The electric guitar has to be one of the most fun instruments to play. However, what makes it extra exciting is that it offers more expressive qualities compared to other instruments. Although you need to buy an amp and possibly some effects pedals, it’s possible to add a completely different texture and fit the context of a certain style of music. And this is exactly one of the main reasons why this instrument is so widespread in almost any genre today. Even mainstream pop singers often take a full band with an electric guitar player on a tour.
In case you one day plan on becoming a rock star or a session player, knowing how to handle an electric guitar properly is a must. But you need to start somewhere. Although it’s usually recommended for a beginner to start on an acoustic, it’s still okay if you want to go with an electric guitar. But whether you’re already somewhat experienced with acoustic guitars or not, you need to find a proper electric guitar for the beginner level. The main two issues are the price and how well it fits your preferred styles of music. And although cheap guitars are not exactly the best ones, there are still some great choices to be found. So let’s dig in.
Jackson JS22 Dinky
For anyone who’s into hard rock and metal music, but doesn’t feel like spending a fortune on a nice shred machine, Jackson comes to the rescue. Their good old JS22 Dinky has been on the market for quite some time now. This super-Strat instrument has a basswood body, maple neck, and two humbucker pickups. It also comes with a decent synchronized fulcrum tremolo bridge and a pretty great-looking design. You get all this for a fairly reasonable price.
Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V
Although Yamaha is a pretty big company, some of its electric guitar models tend to get overlooked and underrated. Such is the case with an entire Pacifica series. Not that people aren’t aware of it, it’s just that these guitars are a way better deal than many popular guitars in this range. For instance, Pacifica PAC112V is a great example. It’s easy to set up, it has a comfortable neck, and offers the humbucker-single-single combination of pickups. It’s a very versatile guitar that performs well in any genre. And these are exactly the things that a beginner needs, especially knowing that it’s an affordable instrument.
ESP LTD EC-10
ESP’s EC-10 features an altered Les Paul-type of body and configuration. This 6-string has two humbuckers, volume pot, tone pot, and the classic Tune-O-Matic bridge that you can find on Les Paul guitars. However, the significant change comes to a more ergonomically designed cutaway that lets you access higher frets more easily. And while we’re at it, the guitar has 24 frets in total, which is a great addition for those who want to learn how to be great lead players. Just a straight-up rock ‘n’ roll guitar that’s rather easy to use.
Gretsch Electromatic G5425 Jet Club
But it’s also important to include something more specific for certain types of music. That’s why we decided to include the Gretsch Electromatic G5425 Jet Club guitar. Once again, we have a Les Paul-inspired shape, although this one is a bit larger and has that vintage old school design. It has a basswood body with an arched maple top, which is a surprising feature in this price range. The pickups are also interesting as they add a bit of that vintage vibe to the tone. Overall, this guitar is oriented towards classic rock and rockabilly music, but it also does a great job for blues and jazz. If you’re into this kind of stuff, you just can’t go wrong with G5425.
PRS SE Standard 24
In some cases, beginners want to get a better guitar from the very start. Since some mid or high-level price guitars can be a bit complicated for beginners, it’s a good idea to go with a straightforward setup. Paul Reed Smith has a lot to offer in any price range. Consistency and quality have been their highest priorities, and we can easily notice that with their SE Standard 24.
Just by looking at this guitar, you can notice some great additions. Aside from the basic dual humbucker configuration, this double-cutaway instrument is very comfortable to play. Especially with the bottom cut-away allowing you to easily reach all of its 24 frets.
The design is also one of its great strengths. The company’s famous bird inlays make it stand out from the rest of the guitars within this price range.
Going through some other mid-level price guitars, we’d also like to check out Ibanez RG450DX. The entire RG series has a lot of great stuff in it. And this particular bad boy will serve you well way past your beginner stages of playing. Sure, it might be a bit weird for beginners to have a guitar with a double locking tremolo bridge, but it’s far from impossible to figure out.
To put it simply, this guitar is a shred beast. It includes quality-made Quantum series pickups, in configuration humbucker-single-humbucker. This is a very potent electric guitar that’s not only comfortable to play but that also sounds great and works in pretty much any genre. If you’re more serious about becoming a good guitar player, it’s one of the obvious choices to consider.
Squier Bullet Strat HT
Lastly, we would like to mention one of the go-to beginner and budget guitars, the legendary Bullet Strat HT by Squier. In case you still don’t know which styles you’ll play and you need a simple guitar, this ultra-cheap Stratocaster copy will get the job done. It has three single-coil pickups, the body is made of basswood, it has a maple neck and an Indian Laurel fretboard. The only difference from a regular Strat is that it doesn’t have a tremolo bridge but rather a fixed hardtail one. Nonetheless, you can’t ever go wrong with a Bullet Strat.