Best Electric Guitars For Beginners 2020 – Reviews and Top Picks

Best Electric Guitars For Beginners

Choosing your very first guitar is a huge deal. With so many guitar brands, series and guitar specs It might seem hard to find the ideal axe. In fact, it’s way simpler than it looks. The best guitars for beginners should have a simple, basic set up, versatile and flexible, and affordable. The more exquisite the guitar is, the harder it will be to learn, so don’t reach for the complicated axes. Here is a shortlist of the most classic and reliable instruments which you might want to look at.

Fender American Special Telecaster
  • Fender American Special Telecaster
  • Rating:
  • Body type: Solid body
  • Body shape: Tele
  • Body wood: Alder
  • Neck: C-modern, Bolt-on
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Pick up: 2 Texas Special single-coil pickups
  • Fretboard wood: Maple Rosewood
  • Frets: 22, Jumbo
  • Bridge: Vintage-style 3 saddle Tele bridge
  • Tuners: Die-cast sealed
Best Choice Products 39in Full Size Beginner Electric Guitar Starter Kit
Stagg SES50M-SNB Vintage Style Electric Guitar
  • Stagg SES50M-SNB
  • Rating:
  • Body type: Solid
  • Body shape: Stratocaster
  • Body wood: Alder
  • Neck:
  • Neck material: Maple
  • Pick up: 3 Single-coil
  • Fretboard wood: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Bridge: Classic Tremolo
  • Tuners: Die-cast
Name
Body type:
Body shape:
Body wood:
Neck:
Neck material:
Price
Name
Body type:
Body shape:
Body wood:
Neck:
Neck material:
Price
№1
Solid body
Tele
Alder
C-modern, Bolt-on
Maple
№2
Solid
Stratocaster
Hardwood
Bolt-on
Truss Rod
№3
Solid
Stratocaster
Alder
Maple
№4
Solid Body
Single Cutaway
Pine
C standard
Maple
№5
Solid Body
Les Paul
Mahogany
Bolt-on neck
Maple
№6
Solid Body
Pacifica
Alder
C-shaped
Maple
№7
Solid body
Stratocaster
Agathis
C-shaped
Maple
№8
Single body
RG
Basswood
Wizard III
Maple
Fender American Special Telecaster

If you are looking for a die-hard classic sound, it’s hard to find something better than a Fender Telecaster. Telecasters might have a rather basic setup, but they are one of the most reliable and versatile guitars in existence. Yes, Fender American Special Telecaster series might not be the original Telecasters, but it features the classic Tele solid alder body and maple neck & fingerboard, with dual Texas Special single-coils and vintage Tele bridge, giving that savvy Tele twang. And as a cherry on top, you get an innovative Greasebucket tone circuit.

Body type:
Solid body
Body shape:
Tele
Body wood:
Alder
Neck:
C-modern, Bolt-on
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
2 Texas Special single-coil pickups
Fretboard wood:
Maple Rosewood
Frets:
22, Jumbo
Bridge:
Vintage-style 3 saddle Tele bridge
Tuners:
Die-cast sealed
PROS

Classic Tele tone

Playability and versatility

Greasebucket tone control

Supreme sound sustain

Cons

Fuller neck

Poor factory setup

Best Choice Products 39in Full Size Beginner Electric Guitar Starter Kit

Best Choice Products Full-Size Beginner Starter Kit is an ideal choice for a kid or an adult who’ve never touched a guitar in their life. The kit comes with an electric guitar, 10W Amplifier, Gigbag, Shoulder Strap, Replacement Strings, and a Pick. The guitar has a hardwood body, equipped with Triple Single Coil Pickups, Hard-Tail-Bridge, and 5-way Toggle Switch. The overall set up is elementary and perfectly suits the needs of every guitar newbie.

Body type:
Solid
Body shape:
Stratocaster
Body wood:
Hardwood
Neck:
Bolt-on
Neck material:
Truss Rod
Pick up:
3 Single Coil
Fretboard wood:
Hardwood
Frets:
22
Bridge:
Hard-Tail-Bridge, Tremolo
Tuners:
PROS

Budget-friendly

Incl. Amplifier, Carrying Bag, Shoulder Strap, Replacement Strings, Pick

Hard-Tail-Bridge

Tuning Stability

Cons

China-made

Suits only complete beginners

Humming

Stagg SES50M-SNB Vintage Style Electric Guitar

For those looking at reliable budget-friendly options, Stagg – a newcomer to the guitar world – would be a real catch. Specialized on budget instruments, Stagg is a perfect choice for a beginner guitarist, especially if you get yourself a Stagg SES50M-SNB. Solid alder body axe looks and sounds like a high-quality professional vintage guitar. The electronics are pretty decent and feature 3 single coil pick-ups, 5-way selector switch and a tremolo bridge.

Body type:
Solid
Body shape:
Stratocaster
Body wood:
Alder
Neck:
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
3 Single-coil
Fretboard wood:
Maple
Frets:
21
Bridge:
Classic Tremolo
Tuners:
Die-cast
PROS

Budget-friendly

3 Single coil pick-ups & 5-way selector switch

Tone control

Tuning stability

Easy to upgrade

Cons

Basic set up

Upgrades required

This axe is an affordable, basic, and well-built version of a classic Telecaster. Telecaster Modern Play Tele has a classic single cutaway body, modern C-shaped neck, and 22 jumbo frets. Despite having a pine body, the downsides in sound quality are well-compensated by the HSS configuration, consisting of a bridge humbucker, 1 Strat, and 1 Tele single-coil pickups.

Body type:
Solid Body
Body shape:
Single Cutaway
Body wood:
Pine
Neck:
C standard
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
Modern player Tele/Strat/Humbucker (HSS configuration)
Fretboard wood:
Maple
Frets:
22
Bridge:
6 Saddle-vintage-style
Tuners:
Vintage
PROS

Classic Tele sound

HSS configuration (humbucker, single coil and a telecaster pickup)

Versatility

Playable neck

Cons

Fret buzz

Poor tuners

Epiphone Les Paul Special II is a more affordable replica of an original Les Paul. Despite being way cheaper, the axe comes with great sound and power suitable for any beginner and intermediate player. The solid body is made from light mahogany with a bolt-on maple neck, and a rosewood 12” fingerboard. Les Paul is equipped with dual 650R/700T humbuckers at the neck and bridge, respectively. Besides that, it also comes with quality Tune-O-Matic bridge, 3-way toggle switch, single tone, and volume control knobs.

Body type:
Solid Body
Body shape:
Les Paul
Body wood:
Mahogany
Neck:
Bolt-on neck
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
Dual open-coil humbuckers
Fretboard wood:
Rosewood
Frets:
22
Bridge:
LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece
Tuners:
PROS

Les Paul rock sound

High output humbuckers

Price to quality

Playability

Cons

Poor tuning

Rough frets and finish

As expected from a Japanese brand, even an affordable Yamaha PAC112V comes with decent quality tonewood and professional electronics, as well as upgraded chrome hardware. The alder solid body has a bolt-on maple neck and a standard length 13-3/4” radius fretboard. The guitar is equipped with three Alnico V pickups (2 single-coils, 1 humbucker), 5-position pickup switch, Vintage-style tremolo, and Yamaha sealed controls.

Body type:
Solid Body
Body shape:
Pacifica
Body wood:
Alder
Neck:
C-shaped
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
Yamaha Alnico V HSS
Fretboard wood:
Rosewood
Frets:
22, medium
Bridge:
Vintage Tremolo with Block Saddles
Tuners:
Yamaha Sealed
PROS

High quality hardware

HSS configuration and versatility

Smooth feel and playability

Cons

Fret buzz

Weak humbuckers

This affordable version of Squier is ideal for beginners who need something more than a basic guitar with a simple set up. It has a single cutaway Agathis body with a maple, C-shaped neck. The axe comes with reliable chrome hardware, triple alnico magnet single-coils, a 5-position pickup switch, and a two-point synchronized tremolo bridge.

Body type:
Solid body
Body shape:
Stratocaster
Body wood:
Agathis
Neck:
C-shaped
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
Triple Alnico magnet single-coil pickups
Fretboard wood:
Rosewood
Frets:
22
Bridge:
Two-point synchronized tremolo bridge with Block saddles
Tuners:
Standard Die-cast
PROS

Great resonance and response

Tone sustain and support

Versatility

Playability and smooth finish

Cons

Poor factory set up

Humming

An excellent beginner’s brand, Ibanez, has a wide range of axes suitable for anyone learning rock and metal genres. This mahogany RG axe comes with a classic Ibanez Wizard III neck with a slightly longer scale (25.5”). The axe’s electronics include dual quantum humbuckers and one single quantum coil, as well as a Standard DL tremolo.

Body type:
Single body
Body shape:
RG
Body wood:
Basswood
Neck:
Wizard III
Neck material:
Maple
Pick up:
HSS configuration (2 Quantum Humbuckers, 1 single-coil)
Fretboard wood:
Jatoba
Frets:
24, Jumbo
Bridge:
Standard DL tremolo
Tuners:
PROS

Left-handed configuration

Tuning Stability

High-performance setup

Fast neck and extreme playability

Cons

Rough fret work

Poor finish

How to choose an electric guitar for beginners – Buyer’s Guide

Which Guitar Is Better for Beginners: Acoustic or Electric?

Ok, let me stop you right there. There is no “easier” guitar to play if you are just picking up the instrument for the first time in your life. Acoustic and electric guitars are entirely different, despite being very similar if that makes sense.

Despite having a similar shape, a fretboard, and strings, they are not only different physically; they require a different set of skills and techniques, as well as various accessories. And besides, they produce unique sounds.

So, which one is better then? That is entirely up to you and your aspiration for music. Bear in mind the guidelines below and choose wisely.

Acoustic Guitar: Pros & Cons

Acoustic guitars are thought to be the default instrument for any guitar newbie. To my mind, this view is a bit outdated, but it does have reasoning. Acoustic guitars are a bit simpler because they involve little to no accessories (such as an amplifier or pedals) and allow you to focus on actual playing, and improve basic techniques (natural harmonics, fingerpicking, tuning) and your sense of tone and sound. Acoustic guitars are also significantly cheaper and more mobile – in order to play, you only need the instrument itself, no electricity is involved.

However, physically, acoustic guitars are rather heavy and have a broader profile making it harder
and less comfortable to hold and play. They are also limited in the variety of sounds, genres, and
techniques.

Electric Guitar: Pros & Cons

For all of you fans of rock, rock-n-roll, blues, metal, and other modern genres, that have electric guitar sounds in their core – there is simply not much of choice for your first guitar, is there? You can and should start with an electric guitar if this is what you want to play. As electric guitar techniques are unique, there is no reason to learn the basics with an acoustic – it would be a real waste of time.

Axes are more comfortable to play as they are smaller, with a lighter body and thinner neck, while
strings have less action and tension. The electric guitar sound is also way more versatile in terms of techniques and genres. Your practice can be improved and enhanced not only by additional
accessories but with the development of your techniques.

And yes, an electric guitar is more complicated to set up. It requires proper tuning, proper condition, and set up of pickups and bridges, the right amplifier, and so much more. Yet, you don’t need to know all of this when you start. A simple, basic setting will be more than enough for a beginner, and you can explore and learn on the go.

Does the Size Matter?

It depends on who will be playing. If the beginner guitar you are looking for is intended for a kid, you might need a smaller guitar of ¾ scale length. The ¾ size refers to the length of the guitar neck of 25.5”. Some adults prefer a smaller scale too, if they have smaller hands, or need something more compact for traveling. Generally, though, if you are an adult beginner, I would go for a full-scale guitar size (40-41”).

Which Electric Guitar Is the Easiest to Start Playing?

I wish there was a simple answer. Well, if there is, I do not know. All jokes aside, though, there are just as many guitar types as beginner guitarists with their own needs, desires, and preferences in genres. Choosing one axe like a Fender Special American Tele or Epiphone Les Paul Special II would be utterly wrong.

What I would recommend, though, is to look for something with decent tonewood and hardware, as
well as a relatively basic pick up configuration. It will make your initial experience more
straightforward and simpler. The good thing about electric guitars is that you can upgrade them as
your practice evolves.

What Is A Suitable Price For A Beginners Electric Guitar?

The price of beginner electric guitars lies in the range of approximately $150-500. Those axes around $150 are pretty basic and don’t use the best quality wood or hardware, but are pretty decent as the first, basic option. As with any guitar, the higher the price, the better quality you get. If I were looking for my first axe all over again, I would aim at the cost of around $300. For this price, you can easily get a good quality guitar that will be with you for several years.

Beginner Vs. Advanced Guitar

The main difference between a beginner and an advanced guitar is not the price (though it does
matter) but their quality. Advanced guitars are made from high-quality tonewood, exceptional
hardware, and sophisticated, powerful electronics.

All of these have a great positive effect on the quality of sound and tone. Beginner guitars are made from cheaper materials and come with less exquisite electronics. However, cheaper doesn’t mean bad. There are still great things you can do with a beginner guitar. With excellent skills, anyone can make a $300 Fender sound like a $5,000 one.

What Accessories Do I Need?

Overall, you don’t need many accessories at the beginning. As you are just starting, forget about all those pedals and distortion tools. What you need is pretty basic: extra cables and strings, electric tuner, guitar case, a strap, and a stand.

The essential ones I’d say would be extra strings (because they break more often than anyone would
like) and a tuner. As for the latter, I would always recommend an electric tuner for a beginner as it is simply easier to operate.

As you improve, you might want to expand your set. At this point, you’ll probably need a
maintenance kit (for minor tweaks), a cleaning kit, a capo (for further experiments), and a drum
machine.

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By Max Hudson
    about author

    My name is Max Hudson, born and raised in Chicago. I'm 30 years old and like many other people, I discovered guitar in my teens and have never looked back since. It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. I want this website to be a handbook for players of all skill levels. It can become a starting point for your new hobby, where you can find the right instrument, get tips for playing effortlessly or anything else music related.

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