Beginners Electric Guitar - A basic guide for beginners buying their first electric guitar.
Lets face it, shopping for an electric guitar or anyguitar for that matter is a tedious and time consuming process, and this is especially true for beginner's electric guitar. What makes one guitar different from another? Is a guitar that costs $1000 better than one that is $500 or$100? Well more often than not, my experience has been...
You get what you pay for.
It can be overwhelming especially for beginners looking at all the different electric guitar models trying to make a decision as to what to buy. And when you add amps, effects, and everything else involved youend up saying to yourself...
Ok, what do I REALLY need.
Well I'm here to help answer that question.
Let me just say for the record that I'm far from an equipment expert. There are plenty of "gearheads" out there that get something new every month. These guys always have the latest and greatest...but I find these guys can hardly play a lick because they're too busy buying all their gear!! I've always been a "just let me play" kind of guy. But its always nice to have friends like this so you can go over to their place and try outall their stuff :-).
This page has the beginner in mind so if you've been playing for a while you're probably going to think "well, duh!?" But my goal here is to discuss what you need and your different options. Please keep in mind that everything below is solely the opinion of this author.
1) What kind of beginner electric guitar should you buyand how much should you spend?
If you're a beginner just starting I don't recommend spending any more that $500, if that much. You can usually find something to learn on for $2-300 or even cheaper at a flea market or online. You don't need anything more than that, especially if you lose interest. I've only gone through 3 guitars in my life, the first being a cheap Dean that I got for Christmas out of a Sears catalog. I then got an Ibanez 560 Frank Gambale model that I ordered from Suncoast music for Christmas when I was 16 or 17. I had that one for a long time up until 4 years ago when I went guitar shopping for the first time and got a custom made Ibanez S-Series that listed for $1500. At that point I was advanced enough that I justified paying that much for something good.
The point is don't spend an arm and a leg right off the bat unless you are seriously interested in the instrument. I would focus more on playing and getting better than getting all the different gear.
Its tough to make recommendations but I've always been partial to Ibanez :-)...but there are a lot of good guitars and companies out there. The best thing I can recommend anybody looking for an electric guitar is to go to the store and play different models. This is the ONLY way you can figure out what works best for YOU. Then you can start haggling the sales clerk at the store about prices :-).
Obviously, buying online will give you significant discounts as well as special deals. You can find lot's of great bargains at Zzounds. Here are some great starter packages for under $200 at Zzounds that will help you get started today!
Ibanez IJS20 Jumpstart Electric Guitar Package
Ibanez IJV50 Jumpstart Acoustic Guitar Package
Ibanez IJAE4 Jumpstart Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package
Any one of the above packages would be perfect for a beginner, whether you want to play electric, acoustic, or the electric/acoustic combo! And the best thing about Zzounds is that they have a pretty generous 30-day refund policy. You can read more about their return policy here.
I bought one of my Yamaha acoustics from them and I'm quite happy with the customer support, and I also received it in a couple of days. I've since bought a couple other guitars and a Pandora PX4 and I've been 100% satisfied with every purchase.
2) What about amplifiers?
Again, this is something that you have to go to the store and try for yourself before you make a decision. I have a Crate GT-200 that I played my Ibanez through at the store when I went shopping that day 4 years ago. For amps you most definitely get what you pay for. Mesa Boogie are the best amps I've heard, but I never could afford them. Depending on your budget, try to make the best decision based on quality vs. your personal budget. Again like I said earlier, you will get significant discounts online, but you will definitely want to hear how your electric guitar sounds with the amp you're looking at.
3) What else do I need?
Well if you have an electric guitar and amplifier you'll need a few other things. Some of themare optional...and mostly a matter of preference. But for that lets go to a different page.
Additional Electric Guitar Information - More electric guitar Info for beginners