10 Best Beginner Electric Guitars in 2018 – Reviews & Buying Guide

The sensible thing to do when buying your first guitar is to think about your commitment as a musician and how much time you are willing to spend in order to improve your craft. The reason we say this is because if you buy a beginner’s guitar and that alone, then you will undoubtedly have to purchase a new guitar in the near future once you get a reasonable grasp on the basics.

Depending on what resources you have available, you might want to first figure out whether you will employ the guitar past the point where you are decent guitarist by amateur standards. With that in mind, let us find out what are the characteristics that best describe a decent guitar and what the ten best beginner electric guitars the market has to offer look like.

Best Beginner Electric Guitars Reviews & Buying Guide


#10 Jackson JS32T Kelly

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The Jackson JS32T Kelly is a uniquely designed guitar that boasts a very stylish, modern, and sleek look. Delivering top quality mid and high-gain tones, it produces brilliant sounds and effects. With a body made from Indian Cedro, it features a Z shape that would catch the attention of any musician. Equipped with 24 jumbo frets, it comes with MOTO shark fin position inlays and a truly comfortable handling by most standards.

Pros:

  • Plays great in almost any setting
  • Can be expected to stay perfectly in tune
  • Boasts a very stylish design
  • Rather easy to handle due to its ingenious construction
  • Enjoys a truly inspiring look

Cons:

  • Doesn’t hang that well when you play it standing
  • The strap creeps up the shoulder a bit

#9 Ibanez RG Series RG450DXB

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Constructed with a wizard III maple neck, a mahogany body and a rosewood fretboard with a shark tooth inlay, the Ibanez RG Series RG450DXB is the most popular guitar among all other Ibanez guitars. Featuring jumbo frets, an Std. DL tremolo bridge, high-quality ceramic, and alnico quantum bridge pickups, this premium grade guitar is known for its performance, speed, and quality. Thanks to its well-designed body and neck, it offers optimum levels of comfort while playing. Its rosewood fingerboard includes 24 jumbo frets and a 5-way switch that allows better bending of notes enabling the creation of a variety of sounds and effects.

Pros:

  • It sounds a lot better than others in its class
  • Has a very nice feel to it
  • The neck is thin and long
  • Perfect for playing metal solos and fast licks
  • Features a very stable floating tremolo

Cons:

  • A bit pricey considering its entry-level build
  • Fretwork feels a bit off

#8 Dean V Dave Mustaine Guitar

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Featuring a basswood top body measuring no less than 25.5 inches in size, the Dean V Dave Mustaine Guitar comes designed with a D-shaped neck made from maple and a fingerboard made from rosewood. Delivering a superb sound output, it allows swift and easy playing without any distortion. Designed with pearl dot inlays, a Tune-o-Matic bridge, and Mini-Grover tuners, this guitar can be expected to handle a lot better than most in its price range. Not just that but it also comes with the latest DMT Design Humbucker Pickups for better handling.

Pros:

  • A very cool design makes it stand out
  • Its pearl dot inlays are quite something
  • Boasts a very comfortable design
  • Features capable Mini-Grover tuners for added precision
  • Sound output delivers an almost pitch-perfect tone

Cons:

  • The V-shape may feel a bit strange at first
  • It can sometimes cause a bit of a crackling feedback

#7 PylePro Full-Size PEGKT15SB Beginner Electric Guitar

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An exceptional choice for beginners, the PylePro Full-Size PEGKT15SB Electric Guitar comes equipped with all you need to get your musical journey on the go. Including an electric guitar, an amp, extra strings, and a guitar tuner, this kit comes with a special storage bag, enabling you to carry around your kit with ease. Handcrafted and constructed from three types of hardwood, including a Maplewood neck, a rosewood fretboard, and a basswood body, this guitar is designed with elegance and comes in a vibrant sunburst color pattern. Great for all genres of music, including rock, folk, country, blues and more, it produces high-quality, clear, rich and warm sounds.

Pros:

  • Perfect for people who have never used a guitar before
  • It packs a kit full of useful gadgets
  • Boasts a rather ingenious design
  • The frets are sturdy and reliable
  • Rather light in weight and maneuverable

Cons:

  • The stickers can be a bit loose
  • Its frets are a bit sharp

#6 Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar

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Constructed with an alder body, the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar features a bolt-on neck made from high-quality maple wood and a fingerboard made from rosewood. Considered as one of the top picks for beginners, this electric guitar comes with all that you need to develop your playing skills. Equipped with a 5-way switch with a coil tap, it comes with a vintage tremolo and produces excellent sound. Known for its great tone and performance, this guitar is one of the affordable models for those starting their musical journey.

Pros:

  • Very solid build ensures its durability
  • Its wooden finish gives it a distinguished look
  • The quality of its tuning is reasonably good
  • Features a fairly low string vibration
  • It sounds rather good by most standards

Cons:

  • The jack feels a bit flimsy
  • Can feel a bit heavy at first

#5 Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster

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For decades, the Squier by Fender 303000503 Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster has been the top pick for beginners everywhere and it’s easy to see why. Owing to its high price, most musicians find it hard to join the Stratocaster family. However, this electric guitar is a great one-time purchase thanks to its brilliant performance, sound quality, and reliability. Unlike most of its kind, it comes with 3 pickups, which may be daunting at first, but once you play this guitar you would not want to try any other. Featuring an alder body with a glossy finish, it is designed with a single piece of maple wood with a modern C shape neck, 21 medium jumbo frets, and a maple fingerboard. It also comes with a vintage synchronized tremolo, a 5-way switch and a master volume control with 2 tones.

Pros:

  • Among the few entry-level guitars with a master volume and two tone controls
  • It has a useful 5-position pickup selector switch
  • Enjoys a fairly sturdy build with a polyester finish
  • Benefits from a vintage style synchronized tremolo
  • Quite affordable considering its overall quality

Cons:

  • Sometimes the tuner makes a clicking sound
  • Low-quality buzz may deter some guitarists

#4 Epiphone Les Paul Standard

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The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is an electric guitar fit for both beginners and professionals alike, one that’s available at a budget-friendly cost. Delivering all the signature sound effects of a quality Gibson, this guitar features a heavy duty mahogany body with Alnico classic humbucker pickups that produce warm resonant sounds and notes. Designed with a tapered neck and body with a fretboard made from high-quality rosewood, this guitar would give you a similar feel to that of any Les Paul guitar. Thanks to its LockTone Tune-O-magic bridge and tailpiece, it offers a better sustain and allows for easy string changes.

Pros:

  • Boasts an immaculate finish and aesthetics
  • Its amber tone and volume controls add to its chromatic uniqueness
  • Features great Grover tuners with responsive switches
  • It also comes with solid, reliable picks
  • Decently cut plastic construction ensures its durability

Cons:

  • Has some unlevel frets all things considered
  • The knobs aren’t exactly straight

#3 Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar

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Offering a wide selection of usable tones, the Fender Modern Player Tele Plus Electric Guitar comes packing a humbucking bridge pickup, a single-coil neck pickup, and a Strat middle pickup. Measuring 9.5 inches in radius with 22 jumbo frets, this guitar is built for quick and comfortable playing. Thanks to its unique 5-way switch and a coil splitting toggle that is designed for the humbucking pickup, this guitar enables users to access a huge variety of sounds and effects. Available in a stunning honey burst color, this vintage style guitar offers great sound quality, brilliant performance, and is extremely affordable by most standards.

Pros:

  • It features a pretty lovely and maneuverable neck
  • Its smooth, vintage body adds to its impressive aesthetics
  • Delivers a twangy sound of the highest quality
  • Very maneuverable considering its construction
  • A clean and attractive finish make it work with any straps

Cons:

  • The neck pickup is a bit weak
  • Its humbucker pick up might go loose over time

#2 Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar

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The Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar features a set neck, a fingerboard made from high-quality rosewood, Trapezoid inlays, and a Lock Tune-o-Matic bridge, making it one of the most popular electric guitars for beginners. This ingenious guitar is equipped with Epiphone ProBbucker 2 & 3 pickups, push/pull coil-tapping to increase the neck pickup volume and the bridge pickup volume. Ideal for beginners, this guitar delivers exceptional tone quality and is extremely versatile.

Pros:

  • Benefits from a fairly ingenious build
  • Its knobs are firmly set and easy to operate
  • The paint job is sublime and adds to its clever look
  • Delivers fabulous sounds with an incredible sustain
  • The brand offers some of the best customer support possible

Cons:

  • Does not come with a case
  • Can develop a cracky sound if used intensely over time

#1 Best Choice Full-Size Blue Electric Guitar with Amp

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Ingeniously built with a body and fingerboard made from high-quality hardwood with a truss rod neck, the Full-Size Blue Electric Guitar with Amp from Best Choice Products is perhaps one of the best guitars for beginners the market has to offer. Designed with 22 frets on a classic modern outlook, it produces great mellow tones and comes with well-placed neck pickups. Measuring 39.5 inches in length, 10.5 inches in width, and 2 inches in height, this guitar is perfectly sized to fit any pair of hands. It also comes with an amp that includes outlets for both a guitar and microphone, a control for treble and bass, a volume control feature, and a drive button. Furthermore, the guitar includes a regulator volume, 2 tones, and a 5 tone-changing amp along with 3 single coil pickups for good measure.

Pros:

  • Once set up, the guitar delivers a truly sublime tone
  • Its treble and bass controls allow you to fully customize your playing experience
  • The amp is reasonably responsive and easy to operate
  • It delivers a near-perfect tone and a great playability
  • Versatile by nature, you can use it to play songs of any genre

Cons:

  • The protective case is very thin
  • Its ground wire needs might cause a slight humming sound

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What To Look For In A Beginner Electric Guitar

Over time, electric guitars have been constantly evolving, with new features and functions added to every new model. The market has quite a diverse range of different models and guitar types to offer, which is why it is essential to know about the different parts of a guitar and how each of them would help you with your playing style. Unless you are a seasoned guitarist, here is what you need to keep in mind when buying an electric guitar for beginners:

Quality Over Price

For a complete beginner, going for a cheaper model should definitely be considered; however, the quality of the guitar must be looked into thoroughly before settling on any model. If you are fortunate, you will surely run into one of the many popular guitar models, which usually command a price tag to match. You shouldn’t necessarily assume that reputable brands are all that much better than budget versions, even though a majority of them are. Instead, you should perhaps focus on your playing style and how you can improve your craft even by employing an entry-level electric guitar.

Body Type

In principle, electric guitars can be categorized according to their general construction, which tells you a lot about the type of music you can play on each specific guitar and how much effort you need to put into each playing session.

Hollow: These are similar to acoustic guitars and produce sounds that contain more feedback and resonance.

Semi-hollow: In order to provide additional stability, a solid block of wood is placed inside the guitar, giving you a warmer sound with higher sustain.

Solid: This body type is the most common when it comes to electric guitars designed for beginners. Although it may not give you the amount of sustain you want, it is definitely the better choice in terms of handling.

Pickups

Pickups represent the primary parts of an electric guitar, as they pick up on the vibrations that are created by the strings, translating them automatically into a signal that is fed into the amplifier which then turns them into sounds. In this respect, electric guitar pickups can be:

Single Coil Pickups: The type that produces crisp, clear, high sounds but with a humming sound.

Humbucker Pickups: For a thicker, heavier sound quality with no humming. A great option for those who play jazz, hard rock, or metal.

Active Pickups: These need batteries to operate and offer special sounds and effects that can be controlled on the guitar itself.

Neck Shape

Guitar necks are available in different sizes and are made from a variety of wood types including maple, rosewood, and ebony. For those of you who have smaller hands, perhaps a better choice would be a narrow shallow neck, as this would aid in providing additional comfort while playing.

Choice of Tonewood

The type of wood utilized to craft a guitar is the primary factor when it comes to the characteristics of the guitar and the quality of sound it produces. Among the most common types of wood used we find:

Maplewood – Produces more treble.

Rosewood – A commonly used wood type that produces balanced sounds.

Mahogany – Produces high sustain and an extremely resonant response.

Ash – Punchy midrange with a good amount of sustain and vibrant tone quality.

Ebony – Dense wood produces a well-balanced sound.

Nato – Produces warm sounds.

Alder – Very similar to Ashwood but not as expensive.

Agathis – Not as resonant and warm as Alder wood but shares most of its other properties.

Bridge Types

A bridge is a piece of hardware that is located at the end of the guitar. The strings are routed over this piece, allowing for an easy adjustment of the string height. Depending on the construction of the guitar and its intended purpose, an electric guitar can one of the following bridges:

Tune-O-Matic: Offering individual string adjustment and intonation, this type is very common in electric guitars.

Bigsby: Commonly present in old-school guitars, this bridge type offers a very vintage sound.

Fulcrum Vibrato: Each string sits on an individual saddle which can easily be adjusted depending on the height and intonation you need.

Six-Point Locking Tremolo: Similar to that of the Fulcrum Vibrato but producing better resonance and vibrations

Floyd Rose: Similar to the Fulcrum Vibrato but offering additional space for the vibrato motions.

String-through: Producing higher levels of sustain, this bridge type includes the strings laying over the saddles and going through the holes in the body of the guitar.

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