The Top 5 Electric Guitars For Beginners [Updated 2021]

We have compiled a list of our Top 5 Electric Guitars For Beginners, encompassing a range of brands and styles that we think are great beginner guitars – featuring classic designs, high-quality hardware and are great value for money.

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Choosing Your Guitar | Top 5 Electric Guitars For Beginners | Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’50s | Sterling AL40 Albert Lee Sub | Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Stratocaster | Ibanez RG421 Standard | Squier Affinity Telecaster | [VIDEO] Beginners Guitars Musicians Actually Want

Are You a Beginner That’s Looking to Buy Your First Guitar?

Guitarist playing a Les Paul
One of the most famous electric guitars in history – the Les Paul!

Are You Buying a Guitar For Someone Else and Don’t Know Where To Start? Read On!

Choosing Your Guitar

If you want to start learning to play the guitar, it makes sense that you’d want to buy the cheapest guitar you can find. Maybe you’re thinking you don’t want to invest too much money into something you’re not sure about? Perhaps you don’t think it’s worth it for a beginner to buy a more expensive guitar? Or you just can’t tell the difference between them all anyway? Whatever your reservations may be, an electric guitar shouldn’t be chosen, just because it is the cheapest model you can find.

However, if you buy an electric guitar at a slightly higher price point (but still affordable), you can get much better value for money. You’ll get better tonewoods and higher-quality hardware which will make you sound better. The guitar will have a more solid build which makes it last longer, and most importantly it’ll be easier to play.

If you decide that playing the guitar isn’t for you, or you want to upgrade to something even better once you learn the basics, it will be much easier to sell a higher-quality guitar than a cheap guitar – it’s possible you’d actually lose money by buying the cheapest model you can find!

Here are some common questions you might ask before you buy an electric guitar:

How Much Should I Spend On My First Guitar?

The guitars we have listed below are all in the £175 – £500 range, which will get you a high-quality beginner guitar. You don’t need to splash out and spend thousands on your first guitar, but we also recommend you don’t go for the absolute cheapest model you can find.

What Type Of Guitar Is Easiest To Learn On?

All the guitars listed here are electric guitars. These are generally the easiest to play when you’re just starting out for a few reasons. The neck is thinner than an acoustic, making it easier to get your hands around the fretboard. The strings are thinner and aren’t as far away from the fretboard (which means it has a ‘lower action’) so they’re easier to press down, and your fingers won’t hurt as much.

Top 5 Electric Guitars For Beginners:

#1 Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’50s

Epiphone Les Paul Standard 50s in Heritage Cherry Sunburst, a great guitar for beginners
Available in Heritage Cherry Sunburst (pictured), Metallic Gold, and Vintage Sunburst

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard 50s recreates the feel and tone of the 1950s ‘golden era’ Les Pauls. This is great for those who want an iconic guitar at an affordable price. Epiphone is the more affordable version of Gibson and this model sits at just under £500. Just like a real Gibson, this model has a mahogany body and neck. It features humbucker pickups which are great for playing blues and rock as they deliver a warmer, thicker tone. The shorter 24.75″ scale length (the length from the nut to the bridge) means it’s easier to bend strings, which is great for those who are just starting out.

Price: Under £500

#2 Sterling AL40 Albert Lee Sub

A unique guitar for beginners - the Sterling AL40 Albert Lee Sub in Daphne Blue
Available in Daphne Blue (pictured) and Black

Sterling is Music Man‘s more affordable range but doesn’t compromise on quality. Music Man guitars are typically around £2,500, making this model especially great value for money. The Sterling AL40 Albert Lee Sub in Daphne Blue is one of the higher-end options on this list coming in at around £500. However, it’s worth it for the high-quality hardware and great playability. It’s also a more unique guitar for beginners than the standard Stratocaster or Telecaster.

Price: £400+

#3 Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Stratocaster

A classic guitar for beginners - the Squier Classic Vibe '70s Stratocaster in Olympic White
Available in Olympic White (pictured), Black, and Natural

A Stratocaster is one of the most recognisable guitars around. The Squier Stratocaster is available at a range of price points, and which one you choose depends on how much you think you’ll play, or how much longevity you want out of it. The Classic Vibe series sits somewhere in the middle – it’s an affordable instrument that still has quality features and will work well for a few years while you learn. The Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Stratocaster is a great option thanks to its classic looks.

Price: £300+

#4 Ibanez RG421 Standard

Ibanez RG421 Standard in Mahogany Oil Finish,
Available in Mahogany Oil Finish (pictured)

The Ibanez RG421 Standard is a great beginner guitar, especially for those who want to play hard rock or metal styles. It has a slim neck which makes it easier to play, especially for leads. It has a pair of humbucker pickups to get a classic sound and 24 frets which means you get an extra octave – great for shredding. This comes in at around £300.

Price: Under £300

#5 Squier Affinity Telecaster

Squier Affinity Telecaster in Lake Placid Blue
Available in Lake Placid Blue (pictured), Butterscotch Blonde, 3-Colour Sunburst, and White

The Squier Affinity Telecaster is one of the most affordable models on this list at around £175, making it great for those who don’t want to commit too much money to start off with. The Tele is a classic guitar and a great choice for beginners. The Affinity range sits just above the Squier Bullet range, which is cheaper, but it’s worth paying slightly more to get a much better quality guitar that will last longer.

Price: Around £200

Shop the full Squier Affinity Series

[VIDEO] Beginner Guitars Musicians Actually Want

Watch the video below to hear how each guitar sounds and decide which one you prefer!

The next step is to Learn How To Maintain Your Guitar The RIGHT Way This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about keeping your guitar in great shape – an important step for beginners to learn about!