Best Electric Guitars of 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Interested in electric guitars? Well, you’re in the right place as this article contains everything you need to know about them.

From their components to how to choose an electric guitar, this article will finish off with a brief guide into today’s best electric guitars and why you should choose one of them.

Check it out!

Comparison Chart of the Best Electric Guitars

Product

Rating

Price

Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Black

Best Overall

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus-Top Pro Electric Guitar

Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

Runner-up

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Blue (GRX70QATBB)

Best for the Money

Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar

Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar - Rosewood Fingerboard, Surf Green

Best Beginner Electric Guitar

ESP LTD EC-401 Electric Guitar

ESP LTD EC-401 Electric Guitar, Black

Best Intermediate Electric Guitar

Fender Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Fender  Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Sherwood Green Metallic - Maple Fingerboard

Best Electric Guitar For Small Hands

Traveler Guitar 6 String Electric Guitar, Right, Wine Red (SPD WRDMT)

Traveler Guitar 6 String Electric Guitar, Right, Wine Red (SPD WRDMT)

Best Travel Electric Guitar

Guild Guitars Bluesbird

Guild Guitars Bluesbird (Black) Solid Body Electric Guitar with Gig Bag (Black)

Best Electric Guitar for Blues

Fender American Special Telecaster

Fender American Special Telecaster, Maple Fingerboard, Vintage Blonde

Best Electric Guitar Under $1000

What Are The Components of an Electric Guitar?

The electric guitar is, well, a guitar. It has some similarities with acoustic guitars, but also some differences. Here are the main components of electric guitars:

The Neck

The neck contains the headstock with the tuners, nut, fingerboard, and frets. The headstock contains the tuners, while the nut stops the strings from vibrating higher than the neck. The fingerboard contains the frets, which are thin pieces of metal perpendicular to the strings, which allows them to create a variety of pitches. 

The Body

While the neck is similar to an acoustic guitar, the electric guitar has a body containing the housing for the bridge assembly, pickups, tone, and volume controls. Here you will also find a metal rod attached to the metal which attaches the strings to the body (called a bridge). The metal rod is commonly known as a tremolo bar or a vibrato bar. Most electric guitars have solid bodies, while acoustic ones are hollow.  

Electric-Specific Components

The specific components of an electric guitar, compared to acoustic are also the pickguard and the pickups. The pickguard might have all the other electronics on them. The pickups are those components that make the electric guitar electric – this converts the movement of the string into an electrical signal and sends it to the amp. Different pickups give different sounds. 

How to Choose a Quality Electric Guitar

Here are the top three features you need to consider before purchasing your high-quality guitar. 

Material

The tonewoods are extremely important in choosing the best electric guitar. Here is a shortlist of the most popular and what they do:

  • Alder – used for body, gives full, strong and clear sounds

  • Mahogany – for the body; it gives warmer sounds with powerful mids; for neck, enhances the warmth

  • Maple – for the body; bright tones; for neck, it brings out brightness and clarity

  • Rosewood –most commonly used for fingerboards

  • Pau Ferro – smoothness, easy to play when used for the fingerboard

  • Ebony fingerboards have long sustained and bright sounds

Pickups

The pickups generate different sounds. Some come with more than one pickup, allowing you a wider degree of flexibility in the choice of sounds produced. The single-coil pickups have bright sounds; humbuckers are warmer and considerably smoother; some guitars combine the two. 

Bridges

The main types of bridges are stop tail bridges and tremolo bridges. The first one comes with tuning stability and long sustain, while the second tremolo type allows you to create a vibrato effect. 

Review of Best Electric Guitars

Let’s take a closer look at the best electric guitars of the year.

Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Black

PROS

  • Exquisite design
  • Very comfortable due to design
  • Suitable for any genre and it is player-friendly
  • Delivers high performances for both beginners and professionals
  • Extremely high-quality components, including knobs, tuners, and pickups

CONS

  • Quality control

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a high-quality, professional-level instrument, and it comes ready to play out of the box. The design is absolutely flawless, while the neck is designed to enhance playability to the maximum. All the components are extremely durable and high-quality, although overall the guitar is lightweight.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Fender Stratocaster is traditionally made from alder due to its resonant features: bright, resonant and balances tones, with a great sustain and sharp attack. This product is also extremely user-friendly, due to its C-shaped neck, which makes it ideal for any play style.

Who Will Use This Most

This electric guitar is specially designed to fulfill any needs and desires. It is incredibly flexible and suitable for any music genre. Professional or not, if you are a passionate guitarist, this can be the perfect option for you. It is durable, high-quality, and it is born to perform.

Bottom Line

Overall, this Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar does deliver on quality and the clarity of notes. It is hard not to appreciate this beauty as you go through those punchy mids or the high end, which is as delicate as a bell. On top of it, the build is robust and long-lasting. This is definitely a long-term investment for you!

Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

PROS

  • Great sustain and fabulous performance
  • Medium jumbo frets – no change required
  • Flawless design and quality of components
  • No additional set up needed, can be played right out of the box
  • Highly versatile, can be used with any music genre and play style

CONS

  • Might seem heavy to some players
  • Poor quality control resulting in buzz in the bridge/neck pickup
  • A good-quality amp is needed to benefit fully from this instrument

What Recent Buyers Report

The guitar has a perfect finish and fit; the elements such as knobs are extremely well built to last for a long time to go. The straight neck and the centered nut improve the looks and feel of this instrument. It has excellent sustain, the pickups are great, and it is also extremely versatile.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Epiphone is our favorite pick for Epiphones due to the high-quality features it embeds, challenging more expensive alternatives. It all comes to set up, from intonation to truss rod, no fret buzz, anything you would expect in a high-quality professional instrument. It has a mahogany body, which makes it lighter and player-friendly.

Who Will Use This Most

The instrument is so versatile, it is impossible to retrain its target audience. It is easy to play, comfortable, and it can flow so well on different music genres and play styles. The sustain is great, while the handset neck and alignment are both perfect.

Bottom Line

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus-Top Pro Electric Guitar is your way to go if you are looking for consistent quality. The price range is competitive, but the quality is definitely without equal. With superb playability, it is ready to rock your world right out of the box!

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Blue (GRX70QATBB)

PROS

  • Perfect tuning stability
  • High-quality components, precise tuners
  • Well-designed fretboard and includes a tremolo bridge
  • Comes with cable, wrenches or intonation and truss rod adjusting
  • Pickup configuration with a 5-way switch makes it highly versatile for any music genre

CONS

  • Frets might need leveling to lower the action
  • Volume knob slightly raised – not a major issue
  • A little unbalanced – body is lighter than fretboard and headstock (need a good shoulder strap)

What Recent Buyers Report

This instrument delivers on quality much higher than it is supposed to at its price range. It is easy to play and tune; it comes with a slender neck, and the overall build is a featherweight. One of its most impressive features is the tuning stability, skillfully completed by the quality of the sounding.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar is our top choice for its qualities of perfect long-term tuning stability, and versatility due to the wide variety of tones. The tones can be achieved through the HSH pickup configuration with a 5-way switch. Lastly, tuners are high quality, stable and precise, while the design is smooth and slender.

Who Will Use This Most

Although the price range might suggest it is a beginner instrument, do not fall into this trap. The guitar looks flawless; it is easy to tune it, and it is amazing on the clean and distortion channels. It can easily suit both professionals and beginners.

Bottom Line

Overall, Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar is an excellent choice for any guitarist out there. It is affordable, long-lasting, has impressive tuning stability and a gorgeous finish. The pickups sound great, and quality is consistent with each purchase.

Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar - Rosewood Fingerboard, Surf Green

PROS

  • Best guitar for beginners
  • Fender-specific exquisite aesthetics
  • C-shaped neck for enhanced comfort
  • Easy to use, comfortable and lightweight
  • High tuning stability and good quality components

CONS

  • Not recommended for professionals
  • Nut not perfectly leveled – not a major issue
  • You might want to change the pickups and the strings at some point

What Recent Buyers Report

It is an exceptionally well-made guitar with a satin finish. The frets’ ends were smooth and perfectly leveled. Tuning stability is great, the body is thin and featherweight, which does not add strain on the body while playing. You might want to take it for a professional setup; however, this delivers high on quality expectations.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This beginner Stratocaster is the perfect choice for your hobby or your new career. It delivers high on style and solid sounds. The three single-coil pickups come with 5-way switching for higher tones versatility, and it is easy to play and comfortable.

Who Will Use This Most

As expected, this guitar is best recommended for beginners. If you are looking to pick up a new hobby or you are passionate and willing to become a true musician, this might be the turning point in your life. This Stratocaster embodies everything you need: playability, comfort, versatility, and exquisite performance.

Bottom Line

As a beginner, choosing your first guitars might be extremely difficult and confusing. However, we decided to ease your job and pick this Stratocaster exactly for you! With its numerous features, playing and practicing will be easy, pleasant, and you will have speedy learning!

Best Intermediate Electric Guitar:
ESP LTD EC-401 Electric Guitar

ESP LTD EC-401 Electric Guitar, Black

PROS

  • Easy to play set neck
  • Attractive and tidy design
  • Powerful tones, highly versatile
  • Enhanced sustain and resonance
  • Perfect active pickup combination perfect for rock tones

CONS

  • Quality control
  • Mostly suitable for rock
  • The package is very sensitive

What Recent Buyers Report

The instrument is exquisite, it has enhanced tuning stability, and the sounds are clear and dark. It is easy to handle; it is comfortable, and the casing is exceptionally sturdy and durable. The only drawback is that the original packaging is quite thin and sensitive, prone to damage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This instrument is the best intermediate-level guitar, ready to rock on every music genre you can think of. The set-neck improves comfort and quick access to high frets. The mahogany body and neck enhance sustain and resonance. Reliable hardware and smooth design only enhance powerful tones.

Who Will Use This Most

This instrument is best for intermediate-level rock players. The instrument delivers dark notes, which is perfect to cover heavy bands. It is easy to play and convenient, especially due to the neck, which supports fast access to high frets when needed.

Bottom Line

Overall, ESP LTD EC-401 Electric Guitar is an attractive intermediate-level guitar perfect for rock lovers. The dark intonation, completed with good sustain and resonance is a real asset for any heavy bands. Both body and neck are made from mahogany, which enhances the quality of sounds and makes them more powerful.

Fender  Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Sherwood Green Metallic - Maple Fingerboard

PROS

  • Intonation is perfect
  • Well-crafted headstock
  • Masterful clean tones, with growl and bite
  • Great cut for the neck with a lacquered design
  • Pine body with gorgeous aesthetics and attention to details

CONS

  • Might need to file the nut
  • Experienced players might want to change strings
  • Heavier build than other alternatives, yet small scale

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar has a heavy trustful build, and it seems literally indestructible. It is innovative, and the creative build allows you to explore a wide variety of tones, with perfect intonation. Pickups are lively, rich, and there is pure bliss in the middle position.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Fender guitar embeds the classic quality and features of other Fender guitars, in a smaller size, perfect for small hands. It retains the vintage glossy look with a maple neck and fingerboard which help to deliver clear and bright sounds. The sustain is great even in the crunch mode.

Who Will Use This Most

This masterpiece is created in a slightly smaller size compared to other alternatives, perfect if you have smaller hands or you just feel more comfortable. Yet, it does not compromise on quality, playability, and ease of use. It also comes with a pretty good setup, so it is an easy-goer for beginners.

Bottom Line

Overall, there is little to no criticism of this beauty. If you are a novice or intermediate-level, you will be satisfied with this instrument right out of the box. For professional players, small adjustments such as changing the strings or filing the nut might help to take their performance a step up.

Traveler Guitar 6 String Electric Guitar, Right, Wine Red (SPD WRDMT)

PROS

  • Great tone and sustain
  • High standards for performance
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Extremely compact design with a detachable arm
  • Same playing area as any other full-scale instrument

CONS

  • Arm position might put strains on the body
  • Tuning stability is less compared to other models
  • Input jack could have a better position for comfort

What Recent Buyers Report

This travel-sized instrument is not only best for traveling musicians, but it can also save a lot of space. The full-sized neck brings about all the advantages of a full-scale guitar. The fretboard is fast; the tuners are great-quality

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar is the best travel-sized instrument on the market. It is full-scale in that the guitar has the same playing area as any other electric guitar, but the package is a lot smaller. The killer tones are due to the dual-rail, high-output humbucker, and it offers amazing sustain and tone.

Who Will Use This Mos

Well, this instrument is obviously best for the traveling musician, as it is so compact it even fits in the airline overhead bins. The design is specially created with a minimalistic thought. It has a detachable upper arm to make it small-scale; however, the playability and quality are challenging some of the most popular models on the market.

Bottom Line

Overall, this tiny-sized instrument is perfect to be taken anywhere with you. It comes with a gig bag, a detachable arm, and compact design, which makes it shorter and lighter than a standard sized guitar. However, it has the same playability zone and high-quality intonation.

Best Electric Guitar for Blues:
Guild Guitars Bluesbird

Guild Guitars Bluesbird (Black) Solid Body Electric Guitar with Gig Bag (Black)

PROS

  • Updated version of the original 1970 model
  • Includes a gig bag, ideal for the gigging musician
  • Maple top and mahogany back and sides, best for blues
  • Enhanced comfort and bluesy sounds, great performance
  • Comes with enhanced modern features such as stop bar tailpiece, among others

CONS

  • Customer service
  • Recommended for blues
  • Extremely lightweight – some prefer heavier models

What Recent Buyers Report

This is one of the best choices for blues but does suit other music genres. It is featherweight, and it releases gorgeous sounds, even without the help of an amp. This model is a good alternative to extremely pricey guitars.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Blues guitar stands out from the crowd due to manufacturers’ preservation of the typical historical models. It has a carved maple top, and it has a lightweight chambered body which enhanced resonance; a C-shape neck ensures extra comfort. This model successfully blends vintage and modern technology.

Who Will Use This Most

This model is a priority for blues players. If you are a lover of the traditional Bluesbird, you will find that this model is a faithful replica. The only modifications suffered only enhance playability and comfort, along with quality due to the new pickups, brand new tune-o-matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Guild Guitars Bluesbird is best for vintage lovers. Using similar features and designs, the only modifications of the 1970s first Bluesbird model come only as an extension which enhances comfort, playability, and sound quality.

Best Electric Guitar Under $1000:
Fender American Special Telecaster

Fender American Special Telecaster, Maple Fingerboard, Vintage Blonde

PROS

  • Heavy, with a solid, sturdy build
  • Tuning stability, beautiful performance
  • High quality, long-lasting components
  • A truly dream guitar, with a satin finish
  • Easy string bending for enhanced playability and comfort

CONS

  • High price range

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar redefines perfection. The maple neck and the blonde vintage touch combine smoothly with the perfection of the performance. The tones, the sounds, the feels are nothing short of expectation for such a dream guitar. It is perfectly set up and can be played right out of the box.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Fender American Special Telecaster delivers on quality and versatility. It has a satin-finished neck, easy string-bending, and a modern feel, with a touch of a classic design. What truly makes it stand out is the high-quality of the build, the alder body, and maple neck, along with the Texas Special pickups.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are an ambitious beginner or a professional, this might be the guitar for you. It comes in a higher price range, however, it makes up with quality, long life, and versatility. It is perfect for both classic and contemporary music genres, including blues, rock, country, and pop.

Bottom Line

Overall, Fender American Special Telecaster might have a higher price range, but it is next to impossible to find any flaws. Fender did a perfect job with this instrument. From the quality of the components to the sounds and performance, all the way to the satin finish.

Epiphone Hummingbird PRO Acoustic/Electric Guitar

PROS

  • Bright and vibrant sounds, even without an amp
  • Lightweight, easy to hold, does not put strains on the body
  • Enhanced playability and comfort due to a smaller sized neck
  • Electronics are high-quality, enhancing the clarity and loudness of sounds
  • Clarity and brightness are enhanced due to the high-quality onboard pre-amp and pickup

CONS

  • Finish is not long-lasting
  • Quality control issues with pre-amps
  • Might not be suitable for professionals, but a great choice for beginners and intermediate-level

What Recent Buyers Report

The guitar has an amazing finish, the built is high-quality, and it can be played straight out of the box. The guitar’s performance is impressive and balanced, with mellow and warm tones, and crisp and bright ones exactly when needed. It is difficult to describe the complexity and the beauty of the sounds, as brilliant, radiant, and crisp are only a few of their many attributes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This acoustic-electric guitar is the pick on our list due to its fantastic price. It offers the best value for money and, despite its smaller size, we are surprised by how clear, bright, and loud it sounds. It works best as either acoustic or electric and the slim neck makes it easy to play.

Who Will Use This Most

The hummingbird is perfect for anyone looking to learn how to play or for someone who has a smaller body frame. It is lightweight, easy to pick up and start playing right away. The brightness and clarity of the sounds make it perfect for rock or country music.

Bottom Line

The hummingbird is exceptionally well-made, it sounds exquisite, and it is lightweight. This instrument is a pure pleasure to play, enhanced by its lightweight body and slim neck, making you want to play it more and more.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you make your decision, here’s a short checklist you should consult:

Level of Proficiency

After deciding which options are good for you, take another minute or so and consider where it is also matching your skill level. While most of them are beginner-friendly, you might want to start with a smaller-size guitar, an easy-bending one, or a highly versatile model, which allows you to explore different music genres before you settle down. 

Price Range

Another important consideration is to set your budget. Luckily, we got you covered! The guitars reviewed span over quite a wide range of prices, without compromising on quality. Make sure you invest in your preferred guitar without outstretching or, the opposite if you have the chance to invest in an upper-scale instrument, do so as you won’t regret it!

Compatibility

It is also essential to consider whether your preferred model matches your needs and tastes. Maybe you are a fan of pop music. Choosing a rock-inclined instrument might give you the impression of under performance, while it simply is not built for this. Once again, we made sure our reviewed items cover most music genres, so you can definitely find the one for you. 

Perks of Getting a New Electric Guitar

While it might be self-explanatory some of these, here is a shortlist of the advantages you will get if you invest in one of our high-quality models:

Quality

The first win you get is that we don’t compromise on quality. This might seem unlikely considering that some of the products come in relatively low ranges. However, they are picked because other users have tested their value and quality that stretch over the price by far. 

Comfort and Ease of Play

If you choose one of our high-quality products, be reassured that comfort and playability are not negotiable. While they do have different degrees, these products are built with the most up-to-date technology which allows you to benefit from extended play hours. Of course, all you need to do is make sure you follow guidelines related to skill level. 

Performance

The most essential quality of our products is, of course, performance. Despite their slight differences among all of them, such as prices, characteristics, and features, they all deliver high on performance standards. They will increase not only your comfort, which allow you to practice for more hours, but the sounds will awe your audience.

Conclusion

Overall, this article carried you over the vast universe of electric guitars. Indeed we covered the crucial aspects to get you started, such as their components, qualities, features and, most importantly, presented you with a carefully selected list of the best electric guitars on the market.