As a beginner, choosing your first electrical guitar is easy but selecting the right one for your needs can be hard. The market is filled with a various amount of electrical guitars which can puzzle beginners. So don’t worry as we have got you covered.
As a beginner, one may wish to invest in a few extra accessories such as a Metronome. This will help you to learn to keep in time with other players if playing in a band.
There are two types of electrical guitar. A solid body and an acoustic electric guitar (click here for our review). These are the two main sets of electrical guitars which are further divided into various roots. Here is our pick of top 10 electric guitars for beginners (in order).
Epiphone is one of the pioneers when talking about the production of musical instruments. In the year 1928, the company produced its first guitars. It was acquired by CMI in the year 1957, CMI also owned Gibson another guitar giant. Now when you have Gibson and Epiphone under one brand name there is no point in doubting the quality of the product.
The Epiphone SG-Special Beginner Guitar is also one of a kind product. It is very important for any music or instrument learner to start with an instrument that has everything on offer for him or her in order to make him learn in a perfect manner.
When talking about the quality of the sound, it is just picture perfect. The looks of the guitar are just what a rock star dreams about. The Epiphone SG-Special Beginner Electric Guitar with its Mahogany finish makes it sound just perfect. The guitar stays in tune for months, and for a beginner, it is just a revelation.
Pros: + The sound quality of the Epiphone SG-Special Beginner Electric Guitar is unmatched.
+ This guitar is a pretty lightweight which makes it easy to handle by the beginners.
+ Amazing price for the quality.
Why We Liked It - The looks combined with the quality of the sound and then the price at which the Epiphone SG-Special Beginner Electric Guitar is available just makes it the best choice for any beginner. See more budget-friendly electric guitars here.
Guitar Strings - If you're finding it difficult to nail down the basics on your electric guitar, don't get discouraged. The metal strings can be harsh on novice fingertips, so it may be worth practicing on a nylon guitar first if you have access to one. Regardless, know that in time you'll automatically build up the finger strength needed to play your new electrical guitar without issue.
2. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar for Beginners - (Best Value)
Yamaha is famous around the world for its incredible, quality, instruments. Its electric guitars are no exception. The Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar, Old Violin Sunburst is another example of Yamaha's on point production. This guitar has a solid alder body, a maple bolt neck, rosewood fingerboard, and a five-position switch with coil tap. Plus there's the tremolo - a vintage tremolo with block saddles.
Pros: + Amazing value for money.
+ Has that world-class Yamaha sound quality.
Why We Liked It - As a beginner, the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar; Old Violin Sunburst is a fantastic first electric guitar; even seasoned pros would love to have this guitar in their studios.
3. Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe - (Great All-rounder)
Fender is a guitar pioneer. Its history of making quality guitars stretches back decades. The Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is another classic by Fender. This guitar offers both sweet and aggressive tones thanks to its two MP-90 pickups. With its 9.5-inch radius, this guitar is incredibly comfortable to play. There are 22 medium-sized frets and a six-saddle hard-tail bridge. This guitar is easy to tune and stays in tune.
Pros: + The Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is easy to play because of its 9.5-inch radius.
+ Incredibly affordable, which is perfect for a beginner.
+ Fantastic sound quality.
Why We Liked It - All in all this Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe is an excellent choice if you're looking to pick up your first electric guitar.
Guitar weight - If you're just starting out, look for a guitar with a lightweight build. This will make the learning process much easier and also makes it a breeze to take your guitar from one location to another. Alternatively or additionally, you might want to look into getting a strap for your electric guitar for added comfort.
4. Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Starter Electric Guitar
A Japanese company which is renowned for its amazing guitars, Ibanez is a great brand for beginners. Since the Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Starter Electric Guitar has a maple neck, mahogany body, and a rosewood fretboard. Together, these give this guitar a great sound. The Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Starter Electric Guitar is a pretty fine looking guitar with amazing sound to boot.
Pros: + The Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Starter Electric Guitar is easy to play because of its neck shape.
+ The aesthetics of this guitar add to its overall value.
+ It's a standout performer in its price range.
This is another classic in Fender's guitar roster. The Squier by Fender, Vintage Modified '51 is another example of how phenomenal Fender is as a company. This guitar is capable of producing versatile tones because of the SH pickup configuration and rotary pickup selector. The neck of this guitar is C-shaped which makes string bending easy as you like. This guitar has a strat body shape which adds to its cool, classic look.
Pros: + World-class sound quality courtesy of the geniuses at Fender.
+ A great value for money.
Why We Liked It - As far as beginner electric guitars go, you'd have a hard time finding something better than the Squier by Fender Vintage Modified '51.
The Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar is another renowned guitar by the Epiphone Company. This guitar comes with 700T Humbucker pickups and the fretboard of the guitar is made out of rosewood. It has separate tone and volume controls to make it more user-friendly. The body of the Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar is made from mahogany but has a maple top. It's thanks to the mahogany body that this guitar produces such a great sound. For a beginner, this instrument is a must-have.
The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster Electric Guitar is another example of Fender's high quality standards. Add even more vibe with a modern uni-vibe pedal.
This guitar has an alder body and a gloss polyester finish. The neck is C-shaped with a fingerboard made out of rosewood. There are separate controls for the master volume and master tone and a three position pickup selector switch.
Pros: + Has a very high-quality polyester sunburst finish.
+ Amazing sound quality compared to other guitars at this price point.
+ Available at a low price.
Why We Liked It - There are absolutely no flaws in the Squier by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster Electric Guitar, making it a solid choice for any beginner.
Just starting your electric guitar journey? The Epiphone Les Paul Beginners Electric Guitar is specially designed to cater to the needs of beginner guitarists. With the Epiphone named attached to this instrument, you know you're getting top quality. The Epiphone Les Paul Beginners Electric Guitar comes with Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups which give a lot of warmth to this guitar's sound. The neck and body are made of mahogany which gives the best sound quality. The slim design makes for fast learning.
Pros: + The sound quality is far better than most similar guitars on the market.
+ The price range is phenomenal.
Why We Liked It - With an amazing, warm sound, great price, and some serious aesthetic appeal, this Epiphone is the perfect first electric guitar for a beginner.
The Jackson JS32T King is a fine example of Jackson's craftsmanship. This guitar has a poplar body with a gloss finish. The fretboard is made out of rosewood, giving the guitar unparalleled sound quality. The neck of the guitar is a bolt-on maple speed neck. There is a master tone and volume control as well.
Pros: + Easy to play compared to other metal guitars.
+ Has incredible sound quality.
+ Available at an affordable price.
Why We Liked It - The Jackson JS32T King V Beginners Metal Guitar is a must if you're learning to play a metal guitar.
ESP LTD is a big name when it comes to the production of electric guitars and has been making quality instruments for over 40 years. The ESP LTD EC-256 Intermediate Electric Guitar is just another example of the genius of ESP LTD. The body of the guitar is mahogany and the neck and fretboard are made out of rosewood. There is also a TOM bridge and a tailpiece attached to this guitar. The pickups of this guitar are the ESP designed LH-150 set. It comes in two color options, black and metallic gold.
Pros: + The sound quality is fantastic.
+ Well-made, great looking instrument.
+ Has ESP designed pickups.
Why We Liked It - The ESP LTD EC-256 Intermediate Electric Guitar is an unbeatable choice for any beginner guitarist.
Technique - When you're first learning guitar, don't forget to adequately stretch out your hands and wrists. Unfortunately, many guitar players end up developing painful carpal tunnel syndrome from improper practice early on in their instrument journey. If you don't have access to a guitar teacher, scour the internet for videos of proper electric guitar technique to keep yourself safe.
Beginners Buyers Guide
We have carefully devised a detailed buying guide for our readers, which will help you understand the different types of electric guitars for beginners and which one is best suited for your needs.
Solid Body Electric Guitars
As the title suggests, solid body electric guitars don't have a chamber or hole the way that an acoustic guitar does; instead, they're made of solid wood. These are the most common type of guitars that you’ll find in shops or online stores. They're perfect for a wide range of musical situations. These guitars rely on the wood quality and their components to output sound. Below we’ll highlight four famous types of solid body guitars.
The Fender Stratocaster features cutaway horns that give musicians access to higher frets. The back of the body is designed for comfort for longer performances. These guitars have three single coil pickups which transfer the string vibrations to the amplifier. They can all be turned on at once to produce a wide range of sounds. It also features a tremolo bar which allows you to lower or raise the pitch, much like tremolo pedals themselves, by pulling up or down on the bar to produce different effects. Stratocasters are the best option if you like to dabble in different playing styles and music genres.
Telecasters are another guitar in Fender's lineup which includes a single cutaway to get at those higher frets. These guitars feature two single coil pickups which can be used separately or with each other for producing large-scale sounds. Telecasters are well-known for producing a thin, biting sound which is common in country music, but nowadays they are popular amongst indie musicians as well. These aren't the ideal guitars for heavy metal or rock music. If you want to concentrate on country or indie music, a Telecaster can do the job for you.
Les Pauls are all about that heavy metal feel and heavyweight. When they were first introduced, they had two p-90 single coil pickups. Today, they use double humbucker pickups for outputting a thick, sustainable sound. Like Tele and Stratocasters, they have a single cutaway shape. Heavy rock musicians love Les Pauls. Fender offers an affordable range of Les Paul electric guitars compared to Gibson, but Epiphone by Gibson is a hot item for the beginners.
Play heavy rock or metal music? Listen up! These guitars feature a twin horn cutaway shape and a long-neck design. They are lightweight compared to the Les Paul, but can be difficult to get used to. They can feel unbalanced because of the long neck. They have two humbucker pickups like Les Paul guitars but have different volume and tone controls for precise settings.
Semi-Acoustic Electric Guitars
Semi-acoustic guitars have hollow bodies which give them a warmer and more dynamic range of sounds. They are vulnerable to unwanted feedback as the distorted sound increases the chances of feedback. That’s why we don’t see rock and metal musicians playing a semi-acoustic guitar. Many guitars have solid blocks inside for decreasing the feedback factor. Check out our list of semi-acoustic electric guitars here.
No compromise here when it comes to looks and quality. 335s are ideal for electric blue and fusion musicians. These guitars are made up of a hybrid hollow and solid body. They also feature a solid block inside them for cutting off feedback and unleashing the full potential of your creativity.
If you are into old-fashioned music and want to produce the same sound quality as your favorite old school tracks, the Rickenbacker 330s are known for their jangly, bright sound. These guitars are perfect for achieving that '60s band style.
Archtop guitars are hollow-bodied guitars which were once played as acoustics but can now be hooked up to an amp for that electric sound. They are known for producing thick and less sustained sound and are popular among jazz musicians.
They are designed like old-fashioned violins. The back and tops are arched and are carved out of one piece of wood. One of the most widely used archtops is the Gibson ES-175, which comes with two humbucker pickups. It produces thick, dark sound. With its sleek design, the neck allows for fast chord playing as well.
If you want to play acoustically and get going with the amplification in concerts than archtops are the way to go. If you're just starting out, check out our list of the best ukes on the market. Ukuleles are easier for beginners to pick up, and are a great starting point.
Now without further ado, here are our top three guitars for beginners.
Our Top Pick for Beginners
The SG Special by Epiphone is our hands down top pick. As you'll know by know, Epiphone is one of the best guitars manufactures in the business – so the quality of this guitar is absolutely amazing. Its epic red devilish double-cutaway design gives easy access to all 22 frets. It has a hard maple neck and a slim taper D-profile which ensures durability and rigidity. The fretboard is made of rosewood which makes it easy to learn to play. This guitar is all about that rock sound - it's equipped with two open-coil and noise-free humbucker pickups. The hardware is carved from nickel and is available in two dazzling finishes, cherry, and ebony.
This guitar also features Epiphone’s patented Locktone Tune-O-Matic Bridge and stop bar tailpiece for serving the easiest string changes and increased sustain. It comes with master volume and master tone controls along with the long-lasting 3-way pickup selector for a bold and controllable performance. The most exclusive feature added by Epiphone is that by pushing a button you can mute all the outputs to add more rock and roll to your performance.
Looking to Spend a Little More? Here's Our Premium Choice
Yamaha guitars have a good reputation over the years. The company is known for serving the best electronic guitars over a decade and are known for great tone and outstanding quality.
PAC 112v by Yamaha is another sensational guitar which has topped our premium choice leaderboards.
On the front, this guitar serves a maple neck which is coated by thin satin finish and has a C design that feels thinner for beginners and easy to handle. Addressing more towards the neck, it’s stable and really solid with a minimal amount of whip. This guitar features an alder solid body.
Vibrato design is slightly changed and enhanced with the addition of block saddles for adding a fair amount of firmness to the tone. Likewise, they also give a precise breakpoint for the strings. Talking about pickups, pac 112v is equipped with a 5-way blade pickup selector. Similarly, master tone and volume controls are also provided for the neatest output.
This guitar is available in 7 finishes, natural satin, old violin sunburst, raspberry red, sonic blue, black and silver metal.
Like Epiphone, Yamaha is one of the top guitar brands around. The PAC 112v by Yamaha is another sensational guitar from this excellent company and is easily our number one choice for a premium guitar.
This guitar has a maple neck which is coated with a thin satin finish and has a C-design which is easy for beginners to handle. It features an alder solid body. The vibrato design is enhanced with the addition of block saddles for adding firmness to the tone. They also give a precise breakpoint for the strings. Speaking of pickups, the PAC 112v is equipped with a 5-way blade pickup selector. There are master tone and volume controls for the neatest output. This guitar is available in seven finishes, natural satin, old violin sunburst, raspberry red, sonic blue, black, and silver metal.
Great Value for the Money
Our great value for money choice is the modern player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe by Fender. This guitar features a single cutaway design that helps beginners to access all 22 frets without any hassle. The body is made of mahogany.
This guitar features two MP-90 pickups that can be switched on at the same time to produce sweet yet aggressive sounds. This guitar is mainly used to play country and indie music. This guitar has a radius of 9.5’’ and 22 medium jumbo frets for comfort and speed of play. It has a six saddle hard-tail bridge that allows precise settings and ease of adjusting string heights. The fingerboard is maple finished which makes for fast play. This guitar features three finishes sunburst, black transparent and vintage white.
Things to Consider
While buying your new or first ever guitar, you should know about the building blocks that makes up your guitar. Every component plays its own role. All the components work together to produce sound. So before buying a new guitar, get familiar with the parts of a guitar.
The head is the wood at the end of the neck that holds down the tuners. Consider the size and shape of the guitar as the head holds down the tuner which affects the notes due to the way the neck vibrates.
As mentioned above the tuners are located on the head of the guitar. They are placed according to the shape and size of the head. They are arranged with either three or six on each side. Similarly, good quality made tuners output precise notes.
They are usually in Fender Stratocaster guitars. They keep your strings at an angle to pressurize the nut so that your strings don’t pop out when you're practicing.
Truss adjusters adjust the curve of the neck for keeping the strings aligned and to adjust the height of the strings.
The nut is a little piece of plastic that has slots in it to hold each string individually. The nut keeps the strings aligned and supports the strings at the end of the head. The nut sets the spacing of each string and holds the string at a proper height.
The neck is a long piece of wood that connects the head and the body and holds down the fretboard, frets, nut, and tuners.
Frets are the horizontal metal strips on the fingerboard that divide the neck into fixed segments. Each segment represents one semitone. Basically, when strings are pressed against the frets it reduces the vibrating length of the string to the bridge and the next fret.
There are three types of frets. Fan frets give the lower-pitched strings more length and the higher strings shorter length. Scalloped frets allow a lighter touch for precise finger movements with easy bending and vibration. Fat frets were used in old guitars; they are made out of thin or thick wire for easier bending.
Fret markers are the white or colored dots on the fretboard. They are indicators that help you figure out which position you are on.
The fretboard or the fingerboard is a long strip of wood or any other material which is laminated to the front of the neck. The strings run over the board between the nut and the bridge. Hardwoods like rosewood or maple are commonly used.
Strings produce sound in the guitar. In electric guitars, because there are no holes, the vibration is passed to a pickup which senses the vibration of the strings passes the signal on to the guitar amplifier. There are two types of strings for electric guitars, light and heavy gauge. Lighter ones are easier to play and allow easy bending of notes, but they are more likely to break and produce less volume. On the other side, heavier ones produce high volume but are hard to play and require more finger pressure to bend notes.
Electric guitars have a solid body and they transmit the vibrations to the amplifier with the aid of pickups which sense the strings' vibrations. Some electric guitars have semi-hollow bodies (click for our full guide into this) for a low volume situation like solo performances.
The pickguard protects the guitar’s finish from scratches.
This is the main component that separates acoustic guitars from electric guitars. A pickup senses the vibration from a string, transfers it to the guitar amplifier which then transfers it to the loudspeaker. There are many pickups but we’ll cover the four basic ones. The single coil pickup has a single coil of wire with two horseshoe-shaped magnets. They produce a bright, cutting sound and are quite noisy.
The P90 pickup is a single coil pickup with one wide coil that increases the surface area of the strings, producing a bigger yet less bright sound. Humbucker pickups were designed with twin coils. They produce richer, warmer, more powerful sounds but roll back some higher frequency sound. Active-passive pickups use a battery-powered circuit to produce a powerful yet balanced tone across a range of frequencies. It outputs a balanced, clean tone.
Many electric guitars often feature more than one pickups for different outputs. A pickup selector switches pickups on or off.
Volume and Tone Controls
These parts turn the volume up and down and change the amount of treble.
A bridge is a device that supports the strings and transmits the vibration to another component of the guitar. In an electric guitar, there are two types of bridges. Vibrato bridges have an arm that extends from beneath the string which acts as a lever. The player can push or pull it to change the tension and pitch.
The more contact the bridge has with the body, the better the sound will be transferred into the body. On the other hand, we have non-vibrato bridges which provide an anchoring point but have no control over pitch or tension of strings. Both bridges have their own pros and cons but non-vibrato bridges provide better tuning stability and solid contact between the body and the strings.
Strap button keeps your guitar strap hooked up. The best kind of strap button is a locking strap button. It keeps your strap locked at the same place securely.Before buying a new guitar or switching to another one, consider these factors to make sure you get your hands on the best instrument for your needs, level, and style!
Are Electric Guitars Good for Beginners?
Starting to learn on an electric guitar can be much easier as compared to an acoustic guitar. Electric guitars chords are easier to hold down as the width of the neck is shorter. The strings on the electric guitars are softer than those of acoustic guitars, which is easier on your fingertips if you're just starting out. They can be slightly more expensive than acoustic guitars, especially because other gear is needed to support your playing (i.e. amps, cables, and so on). It's all a matter of personal preference, but here are some of our top choices.
The Les Paul 100 by Epiphone is an entry-level electronic guitar. The body is made of mahogany which is known for a warm/balanced sound with a good sustain. The rosewood fretboard enhances the sounds and sustains. A C-shaped neck provides the beginner with incredible comfort. Finally, this guitar features two humbucker pickups for clean and great sound.
The Squier Deluxe Stratocaster by Fender is another excellent electronic guitar for newbies. The body is made up of basswood which is a soft, light wood with some of the best mid and upper-frequency production. A maple neck and fretboard further assists the mid and high range frequency sound. Its C-shaped neck guarantees the best comfort. This guitar features three single coil pickups. One is assigned for master volume control, one tone control for the neck pickup and one tone control for medium pickup. The five-way switch lets you combine these three pickups and produce the widest range of sounds ever!
Is an Electric Guitar Easier to Learn Than Acoustic?
Again, it's a matter of personal preference and style. Many people prefer to learn on acoustic guitars, but the strings are much tougher which causes fatigue to learning fingertips. The strings produce a buzzing effect as they are hard. Harder strings mean that learning fingers will find it hard to play bar chords. On the other hand, electric guitars offer comfort while holding down chords as the width of the neck is shorter than that of an acoustic guitar.
The strings on an electric guitar are softer which makes means you can practice longer without your fingers getting sore. The habit of playing with light strings from the beginning can trouble in near future as acoustic guitars are also needed in various music production situations. And don't forget, you'll need to pick up an amp and so on to play your electric guitar.
On the whole electric guitars are easier to learn on but if you have a bit of experience playing on an acoustic, mastering the electric guitar is child's play.
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