electric guitar for beginners for sale

Guide to Rock-stardom: Electric Guitars for Beginners

Welcome to the space where frugal guitarists unite. There are literally thousands electric guitar models on the market at a variety of prices, it can become overwhelming. We will cover the best electric guitars for beginners, while considering price, material, and playability.

Where do I begin?

A great guitar can EASILY cost $5,000. This price range isn't always feasible for guitarists for a number of reasons. You could be a beginner and aren't ready to take the financial plunge. Or, you could be an experienced guitarist, but don't want to bring your expensive guitar to bar gigs or house parties.

If you have the dream of rocking out in front of hundreds, maybe even thousands of fans, this is a great place to start. Though, this article won't help you play any better, we will give you the facts to pick the right electric guitar.

When comparing electric guitars you want to consider a product that creates a great sound or tone, is easy to play, and doesn't look like a budget guitar. We are going to cover guitars that are not only stage worthy, but also pocket friendly. But first, let's cover what you should look for when browsing for new axes.

parts of an electric guitar

What's your ideal body type?

Don't be cheeky, we're still talking about guitars here. ​There are three popular body styles for electric guitars. Depending on your preference, or type of sound you're looking for the body style you choose can make a big difference.

Solid body​

Semi-hollow body​

  • Creates an acoustic sound with an electric guitar
  • High levels of amp will be needed
  • Example: Epiphone ES-339

Hollow body​

If you'd like to HEAR the difference between solid, semi-hollow, and hollow body guitars, listen to GuitarPlayerU.com's video. The video is a little outdated, but is a great example to explain the different sounds depending on the guitar style.

What are tonewoods?

The wood used to create electric guitars is commonly referred to as tonewoods. Different types of wood can create different sounds and tones. Even the same species of wood, but cut from a tree in another region can have a slightly different tone.​

Here are some of the common wood types used for the bodies of electric guitars:

Alder

  • Weight: light
  • Tone: balanced
  • Brownish color is somewhat dull, commonly used in opaque finishes

Ash

  • Weight: medium
  • Tone: balanced
  • Great for transparent finishes

Basswood

  • Weight: light
  • Tone: warm, strong mids
  • Popular among budget or mid-level guitars

Korina

  • Weight: heavy
  • Tone: great sustain
  • Fine grain is usually enhanced in the finishing process

Maple

  • Weight: medium to heavy
  • Tone: great sustain
  • Most popular body wood type

Poplar

  • Weight: light
  • Tone: bright, crisp
  • Usually seen in Asian-made electrics

What about the guitar neck?

​Guitar necks are another important factor when browsing the axe market. You should look at how the neck is attached to the body of the guitar and the type of wood. 

​The joining of the neck can affect the tone of the instrument. The joint needs to be able to withstand a lot of stress and pressure, especially when the guitar strings are being assembled and tensioned. There are three neck setting options to choose from.

electric guitar chords for beginners

Set Neck

A set neck is glued into place to attach the guitar neck to the body. The two are connected with dove-tail joints, which creates more gluing surface and less neck movement. This is almost always the case for acoustic guitars, but not always for electric. ​You'll find a set neck on Gibson Les Paul models.

Bolt-on Neck

Contrary to popular belief, this method rarely uses "bolts" to attach the two pieces. Typically you'll see four wood screws. Taylor guitars use the bolt-on design, where the head is inside the body of the guitar. ​

Neck through Body​

​The third option is only seen in solid-body guitars. A dove-tail joint slips into slots to connect the neck to the body and wings. Some guitarists find the neck through body setting cuts down on low frequency resonance and works well when you need to play at high volumes.

​You'll quickly find that you won't always have a choice when choosing a particular neck joint. If you're heart is set on a particular brand, they probably have similar neck joints throughout their guitar models.

What electric guitar should I buy?​

Epiphone ES-339 Semi Hollow body
semi hollow body guitar

Image courtesy of Amazon

The Epiphone ES-339 Semi Hollow Body has all the classic looks with modern hardware. The humbucking pick ups are versatile enough to create either classic or modern sounds. This guitar has a reduced body size to make playing more comfortable. The D shaped neck let's you slide along the neck faster. The Epiphone ES-339 is the best electric guitar under $500.

  • Body: Maple, semi-hollow body
  • Neck: Mahogony, D shape
  • Neck joint: Set neck
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 22
  • Tuners: Grover Vintage tuners
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-o-matic
  • Pickups: Alnico Classic Pro Humbucker
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster Electric Guitar
guitar for beginners

Image Courtesy of Amazon

The Squier Classic Vibe is a great steal when getting a Fender at an affordable price. This classy and elegant axe comes in an old school design. This guitar has easy setup, which makes it a great option for beginners. This is the best electric guitar for blues, jazz, or old school music styles. The Squier Classic Vibe is the best electric guitar under $400.

  • Body: Pine, solid body
  • Neck: Maple, C shape
  • Neck joint: Bolt-on neck
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Frets: 21 standard
  • Tuners: Vintage style with stamped steel backs
  • Bridge: Vintage style plate bridge with brass saddles
  • Pickups: Custom Telecaster Alnico III

ESP MH-50

how to play electric guitar for beginners

Image courtesy of Amazon

The ESP brand has been in the market for over 40 years, it's no surprise they deliver another quality product. The ESP MH-50 is the best guitar for heavy metal shredding. This guitar is ready to pack a punch the minute it comes out of the package. The ESP MH-50 is the best electric guitar under $300.

  • Body: Basswood,  semi-hollow body
  • Neck: Maple, thin U shape
  • Neck joint: Bolt-on
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24 jumbo
  • Tuners: LTD
  • Bridge: LTD by Floyd Rose
  • Pickups: ESP Designed LH-150

The world is your oyster when choosing the best electric guitars. There are endless options for you depending on how much you want to spend, or the look and sound you're wanting. Even though this article wasn't able to help you play better, we hope it can guide you to finding your new best git.

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