The 10 Best Electric Guitars for Beginners in 2021: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

If you’re interested in buying your first electric guitar, it can be difficult to know which one is the best for beginners. There are many factors to consider when deciding on what kind of guitar to buy, and we hope this blog post will help you make an informed decision. In our buyer’s guide below, we’ll cover everything you need to know before purchasing and also we review 10 of the top electric guitars for beginner musicians and why they stand out from other models. Let’s get started.

Quick Answer: The Top Electric Guitars for Beginners

Best Rated Electric Guitars For A Beginner Reviews

1. Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar

Epiphone SG Special with Chrome Hardware and KillPot, Ebony
172 Reviews
Epiphone SG Special with Chrome Hardware and KillPot, Ebony
  • Classic SG tone and styling
  • KillPot switch
  • LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Delivers authentic SG (Solid Guitar) sound and feel
  • Fantastic intonation
  • Easy to play for novices

Perfect for music lovers who want to start their electric guitar journey with a real SG, but don’t have the budget for it, the Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar is the real deal. Epiphone has developed a reputation for delivering high-end guitars that produce a quality sound. With Les Pual features, this electric guitar is a beautiful instrument that allows you to begin to learn about the different sound effects an electric guitar can make. While this guitar isn’t expensive, it delivers an authentic SG sound and feel. It also includes several premium features such as the LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge and Stopbar Tail Piece. Also included is the tone control knob which allows you to create incredible distortions and twin open-coil humbucking pickups.

While this is a mass-produced guitar, it still is a coveted instrument by beginners and intermediate players alike. Each tuner, knob, and switch moves smoothly, so you never run into any problems when you are playing. With this Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar, the solid mahogany body and glossy maple laminate give you the look you have been wanting in your first guitar. Only if you look carefully will you notice that the grain of this electric guitar is different than higher-priced instruments. Because of this slight difference, you will hear that the sound is a tad bit bassy than more expensive models. However, overall, the intonation is fantastic, and the sound it creates is of high quality.

As a bonus, the guitar stays in tune for months, which is ideal for beginners who are just getting to know their guitar. The Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar is also very easy to play. For beginner players, you can make authentic, growly rock tones. The slim, tapering neck and fingerboard are easy for novices to wrap their fingers around and learn how to play. Due to the 24.75” scale length, the string tension is not too much for novice players to practice and master the basics of guitar.

2. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V

For the past two decades, the Yamaha Pacifica Series has been the go-to for many new beginners. Out of the eight electric guitars from Yamaha, this particular instrument is one of the best options available, because of the seamless construction, impressive playability, and features that beginners can take advantage of.  With a 25.5” scale length, the electric guitar is similar to a Stratocaster in many ways. However, what makes it so unique is its classical shaped alder wood body that produces a deep, full-bodied sound.

One of the biggest selling points of this particular Yamaha Pacifica Series is the trio of pickup options. Located on the neck and middle, two of them are single coils, and the third is a classic Alnico Humbucker. These pickups help you to produce a deep, well-rounded sound without having to deal with a hum from the microphone. Regardless of whether you want to create the deep, growly sounds of rock or the more crisp and light tones of country, you can utilize the toggle switch to pick which sound you want to create at the moment. The electric guitar features a five-position switch with coil tap which allows you to move around the strings and pickup selection.

The Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V is comfortable to play, even for people with smaller hands because of the smaller fret radius. However, it does weigh about 11 pounds, which means it weighs slightly more than the beginner electric guitar. While the guitar is factory-made, it still makes a great sound and is not inferior to other similarly-priced models.

Beginners will be happy to know that thanks to the hard-tail bridge, the guitar strings stay in tune for months once they are set and locked. In the beginning, when you are still learning your guitar, you can use the tremolo arm to tune all the strings at once. The high-quality metallic hardware, with knobs that move easily and are smoothly-finished, as well as a life-time warranty from Yamaha, make this the perfect guitar for beginners.

3. Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe

Fender 72 Thinline Telecaster Neck - Maple Fingerboard
144 Reviews
Fender 72 Thinline Telecaster Neck - Maple Fingerboard
  • "U"-shaped neck profile
  • Maple fingerboard with 7.25" radius
  • 21 vintage-style frets
  • Bridges the gap as a hybrid
  • Vintage look and design
  • Features classic Telecaster body style

Fender is one of the first types of guitars that many beginner players want to purchase. The Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline is one of the best guitars on the market and helps to initiate players into learning electric guitar. It features the standard Telecaster body style and therefore looks just like an average electric guitar from the distance or the uneducated eye. However, as you move closer, you start to realize that a few things are different, including the f-hole at the top and a few other changed details. The body of this Fender is made from mahogany, with a maple neck in a C shape design, with a maple or rosewood fretboard.

What makes this guitar almost like a Strat in some ways is the ashtray type bridge with six fully adjustable saddles. Even though this is a semi-hollow guitar, it has a couple of other features you might not suspect. The tuning machines are from Fender’s series and work well with the guitar. The pickups are also not standard, and the electric guitar comes with two MP-90 single-coils, which give the guitar a more vintage look. These pickups are wired to four knobs – two of which are individual volume controls, and two are individual tone controls. You also have access to a three-way pickup selector.

Thanks to those pickups, the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe gives both warm and mean growling sounds, depending on what you want. While this is not the typical sound you would expect from a semi-hollow guitar, it does help to bridge the gap as a hybrid.

This guitar is a very affordable Telecaster that gives you a bit of two different guitar worlds. The sound, tone, and intonation of this electric guitar make it well worth the price.

4. Ibanez RG450DX RG Series

Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Electric Guitar Starlight Blue
56 Reviews
Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Electric Guitar Starlight Blue
  • Neck type: Wizard III Maple neck
  • Body: Mahogany body
  • Fretboard: Bound Rosewood fretboard w/Sharktooth inlay
  • Fantastic sound produced
  • Produces harmonic tones
  • Comfortable for new players

The Ibanez RG450DX RG series is an impressive looking guitar that also produces fantastic sound. It was designed with a maple neck, mahogany body, and a rosewood fretboard which helps it to create harmonic tones. Due to its neck shape, it is more comfortable for new players to pick up.

5. Jackson JS32T King V

Jackson JS32T King V Electric Guitar Ferrari Red
  • BODY
  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
  • Beginner metal guitar
  • High gloss finish
  • Easy to learn on

While the brand Jackson might not be as well-known as Fender, Gibson, or Epiphone, it is arguably one of the top five companies of metal guitars. If you want a metal electric guitar as a beginner, then look no further than the Jackson JS32T King. Its poplar body has a gloss finish which gives it an impressive look. With a rosewood fretboard and bolt-on maple speed neck, the Jackson King can produce an unparalleled sound quality, all while allowing you to control tone and volume as well. Compared to other metal guitars, it is easy to pick up and play and without compromising on the quality of the sound

6. Squier Affinity Jazzmaster HH

Fender Squier by Affinity Series Jazzmaster Electric Guitar - HH - Rosewood Fingerboard - Arctic White
38 Reviews
Fender Squier by Affinity Series Jazzmaster Electric Guitar - HH - Rosewood Fingerboard - Arctic White
  • One-piece maple neck with “C”-shaped profile
  • 12”-radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium frets
  • Dual humbucking pickups
  • Can produce any type of sound well
  • Vintage look
  • Easy for new players to reach the frets

Squier, a subsidiary of Fender, released this electric guitar for the players who want something a little different or a more mellow sound than you would get from a typical instrument. The look and tone of this guitar are ideal for someone who is looking for something to produce a jazzy sound but also has the capability of producing heavier rock and metal if desired.

Overall, the look of the Squier Affinity Jazzmaster HH is very relaxed with an appealing style. The solid alder body is finished in a glossy white and has a vintage look to it. With an iconic Jazzmaster or Jaguar shape, it stands out from many other guitars on this list. The asymmetrical body makes it easier for beginners to reach all 22 frets on the rosewood fretboard. This guitar has incredible playability due to the sleek and comfortable neck, which makes it perfect for beginners. If you are interested in this Fender guitar, we can recommend the Squier Affinity starter kit.

This Jazzmaster is also easy for beginners because it has a stripped-down switching system. The two pickups are Squier humbuckers, and while they are nothing special, they don’t detract from the value of this electric guitar. Both are controlled by one master tone and volume control knob and a three-way selector switch, so that you can select your sound.

7. Oscar Schmidt OE20

Oscar Schmidt OE20 Electric Guitar, Serpentine Quilted
  • Classic single cutaway styling
  • versatile tone options
  • Color: Quilted Cognac w/ Serpent Inlay
  • Comfortable neck
  • Delivers clear and crisp tones
  • Affordable guitar

While Oscar Schmidt might not be the most well-known name on this list, it is still one of the best options out there for beginners thanks to the affordability and quality that the brand delivers. The O20 model creates a classic Les Paul Style, with the classic single-cutaway solid mahogany body design, a raised pickguard, and 24.75” scale length.

The neck pays homage to other Les Pauls, and the maple neck is set into the body instead of just bolted on as you might find with cheaper electric guitars. The neck is comfortable for novices to play and has a rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, and trapezoid block inlays. The hardware of the guitar includes two stock humbuckers at the bridge and neck, which can be controlled via two volume and two tone controls, as well as a three-way pickup selector toggle switch. For those who want added sustain, you can use the fixed Tune-o-Matic and stop bar tailpiece.

While this guitar isn’t particularly complex, it does deliver crisp and clean tones. It is versatile enough that it can create any type of sound from country to rock and more. This affordable guitar is a good option thanks to its attractive looks, good sound quality, and playability.

8. Dean Custom Zone

  • Unique color design
  • Hardware functions smoothly
  • Can play metal or lighter music

If you want something that stands out from every other guitar on this list, then the Dean Custom Zone should be your first choice. This electric guitar comes in two different colors: nuclear green or bright pink. When you are looking at the photos, you might be blown away by the colors, but they are actually slightly darker in real life, but still very eye-catching. The fretboard also matches the body paint, so it causes the guitar to stand out even more. You also won’t find any markers on the fretboard.

The body is made of solid mahogany, and with the C-shaped neck, new players will find that it is easy to play. The electric guitar comes with 22 jumbo frets and has an overall smooth feeling, which makes it comfortable for beginners to move around the guitar and manipulate and bend the strings. The hardware of the guitar includes two humbuckers in the bridge and neck position. While this is basic, it is still very functional. The controls include a simple volume and tone control and a three-way pickup selector switch. All the hardware on the guitar is standard and functions smoothly, and also holds a tune well.

The tone of this guitar is clear, and has enough growl to it to produce a metal or rock sound, but also can create a sweet sound if you want a lighter rhythm. For the money, this unique electric guitar is well worth it. It demands instant attention and is perfect for small, casual gigs or jamming at practice.

9. Gretsch Electromatic G5425

Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club Electric Guitar - Black
  • Body Shape: Jet
  • Body Style: Chambered Single Cutaway
  • Body:Basswood, Gloss Urethane Finish, Arched Maple Top
  • Lighter than the average electric guitar
  • Easy for beginners to play for hours
  • Loud even when unplugged

Gretsch is a new brand, but it made this list because it has attractive features, a beautiful look, and produces a great sound for beginners. The classic, vintage appearance of the lightweight basswood features the single-cutaway shape but is a bit more retro than a standard Les Paul. The guitar is chambered, so it is even lighter than the average electric guitar. This makes it perfect for new players because it is more comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

The neck of the guitar is bolted-on and is made of maple wood, with a rosewood fretboard and 22 medium jumbo frets. Beginner players will find that it is easy to reach all the frets thanks to the cutaway in the treble side. The hardware of the Gretsch Electromatic G5425 includes standard dual-coil humbuckers that are designed to look like Filter-Tron pickups. While there is nothing particularly special about the humbuckers, you can switch between the two or play them both at the same time by using the toggle switch. The master volume and tone control sit just below the buckers.

Even though the hardware is standard, this Gretsch electric guitar still produces an excellent sound and can play a warm and jazzy sound, or a more modern rock time if you add distortion. One thing to note is that because this guitar is chambered, it still makes a loud sound when unplugged, so it is perfect for late-night playing. All in all, this electric guitar is an affordable instrument that delivers quality sound and tone.

10. Squier by Fender Vintage Modified ‘51

  • Versatile sound production
  • Stays in tune
  • Easy access to frets

The Fender Vintage Modified ‘51 by Squier is one electric guitar that makes you stop in your tracks. It delivers a vintage style, with easy playability, and is extremely versatile. Some of Fender’s classic guitars influenced this model from Squier. You can see that the body shape comes from the Stratocaster, with a well-contoured double-cutaway that gives you easy access to even the highest frets. Next, this electric guitar mirrors the slim headstock of a Telecaster, and even comes with the pickguard of the P-ass, or the ‘51. The basswood body comes with a two-tone Sunburst finish. The bolt-on C-shaped maple wood neck has a maple fretboard, featuring 21 medium jumbo frets. This guitar has a beautiful style, but it is also incredibly comfortable to play and bend strings.

The Fender Vintage Modified ‘51 has standard hardware, with a six-saddle hardtail bridge, which does not have a whammy bar. While the guitar is more stable in tuning, it means you won’t have as much vibrato capabilities or increased sustain. However, the electronics of the ‘51 is where this electric guitar shines. It has a hot open-coil humbucker at the bridge position and a single-coil pickup at the neck position. Both of these humbuckers give you versatile sound combinations, and this is enhanced further by the master volume control, which also doubles as a push/pull coil split that turns your humbucker into a single-coil at the bridge position. The other control knob is a three-way rotary pickup selector, so you can also quickly select which pickups are being used.

Because of the versatility of the electronics, that means the ‘51 can create a wide range of sound, including warmth and twang. The neck single-coil can help make a vintage rhythm while the bridge humbucker is more raw, meaty, and aggressive enough for rock, punk, or even metal. This guitar is a perfect beginner instrument for someone who wants an affordable guitar that delivers great sound.