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5 Best Budget Electric Guitars for Beginners [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Starting something new in your life, especially a new hobby is always a positive and fun experience to go through. And electric guitars aren’t an exception.

However, how and where do you begin? Are usually the questions that bother most people in this situation. If you ask me, the best advice, in this case, is to start doing it and stop overthinking.

Yes, it’s that simple.

You want to learn how to play an electric guitar? Then get one and start practicing. That’s the only way you can master it, no alternative routes.

Since you are reading this, then it means you’ve already stopped dreaming about “getting a guitar one day” and decided to take action. That’s the spirit.

But because you are a novice you are probably a bit lost in the buying process and don’t know which one to get. This is completely normal.

To help you out, in this guide for budget electric guitars for beginners we’ll go into the buying procedure and the details you need to pay attention to.

First, we’ll start with the best budget electric guitar reviews and then we’ll dig deeper into the essence of the electric guitar. The second part of the guide is especially important because it highlights the features of the guitar and will help you to choose the best electric guitar for you.

5 Best Budget Electric Guitars For Beginners in 2022

1. Squier by Fender 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

2. Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

3. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112J Electric Guitar

4. Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22

5. Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar 

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5 Best Budget Electric Guitars Reviews

1. Squier by Fender 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

Dimensions: 44.5 x 4 x 14.5 inches
Item Weight: 9.9 pounds
Color: Multiple Options
Size: Full

Squier is the brand name Fender uses for their line of budget electric guitars for beginners.

This Affinity Telecaster is a solid-body type electric guitar made of Alder wood which gives it a soft touch. The maple neck and fretboard enhance the smoothness and ensure you comfort when playing.

But what’s interesting about this budget electric guitar by Fender is the slim and comfortable C-shaped neck which conveys a nice vintage feel to it. Not only this style is great for beginners, but it’s also perfect for playing all styles.

The sealed die-cast tuners on the Squier Affinity Telecaster will guarantee you easy and accurate tuning even as a novice. It also has dual single-coil pickups that diversify the sound and give you a lot of room to play with.

When it comes to fine intonation and adjustments, the Squier features a six-saddle bridge (a saddle for every string) to take care of it and make it easy for you.

Body Material: Alder
Back Material: Alder
Neck Material: Maple
Fretboard Material: Maple
Pickup Configuration: SS
String Material: Steel
Bridge System: Hardtail

Pros

  • Great design with a C-shaped neck for comfortable playing
  • 6 individual saddles for each string ensures easy and accurate adjustments
  • Sealed die-cast tuners for effortless tuning
  • Two single-coil pickups with 3-way switching for all playing styles

Cons

  • Has rougher fret edges which will take time to get used to as a beginner

2. Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

Dimensions: 39.5 x 12.5 x 2.19 inches
Item Weight: 7.5 pounds
Color: Multiple Options
Size: Full

The second budget electric guitar review is reserved for the beautiful Ibanez 6 GRX70QA. It can be found in multiple colors but the one that stands out the most to me is the one with a transparent green finish.

The Ibanez 6 GRX70QA is a solid-body electric guitar and is part of their affordable beginner-friendly models.

The body is made of a lightweight, but durable solid poplar wood while the top is embellished with an alluring quilted maple. The same goes for the rest of the guitar (back, neck, fretboard) which is also made with maple wood giving it nice harmony.

The GRX maple neck is smooth, thin, fast gives the guitar a nice warm tone. It also has medium-sized frets for added comfort when playing.

When it comes to the hardware, the Ibanez 6 GRX70QA is equipped with a T102 tremolo bridge and has a six-saddle bridge i.e. a saddle for each string for easier adjustments. The tuners, however, aren’t the best thing you can get for this price.

Body Material: Poplar
Top Material: Maple
Back Material: Maple
Neck Material: Maple
Fretboard Material: Maple
Pickup Configuration: HSH
String Material: Nickel
Bridge System: Tremolo

Pros

  • Poplar solid-body paired with alluring quilted maple art grain
  • Smooth and thin neck with medium-sized frets for comfort
  • Lightweight electric guitar
  • HSH pickup configuration

Cons

  • The tuners aren’t of the highest quality

3. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112J Electric Guitar

Dimensions: 43 x 18 x 4.5 inches
Item Weight: 10.88 pounds
Color: Multiple Options
Size: Full

Next in line, we have another budget electric guitar for beginners but this time from Yamaha. At first glance, we can see that the Yamaha PAC112J resembles a Fender Stratocaster, and that’s because it was inspired by it.

The PAC112J has a solid body made out of a single piece of alder wood and is embellished with an aged-granadilla top which gives it a nice and clear tone. The back and sides are acrylic while the C-shaped bolt-on neck is made from maple wood.

It also features a medium-sized rosewood fingerboard and a vintage-style tremolo bridge system. The pickup configuration is HSS (Humbucker in the bridge and singl-coil middle/neck).

With the Yamaha PAC112J, you won’t have to worry much about tuning stability since it has die-cast tuners to ensure you smooth playing experience.

One of the best characteristics of the Yamaha Pacifista guitars is their versatility to adapt to various genres and playing styles.

Body Material: Alder
Top Material: Aged-granadilla
Back Material: Acrylic
Neck Material: Maple
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Pickup Configuration: HSS
Bridge System: Tremolo

Pros

  • Die-cast tuners for easy and smooth tuning
  • Versatile budget electric guitar for all genres and styles
  • 5-way pickup selector switch and HSS configuration
  • Solid alder wood body

Cons

  • While 10.88 lbs is not a lot, still the heaviest guitar on the list

4. Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22

Dimensions: 12.99 x 2.4 x 39.29 inches
Item Weight: 8.8 pounds
Color: Satin Black
Size: Full

When it comes to the best budget electric guitars for beginners, it’s hard to make a list without including the Jackson JS22.

This is a 7-string electric guitar with an arched basswood solid-body adorned with a smooth poplar back, sides, and top finish. The bolt-on neck is made of maple and is supplemented with graphite while the fretboard is made of amaranth.

String stability is something you won’t have to worry about when playing the Dinky JS22 because it features a two-point fulcrum tremolo bridge to keep them firmly attached.

If you want an electric guitar to play heavier genres, then the Jackson JS22 is the right choice for you. It features two high-output humbucker pickups which make it perfect for heavy metal and hard rock.

Body Material: Arched Basswood
Top Material: Poplar
Back Material: Poplar
Neck Material: Maple
Fretboard Material: Amaranth
Pickup Configuration: HH
Number of Strings: 7
Bridge System: Hardtail

Pros

  • Sealed die-cast tuners for easy tuning
  • Two high-output humbucker pickups
  • Two point fulcrum tremolo bridge system
  • Affordable and beginner-friendly electric guitar

Cons

  • Lacks versatility, aimed for heavy metal and hard rock players mostly
  • Basswood is prone to dents due to its soft nature so be careful how you carry the guitar

5. Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar 

Dimensions: 44.3 x 14.9 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight: 9.9 pounds
Color: Black, Sunburst & Blue
Size: Full

To close our list for the best budget electric guitar for beginners we have another Squier model by Fender – the Bullet Stratocaster.

This is a solid-body electric guitar made of a basswood slab and is paired with a maple neck. The fretboard is made of rosewood and has 21 frets.

Similar to the Squier Affinity telecaster we reviewed, the Bullet Stratocaster also has a C-shaped neck profile that gives the guitar a warm vintage-style playing feel. This also makes the guitar comfortable to play and suitable for all genres and styles.

Next, we have the standard Squier single-coil pickup which gives the Bullet a nice, clear, and crisp sound. The bridge on the other hand is a vintage-style hardtail that enhances the stability and sustain of the electric guitar.

Body Material: Basswood
Neck Material: Maple
Fretboard Material: Rosewood
Pickup Configuration: S
String Material: Steel
Bridge System: Hardtail

Pros

  • Vintage-style hardtail bridge system
  • C-shaped maple neck for playing versatility and comfort
  • Three single-coil pickups and a 5-way pickup selector switch
  • Great electric guitar for beginners

Cons

  • Basswood is lower-quality wood and can easily dent if not careful

Beginners Buying Guide for Electric Guitars – What to Consider 

When it comes to buying the best electric guitar there’s always the YOU factor in it.

There are many types of electric guitars and they come in various shapes and sizes, are made from different materials, produce a different sound, etc. Due to all these ingredients, even the most expensive electric guitar might not necessarily be a good fit for you, especially if the size is not correct.

Also, many newbies tend to focus on the appearance of the guitar but in reality, looks are a secondary thing compared to the electric guitar being comfortable to play, the right size, and can produce good sound.

Having this in mind, let’s move on to the things you need to pay attention to the most when buying an electric guitar as a beginner.

The first is, of course, the budget.

Set Your Budget

Possibly the smartest thing a person can do before going on a shopping spree is to set a budget and make sure they don’t deviate from it. It’s extremely easy to go over budget, so some self-restraint will be necessary.

Since you are a beginner and are looking for entry-level electric guitars, it’s best to limit your finances around the $300 mark.

Why? Because world-renowned guitar manufacturers have been making electric guitars for beginners for decades now and that’s normally their price tag. Don’t worry, we are not recommending low-quality guitars that will fall apart after two playing sessions.

Electric Guitar Size

After setting your budget the next thing you’ll want to pay attention to is the size of the electric guitar.

Guitars come in various shapes and sizes and not all of them will suit your body physique or playing style. If you are of smaller stature, it’s best to avoid full-size guitars because you’ll have issues playing them.

Electric guitars can be found in four sizes:

  • 1/4 size – These electric guitars are 30″ big
  • 1/2 size – These electric guitars are 34″ big
  • 3/4 size – These electric guitars are between 34″ and 36-inches big
  • 4/4 or Full size – These electric guitars are between 36″ and 40-inches big

Electric Guitar Construction

Knowing the body parts that construct the electric guitar will give you a better understanding of the instrument. Here’s an image to help you visualize where each part is located on the electric guitar.

electric guitar construction

Electric Guitar Body Types

There are many types of electric guitars if we look into their characteristics and the sound they produce. The various materials used to build the instrument, the combination of the materials and their quality, the accessories that come with it, the shape of the neck, and so on, all play a part in defining the electric guitar.

But generally speaking, there are only three main electric guitar types. These are the solid, hollow, and semi-hollow body guitars.

The body type of the electric guitar does influence the sound but it’s not the only decisive factor although it plays a significant role.

Solid Electric Guitar

This is the most popular type of electric guitar. This type is made from a solid piece of wood and is a great fit for beginners due to their great design which makes them comfortable to hold and play.

Solid-body electric guitars produce a warm sound, have more sustain, and are resistant to feedback which makes them suitable for playing any musical genre.

Hollow Electric Guitar

When the first electric guitar arrived on the music scene it had a hollow body similar to that one of the acoustic guitars. These days this type is mostly used by jazz musicians due to their hollow body which gives a fuller and deeper sound with more resonance.

But since their spirit is close to the acoustic one, hollow body electric guitars aren’t the biggest fans of amplifiers and can act naughty when connected to one.

Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

As the name already indicates, this is an instrument that’s in-between solid and hollow. Characteristic for this type are the exposed opening and the block of wood that divides the inner chamber of the guitar.

The sound of a semi-hollow electric guitar is close to that of a solid body instrument, but due to its acoustic characteristics, the semi-hollow has less sustain and is prone to feedback when played at a higher volume.

Electric Guitar Tonewoods

The material of which the guitar is built also influences its sound and quality. So if you want an electric guitar that will sound good and last for long, you’ll need to spend a bit more money on Tonewoods of higher quality.

When looking at electric guitars you’ll often notice that the body, neck, and fretboard are made of different types of wood. These combinations if done right can give the instrument a better and more unique sound. However, it’s not rare to see a guitar made from one material as well.

Types of Wood Used on Electric Guitars

  • Mahogany
  • Rosewood
  • Alder
  • Agathis
  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Walnut
  • Basswood
  • Ebony
  • Korina
  • Pau Ferro
  • Poplar

There are other Tonewoods used as well but these are the ones you’ll encounter the most when buying an electric guitar.

Electric Guitar Pickups

Similar to the body types, electric guitars have three main types of pickups – Single Coil, Humbuckers, and P90 pickups.

They are located under the strings and play a big role in defining the instrument’s sound. The type of pickup and the configuration used shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing an electric guitar.

Pickups can be either passive or active. The active pickups are powered by a small battery and give a clearer and louder sound, but the downside is of course that you have to maintain the battery. While passive pickups on the other hand don’t require much maintenance but aren’t as loud in comparison.

Amplifier

Playing an electric guitar without an amplifier is like driving a car without wheels, just doesn’t work. These pieces of art were made to be loud and without the amp’s aid, they lose their essence.

In short, if you don’t have an amplifier then make sure to get one in order to experience the electric guitar in its full glory.

Conclusion

Before you start looking for an electric guitar, you need to sort out your budget. With a set budget you can go on a hunt and instantly start looking for the best electric guitar for you without further distractions.

Besides that, you also need to have at least a basic understanding of the electric guitar to know which areas to focus on. This is especially important when dealing with a limited budget because everything boils down to the details and you need to be picky when choosing a guitar.

That’s why in this buying guide for electric guitars we made sure to focus on the main features the instruments have to offer and ease your guitar picking process. Hopefully, you found the guide helpful and it helped you to pick a guitar.

Cheers!

Read Next: 10 Best Budget Acoustic Guitars

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