Best Beginner Electric Guitars of 2020 – Complete Round-up

Thalia
| Last Updated: March 4, 2021

Selecting the right electric guitar that suits your needs can be challenging if it’s the first time for you.

There are multiple varieties on the market, which can make it quite a puzzling task to choose one.

Fortunately for you, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive review of the best beginner electric guitars. 

Comparison of the Best Beginner Electric Guitars

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Two single-coil Telecaster pickups
  • Top-load Telecaster bridge with 21 frets
  • C-shaped, ergonomically designed neck
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  • 20 brass frets
  • Best beginner electric guitar for the money
  • One-way tremolo with volume and tone control
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  • Hand orientation – right
  • Best Beginner Acoustic-Electric Guitar
  • Tonewood – Ebony fingerboard, mahogany, and Sapele
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  • Built-in pickup ring e-tuner
  • Ceramic plus humbucking pickups
  • Best Beginner Electric Guitar Package
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  • A 12-inch radius fingerboard
  • Best Fender Beginner Electric Guitar
  • Six-saddle string-through-body Tele bridge with block saddles
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  • Bridge: vintage-style Tremolo
  • Comes with a 20-watt amplifier
  • Best Ibanez Beginner Electric Guitar
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How Does an Electric Guitar Work?

An electric guitar consists of pickups that utilize electromagnetic induction to convert the vibration of the strings into electrical signals. 

The signals are then transmitted to a guitar amplifier, which then feeds them to a speaker that transforms them back into sound again. 

These signals are produced when you strike, pluck, strum, or tap the guitar strings. The timbre of the sound being produced can also be altered through various effects, such as distortion and reverb. 

Features, such as bridges, vary across guitars, which allows players to carry out different configurations that bend the pitch of the sound being produced. 

How to Choose Your First Electric Guitar 

There are several factors that you need to think about before settling on which guitar to go for. As a beginner, you need to be careful about your selection to ensure you only get the best version that will work for you. 

Let’s take a look at some of the guiding tips that will help you in choosing which electric guitar to buy. 

Cost and Budget

Based on the amount you want to spend on a guitar, you should consider looking at models that give you the best value for your money. This means factoring in aspects such as quality and durability against the price of the guitar. 

Reputation

There are brands that have built a name for themselves, and these are the most ideal to start out with. Companies like Epiphany and Les Paul are known for their high-quality guitar makes, which will serve you for a long time as you learn how to play. 

Shape 

Guitars come with numerous odd and standard forms. For your first model, it's best to go for one that has an ergonomic design that will feel comfortable when you hold it. Going for the exotic and unusual shapes may look cool, but such guitars can be cumbersome to handle for a beginner. 

Review of the Best Beginner Electric Guitars

This review will highlight the essential aspects, pros, and cons of seven of the best electric guitars for beginners. Moreover, it will feature customer reviews and additional information on why each guitar was chosen as a top-tier product for this list. 

PROS

  • It has multiple tone variations
  • There is a version of this guitar for left-handed people
  • It has a C-shaped neck that provides comfort while playing, regardless of the style you use
  • You can easily change its strings and tighten them accordingly to provide optimum stability when you play
  • The two single-coil pickups improve the sound transmission and amplification, hence richer and louder music

CONS

  • Because of the fixed bridges, adjusting the pitch is a more complicated process

What Recent Buyers Report

Most customers praise it for its excellent performance, especially in the tones it produces. However, there were a few issues with the versions made in Indonesia. The word is that they have lesser quality materials, so you might want to go for the ones made in China. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar encompasses professional features with graceful intonation in its tone and sound production. In addition to providing optimal tuning performance and stability, it also comes with an appealing design and an ergonomically crafted body. All this is made available at a modest price, giving you one of the best values in an electric guitar. 

Who Will Use This Most

The Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster was made for the aspiring musician. Its features make it easy for any person to play the guitar and learn how to tune it fast. The design of the guitar also makes it a breeze for a beginner to hold it and practice playing with it. 

Bottom Line

This guitar is part of the Affinity Series, which is dedicated to the creation of guitars for first-timers who want to learn how to play electric guitars. It offers several extra features in comparison to the Ibanez GRG121DXWNF, which can be a great choice for someone who desires more. 

Donner 39 Inch Electric Guitar Beginner Kit Solid Body Full Size Sunburst HSS for Starter, with Amplifier, Bag, Digital Tuner, Capo, Strap, String, Cable, Picks, DST-102S

PROS

  • It comes with a pickup switch 
  • It comes with a 1-year warranty
  • It is highly durable, so it will serve you for years of use
  • The package comes with a 3-watt mini electric guitar amplifier
  • It has a volume adjustment knob that lets you control how high or low you want the guitar to sound

CONS

  • There is no left-handed version

What Recent Buyers Report

The Donner DST-1S 39” electric guitar kit has had an excellent track record that is recognized by its customers. Words such as ‘great’, ‘amazing’, and ‘excellent’ are the main descriptors for this product. While not a pro-guitar, all these positive reviews are attributed to its superior craftsmanship and the value for the money that it gives its customers. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are many features of this guitar that make it a top-notch product. First, it is a 39-inch, fully-sized electric guitar. Second, it comes with volume control knobs and, of course, the pickup switch. In addition to all that, you will also receive accessories, such as an amplifier, extra strings, and a bag for holding the guitar among several other things. Considering the price it comes at, this is truly a deal that saves you money while offering the best of everything. 

Who Will Use This Most

Any beginner or intermediate guitar player should definitely consider getting themselves one of these guitars. This model has packed all the necessary features and accessories to make your experience smooth and enjoyable as a novice. Intermediate players will also have a lot to gain from it due to the adjustment features it comes with. 

Bottom Line

Few electric guitars match the Donner DST-1S 39” in terms of accessories and affordable pricing. The guitar itself is made from different types of wood, all of which are highly durable and last for a long time. The extra kits will definitely improve your guitar learning and playing experience. 

Best Beginner Acoustic Electric Guitar:
 Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Acoustic Guitar

Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Mini Acoustic Guitar , Sapele, Mahogany Top

PROS

  • Very simple to use and set up
  • Sound and tone quality leave little to be desired
  • Perfect for beginners looking for a durable guitar
  • It is lightweight, making it easy to carry when playing
  • Its small size makes it an excellent choice for people with little hands

CONS

  • Because of its small size, the nuts are tiny, which can be difficult for some people to turn

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the reviewers are happy that the guitar’s small size makes it easier for them to play as compared to other bigger types of guitars they had. It has also gained praise for its beauty and impressive sounds and tone. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The small scale of this guitar is what defines it as the unique product it is. Despite the small features, it has been crafted to give it a shape that will be easy for you to hold. The tone is satisfyingly brilliant, and you can easily sling it on your shoulder or in your bag without the weight being too pressing on you. In simple words, it's one of the best guitars for beginners. 

Who Will Use This Most

Beginners are the people with the most to gain from this guitar. Its design helps make guitar learning an easy process, since all its features are simple, and it has no complexities that may require a professional. 

Bottom Line

Based on the reviews given, the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany GS Acoustic Guitar is such an amazing choice for beginners. Aside from producing tones and tunes correctly, it also offers the player extra comfort when they are holding it because of its small, ergonomic make. It is highly recommended for any person who wants to take up guitar learning classes. 

Best Beginner Electric Guitar Package:
 Epiphone Slash "AFD" Les Paul Electric Guitar

Epiphone Slash 'AFD' Les Paul Electric Guitar Performance Package

PROS

  • Perfect for children who are just starting out
  • The tone of the guitar is brilliant and enjoyable
  • It has an ergonomically designed body for comfort during play
  • It comes with accessories, such as an amplifier and 8-inch speakers
  • It features a durable make, made out of mahogany and maple for the fretboard

CONS

  • There is no left-hand oriented version
  • The 20-pound weight could be cumbersome for some

What Recent Buyers Reports

While praised for its performance, the guitar has also received a few backlashes on several issues. The accessories it comes with are of poor quality, especially the amplifier, and its cord is very short, necessitating the need for customers to look for alternatives. However, the tone is vicious, and it has a great look. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The guitar itself is a great part of this package. It is moderately priced and performs well in tone production. All you have to do is replace the cord, and you will be good to go. Its material is durable, and it has a generally beautiful look. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is suitable for beginners. Intermediate players can use it too, although it may not feel as fulfilling. As for the professionals, owning this piece is a definite no. 

Bottom Line

In a grand view of this product, it’s a satisfying guitar for any beginner. Although it may feel a bit cumbersome due to its weight, you will get used to it. Get ready to make a few adjustments, though, such as getting a new cord and bag for the guitar. 

Best Fender Beginner Electric Guitar:
 Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe

Fender Deluxe Telecaster Thinline Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Candy Apple Red

PROS

  • 4-way switching
  • It is elegantly styled 
  • It produces great sound
  • Noiseless Tele pickups
  • It has a lightweight design that makes it easy to carry 

CONS

  • It's an average guitar with very few pitch tweaks 

What Recent Buyers Report

There are a few drawbacks mentioned in the reviews. One of them is that the noiseless pickups are not as different from other guitars as they could be. However, its great finishes are highly appreciated by the customers. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The lightweight nature of this guitar makes it a breeze to hold and play. You will not tire or feel overwhelmed by it. The sounds produced are high, and it will be satisfying for any beginner who wishes to gain basic guitar-playing skills. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is most suitable for beginners. It does not wield the features that allow professionals and intermediate players to get the most out of it. Moreover, it's only useful for someone who wishes to learn the basics and not advanced guitar-playing techniques. 

Bottom Line

Fender has done a splendid job with the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe as a beginner’s guitar. It's simple and elegant in design and will give any novice an easy time learning it. All said and done, it's not a bad deal for its price. 

Best Ibanez Beginner Electric Guitar:
 Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar

Yamaha GigMaker EG Electric Guitar Pack with Amplifier, Gig Bag, Tuner, Cable, Strap and Picks - Metallic Blue

PROS

  • Comes with a tuner
  • It has an appealing look
  • Controls for volume and tone
  • It also comes with master controls for volume and tone
  • You will receive a QuickStart DVD with the package to help you set the pace

CONS

  • It is quite heavy – weighs 29 pounds

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar is one of the best rated electric guitars for beginners. Yamaha, as a company, is known for its outstanding products, and they haven’t done any less with their lovely guitar. So far, it's received reviews that describe it as a product of unique quality that comes at an affordable price. It has also been praised as an excellent guitar for beginners. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its outstanding playability and pure tone are the very first features that put this guitar in the spotlight. It can be used for playing various genres of music due to its versatility. Moreover, it hosts controls for the volume and tone section, thus allowing you to make any necessary adjustments based on how you want to play. 

Who Will Use This Most

Beginners and intermediates alike will get great satisfaction from this guitar. Its versatile nature to produce notes and tunes for different music genres will also act as a challenge for beginners to improve their play. Just as it exceeded the expectations of most customers, you are also most likely going to enjoy your experience with it. 

Bottom Line

Value, quality, and top-notch performance are the bottom-line descriptions for the Yamaha Gigmaker electric guitar. It's definitely worth every dollar you will spend on it, and it does not disappoint in its execution. Drawing conclusions from the written reviews, it is definitely a good product for you if you want to be dynamic when learning how to play the guitar. 

PROS

  • Simple design that makes it an easy guitar to learn
  • Can be used by both beginners and pros with ease
  • Fixed bridges give it the stability of tune during performance
  • Made from durable material, which will serve you for a long time
  • Ergonomic shape that will be friendly on your arms as you hold and play it 

CONS

  • The fixed bridges limit the notes that you can play on the guitar
  • Its simplicity may be inhibiting for someone who is experimental with music

What Recent Buyers Report

The customers describe it as a great package that gives you value for your money. Moreover, it has been credited as having an amazing look thanks to its build and shape, while also delivering satisfying tonal qualities.  The only drawback mentioned is that the wiring loosens sometimes, but that is easily fixed. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Ibanez GRG121DX WNF electric guitar makes this list because of its excellent intonation performance and quality design, and all these features come at an affordable price in comparison to other electric guitar models. It's, therefore, a great choice for any beginner who wishes to start out with something simple that still delivers on its performance. 

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar was made for the standard player who enjoys plucking a few strings to the tune of a song. It is ideal for beginners. However, if you are a professional or you want to be one, you may want to seek out something a little more sophisticated. 

Bottom Line

In the overall scheme of things, the Ibanez GRG121DX WNF electric guitar is a standard product that performs the basics of any guitar. It is made from durable material and comes with a great look. The shape is also ergonomically designed, meaning you will have a comfortable experience handling it. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

When buying a guitar, especially when you are a beginner, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The Bridge

This is where the strings are attached to the body of your guitar. There are three primary types, and they include the following:

  • Tremolo Bridges – these have moving arms that tighten or slacken the strings to change the pitch. They are, therefore, quite useful when you want to get creative with vibrato effects. 

  • Fixed Bridges – unlike the tremolo bridges, these strings are attached in position and do not move. This design, however, offers beginners the stability of play and ease of maintenance.  

  • Double-Locking Tremolos – a good example is the Floyd Rose. The make of these types of guitars allows you to lock the strings in two places - at the bridge and at the headstock of your guitar. They take more time to set up, and they may be more taxing to a beginner than the previous two types. 

Pickups

Pickups act as the in-between connection that transmits vibrations from the strings and amplifies the sound. There are two main types, the single-coil pickups, and the double-coil pickups also known as humbuckers. The former is mostly used in creating tunes for blues, rock, and country music. The latter eliminates the hum produced by single-coil versions, which makes them produce thicker sounds with more bass. 

Tonewoods

This refers to the type of wood used in building the neck and body of your guitar. Tonewoods influence the kind of sound your guitar will produce. Although it may not be a significant factor to look into as a beginner, it may be important if you are planning to take up guitar playing as a career. 

Conclusion

Although there are many recommendations on which guitar suits a beginner, the choice ultimately lies with you and your preferences. You don’t have to stick to traditional ways of guitars. Try being experimental by going for the more exotic guitars if you feel you are up for the challenge. Just make sure you buy a guitar that inspires you and provides the best services for your targeted genre of music. 

People Also Ask

If you have gotten to this point and still have a few questions, you are not alone! People also asked the following questions. Maybe yours is here too.

Is a Stratocaster Good for a Beginner?

The Stratocaster model was designed back in the 1950s, and it can serve as a good guitar for a beginner. However, it's best if you use other guitars that offer you different tuning options, unlike the Stratocaster whose tremolo system is limited by the springs it's attached to. This makes it very difficult and arduous to retune your guitar. 

Is Les Paul Good for Beginners?

Les Paul guitars are high-end, and any beginner can give them a try if they can afford it. Nevertheless, it's important to note that they are heavy, and it can be cumbersome for a new person playing it. 

Is the Electric Guitar Hard to Learn?

Electric guitars are more difficult to master as compared to acoustic guitars. They come with more controls and variables, which will take time to learn. However, with practice and patience, you’ll eventually learn. 

Can You Start Learning Guitar with an Electric Guitar?

Absolutely. While electric guitars have more features to master, they have the advantage of being more comfortable to play since their strings are not as heavy as those of acoustic versions. 

Can You Play the Electric Guitar Without an Amp?

An amp is what makes the difference between an electric guitar and an acoustic one. It is an integral part of the sound production of an electric guitar. 

Are Smaller Guitars Easier to Play?

Smaller guitars are easier to hold, especially for a beginner. Furthermore, their strings have less tension and can, therefore, be friendlier to your fingers and your shoulder. 

Thalia

Thalia has spent most of her life loving two things - writing and music. Thalia's passion for music saw her learning to play several instruments throughout her childhood and teen years. This passion also led to her earning two qualifications in Sound Recording Engineering, which she now uses by writing about musical instruments, studio gear, and the processes involved in making and producing music.