If you’re thinking about buying a new electric guitar – whether it’s a Fender, Gibson or any other brand – it’s important to get a good idea of what the guitar is like before you buy. It’s always essential to play a guitar before making a decision, because we all know how much two guitars of the same make and model can vary in sound and feel. Even so, you can learn a lot about a guitar model from reading online reviews and the thoughts of other guitarists who’ve played it.
For those of you that have been playing electric guitar for a while and have a good idea of which guitar you want, take your time to browse the reviews below to get a wider overview of what’s available. If this is your first guitar, keep reading for our beginners guide to choosing your first electric guitar.
Beginners Guide to Choosing Your First Electric Guitar
Listed below are our top five tips for choosing your first guitar. Picking a new guitar is difficult, but it's all about striking the right balance between quality and price. This is especially important for beginner guitarists.
Step #1 – The Type of Guitar
Whether you’re buying a new electric guitar for yourself, or you’re buying one for a family member it’s essential to choose the right type. The make and model of electric guitars doesn’t matter too much when choosing a first guitar (it will be a while before you’re at the stage of nailing down your sound and style) but the type definitely matters. We’re going to assume that the fact you’ve ended up here means that you want an electric rather than acoustic, but make sure you go for the type that interests you the most.
Step #2 – The Setup
As with your “perfect sound”, you probably won’t have a “perfect setup” until you’ve been playing for a while. Even so, it’s important to make sure you buy electric guitars that have been setup correctly. Poorly setup guitars are more difficult to play and can slow down your learning rate. They just don’t sound as good either which can reduce the amount of fun you have while playing.
Step #3 – The Size
To most people, a guitar is a guitar – there is little difference in size. For children, however, the size of electric guitars can have a major effect on how easy it is to play. If you buy a large guitar for a child then it can be painful to play and difficult to learn. For adults, an adult sized guitar is nearly always the best option.
Step #4 – The Price
It can be easy to fall into two traps when buying electric guitars. The first is to go for amazingly cheap beginner guitar packages that include a guitar, amp and varies other accessories for a couple of hundred dollars. These aren’t always bad, but if the package also claims that “separately these items are worth over $1000” then you know to steer clear!
On the other side of the coin, beginners generally don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on a brand named guitar, but they often do. Not only is this a bad idea because many novice guitarists give up very quickly, but a beginner also won’t get true value out of the guitar (although it might look and sound great).
Step #5 – Accessories
Once you’ve chosen your guitar you need to think about accessories. A basic amp along with a guitar cable is important. An easy to use tuner is an essential item that shouldn’t be overlooked. Have a look at our guitar accessories page for more information about extras you might want to buy.