Don’t let a small budget hinder you from achieving your dreams of becoming a rockstar. Even if you can only spare $500 on your first electric guitar, you already have a myriad of fantastic options to choose from.
We combed through product catalogs and reviews to come up with the best beginner electric guitars that are not only fun and easy to play but also affordable for budget-conscious players. We sorted them according to price tier so you’ll have an easier time choosing according to your budget. Let’s get started so you can get started playing guitar today!
1. Under $500
If $500 is your limit, consider getting the Epiphone Les Paul Standard, which is considered as one of the best electric guitars for beginners.Who wouldn’t want a Les Paul as their first guitar? This Les Paul is guaranteed to give you many hours of inspired play with its compact mahogany body, humbucker pickups and that iconic Les Paul look.
The Yamaha Pacifica 112V is another great budget-friendly option that looks, sounds and plays like a more expensive axe. Compared to the Les Paul Standard, the Pacifica 112V is lightweight, and it has an alder body instead of mahogany. It also has two single-coils and one humbucking pickup for added tonal versatility.
2. Under $400
Going lower on the price tier we have the Schecter Omen Extreme-6, a mean-looking powerful electric guitar that boasts two Diamond Plus pickups and a mahogany body with a quilted maple top. It also has a coil tapping feature for a wider variety of sounds.
There’s also the ESP LTD EC-256 for those looking for a short-scale electric guitar. Its body is also made of mahogany and features a cutaway for faster and easier access to the upper frets. Two LH-150 pickups deliver superb voicing. Oh, and for under $400 you can get this guitar bundled with a bunch of accessories, including a gig bag and tuner!
3. Under $300
Want a Tele but can’t quite afford a Fender? There’s the Squier brand for you. For beginners with a budget of $300, we’re recommending the Squier Standard Telecaster. It’s comfortable to play and the C-shaped neck gives a vintage Tele playing feel. Dual single-coils provide the classic Telecaster sound.
Another superb Les Paul for beginners on a budget is the Epiphone Les Paul Studio. It has a no-frills design, making it a good option for players who really value the sound an electric guitar makes and don’t really care for spending extra on cosmetics. With Alnico Classic humbuckers, the Les Paul Studio won’t let you down.
4. Under $200
Beginners with a guitar budget of $200 won’t be disappointed with the Ibanez GRX70QA and the Dean Vendetta XM. Both feel, look, play and most of all sound like you should be paying more for them.
The GRX70QA from Ibanez features two Ibanez Infinity R humbuckers and an Infinity RS single-coil pickup as well as a tremolo bridge for greater control over your output. The latest versions have a poplar body with an eye-catching quilted maple top, a maple bolt-on neck and a New Zealand pine fingerboard.
The Dean Vendetta XM is also a winner with its sculpted paulownia body, rosewood fingerboard atop a maple neck and versatile dual open-coil humbuckers. This electric guitar is lightweight, easy to play with its straightforward controls and overall a great electric guitar for beginners.
5. Under $100
Now on to the most affordable yet reliable starter instruments you can get today, the Davison and Zeny electric guitars. For $100, you can get the full-size Davison guitar, which features a sleek high gloss finish, an adjustable bridge, chrome hardware and a humbucking pickup. Its specs may be pretty basic but if you’re eager to get started, the Davison electric guitar is more than suitable to be your first axe.
Another model that offers plenty of value for money is the Zeny electric guitar, a full-size electric that’s available bundled with all the equipment and accessories you need to start playing. The guitar is specially designed for beginners with its comfortable shape and easy-to-use controls. The pocket-friendly guitar bundle includes a 10-watt amp that’s great for practicing, a gig bag, a strap and cable, a tremolo rod, an extra set of strings, a couple of picks and allen keys for easy adjustments.
We hope this overview of the best budget-friendly beginner electric guitars helps you in choosing your first axe. As you can see, no matter your budget, there’s a great-sounding guitar out there for you to be your companion on your musical journey. Have fun playing and don’t forget to practice regularly!