Best Electric Guitar for Beginners in 2020

You have several things to consider when looking for the best electric guitar for beginners. Many people make the mistake of buying a guitar that is of poor quality. You want something that is fun to play and easy to learn on. Use this guide to help you find a decent electric guitar for the first time buyer.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks..

Which Guitars are Best for Beginners?

If there are many different beginner guitars that are suitable for anyone first starting out, if the student is a younger individual, a guitar kit is recommended because it has everything that the student needs to get started. This will include an electric guitar, amplifier, picks, strings, strap, and so on. These kits aren’t quite as good for older players because the guitar that comes in the kit isn’t of high quality. Older players may want to spend a little bit more money on their first guitar and not get one of these kits.

You want a beginner guitar that is going to be easy to play. You don’t want something that is too complicated or advanced. For example, it doesn’t make much sense for a new player to buy a 7-string guitar. You wouldn’t be able to play a 7-string guitar as a new player because you don’t have any guitar skills yet. Get a guitar that feels comfortable and one that you can’t put down. You don’t want to struggle with your guitar.

What to Look for Before You Buy

Are several different types of electric guitars. Here is what you need to know about guitars and the various parts before you decide to buy.

Single-Coil Electric Guitar

Single coil pickups are common on many different styles of electric guitars. These pickups are used to play jazz, blues, country, and rock. They are not quite as good for playing styles such as heavy metal or hard rock, where you have tons of distortion. Single coil pickups have a wonderful clean tone to them when played through an amplifier. On the downside, if they don’t distort as well and you can have feedback issues to the amplifier when you use single-coil pickups. An example of a single-coil guitar is the Fender Stratocaster.

Humbucking Electric Guitar

Other guitars come with what are called humbucking pickups. These produce a louder sound and are common in many rock guitars such as the Gibson Les Paul. They are often the preferred choice for rock guitar players or heavy metal players because they sound better when played through distortion. They also sound quite good clean, but they stand out when you apply distortion to them.

Acoustic-Electric

Another type of electric is the acoustic-electric. This is a combination of an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. This type of instrument is often oriented towards classic styles of music, such as jazz. They often have F-holes on the top of the guitar, which helps to give the instrument a nice clean tone. Most beginners won’t be buying one of these. These are often referred to as a hollow body or a semi-hollow body.

Bridge

Electric guitars come with different types of bridges. You’ll have to decide on the type of bridge that you want. Here is what to look for.

Hardtail

For beginners, I recommended the hardtail bridge. This is a fixed bridge that makes it easy to maintain your guitar, and you have better tuning stability. There is no tremolo arm with a hardtail bridge.

Tremolo Bridge

Guitars such a Stratocaster style come with a tremolo bridge. This includes a tremolo arm that you use to change the pitch of the strings while playing. Tremolo Bridges can be fun, but they should be avoided for beginners. You can still buy a guitar that has a tremolo bridge. You just don’t use the arm. The reason for this is it easy to put the guitar out of tune.

Locking Nut Bridge

The locking nut is a type of bridge that locks the strings in place. These are common with bridges such as the Floyd Rose. These are quite tricky to operate, and I don’t recommend that beginners buy a guitar that has a locking nut. Many beginner instruments that have a locking nut are not made to high quality, and you could end up having severe tuning issues. It takes a lot of effort to maintain this type of instrument, and tuning is difficult, especially when you are new.

Body Style

There are several types of body shapes when it comes to buying an electric instrument. The two main types are the single-cutaway and the double-cutaway. An example of a single-cutaway is the Gibson Les Paul. An example of the double-cutaway is the Fender Stratocaster. The cutaway refers to the curve in your instrument’s body so you can play notes higher up on the fretboard. I don’t recommend that beginners buy odd-shaped instruments such as a V shape. These are harder to play, and you can end up being frustrated as a beginner if you try to learn on instruments that have odd shapes.

Frets

Most beginner guitars will ship with either 21 frets or 22 frets. Some beginner instruments may have 24 Frets. Most beginners should stick with 21-22 frets unless you want to play advanced metal styles of music which require 24 frets for solos.

Accessories

There are several accessories you need to buy to go along with your electric guitar. Here are some of the ones that you should consider.

Amplifier

You buy an electric instrument. You’re also going to have to get an amplifier. Some guitar kits come with amplifiers, but these are quite poor. You may want to exchange the amplifier that comes in a kit with something a bit better. You can expect to spend several hundred dollars on a quality amplifier. It’s not a good idea to buy a poor-quality amplifier as the sound won’t be that good. Thankfully, there are plenty of lower-cost beginner amplifiers that would make solid choices to go with your new guitar.

Pedals

You may or may not need any guitar pedals depending upon the quality of your amplifier. Guitar pedals can make poor sounding amplifiers sound a lot better, or you can use them to improve your sound. There are many different types of pedals on the market to go with your guitar. Try a good with a distortion pedal, chorus, and digital delay pedal. These will allow you to recreate most rock songs.

Other Accessories

Every guitar player should have a wide assortment of pics, cables, a couple of guitar straps, and several sets of replacement strings. You may also want to peg winder to help you put strings on your guitar and a guitar multi-tool so that you can do small repairs on your instrument.

What to Do When You Get Your New Guitar

Change Strings

The first thing you should do when you get your new guitar is to change the strings. The reason you want to do this is the instrument probably has been sitting in a box for a long time. It might have been on the store shelf at your local music store and been played by many different people. The strings on your instrument are probably quite old and they won’t have a great tone. Put on a new set of strings once you get your guitar home as this will improve the sound of your instrument. If you don’t know how to do this, ask at the guitar store and they will do it for you. I recommended that the beginners start with gauge 009 as these are easier to play.

Action

Another thing you may want to do is to set the action. Can we talk about action, this is the space between the strings and the fretboard. When you have high action, it’s easier to bend the strings but difficult to press down when playing chords. When the action is low, it’s easier to play faster, but harder to bend. In general, you should have a medium action as this is the most comfortable. you may have to experiment a little bit with the action until you find something that you like. Your local guitar technician can set the guitar action for you.

Intonation

Another thing that must be set up on your instrument is the intonation. This is where your guitar is in tune across all of the strings and frets. If the instrument isn’t properly intonated you may have notes higher up on the neck out of tune. Intonation is tricky to do for a beginner, your guitar technician can do this for you. you may not notice this in the beginning, but as you play information will become important to you. It’s best to get started with it right away and to have your instrument properly intonated because it can make it sound better.

Taking Care of Your New Guitar

It’s important to look after your guitar once you get it home. You should always wipe it down your strings prior to playing them. This will remove the dirt and grime from the strings and help to keep them fresher for a longer time. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands before you play the guitar so you don’t transfer more dirt onto the strings and fretboard. Before each string change, use a little bit of guitar polish and a cotton cloth to clean off your instrument.

You should install some locking strap buttons for your guitar strap. This will keep your strap in place While you stand up and play. You don’t want your instrument to fall off the guitar strap so these strap locks can help. You should also ensure that your guitar is in a case when you’re not using it or a high-quality gig bag. This will reduce the chances that your instrument gets scratched.

A couple of times a year take your guitar in and let a guitar tech look it over. They can make small adjustments to your instrument so what has better playability. They can set things such as action or the intonation. If you look after your instrument, it’s going to last you a long time.

What is the Best Beginner Electric Guitar Package?

You will find a ride range of electric guitar packages on the market. It’s best if you buy a package from a brand-name company. This would include Gibson. Fender, Dean, Ibanez, Epiphone, and so on. This will ensure that you get a decent guitar. A lot of the lower-cost kits don’t offer you a quality instrument and you’ll end up being disappointed.

What is the Best Electric Guitar for the Money?

You will find a wide range of prices for electric guitars. you should expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a decent beginner electric guitar. Anything less than that is not going to be a quality instrument. Unless the student is really young, you want to spend a little bit more money on the guitar. Try to purchase instruments from the major manufacturers as they make instruments that are worth playing.

Best Electric Guitar for Beginners Reviews

1. Fender Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster – Best Guitar for Total Beginners

Fender Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster Guitar - Laurel Fingerboard, Surf Green Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

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Fender makes a wide assortment of electric guitars. They also have a couple of lower-cost lines what’s your ideal for new players. One of these is the Fender Squier Affinity. This instrument has everything that a beginner needs to get playing right away. Here is what this guitar offers you.

This Fender has a large headstock and a c shape profile neck. The instrument is easy to play and perfect for the beginner. It has a comfortable Maple fretboard. You get three single-coil pickups and a 5-way switch. It comes with a Volume knob and two tone controls. You get a synchronized vintage-style tremolo bridge and 21 medium jumbo frets. This package includes guitar picks, a strap, tuner, case and an extra set of strings. You will find the instrument easy to play.

Pros:

  • Easy to play
  • Sounds great for the price

Cons:

  • The case could be better
  • Some tuning problems

2. Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature Series – Best Rock Guitar for Beginners

Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature Series Electric Guitar with Strings, Front Row Tuner & Stand (Pink)

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Ibanez is known for its excellent electric guitars. They have a wide range of instruments for all playing styles. For those that are getting into hard rock and heavy metal, the Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature Series is an excellent choice. It has a lot to offer today’s player.

This instrument is a signature Steve Vai model. It comes with a mahogany body and it has a 3-piece wizard Maple neck. You get to 24 Frets so you can play all of your favorite songs. The inlay is a Tree of Life style just like Stevi prefers it. You get a double-cutaway so it’s easy to access all of the higher frets. The neck itself is fast and smooth so you can play solos as well as rhythm guitar with ease. It comes with two humbucking pickups as well as a single coil. Also comes with accessories such as a stand, tuner, and an extra set of strings

This allows you to play multiple styles of music without having to use another guitar. There’s a 5-way pickup selector switch to help you control the pickups. You get a double-locking tremolo bridge so you can do dive bombs and other guitar tricks with it. For today’s new rock player, this is the ultimate instrument.

Pros:

  • Great pickup selection
  • Easy to play

Cons:

  • May confuse some beginners
  • Tuning the locking nut is tricky

3. Traveler Guitar Ultra – Best Beginner Guitar for Those on the Go

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Solid-Body Electric Guitar (ULE TRDG),Torino Red

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For beginners that are on the go all the time, a full-size electric guitar isn’t practical. You can save a lot of space with a Traveller guitar. This instrument has a lot of features that you’re going to love.

The first thing about this guitar is it’s only 28 in long. It will fit in an oversized been in most Airlines. You get one piece Eastern American hard maple neck. This improves the tone of the instrument. it comes with one at dual-rail humbucker pickup so it’s perfect for a wide range of different musical styles. The instrument itself is lightweight. The tuning machines are located in the body of the guitar so there is no headstock. It’s 68% lighter and 28% shorter when compared to a regular guitar. for any beginner that leads a busy lifestyle, this Traveler guitar is an excellent option.

Pros:

  • Sounds great for the size
  • Easy to play

Cons:

  • Could use another pickup
  • Tuning peg location can be cumbersome

4. Fender Player Jaguar – Best Beginner Instrument for Small hands

Fender Player Jaguar, Pau Ferro - Tidepool Bundle with Hard Case, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Strings, Picks, Capo, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

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Or younger players are those just beginning, large instruments can be hard to play. This can be the case for someone that has a smaller hand size. one instrument you might want to consider if you have a small hand size is the Fender Player Jaguar. It has a lot to offer today’s musicians.

This instrument features an alder body and it has a gloss finish. You get one single-coil Jaguar neck pickup and one Player Series humbucking pickup. This pickup configuration gives you plenty of sound options with your guitar. The instrument is easy to play and has a comfortable neck. The neck is a modern C-shaped neck. It comes with 22 medium jumbo frets. It has a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard so it’s comfortable for those that have a smaller hand size. It comes with a hardshell case and accessories such as picks, strings, strap, guitar cable, capo, and a digital tuner.

Pros:

  • Comfortable neck for smaller hands
  • Sound great with the pickup configuration

Cons:

  • A little expensive
  • The odd shape may not suit some players

5. Rise by Sawtooth ST-RISE – Best Instrument for Young Beginners

Rise by Sawtooth ST-RISE-ST-SB-KIT-1 Electric Guitar Pack, Sunburst

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Younger players or children will enjoy the Rise guitar by Sawtooth. It has everything that Young Beginners need to start playing guitar.

This solid body instrument features a maple neck and a basswood body. The maple fretboard has traditional dot inlays so the student can easily see where to put their fingers. It features a 24-inch scale length and the bridge is adjustable. The instrument has one humbucking pickup, volume knob, and pickup selector switch. It also comes with a portable beginner amplifier, guitar cable, strap, gig bag, pitch pipe, online lesson sampler, and three picks. The beginner player will be all set to start playing music.

Pros:

  • Simple controls for easy operation
  • Humbucking pickup

Cons:

  • Some instruments have tuning problems
  • May be too simple for some

6. ISIN Full Size Electric Guitar – Best for Beginners on a Budget

ISIN Full Size Electric Guitar for Beginner with Amp and Accessories Pack Guitar Bag (Yellow)…

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Buying a guitar can be expensive. For those that are on a limited budget, you might want to try the ISIN Full Size Electric. This instrument is the perfect option for those that are beginners.

Tom’s complete with three single-coil pickups. You get a volume knob as well as two tone controls. There is a 5-way pickup selector switch so you can control the pickup output. The instrument is made out of Basswood which improves the tone. The neck of the and the fretboard are made out of maple. It comes complete with a strap, gig bag, amplifier, pics, guitar cable, and tools to help you adjust your instrument. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the ISIN Full Size Electric is the right choice.

Pros:

  • Low cost
  • Easy to play

Cons:

  • Some of the included accessories are poor quality
  • Some users reported tuning issues

7. Ibanez Iron Label S Series – Best Double Humbucker for Beginners

Ibanez Iron Label S Series SIX6FDFM Electric Guitar Blue Space Burst

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Ibanez makes a wide range of instruments and some of them make excellent choices for beginners. The Ibanez Iron Label S Series is a high-quality instrument that you will want to play.

This guitar features a three-piece maple neck. The body is maple and mahogany. The fretboard is bound with ebony and you get jumbo frets which are easy to play. It comes with two DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups for superior sound. There is also a coil tap switch so you can change the humbucking pickup sound into a single-coil sound. The bridge is a Gibraltar standard II bridge which helps to stabilize the tuning of the instrument. It comes with Gotoh locking tuners and black hardware. it does not ship with a case so you’ll have to buy one separately. This Ibanez is an excellent option for any beginner that is looking for a top-quality instrument to play.

Pros:

  • High-quality sound
  • Fast neck

Cons:

  • You need to buy a case
  • No tremolo arm

8. Fender American Special Stratocaster – Best Pro Guitar for Beginners

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst

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If you are an older beginner and want a high-quality instrument to get started on, you can’t go wrong with the Fender American Special Stratocaster. This guitar gives you Superior Sound and excellent performance. Here is what it comes with.

It features Texas Special single-coil pickups that have great output. The guitar is perfect for rock, country, blues, and other styles and music. The fretboard features a 9.5 radius and it comes with 22 jumbo frets. It features a grease bucket tone circuit which helps to improve the tone of your instrument while you are playing. You get two tone controls, one volume knob, and a 5-way pickup selector switch. The bridge is a standard Fender tremolo system with a tremolo arm. This guitar has everything that the beginner could possibly need. It’s an instrument that will last you for a long time to come.

Pros:

  • Professional tone
  • Nice pickups

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • It may need some initial setup

Conclusion

As a new guitar player, you have a lot of choices when it comes to instruments. I recommend that you spend as much as possible on your instrument. If you have a limited budget this is fine, but it’s a good idea to spend a little bit more to get an instrument that is of a bit higher quality.

My top choice for the best guitar for new players is the Fender Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster. It’s made by a well-known guitar company. It’s not as fancy as a regular Fender Stratocaster, but it has everything that the beginner needs to get started. it has good single-coil pickups and is built to a better quality than a lot of the cheaply made beginner guitars on the market. If you’re on a limited budget, have a look at the ISIN Full Size Electric Guitar. This is a nice guitar package for the complete beginner. If you are an older individual with some money to spend, try the Fender American Special Stratocaster. This is a high-quality professional guitar that anyone will love to play.

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