Best Electric Guitar for Beginners

August 28, 2016

Best Electric Guitars for Beginners

So you want to get your first electric guitar and play licks like a rock star. You came to the right place to find the best electric guitar for you, the beginner. If you’re looking at this for a child, check out out list of the best beginner guitars for kids
Guitar poster

First I want you to think about the moment you decided to play a guitar. What were you listening to? Who is your guitar hero? I specifically remember the moment that I decided I wanted to play guitar. I had been playing guitar hero for years but during this time I was getting serious about my playing. I remember trying to play a specific Van Halen song that was so hard to me at the time, Hot for Teacher.

I asked myself, “If it’s this hard on guitar hero, how hard is it on a real guitar”? I then looked up a guitar lesson on the song on YouTube and instantly thought “I could do this”. That was my moment. I knew I wanted to play Rock and Metal music at that moment.

Combining what you were listening to and your favorite guitar player will give you the genre of music that you want to play. If you’re like I was than you think that any guitar can just get you any sound you want. This is not correct, every guitar has a different sound. This is why it is important to get an electric guitar that is suited for the specific genre you want to play.

Important Notes:

  • This is your first guitar, I can go into the details of the guitars but you don’t know what any of it means and you don’t have to. It doesn’t matter yet this is your first guitar.
  • Keep in mind that the less expensive guitars have cheaper materials and therefore have more problems.
  • This is all opinionated. There are thousands of different opinions on guitars and what is better. You could argue forever about it.

Best Electric Guitars for Beginners for Rock

Les Paul, one of the best electric guitars
It is correct that some guitars, like the Gibson Les Paul, are legends and can play multiple genres. You have heard a Les Paul thousands of times without knowing. This is a must have guitar for any guitarist of any level. Its easy to play feel makes it great for a beginner.

The feel alone makes it one of the best electric guitars for beginners. This model is a beginner model, but it’s still a Les Paul. You can get a cheap Les Paul to start off for around $200 with an amp included by clicking on this link. Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Package, Vintage Sunburst.This is one of the most used guitars on the planet for multiple genres, such as rock, blues, and jazz and it can easily be one of the best electric guitars for beginners. This is an icon in the rock world, people such as Slash from Guns N’ Roses, the members of KISS, and Zakk Wylde, who played for Ozzy Osbourne use this guitar for most of their music.

Slash playing the best electric guitar for beginners

by: Stefan Brending

If you want to play Guns N’ Roses style material, this is a must have.
the epiphone SG, which can be a great beginner guitar

For less than 200 (as offered in the link embedded in the photo above) you can get the Les Pauls close relative, the SG. Used by many artists, the SG is one of the most popular guitars for rock. If you’ve ever heard an ACDC song, then you’ve heard an SG. The best guitar player of all time, Jimi Hendrix, was known to play an SG from time to time. Keep in mind though that this guitar does not come with an amp, unlike the Les Paul. Click the picture of the guitar to be taken to the cheapest listing.



Next is the only suitable competitor to the Les Paul for a popularity contest. The my pick for the best electric guitar for beginnersStratocaster. The guitar of countless musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. This is another guitar that you’ve heard countless times. This range of guitars features single coil pickups, which have a very different sound from a humbucker which is featured on the Les Paul and almost every other guitar on this list. Because of this, it cannot play very heavy rock, this is more of a guitar for classic rock, soft rock, blues, and indie pop music. You can get the Squier Affinity Strat Pack with Fender Frontman 10G – Brown Sunburst for around $200 or you can go with a guitar that might last a little longer here. Squier Affinity Stratocaster – Surf Green – Rosewood FingerboardIf I had to pick I would say that this is the best electric guitar for beginners.

Epihpone starter pack guitar for beginners

Epiphone Explorer Starter Pack

Best Price Here on Amazon

Before you see the price and run away. This guitar is a STEAL for what you are getting. This comes with a guitar, guitar bag, picks, a pedal, an amp, and even a game that will teach you to play the guitar!! After you make this purchase you will be done purchasing things for your guitar playing career for a while.

Best Beginner Electric Guitars For Metal

If you want to be able to someday play some crazy shredding material, these are the guitars to go for.

I also have an article with some killer metal songs that a total beginner can learn .

Almost every lead guitarist has used a Jackson at some point in their career. The members of Metallica frequently use Jacksons and the members of Megadeth played Jacksons for a long time. If you want a metal guitar, then Jackson is one of the best brands you can buy. I personally own a Jackson and it is great for metal. It is one of the best electric guitar for beginners.

iron maiden playing some of the best electric guitars for beginners

by: Adels
Iron Maiden

the js22 dinky for beginner guitarists

If you want to go crazy with a whammy bar, then go for the JS22 Dinky. I have to warn you though, whammy bars bring their own complications.

If you want a V to be super metal, go for the Jackson JS32 Rhoads – Satin Grey or the Jackson JS32T King V – Gloss Black. These guitars have thin necks that are made to play smoothly and fast. The only negative about these guitars are the sensitivity of them. If you bang the corner of the V too hard, you could dent or break it.

If you want to be like Marty Freidman of Megadeth then get yourself a Kelly at the cheapest price by clicking the photo.
if you want to switch from acoustic to electric, this is crazy enough

Another metal brand that is great for a beginner electric guitar is what Metallica and Bullet For My Valentine are currently sponsored by, ESP guitars. They have great all around rock and metal guitars for any range, as you can hear in Metallica’s playing.

These are some highly rated ESP guitars.

ESP F-50 Electric Guitar
definitely not your acoustic guitar, this is an electric guitar

This is kind of an extreme body style guitar, but it’s a pretty cool and a great guitar overall. With a thin, U-shaped neck, it’s very easy to play and play fast (not that you’re there yet but some day you might be). If you look online you probably won’t see a bad review of this guitar. For a price of less than $250, this is a great value guitar. Click the photo of the oddly shaped guitar for the cheapest price.



For less than $200 you can get yourself an M10, another guitar that has a thin, U-shaped profile that’s easy for anybody of any level to play.

ESP M10 entry level guitar


Another staple in the metal world is Ibanez guitars. Ibanez have been the rivals of Jackson ever since they’ve been in business. There is a huge debate between which one is better. If you want to play like Slipknot, then you can go for either an Ibanez guitar, which Mick Thompson uses or you can go for a beefed up Fender, one of Jim Roots models.


Best Beginner Electric Guitar for Blues

Of course you want to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughn or B.B. King. Not even the best beginner electric guitar can make you sound like them. That’s something that will probably never happen because it’s all in the fingers, but you can try your best with your budget. This is your first beginner electric guitar, it won’t sound the best but you can try.

Again we have the Fender line of guitars. You can either choose the Stratocaster or the Telecaster for the budget of less than $300 (it is your first guitar and you don’t know how much you’ll like it).

Deep Purple playing the stratocaster which is one of the best guitars for beginners

Deep Purple, 01. Dezember, 1970, Niedersachsenhalle, Germany
by: W.W.Thaler – H.Weber, Hildesheim

This was the guitar of many blues legends including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. The single coil sound of the Stratocaster is like no other. The guitar sings to you and with its many different pickup settings, you can make it cry it many different ways. The single coil pickups of the Stratocaster are what make it sound so different from the Les Paul. Listen to a demonstration of the Stratocaster and then see if it is the right sound for you.

telecaster starter pack for the beginner blues guitaristThe Telecaster has a similar set up to the Stratocaster with its two single coil pickups but its body style and feel is different. I personally like the Telecaster over the Stratocaster because of how it feels to play and how it sounds. I did not get those same sounds of a Stratocaster despite the very similar set up of the two guitars. This is your beginner electric guitar and you probably don’t even know how to play anything yet so you can’t compare the two properly. If you want a single coil pickup guitar so you can sound like one of the blues legends mentioned, pick one of the two. For the best deal, click the picture!


Legends like Gary Moore and B.B. King also used Gibson’s. While you can’t really get any Gibson’s for less than about $600, you can get their beginner range brand, Epiphone. You can choose between an SG, ES, Epiphone DOT Studio Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitar, Gloss Cherry, or Les Paul (of course).

That’s it, if the guitar you chose doesn’t come with an amp, then find one from our best beginner guitar amp page and you will be ready to be a rock star!

Comment below and let me know if you have any questions about anything I will be glad to help!


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  • Christian September 4, 2016 at 1:03 am

    I have always had a desire to learn how to play the guitar, but I ultimately chose the piano. But that guitar will not let me go.

    So you recommend that I go with a Les Paul? A Stratocaster? Are there many kinds of Les Paul Stratocasters, or can I walk into Guitar Center and just ask for a Les Paul? Would you happen to know where I can get one for cheap?

    • admin September 4, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Hello Christian,

      Thanks for commenting. Buying a Les Paul would be a safe bet if you want to play anything even moderately heavy. You can find a good Les Paul on Amazon, I will be providing a link later on to the exact listing.

  • Patrick September 5, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Hey Ry, huge metal fan here. Listening is one thing but becoming knowledgeable in the instruments is all new to me. My cousin started guitaring when he was younger and i always wondered if I would be any good at it. 200 dollars does not sound that bad for a guitar and amp. Leaning more towards the Les Paul for noobie sake. Eventually move up to the Jackson for some major Amon Amarth shredding perhaps. Thanks for the post!

    • admin September 5, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      Hello Patrick, bullet for my valentine was one of the bands that made me want to play guitar. You can go with the Les Paul for now but it is a beginner rock guitar, so just know you will eventually have to upgrade to a Jackson or something to get better. Rock on!

  • Derek Marshall September 7, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Hi there,

    Excellent article and I am actually very interested in learning to play the guitar but electric is not really my style, more acoustic guitar is my style.

    Since you asked, my guitar hero is Eric Clapton, I would a push add Mark Knopfler and Gary Moor to that little list.

    Do you have resources and recommendations regarding best acoustic guitars for newbies and learning to play the acoustic?

    Thank you kindly in advance.

    • admin September 7, 2016 at 5:36 am

      Thanks for commenting,

      I am actually in the stages of creating an article on acoustic guitars for beginners, now that I see that there is a demand for it, I’ll get to it!

      P.S. Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and even Gary Moore at times, used Stratocasters

  • Jeff September 12, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Well, I am all for any site that encourages anyone to get onto playing the guitar, more power to you! I have been playing in touring metal bands for most of my adult life and recently quit my ‘regular job’ as a music store manager because I had enough of my boss’s attitude towards our customers and his very dodgy business ethics….or lack of. So my point is anyone offering great advice straight from the heart for the love of the music is most welcome and I wish you every success!

    • admin September 16, 2016 at 3:49 am

      Thanks for the comment and the wishes!

  • John September 16, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Hi, my friend used to play in a band when we were young and I used to help the band set up their instruments when they played gigs in pubs and bars. He has a Les Paul and I would play a few bars on it every now and then. I know he was talking about buying a new guitar so I will send him your website. I am sure he will love it. Great info.

    Thanks John

    • admin September 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks John,
      Glad to see someone else shares the passion!

  • Liberty September 18, 2016 at 8:41 pm


    Great explanations about all the different types of guitars. I like how you break up the different categories of music with the guitars to make it easy to choose which one is best for me. I wanted to play the guitar as a little kid but never did. But your website might make me want to again in the future.

    • admin September 19, 2016 at 1:22 am

      Thanks for the comment. If you ever have any questions you can always ask.

  • Blake September 18, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Nice description of the different types of guitars for metal and blues! I’m going to guess that most of these instruments are very versatile, so for someone more into British pop or alternative, like myself, most of these would still work. If not, or if there are better choices, do you have an article coming for the instruments you’d suggest for these genres?

    • admin September 19, 2016 at 12:45 am

      Hello Blake, that is correct that most of these guitars are versatile. The Fender Stratocaster and Telocaster are used a lot in pop and alternative music, but at the same time, the other guitars like the ES and Les Paul are used. I should add a note that a lot of these can be used for pop and alternative music too.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • JRay September 18, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    I want to start off by saying I was the perfect person to be given the opportunity to view and comment on your site, because I am a complete beginner in the guitar world. I have no guitar skills what so ever.

    Now on to your site, I thought the layout of your site is clean and very readable. You kept it simple and to the point. Each product review was detailed and allowed me to develop my own opinions on what would be best to start with. Having each guitar link to where I can purchase them with amazon was fantastic. It lead me right to where I needed to be.

    Your about me page was personable and honest. I was able to feel I could rely on you to get the best beginner guitar and that you would be there to support me along my journey with any questions I may have.

    Thanks Ryan, Great site.


    • admin September 19, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Thanks JRay. You can drop any question you have right here and I will be here to answer you.

  • sandra September 19, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Great breakdown of the different guitars. I didn’t know you could get a guitar for under $200 or $300! I took guitar lessons when I was in elementary school. When I first got it I didn’t even know how to hold it correctly! I had a series of supposed “guitar teachers”. One always would play his accordion while I was trying to play, another showed up drunk…I never did get the hang of it.

    • admin September 19, 2016 at 2:05 am

      Thank you, and Lol! That sounds like something that could only happen in a movie or a tv show. Hopefully you can pick the guitar back up one day.

  • Gaylene Nepia September 19, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Awesome explanation of the different brands of guitars available. I’m a Blues and Jazz lover, so I love Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Eric Clapton, Santana, Steve Vai, Jo Satriani, Albert King, George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert Collins to name just a few. I’ve never aspired to play guitar myself, but I do have children who all love to play and I think they’ll appreciate the information that you have shared here, much appreciated

    • admin September 19, 2016 at 2:46 am

      Hello Gaylene, I actually have a page on beginner guitars for kids if they’re small children or pre-teens. Thanks for commenting and I hope these pages will help you in the future.

  • Kaz Justin Marzo September 20, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Ryan! This is a great article. My nephew is actually trying to learn how to play the electric guitar. I’ll definitely recommend this article to him. Thanks!

    • admin September 20, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for the comment Kaz

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