Buying the first guitar has always been a wonderful experience for youth guitar junkies. You are about to open a range of possibilities. However, it could be depressing if you start the journey with a guitar that sounds bad or gets broken.
You have made a bold decision by planning to buy an electric guitar. Congratulations on that. The sound an electric guitar makes can energize anyone. If you’re thinking of boosting your potential, you deserve to get the best starter electric guitar.
These days, beginner electric guitars are quite poor in terms of quality, range, and performance. Sadly, there are countless options for these kinds of guitars in the market. It could be difficult for anyone to find the best one, especially the youth.
That’s the reason we’ve put together a guide on the best electric guitars for the beginner. Whether you want to be the next Joe Strummer or Jimi Hendrix, these guitars will complement your dream.
So, let’s dive in and see we have got you covered.
How Much Should I Spend On My First Electric Guitar?
If you are just starting, possibly you know how much to spend on your first electric guitar. It is wise to keep your budget low on your beginner electric guitar. The budget matters until you are not skilled enough.
But, in most cases, low price means cheaper wood, low-quality electronics, and hardware. The overall quality of that low-cost electric guitar is okay instead of fantastic. You are not supposed to end up with those models.
So what price ranges are appropriate for the beginner electric guitars? Well, the suitable price range for beginner electric guitars is between $200 and $500. Anything below this range is mostly garbage.
Our top picks..
Have a quick glimpse of our top picks from the below chart. This chart will help you to get an overview of the key features of the best starter electric guitar.
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Precision Bass PJ Beginner Pack
Best Choice Products 39in Full Size Beginner Electric Guitar
Best Electric Guitars for Beginners Reviews of 2020
Anyone who is about to start their musical journey can get thousands of suggestions from the internet and friends. We know it does nothing but make a rising guitarist confused.
That’s why; we’ve done comprehensive research to find the best options in the market. We have assembled a list to give you a head start. They will undoubtedly serve you well for years to come. So, let’s get straight into it without further ado.
Starting the list with the best overall electric guitar from the famous brand, ZENY. The ZENY full-size electric guitar package is an excellent deal for beginners. It’s a right-handed electric guitar that comes good to go out of the box.
Let’s catch a glimpse of the features it offers.
Body and Neck
At first glance, you’ll like this black beauty. It features a full solid wood construction along with a smooth finish. The wooden body is great to contribute warmth to the tone. Besides, the solid wood construction provides the robustness needed to last for years with minimal maintenance.
Then, it has a maple wood neck that is supported by a fully adjustable truss rod. The neck is bolted onto the guitar body. The guitar includes a rosewood fretboard. Moreover, the neck has 21 frets along with 25.59” steel strings. All these features make it the best overall option for beginners.
Now jump to the main section! The ZENY 39″ electric guitar features three single-coil pickups. It offers a somewhat less aggressive tone. Well, it’s a plus point for beginners as they can quickly learn how to master it. Also, there are adjustable bridge systems in between volume and tone knobs.
With three different single-coil pickups, it offers a smooth tone. You can play anything between rock and roll and blues. The tonal flexibility is commendable.
Fender has been serving the guitar community for 74 years. It’s a huge time! Still, they are continuously developing their product based on customer requirements. Affinity Telecaster is the real proof.
The Best Choice Products electric guitar is the best budget option for both starters and professionals. As the name suggests, this full-size guitar is the ultimate choice for guitarists of all levels.
Find out why!
Body and Neck
This starter guitar comes with a standard hardwood body. It features a shiny finish and a solid top with elegant arches. The guitar is shaped in a way that you can get control while standing or sitting.
Then, its Maplewood neck comes straight right out of the box. The neck is perfectly straight without any twist. So, it is going to withstand any abuse by kids. Moreover, the guitar is made with a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets. It lets you play comfortably.
The guitar features single-coil pickups that deliver an even tone. It is ideal for playing rock and roll and even the blues. Then, it has a pickup selector switch, volume knob, and two different tone knobs. A tremolo bar allows creating unique sounds.
The guitar produces natural and bright sound. It complements the warm sounds coming from its solid wood body. The player can adopt a range of music styles.
The LyxPro comes with a robust solid wood body along with a Canadian maple neck. It features a sleek finish. Along with a classic shape and curved body, it allows reaching the frets and strings comfortably.
Moreover, its black and white color scheme gives a great feeling when you play in the crowd. The guitar is crafted with a premium rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned player, the guitar will serve you well.
Let’s move on to the hardware; the guitar includes three single coil pickups. These pickups located at the neck, middle, and bridge positions. Also, they are attached to a master volume control, tone control knob, and pickup selector switch.
Then, a one-way tremolo bar keeps the intonation stable when you play. You can also experiment with the sound with the tremolo bar. The LyxPro guitar features six nickel-plated strings that are wire coated with American hexagonal core wire.
As mentioned, there is a master volume control knob and a master tone control knob. You can customize the sound with these control knobs. The guitar allows the starter to play their preferred music style.
All the kids over here; be ready to rock. The Best Choice Products electric guitar starter kit has everything the little rock-stars need to play in style. Not just in name, it is currently the best under 100 electric guitar in the market.
Let’s take a gander at what this budget category has to offer.
Body and Neck
The guitar is complimented with an all-wood construction. Its slim solid body has a glossy finish that attracts the younger players. Also, the guitar lasts for countless jamming sessions. This 30-inch electric guitar is neither lightweight nor not too heavy.
It makes a perfect balance on the small hands. Moreover, the guitar has an s-type, bolt-in neck. It can stand up a lot of abuse by kids. The design features a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets. These frets are specially designed for smooth and mellow playing.
This classic wooden construction includes steel strings. Besides, it has three single coil pickups that provide perfect smooth tones. You can play different music styles, including rock and roll and blues.
There are three volume and control knobs along with a 3-way selector switch. It gives you the options for sound shaping.
The sound it provides is absolutely phenomenal. Your little one can develop their musical skills by adjusting the control knobs. Also, it includes a 5W amp to boost the sound.
The Stratocaster has been the first choice among young guitarist for years. It is a classic addition by Fender. The classic design and easy playability of bullet Stratocaster make it the best starter electric guitar for kids.
It is worth exploring for anyone who is starting out. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Body and Neck
There is something about the bullet Stratocaster that’s very exciting. The overall design is appealing with a solid poplar body and glossy finish. It promises the durability needed in a beginner guitar.
Moreover, all these sit on a comfortable C-shaped neck profile. It gives the user a vintage-style playing feel. Also, the neck has a satin finish, and it is absolutely convenient for all playing styles.
The guitar is equipped with a full-sounding humbucking pickup in the bridge position. It contributes to fat and warm tone with a balanced sound. Then, it has two single-coil pickups in the middle and neck position.
However, the guitar has opted for a six-saddle hardtail bridge instead of a classic tremolo bridge. It ensures exceptional tuning stability and sustains. Also, there are a few controls like volume, tone, and a five-way pickup selector switch. All these controls open the way for more tonal possibilities.
You can expect a rich vintage tone from the Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster. The humbucker is a better fit for heavier rock and metal. Also, it is perfect for surf-rock and similar genres.
Fender is always one step ahead in bringing variation and innovation. This time Fender comes with the best starter electric guitar kit for first-time players. The PJ beginner pack includes all the bits and pieces needed to get started with your journey.
Read on to find what it offers.
Body and Neck
The Affinity series precision bass is sleek and shiny. It is available in a poplar body with a glossy black finish. The guitar body is lightweight and robust enough to withstand severe use.
Then, the guitar has a sleek C-shaped neck profile. The neck features a satin finish that makes it very comfortable. Like other Fender starter guitars, it features Laurel fingerboard with 22 frets. The overall craftsmanship is truly admirable.
The guitar is crafted with a powerful split single-coil P bass and a growling J bass. However, the P bass located in the middle and the J bass situated at the bridge position. Both pickups offer a range of tonal versatility. Then, its 4-saddle vintage-style bridge contributes to overall tuning stability and sustain.
As mentioned, the guitar offers tonal versatility with unique P-bass and J-bass pickups. The split P-bass offers a punchy one, while the J-bass delivers a classic tone. Its guttural midrange and singing high-end make the guitar an excellent sounding option.
Getting a Les Paul is a dream for many guitarists. If you are fond of Gibson Les Paul but cannot afford it, you should opt for Epiphone Les Paul. It gives you the same feeling and performance at an affordable price.
The Epiphone Les Paul is the best starter electric guitar for ten years old. Let’s find out why!
Body and Neck
Among the two iconic guitar-body shapes in the guitar world, Les Paul is the popular one. The Epiphone Les Paul comes with a solid Alder body. It has the same appearance as its Gibson counterparts. The design of the guitar is hard to beat.
The guitar body is complemented with a hard maple neck. On top of the neck, it has a Granadillo fingerboard. Besides, the fingerboard includes typical Pearloid “dot” inlays along with oversized frets. All in all, you’ll find it comfortable to play after you start playing it.
The hardware on Epiphone Les Paul looks solid but feels comfortable. It features an open coil 650SCR single coil pickup in the neck position. Then, there is a 700SCR single coil pickup in the bridge position.
You can control both pickups with a master volume knob and master tone control knob. Also, it has a solid bridge that holds both tuning and intonation well. Overall, the hardware is pretty standard and sturdy.
You may not find exact sounds like original Gibson Les Paul. However, what it offers is enough to motivate young players. The guitar can handle the overdrive and distortion well than most others.
What’s in the Box?
A 3W “MityPRO” mini amplifier
Reasons to Pick
Excellent build quality
Fairly easy to play
Better tune holding capability
The intonation is not as expected
Starter Electric Guitar Buying Guide for Beginners
While buying your first guitar, it is wise to give it a second thought. Decide, are you just buying it to learn? Will you upgrade it in a year or two? If so, you may be better off trying what you can afford.
As you are absolutely new to the guitar world, you are likely doing to know much. Luckily for you, here we’ll discuss what would help you get started.
Different Body Types of an Electric Guitar
Electric guitars come with three different body types: solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body. Do you know how they differ? Well, the main difference is in their construction and the resonance they produce.
Let’s find out the benefits and downsides of each body types;
Solid-Body: As the name suggests, a solid-body guitar is the sturdiest one. It offers more sustain and louder sound. There is no feedback issue with a solid body guitar, even at higher volumes.
You can dive into rock, metal, or other heavy music with a solid body guitar. However, it may not offer that much resonance as others.
Hollow Body: The hollow body is similar to the body of acoustic guitars. It gives more resonance with lots of basses. But, the feedback is an issue with hollow body electric guitars.
Semi-Hollow Body: These electric guitars have a solid center wood inside the guitar body. It provides stability to the guitar structure. You’ll get better sustain and a warm sound.
Which Type of Electric Guitar is Easy to Play?
As a beginner, you might be confused that which one to choose? Which is the easiest type to play between solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body guitars?
Well, as your first guitar, you should opt for a solid body guitar. They are easier to handle. You can control it better with an amplifier. Also, they last longer even if you accidentally hit the guitar with the wall.
Electric guitars, especially the solid-body guitar, can be built into different shapes. The builders can craft the wood in any shape. The most popular shapes are single-cutaway Les Paul, double-cutaway shape, telecaster style shape, etc.
There are also some cool styles available for extroverted beginners. For example, V-shaped or Z-shaped guitars. These guitars come with eye-catching paint.
Does electric guitar shape matters?
Well, the sound doesn’t depend on much one the shape of an electric guitar. The guitars like flying V and explorer weigh almost the same and have the same pickups will sound quite the same. But, the shape of the guitar does impact on how you feel. You may feel uncomfortable to play any certainly shaped guitars.
The Type and Quality of Wood
What influences the tone and sustain of the guitar is the quality of body wood. The electric guitar can be made of different types of wood. Each has its own purpose and characteristics.
Alder provides a very warm sound. It is best for a full and balanced tone.
Mahogany is mostly used by the famous brand Gibson for years. It gives a mellow and warm tone.
Maple is the best option to use in the neck and fretboard. It provides a bright tone.
Basswood is the most common type used in the guitar body. It offers a warm and grizzly tone.
Rosewood is another popular option to use in the fretboard. It offers a big and warm tone.
Walnut is mostly used for body and neck. It is brighter than its mahogany counterparts, along with mid-range and high attack.
The pickups in an electric guitar detect the vibrations of the strings. Then, it converts the vibrations into a signal that the amplifier can understand. There are three types of pickups in an electric guitar.
The single coil pickup is the most basic type that tends to generate crisp and bright sound. Since the tone can cut through the overall mix, it’s an excellent choice for lead players. However, it often creates hum and undesirable noise in the background.
The humbucker pickup is a solution for the hum with single-coil pickups. It offers a more powerful, thicker, and more massive sound. Besides, humbucker pickups are an excellent choice for hard rock, metal, and jazz.
The active pickup requires a battery to operate. Also, it offers a preamp along with sound-shaping controls on the guitar. Active pickups produce a more controlled and clearer sound.
As a beginner, you should look for a guitar with multiple pickups. So you can use different pickup combinations for your desired sound.
Neck Shape and Types
Most electric guitars come with either a mahogany or maple neck with a maple or rosewood fretboard. Along with the neck wood, the shapes and type of the neck also matter. The electric guitar neck is available in different shapes and types.
You should pick what you find comfortable to play. The neck types depend on the joint of the neck with the guitar body.
The bolt-on neck is bolted to the guitar body. Though it is a less-expensive type, also it provides less sustain and resonance.
The neck-through types of the neck go through the guitar body. It offers the maximum sustain and resonance. Also, these necks make the entire guitar more stable.
The set necks type of neck is glued to the guitar body. It offers better sustain and resonance than a bolt-on neck. However, it requires expensive maintenance costs.
In a guitar, the bridge is located at the lower end of the guitar body. That’s where the strings are attached. An electric guitar can have either a tremolo bridge or a fixed bridge.
The tremolo bridge offers a range of effects from vibrato to full-on dive-bombs. When you play lead solo, it can sound amazing. It can affect tuning if the bridge and nut locks.
The fixed bridge offers excellent sustain and tuning stability.
There are different types of tremolo and fixed bridge in an electric guitar. A few of them are; Tune-O-Matic, Bigsby, Floyd Rose, Fulcrum Vibrato, String-Through, etc.
The scale length denotes the length of the strings. It means the length from nut to bridge. The best beginner electric guitar has a scale length of 24-25 inches.
What Is The Easiest Guitar To Learn On?
You are here because you’ve chosen the electric guitar as your first guitar. Still, you may have yet to decide which one is the easiest to learn. Whichever you choose between an electric and acoustic guitar, it should suit your level of playing.
In terms of playability, an electric guitar is the easiest guitar to learn and play. As a beginner, it will let you gain knowledge about the technical side of the guitar. Besides, the strings in an electric guitar are thinner, and the action is lower.
So, you can quickly press down the strings. In your early guitar learning stage, its narrower neck can also help. Also, if you want to play rock, getting an electric guitar is the best option.
However, the top-quality acoustic guitars usually have a very high action. It requires good finger strength to play. An acoustic guitar doesn’t provide the versatility needed to adapt different techniques as a beginner.
The Second Opinion!
Most beginners can play an acoustic guitar. The reason is, those units have a relatively low action or a basic electric. Those help to get familiar with the simple aspects of the guitar before getting the tough one.
In the end, it’s all about personal preference. Whichever you find fun and enjoyable to play will be the best. The consistency and regular practice is the key to learning to play the guitar.
Which guitar should I start with?
The simple answer is that whichever motivates you the most. Neither is perfect or imperfect. Deciding whether to start with an acoustic or electric guitar comes down to answering one question. Which motivates you?
If you get excited, listening to rock music, you need to start with an electric guitar. You may not find it exciting to learn an acoustic guitar. Besides, the electric guitar is easy to play because of its lower action, lighter strings, and thinner necks.
However, if you dreamt of strumming an acoustic guitar, you may not find an electric guitar interesting. As a beginner, an acoustic guitar will save all the extra expenses of the amplifier, cable, etc. It is easy to carry around.
Starter Guitar Recommendations
Beginner guitars have to be less expensive. You don’t know whether you’ll proceed with the guitar or not. There is a lot of biggest name around in music. We have also added a few of them in our list.
We found the ZENY 39″ Full-Size Electric Guitar as the best among them. It delivers a bright and crisp sound into its compact package. In addition, it includes everything needed for aspiring musicians.
There are endless options on the subject of the best starter electric guitar. Many beginners get intimidated while choosing their first guitar. But, we tried to cover the most in this article.
What is suitable for you depends on your personal music preference and playing style. So, first, determines your music priorities. You should get one that you can use for different music genres.
So, best of luck for your first guitar shopping! Don’t give up; otherwise, you’ll hate the guitar. Stick with what you find comfortable as it is going to reward you.
Ben Laughlin is the guitar king of our Musical Instru team. He can play a range of guitars, including classical guitars, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and bass guitars. He keeps vast knowledge on all these types of guitars.
He chooses most of our reviewed guitars. Besides, most of our guitar reviews are done by him. He knows what to mention and what not to.
Ben Laughlin also plays a significant role in our instrument testing department. He deeply inspects the parts of each guitar and suggests what's best about it. He also ensures that you get the best instrument in the market.