fidlarmusic.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

How To Buy An Electric Guitar For Beginners: Best Tips For You 2022

How To Buy An Electric Guitar For Beginners Best Tips For You 2022

Electric guitars are a must-have for any serious musician. This article will show you how to buy an electric guitar that suits your needs and budget. We’ll also give you some tips on looking when shopping for an electric guitar.

For Whom Are You Purchasing?

When buying a guitar for a beginner, make sure it’s the right size, sounds fantastic, and corresponds to the emerging player’s musical likes and objectives. Find out what kind of guitar they want and who their guitar heroes are if you don’t already know.

Choosing an electric guitar that caters to these interests will help new players stay motivated while learning to play. Smaller, younger players may appreciate Musician’s Friend’s range of 34-scale, compact, and travel guitars. Full-sized electric guitar bodies come in a wide range of sizes and weights, so keep that in mind.

Beginners must have a simple guitar to play and remain in tune. Cosmetics, body style, electronics, and tone are also important. A beginning guitarist may have a favorite guitarist who motivates them to practice. Examine the guitars that their heroes use and strive to replicate them.

The pointy guitar with skulls may not pique your potential country star’s interest, but they’ll undoubtedly fall in love with a classic. (Don’t worry if some of these terms are new to you; we’ll explain them later.) You can go with something else, but this is a fantastic place to start when figuring out which guitar will inspire your up-and-coming guitar prodigy.

Your alternatives are a little different for someone who has been playing for a while. Maybe they’re looking for a specific guitar. If that’s the case, give them what they want! They’ve probably already done their homework and are looking for their next guitar.

Even if they aren’t sure, you can still make an informed decision. Many popular choices should satisfy even the most seasoned players. There is also a slew of lesser-known models that could be ideal for someone with more specialized tastes.

When purchasing a guitar, keep in mind that quality usually comes at a cost. Consider investing a bit more in a quality guitar. In many cases, you can save money in the long term by buying a better guitar up front and foregoing incremental improvements. A seasoned guitarist will usually have a clear notion of what they enjoy.

With experience comes a desire to spend money on high-quality items. Private Reserve Guitars are available at Musician’s Friend in a beautiful range. When buying a high-end guitar as a present, it’s best to avoid the element of surprise and find out exactly what the recipient desires.

Reading evaluations from both fellow artists and specialists will help you narrow down your options. For most of the electric guitar models we offer, you’ll find plenty of customer reviews.

What Is Your Financial Situation?

What Is Your Financial Situation

While you don’t have to put your house up for sale to get a good guitar, money will still be a significant consideration when determining which guitar to buy. When buying a guitar for a beginner, especially a younger player, you may be afraid to spend too much money because you don’t know if the recipient will continue to play.

That’s a very logical position to take. Guitars are available in a variety of price ranges. Remember that the better the guitar a new musician starts with, the more likely they will continue studying and playing. Even the most ardent beginner will be put off by an instrument that is difficult to play or does not remain in tune.

An amplifier and cable are required for all novice guitar players. The following are some more electric guitar accessories:

  • a belt
  • a tuning fork
  • extra selections
  • additional strings
  • a position
  • a situation

$300 or less

In this pricing range, there are many options for the beginner player. Musician’s Friend has a large range of Electric Guitar Value Packages that contain an electric guitar, amplifier, and many of the following accessories.

These kits’ components have been carefully selected to operate well together, eliminating the need for guesswork when selecting the appropriate gear. Many include instructional books, DVDs, online beginner’s lessons, and other materials to keep the new player interested in continuing to study.

Consider spending more on the guitar than the amplifier if you opt to buy a guitar, amplifier, and accessories separately. A better guitar will typically serve a player’s demands for a more extended period, whereas a less expensive amp will suffice for early practice sessions. If users desire to upgrade later, they may need to replace the amplifier rather than the entire setup.

Between $300 and $600

As the price of a product rises, so does the number of options available to you. For the same reasons mentioned above, it’s still a good idea to spend more money on the guitar than the amplifier.

You can choose something that better suits the player if you have more possibilities. Many of the models in this category are improvements of cheaper ones. Better hardware, electronics, woods, cosmetics, and construction procedures could all be included in the upgrades. The impact of such upgrades will be discussed further down.

$1000 and above

Many premium alternatives are available in this category. Many of the guitars in this category will have some of the most advanced features available. Many improvements are available from less-priced models. These are frequently regarded as the standard models.

Of course, you don’t have to spend $1000 on a fantastic guitar. However, even the most discerning player will be satisfied by the majority of guitars of this grade. The Private Reserve range from Musician’s Friend offers instruments designed to meet the needs of the most discerning professional guitarists.

Related post:

How To Ship An Electric Guitar Safely? Best Full Guide 2022

Classical Vs Acoustic Guitar: Which Is Better For You 2022?

Best Electric Guitar Brands

Gibson

Gibson makes some of the best electric and acoustic guitars on the market. The company has a long history, and all of its models are designed and manufactured in the United States.

Les Paul and the SG are two of their most well-known models. When it comes to electric guitars, most people will immediately identify these two models. Guitars are associated with a wide range of rock music genres.

They provide models with more unconventional designs, such as the Flying V, which may be linked with stronger genres like metal and hard rock and the Les Paul and SG.

Gibson guitars aren’t inexpensive. Their craftsmanship is of the highest caliber, and the tone that the guitars generate is a fantastic starting point. If you can afford a flexible guitar like the Les Paul as your first guitar, you may be confident that you will be playing a high-quality instrument.

However, they own another brand that can be a good compromise for individuals on a budget.

Gibson

Epiphone

This is where the distinction between music labels and audio manufacturers can become perplexing. Epiphone is a brand that predates Gibson in terms of age. It has been around since the 1800s, but it today mostly serves as a less expensive alternative to the Gibson brand.

It shares many of its parent company’s model designs. Gibson purchased the Epiphone in 1957.

Why are the models less expensive? Despite having similar designs, Epiphones are made outside of the United States and employ less costly parts (and tonewoods) than their more expensive rivals.

This isn’t to say that Epiphone guitars aren’t good, and they can be a great place to start for new guitarists, with guitars available at a fair price. They also offer the legendary Les Paul and Epiphone designs that many are familiar with. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Epiphone and Gibson from afar.

These guitars are popular among beginners who still desire a guitar with a recognizable appearance and character due to its inexpensive price and reliable build quality. Many Epiphone models appear in lists of “best budget guitars” or “best starter guitars” on the internet.

Fender

We couldn’t build a list of beginner-friendly brands without mentioning Fender. If you’ve ever been to a concert or a music festival, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Fender gear. Guitars, effects pedals, bass guitars, amplifiers, and more are available. Fender is a legendary brand in the world of guitars, and many people dream of acquiring one of their models.

From Buddy Holly to Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain to Jonny Greenwood, Fender has had hundreds of notable followers since its inception in the 1940s. Their guitars are synonymous with quality and are connected with rock and alternative music genres.

The legendary Stratocaster (commonly abbreviated as a “strat”) and Telecaster models are among Fender’s guitars. Other models, like the Jaguar and the Jazzmaster, are also very popular. Any guitar aficionado will almost certainly have favorites from the Fender line.

Fender guitars are not necessarily prohibitively pricey. The pricing is in the mid-range for a basic model, but there is no questioning the value for money on offer. The price tag can rapidly become intimidating when it comes to limited edition or signature Fender guitars.

Fender

Squier

Fender is the owner of the Squier brand. Founded initially to make Fender knockoffs, this brand grew to the point that it was purchased by Fender and is now referred to as the “affordable range.” Squier, like Epiphone, offers the same designs we all know and love, but it uses lower-cost components and manufactures its instruments outside of the United States.

Beginners and those who aspire to play a Fender someday but aren’t sure if it’s worth the expense are huge fans of Squier products.

If you’re considering purchasing a Squier, don’t be deceived into believing it’s a knockoff. These are genuinely pretty high-quality items. There have been a number of well-known YouTube videos comparing the original Fender model to the Squier equivalent, and the tone isn’t all that dissimilar.

It’s also worth noting that Squier guitars come appropriately set up right out of the box, so they’re ready to play right away.

Ibanez

The Ibanez range is quite extensive and includes something for everyone. It is frequently associated with heavier genres. This was the first Asian maker to achieve significant momentum in the United States and Europe as a Japanese brand. Guitarists like Joe Satriani have sponsored models from their line.

The Ibanez line has something for everyone, and many of their goods are fortunately on the more cheap end of the market, giving them a viable option for beginners who still desire quality. Unique and offbeat designs can also help you stick out a little more.

Yamaha

Yamaha is a company that dabbles in just about every form of musical instrument production you can think of! Yamaha is most known for its keyboards and digital pianos, but they also make some fine electric guitars, such as the Pacifica series.

This model is identical to the Fender Strat and is an excellent option for obtaining your first guitar at a reasonable price. Yamaha also sells amplification systems and accessories.

Brands Worth Mentioning

The aforementioned brands are undoubtedly the most famous guitars, particularly at the normal price bracket that most beginners would be considering.

They aren’t, however, the only brands available. PRS, Gretsch, and ESP are all well-known names, despite their lack of popularity.

There are a lot of “unbranded” guitars out there or brands that aren’t well-known. Many inexpensive, imported guitars under $100 will lack the brand recognition of the others on this list. This does not always imply that they should be disregarded entirely.

If you’re unsure if the pastime is suitable for you or want to save money, don’t expect to purchase a well-known brand. If you’re thinking about buying a guitar that’s not well-known, evaluations are your best friend!

When purchasing a guitar, don’t rely just on the brand name. Though a well-known brand name is a solid predictor of quality, it isn’t the only factor to consider. When purchasing something at the shallow end of the market, always read the reviews to see what others have written.

There are a few hidden jewels out there from obscure producers, even though they are unlikely to endure as long or retain their worth.

How To Buy An Electric Guitar For Beginners

Types of Electric Guitar Bodies

The solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body are the three primary varieties of electric guitar body styles, each having its own set of features.

Body made of solid material

The most prevalent body type is the solid-body electric guitar, manufactured from a single piece of wood. Solid body guitars can range in complexity from a simple single-pickup model to a multi-pickup instrument with various technological options.

Although solid-body guitars do not have as much resonance as hollow-body guitars, the woods are used to impact the instrument’s sound.

Body made of solid material

Hollow Body

These electric guitars feature hollow bodies, similar to acoustic guitars, and produce more resonance due to their construction. These guitars are usually archtops and are more susceptible to feedback. Many jazz guitarists prefer the hollow body because of its full, rich tones and deep bass response.

Hollow Body

Semi-Hollow Body

The semi-hollow body has more resonance than a solid body, similar to the hollow body. On the other hand, semi-hollow guitars have a solid middle woodblock that increases stability and sustain while also reducing feedback.

Many blues musicians like the semi-hollow for its warmth and the center block for its greater attack and sustain. Semi-hollow guitars are suitable for various musical styles, including blues, jazz, and punk rock.

Semi-Hollow Body

Length of Scale

The tonal quality of the notes produced and the tension of the string at a given pitch are both influenced by scale length. The distance between the “nut” and the bridge “saddle” determines the string’s vibrating length, which is called scale length.

Longer scales have more distance between frets; hence fret placement (see Intonation) is a ratio depending on scale length.

Most electric guitars use two-scale lengths: the “Gibson” scale, which gives the Les Paul its round attack and heavy bottom, and the “Fender” scale, which provides the Strat with its clear, cutting character, both of which is 24.75 inches long.

The 25′′ scale, popularized by Paul Reed Smith and others, offers a distinct tone that is not a compromise between “Gibson” and “Fender.”

Intonation

Intonation affects whether notes are in tune as they progress up the neck. The guitar will be unable to play in tune if the spacing between the frets (typically above the 12th fret) is inaccurate, making it unusable as a recording or performance instrument.

Number of Frets

A 24-fret neck will provide a complete octave above the twelfth fret if you wish to play in the high register.

Finish

The sort of finish has less of an impact on sound with electrics than with acoustics, but you shouldn’t be concerned in either case. When it comes to building guitars, this is taken into consideration.

Bridge

Tremolo and stop tail bridges are the two most common forms of guitar bridges. The tremolo bridge (also known as a whammy bar) allows you to “dive” or bend all of the strings at once (which is excellent for Metal styles), but it may also toss strings out of tune.

Because it is anchored into the body, the stoptail bridge is more stable in tuning, and some players believe it produces greater sustain than the tremolo bridge, which “floats” above the body.

Machines for tuning

It’s crucial to know what kind of tuning machine your guitar has. This is how you can fine-tune and maintain pitch. Enclosed machine heads are less prone to corrosion and airborne corrosives, requiring less maintenance and replacement than open tuning machines.

Electronics and Pickups

Aside from the body type, the pickups and electronics have the most impact on the sound of a guitar.

A single-coil pickup is the most basic and original pickup design. It’s made out of a single magnet wrapped in tiny wire that creates a magnetic field that collects the strings’ vibrations and converts them into an electronic signal. Single-coil pickups have a bright, clear sound to them.

They generate a tone that cuts through dense band sounds well, although they are prone to producing hum and magnetic interference. Many great musicians use single-coil pickups on their guitars. Many guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, Merle Travis, and others, are known for using single-coil tones.

Humbucker pickups were created to combat hum while also providing tonal characteristics beyond single-coil pickups. The polarity of the magnets is set opposite each other in this configuration, which uses two single coils wrapped in series. This design aids in the reduction of hum. As a result, it was given that name.

Contrary to single-coils, humbuckers provide a broader, louder, and more robust tone. Humbuckers are well-suited to rock, heavy metal, and jazz styles, despite their versatility. Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Pass, and Duane Allman are famous guitarists who use humbuckers.

Piezo pickups are electric guitar pickup that isn’t as popular as single-coils and humbuckers. Typically, these crystalline sensors are found in the saddle of an electric guitar. Using mechanical vibration rather than magnets, Piezo sensors transform the sound from vibrating strings into an electric current.

Piezo pickups, like an electronic keyboard, can be used to trigger synthesizer or digital sounds. The most common usage of piezo pickups on an electric guitar is to replicate the tone of an acoustic guitar. Magnetic pickups are frequently included with piezo-equipped guitars to increase their tonal diversity.

Electronics and Active Pickups

Some guitars include active pickups that require batteries as a power source and have a preamp for sound shaping. You may include filters and equalization circuits in active electronics for additional sound control.

Active electronics generate a cleaner, crisper sound than magnetic pickups and have a higher output. The majority of guitar pickups are inactive.

Electronics and Pickups

Switching Pickups and Other Controls

The majority of electric guitars have several pickups. There will be two or three single-coils on some. Two or three humbuckers will be found on some guitars. Many guitars have both single-coil and humbucker pickups. The player has a wide range of tone options with this combination.

Single-coils with a “S” and humbuckers with a “H” are standard abbreviations for pickup layouts. From the neck to the bridge, the location of each pickup is noted. In an SSH setup, single-coils are used at the neck and center positions, with a humbucker at the bridge.

The position of the pickups on the guitar’s body has a significant impact on the tone they produce. Pickups sample the strings with the least overall motion at the bridge. As a result, the treble noises or “bites” are amplified. Pickups placed closer to the center of the strings—and thus closer to the guitar’s neck—produce a tone with greater midrange and bottom tones.

Controls on guitars with multiple pickups allow the musician to access each pickup separately and combinations of two or more pickups at the same time. These controls, rotary knobs, blade selectors, or toggle switches allow the guitarist to switch between different pickup combinations while performing swiftly.

Most guitars offer volume and tone controls in addition to pickup selection. The output signal’s strength is controlled using volume controls. Depending on the amplifier, this can adjust both the tone and the loudness.

Most tone knobs control high frequencies, and many guitars have distinct tone settings for each pickup. This can change the sound of a guitar from soft, warm, and mellow to harsh, raw, and distorted.

Other switches on some guitars allow you to manipulate phasing between pickups for distinctive effects, remove one coil from a humbucker, or turn the output on and off.

Digital technology is embedded into certain contemporary guitars, allowing users to access a wide range of sounds, including acoustic, 12-string, and resonator guitar tones; violins, piano, and many more sounds than standard electric guitars can’t generate. Emulating alternate tunings without actually altering the tension on the strings is another technique.

Construction of the Neck

The fretboard and headstock, mounted on the tuners, are located on the neck, extending from the guitar body. It has a metal truss rod that keeps the neck from bowing and twisting and can be adjusted to keep the guitar’s pitch steady.

Although some models, usually with maple necks, have a fretboard made of the same wood as the neck, the fretboard is usually made of a thin layer of rosewood or ebony. Position dots or other markers are usually inlaid on the fretboard. Some models have markers on the fretboard’s upper edge, allowing the player to see them easily.

The contour and width of the neck impact the guitar’s playability and the player’s comfort when fretting. While most necks are “C” or “U” shaped, the breadth and depth of the neck about the player’s hand are crucial factors to consider.

Players with smaller hands should look for necks that are narrower and shallower, while those with larger hands will generally prefer beefier neck profiles.

Neck structure can be divided into three categories:

  • Bolt-on
  • Set your neck
  • Neck-through

As the name implies, Bolt-on necks are bolted to the body of the guitar. This is typically a more cost-effective construction method. It makes neck replacements easy, whether for repairs or customization. Compared to set neck or neck-through guitars, this neck structure has less overall sustain and resonance.

Set necks are cemented into the guitar’s body and then clamped in place until the glue cures. Overall, this is a more stable neck joint that offers the guitar more sustain and resonance. Neck repairs, on the other hand, are more challenging.

Neck-through guitars have a (typically laminated) neck that runs the length of the body, with ‘wings’ or ‘fins’ bonded to the sides. This gives the channel even more stability, as well as additional sustain and resonance when playing.

Neck repairs, once again, are more complex and expensive. However, these repairs are far less likely to be required because of the increased stability.

Construction of the Neck

Best Wood For Electric Guitar Body

When you think of the critical components of making an electric guitar sound, the wood it’s constructed of is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. While it is obvious why tonewood is crucial for an acoustic guitar, it is tempting to believe that because the wood does not project the sound, it is unimportant. This could not be further from the truth.

Electric guitars rely heavily on tonewoods. They all have their distinct properties, and some wood species are frequently employed in the production of electric guitars. The price of the instrument is heavily influenced by the woods used.

If you’ve ever bought the most durable furniture imaginable, you know how variable the prices may be depending on the wood. Some wood is simple to find and grow, while others are more challenging. A guitar with a body constructed of one of the more durable and rare types of wood will be more expensive.

However, many of the more cheap woods are suitable for electric guitars. This list will assist you in determining which woods are appropriate and cost-effective for your purchase.

Mahogany — You are undoubtedly aware that mahogany is not inexpensive to return to our furniture example. This wood is durable and unlikely to shatter, making it popular for guitar bodies.

Despite its strength, it isn’t the strongest wood, and this can result in an excellent mellow sound with resonance levels comparable to semi-hollow guitars. Mahogany is rarely used on the neck or fretboard since these areas require stricter wood.

In solid body models, ash is frequently employed. It’s a relative hardwood with a lot of tensile strength. The mid-range and high-end notes tend to shine through with an Ash body. Although the wood appears to be grainy, it is usually polished so that the grain is not evident.

Alder is a type of wood that shares many of the same properties despite not being as hard as ash. It’s often used to make solid-body electric guitars, and it’s usually painted in a solid color so you can’t see the wood.

Agathis is the last of the three “A’s” in a row, and they all share some tonal similarities, such as a brighter sound and plenty of resonance. Agathis is an inexpensive wood to obtain, but it does an excellent job constructing guitar bodies, so you’ll see it used a lot in the lower end of the market. Many beginning guitars under $200 will feature some kind of Agathis component.

One of the few types of wood commonly used for various guitar parts is maple. Maple fingerboards, necks, and bodies are available. It has a quick “attack,” which means the tones are clear, and the guitar responds to your playing swiftly, making it ideal for funk or solos. Maple is found in many guitars and is commonly utilized by guitarists in the blues, rock, metal, and country genres.

Rosewood is a popular fretboard material for guitars. It has a good tone and a nice ring and resonance when used as the guitar’s body, but it is sometimes avoided for bulky portions because it is heavy wood. Rosewood has an excellent feel for fretting, which is why it’s seen on so many guitars’ fingerboards.

Another relatively widespread wood because of its low cost is basswood. ‘Versatile’ is the perfect word to describe basswood. The wood doesn’t taint the sound, and there’s a sense of being left with a blank canvas. It is cost-effective for producers and quite durable, providing a solid balance of all the features that many people seek in a budget electric guitar for beginners.

The tonewoods guide should give you some insight into why each wood is significant. The small variations they produce can take years of playing and listening to the guitar to notice, but they are substantial. The correct wood may offer a guitar a pleasant feel, playability, and tone.

Tonewoods

FAQs

Is Learning On An Electric Guitar The Best Way To Go?

In general, learning to play electric guitar is easier than learning to play acoustic guitar. It demands less finger strength and is more tolerant of any mistakes you could make. Slim necks are also common on electric guitars, making it simpler to grip, move around, and reach chord shapes.

It is up to you to decide if it is “best”. Playing classical guitar improves hand strength, making moving to electric guitar much easier when the time comes.

Is It Necessary For Me To Learn To Play The Guitar Before Purchasing One?

This is a matter of personal preference. It isn’t required to have played the specific model of guitar you are considering buying. Going to a guitar store and playing a few different electric guitar models to determine which characteristics you prefer is an intelligent idea. Consider whether you prefer a shorter or longer scale, the feel of the neck, and the string tension.

What Is The Absolute Bare Minimum That I Should Spend?

This is a common question for parents who aren’t sure if their children will remain with the hobby! It’s a difficult choice. For $100, you can obtain a guitar bundle that includes everything you need to get started. These, on the other hand, don’t necessarily feel or sound the best, which can deter aspiring guitarists. A half-decent guitar will most likely cost around $300.

What Is The Optimal Number Of Strings For My Guitar?

If you go into the worlds of alternative and metal music, you’ll see that there are guitars with more than six strings. If you’re a beginner, stay away from these. After you’ve gained a solid understanding of the guitar, you might evaluate if you’d like to upgrade to a model with more strings in the future.

Is It Necessary For Me To Purchase An Effects Pedal?

You don’t need effects pedals to learn the fundamentals of guitar. Buying an electric guitar normally entails getting a slew of accessories simultaneously; don’t add to the complexity and cost of your life by purchasing effects pedals before you’ve mastered the fundamentals.

Conclusion

Finally, while maintaining your budget, you want to select the greatest possible buy for the person who will be playing the guitar. It’s essential to obtain a sense of what the player is searching for, as Fidlar said at the outset. Find out what styles they enjoy and what songs they like. It’s also crucial to look good! The proper instrument in the correct hue could be the difference between success and failure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.