Squier Guitars: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

best fender guitar for metal
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Brand Overview

Squier Electric Guitars

Established as a subsidiary of Fender in 1982, Squier Guitars has carved its niche by offering affordable versions of iconic Fender models. Nowadays, Squier is the go-to brand for anyone seeking quality instruments without the premium price tag.

chris horton

With prices ranging from $800 down to less than $100, there’s a Squier guitar for everyone. My advice? Pay a little extra and go with a higher-spec model. It’s basically a Fender for around half the price.

— Chris Horton, ELECTRIKJAM

Recommended Models

Best For Beginners:

Bullet Series

Best For Metal:

Contemporary Series

Best For Classic Rock:

Classic Vibe Series

Best Baritone Model:

Classic Vibe Baritone

Our Favorite:

Squier Contemporary Tele

Latest Squier News & Reviews

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Are Squier Guitars Any Good?

Squier Guitars: A Complete Beginner's Guide

If you’re a budding musician looking to dip your toes in the guitar-playing world, you’ve likely stumbled upon Squier guitars. They’re a popular pick for beginners and with good reason.

Squier guitars, a subsidiary of the renowned Fender brand, offer quality instruments at an affordable price. They’re a fantastic entry point for those just starting their musical journey.

In this guide, I’ll be sharing my insights on Squier guitars, their key features, and why they might just be the perfect fit for your first strumming experience. So, let’s dive into the world of Squier guitars and start your musical journey on the right note.

History of Squier Guitars

squier electric guitar history

Origins of Squier Guitars

Squier guitars are no stranger to the world of music. Before getting their fame as Squier Electric Guitars, their roots reach back to the early 20th century.

V.C. Squier, a young English immigrant and violin maker, started the brand in 1890, initially specializing in strings for violins, banjos, and guitars.

Due to the quality of their strings, they quickly secured a significant portion of the market.

Squier branched out, crafting high-grade guitars and violas aside from their renowned strings. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century, around 1965, that the Fender bought Squier.

Evolution and Development of Squier Guitars

With Fender’s acquisition, the Squier name was dormant for a while. However, in the early 1980s, Fender revived the Squier brand, leveraging it to counter the growing number of unofficial copies flooding the market.

With the entry of these cheaper, yet competitive, foreign-made Fender knock-offs, Fender needed to reclaim their space. And Squier was their answer.

They smartly used Squier as their value-oriented brand – offering budget-friendly guitars that retained Fender’s acclaimed quality and design sensibilities.

As Squier continued its evolution, the brand introduced various series like the Vintage Modified and Classic Vibe, which have helped them carve out their very own niche.

These series have both been remarkable successes, underlining the Squier brand’s capabilities and credibility in delivering top-tier instruments that don’t break the bank.

Squier Guitar Models

After tracing back the impressive history of Squier, it’s time to shine the spotlight on some of their standout guitar series.

From the classic feel of the Classic Vibe series to the budget-friendly Affinity series, and the modern aesthetic of the Contemporary series, Squier has guitars for every type of player.

Classic Vibe Series

baritone telecaster

The Classic Vibe series harkens back to vintage era electric guitars, capturing the magic of different guitar eras with meticulous detail.

Each model in this series reflects a specific historical time in guitar design. For example, the Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster nods to the birth of this revolutionary model, while the Classic Vibe ’60s Mustang reflects the innovation of the swinging sixties.

Fans of vintage Fender guitar aesthetics but can’t stretch the budget to the actual vintage price tags will find solace in this Squier series.

Moreover, it’s not just the aesthetics, these models capture the timeless tones associated with these eras.

You know those classic surf-rock sounds of the ‘50s and grittier rock tones from the ‘60s?

That’s exactly what you’ll get with the Classic Vibe series – vintage tone without the vintage price tag!

Affinity Series

Fender American Professional Stratocaster

The Affinity series is Squier’s answer to the beginner market. These guitars are priced lower than their brethren, making them a fantastic choice for beginners just getting their feet wet in the world of electric guitars.

This series includes Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, and Jazz Bass models, providing a wide array of choices for newcomers.

If you’re just starting and are in the process of figuring out your tone and style, the Affinity series is going to be your best buddy.

Contemporary Series

squier contemporary

The Contemporary series is Squier’s daring venture into modern guitar designs. If you’re looking for models that break with tradition and bring in fresh perspective, while holding up against the quality and sound of the Fender lineup, you’ll find it here.

This series leans toward heavier music styles with hotter pickups, and boasts some unique shapes like the contemporary active Jazzmaster.

The Stratocasters in this line come with humbucking pickups for heavier rock tones. The Telecasters tap into that more aggressive sound, perfect for heavier genres like metal and hard rock.

Throw in the sleek styling, modern hardware, and you’ve got a guitar that’s built for the now, and the future.

Notable Artist Signature Squier Guitars

Squier Guitars: A Complete Beginner's Guide

Because Fender owns Squier, it often uses its roster of endorsed guitarists to pimp out select, special edition Squier models.

Normally, signature models are hella expensive. But with Squier, the prices are way more approachable (compared to Fender and Gibson, anyway).

Here’s a breakdown of some of our favorite Squier signature models:

  • John 5, renowned for his roles with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, has a signature Squier Telecaster model that blends classic aesthetics with modern functionalities, showcasing the instrument’s adaptability for contemporary music.
  • Simon Neil, the dynamic lead of Biffy Clyro, endorses Squier with his signature model, demonstrating that the essence of a great guitar transcends brand distinctions. His choice of a Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster for his signature model emphasizes the reliability and quality of Squier guitars, even during energetic performances.
  • Jim Root, the heavy-hitting guitarist of Slipknot and Stone Sour, also joins the ranks with his own Squier signature models, marrying his aggressive playing style with modern pickups for a killer, heavy-AF sound.

Squier Guitars vs. Fender Guitars

Squier has evolved far beyond its initial reputation as merely a budget-friendly alternative to Fender.

While it’s true that the most affordable models are designed with new players in mind and might not boast top-tier features, delving deeper into Squier’s lineup reveals a treasure trove of options.

Beyond the entry-level instruments, Squier offers a diverse range that appeals to a broad spectrum of musicians, showcasing quality craftsmanship, sound, and playability that rivals higher-end brands.

This transformation underscores Squier’s commitment to providing value and excellence across all levels of musical expertise.

And if you need a visual on the difference in pricing for a Fender guitar versus a Squier guitar, here’s a handy little table.

Guitar BrandEntry LevelMid-TierHigh-end

Squier Guitar Pricing Tiers [By Model & Series]

Price RangeSeriesTypical Price Range
Most ExpensiveParanormal Series$500 to $800
Classic Vibe Series$400 to $600
Contemporary Series$300 to $500
Mid-Range40th Anniversary$300 to $400
Artist Series$250 to $400
Most AffordableAffinity Series$200 to $300
Bullet Series$100 to $200
Check out the full lineup here.


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