Has the thought of playing an electric guitar ever crossed your mind? You always wanted to replicate your favorite songs’ sick tunes, add your personal touch and flavor things up, or even create your own tunes? Yet you’ve been confused and you couldn’t quite figure out where and how to start? Think no more, as in the following article we are going to pave the way by presenting you the best electric guitars for beginners on the market in 2022.
Electric guitars offer a variety of range and sound thanks to the different effect pedals that enable you to produce a diversity of tones. On top of that, they vary in terms of design, size, build quality, and of course price. So if you’re just getting started you’re going to have a hard time finding what‘s best for you and that’s why we compiled a list of the best options out there with the help of experts and the most skillful guitarists, and all you have to do is pick what suits your taste and needs.
But before we resume with our list, we’d like to point out that playing an electric guitar may seem like a complicated task at first, because of amplifiers, pedals, and the different switches, it is still the more viable option for beginners to learn with as opposed to its acoustic counterpart, due to the fact that the strings are lighter and smoother making it easier on your fingers.
So with that out of the way, let’s jump straight into it.
Best Electric Guitars for Beginners in 2024
1. Fender Squier Stratocaster:
|When it comes to Electric guitars, Fender sets the standards very high as they’re one of the leading and most reliable brands in the industry. The Squire Stratopack is yet again a proof of their brilliance with its amazing tone, sleek design, beginner-friendly nature, all within a reasonable price.|
The Squier is the best entry-level guitar out there and it represents the stepping stone to the fender family and electric guitars world as a whole. It features a slim neck with maple finish that’s easy on the hands and will make things easier when encountering bar chords for the first time. It also has a lightweight poplar body along with a glossy polyurethane design. Besides that, it comes with a short version that’s made with kids in mind.
Right out of the box, the guitar plays great with 3 single coil pickups and a vintage-style tremolo bridge for classic Strat tones and pitch effect giving you more tonal depth. The Squier’s control panel comes with 3 tone knobs, one for adjusting volume while the other two are for tone selection. It also includes a headphone jack for silent practice and a Squier Frontman 10G amplifier.
All of these combined will allow you to dial in an array of tones for most genres and the best part is the fact that it comes at an affordable prize. However, it seems like most buyers noted that it requires some adjustments before it’s ready to rock.
- Decent design
- Good for beginners
- Amazing classical tones
- Comes with an amplifier
- Needs adjustments prior to use
2. IBANEZ GRGA 120
|If you’re into heavy metal, you need an electric guitar with certain features. The IBANEZ GRGA 120 might just be the one that will sort you out.|
This electric guitar specializes at producing fast and loud instruments that are indispensible for the heavy metal genre. Owing to its high output infinity R pickups, Vibrato bridges, and water-thin necks. You’ll be able to seamlessly traverse the fretboard and on the fly.
The IBANEZ GRGA120 also boasts a pair of humbuckers a power sound 1 on the neck and a power sound 2 on the bridge. In addition to that, it has a volume and tone controls, and a three way blade selector switch right next to your fingertips.
As for the design and build quality, it has a basswood arched and binding body along with a slim one piece neck that’s made with maple and treated pine. This perfect blend of lightweight and fine materials allows for aggressive yet smooth power chording.
The GRG120 plays, sounds, and feels like the more expensive IBANEZ models but with the fraction of the price. It’s the perfect choice for newbie metal heads out there.
- Great for metal heads
- Lightweight build
- Easy to play
- Lacks versatility
3. Jackson JS 32T King
|The Jackson JS 32T has earned its place in our list because of its affordable price, lightweight construction, and last and not least its performance and sound quality. It is simply the best out of a lot when it comes to metal guitars.|
The Jackson brand is ranked amongst the top 5 metal guitar producing companies, and this model is a fine example Jackson’s craftsmanship sonically and visually. The JS 32T rocks a solid and lightweight poplar matt black body with a gloss finish. The strings-thru-body tail and two toasty humbuckers help you dial in thick, snarling, and sustainable tones, while the rosewood fretboard delivers stunning tones and sound quality.
To prevent fretting out, The JS32T King comes with a bolt-on maple speed neck and an Amaranth fingerboard that enable you to chord fluidly. Plus, it features TOM-Style adjustable string-through-body bridge system and it is equipped with a master tone and volume control for modifying tones and musical instruments to your liking.
Unfortunately, similar to the previous model the JS32T King is not that versatile either. But we’d like to classify it as a specialized electric guitar and a great one at that, especially when you put into consideration its low price-tag.
- Lightweight yet solid build
- Ideal for heavy metal genre
- Fast and smooth play
- Only meant for metal heads
4. Squier Affinity Telecaster
|Squier Affinity Telecaster takes the number 4 spot on our list not only because it’s another awesome model from Fender , but because it also offers smooth playability and stable tuning for novices. Not to mention that it’s affordable too.|
The Telecaster is one of Fender’s most famous models and it comes in various series including the Affinity that was specifically designed for entry-level guitarists. Starting with the design and construction, the Affinity’s body is made out of poplar wood while the neck is C shaped and made of maple just like the fretboard. Thanks to this, it can deliver clear and well-rounded tons with thick mids and highly responsive lows.
On top of that, the 2 point tremolo bridge and the 3 single-coil pickups give the Affinity Telecaster its signature sound quality and classic vibes. The bridge pick-ups are set in an angle for better bass response on the lower strings and more treble glamour on the higher strings.
Lastly, it features split shafts for precise tuning and easy restringing as well as 5-way switching that suits a variety of genre. Only downside is that it might pick up humming sounds when playing.
- Beautiful finish
- Superb intonation
- Quality model at an affordable price
- Average strings
5. Donner DST-1S
|For quite some time, the Donner DST-1S was rated as Amazon’s top choice and rightly so, it is very versatile and delivers superb playability and construction for the price.|
For starters, the Donner DST-1S all-in-obe beginner pack comes with several must-have components for novice players; the guitar, free lessons, 600D quality bag and an amplifier. Speaking of which, the amplifier is only 3watts which is a bit underwhelming compared to 10 or 15 watts amplifiers but it still do the job for beginners nevertheless.
The amp control features a single master volume knob with no EQ options. Futhermore, it has three knobs to adjust volume, tone, distortion, and gain alongside a three-way pick-up selector. It comes with an SSH configuration which translates to two single coil pick-ups and a humbucker.
Although this instrument isn’t as loud and powerful as its competitors it still emits adequate volume for individual practice with a reasonable tone. As far as the build goes, the Donner DST-1S has a solid base wood body, a maple neck, and an ebony fretboard. All of these in addition to the beginner bundle and the play versatility make this axe the best one for the money.
- Beginners bundle
- Versatile use
- Lightweight and portable
- Slightly underwhelming amp
6. Yamaha Pacifica 112V
|Yamaha are a well-established company that produces quality products across the board and their instruments are no exception. The Pacifica 112V takes novice guitarists playing experience to another level combining both classical tunes with modern day vibes.|
The Pacifica 112V was purposefully designed to strike a happy medium between vintage and modern styles without necessarily looking or sounding like an old school electric guitar. It also isn’t a super modern guitar with a thin neck and loaded active pickups. Build-wise, it boasts a solid and comfort-contoured alder body, a maple bolt-on neck, as well as a rosewood fingerboard.
Additionally, the Pacifica 112V features a Vintage Tremolo bridge and 5-way switching H-S-S pick-up configuration giving you a wide range of sounds to choose from; whether it’s clear clean tones or heavy distortions. It simply can be played across a plethora of genre.
Overall, the Yamaha Pacifica 112V is well-rounded and sounds and plays pretty good but selecting the humbucker pickup may cause minor issues with a noticeable amount of buzz. Other than that, for those getting started this axe is a brilliant first introduction to the musical world and even veteran guitarists wouldn’t mind having this piece in their studios.
- Convenient build
- Great for playing different genre
- Good for novices
- Humbucker pickup may cause some buzz
7. Fender Player Telecaster
|The 7th position is yet again dominated by the renowned Fender brand and the Telecaster series. This time it’s the Player Telecaster, it has that classical sound and feel without the throwback customization Vintera series.|
The Player Telecaster uses specially designed pick-ups with Alneco 5 magnets single coil pick-ups which give this electric guitar authentic Fender tones and a modern edge. Moreover, the latter delivers rich, deep, and balanced bass response with punchy mids, dynamic highs, and enhanced focus.
For that traditional Telecaster twinge and bite, old school bent steel saddles were added to the string-through body bridge allowing the Player Telecaster’s sound to cut through the mix and provide clean and accurate intonation. This in turn will give you some nice and seamless sustains. Plus, it comes with 3 position blade selector switch, master volume, and master tone.
Regarding the construction, you’ll appreciate the curved alder body with a smooth and comfortable finish. The modern C shaped maple neck and 9.5 radius fingerboard suit almost any playing style, and the softer edges make for a friendlier feel. As for the cons, although the bent-steel saddles are a nice touch they still do not appeal to all guitarists.
- Amazing sound and tone
- Great build with good feel
- Heavily round bridge pick-up
- Convenient controls
- Bent-steel saddles are not everyone’s cup of tea
8. Schecter Omen 6
|The Schecter Omen 6 is beast of a guitar that is an ideal choice for hard rock enthusiasts and modern metal heads as it boasts a sleek design and most importantly fast paced and loud tones and sounds.|
To begin with, The Omen 6 has a base wood body that’s covered with an elegant gloss black finish and the body contours feature ivory white bindings. In addition to that, the bolt-on maple neck houses a rosewood fretboard including 24 frets with gothic pearloid inlays. It’s safe to say that this axe is quite a looker and will definitely impress those who are into stylish instruments.
Performance-wise, this electric guitar plays reasonable sounds with clean tons and the Diamond-plus bridge neck pick-ups are on point when it comes to creating gritty and raspy distortions. For many people it is considered as an upgrade compared to the Les Paul style humbucker.
Despite lacking some of the main components that come with most starter kits like a gig bag and amplifier, the Omen 6 comes with other accessories that add extra value and sure does pack a serious punch without sacrificing play and sound versatility.
- Stylish design
- Punchy sounds
- Appropriate for hard rock and metal
- Doesn’t come with the full package
9. EVH Striped Series
|Classic Van Halen and hard rock fans consider the EVH Striped Series as a must have electric guitar, even better it still an incredibly sounding machine that caters to modern guitarist seeking fast and expressive tones.|
The EVH Striped Series is a natural choice for rockers as its design is inspired from the all popular Van Halen striped Frankenstrat guitar featuring an iconic finish of red with black&white stripes. In that vein, its body is made of solid basswood with a top quality gloss finish whereas the neck is very slim and made of reinforced maple with a silky hand rubbed finish.
What’s more, the neck also possesses a compound radius that flattens on the highest of the 22 jumbo frets making it very easy to shred and chord. One of the drawbacks of the EVH Striped Series is the lack of pick-ups and controls and it’s only limited to one pickup which is an Alneco Wolfgang humbucker at the bridge for power chords.
Despite that, it still comes with Die-cast chrome tuners that offer convenient and precise tuning for good sustains. That combined with the Double-locking Vebrato bridge will give you a good punch and clarity as well as decent tuning stability.
- Solid body with striking colors
- Perfect for rockers
- Produces stunning, clear, and fast sounds
- Easy to shred and chord
- Cumbersome tuning
|The Smartxchoices may be a simple electric guitar with no high-end feature, but as a beginner it will cover all your basis and then some with a pretty low price.|
This beginner guitar comes with the full package that contains a gig bag, 10w amplifier, straps, additional strings, and a Tremolo rod. Needless to say it got you completely covered in that aspect. Concerning the construction and design, it features an ultra-thin blue hardwood body that is eye-catching, easy to play, and durable, along with a smooth finish premium maple neck and a 22’ rosewood fretboard.
The Smartxchoices is a user-friendly instrument as well, with nice and simple controls including 2 knobs for modifying tone and a single knob for volume adjustment. Furthermore, it has 5 levels to adjust the timbre according to your own preference.
Last but not least, it generates some decent tones considering its simple design and non-expensive nature all thanks to its 3 single coil pick-ups and 3-way selector. However, the intonation must be set up properly before you can play it as it is intended to.
- Very cost-effective
- Simple yet attractive design
- Comes with the complete package
- Requires professional setup
Electric Guitars Buyers Guide
Electric guitars are way more diverse than acoustic guitars because of different effects and for that reason and few others, choosing the right guitar for your needs and musical taste is not that simple of a task. Especially, when there’s no lack of options to choose from with a lot of factors that play into it, from price, build quality, specs, effects, amplifiers, experience level, to playing style and more. All of that can be really overwhelming when you’re just coming into the market.
So to make things a lot easier, the following buyers’ guide will show you how to go about picking the right electric guitar for you.
Know your style
One of the most important things to put into account when trying to buy an electric guitar is thinking about your guitar hero or your play style. For instance, if you’re a metal guy singe coil pick-up guitars may not be the best option for you right of the gate. And if you’re more of a classic Hendricks fan, it’d be best to stick to strats. Or if you’re a Slash and Angus young fan a humbucker type sound will suit you the best.
There are 3 types of bodies when it comes to electric guitars and each one has certain characteristics that serve different purposes.
- Solid body:
This is the most common out of the bunch and it’s made of solid slab wood. They feature both single-coil pickups and multi pick-up models, and they produce less resonance as opposed to hollow-body guitars but the woods still affect the sounds coming out of it
- Hollow body:
Much like acoustic guitars, hollow guitars unsurprisingly have hollow bodies and they resonate more compared to solid body models as stated above. Due to their hollow body nature, they also produce deep bass response and rich tones.
- Semi-Hollow body:
Just like hollow body guitars, semi-hollow body guitars have more resonance than solid ones. But they are designed with a solid center making them stable with increased sustains. They’re ideal for multiple genre including jazz, punk rock, and blues.
Neck type & build
The neck is that thin part that extends from the body guitar and it contains the fretboard and the headstock. Before resuming our talk about the neck we’d like to briefly talk about the fretboard. It is often made of hard wood types or with same wood as the neck, and in some cases it is composed of a thin layer rosewood and ebony. Some fretboards come with markers on the upper edges allowing for more visibility when playing.
Back to the neck, the vast majority of guitar necks feature either ‘C’ or ‘U’ shaped profiles with different width and depth. These differences influence playability and comfort when fretting to a significant degree. That said, guitarist with smaller hands should opt for narrow and shallow necks, whereas large-handed players will be better off with chunkier necks.
Furthermore, there are three types of necks found on electric guitars.
- Bolt-on necks
As the name suggests, the neck is bolted into the body making it easier to replace when damaged. Nonetheless, this neck type delivers less sustain and resonance than the next two types.
- Set necks
Glued in place and fixed to the guitar body, hard to repair but they offer more stability and sustains, and they resonate slightly better than bolt-on necks.
They extend across the whole length of the body and reinforced with wings mounted on the sides. They’re less likely to be repaired due to increased stability but once they’re damaged it is even more costly and difficult to get them fixed. They provide a great deal of sustain and resonance compared to the other two types of necks.
Pickups play a major role in how the guitar plays as well as creating effects, there are different types of pickups and the following are the most common.
They are the most basic pickups and they contain one fine wire-wrapped magnet. The latter creates a magnetic field that captures the sounds coming from strings’ vibrations and turns them into electronic signals. They sound very crisp and smooth but they tend to generate humming sounds and they’re prone to magnetic interference.
Humbucker pickups were specifically designed to eliminate hum. Hence the name humbucker. They consist of two singe-coil pickups with polar opposite magnets. They generate strong and punchy tones and they’re usually thicker and louder than single coil pickups. This type of pickup is great for rockers and metal heads.
Active pickups create a much higher output compared to magnetic pickups and that’s simply because they’re powered by batteries. Sometimes they’re equipped with filters and equalization filters for extra sound and tone control. Moreover, active pickups produce a lot cleaner and clearer sounds.
There are different components and styles of hardware when it comes to electric guitars and the quality of the hardware dictates the price of the guitar. The better the hardware the more stability, versatility, and sound quality. The most important hardware are; tuning machines, tailpieces, and bridges.
Tuning machines are usually found on the guitars’ headstock and they hold the strings in place and enable the player to adjust their tension. Some tuners are attached to the knobs while others are locked in place. The second one makes life easier when changing strings, prevent the strings from slipping, and offer more tuning stability.
Bridges & Tailpieces
These two work in conjunction with one another for improved tone and playability. The bridge is situated on the lower portion of the guitar body and the strings are routed around it and ending on the tailpiece. They ensure that the strings remain in tune with each other when playing. Some bridges allow string height adjustments that influence the ease with which the strings can be fretted, and is often called the guitar’s ‘Action’.
While other bridges permit players to implement vibrato into their performance by moving a vibrato arm up or down the bridge. Bridges with such function are often known as tremolos. A tremolo system enables the player to rock the bridge back and forth and modify the pitch of the tones being played.