Choosing Your First Electric Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide

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Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the different types of electric guitars is important when choosing the right one.
  • When choosing a brand, consider factors such as quality, reputation, and customer support.
  • Key features to consider when choosing an electric guitar include the type of wood, pickups, and hardware.

For beginners, choosing the right type of electric guitar can be overwhelming, with so many brands, models, and features to consider. Where do you even begin?

Don’t worry – we got your back. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about to make an informed purchase. From pickups to the different types of woods and price brackets, we’re going deep in this article.

Stick around until the end because we’re going to be looking at choosing electric guitar types, including an overview of the different types of electric guitars, key features to consider, and tips for choosing the right brand and budget.

Let’s dig in…

Understanding Electric Guitar Types

Before choosing an electric guitar, it’s important to understand the different types of guitar available.

Solid-body guitars are the most common type and are ideal for playing rock and metal music. Hollow-body guitars produce a warmer, more mellow sound and are often used in jazz and blues.

Semi-hollow body guitars offer a balance between the two and are suitable for a wide range of genres. Acoustic-electric guitars are hybrids that allow you to play both acoustic and electric sounds.

When it comes to choosing the right brand, it’s important to consider factors such as quality, reputation, and customer support.

Some of the best beginner electric guitar brands include Fender, Squier, Yamaha, and Ibanez.

These brands offer a range of affordable, high-quality guitars that are perfect for beginners. Other factors to consider when choosing a brand include the type of music you want to play, your budget, and your personal preferences.

Understanding Electric Guitar Types

When it comes to electric guitars, there are three main body types: solid body, semi-hollow body, and hollow body.

Each type has its own unique characteristics and sound, which makes it important to choose the right one for your playing style and needs.

Solid Body Guitars

Solid body guitars are the most common type of electric guitar. They are made from a solid piece of wood, which gives them a bright and punchy sound. They are also known for their sustain and are great for playing rock, metal, and other heavy styles of music.

Solid body guitars come in a variety of shapes and designs, including symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes, single cutaway, double cutaway, and offset designs. Some of the most popular solid body guitars include the Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul, and Ibanez RG.

Semi-Hollow Body Guitars

Semi-hollow body guitars have a solid center block with hollow wings, which gives them a warm and resonant sound. They are great for playing jazz, blues, and other styles of music that require a more mellow tone.

Semi-hollow body guitars come in a variety of shapes and designs, including symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes, single cutaway, double cutaway, and offset designs. Some of the most popular semi-hollow body guitars include the Gibson ES-335, Epiphone Casino, and Gretsch G5420T.

Hollow Body Guitars

Hollow body guitars are completely hollow and have no center block, which gives them a warm and woody sound. They are great for playing jazz, blues, and other styles of music that require a more mellow tone.

Hollow body guitars come in a variety of shapes and designs, including symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes, single cutaway, double cutaway, and offset designs. Some of the most popular hollow body guitars include the Gibson ES-175, Gretsch G6120, and Epiphone Emperor.

When choosing an electric guitar, it’s important to consider the type of music you want to play and choose a body type that complements your playing style. Whether you prefer the bright and punchy sound of a solid body guitar or the warm and resonant sound of a semi-hollow or hollow body guitar, there is a guitar out there that is perfect for you.

Choosing the Right Brand

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When it comes to choosing the right brand of electric guitar for beginners, there are several options available in the market.

Here are some of the most popular brands that you should consider:

Fender and Squier

Fender is one of the most well-known brands in the electric guitar industry, and for good reason. Their guitars are known for their high-quality build, sound, and playability.

The Squier Affinity Stratocaster and Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster are two great options for beginners who are looking for a Fender guitar at an affordable price.

Gibson and Epiphone

Gibson is another well-known brand in the industry, particularly for their Les Paul guitars. However, Gibson guitars can be quite expensive, which is why Epiphone is a great alternative for beginners.

The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a great option for those who want to get the Les Paul sound without breaking the bank.

Ibanez

Ibanez is a brand that is known for their high-quality guitars that are perfect for shredders and metal players.

The Ibanez RG450DX is a great option for beginners who are looking for a guitar that can handle heavy playing styles.

Yamaha

Yamaha is a brand that is known for their affordable yet high-quality guitars. The Yamaha Pacifica 112V and Yamaha Revstar Element RSE20 are two great options for beginners who are looking for a guitar that is easy to play and sounds great.

Key Features to Consider

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When choosing an electric guitar, there are several key features to consider. These features will affect the sound, playability, and overall feel of the guitar. In this section, we will discuss the most important features to consider when choosing an electric guitar.

Pickups

Pickups are an essential part of an electric guitar. They are responsible for converting the string vibrations into an electrical signal that can be amplified.

There are two main types of pickups: single-coil and humbucker. Single-coil pickups are known for their bright, clear sound, while humbucker pickups offer a more warm and full-bodied sound.

Some guitars have a combination of both single-coil and humbucker pickups, giving players more versatility in their sound.

Neck and Fretboard

The neck and fretboard are also important factors to consider when choosing an electric guitar. The neck is responsible for holding the strings and providing a comfortable playing experience.

The fretboard is where the player presses down on the strings to create different notes. The profile of the neck can vary from guitar to guitar, with some being thinner and flatter, while others are thicker and rounder.

The fretboard radius is also important, as it affects the ease of bending strings and playing chords.

Materials and Tonewoods

The materials and tonewoods used in an electric guitar can greatly affect its sound and sustain. Some common tonewoods used in electric guitars include mahogany, maple, alder, and ash.

Mahogany is known for its warm and rich sound, while maple provides a brighter and more articulate sound. Alder is commonly used in Stratocaster-style guitars and provides a balanced tone.

Ash is known for its bright and punchy sound, making it a popular choice for bass guitars.

Hardware and Electronics

The hardware and electronics of an electric guitar can also affect its sound and playability. The type and quality of the bridge, tuners, and nut can affect the tuning stability and sustain of the guitar.

The electronics, including the pots, switches, and pickups, can affect the overall tone and versatility of the guitar. Some popular electric guitar models, such as the Les Paul, have a set of standard hardware and electronics that are known for their quality and reliability.

In summary, when choosing an electric guitar, it is important to consider factors such as pickups, neck and fretboard, materials and tonewoods, and hardware and electronics.

Budget and Value

Setting a Budget

When it comes to buying an electric guitar, setting a budget is crucial. It’s important to remember that the most expensive guitar is not always the best for a beginner.

The price of electric guitars can range from under $100 to well over $2,000. Therefore, it’s important to set a budget that is reasonable and comfortable for the buyer.

It’s important to note that while budget guitars may be less expensive, they can still be of good quality and provide a great playing experience.

It’s also important to consider the law of diminishing returns when it comes to guitar prices. Spending more money on a guitar may not necessarily result in a significant improvement in sound or playability.

Getting the Best Value

Getting the best value for your money is crucial when buying an electric guitar. One way to get the best value is to look for deals, especially during Black Friday guitar deals.

However, it’s important to make sure that the guitar is of good quality and fits the buyer’s needs.

Another way to get the best value is to consider purchasing a starter pack. Many guitar manufacturers offer starter packs that include the guitar, amplifier, and other accessories at a discounted price.

This can be a great option for beginners who are just starting out and don’t want to spend too much money.

Ultimately, it’s important to do research and compare prices before making a purchase. This will ensure that the buyer gets the best value for their money and a guitar that fits their needs and budget.

Buying Guide and Reviews

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What to Look for in Reviews

When searching for the perfect electric guitar, it’s essential to read reviews before buying. Reviews can provide valuable insight into the type, features, playability, comfort, and vintage style of the guitar.

They can also give you a sense of the action and feedback of the guitar, which is crucial for selecting the right instrument.

When reading reviews, look for comments about the guitar’s aesthetics and whether it’s well-balanced. Reviews can also provide information about the specification of the guitar, such as whether it has a set-neck or bolts, and if it’s made from poplar or another material.

Accessories and Extras

When buying an electric guitar, it’s essential to consider the accessories and extras that come with it. These can include pedals, amplifiers, and other items that can enhance your playing experience.

It’s also important to consider your musical style and whether the guitar you’re interested in is suitable for that style.

You’ll also need to think about the cost of these extras and whether they fit within your budget.

Overall, when considering buying an electric guitar, it’s essential to do your research and read reviews from other musicians.

By doing so, you’ll be able to find a guitar that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing-Your-First-Electric-Guitar

What are the different types of electric guitar shapes?

There are several different types of electric guitar shapes, including Stratocaster, Telecaster, Les Paul, SG, and Flying V. Each shape has its own unique sound and feel, so it’s important to choose one that suits your playing style and preferences.

What are some good electric guitar brands for beginners?

Some good electric guitar brands for beginners include Squier, Epiphone, Yamaha, and Ibanez. These brands offer affordable options that are still high-quality and reliable.

What should I consider when choosing my first electric guitar?

When choosing your first electric guitar, you should consider factors such as your budget, playing style, and preferred sound. It’s also important to choose a guitar that feels comfortable to play and is easy to handle.

What is the best size electric guitar for a beginner?

The best size electric guitar for a beginner is typically a full-size guitar with a standard scale length of around 25.5 inches. However, it’s also important to choose a guitar that feels comfortable and easy to play, so it’s worth trying out different sizes and styles to find the right fit.

What are some popular electric guitar models for beginners?

Some popular electric guitar models for beginners include the Squier Stratocaster, Epiphone Les Paul, Yamaha Pacifica, and Ibanez RG. These models offer a good balance of affordability, quality, and playability.

What style of electric guitar is recommended for beginners?

For beginners, a versatile style of electric guitar is recommended, such as a Stratocaster or Les Paul. These styles offer a wide range of sounds and are suitable for many different genres of music. It’s also a good idea to choose a guitar with a solid body, as this will help to reduce unwanted feedback and noise.

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