Beginner’s Guide to Buying an Electric Guitar

electric guitar

Your first day as a guitar player is going to be exciting. You’ll experience a whole new way of expressing yourself, new gears and most importantly new sounds. As a beginner, choosing your first guitar is easy but unfortunately selecting the right one that addresses your preferences is hard. For instance, it is no brainer that the right guitar should feel good in your hands and sounds goods to your ears. However, you need to get a guitar that is properly sized, easy to play and ultimately matches the budding player’s musical tastes to ensure you stay motivated throughout the learning process. 

With so many brands of guitars in the market that has mysterious specifications and technical jargon, this can be a daunting process for a beginner who doesn’t know anything guitar related. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of things you should look out for before surrendering your hard-earned money.

Body Type

An electric body can be built in just about any shape. Beginners might be tempted to say that shape doesn’t matter which is wrong. For instance, some guitar shapes are associated with heavy metal while others are associated with a wide range of genres. If you are looking for an all-around guitar to use during practice and performance, make sure you get a guitar with a comfortable body shape that you can play when sitting down or standing up. Here is a quick summary of the basic types of electric guitar body shapes.

Solid Body

This is the most common type and best suited for beginners. The body is made up of a solid piece of wood known as body blank. Usually, one blank is made up of several pieces of wood species put together. There are different types of solid body guitars ranging from the single-pickup model, multi-pick up with a slew, to an ornately figured and decorated.

Hollow Body

As the name suggests, these types of electric guitars have hollow bodies. Usually, they retain the natural, airy and woody sounds of acoustic guitars. However, hollow guitars are prone to feedback especially when amplified at high volume levels. They are most used by folk, country and jazz guitarists because of their deep bass response and full tones.

Semi-hollow Body

Semi-hollow body is very similar to the solid body though it has more resonance, warm sound, and a feed-back fighting benefit. It is designed with a solid centered wood block which makes it more stable and helps to cut down feedback. It is most common among blues players due to its distinctive sounds though it can be great to a wide variety of music such as punk rock and jazz.


Pickups have a significant influence on a guitar’s tone. They help to sense the vibration from a string transfer to the guitar amplifier which then transfers it to the loudspeaker. There are two major categories of picks up including single coil, humbuckers. Usually, Single –coil pickups have moderate output and bright tone while humbuckers have a hotter output and a warm sound. The pickup you choose totally depends on the music you intend to play.


Consider knowing the material type of wood used for guitar construction because it significantly influences its tonal characteristics. Usually, the weight, firmness, and density of the wood helps to shape its tones. For instance, a mahogany wood offers a smooth sustain and warmer sound. On the other hand, light woods like swamp ash offer a rich and excellent low-end sound.


Electric guitars come in different styles of hardware with different uses. Ultimately, there is a direct relationship between the quality of hardware and the price of a guitar. Therefore, it is important that you learn to identify good-quality parts. When examining an electric guitar lookout and avoid instruments with loose feeling tuning knobs, pegs, and switches, screw inserted at odd angles and improperly aligned parts. The most significant components to pay attention to include tailpieces, tuning machines, and bridges. Remember quality hardware enhances the guitar’s tuning, stability, and versatility.


When it comes to price, how much you spend on your first guitar depends on your wallet and dedication to learning the instrument. There are guitars that fit just about every budget. However, you have to keep in mind that quality instruments have a better chance of motivating new players to continue learning and playing unlike hard to play instruments. They also have a better resale value than cheap instruments with no brand name guitars. This means you will get most of your money back in case the new player gets bored. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much on the first guitar just in case you get bored with learning. 

With this in mind, serious beginners should consider purchasing the best electric guitar under 300 dollars. With this budget level, you can be sure to get an instrument that isn’t too expensive but also offers all the features you require to be a successful guitar player.

If you are from India, check out this article on the best electric guitars in India. Some great info on some affordably priced guitars.


Ultimately, the first step to choosing the right guitar knowing what you want. This will depend on the styles you like, your favorite music and the look you envision, and the right color. I hope this article got you a little closer to figuring that out. Remember, if you set yourself up with an affordable guitar that inspires you, the learning process becomes a whole lot easier and the sky is the limit.

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