10 Brilliant Cheap Electric Guitars – Most Popular Today (No. 9 is a Beauty!)

The best cheap electric guitars for beginners under

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Electric guitar for beginners: Wondering where to snag the coolest yet budget-friendly electric guitars for your entry into the music scene? Or maybe you’re just in the mood for a new addition to your music room setup? You don’t need to search anymore. (You’ll be surprised at the price of No. 9!)

Argh. All that choice!

Somebody, please just help me decide which is the best cheap electric guitar to buy already!

So, you’re on the quest for the best beginner electric guitar – something that sounds rocking, looks the business, and won’t empty your wallet.

You’re in luck! In this list, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most popular electric guitars on the market today, featuring a gem of an Ibanez electric guitar, a Fender electric guitar and even a Gibson guitar.

Let’s dive in and find the perfect budget-friendly axe for you.

First, we answer a beginner guitar FAQ.

Q. What do I need to look for in an electric guitar?

Choosing the best electric guitar can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With so many great options available, you’re sure to find the perfect guitar for your needs and budget.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a budget-friendly electric guitar:

  • What kind of music do you want to play? If you’re not sure, consider what kind of music you like to listen to. There are guitars that are better suited for certain genres than others.
  • What’s your budget? Choose a guitar that fits your budget and your needs, and also consider future-proofing. Cheapest isn’t always the best choice down the line.
  • What’s your skill level? If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to choose a guitar that feels easier for you to play. Some guitars have features that make them more difficult to play, such as a floating tremolo bridge. (Remember, though, any guitar feels ‘easy’ to play once you spend time developing your skills.)
  • The body style: There are many different body styles of electric guitars, each with its own unique sound and feel. Consider the body style that feels most comfortable to you.
  • The pickups:  Pickups are magnets that convert string vibrations into electrical signals. Single-coil pickups are brighter, while humbuckers are warmer. Choose the ones that give you the sound you want.

Good to Know

Despite all of the considerations mentioned above, don't overthink it. Many people get bogged down by researching guitar specs and features. The truth is, most guitarists fall in love with playing virtually any half-decent guitar they spend time with.

Electric Guitar for Beginners: Top 10

1. Schecter C-6 Plus

Schecter C6 Plus electric guitar

The Schecter is made of impressivly light-weight Basswood with a beautiful finish and meaty sound. A top choice for any true rock or metal head.

The Highlights
  • Basswood body
  • Maple neck and rosewood fingerboard
  • 2 Schecter High Output Alnico humbuckers
  • 24 frets
  • Colours include Charcoal burst, Ocean Blue Burst, Vintage Sunburst, Electric Magenta, Satin white, See-Thru Cherry Burst

Perfect for guitarists after the irresistible Schecter tone and playability. We loved the uber-cool choice of colours and beefy tone care of the double humbucker pickup config. Rockin’.

2. Epiphone ES-335

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If you’re on the lookout for a great electric guitar that won’t break the bank, then check out the Epiphone ES-335 Semi-Hollow electric guitar. 

The Highlights
  • Maple top back and sides
  • Maple neck and rosewood fingerboard
  • Humbucker pickups with Alnico magnets
  • 22 frets
  • Colours include Sunburst, Vintage Cherry, Ebony, and Blueberry Burst

The Epiphone ES-335 has the same sleek feel and tone as the legendary Gibson ES-335 guitar but at a much more affordable price. The sound quality of this guitar is impressive, especially considering its modest price point.

3. Fender Squier Tele Affinity

Fender Squier Affinity RW electric guitar

Top rated, the Fender Squier Tele is a long standing favourite low-cost electric guitar. Available in an eye watering choice of colours, your perfect Tele awaits.

The Highlights
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck and fingerboard
  • 2 iconic single-coil Fender pickups
  • 21 frets
  • Colours include Butterscotch blonde, Sunburst, Arctic white, Black, Gun metal grey.

The Squier Tele was the first electric I owned and it served me fabulosly. Fun to play, great sounding electronics, you can rock out with this Tele or play it clean to get a great sound. 

4. Yamaha Pacifica

Yamaha Pacifica 012 electric guitar

One of the best value electric guitars on the market since the 1990’s. This entry level Pacifica boasts a Strat style vibrato bridge and deserves it’s place in any budget guitar top 10 list worth its salt.

The Highlights
  • Solid Agathis body
  • Maple neck and rosewood fingerboard
  • Humbucker single-single coil pickups
  • 22 frets
  • Colours include White, Black, Metallic red, Dark blue metallic

The Pacifica is a top recommendation if you’re a beginner guitar player looking to add an electric to your axe arsenal. Don’t expect a blinding tone; do expect a solid well made budget electric.

5. Ibanez GRG-170

Ibanez GRG170-DX electric guitar

From Steve Vai to Joe Satriani, Ibanez has long been a favourite for rockers and metal heads. Ibanez proudly hoot their GRG series has the ‘quality and precision set-up as our most expensive models’.

The Highlights
  • Basswood body
  • Single-piece Maple neck and rosewood fretboard 
  • 24 frets
  • HSH pickup config with Ibanez Powersound pickups
  • Colour options: Black Night, Jewel Blue, Candy Apple.

If you want budget electric without compromising on the sound, the Ibanez GRG won’t disappoint. With two humbucker pickups & 1 single coil, the sound is impressive. A lot of guitar for not a lot of money. Magic.

6. Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster

The Squier Affinity Stratocaster is an affordable entry-level electric guitar that closely mimics the classic Fender Stratocaster tone.

The Highlights
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck and rosewood or maple fingerboard
  • 21 frets
  • 3 Squier Standard Single-Coil Strat®
  • Colours include Burgundy Mist, Sea Foam Green, Brown Sunburst, Black, 2 Colour Sunburst, Lake Placid Blue…

The Squier Affinity Stratocaster is an affordable guitar that doesn’t sacrifice quality or playability too much. It’s a great option for beginners starting their musical journey or experienced players looking for a reliable backup or practice instrument. 

7. Gretsch G2622T Streamliner

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 The Gretsch G2622T Streamliner is a semi-hollow guitar that offers a unique blend of vintage vibe and modern playability.

The Highlights
  • Maple back and sides
  • Nato neck and rosewood fingerboard
  • 22 frets
  • Duel Gretsch Broad’Tron Humbucker pickups
  • Bigsby B60 vibrato tailpiece
  • Colours include Torino Green, Flagstaff Sunset, Walnut Stain, 

The Gretsch Streamliner guitar has a semi-hollow body with a spruce center block that helps to reduce feedback and provides a warm, resonant tone. The guitar also has two Broad’Tron humbucking pickups that produce a “throaty midrange, pristine highs and beefy low end”.

8. Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature Guitar

Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature Guitar, electric guitar, metal electric guitar

The Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature electric guitar is like a dream come true for beginner guitar players who are a fan of Steve Vai.

The Highlights
  • Mahogany body
  • Jatoba neck and Wizard III Maple neck
  • 24 frets
  • 2 Quantum humbucking pickups and a single Quantum single-coil pickup

The JEMJR guitar is made for speedy playing, which is a bonus if you’re aiming to get faster and better at playing guitar. Even though it’s not crazy expensive, this Steve Vai signature electric doesn’t cut corners on quality. Featuring the iconic “Monkey Grip” handle and a Tree of Life inlay, this guitar is a must-have for fans of rock and metal.

9. Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’50s Electric Guitar Metallic Gold

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The Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’50s in Metallic Gold is a guitar that oozes class and sophistication. The guitar is a prime example of Epiphone’s exceptional craftsmanship.

The Highlights
  • Solid mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck and Indian laurel fingerboard
  • 22 frets
  • Dual ProBucker 1 & 2 pickups with ’50s wiring
  • Colours include Metallic Gold, Heritage Cherry Sunburst and Satin Vintage Sunburst

Epiphone Les Paul’s ProBucker pickups give your music an old-school vibe. It easily produces classic Les Paul tones and is comfortable to play. Although it’s slightly heavy, the guitar’s construction and appearance are stunning.

How can I get better at working out songs by ear?

If you want to know how to improve your ear training skills, there are a number of software tools that can help you train your ear to work out songs fast.

Here are our top recommendations:

➡️ This book reveals the secrets of music theory that’ll help you recognise and play notes, chords, and rhythms with ease: Easy Peasy Guitar Music Theory: for Beginners.

➡️ You can also try Chord Crush by Hooktheory, a fun and interactive ear-training app that teaches you to recognise chords by solving puzzles based on real songs.

➡️ Another useful tool is Hookpad by Hooktheory, a songwriting software that helps you create melodies and chord progressions with built-in music theory and AI.

➡️ EarMaster is an ear training app that helps you learn to hear and play notes, chords, scales, and rhythms. It has many fun exercises and games to improve your music skills.

10. Jackson Dinky JS32Q DKA Arch Top Electric Guitar

Jackson Dinky JS32Q DKA Arch Top Electric Guitar, electric guitar metal, best guitar for metal

Angular angry and affordable. With a spirited tone and 24 frets so you can right up to the dusty end. The Jackson Dinky is a solid choice for those watching the pennies.

Type: Standard acoustic

The Highlights
  • Basswood body
  • Maple neck and rosewood fingerboard
  • 24 frets
  • Jackson® High Output Humbucking pickups
  • Colours including Gloss Black, Gloss White, Metallic Red and Metallic Blue

Don’t expect a skull-crushingly massive sound from this entry-level Jackson. Do expect a great value guitar with a thin user-friendly neck that stays in tune relatively well.

Summing it Up

Choosing the best beginner electric guitar can be a daunting task, especially if you are on a tight budget.

However, as we have seen in this blog post, there are plenty of options available that offer great value, quality, and sound for your money. 

The only thing left to do is choose which electric guitar is going to be coming home with you tonight.

Keep rockin’ dudes and dudesses!

Overcome challenges and amplify your musical skills

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