When you want to enter the world of guitar playing, the most important thing for you is to choose the right instrument for yourself. A good axe (synonym for guitar) that will help you in your early endeavors can sometimes even mean the half of your playing abilities and it will definitely speed up your learning process. Now, choosing the right instrument for yourself is never easy, any professional guitar player can tell you that, as most of them went through a lot of instruments before settling for a perfect one. Some people started on beat-up instruments that were always out of tune and still managed to make a career for themselves.
Although, when it comes to guitar playing talent is important, but only to some extent. Everything else comes down to practice, and for practice you need a suitable tool that will aid you in the process. Yes, you could use that old guitar that your uncle had since you were born, but it would take a lot of fine-tuning and repair for you to even start playing on it properly. That is why the best sensible solution would be to buy a good guitar for beginners. Entry level electric guitars are instruments that are not that expensive, but still provide a solid all-round performance that is required for your first steps in the guitar-playing world.
As we have already mentioned, choosing the right guitar for yourself is an important, but also excruciating process. The best option would be for you to get to a music store and start testing instruments, which would realistically take a lot of time. That is why we have done this part for you. We have interviewed musicians from almost all music genres about the best entry level electric guitars and then went on to test them. After thirty products and two months of testing, we have settled on the four products which have given us the best results during our tests.
Two of the most important features of these instruments that we have given special attention to were the price and the performance. Guitars cost a lot of money, as they are tools that are crafted with extreme precision and are made to last longer, therefore cheap instruments that are actually good are very rare. When picking up a guitar for the first time you also need to consider the playability, as not all of them are easy on beginners. We have gone through all of these and many other aspects of guitars while testing them. So, let us present to you the top four guitars for beginners among which you will hopefully find an answer to the question of which guitar you should buy.
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar
Yamaha has made musical instruments for a very long time. From their pianos to their guitars, these instruments have been made with special care and are well known through the music industry. The Pacifica series of electric guitars has been around since 1990. The PAC112V, or just 112V, is a guitar manufactured in Indonesia and is an update of the first Yamaha 112 released in 1993. The guitar has a lot of features that should be detailed for you, including the neck made of maple, which has a very comfortable feel – a feature which is very important for beginners.
The fingerboard is made of rosewood and features 22 frets 350 millimeter radius, which makes the fretting easier and faster for any kind of fingers. The body itself is made of alder and has a nice round shape which is a trademark of Yamaha guitars. The 112V comes with a vintage tremolo, which can fortunately be locked as it is not a feature that is desirable when it comes to the beginners because the use of tremolo can detune your strings and tuning them again after a couple of songs can be a big of a hassle. If you are using the guitar for the first time just leave the tremolo locked. You can use it later when you have mastered the instrument.
The pickups on this guitar are custom wound Yamaha Alnico pickups, which give out a nice passive sound. There are two knobs on 112V used for tone and volume, plus the five-way pickup switch which is situated on a really nice location, just below the tone knob. The performance that Yamaha 112V gives is a really solid one. You can play blues, rock ‘n roll, punk, classic rock and even some hard rock on this guitar without any major problems. The only thing that this guitar is not able to play is heavy or trash metal, as the humbucker pickup is not really made for shredding.
The Yamaha 112V electric guitar is a really durable and reliable instrument, and considering the handling and mid-range price this guitar is just a perfect match for a beginner. That to say, 112V is not the best guitar out there, but it is a solid axe that will be your practice companion for a very long time.
Squier by Fender Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s
Squier is a branch company of Fender that is most known for producing cheaper versions of legendary Fender instruments. Of course, if there is a cheaper version of some instrument, it mainly means that the product is not of the same quality. But, this is not true in all cases. Taking into consideration that Squier has been producing Fender knock-offs for a very long time now, they have certainly perfected it.
The Fender Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s, or simply abbreviated Squier Strat, is one of those guitars that must be one of the best kept secrets in music industry, as it is an instrument that is worth more than the money you pay for it. When you ask professional musicians about the Fender Stratocaster, almost everyone of them has had one in their possession. Even though this is a copy, it still retains all of the features of a classic Strat. The body of this Squier Strat is made of alder and has that legendary Stratocaster shape. The neck is made of maple and features a maple fingerboard with 21 frets and radius of 241 millimeters. As you can see, the radius is not as big as it is on Yamaha 112V, but it is big enough for a person with average fingers. This 50s Strat also comes with a vintage tremolo, which cannot be locked, but it gives better performance than the 112V one as it will not detune your guitar very often.
There are three vintage style Strat single-coil pickups on this guitar and they produce a sound that makes you feel like the guitar is almost singing, just like the original Stratocaster did. Also, there are three knobs, one for master volume and two for tones of neck and middle pickups respectively, plus the five-way position blade for pickup switching. The performance of this Fender copy is amazing, as most people will not notice the difference between this one and the original. The sound that it gives out is suitable for almost all kinds of music, including classic rock and blues. So, if you like imitating a guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix, this guitar would definitely be up to the task.
The heavier genres of rock music, such as metal suffer on this guitar also, but that is because Squier did not want to change anything from the original Stratocaster. Fender Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s is not the best guitar on the market, but considering the price and performance it is a steal. Plus, the handling and playability make it a perfect choice for aspiring beginners.
Ibanez RG450DX Electric Guitar Black
Ibanez has been known for their solid instruments that are cherished all over the world by guitar shredding artists, especially when it comes to the harder genres of rock music, such as metal or alternative. Artists who are known as shredders, such as Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big fame, prefer using Ibanez axes in their performances.
So, for example if you want the full glory of sounds that the Ibanez can provide to you, but are on a lower budget the RG450DX is a perfect instrument for you. The body is made of basswood and has the classic Ibanez look to it with sharp horns and curved bottom. The neck is made of maple and has a rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets and a radius of 400 millimeters, which is really wide and offers better precision than the Squier Strat and Yamaha 112V. The pickups on RG450DX are Infinity pickups by Ibanez and they offer a wide variety of tones, from warm ones for power ballads to really sharp ones for heavy metal. RG450DX has an Edge-Zero II tremolo bar which can fortunately be locked, but despite locking it the guitar will not detune that much.
Two knobs allow you to control volume and tone respectively, with five-way switch enabling you to switch between various magnet combinations. The performance of this piece of musical equipment is rock solid. You will be able to play almost any genre on it, but you can see that the guitar was designed for the heavier kinds of music, like metal or trash metal. The thin, flat neck is really sturdy and offers great playability. The RG450DX is just made for those screams with the tremolo bar and fingerboard that allows better maneuverability.
The heightened precision really helps with beginner players, as you will be able to move your fingers with ease over the neck. To summarize, RG450DX is not the best Ibanez product, but it will give you a solid Ibanez experience that the professionals have with their more expensive equipment, plus the price is great on this one as it is cheaper than the Yamaha 112V and the Squier Strat and gives out almost the same performance as those two.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar, Ebony
Epiphone is best known for producing Les Paul Gibson series of guitars which are famous across the world. Gibson series are made for any kind of music genres and are a favorite of many touring artists such as Ace Frehley of KISS fame, Jimmy Page or even Zack Wylde. Whether you want to use it for live gigs or recording this guitar has got you covered. Les Paul Stanard by Epiphone is basically a cheaper version of Gibson guitars, made for mass production. This does not mean that this guitar is just a cheap knock-off, as it has almost all of the great features like the bigger brother Gibson.
The body is made mahogany and is shaped in the classic Les Paul round design. The mahogany neck features a rosewood fingerboard which has 22 frets and radius of 300 millimeters, which means that it has a good adjustability rate to almost all kinds of fingers. Two Alnico humbuckers give you the legendary Les Paul sound that has been cherished by guitarist over the course of 50 years. Four knobs, two for tone and two for volume, are situated on the lower part of body and are easily accessible, as is the three-way pickup selector at the very top. Les Paul Standard gives a great vintage performance that is expected from Epiphone guitars.
You can virtually play any kind of music with it, from classic rock to heavy metal, from chord progressions to virtuoso solos. This guitar is a sturdy and reliable axe that will not fail you for a very long time. Considering the price tag and that it is almost just like the Gibson series, this guitar is definitely accessible for beginners, which would enjoy the playability and the great sound that only Les Paul guitars are capable of. There is nothing much to say about Les Paul guitars that has not been said, and while the Standard model is not the best guitar that came from Epiphone, it is still on par with other axes out there and will satisfy the professionals and amateurs alike. Definitely a highly recommended guitar for beginners.
Finding the right guitar is extremely hard and takes a lot of time, especially if you are just entering the guitar world. Because of this, we have tested out the market and the products for you so that we could present to you the best entry level electric guitars out there. Choosing the right guitar is very important at the beginning of your axe-wielding experience and it depends on many aspects.
Most of those aspects are in the area of personal interest, and that is why we have tried to present to you four different guitars that are all unique respectively. Yamaha 112V is a good guitar for various genres and is a solid piece of music equipment that is well worth the money you pay for it. Fender Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s by Squier is a copy of a classic Fender Stratocaster that has all the great feature of this guitar and costs almost half the price. This Strat, as well as Yamaha 112V, has only one real drawback when it comes to beginners – it is not so great for playing heavier genres of music, such as heavy metal. This is where Ibanez RG450DX comes in, as it is a solid guitar that costs less than the previous two and is almost solely designed to play heavier music, which does not mean that it cannot play other genres too.
The true all-rounder of the musical genres is the Les Paul Standard by Epiphone, as it is, just like the bigger brother Gibson, a guitar for everything – from soft ballads, over poppy tunes to heavy metal. To sum it all up, finding the right guitar for yourself comes down to preference. We have presented to you four model that passed our tests with flying colors and we hope that we have answered your question of which guitar you should buy.