THE COMPLETE GUIDE ON BEGINNER ELECTRIC GUITARS
You’re a complete beginner interested in the electric guitar, you haven’t learnt to fret a note and just like the look of electric guitars.
Where do you go to get information on choosing your ideal beginner electric guitar?
I had no idea when I was starting out on the guitar, I picked up a random electric guitar from a local second hand store, my parents didn’t have much money and I certainly didn’t want them ‘wasting’ it.
So I happily went for anything, but looking back, I didn’t choose all that well.
I trusted a random sales assistant in a second hand store, overall, a better idea would have been to of gone to a local music shop that at least specialise in electric guitars.
But even then, the advice isn’t always what’s best for the beginner electric guitarist.
The shop might not be quite hitting their sales targets for the month and try to sell you something that bit more expensive and truly unnecessary.
So firstly, lets set some decisive factors.
Our first target is to look at the price, think carefully about this.
Guitars rarely lose value unlike 99% of everything else we own.
The budget electric guitars (less than £100 new) generally lose 50% value when you try to sell them on, the mid range guitars, Mexican Fenders, Epiphone’s, Ibanez, Yamaha & PRS SE, (£300 – £500ish new) generally lose the least in value, I would happily purchase any of these guitars at around 15% – 25% less RRP used. (in near new condition of course)
Then we have the £800+ electric guitars, American fenders, American Gibsons etc..
These generally have a very fast value decline after new purchase, If you were to pay £800 for a new strat, expect to sell it for as little as £500 mere weeks after purchase, but hold onto it for 10 or so years, you’ll probably get closer to £600 – £650 for it.
I find this fairly interesting, but too much information for beginners, so set a price target, £200 is a very good target on your first guitar and won’t restrict your choice too much, but in hand, if you, your friend, child or partner do give up playing, you should be able to sell the chosen guitar for around £160 – £180. (hardly anything lost!)
GIBSON LES PAUL
BEGINNER ELECTRIC GUITAR BRANDS
As you are looking for beginner electric guitars on the internet, I am going to assume you know nothing about electric guitars at all, so lets start with very popular guitar brands/companies.
Fender – electric guitars
Gibson – electric guitars
Fender are an american instrument company founded in 1946, the company Fender has made two particular models commonly replicated that we are going to be looking at later on in the article, the Fender Telecaster made in 1950 & the Fender Stratocaster, made in 1954.
Gibson are again an american guitar manufacturer founded in 1902 originally making mandolins.
The main pioneering and heavily replicated guitars made by Gibson that are good for beginners are the Gibson SG & the Gibson Les Paul.
These two guitar manufacturers really have set the standards in electric guitars.
The 4 instrument models mentioned here are the most mass produced and replicated guitar models currently available and arguably the basis to all other guitars on the market, so it’s good to educate yourself on the Gibson Les Paul and SG as well as the Fender Telecaster & Stratocaster.
OVERVIEW OF THE ORIGINAL MODELS
Although the above pictures are the original makers and models, it does not mean that you have to stick by them to get a great quality electric guitar, Fender have their more budget ranges widely available in the form of their Indonesian, Japanese & Mexican manufactured Fenders as well as their even cheaper but still incredibly high quality instrument range called Squire guitars, you can actually get these in beginner bundles which cost around £200, come with an amp, cable, spare strings and usually a tuner.
Gibson also have their more budgeted editions, such as the studio or Junior range, which again start at more realistic prices of £600+, but if you are happy to go for the less brand name/designer label, you can get superb quality Epiphone (brand) Les Paul or SG guitar models starting at prices as low as £200.
Some of the Epiphone guitars also come as a beginner bundle, which again is a really great way to go.
BEGINNER ELECTRIC GUITAR BRANDS
Now that you hopefully understand the 4 large guitar models and 2 large manufacturers, we can now move onto a little bit more of a special mention.
Just because something was created, designed or founded by someone in particular, it doesn’t always mean they are the best, most cost effective or what everyone wants.
So here is the final and more than likely the most important part of this beginner electric guitars article, the special mentions.
Good manufacturers to get these Strat, Les Paul, SG or Telecaster style guitars from: