide. We spent a fair amount of time trawling through the market. Finding the best guitars on the market (listed above) was our first task. In this section we explore exactly what to look for when buying a electric guitar.
Benefits Of A Electric Guitar
So, why exactly should you buy a starter electric guitar? Well going all out and buying an expensive guitar isn’t a great idea for new learners. In this section we detail the benefits of opting for an electric guitar for beginners.
Easy To Learn
On the whole, they are easier and more simple to learn. This is for the sheer reason that they are wholly designed and intended for beginners. You wont need to worry about having a wide technical knowledge of guitars. This makes it nice and easy to pick up and start learning!
A Great Sounding Custom Experience
Acoustic guitars are a very common starter guitar, and there are reasons for this. Of course you don’t need to worry about an amp for one, but lets not forget how awesome electric guitars sound. Amazing variations of tones, qualities and pitches electric guitars produce make them fun. I remember picking up my first electric guitar. Plugging it into the amp and hearing it the awesome electronic echo sent chills down my spine!
The control features on electric guitars give them a great sense of customizability. You’re able to alter the sound outputs including pitch and base levels, to produce a sound tailored to you. Being able to manipulate the sounds produced is definitely a plus point starting out. The good thing about budget electric guitars is they don’t have super technical control features.
The great thing about electric guitars, is that they’re compact. Often something that tends to sway people towards electric guitars is aesthetic appearance. Being generally quite slim and compact gives them a great look. This combined with an awesome design means you look cool just holding one.
You can get good quality guitars for beginners are a reasonable price. You can get your hands on one of the best budget electric guitars for a few hundred bucks. High end electric guitars can stretch into the thousands. This is a safe bet for you, because if you decide guitar isn’t for you (it so is) then you’ve spent small not big.
What To Consider When Buying A Electric Guitar
Theres a few things you should think about when buying an electric guitar for beginners. This should help you make a smarter buying decision. Here’s a few considerations you should make when buying a starter electric guitar.
Frequency of Use
This is an important consideration to make. If you mean business, you’re going to want to consider certain accessories.
Straps come included with many guitars so you might not need to buy one but you get the picture.
Intonation is the accuracy of the pitch that generated by the guitar. It goes without saying that the best guitar has the most accurate intonation. This is to enhance the sound quality and make the experience awesome. This aspect of sound quality should also be easily controlled.
The action is an aspect of sound quality. It determines how high the guitar strings rise from the fretboard. It may also extend to cover the feel and the playability of the guitar. The best starter electric guitars have high action. Meaning the strings rise high away from the fretboard.
Scale length is the distance between the 12th octave and the front edge of the nut multiplied by 2. There is a direct correlation between this length and the quality of sound output. A longer length translates to higher sound quality. It’s best to find one with the longest scale length possible.
The neck of the guitar comprises the fretboard, frets, headstock, tuners, and truss rods. These all help you generate the desired tunes. It’s important these are up to standard and properly functional.
Budget & Brands
The price of the exact guitar of choice will have an impact on whether you may or may not buy it. Because you don’t want to break the bank, find one that is well within your means. You will have to carry out extensive price comparisons, as well as checking your own finances.
We’re not saying you should always go for a big brand. But certain brands have consistently stood out, for their reliability and quality. Brands like Epiphone, Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez, Squier, and Dean are just a few of the market leaders. So lookout for these in your hunt for a guitar!
Qualities to Look out for:
This section details some key features to look out for when deciding which guitar to buy!
- Lightweight: Just like the other dimensions, the weight of the guitar should also be manageable. This will help you easily carry it around. It also helps for transporting your guitar should you need to (think of when you’re touring).
- Simple Controls: As a beginner, you want a guitar that is as easy to master and comprehend as possible. This is because you do not have the skill to manage the sophisticated guitars. For this to happen, the guitar has to have simple controls. It should also have demos that guide you along the way.
- Connectivity: Being able to interact with things such as speakers, woofers, microphones, and mixers is a plus. A good guitar ought to be able to connect and communicate with these other interfaces as well. Also look out for guitars that come with these accessories included!
- Warranty and After-sales: All modern electrical equipment comes backed by manufacturer’s warranty. Including electric guitars. Try to find a warranty that’s as long as can be. This will give you great peace of mind. The same case should apply to the other after-sale services such as insurance. Although insurance is generally more useful when buying a high end guitar.
- Sound: This is something you should definitely check before buying. Luckily gone are they days of having to trawl through store after store. If you’ve got a model in mind, read reviews online including youtube videos. This will allow you to capture how the guitar sounds from the comfort of your own home.
- Design: Something we haven’t put much emphasis on is the design of a guitar. Unlike acoustic guitars, even beginners electric guitars can come with cool custom designs. You’ve got to be happy with how the guitar sounds, but also with how it looks and feels in your hands.
Take a Cautious Approach
It’s important you don’t buy the first guitar that matches your budget and looks okay.
Make sure that you don’t get sucked in by poor quality guitars that look like deal of the century. You are strongly advised against settling for second-hand guitars. They are most likely not covered by the warranty, may be defective and not going to last. It’s worth saving a little more and buying new.
We hope you’ve gained knowledge and now know what to look for in a good beginners electric guitar. We’ve also listed some of the best starter electric guitars on the market so check them out. A beginners electric guitar is a great option. You strike a balance between price and quality, and will feel like a rockstar once you’re hooked up to your amp. If you’re looking for some more information on electric guitars check out this wiki page.
Are you looking for your first guitar you may be undecided on whether to go for acoustic or electric. If this sounds like you why not check out our post on acoustic guitars under $500 which will also match your budget.