Beginner Questions: How Much Should I Spend On My First Guitar?

By Christoper Horton •  Updated: 01/22/23 •  5 min read

One of the most common questions from beginners is “How Much should I spend on my first guitar?”. This is a great question, and we have some very good answers for you! Let’s look at the different viewpoints!

How Much Should I Spend On My First Guitar? A Good Question!

There are a tons of beginners out there wondering how much they should spend on their first guitar. This question comes up a lot, and the answer is a little bit complicated. That being said, budget guitars have been more popular now, and some of these “cheaper” guitars are actually really great!

The going rate for a good beginner guitar can range between $150 all the way to $500 if you stick with the major brands. The more you pay, the more features you will get. If you are unsure if you will stick with guitar, then a cheap Squier Telecaster is the perfect guitar, or an Epiphone. If you think you are going to stick with it, then spend a little more so you can “grow into” the guitar.

If your budget allows, then you can always go higher for your first guitar. There is no rule that you should start with a cheap guitar! If you have the money to spend, then definitely buy the guitar that you want! It completely depends on your budget, and what you want.

We have featured a lot of budget guitars on our site, and I think most of them have been really good! But there are definitely some things to take into consideration when it comes to your first guitar. Price should definitely be a factor, but keep in mind that you often get what you pay for! We DO have some good suggestions for you:

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Things To Look For In A Beginner Guitar

While there are a lot of great options when it comes to budget guitars, you should know that all budget brands are not the same! You should always stick with a know, name brand guitar company. I just scrolled through Amazon, and there are tons of import, no-name guitars that you should absolutely avoid!

We like to stick to brands that we have actually tested when it comes to beginner guitars. There are plenty of budget guitars like Harley Benton, Epiphone, and Squier that are light on the wallet, but made of quality components. These brands have been around for a long time, and they make some really great guitars.

You should also visit your local music shop, and try out some guitars! It doesn’t matter if you cant play a note yet. The thing that matters is that you get your hands on the guitars, and get a feel for what you might like. There are things to look for when you are choosing a first guitar, even if you cannot play yet.

Many people get nervous just trying out a guitar, if they don’t know how to play. But that is okay, and music store employees see this every single day. You should not be nervous, and tell the sales person that you are brand new, and looking for a good beginner guitar. Stick with the known brands, and you should be golden!

People also often want the guitar that their favorite guitarist might play. This is a great guide as well, and you should hold and try out those guitars as well. If you like Slash for example, try holding a Les Paul. There is nothing wrong with trying out different guitars at a store to see what “fits” you the best.

Things To Avoid With Your First Guitar

how much should i spend on my first guitar?
Tremolo Bridges: AVOID!

The number one thing I tell new guitarists, is they should avoid anything with a whammy bar. In guitar, we call these Tremolo Bridges, or just “trems”. These will be very difficult for you to deal with as a beginner, so they are best avoided. Yes, they are very cool, but beginners should probably stick to a “fixed bridge” guitar.

Otherwise, any guitar can play any genre. So keep that in mind when you are getting your first guitar. Some people may tell you that a Stratocaster is bad for Metal. You can play Metal on any guitar, so do not let that hold you back! Avoid any bad advice, and get the guitar that appeals to YOU.

How Much Should I Spend On My First Guitar?

Most good beginner guitars from a trusted brand will run you between $150-$500. You should always buy a known brand like Epiphone, Squier, Harley Benton, or Schecter. You get what you pay for when it comes to guitars, so always choose a good brand that “fits” you and what kind of music you want to play.

What Should I look For In My First Guitar?

Most beginners should always try out a few guitars, if they can. See what feels good to you, even if you cannot play yet. You should avoid guitars with advanced features, or Tremolo Bridges. You should look for well built, and simple.

Christoper Horton

Christopher has been playing guitar, bass, and piano for 28 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. Chris has toured for years with several bands and music projects across the United States. He worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician and engineer working with many genres, but mainly Pop, Rock, and Metal. In between giving private lessons, he is usually recording under his various projects. Christopher plays Schecter Guitars, BOSS Amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.

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