Home Equipment Guitars 10 Best Electric Guitars Under $500 in 2021

10 Best Electric Guitars Under $500 in 2021

Electric guitars are some of the most exciting instruments to play in the world. The excitement is right there in the name: electric. These amazing instruments are capable of rocking an entire stadium with energy and enthusiasm, while also possessing the power to swing emotions with rhythm and blues. Many people in the world want to play the electric guitar to be able to bring such beautiful power into the world, but there’s one big problem standing in the way.

Oftentimes electric guitars are thousands of dollars, which is unfortunate because it stops the potential of having so many more musicians in the industry. Just think about how many more amazing musicians we could have music from if guitars didn’t cost an arm and a leg? Well, thankfully they don’t always nowadays.

Pssst! Don't forget to buy a new case to protect your new electric guitar!

We knew that cost was a huge issue preventing a lot of people from even considering playing the electric guitar, so we made it our mission to find the best electric guitar under 500 dollars. After searching through all the blogs, videos, reviews, and more, we came across several electric guitars that just couldn’t be passed up. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly guitar, or you just really want to get your feet wet in one of the most electrifying music industries in the world, then check out our list below!

View The Best Electric Guitar Under 500 Below

Cheap, not poor - An electric guitar under $500 could still be considered a cheap guitar. It's a step above entry-level, but it's still a far way from being high-end. These days, there are so many options in this price range, and the overall standard is far higher than ever. So, never settle for anything below-par; you have to remember cheap doesn't mean poor quality anymore.

James Nugent


1. Fender Standard Telecaster

Fender Standard Telecaster

Fender is one of the s that produces electric guitars. The Fender Standard Telecaster is a class example of their hard work and dedication to creating some of the finest guitars on the planet.

The Kit

Finding a kit included with an electric guitar is like finding an Easter egg, you have to grab it! This kit comes with a guitar stand, some picks, straps, a capo, and more. Getting the most out of a kit will save you tons of money in the long run.


There’s a wide variety of different colors and designs that you can choose from with the Fender Standard Telecaster. With such a large selection of designs such as ‘sunburst’ and ‘tidepool’, you’ll never run out of creativity. They even make special models for left-handed people.

+ The kit that comes with the Fender Standard Telecaster has enough items to complete your set and get you started on your musical journey.
+ You’ll feel very unique with so many different color and design options to choose from.
+ Fender is one of the most (if not the #1) well-known brands that produces amazing work with every electric guitar that they produce.

Why We Liked It - We like this Fender Standard Telecaster so much because it’s hard to find such a good make and model that comes with a great kit at such a low price.

2. Squier by Fender Vintage Modified '72 Thinline Telecaster

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified '72 Thinline Telecaster

Another great Fender electric guitar is the Squier by Fender Vintage Modified '72 Thinline Telecaster. This model is perfect for anyone who loves to bend the strings for a wave effect and provides a few other unique twists.

Wide Fret

Having a wide fret is especially important on electric guitars because each individual string is very distinguished from the next. If you mess up and hit the wrong strings, it’s noticeable, which is why wider frets make it easier to transition without any errors.

Ash Wood

This Fender electric guitar is made out of ash wood, which is a fairly popular wood choice in the electric guitar industry because it provides a higher level of durability that’s needed to keep the guitar from breaking or getting damaged when in transport.

+ The wide fretboard on this Fender guitar is great for making chord transitions much smoother and easier to navigate.
+ Ash wood is used in the construction of this guitar, which helps protect it from damage.
+ A wide variety of colors and designs are offered with this guitar to give you a unique feel.

Why We Liked It - We like the Squier by Fender Vintage Modified '72 Thinline Telecaster so much because it brings a beautiful twist to an otherwise classic design. Not many guitars can be so classic yet very modern in appearance.

3. Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body

The Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar is definitely one of the best electric guitars under 500, maybe even one of the best guitars period. It provides an incredibly rich, bold sound which is nearly unheard of in guitars in its price range.

Beautiful Artwork

The Ibanez 6 String electric guitar has some of the most beautiful artwork that we’ve ever seen on an electric guitar. Many other brands and models skip over the artwork on the guitar, which is a shame because it’s such an important part of the music and the ‘look’ of the musician.

Poplar Wood

The choice of wood is very important in any electric guitar since it affects durability and the sound output. Poplar wood is used to not only make this one of the most durable electric guitars around, but it also helps deaden any extra white noise and only shows the pure strums that you choose.

+ The amazingly unparalleled artwork on the Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar is incredibly stunning. You can tell immediately that it was a focal point of the manufacturer.
+ Poplar wood is some of the most dense and least fragile wood on the planet.
+ Ibanez is very well-known for encouraging new musicians to give electric guitars a shot.

Why We Liked It - When searching for the best electric guitars under 500 dollars, we immediately noticed how well the Ibanez 6 String electric guitar stood out. The beautiful artwork is impossible to miss!

Learning Vs Performing - Some guitars are better suited to different players and different situations. Because you are a step above the entry-level price, you might not consider yourself a beginner anymore. In which case, you might want a more specialized guitar for a certain type of performance. On the other hand, if you aren't as confident yet, you might want a guitar more suited to learners that will help you develop faster.

James Nugent


4. Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster

Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster

The Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster is unique among all other electric guitars in the sense that it looks like a throwback. It’s in the name, but it looks like it’s from the ’50s. The ’50s were an amazing time for Rock n’ Roll history!


This electric guitar comes with all kinds of different designs and colors like Metallic Green and Vintage Blonde. The cool thing about all of these different colors is that they maintain their unique appearance while also looking a '50s electric guitar.

Wide Fretboard

A wide fretboard on an electric guitar is very important because it makes it much easier for you to transition between chords and strings. The Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster has an extra-wide fretboard to make your strumming much more fluid.

+ The 50’s vibes of this guitar make it stand out among the rest of the crowd.
+ The wide variety of colors while maintaining a unique persona is very impressive.
+ The wide fretboard on this guitar helps you with transitioning chords and strings.

Why We Liked It - We loved the Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster because it brings back the classic look of electric guitars from a time when Rock n’ Roll was thriving above all.

5. Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II

Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II

Les Paul guitars are some of the most widely-recognizable and loved guitars in the world. They bring about an exciting and electrifying feeling that most other guitars simply don’t possess. Luckily, this one is super affordable compared to many other Les Paul’s!

Tapered Headstock

A tapered headstock is important for a guitar because it keeps the strings from coming loose and causing fret buzz. It also prevents strings from randomly going out of tune, which can potentially ruin a performance.


Mahogany is easily one of the best, if not the top, of woods to choose for any and all guitars. While mahogany is naturally very durable, it also allows sound to navigate through it with beautiful rich, vibrant tones.

+ The tapered headstock on this electric guitar keeps your strings in tune without fret buzz.
+ Mahogany is an excellent choice of wood for this visually appealing Les Paul.
+ The vintage appearance of this guitar is sure to fuel your jamming sessions!

Why We Liked It - This guitar is not only incredibly visually stunning, but it also produces an amazingly warm and rich voice thanks to the mahogany body.

6. Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster

Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster

Another fantastic option for an electric guitar under 500 is the Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster. This guitar is unique in many ways, mainly because it’s so simple and doesn’t have too many additions to confuse beginner guitar players.

Made for the Beginner

If you’re just starting out playing the electric guitar, this might be the perfect option for you. This guitar doesn’t contain all the extra fancy bells and whistles of the more advanced guitars. It also has wide frets and a simple design to keep you from getting over your head.

Variety of Colors

We’ve always believed that the design of an electric guitar is a huge part of the performance and the musician. It’s almost like the guitar’s tattoo in the sense that it shows it’s life and ‘who’ or ‘what’ it is. It helps guide the performance as the music plays along.

+ Made specifically for beginners to get used to training and learning on an electric guitar.
+ A wide variety of colors and designs are offered to give you a customized feeling.
+ Made by Fender, an incredibly reputable and loved brand in the industry.

Why We Liked It - It’s rare to find an electric guitar that is made specifically for beginners. The company even boasts that it’s one of the best guitars to start learning if you want to be a professional musician.

Made in the US/UK - When buying a guitar, people often get caught up in the country of origin and what factory produced it. That stuff matters when you are talking about real collectibles instruments, but it's not the same at this price range. You might get far more value for money spending $500 on a guitar made in China/Japan than you will going for something from the US/UK.

James Nugent


Electric Guitar Under 500 Buyer’s Guide

Finding the best electric guitar under 500 dollars can be a bit frustrating because while there’s a lot of talent and well-crafted guitars, there’s also a lot of cheap, fragile ones. Some brands make models to cater specifically to budget-friendly musicians who don’t want to fork out thousands of dollars. Others like to make cheaper electric guitars that aren’t even worth the low prices that they’re charging.

While we’ve narrowed down your search to only six electric guitars, you probably still have a lot of questions. We wanted to make it easier on you so that you can find the perfect match for your musical career, so we made a buyer’s guide to help you along.

What to look for in an Electric Guitar under $500?

When you’re choosing a guitar under $500, there are all kinds of things you need to look out for. For starters, you should first realize that a lot of the models that you see will portray themselves as amazing works of art, but they’re actually not good at all. Make sure you always look at the reviews for any guitar you buy, especially the budget-friendly ones. Companies like to cut corners, which is great for the money, but horrible for longevity.

The next thing you should look out for is the design. If you read through all of the descriptions above, you’ll notice how important the design and color is for your electric guitar. It’s a huge part of the performance, and it sets the mood before you even start strumming. The appearance of an electric guitar is a great way to boost your crowd’s energy or to bring them down to a slow Blues vibe.

Another thing you should always look out for is the wood that makes up the guitar. The choice of wood makes a huge difference in how the audio plays through, so make sure you do your research and figure out which wood makes the sounds that you’d prefer.

What is the best electric guitar under $500 for live performances?

The Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster is definitely the best electric guitar under $00 for live performances because the visual alone sets the tone before the first strum. It hooks up easily, and you can navigate and direct the strings like nothing else. It also produces a rich, soothing output to bring your crowd’s attention to the rhythm that you’re looking for.

Fender always makes some of the best electric guitars for live performances, because that’s what they were made for. Anyone who knows the slightest thing about electric guitar brands will tell you that Fender is one of the best of the best in not only electric guitar producing, but musical instruments in general.

Which is the best value electric guitar under 500 dollars?

The Fender Standard Telecaster would have to be the best value electric guitar under 500 dollars for two reasons.

1) It’s a Fender, which again is one of the best brands to make guitars. It’s amazing to be able to buy such a low-cost guitar that you know is going to produce beautiful quality music without breaking down within a year or two.

2) It includes a kit, which is where the value part really comes into play. The kit includes a capo, a guitar stand, some straps, picks, and much more. As far as getting the best bang for your buck, the Fender Standard Telecaster definitely takes the cake. Having to buy everything separately costs way too much money compared to getting a kit!

If you've enjoyed this review by Music Critic, please leave a positive rating:

  • 2.4/5
  • 27 ratings
27 ratingsX
Very bad!BadHmmmOkeGood!

Music Critic Staff Reviews

Music Critic Staff Reviews

A look back at almost 20 years of reviews by the staff, contributing authors and friends of Music Critic. You just can't beat the classics.