Buying your first guitar can be an overwhelming prospect. There will always be another guitar you’ll want to add to your collection.
Of course, the next week after you buy it, you’ll see one in a different color for 100 dollars less at a garage sale. All guitar players share this sentiment, from pro to bedroom players, you can never have enough.
The important part of this process is that you realize exactly why you’re buying your first guitar. To practice songs? Scales? For Band Practice? Or to look nice hanging on your wall.
Hopefully if you want to be great, it’s not the latter. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best beginner electric guitars.
Table of Contents
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
You know the name, and your favorite guitar player probably plays one. A fantastic beginner option in cost and playability is the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. It’s modeled after one of the most famous guitars of all time with the same spectacular build.
It’s a solid mahogany body electric that comes in multiple color ways. Many owners review the Epiphone LP as being incredibly versatile, from face-melting leads to head-bobbing rhythms; you’re in good hands with a Les Paul.
The only cons reviewers noticed was an occasional fret buzz and a wonky pick-up on some models. If you seek the same great Les Paul sound and look at a fraction of the price, an Epiphone LP is a great option.
Squier Bullet Telecaster
The Fender Telecaster is one of the most distinct guitars on the market. The Squier division of Fender is a tad more affordable for a beginner and their craftsmanship has only improved over the years.
These guitars are stylish with a single cutaway and available for a reasonable price. They have multiple color ways available, with more neutral tones than Stratocasters or other Fender electrics.
The Telecaster is used in every genre from country to rock n’ roll to metal. Tellys are played by the likes of Jeff Beck, John 5, Jonny Greenwood, Jeff Buckley and Keith Richards.
They are comfortable to learn and play on. They can adapt and handle any tone. Telecasters are durable, well-made guitars.
In this case, the first guitar you buy may be the only one you really need. See my full review of the Squier Affinity Telecaster.
PRS Custom 24 SE
Here, we have the premium end of the spectrum. If you know you’re going to be a guitar player and this isn’t a fun fling or one-time hobby, you can look to Paul Reed Smith.
This is not necessarily a beginner guitar, but it sure is a guitar that you can have and appreciate forever. This is the go big or go home option. Players like Carlos Santana and John Mayer co-sign PRS with their signature models.
They are light and airy, with a bright tone that can wail. They come standard with a basswood and maple topped body, a rosewood fret board and the famous bird-in-flight inlays. These are some of the most beautifully crafted guitars in the industry.
PRS’s SE models are a bit more accessible than their custom models which run about $2,000-5,000. They are flashy, but play like butter.
The action, fret inlays and playability all speak for themselves. If you know you’re going to be a guitar player, look no further. It’s worth the price.
Ibanez GIO Series
Your first guitar will set the tone for your playing career, literally. It’s important to keep in mind what kind of music you want to play. Some are better than others for metal, shredding and lead licks.
Look to your favorite guitar player or why you want to start in the first place. Ibanez is known for being the standard shredding guitar. If you want to bust out blazing leads and mind-blowing solos, the Ibanez can be your ticket.
The Ibanez GIO series is an affordable line of comfortable, playable guitars. These guitars rock; Turn up the gain, distortion and listen to this thing wail.
It’s phenomenal for its price point, but there have also been some worries about the longevity of the pickups. This is a great first guitar that you might have to make better down the line by adding custom pickups.
- GRGA Maple neck Poplar body Rosewood fretboard w/ White dot inlay Jumbo frets Std. tremolo bridge...
- Ibanez builds guitars for all levels of players—from beginners to the most demanding masters of...
- Regardless of price, Ibanez always strives to offer the absolute best sound, style, and playability...
Ibanez Artcore AS73 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar
The Ibanez Art-Core is our first hollow body on the list. It has a double cutaway, full maple body with a rosewood fret board and mother of pearl dot inlays.
The Ibanez AS73 is extremely affordable. If you like the style of big hollow body with a big, smooth sound, look no further. From B.B. King to Roy Orbison, the hollow body has always been a stylish choice that always results in memorable tunes.
There are 22 frets and it comes equipped with Ibanez’s fantastic ACH1 and ACH2 humbucker pickups which reviewers can’t recommend highly enough.
This guitar has presence and resonance that you expect from a big hollow body. If you want to expand your horizons or have a wider range of musical options, this deal is almost too good to pass up.
- Artcore set mahogany neck Double-cutaway, all-maple body 22 frets Bound rosewood fretboard ART1...
- As evidenced by its long-standing association with such giants of jazz guitar as George Benson, Pat...
- Part of that legacy is owed to the Artcore collection, which has succeeded in smashing any and all...
Gretsch Guitars G5425 Electromatic Jet Club
Gretsch is an incredibly popular brand with a certain type of player. They now have an electric guitar that’s more affordable. If you’re going to start out right, you might as well make it a Gretsch.
It has the tone of a Fender with the smoothness of a Gibson, the best of both worlds. It comes in a few different color ways, stone gray and jet black.
It’s a single cutaway style. Its body is comprised of basswood and an arched maple top, the fret board is rosewood.
It’s got a great look that lends itself to a real rock n roller. Whether playing through distortion or clean, these pickups will let you hear every single note.
- Body Body Type | Not Specified Cutaway | Not Specified Top Wood | Not Specified Body Wood Back and...
- Not Specified Cutaway Not Specified Cutaway
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V
The Yamaha Pacifica is the quintessential beginner guitar. Some teachers and reviewers have likened to the Toyota or Honda of guitars. In other words, this is old faithful.
You don’t get fancy bells and whistles with this one. In fact, the case is even sold separately.
What you do get is a classic guitar, a more-than-capable practice instrument. It comes with an alder body, a maple neck and rosewood fret board. It always comes with a chrome tremolo which you can have a ton of fun with later on down the line.
This guitar won’t blow anyone away by looks but it is extremely affordable and extremely playable. In the beginning, you need a guitar that will show you the basics of what it means to be a quality instrument. It informs what guitars or instruments you want to buy next. This is a great guitar for beginners and experts alike.
So there we have it, 10 guitars, 10 different guitar players will gravitate to which one calls to them. There are a lot of different styles of guitar players and no two are alike. In this article, we covered the classic solid bodies like the Les Paul, Stratocaster and Telecaster. These are 3 great options you have—without a doubt—heard before.
Then we had some electric guitars that are built for speed. If you listen to thrash, death metal or progressive music, these are for you. The hollow body options are fantastic to look at and to listen to.
Then we finished up with a solid, reputable beginner guitar in the Yamaha Pacifica.
Good luck on the first stage of your guitar playing journey. Rock on!
Last update on 2024-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API