10 Best Beginner Electric Guitars of 2024

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Are you just starting out on guitar and don't even own your own instrument yet?

Or maybe you've been working up the basics on acoustic, and you think you're finally ready to plug in and crank it up.

Either way, we've all been there. Every player's guitar journey has to start somewhere. And if you don't know where to start, you're not alone.

That's why we've compiled this list of the best beginner electric guitars. We want you to find an axe you're going to love through the years, even long after you've moved on to (not always) bigger and better things.

Our pick for the best all-around beginner electric guitar is the Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat. If you're looking for an iconic guitar that you're never going to want to stop playing even as the years roll by, we're confident this is a great choice for you.

You never forget your first, and this list of the best beginner electric guitars will ensure that you won't regret yours!

Quick Summary of the Best Beginner Electric Guitars

  1. Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat (Best Overall)
  2. Yamaha Pacifica 112V (Best Beginner Electric Guitar for Versatility)
  3. Epiphone Les Paul Studio (Best for Hard Rock and Metal)
  4. Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club (Best Value)
  5. Squier Bullet Mustang (Best Budget Beginner Electric Guitar)
  6. Ibanez Artcore AS53 (Best Semi-Hollowbody)
  7. Squier Affinity Telecaster (Best for Country)
  8. Epiphone Power Players SG (Best for Kids)
  9. Gretsch G2420 (Best Hollowbody)
  10. PRS SE Standard 24 (Best Premium Beginner Electric Guitar)

Best Beginner Electric Guitars

1. Best Overall – Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat

A Squier Classic Vibe '50s Strat on a white background.


  • Body: Pine
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 25.5"
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Frets: 21, Narrow Tall
  • Pickups: 3x Fender Designed AlNiCo Single-coil
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 2 x tone, 5-way blade pickup switch

Our first choice for the best overall beginner electric guitar had to go to the Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat. It doesn't get much more classic than a Strat, and no matter how your taste and playing style develop, there'll always be room in your arsenal for this versatile guitar.

Equipped with 3 Fender-designed Alnico Single coil pickups, this guitar delivers quintessential Strat tones straight out of the box. Its "C" shaped maple neck is perfectly playable straight out of the box, so you can get right down to business without dealing with tricky setup issues.

Squier has been bringing incredible quality for a few years now, and Classic Vibe '50s Strat is certainly no exception. If you're a beginner that's looking for a first or even second guitar that you're never going to feel the need to upgrade, this is a great choice for you.

2. Best Beginner Electric Guitar for Versatility – Yamaha Pacifica 112V

A Yamaha Pacifica 112V electric guitar on a white background.


  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 25.5"
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 22, Medium
  • Pickups: 2 x Yamaha Alnico V Single-coil (Neck and middle), 1 x Yamaha Alnico V Humbucker
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push/pull coil-split), 5-way blade pickup switch

If you're new to the electric guitar world and can't decide whether you want single-coil Strat vibes or a heavier humbucker sound, the Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a great place to start. This strat-style guitar is packed with two single coils and a humbucker pickup, so you get the best of both worlds.

This versatile instrument is perfect for tapping into a variety of tones, which is great when you're just starting to find your sound. The push/pull coil splitter just adds to the variety, turning the bridge pickup into yet another single coil. Plus, the maple neck is super playable.

If you want a no-frills tone machine that's going to allow you to experiment sonically and inspire you to grow as a player, this is a solid choice. In addition to its versatility, it's also a super comfortable player with truly impressive build quality for its price point.

3. Best for Hard Rock and Metal – Epiphone Les Paul Studio

An Epiphone Les Paul Studio electric guitar.


  • Body: Mahogany, Maple Top
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Scale: 24.75"
  • Fingerboard: Pau Ferro
  • Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups: Epiphone Alnico Classic Humbucker (Neck), Epiphone Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker (Bridge)
  • Controls: 2 x volume, 2 x tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch

If the Gibson Les Paul is your idea of a holy grail guitar, an Epiphone Les Paul might not be a bad place to start. You get all the classic appointments of a real Les Paul at a way more affordable price that's great if you're just starting out and can't commit to a huge investment.

Two Epiphone Alnico humbuckers adorn the solid mahogany body (which, we might add, could be a bit heavy for smaller players). This combination makes for a ton of sustain and the potential to tap into some seriously heavy tones—great for aspiring rock or metal players.

If you suspect classic rock and heavy metal are going to be major touchstones on your guitar-playing journey, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is the way to go. You're going to forget all about that Gibson Les Paul, and your wallet will thank you.

4. Best Value – Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club

A Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club on a white background.


  • Body: Chambered Basswood/Laminated Maple Top
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 24.6"
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups: 2 x Gretsch Dual-Coil Humbuckers
  • Controls: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup

If you're a new player who's simply looking for a high-quality beginner guitar at an amazing price, look no further than the Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club. This is an awesome guitar for rock and blues that delivers timeless vintage style and proudly bears one of the top names in the business.

Where this guitar differs from its big brothers is the chambered Basswood body. The Electromatic Jet Club is not only lighter but delivers a lighter, crisper tone due to its construction. But don't worry, the Gretsch Humbuckers deliver that warm Gretsch tone all the way.

If you're looking for your first electric guitar and you know you want vintage-style tones, this Gretsch is a great choice. You get incredible bang for your buck, and with its impressive build quality and tone, you won't ever feel like you're playing a "beginner guitar."

5. Best Budget Beginner Electric Guitar – Squier Bullet Mustang

A Squier Bullet Mustang electric guitar on a white background.


  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 24"
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel
  • Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups: 2 x Standard Humbucker
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch

The Squier Bullet Mustang is a great pick for a true beginner's electric guitar. You get great quality at a super low price point. Plus, it's light, playable, and even comes at a shorter scale length than, say, a Fender Stratocaster, so it's a great first guitar for smaller hands.

But make no mistake: this guitar is no mere toy. The Bullet Mustang can hold its own with the big boys thanks to the guitar's pickups—two standard humbuckers—ideal for cranking up the gain and making some noise.

The combination of this guitar's sound and its playable slim neck is sure to make an addictive playing experience for younger players. This is hands down one of the best electric guitars for beginners, and at its price point, it really can't be beat.

6. Best Semi-Hollowbody – Ibanez Artcore AS53

An Ibanez Artcore AS53 on a white background.


  • Body: Sapele
  • Neck: Sapele
  • Scale: 24.7"
  • Fingerboard: Walnut
  • Frets: 22, Medium
  • Pickups: 2 x Infinity R Ceramic Humbucker
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch

Not every player is looking for a high-gain rock machine, so it's a good thing that all beginner guitars were not created equal. Enter the Ibanez Artcore AS53. This semi-hollowbody is ideal for beginning players who are more interested in jazz, country, and other non-rock genres.

While many players are turned off by the bulk of semi-hollowbodies, the Artcore AS53 is a great beginner's semi-hollow due to its smaller size. The two Infinity R Ceramic humbuckers deliver classic jazz box tones without the prohibitive size (or price).

While a solid-body electric guitar is usually thought of as the best beginner's electric guitar, there's something to be said for a nice semi-hollow. Players who are more interested in jazz, rockabilly, and country should look no further than this great offering from Ibanez.

7. Best for Country – Squier Affinity Telecaster

A Squier Affinity Telecaster on a white background.


  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 25.5"
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Pickups: 2x Fender Ceramic Single Coil Pickups
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x tone control, 3-way blade pickup switch

We couldn't resist adding something from the Squier Affinity Series to this list. Squier continues to outdo themselves in manufacturing what are arguably the best beginner electric guitars; this guitar sounds and looks like the real deal if you're looking for a beginner Tele.

From its playable classic "C" shape bolt-on maple neck to its quintessential Fender single coils, the Affinity Telecaster delivers everything you'd expect from a Fender Telecaster, yet in an insanely affordable package. We're suckers for the classic Blackguard look and would happily pick one of these up for ourselves!

The Squier Affinity series offers quality that's just unbeatable for its price point. These guitars are also easily customizable, so your beginner guitar can grow along with your playing. Chances are, if you grab one of these, you're not going to put it down for years to come.

8. Best for Kids – Epiphone Power Players SG

An Epiphone Power Players SG Electric Guitar with gig bag on a white background.


  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Scale: 22.73"
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel
  • Frets: 22, Nickel
  • Pickups: 1 x Epiphone 650R Humbucker (neck pickup), 1 x Epiphone 700T Humbucker (bridge pickup)
  • Controls: 2 x volume, 2 x tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch

Here's another guitar that's great for kids and other beginners with smaller hands. The Epiphone Power Players SG was designed with a shorter scale length and slim "D" profile mahogany neck that's ideal for aspiring junior shredders.

Add to the mix two Epiphone Humbuckers and a solid mahogany body, and you've got a high-gain machine that easily delivers classic rock and heavy metal tones at an incredibly low price point. This is a perfect first guitar for younger players who just want to rock.

With so many electric guitars for beginners in the Strat and Les Paul body styles, we applaud Epiphone for bringing something different for younger players who want to stand out from the crowd.

9. Best Hollowbody – Gretsch G2420

A Gretsch G2420 Electric Guitar on a white background.


  • Body: Laminated Maple
  • Neck: Nato
  • Scale: 24.75"
  • Fingerboard: Laurel
  • Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups: 2 x Broad'Tron BT-2S Humbucker
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 2 x volume (bridge/neck), 1 x master tone, 3-way toggle pickup selector

We love Gretsch guitars, and we just know that beginning players who want a vintage aesthetic and gravitate toward hollowbody guitars will love the G2420. While perhaps not ideal for smaller players, this is an awesome entry-level offering for aspiring jazz guitarists.

While it is another great choice for players who want to play jazz and country, this guitar is no one-trick pony. The two Gretsch Broad'Tron humbucking pickups can deliver creamy jazz tones but also rough up great for vintage rock and roll and rockabilly sounds.

When it comes to beginner's electric guitars, there's something to be said for the hollowbody. You don't always want to blow out the windows when you're just learning, and a hollowbody can be a great way to bridge the gap between acoustic guitars and electric.

10. Best Premium Beginner Electric Guitar – PRS SE Standard 24

A PRS SE Standard 24 Electric Guitar.


  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale: 25"
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24, Medium Jumbo
  • Pickups: 2 x PRS 85/15 "S" Humbucker
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push/pull coil-split), 3-way blade pickup switch

Rounding out our list, we have a slightly higher-end offering from PRS. While many players would agree that there is nothing "beginner" about this guitar, we'd venture that this is one with a bit of room for growing into—for the mature player who knows what they want.

This is an incredibly versatile guitar that makes a great workhorse. The PRS 85/15 Humbuckers are designed for clarity and a wide tonal range, and the push/pull coil splitter gives you yet another sonic dimension with some great spanky single coil tones.

On top of the incredible tones, this guitar is a real pleasure to play. The wide-thin neck and distinctive PRS neck joint design mean all 24 frets are entirely shreddable, so there's no doubt you'll keep picking this one up long after you master the basic guitar techniques.

Best Beginner Electric Guitars Buyer's Guide

Whether you're shopping for your very first electric guitar or you have some experience but still consider yourself a beginner, there are some factors you might want to consider as you begin your search for the best starter guitar for you.

This nifty buyer's guide will help you take note of these factors and find a great electric guitar that you're going to want to keep by your side throughout your guitar career. Read on to our FAQ section to learn even more about electric guitars while you're at it!


Most beginner electric guitars fall in a pretty narrow price range at the lower end of the spectrum. However, there's still a discrepancy between the budget models and slightly higher-end electric guitars.

You should determine your budget range based on how much you want to commit to playing guitar. Is it a new interest that you're not too sure about? Or are you committed to pursuing a career in music? Answering these questions can help you determine how much you want to spend on your first guitar.

Either way, the electric guitar market has a ton of great models to offer across the beginner price range, and you're sure to find something on our list in your budget range that you'll love.

If you don't have a lot to spend on a new guitar, the Squier Bullet Mustang or Squier Affinity Telecaster are both great options that offer incredible value for their price point.


One of the hardest parts of learning to play guitar is physically pressing down the strings before you've developed calluses (and technique).

Fortunately, most beginner electric guitars are designed with playability in mind first and foremost. Among the playability factors you're going to want to look for are a comfortable neck profile and an action that feels right to you.

Certain playability factors can be adjusted on most guitars—but many beginners want a guitar that plays great out of the box. The last thing a new player needs is more obstacles getting in the way of learning to play, like pricey operations on their new guitar.

Style of Music

One of the main things players often consider when picking out a guitar is what style of music you want to play.

One way of figuring out what kind of guitar might be right for you is to look at some of your favorite artists and see what guitars they use. We all look up to our idols in the beginning (and onward) for good reason!

But as a rule of thumb: if you want to shred some heavy rock or blues, a guitar with humbuckers like the Epiphone Power Players SG or Epiphone Les Paul Studio is probably your best choice due to the pickups' fatter and more powerful sound.

If you're more into indie rock, surf, or jazz, it's a good idea to pick up something with single coils like the Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat. A semi-hollow like the Ibanez Artcore AS53 wouldn't be a bad idea either!

Body Type

Electric guitars come in all shapes and sizes. The most common among these are solid-body, semi-hollow, and hollowbody.

The best electric guitars for beginners are often solid-body. This is due to their versatility and relative ease of use. They also tend to be smaller and lighter, making them a safer bet for younger guitarists who might not have the strength to tote around a big hollowbody.

However, this is by no means a hard and fast rule. Many beginning players gravitate towards the attractive looks of a hollowbody like the Gretsch G2420, and for good reason.

Ultimately, your best bet is to just pick out one you like, whether for its looks, the way it plays and sounds, or, ideally, a combination of these.

Brand and Reputation

All the guitars featured on this list are brought to you by reputable, even legendary, manufacturers. You really can't go wrong with a guitar that has generations of engineering and design behind it.

However, some brands that are considered more of "budget" or "beginner" labels, like Squier or Epiphone, might unjustly have a stigma attached to them. The fact that these brands produce a somehow subpar product is just a total misconception at this point.

Squier and Epiphone, in particular, have been building quality instruments using Fender and Gibson designs (respectively) for years now, and they just keep getting better and better at it.

Want to see a wider selection of electric guitars? Take a look at our more broad article on the best electric guitars of all types.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most important features beginners should look for in an electric guitar?

This is a question that can easily be answered by perusing our list above. But we'll summarize here.

Probably the most important factor you should be considering is playability. This is a serious matter in the early days of your guitar career. If you can't physically wrap your hand around the neck, you have a problem.

Pick a guitar that feels good in your hands and that you can execute your best guitar tricks on straight out of the gate. If you like the way it feels, you've got a winner.

Another important consideration is, of course, the sound of the guitar and whether it suits the style of music you want to play.

Finally, it's VERY important to pick one you love! If your guitar keeps giving you that special feeling throughout the years, you're going to be one happy camper.

Should I buy a complete guitar starter pack or purchase individual components separately?

This is a great question and one that doesn't have a simple answer.

Ultimately, if you find shopping a pain and you'd rather just get started with everything all at once, perhaps a starter pack is for you.

However, if you enjoy shopping around and researching and comparing products, you're probably better off purchasing individual components separately.

We will say that it's usually a pretty good thing if you can get a gig bag or case, a guitar strap, and a guitar cable with your guitar. Then you can just pick out an amp and get going!

What are the main differences between cheaper and more expensive beginner electric guitars?

There isn't a huge discrepancy in price when it comes to beginner-level electric guitars, but there can be a pretty wide variance in quality.

However, if you choose a guitar from a reputable manufacturer like the ones on this list, you shouldn't have to worry too much about that. There are incredible guitars available today at a shockingly low price point, so you never have to compromise again.

The differences you're going to see will mostly be things like tonewoods used, the type of pickups and hardware (name brand or not), and the type of finish on the guitar.

Can I upgrade or modify a beginner electric guitar later on?

Yes! One of the great things about many of the guitars featured on this list is that they can be easily modified with new pickups, hardware, etc, for a practically all-new guitar later down the line!

A very common move, for example, is to pick up a Squier guitar and swap out the parts for Fender. Little by little, you can turn your starter guitar into your forever guitar!


If you're still stumped after checking out our list of the best beginner electric guitars, we don't know what to tell you! We've picked out a selection of great guitars for beginners of all needs and styles.

You know our top pick for all-around best electric guitar for beginners had to go to the Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat. Not only is the Strat an absolute classic, but Squier offers really impressive build quality and designs these days, and we have to thank them for it.

But just because that's our favorite doesn't mean it has to be yours!

Take another look at our list, and then head over to Sweetwater to pick up your dream guitar today!

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