Best Beginner Electric Guitars

Beginner Electric Guitar
best overall rating
  • A budget Les Paul that performs and sounds like an
  • Built-in preamp and pickup
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Premium look, feel, and sound
premium choice rating
  • High-quality solid tonewood body
  • Built-in preamp and pickup
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Premium look, feel, and sound
great value rating
  • High-quality solid tonewood body
  • Built-in preamp and pickup
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Premium look, feel, and sound

You’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar and want to buy your first guitar but don’t know which instrument to buy? Our reviews help you find the best beginner electric guitar for your needs. Our 2020 chart includes the latest instruments and covers buyers of all budget sizes.

Learning to play a new instrument is always an exciting adventure, and we want to congratulate you on taking the first step. The next step is finding an instrument to practice and perform with. And our list of starter electric guitars will help you find the right instrument.

Whatever your age, you’ll find a guitar on our list that appeals to your eyes, emotions, and pocket. Although starter instruments, we have selected guitars that will stay with you well past your novice-guitarist years.

We encourage you to read the passage on the guide to buying a beginner electric guitar to learn what you should consider when deciding which instrument is best for you. So here is a table that lists our top 10 electric guitars for beginners.

The Best Affordable Electric Guitars Under $200

Product PhotoGuitar and RatingDescriptionCheck Price & Read User Reviews
+ Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Overall Score: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

A genuine Les Paul that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. An excellent first guitar for a beginner

+ Squire by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster

Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

An affordable Telecaster with a classic Fender look. A genuine joy of an instrument to play

+ Gretsch Electromatic G5425 Electric Guitar

Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

A great sounding and easy to play instrument. One of the highest rated instruments ideal for a beginner

+ Ibanez S521 S Series

Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

An affordable guitar that is well set up, fun to play, and sounds great. A high-quality Ibanez for the beginner

+ Squire Classic Vibe ‘70s Jaguar

Overall Score: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

An excellent value for money. This is a fun to play guitar with a good look. an excellent cratsmanship for the price

+ Gretsch G2420T Streamliner Hollowbody with Bigsby

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

An elgant body with exceptional craftsmanship. You’ll always want to keep this beautiful instrument in your collection

+ Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

A good guitar for the price. Sounds great right out of the box with no additional set up required

+ Yamaha Pacifica 112V

Overall Score: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

A high-quality budget electric from Yamaha that appeals to beginners and experienced guitarists alike

+ Ibanez RG450DX

Overall Score: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

You can’t go wrong with an Ibanez RG electric. You’ll absolutely love owning and playing this for years.

+ Squire Affinity Jazzmaster HH

Overall Score: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

A cheap but good quality option for those looking for a great deal for under $200

Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Epiphone is the budget brand of the iconic guitar maker Gibson – and the Les Paul Standard is the entry-level version of Gibson’s legendary Les Paul. This is the next best thing if you can’t afford the real version from Gibson (which retails for about $2,500).

It mimics the body style of the Gibson Les Paul with its single-cutaway. The solid body is made from Mahogany with a Maple top. The ergonomic and highly playable neck is made from Mahogany with a 22-fret Rosewood fingerboard. The fretboard comes with jumbo frets, which are easy to play and ideal for a beginner.

The Les Paul Standard comes with a pair of humbucker pickups mounted at the neck and bridge. They deliver a decent sound to your amps. Overall, the guitar looks, feels, and sounds great – it is an exceptional electric guitar for beginners.

Squire by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster

Squire Classic Vibe Telecaster

Fender is a giant amongst guitar brands {}, and their range of Telecaster electric guitars have graced the palms and fingers of many legendary guitarists for more than 50 years. Squire is the budget-friendly brand of Fender, and they make affordable versions of Fender’s iconic models.

The Squire Vibe Telecaster has the iconic single-cutaway and body shape of the real deal. It has a solid A Pine body with a comfortable C-shaped maple neck. The fretboard is made from a single Maple and comes with 21 frets. It is incredibly comfortable and easy to play, which is ideal when you’re a beginner.

The Vibe Telecaster is a good looking and great sounding instrument with excellent setup, intonation, and an action that is set just right. Don’t be put off by the brand or price tag because this instrument sounds like a premium electric guitar right out of the box.

It comes with a single-coil pickup and two dials for controlling volume and tone. This guitar is an excellent choice for beginners and advanced players alike. You’ll feel like you own and play a $2,000 instrument with this one.

Gretsch Electromatic G5425 Electric Guitar

Gretsch Electromatics G5425 Electric Guitar x300

Gretsch is not a household name in the guitar manufacturing industry, but it has been around for more than 130 years. They are an American company known for making high-quality musical instruments G5425 is no exception. You’ll also be pleased that the iconic Fender brand develops Gretsch’s instruments.

The G5425 is an exceptional beginner-friendly electric guitar with a beautiful single-cutaway Basswood body with a Maple top. The neck has a Rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets. The neck is highly playable and comfortable, making it a good option for a beginner to practice on.

The guitar sends sound to your amp via the humbucker pickups – two dials control volume and tone. The G5425 is an amazing instrument in every aspect. It has excellent craftsmanship, and the sound is impressive for this price range. You’ll find it difficult to find anything that sounds this good in this price range. It is incredibly comfortable to play, and the finish on the body is high-quality.

The Gretsch G5425 will appeal to new learners and experienced guitarists. We can’t recommend this highly enough.

Ibanez S521 S Series

Ibanez S521 S

You can’t complete a chart of high-quality, affordable beginner electric guitars without an Ibanez. The S521 rightly takes its place in the top 5 places of this list. This electric guitar is fantastic to look at, and it feels and plays like a $1,000+ instrument.

The classic double-cutaway Mahogany body looks elegant and well-built. The Maple neck has a Rosewood fretboard with 24 jumbo frets – and it’s highly playable with comfortable rolled edges.

The electronics feature two humbucker pickups that create a superb sound quality when connected to an amp. You can control the tone and volume with two dials.

This well-balanced and easy to play beauty should be an essential consideration for anyone wanting to learn to play the guitar. A beginner’s dream and an advanced player’s ideal practice guitar, we believe anyone will be happy to own the S521 from Ibanez’s S Series of guitars.

Squire Classic Vibe ‘70s Jaguar

Squire Classic Vibe 70s Jaguar

You’ll fall in love with the Classic Vibe ‘70s Jaguar from Squire at first glance, and you wouldn’t be wrong to lust after such a beautiful instrument. It feels, plays, and sounds as good as it looks. Squire draws inspiration from the 1970s Jaguar car models for the design of this electric guitar.

It has a beautiful double-cutaway offset body made from Poplar with a glossy finish. The “C-shaped” neck is made from maple and has a 22-fret Laurel fingerboard. The neck is comfortable and easy to play for hands of all sizes.

Sound is picked up and delivered to your amplifier via the two single-coil pickups (located at the neck and bridge) with a 4-way switch. The instrument comes with two dials to control volume and tone.

And if you’re not into the Jaguar cars, there’s also a Mustang and Jazzmaster versions to satisfy anyone looking for a beautiful and classic-styled guitar for a beginner.

Gretsch G2420T Streamliner Hollowbody with Bigsby

Gretsch G2420T

This is a hollow-body electric guitar, which means it has some acoustic properties – you can practice with this instrument without connecting it to an amp. This Fender-designed guitar looks and plays great.

The single-cutaway hollow body is made from maple with a glossy finish. The neck is “u-shaped” and thin, making it comfortable to hold and play. The neck is made from Nato wood with a 22-fret rosewood fretboard.

The dual humbucker pickups deliver great tone and excellent sustain to your amp. However, the strings buzz a bit, so you may need to replace them – although most beginners will not notice this interference.

The G240T Streamliner is playable right out of the box, with no adjustment required. This is an ideal setup for beginners, but experienced players will also get great joy out of owning and playing this instrument.

Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO

Epiphone Limited Edition ES-335 PRO

Modeled after the Gibson ES-335, this Epiphone version is the closest you’re going to get if you can’t afford the iconic original. The hollow Epiphone ES-335 Pro does not only look like it’s $3,500+ Gibson relative but also plays and sounds pretty close to the real thing.

The Epiphone ES-335 is the best value for money hollow-body electric guitar on the market today. The craftsmanship is top-notch, the sound is amazing, and it is easy and comfortable to play.

The ES-335 Pro has a chambered semi-hollow double-cutaway body made from maple with a glossy finish. You can get it in vintage sunburst, ebony, or natural color.

Epiphone has here a versatile instrument that can play all genres of music, including jazz, rock, easy, country, and blues. A hollow-body electric guitar is not the best electric guitar for a beginner, but those looking for something to play without an amp may consider buying the Epiphone ES-335 Pro.

The electronics feature a pair of humbucker pickups that deliver a clear, punchy, and thick sound to the amps – the sound is excellent for the price. At a fraction of the cost of an original Gibson 335, the Epiphone makes a good beginner electric guitar.

Yamaha Pacifica 112V

Yamaha Pacifica 112V

The Pacifica is a dream electric guitar for beginners looking for a good instrument to practice on. Those looking for high-quality craftsmanship, excellent sound, and a highly playable instrument will find them in abundance in the Pacifica 112V. With a reputation of being one of the best starter electric guitars on the market, the Pacifica 112 is a perfect instrument for beginners.

The contoured alder body has a double cutaway with a bolted-on C-shaped neck with a 22-fret fingerboard. This set up is easy to play, which is ideal for a beginner.

The electronics of the Pacifica features a three-pickup configuration. There’s a single-coiled pickup on the neck and a humbucker on the bridge. Between the two is another single-coiled pickup. This configuration produces excellent sound clarity and intonation with strong midrange tones. The Pacifica 112 also comes with a five-way pickup switcher and two dials for volume and tone control.

This well-built, beautiful, highly playable, and affordable instrument is a beginner’s ideal electric guitar and should be one of your top options.

Ibanez RG450DX

Ibanez RG450DX

Ibanez makes high-quality instruments, and many beginners may want to consider the RG450DX as their first electric guitar. This beautiful double-cutaway guitar looks feels and sounds great.

The body of the RG450DX is made from basswood, and the 24-fret rosewood fretboard sits on a bolted-on maple neck. This guitar is highly playable, which is ideal for a learner.

The electronics of this Ibanez include a single-coil pickup sandwiched between two humbucker pickups – delivering a strong and punchy tone to your amp. This instrument provides plenty of value for money, making it an ideal first electric guitar for a beginner.

squire Affinity Jazzmaster HH

squire Affinity Jazzmaster HH

This is Squire’s answer to the very popular Fender Jazzmaster. It is modeled after the classic offering from Fender and not far from the original product in terms of look, feel, and sound. This instrument combines the classic body style and easy playability to produce a good beginner electric guitar.

A c-shaped maple neck with a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard bolts onto a beautiful solid basswood body. A pair of humbucker pickups deliver good sound clarity with great mid-range balance. A simple pickup switch and volume and tone controllers complete the electronics.

The low-cost, excellent playability and simple electronics make the Squire Jazzmaster a guitar of interest to beginners.

It has never been easier to buy your first electric guitar in the internet age. All you need is to read some good online reviews like this one and watch a few demonstration videos on YouTube to get a feel for how the instrument sounds. You can buy the instrument online and all the accessories you need without having to leave the house. It is also possible to entirely learn how to play the guitar online – check out our list of the best online guitar lessons for beginners {}.

We have done the research for you, so you should find an electric guitar on our list that appeals to you and stays with you through your advanced player years.

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying an Electric Guitar

Your first guitar is very important because that is what you learn to play on. You should give it careful consideration before settling on what you want to buy. Identifying your needs will help you decide which instrument is best for you. Is this going to be just a starter electric guitar, or do you intend to play it way past your learner years? Are you going to be gigging with it or just using it as a studio instrument? These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before deciding to settle on a guitar.

Budget electric guitars may be a good choice for a first instrument if you’re not sure of what the future holds in terms of your playing career. You can learn with these “cheap” options and upgrade the hardware or the entire guitar if you decide to take playing seriously.

There’s a starter guitar for any budget, so it doesn’t matter if you have a $100 or a $3,000 budget, you’re bound to find an instrument that meets your needs. However, guitars selling for $100 and under are typically very poor-quality, so you’ll have to do some digging to unearth the few gems in that price range.

Whenever possible, we encourage new buyers to consider buying a mid-priced instrument (from $300 to $800). Guitars in this price range usually have better craftsmanship, looks great, and sounds better. They also tend to last longer, which is a good thing if you intend to keep playing way past your learner days.

Our list of the best electric guitars {} contains some of the top instruments you can buy in this price range.

One last thing to consider is the instrument size. Kids and younger players may not be comfortable playing a full-sized guitar, so it may be useful to browse through our kid’s electric guitars list {} to find a suitable instrument for them.

What Electric Guitar Type is Easiest to Play?

A first-time electric guitar buyer may have some questions on what type of instrument is easier for a beginner to play. Should you buy a solid, semi-hollow, or hollow body guitar?

In our experience, beginners should stick with a solid-body electric guitar. Although we featured a couple of semi-hollow body guitars on our list, they are not ideal for a beginner. Solid-body guitars are easier and more comfortable to play because of their excellent balance of weight and size. Hollow body models are usually larger and lighter, which may present some issues for first time players.

In general, more expensive electric guitars tend to be more playable, which encourages beginners to spend a bit higher if they can afford it. They usually have better craftsmanship, making them more comfortable and easier to play.

How much does a Beginner Electric Guitar Cost?

Well, there isn’t a black or white answer to this question because the cost of the instrument you buy depends largely on your budget. As we mentioned earlier, there are beginner-friendly instruments at all price levels. One person may be comfortable learning to play on a $10,000 instrument while you can also learn to play perfectly on a good $100 guitar.

We believe most beginners don’t have four or five figures to spend on a starter guitar, so it’s a good thing there are so many good budget-friendly electric guitars on the market to choose from. The competition amongst brands to capture the market in this price range is fears, and that has driven the quality of products available to buyers.

We recommend that you buy a budget guitar (under $200) if you are not sure if the instrument is suitable for you. You don’t want to buy an expensive instrument and lose interest after just a few practice plays.

On the other hand, you may want to buy a mid-priced instrument if you aspire to play gigs or record in the studio. These guitars will have better sound quality, feel, craftsmanship, and playability. These are usually well-built guitars you can play well beyond your beginner years.

Beginner vs. Advanced Guitar

The line between a beginner and an advanced guitar is quite blurry because your advanced instrument maybe someone else’s first electric guitar. A first-time guitarist may be perfectly comfortable learning to play on a $5,000 guitar while an experienced guitarist could perform a perfect piece on a $200 starter guitar.

However, some characteristics may make a guitar more suitable for advanced players than a beginner. These characteristics may result in the classification of an instrument as a beginner electric guitar or an advanced axe.

A beginner wants an instrument that is comfortable to hold and easy to play. This means going for a lighter and a thin-body instrument that you don’t have to fight whiles learning to play. A beginner should consider buying a solid body guitar with a simple body that is easy to hold – shapes like a classic Les Paul, Stratocaster, and Telecaster are very comfortable to play.

Advanced players have years of practice, so they are comfortable playing heavier and oddly-shaped instruments like the Flying V.

Advanced players tend to favor an instrument with a variety of pickups {} and plenty of other electronics to do fancy stuff with. A total newbie does not need most of this hardware. An ideal beginner guitar should have simple controls with very few options because you want to focus on learning your chords and not showing off with fancy stuff.

Most advanced guitarists love an instrument with a tremolo bridge because it lets them do some pretty impressive stuff when they play. But you don’t need this as a beginner because you only want to focus on learning to play notes.

A tremolo on a poorly-made guitar can also cause the instrument to lose its tune frequently, which will require a frequent retune. You don’t want to be doing that as a beginner because you want a guitar that can maintain its tune over several practice sessions.

Electric Guitars and Amplifiers

Most electric guitars are designed to produce a decent sound only when connected to an amp. This is because most of them have solid bodies that cannot project sound like acoustic guitars. Try playing them without an amp, and you’ll get a muted sound.

So, do you require an amp as a beginner? The simple answer to this question is no. You can practice on your electric guitar without using an amp. You can still make out the notes and chords you play – just a lot quieter.

However, we recommend that you get an amp when you purchase your first electric guitar. You don’t want to develop the habit of overplaying, which can happen when you practice without an amp and have to play super aggressively to hear yourself clearly. An amp lets you hear all the notes clearly and gives you important feedback that you can’t get with a dry-practice.

A good practice amp {} should do the trick for a beginner.

The Next Steps After Buying Your Beginner-Friendly Electric Guitar

You should always consider buying an amp and connector cable, a case, strap, and some plectrums.

The truth is most beginner electric guitars aren’t set up perfectly right out of the box, so you won’t get the best out of them without a proper setup. You may want to take it to a music store or to an experienced guitarist to have them set it up for you. They might charge you for this, but it will be worth every penny you pay to have a properly tuned guitar with the right action.

The next step is the sign up for some lessons to learn how to play your new guitar. You can join a music class for beginners, hire a private teacher, or sign up for online guitar lessons {}. Taking lessons will help you learn the basics quickly and in a structured way.

Online Guitar Lessons For Beginners

There are many guitar lessons available online today. Everyone from pros to music teachers is creating lessons, and most of them are excellent. Some of them are free, and some require you to pay a monthly fee. There are also tons of free lessons on video sharing sites like YouTube if you need them.

In general, paid online lessons are typically higher in quality and help you learn faster. They are structured and focus lessons for beginners through to advanced studies. You may want to compliment your private tutorship with online classes if you can afford it.

How long does it take to learn a guitar {}? This is a tricky one, and there’s no black or white answer. It is entirely possible to learn the basics in a single day whiles it may take someone weeks to master it.

In the end, no one completely masters the instrument in their lifetime. You’ll always be learning even if you’re an advanced guitarist. However, it should take a few weeks on average to learn how to play the guitar properly as a beginner.

Our Final Thoughts

The market for beginner electric guitars is robust, and hence there are plenty of good starter instruments to pick from. You’ll find an entry-level electric guitar that suits your needs on our chart of the top guitars for beginners. The ten products we’ve highlighted on our list should help you learn the fundamentals and take you past your early years, but don’t be afraid to go for a different option that may suit you better.

We wrote this guide with you in mind and have tried to answer as many of the possible questions you want to ask. We wish you the best with your new adventure and hope to one day listen to something you played on one of our recommended electric guitars.

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