Best Electric Guitar For Beginners In 2022

What are the best electric guitars for beginners? On this page we take a look at the different types of electric guitar and suggest various instruments that we consider suitable for a beginner guitarist.

Top 3 Best Electric Guitars For Beginners

Below are our top three “quick picks” for good electric guitars for beginners. Continue reading to find out more about the various types and styles of electric guitar, and to see more recommended models…

Squier Affinity Telecaster

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Squier by Fender Affinity Series Telecaster, Maple fingerboard, Butterscotch Blonde
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • String-through-body bridge
  • Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
  • Two Squier single-coil pickups
  • Sealed die-cast tuning machines with split shafts

Squier, the entry-level equivalent to iconic American guitar brand Fender, produces this great beginner Telecaster. This is a very versatile guitar, ideal for learning a variety of genres, including indie-rock, country, and pop.

The guitar’s lightweight poplar body won’t be too heavy around a beginner’s shoulders, and the relatively slim maple neck will be easy for those with smaller hands to wrap around.

This is Fender’s C-shaped neck profile, and this is a very popular shape for players of all abilities, from beginners all the way up to seasoned professionals.

If you want the raunch of a humbucker-equipped guitar, you can pick up Squier Affinity telecasters with other pickup configurations.

If you prefer the look of a Stratocaster and the added versatility of a tremolo system, check out the Squier Stratocaster featured further down the page.

Ibanez RG450DX

Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Electric Guitar Starlight Blue
  • Neck type: Wizard III Maple neck
  • Body: Mahogany body
  • Fretboard: Bound Rosewood fretboard w/Sharktooth inlay
  • Fret: Jumbo frets
  • Bridge: Std. DL tremolo bridge

If you plan on playing heavy rock or metal, you’ll probably want a guitar fitted with humbucker pickups and a locking tremolo system.

Japanese guitar makers Ibanez have an excellent reputation for quality, from their high-end Prestige series to their beginner guitars. The RG450DX is a very modern Superstrat, with a mahogany body, rosewood fretboard, locking tremolo, and a single coil pickup sandwiched between two humbuckers.

This pickup configuration makes this a very tonally versatile guitar, capable of everything from smooth jazz to speed metal. The classic RG shape means this guitar looks as good as it sounds.

Epiphone SG Special

Epiphone SG Special VE (Worn Cherry)
  • Specifications Finish: Vintage Worn Body: Poplar with a mahogany leaf in the finish Arm: Mahogany Arm Profile: 1960´s SlimTaper, D profile Headstock: Epiphone "Clipped Ear", with "Les Paul model" logo in gold and "Epiphone" logo in silver Frets: 22 Marking: Dot Hardware: Nickel-plated Pickups: Epiphone 650R Humiphone bucker (arm) and Epiphone 700T Humbucker (bridge) Bridge: LockTone Tune-o-Matic, Stopbar tailpiece

Here we have a classic guitar silhouette at a great beginner price. The Gibson SG is a lightweight guitar with two cutaways on the body to facilitate lead guitar playing.

This Epiphone SG is effectively a value version of Gibson’s iconic guitar of the same name. Most beginner guitarists start out learning at least a few AC/DC riffs, so why not try them out on a guitar almost identical to Angus Young’s?

The Epiphone SG has humbucking pickups perfect for thick rock and roll guitar tones and is well-suited to a variety of genres. A mahogany body and slim, very playable neck will be comfortable for many beginner players.


What Is The Best Type Of Electric Guitar For Beginners?

For a beginner, stepping into a guitar store can be a bewildering experience. Electric guitars come in a seemingly infinite number of shapes, colors and styles. This is why it’s a good idea to know a bit about the sort of guitar you want (and the amount you want to spend) before you hit the stores in earnest.

Your first decision will be what type of body to opt for. There are three main types of electric guitars: solid-bodyhollow body and semi-hollow body.

As you’ll see below, we recommend a solid-body electric guitar for most beginners.

Even once you’ve chosen a body style, there are plenty more decisions to be made.

Some guitars have necks that are bolted on, while others have a set neck glued to the body. Pickups can either be humbuckers or single coils. The wood used to make the guitar affects its tone and weight, and even the shape of the guitar and its neck can affect the instrument’s tone and playability.

On this page we provide a brief guide to electric guitar body types and recommended beginner guitars. For more detailed information, check out this page: Types of Electric Guitars.


Solid Body Electric Guitars

Solid-bodied guitars lack the hollow, resonating chamber found in other types of guitar, and instead are made of one or more solid blocks of wood.

Examples of solid-bodied electric guitars include Fender’s Stratocaster and Telecaster, and Gibson’s Les Paul and SG.

Most beginners opt for a solid-bodied guitar due to their versatility and robust construction. Most of the world’s most famous guitarists are associated with a particular type of solid-bodied electric guitar. Think Jimi Hendrix and his Stratocaster, Jimmy Page and his Les Paul, and Angus Young with his SG.

There are several different types of solid-bodied electric guitars. Information on the main styles is listed below, and we’ve recommended beginner versions of each type for you to check out.


What Guitar Pickups Are Best For A Beginner?

Telecaster Body
A Telecaster with two single coil pickups.

There are two main types of guitar pickups: single-coil and humbucker.

Single-coil pickups have a bright, snappy tone, while humbucking pickups have a fatter, thicker tone.

Somewhere in-between the two is Gibson’s P90 style pickup, which is technically a single-coil pickup but has more midrange bite and a far heftier sound than most single-coil pickups.

In general, humbuckers are more suited to rock and metal, while single-coils are used in funk, pop, and indie styles. However, there is a lot of overlap and in reality you can play any style of music on either type of pickup.


Stratocaster-Style Electric Guitars

Stratocaster, or “Strat”-style guitars have twin cutaways for ease of playing high up the neck, and an asymmetrical lower bout*.

Stratocasters are usually equipped with three single-coil pickups and a tremolo bar, and are among the most versatile of all electric gutiars.

* Bout = the curved parts of a guitar’s body. The upper bout is the the guitar’s “shoulders”; the lower bout is the guitar’s “hips”. 

You can find out more about Stratocasters and other Strat-style guitars on this page: Best Fender Stratocaster

The Best Stratocaster For Beginners

Squier Stratocaster

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Squier by Fender Affinity Series Stratocaster, Maple fingerboard, Olympic White
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • Three Squier single-coil pickups
  • 2-point tremolo bridge
  • Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
  • Sealed die-cast tuning machines with split shafts

Unsurprisingly, one of the best beginner Stratocasters is made by Fender’s “value” brand, Squier.

With single coil pickups, a bolt-on maple neck, and a nice oversized 1970s-style headstock, this guitar thoroughly honors the brand’s heritage at a price perfect for beginners. It has plenty of snap and sparkle in the pickups and the comfortable C-shaped neck will fit well in any beginner’s hand.


Superstrats

In the late 1970s and 1980s, metal players demanding more and more of their instruments took to playing “superstrats”.

These guitars generally have a similar shape to the Fender Stratocaster, but often have a “beefed-up” specification, including: high-output humbucking pickups, locking tremolo systems (so your guitar can squeal and dive-bomb like Eddie Van Halen), and slim, fast necks.

The locking tremolo systems often seen in superstrat guitars can make tuning and re-stringing the guitar a little complicated. If you plan on heavy tremolo use, a locking trem is almost essential. Otherwise, it might be best to stick to a simpler, non-locking tremolo system.

Well-known manufacturers of superstrat-style guitars include Jackson, Charvel, and Ibanez. You won’t go far wrong picking a beginner guitar by any of the above brands.

Best Superstrat For Beginners

Ibanez RG Series

Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Electric Guitar Starlight Blue
  • Neck type: Wizard III Maple neck
  • Body: Mahogany body
  • Fretboard: Bound Rosewood fretboard w/Sharktooth inlay
  • Fret: Jumbo frets
  • Bridge: Std. DL tremolo bridge

(See details at top of page)

Jackson Dinky

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Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS32 DKA Electric Guitar (Satin Black)
  • Dinky Arch Top Body w/1pc. Bolt-On Maple Neck w/Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint
  • 25.5" Scale Length; 12"-16" Compound Radius Amaranth Fingerboard w/24 Jumbo Frets and Pearloid Sharkfin Inlays
  • Jackson High-Output Humbucking Pickups with 3-Position Blade, Master Vol, Master Tone
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast Tuners, Floyd Rose Licensed Jackson Double Locking Tremolo, and Jackson Floyd Rose Nut
  • Case Not Included

Jackson’s Dinky series is a classic Superstrat guitar. Hot humbucking pickups? Check. Fast maple neck? Check. Locking Floyd Rose style tremolo? Check. Plenty of pointy finishes and cool angles? Check.

For those about to shred, the Jackson Dinky is a great first choice. Jackson have been producing shred-ready guitars for plenty of metal heroes, including Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith, for decades. It’s a trusted brand with a great reputation.


Telecaster-Style Electric Guitars

Telecasters and the numerous Telecaster-style guitars on the market are identified by their single cutaway and flat bodies. They are usually equipped with two single-coil pickups and lack a tremolo system.

Although “Teles” lack the versatility of Strats and superstrats, it is their simplicity that attracts a vast number of players to the style.

Best Telecaster For Beginners

If you can’t quite stretch to a Fender, opt for the next-best thing: a Squier:

Squier Affinity Telecaster

Sale
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Telecaster, Maple fingerboard, Butterscotch Blonde
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • String-through-body bridge
  • Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
  • Two Squier single-coil pickups
  • Sealed die-cast tuning machines with split shafts

(See details at top of page)

You can find out more about Telecasters on this page: Best Telecaster and Telecaster-Style Guitars

Gibson Guitars

Gibson’s Les Paul and SG are its best-known solid-bodied guitars, although other, more extreme shapes, such as the Flying V and Explorer, are also well-known. The SG has a thinner, lighter body and two cutaways, while the Les Paul is a famously bulky, heavy guitar with one cutaway.

For beginners, Gibson-owned brand Epiphone are a great place to start if you want the famous Gibson style and sound without the associated price tag.

Check out the Epiphone SG Special, mentioned at the top of the page, or an Epiphone Les Paul.

Epiphone SG

Epiphone SG Special VE (Worn Cherry)
  • Specifications Finish: Vintage Worn Body: Poplar with a mahogany leaf in the finish Arm: Mahogany Arm Profile: 1960´s SlimTaper, D profile Headstock: Epiphone "Clipped Ear", with "Les Paul model" logo in gold and "Epiphone" logo in silver Frets: 22 Marking: Dot Hardware: Nickel-plated Pickups: Epiphone 650R Humiphone bucker (arm) and Epiphone 700T Humbucker (bridge) Bridge: LockTone Tune-o-Matic, Stopbar tailpiece

Epiphone Les Paul Studio

Many players don’t realise that, often, what drives up a guitar’s price is the little things: binding, finishing, polishing, etc.

Players looking for a guitar that is more steak than sizzle might enjoy Epiphone’s Les Paul Studio series. You can have a classic, hardworking Les Paul style guitar for $499.99 (as opposed to over $4000.00) if you’re willing to forego a few frills here and there.

This guitar has splittable humbucking pickups, a mahogany-and-maple body, a mahogany neck, and comes in a variety of colors. It lacks the body and neck binding of a full-fledged Gibson, but looks cool in an art deco post-modern fashion.


Semi-Hollow Guitars

Semi-hollow guitars are effectively just hollow-bodied guitars with a block of wood running through the centre of the body. This reduces the likelihood of the guitar feeding back, and means that many semi-hollow guitars can be successfully overdriven (although not usually as reliably as solid-bodied lectric guitars.

The Gibson 335 (and its Epiphone equivalent) and the Ibanez AS2000 are examples of semi-hollow guitars.

The Best Semi-Hollow Guitar For Beinngers

Ibanez Artcore AS-73

Ibanez Artcore AS73 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar Tobacco Brown
  • Artcore set mahogany neck
  • Double-cutaway, all-maple body
  • 22 frets
  • Bound rosewood fretboard
  • ART1 bridge

Ibanez’s Artcore is relatively expensive for a beginner guitar, but it’s a great semi-hollow guitar that you might find yourself using for many years.

Semi-hollow electric guitars tend to have larger bodies than solid-bodied guitars, but they’re often relatively low on weight. If you’ve been learning on an acoustic guitar, this might offer a nice transition to electric.

Perhaps the best value with this guitar is its build quality. For under $500 you’re getting an all-maple electric guitar with a set neck. The sustain and “woodiness” of this guitar’s natural tone is very pleasant, and its comfortable Ibanez neck feels great in the hand. With twin humbuckers and a variety of very attractive finishes, this is one of the best bang-for-buck beginner guitars out there.

Players with an interest in blues, country, folk, or lighter rock styles will enjoy this guitar for its good looks and great tone.Trying to use the Artcore for more distorted playing will probably lead to a lot of unwanted feedback and squealing noises from your amplifier.


Hollow-Body Electric Guitars

Hollow-bodied electric guitars have a fully hollow body, usually made from sticking a solid top onto a carved back.

The majority of beginners won’t opt for a fully-hollow electric guitar, as the craftsmanship and quality of wood required to make one typically pushes these guitars outside of most beginners’ budgets. 

In addition, hollow-body guitars are not the most versatile of instruments – often feeding back uncontrollably if overdriven.

Hollow-body guitars tend to be used for quite specialised forms of music, and today are most associated with jazz.

The Epiphone Casino is one of the best-known hollow-body electric guitars. Other examples include Gibson’s ES-175 and ES-335.

One manufacturer making good quality, relatively-inexpensive hollow guitars is Ibanez.

Best Hollow Body Electric Guitar For Beginners

If jazz is your thing, check out the Ibanez Artcore AF75, it’s a (relatively) inexpensive guitar ideal for the beginner jazz guitarist; you might never need to upgrade!

Ibanez Artcore AF75 Hollowbody Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst
  • Full-hollow body
  • Maple top, sides, and back
  • Mahogany set neck
  • Bound rosewood fretboard
  • ACH1 humbucker at the neck

More Electric Guitars For Beginners To Check Out

There are plenty of entry level guitars on the market that are worth looking at if you’re starting out on guitar. Some great, well established brands have been aggressively pursuing beginners in recent years, and as guitar manufacturing techniques continue to improve, you can get some quality guitars for a lower cost.

Wildcard Beginner Electric Guitar

EVH Wolfgang Standard

EVH Wolfgang Standard Electric Guitar - Matte Army Drab
  • Solidbody Electric Guitar with Basswood Body
  • Floyd Rose Tremolo - Matte Army Drab
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups
  • Maple Fingerboard
  • Maple Neck

The EVH Wolfgang Standard, at around $700, is the most expensive guitar on this list, but considering its elite features, it’s worthy of inclusion.

When it comes to getting value for money, the EVH Wolfgang Standard far outstrip guitars twice its price. Every component of this guitar was designed to meet legendary axeman Edward Van Halen’s exacting specifications. Its basswood body, comfortably oiled neck, and even the contours on its offset shape are engineered for comfort and playability.

This guitar also boasts some serious hardware, with EVH-brand Wolfgang pickups and a genuine Floyd Rose bridge. It’s only $200 more than the nearest guitar on this list, and is arguably of finer quality than many guitars that are much more expensive.

Best of all, despite its origins as the guitar of choice for Van Halen, this guitar can handle pretty much any genre; even Taylor Swift’s guitarist plays one.


Best Electric Guitar For Beginners: Conclusion

We hope that this page has helped you to narrow down your choices and perhaps even find your ideal first guitar. Let us know in the comments which guitar you decided to go for – or to recommend guitars we haven’t mentioned.

You can find more guitar information and recommendations on the following pages:

Best Stratocaster

Best Telecaster

Telecaster vs Stratocaster

Best Guitars For Metal

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