Are you ready to jam? The best thing about technology is how easy it is to get your hands on the best quality instruments. The best electric guitar will, of course, vary according to your personal choice. Whether you’re starting out discovering your musical talent, or you’re a professional guitarist, there is something in store for everyone. You need to consider the body shape, the locking trem, the tone, the quality, the size and of course, different price points when choosing the right electric guitar. To help you pick the right one for your needs, we’ve shortlisted the best cheap electric guitars in 2021 for you right here.
If you’ve already mastered a classical guitar, then up your game and try an electric guitar. We know that picking one might not be the easiest task, so our guide is here to help you make sense of everything you need to know.
What are the types of electric guitars?
There are many types of electric guitars, but there are three main body styles you need to be aware of: solidbody, semi-hollow, and hollow.
These electric guitars are made from a solid piece of wood that can typically create a greater sustain and resistance to feedback, which means they are excellent choices for rock and metal guitarists who create a lot of distortion. There are a number of different body style variations within solidbody electric guitars, however.
Stratocaster: As the most common electric guitar on the market, the mid-range notes of the stratocaster makes it great for any artist and genre really. It typically features a tremolo, which is a device that lets you change the pitch of a guitar by moving the arm of the guitar either up or down.
Super Strat: This electric guitar is similar to the stratocaster in body style, but because it utilizes humbuckers, (at least one, if not more) the pickups tend to produce a higher output, which means a greater distortion of sound. The tremeloes also tend to be superior, allowing for a greater range while still remaining in tune.
Offset: This electric guitar produces an extremely clear and bright sound that has a subtle mid- and low-end response. If you’re able to manipulate the tone knobs correctly, it can be a perfect option for rhythm work.
Telecaster: If you can EQ the Telecaster properly, it delivers a beautiful mid-range and prominent high-range response. Pretty common within the country genre, this electric guitar is actually versatile enough to cross over into other genres.
Les Paul: The Les Paul produces a balanced and clean high-end sound that can sustain very well. It is available in a solid, solid-arched, and solid-chambered body style that won’t produce a noticeable difference in sound, meaning the design you go with ultimately comes down to which is most aesthetically pleasing to you.
These electric guitars feature an exposed opening at the top of the guitar’s body, typically in the form of two f-holes. A block of wood runs through the body of the guitar, dividing the inner chamber into two parts. The tone of these electric guitars is pretty similar to that of solidbody electric guitars, but they don’t have as much sustain. When played with greater distortion or at louder volumes, there also tends to be feedback because of how they are constructed.
With the same body shape as semi-hollow electric guitars, these electric guitars are different in that they don’t feature a block of wood running down the middle, hence their name. They tend to have an acoustic-like tone and a little greater feedback than semi-hollow electric guitars, but overall, the sound tends to be very similar to semi-hollow electric guitars.
That’s all the most important body styles of electric guitars that you need to know in order to make the most-informed choice out there.
What is the price range of electric guitars?
Prices can and will vary for electric guitars. Electric guitars for beginners and students will cost anywhere from 100 to 400 dollars. This isn’t an unreasonable price range for those who are younger players or those who are looking to try out an electric guitar. And while electric guitars on the lower end of the price spectrum won’t be as high quality as more expensive ones, many major brands still offer great electric guitars that you don’t have to break the bank for.
As the price of an electric guitar starts to go up, the material it is made with starts to get better and the features it has starts to be more wide-ranging. Intermediate electric guitars will range anywhere from 400 to 900 dollars. Higher-end electric guitars might set you back a pretty penny, however, as they can cost anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 dollars, sometimes even more.
The price of an electric guitar is not the only expense you’ll encounter. In order to properly make use of your electric guitar, you’ll need to buy an amplifier and audio cable as well. The price of amplifiers, like electric guitars, can vary depending on which one you get, but they generally range anywhere from 40 to 200 dollars. Audio cables can vary in price, too, but you can get away with a good one for under 30 dollars.
You might not have to worry about finding and purchasing the accessories on your own, though, as many electric guitars are sold in kits that include things such as amplifiers and audio cables. You’re more likely to find kits for lower-end electric guitars than you are higher-end electric guitars, and while this might increase the price you pay, it reduces the hassle of having to buy every item separately.
The bottom rule, though, is that you should not only be aware of your budget when you go to purchase an electric guitar but also your skill level and interest in the instrument.
Choosing an electric guitar
Start by considering your skill level. If you’re a more advanced player who is committed to the craft, it might be right to invest in a pricer electric guitar. If you’re just starting out, a less expensive electric guitar is fine, and you can upgrade later if you find yourself really sticking with it. On the same note, you’ll also want to consider what your budget is; regardless of how experienced a player you are, you don’t want to go into debt over an extremely nice albeit extremely expensive guitar. There are many suitable options on the lower price end that won’t break the bank. You’ll also want to consider what type of music you play (or want to play) on your electric guitar. That can influence the type of electric guitar you want to get, as different body styles come with different features that make them more suitable for some genres than others. If you want to play across different genres, then you’ll need to invest in an electric guitar that is suitable for that. You’ll find that some electric guitars might be better for you than others, so it’s important to keep in mind these things before you make your final decision.
By Jack Stoneybrook
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.