Best Beginner Electric Guitars: An Idea You Might Like

Best Beginner Electric Guitars: An Idea You Might Like

Are you looking for your first electric guitar but are not sure what to buy? Do the choices and various options leave you completely confused? Well, you are not alone, this is completely normal for anyone about to start an exciting new hobby.

So, I’ve decided to simplify the process and give you some basic advice that will ensure you buy the right guitar that will get you playing quickly, and most importantly, make sure you keep on playing for years to come and enjoy every second of it.

Let’s start with…

Is an electric guitar better than an acoustic guitar for a beginner?

Yes, for most players. Electric guitars have lower actions (the distance between the strings and the fretboard) and thinner strings making them easier to play with a lot less likelihood of painful fingertips. They are also smaller in size, making them more comfortable to hold and maneuver. Plus they are cooler to look at, and the cooler your guitar is, the more you will want to play it.

There are however a few negatives, the first is that you will also need to buy a small amp and a guitar cable so that you can hear yourself, adding to the initial expense. They are also not a good option if you want to play folk or some other form of acoustic music.

Now that’s been covered, let’s move on to…

What Electric Guitar is Best for a Beginner?

I could spend the next 10 paragraphs going into the finer details of single-coil pickups versus humbuckers, double cuts versus single cuts, tremolos versus fixed bridges, etc., etc. But that probably doesn’t mean much or even anything to most of you.

I am not trying to confuse you on purpose I promise, I’m just saying that there really isn’t any need to understand the complexities of guitar design at this early stage. All you need is a good electric guitar that will inspire you to want to practice and improve as a guitarist.

So, what should you buy?

Well, it’s quite simple really, buy the guitar your favorite guitarist uses. Obviously, money will not be an object for a rockstar so you won’t want to spend as much as they normally do on your first guitar. However, nearly every manufacturer has a more affordable range of guitars, usually under a sub-brand, that will get you the basic sound and look of your guitar hero's instrument for a lot less money.

I have been telling my pupils (and their parents) this little piece of advice since I started teaching over 30 years ago. And it’s worked every single time. If the guitar sitting on its stand in your room looks the same as the guitar your hero is holding on the poster on the wall, or on the cover of a CD on your shelf, you are much more likely to want to play it. And the more you play it, the better you will get, which will result in you wanting to play it even more.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular options…

I’ll do this by breaking down the different musical genres, listing the most famous musicians within that genre, and giving you my electric guitar recommendations for a beginner who is interested in playing that style of music.

Classic Rock - Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, etc.

Jimmy Page - Epiphone Les Paul Standard - Cherry Sunburst
Keith Richards - Squier Affinity Series Telecaster Deluxe - Silverburst (they don’t make them in black)
Pete Townsend - Squier Stratocaster - Red
Jimi Hendrix - Squier Sonic Stratocaster HT - White
Tony Iommi - Epiphone SG Standard - Black - or the Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Special if you want to spend a little more

Rock - Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, etc.

Slash - Epiphone Les Paul Standard - Honeyburst - or the Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard if your budget can stretch to it
Richie Sambora - Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS - Blackburst
Eddie Van Halen - EVH Wolfgang Special - Stealth Black


Keith Urban - Squier Affinity Series Telecaster - Sunburst
Brad Paisley - Squier Affinity Series Telecaster - Butterscotch Blonde
James Burton - Squier Affinity Series Telecaster - Crimson Red Transparent


BB King - Epiphone ES-335 - Vintage Sunburst - or the Epiphone B.B. King Lucille if you don’t mind spending a bit more
Stevie Ray Vaughn - Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster - Sunburst or the Fender Stevie Ray Vaughn - Stratocaster if you want to spend a small fortune!
Joe Bonamassa - Epiphone Les Paul Standard - Cherry Sunburst

Metal - Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, The Scorpions, etc.

Dave Murray - Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS - Blackburst
KK Downing - Epiphone Flying V - Black
Rudy Schenker - Ephiphone Flying V - Black
Mathias Jabs - Epiphone Explorer “Inspired by Gibson” - Black

Indie Rock - Radiohead, R.E.M., Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.

Johnny Greenwood - Squier Affinity Series Telecaster
Billy Corgan - Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster - Lake Placid Blue
Tom Morello - Squier Affinity Series Telecaster - Black
John Frusciante - Squier Classic Vibe 60s Stratocaster - Sunburst

Thrash - Metallica, Megadeth, etc.

James Hetfield - Epiphone Explorer “Inspired by Gibson” - Black
Kirk Hammett - ESP LTD M-200DX - Purple Burst
Dave Mustaine - Epiphone Flying V - Black - or the Krammer Dave Mustaine Vanguard - Silver metallic - if you feel like splashing out!

I could go on and on. But I’m sure you get the idea by now, the best electric guitar for a beginner is an affordable version of the one that their hero plays. I apologize if I haven’t included your guitar hero, or even your favorite musical genre in my list but there are so many people that I could and probably should have included.

If you’re not sure what instrument your favorite guitarist plays, do an Iinternet search, then search for an affordable version. Brands like Fender have their cheaper Squier range, Gibson has Epiphone, PRS has PRS SE, etc., etc. So, with a little research, you will find the perfect beginner's guitar that will get you playing and keep you playing.

I wish you all the very best of luck on the exciting musical journey you are about to start!


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