So you want to start shredding? You’ve come to the right place. Aside from needing the ambition and inspiration to get going on those licks and chords, the best beginner electric guitar is going to help you get going not only in the now but for the future as well. This is why we’ve decided to give you not only one of our favorite picks but a few others below to give you some options. As seen in our best electric guitar guide, a lot of the decision will be based on your budget; however, keep in mind that this will also be an investment, seeing that even pros use a few of these picks after playing for 20+ years — don’t be afraid to save up after reading and deciding on your own guitar pick. As explained in our learning how to play guitar article, time and repetition is everything. If you take proper care of yours, this is going to be in your family for some quite some time if you’re able to stick with it and develop those guitar skills. Let’s get started!
The best electric guitar for beginners
Our pick: Fender Modern Player Telecaster
To give you an immediate choice and answer as the best electric guitar for beginners, we have arguably one of the greatest pieces of musical art of all time — the Fender Modern Player Telecaster, which has been a consensus pick by not only our long-time guitar-playing friends and family (father who’s been playing his entire life) but reviews around the entire internet that we spent a lot of time researching on. It’s praised for the easy pickup configuration, slick feel, beautiful pine body, great value for the price (it is definitely up there as compared to other beginner electric guitars out there, but you’re getting what you pay for — a long-term investment), and overall warm, clear and appealing sound.
In terms of build, the Player Telecaster combines a modern honey burst finish with a traditional solid-body design (color options available, too!). The versatile pickup configuration allows you to be a little more flexible in which sound and style you want to create — making this one of the best electric guitars for beginners looking to create their own sound or keep it broad so you can choose which route you’d like to go as you learn to play. To go into more detail, the Player Telecaster comes with an HSS pickup configuration, and also sports two different single-coil pickups which lets you reach the strong Tele lead tones plus classic Strat mid-range bite. The humbucker creates a nice and bright response with pedals or any combination of pedals you decide to go with.
The Player Telecaster also has an original Tele wood combo that brings together the harmonic sounds of a pine body with the snap and sharpness of a maple neck and fingerboard. For starters, it is also fairly lightweight in which it may be played long periods of time, while still being easy to travel with. With Fender, you are getting a very solid brand and features that most guitars on the market cannot meet. It is one of the pricier models we’ve gone through, but can definitely get beginners out on the right foot while serving a learning curve for years to come.
Why we also like this pick for beginners is the versatile uses — we’ve seen them live, recording in studios, jam sessions in a garage, small or large venues, and everything else in between. What really sold us on having this first is the combination of its build and finish, beautiful tones, easy and light action not only beginners but pros drool over, as well versatile pickup. All in all, if you wanted a beginners electric guitar recommendation to grab and not look back, the Fender Modern Player Telecaster is it!
Other beginner electric guitar picks
If our pick for the best electric guitar for beginners wasn’t your thing or perhaps out of your budget range, we have a few other of our favorites down below. Just as in our acoustic guitar for beginners article, we felt options were necessary to reach as many of our readers as we could. Don’t forget to grab a guitar amplifier if you really want to blast those licks you learn as you get going on your guitar skills, or once you start learning the ins and outs, start looking into guitar pedals to really tweak and customize your electric sound. Please if you have any questions, comments or opinions, feel free to leave them down below!
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
For our first option, the Les Paul is one of the best electric guitars for beginners who dig a classic look, as the Les Paul Standard was one of the first solid-body electric guitars ever manufactured. It combines both the classic features and Les’ signature tone with years of technology and innovation to create quality and value that many guitar brands have a tough time matching. The Standard is 24.75” long and has a mahogany hand-set neck and body.
Like most Les Paul Standard models, this one comes with a trapezoid fingerboard, and combines an Alnico humbuckers neck pickup with an Alnico “Classic” humbuckers bridge pickup. The Grover machine heads also give the guitar a nice finish, while also being easily replaceable if damaged, lost, or if they’re just old. We have one of the Fender’s greatest competition, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. The Les Paul Standard will forever be a classic in the guitar world, and if you’re a beginner with a little leeway in your budget, then why not grab one of the most legendary guitar pieces ever?
This Ibanez has a RG body style which gives this guitar a bit more personality and attitude. The “Wizard III” neck of the RG450DX gives you a wider range of playability, switching between aggressive rhythm strums and wild lead lines is easy on the slim-profile neck. The Ibanez provides you a pretty good tonal range, as it comes with two humbucking pickups and one single-coil plus 5-way switching — you will be allowed to create and shape any tone on this bad boy. Albeit it has a very rock guitar look to it, the fast playability and tonal variety of this particular model make it a good fit for any playing style.
The Ibanez RG450DX will give the player the ultimate old-school rocker look, all you need to do is slap on a Slash wig to complete the package and you will be on your way to an awesome playing career. The Ibanez RG450DX is a solid-body electric guitar which serves as one of the best electric guitars for beginners who want to learn how to shred — it is built for high-speed, low-drag strumming.
Squier Bullet Stratocaster SSS
This starter electric guitar with tremolo is a simple, budget-friendly, and easy to learn on — making it one of the best beginners electric guitars who need something that is feasible to their budget. This particular Stratocaster features a basswood body material and a polyurethane body finish which give it a pretty nice looking appeal. The neck is a “C” shape, while also having a polished-polyurethane finish that can be easily cleaned or replaced, in case you nick or scratch the guitar while playing. The bridge, middle, and neck pickups are all standard single-coil strats — probably making this model best suited for rhythm guitar-players.
The Squier’ SSS pickup configuration also comes equipped with a 5-position blade for switching. If you want to learn how to play the electric guitar but can’t afford the pricier models/brands, then you will be pleased to know the nifty Squier Bullet Stratocaster sits on the lower price point in the market and is the perfect choice for those who don’t want to spend half a grand on their starter electric guitar. Here we feel our most practical and affordable model, the Squier Bullet Stratocaster SSS.
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V
Last but not least, we have the Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V — one of the best electric guitars for beginners who are looking for a solid alder body style guitar. This model is also price-friendly like the Squier and provides beginners with the necessary features to not only learn how-to-play, but also be pretty good at it. The classic comfort-contoured body comes with a bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, vintage-style vibrato, and 5-way switching of the HSS pickup configuration.
The PAC112V also comes with pretty cool features like an “Alnico V” humbucker with coil-splitting, block saddles, upgraded chrome pro-level hardware, and knurled master tone and volume knobs — all very solid features for the price you are paying. This 25 1/2” beauty will have you ripping like Van Halen, and arguably gives beginners the largest bang for their buck out of the other guitars in this guide.