#1
So i'm looking for a good beginner electric guitar under £300. I've been playing an electro-acoustic guitar for about three year and i've decided it's about time I upgrade to an electric. So anyone got any suggestions?
#2
A Squier Stratocaster!

It really depends on the type of style you want, humbuckers/single coils or both? What kind of music will you be playing?

I always suggest the Squier Strat as a beginner guitar because they are versatile great value and generally really good quality guitars for the money, but at that price point you're in the area of a used Fender.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
#5
Go for a Strat copy of any kind. They are super versatile and with a cheap solid state amp you can cover up the poor quality of the equipment with distortion. You won't be any good anyway.

If you are serious about playing electric after a year, six months, whatever -- when you feel comfortable dropping more serious cash on a more serious axe, then do it. Otherwise you can always sell it for a few bucks and grab a nicer acoustic.
#6
Ibanez GIO

I had one with dual humbuckers, but I think that you can get them with single coils and a humbucker in the bridge. It was an easy to play guitar, that I thought played better than the other entry level (I don't like saying cheap) guitars.

I bought it about 2 years ago with a peavey 15 watt amp, a 15' cord, and picks for under $100 at a pawn shop. It was in great shape, with no major nicks, scratches, etc.

Ps. Look at pawn shop and garage sales. I find guitars and amps stupid cheap at garage sales almost every weekend.
Last edited by gersh_uwec at Mar 10, 2013,
#9
I'd recommend a used Epiphone Les Paul Standard, a used MIM Tele or Strat or a Pacifica. I haven't played the Washburn Tom recommended but I'm sure it's a good shot.

Don't buy a cheap solid state as mentioned above to disguise a shit guitar, a cheap solid state will make it even worse, a good amp will make it sound better. You couldn't listen to worse advice.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#12
There are so many good guitars in the sub-$400 range that you have nearly unlimited excellent choices.
#13
Lol @ people recommending random stuff without knowing what kind of music he's into. Though I don't think it matters that much as a beginner when you want versatility. But if he only plays death metal, a Strat wouldn't be the most ideal guitar for it (inb4 "Strats can do metal blablabla").

Though even if you are beginner, you can tell which artists you like and if you are after single coil or humbucker sounds (or both). Though I don't think TS is a beginner because he has experience from acoustic guitar.

And I looked at your gear info, it said:

"Genesis Series: Stratocaster
Martin Smith: W-401E
Gibson: BB King Lucille"

So you already have an electric guitar? What is that Gibson BB King guitar? Is it a real Gibson ES3-something (if it is, it's an electric guitar)?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 11, 2013,
#14
The most versatile option would be an HSS style stratocaster.
If you will be playing hard rock, metal, death metal, etc mostly and you know you don't need a single coil, you can find a used Epiphone Les Paul Studio or maybe even standard.
#15
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Lol @ people recommending random stuff without knowing what kind of music he's into. Though I don't think it matters that much as a beginner when you want versatility. But if he only plays death metal, a Strat wouldn't be the most ideal guitar for it (inb4 "Strats can do metal blablabla").

Though even if you are beginner, you can tell which artists you like and if you are after single coil or humbucker sounds (or both). Though I don't think TS is a beginner because he has experience from acoustic guitar.

And I looked at your gear info, it said:

"Genesis Series: Stratocaster
Martin Smith: W-401E
Gibson: BB King Lucille"

So you already have an electric guitar? What is that Gibson BB King guitar? Is it a real Gibson ES3-something (if it is, it's an electric guitar)?


Why would a Strat be any worse for metal than any other guitar? What do you think an Ibanez RG or Jem is? It's a Strat with a floyd rose and humbuckers, the floyd rose isn't required, that leaves you with a Strat with humbuckers, also known as a Fat Strat.

Obviously a Strat really can do metal, it can excell at it, and has done since the 80s.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
#16
I would say Squier or Epiphone is always a good place to start. If you like it and progress at it, then step up to Fender or Gibson.
Play Loud! Play Fast! Play Raw!
#17
Quote by Bigbazz
Why would a Strat be any worse for metal than any other guitar? What do you think an Ibanez RG or Jem is? It's a Strat with a floyd rose and humbuckers, the floyd rose isn't required, that leaves you with a Strat with humbuckers, also known as a Fat Strat.

Obviously a Strat really can do metal, it can excell at it, and has done since the 80s.

IMO a Strat refers to the original Fender Strat (and its copies), not to Superstrats like Ibanez. Ibanez =/= Strat, it's a Superstrat and the only thing in common with Strat is that it has almost the same shape.

"What do you think an Ibanez RG or Jem is?" It's an Ibanez RG or Jem.

And I was talking about death metal with an SSS Strat, not classic metal with HH Superstrat.

Lol, this is why I wrote that inb4... comment.

But we had a thread about this and it sucked. So let's not start it again. It's about how you define metal. Strat can do metal but there are many guitars that can do it better. And don't comment with "amp matters more than guitar" because still if you have a humbucker equipped guitar and play it through the same amp, it will sound "more metal". And why is this? Because most metal bands use humbucker guitars, it's the metal tone we are familiar with. Also humbuckers give you more output so you get more distortion. An SSS Strat may sound too weak for metal. But let's end this discussion here.

My point was, TS needs to name some bands he likes so that we know what kind of sounds he is after.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 12, 2013,
#18
Quote by MaggaraMarine
IMO a Strat refers to the original Fender Strat (and its copies), not to Superstrats like Ibanez. Ibanez =/= Strat, it's a Superstrat and the only thing in common with Strat is that it has almost the same shape.

"What do you think an Ibanez RG or Jem is?" It's an Ibanez RG or Jem.

And I was talking about death metal with an SSS Strat, not classic metal with HH Superstrat.

Lol, this is why I wrote that inb4... comment.

But we had a thread about this and it sucked. So let's not start it again. It's about how you define metal. Strat can do metal but there are many guitars that can do it better. And don't comment with "amp matters more than guitar" because still if you have a humbucker equipped guitar and play it through the same amp, it will sound "more metal". And why is this? Because most metal bands use humbucker guitars, it's the metal tone we are familiar with. Also humbuckers give you more output so you get more distortion. An SSS Strat may sound too weak for metal. But let's end this discussion here.

My point was, TS needs to name some bands he likes so that we know what kind of sounds he is after.


A fat Strat is still a Strat, I'm not gonna nip something quite obviously wrong in the bud because you don't want to go there. An Ibanez Jem/RG is a Strat with humbuckers, a Super Strat if you will. Squier (and pretty much every other company making Strat copies) sell their Strats with an option to have a bridge humbucker, often enough a neck humbucker too.

Therefor, a Strat as a guitar is perfectly capable of doing metal, and there is no logical explanation why another guitar also with humbuckers can do it better, having a pointy shaped guitar does not make it sound any better for metal, nor does a Floyd Rose style tremolo.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 12, 2013,
#19
Since the OP hasn't come back to answer any of the necessary questions, it seems silly to debate on what style or configuration of guitar he may like. He may hate Strats and Strat-style guitar, and he may love P90's. He may also love smooth Jazz or Folk-Punk, so yeah, if he answers the appropriate questions, we can go from there.
OffsetOffset
#20
Anyone ever played one of the AXL strats? They look amazing and supposedly have EMG pickups. I was going to buy my nephew a Squier strat but then he saw the AXL online and has decided it's the one he wants. Not sure if it sounds any good though.

http://www.themusicshoponline.net/products/AXL-Badwater-SRO-Electric-Guitar-57.html
Check out "thelastplaceyoulook" on YouTube, iTunes and [url="http://facebook.com/thelastplaceyoulook
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#21
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Lol @ people recommending random stuff without knowing what kind of music he's into. Though I don't think it matters that much as a beginner when you want versatility. But if he only plays death metal, a Strat wouldn't be the most ideal guitar for it (inb4 "Strats can do metal blablabla").

Though even if you are beginner, you can tell which artists you like and if you are after single coil or humbucker sounds (or both). Though I don't think TS is a beginner because he has experience from acoustic guitar.

And I looked at your gear info, it said:

"Genesis Series: Stratocaster
Martin Smith: W-401E
Gibson: BB King Lucille"

So you already have an electric guitar? What is that Gibson BB King guitar? Is it a real Gibson ES3-something (if it is, it's an electric guitar)?


Yes I already 2 electric guitars, but they're ones that I have inherited from my Uncle. But they aren't very good for beginners.
#23
So, i'm not really familiar with electric guitars. What's the difference between a humbucker pickup and a single coil pickup?
#24
Let me make some suggestions: check out some sound clips for tonal differences, take a look around at body styles, figure out what style you'd like to play, then use the thread I posted on the first page to answer questions so we can better help you. Any of these questions can be seen and heard through Google, so us describing them to you won't be as valuable.
OffsetOffset
#26
Different thread, but this one may end up that way, too. We aren't really getting anywhere without answers to those questions.
OffsetOffset
#27
Budget? - £300

Favorite Artists? - Alt-J, Bloc Party, Chuck Berry, Guns n' Roses, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of Stone Age.

Preferences? - 22 Frets, Epiphone or Squier, I like the SG, Les Paul or Stratocaster body shape.

Pickups? - I'm not sure of the differences between pickups.

New or Used? - I would prefer a new guitar, but if there's a great deal on a used guitar i'll take it.

Location? - I live in London, England

Current Gear? - I have a Martin Smith W-401E Electro-Acoustic Guitar. I have two electric guitars that I inherited from my uncle, but they aren't very good beginner electric guitars. A Stagg 20AAR Amp.
Last edited by Kakamothh at Mar 13, 2013,
#28
Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom could be a thought. Solid guitar with tonal variety that sits right with the groups you've listed. Easy on the fingers fretboard, sharp looks to boot. Not in the body styles that you listed, but take a look, and check out some of the Strats in the Vintage Modified line too.

The Epiphone G400 is a solid guitar, too. If you can snag one used, you may be able to grab a modeling amp to go with.
OffsetOffset
Last edited by SteveHOC at Mar 12, 2013,
#29
A simple Google search would help you learn about the different kinds of pickups

http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/find-your-tone/pickup_types/

And a P90 pickup, to put it simply, is a fatter-sounding single coil but not as fat as a humbucker.
Quote by Wikipedia
Being a single-coil design the tone of a P-90 is somewhat brighter and more transparent than a humbucker, though not quite as crisp and snappy as Fender's single-coil pickups. The tone therefore shares some of the single coil twang, but having large amounts of midrange and often described as brisk.
#30
Quote by Bigbazz
A fat Strat is still a Strat, I'm not gonna nip something quite obviously wrong in the bud because you don't want to go there. An Ibanez Jem/RG is a Strat with humbuckers, a Super Strat if you will. Squier (and pretty much every other company making Strat copies) sell their Strats with an option to have a bridge humbucker, often enough a neck humbucker too.

Therefor, a Strat as a guitar is perfectly capable of doing metal, and there is no logical explanation why another guitar also with humbuckers can do it better, having a pointy shaped guitar does not make it sound any better for metal, nor does a Floyd Rose style tremolo.

Yeah, I don't want to argue about this because it's a stupid argument. But many times when people refer to a Strat, they are talking about the regular SSS Strat. Otherwise they will say a HSS Strat or a Fat Strat. And I wouldn't even call Superstrats Strats. For example my Charvel So Cal. Even though it almost looks the same as a regular Fender Strat but just with humbuckers and a Floyd, I don't call it a Strat. It's a Strat shaped guitar but not a Strat. It's So Cal. And those Ibanezes are way more far away from Strat than my guitar is. They are based on Strat but they are pretty much completely different guitars.

We had a thread about this if you want to see the discussion. We also discussed about Led Zeppelin being metal or not (that it is not). Because people had these arguments: You can play Led Zeppelin on Strat so Strats do metal very well. It's about how you define metal and in this case how you define a Strat. But I wouldn't call Ibanez RG a Strat. It's not a Strat copy, it's their own model. Even the body shape is different, much more pointy. IMO a guitar that I would call a Strat at least needs a Strat body.

What I was talking about in my post was an extreme example: Playing death metal on an SSS Strat. I should have pointed out that I'm talking about SSS Strat but IMO if you only say "Strat", it means SSS Strat. Otherwise you need to tell what kind of Strat you are talking about but the first thing to come to my mind from a Strat is SSS Strat because that was the original Strat (and most "Stratocasters" are SSS, I'm talking about the guitars whose model name really is Stratocaster). But as I said, this is pretty stupid discussion because it has so much to do with how you define metal and Strat.

But still I wouldn't call a Strat "the metal guitar". Even though most "metal guitars" are based on the Strat body shape. And IMO Strat is not a humbucker equipped guitar. I should have pointed out that I'm talking about single coil Strats but I assumed everybody would understand what I'm talking about. Because IMO it was pretty obvious.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 13, 2013,
#32
Quote by Kakamothh
Yes I already 2 electric guitars, but they're ones that I have inherited from my Uncle. But they aren't very good for beginners.

Why aren't they good for beginners? I'm pretty sure it's much better to start with a good feeling instrument. People usually don't want to recommend too expensive instruments to beginners because they are not sure if they will continue playing the guitar. But you really aren't a beginner, you have been playing the acoustic guitar for three years. You know that you want to play the guitar. I wouldn't waste my money on a cheap guitar if I already had two guitars. Buy an amp for the money. Usually better instruments feel better in your hands and that's why they are easier to play. Also the sound is good and inspires you. So buy an amp for the money. You don't need a new guitar.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#33
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yeah, I don't want to argue about this because it's a stupid argument. But many times when people refer to a Strat, they are talking about the regular SSS Strat. Otherwise they will say a HSS Strat or a Fat Strat. And I wouldn't even call Superstrats Strats. For example my Charvel So Cal. Even though it almost looks the same as a regular Fender Strat but just with humbuckers and a Floyd, I don't call it a Strat. It's a Strat shaped guitar but not a Strat. It's So Cal. And those Ibanezes are way more far away from Strat than my guitar is. They are based on Strat but they are pretty much completely different guitars.

We had a thread about this if you want to see the discussion. We also discussed about Led Zeppelin being metal or not (that it is not). Because people had these arguments: You can play Led Zeppelin on Strat so Strats do metal very well. It's about how you define metal and in this case how you define a Strat. But I wouldn't call Ibanez RG a Strat. It's not a Strat copy, it's their own model. Even the body shape is different, much more pointy. IMO a guitar that I would call a Strat at least needs a Strat body.

What I was talking about in my post was an extreme example: Playing death metal on an SSS Strat. I should have pointed out that I'm talking about SSS Strat but IMO if you only say "Strat", it means SSS Strat. Otherwise you need to tell what kind of Strat you are talking about but the first thing to come to my mind from a Strat is SSS Strat because that was the original Strat (and most "Stratocasters" are SSS, I'm talking about the guitars whose model name really is Stratocaster). But as I said, this is pretty stupid discussion because it has so much to do with how you define metal and Strat.

But still I wouldn't call a Strat "the metal guitar". Even though most "metal guitars" are based on the Strat body shape. And IMO Strat is not a humbucker equipped guitar. I should have pointed out that I'm talking about single coil Strats but I assumed everybody would understand what I'm talking about. Because IMO it was pretty obvious.


I think it comes down to the fact that it isn't 1960 anymore and a Strat isn't always an SSS guitar, just as many strats are likely sold with humbuckers as they are with single coils these days. I also see the Strat as an upgrade bed kind of guitar, the base of it is perfect for many styles of music and by design it is very easy to upgrade.

I have 3 Strats, one of them came as standard from Fender with a Floyd Rose and H/S/S pickup configuration, one is H/S/S via upgrades and the other is S/S/S. To me the Strat is not about the S/S/S configuration, the Strat is the body shape and the pickups that come with it are the options.

Comparing to my Jem, it is ultimately a Super Strat, it's a tiny bit smaller than a strat, thinner neck (still bolt on) and more frets, but the balance of it is the same and the tonal qualities that come from it are as a result of it's construction are basically identical, the pickup switch/tone pot layout are near identical. To me I look at my Jem as a pointy Strat, always have and always will and as much as it excells at metal, it doesn't do it any better than my humbucker equiped Strats. And to get this straight, I have spent most of my music career playing in metal bands.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
#34
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Why aren't they good for beginners? I'm pretty sure it's much better to start with a good feeling instrument. People usually don't want to recommend too expensive instruments to beginners because they are not sure if they will continue playing the guitar. But you really aren't a beginner, you have been playing the acoustic guitar for three years. You know that you want to play the guitar. I wouldn't waste my money on a cheap guitar if I already had two guitars. Buy an amp for the money. Usually better instruments feel better in your hands and that's why they are easier to play. Also the sound is good and inspires you. So buy an amp for the money. You don't need a new guitar.


I see expensive guitars as not being very good for beginners and more for experts and intermediates. I don't think that a company like Gibson would make an expensive guitar with beginners in mind. Their target market would be more experienced players. So I think I need a cheaper guitar to start off with. Also there is an amp at my school that I can use (Peavey Bandit 112). I also have a Stagg 20 AAR amp at home.

Anyway the Gibson that I have is Semi-acoustic and is more for blues music. I'm looking to play Alternative, Indie Rock, Pop and Rock.
Last edited by Kakamothh at Mar 13, 2013,
#35
Quote by Kakamothh
I see expensive guitars as not being very good for beginners and more for experts and intermediates. I don't think that a company like Gibson would make an expensive guitar with beginners in mind. Their target market would be more experienced players. So I think I need a cheaper guitar to start off with. Also there is an amp at my school that I can use (Peavey Bandit 112). I also have a Stagg 20 AAR amp at home.


There is no such thing as a beginner guitar really

You have 3 aspects

1. Price
2. Quality
3. Style


Generally you decide what style you want and the more money you pay the better quality you get. It isnt that simple of course. People advise guitars like Squier/Epiphone to beginners because they offer popular styles at decent quality for low prices, not because they are specifically any better, they are generally just cheaper made versions of the same guitar.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
#36
Quote by Kakamothh
I see expensive guitars as not being very good for beginners and more for experts and intermediates. I don't think that a company like Gibson would make an expensive guitar with beginners in mind. Their target market would be more experienced players. So I think I need a cheaper guitar to start off with. Also there is an amp at my school that I can use (Peavey Bandit 112). I also have a Stagg 20 AAR amp at home.

Anyway the Gibson that I have is Semi-acoustic and is more for blues music. I'm looking to play Alternative, Indie Rock, Pop and Rock.

Why wouldn't they be good for beginners? As I said, the only thing that would be bad for beginners is that they are a bit expensive and when you are a beginner, you can't be 100% sure if playing the guitar is your thing. That's why people tell beginners to buy cheaper guitars. Also you already own the guitars so their price shouldn't matter. People don't advise you to BUY expensive instruments as a beginner but of course you can use them if you already own one.

And aren't semi acoustics used a lot in pop rock and indie music? That would be like the perfect guitar for that kind of music. And you also have the Strat, don't you?

But the thing is, many times more expensive instruments feel better in your hands and sound better and are easier to play. So why wouldn't they fit a beginner?

And you are not a beginner any more. You have been playing for three years and you know if playing the guitar is for you or not (and it obviously is because you have been playing for three years).

There's no such thing as a beginner guitar. There are only expensive and cheap guitars. And why cheap guitars fit beginners is because beginners aren't sure if they really want to play the guitar. But you know all the basic techniques and know what playing the guitar is like.

And really, buy a better amp. It will make you sound so much better. The amp you have is an acoustic guitar amp, right? Spend the money on a new amp instead of guitar. There's no point in having two guitars that you don't use because "they are not for beginners". When are you going to start using them? Buy an amp and save some money (because obviously you still would need to buy an amp).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Mar 13, 2013,
#37
I'm in the "get a new amp" boat. You have a nice Gibson to play on, and it's fine for the styles you like. No point downgrading, not if you don't have to.
OffsetOffset
#39
Based on your description, I would go for a prs se. Then you'll be set for a few years oh and you should most probably buy used. You'll get a lot more guitar for your money...
Last edited by noelkula at Mar 14, 2013,
#40
If you can find another £50, this is a stupid good deal:

http://www.fretsguitarcentre.co.uk/contents/en-uk/p1627_Fret-King_Super_60HB_-_Ice_Green.html

Essentially, you'd get a "lifetime" guitar for a beginner's budget. I just got a new one of these myself, and it is a great guitar.

HSS "Strat", matte finished maple neck, alder body, and a trem that holds tune regardless of abuse.

(And, FWIW, I agree with the suggestion that a new amp may be more of what you need for a better sound..)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 14, 2013,