I'm looking for advice on buying a good guitar for a beginning teenager who will turn 15 in two months. He is my very good friend and is very interested in learning the guitar, but he doesn't like learning on the acoustic he has at home, because he wants to play rock and metal. As his birthday is coming forth, me and his mom are thinking of buying him an electric guitar as a gift to start his lessons with.

I actually play both acoustic and electric guitars for a few years myself, so am not a beginner, but am as confused on what to buy for him as they are.
There are just allot of options... I'd say a little bit too much, especially for complete beginners who don't yet know exactly what they want from a guitar since they have little to no experience with it. It's easier if someone says "I want a guitar like that and that..." or if they know what they want sound and shape wise. But that's not the case. So I just look around and don't know what to go for, really.

Okay so... I tried looking into specific styles of electric guitars like Stratocaster, Les Paul, SG, and various other, including metal guitars. I know that Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez and Epiphone make great beginner models, and also some other not so popular brands, so I'm not looking for the specific brand name for now.

As he doesn't know allot about guitar playing, I'm pretty skeptical of bringing him a guitar that's more than $300 as he doesn't yet know how to handle and play one. We don't even know how much would he practice. He talks allot like "I'd practice more if I had an electric..." but how much is this true we won't know until we get him one.

He is mostly into metal and hard rock music. His idols are AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Hammerfall, KISS, Dire Straits, Metallica, Megadeth... more hard stuff.

I mean the guitar can be any color, but it would be best if it would be either black, white, or black-white combination. These are his favorite colors, but others are good too if it's for a good guitar.

Now... can anyone here recommend us a guitar that ranges from 100$- 300$ with that in mind:

- playability, feel, and ease of playing (possibly as good as can be for the price range, I certainly don't want some Chinese junk that you have to replace after 3 months because it's too hard to learn on. )

- good for rock and "harder stuff" as he likes to say it. He loves to hear anything from Bon Jovi to the Megadeth range.

- the best quality for the cheapest price possible. (I know these guitars are not "best quality", we don't need that yet, but kind of getting the cheapest guitar possible that has the best quality in that price range, or something like that. Many beginner guitarists are looking for that.)

It doesn't matter what brand name is on the headstock. Also for the shape... what would you advice us to get? There are many shapes of a guitar, but we're looking for one that has good sound for rock and metal. Shape itself doesn't matter, although I know some shapes are better than others for some stuff, that's why I am asking this. the guitar has to sound good for both rock and metal, at least some decent sound coming from it when playing with distortion.

That would be it... I know the best is to go to the shop and just try them all, we do definitely plan on doing it, but before we go do that, I'd like to at least have an "image" of what are some good options we should look for to try so we don't spend all days long just trying out all of the cheaper guitars they have at various stores available.

Thank you in advance for the advices, we will really appreciate them in making our final decision.
The best value-for-money electric guitar on the market is the Yamaha Pacifica 112.

Not only is it the best budget guitar around it is also better than some of the much more expensive guitars available. It's HSS configuration also gives it great flexibility - this is the only electric guitar you really need.


Music Radar review here:

Get the Pacifica and pair it with either the Peavey Vypyr 15 or Fender Mustang I.
I'm not so sure about the pacifica because of his musical preference. I think some sorta Les Paul or SG would be better. Maybe a Schecter or LTD. If you wanted to go with an lp or sg type, check out Agile.
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go with either a Mexican Fender Stratocaster or a Epiphone Standard Les Paul. about $400 for each one. that way if he doesn't enjoy playing you can resell it fairly easy.
The Pacifica is good, but I would be thinking about what he would like to pick up and play - we play with our eyes as well as our ears and fingers. Maybe let him choose, or give him a $300 credit note for the local music store. The amp is really more important than the guitar. If he isn't using yours, a Roland Cube is the first I would be looking at
i'd say a pacifica 112v is a good shout if he doesn't think it looks too staid.

maybe ibanez rg421 if he wants it to look a little more "metal"?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Lots of good suggestions, including Tony's, to which I'll add anything from the G&L Tribute line.
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Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Quote by Tony Done
The Pacifica is good, but I would be thinking about what he would like to pick up and play - we play with our eyes as well as our ears and fingers. Maybe let him choose, or give him a $300 credit note for the local music store. The amp is really more important than the guitar. If he isn't using yours, a Roland Cube is the first I would be looking at

Actually he already has an amp at home, as his sister needed one for her bass guitar which she doesn't play anymore, so it's a combo for both bass and electric guitar. She got it secondhand from a fairly good guitarist, and it's about 50W one. Don't remember the mark, but it sounds good, we have used it on a gig so... for him more than enough right now. Later he can get new anytime if he'd need to, but first hed need to practice. :P

So we're actually looking just for the guitar. "starter packs" are usually crap everything, so it's good we don't need one for now.
I would recommend the Yamaha, its probably the best value for the money and gives a wide range of tones. The gift certificate suggestion is also a good option.
If you're in the US, take a gander at the Rondo Music website; they have SX and Douglas guitars for just over $100 that are surprisingly good. I'd have NO problem handing this to a beginner: http://www.rondomusic.com/hawkmnashna.html

If you can handle a bit over $200, the Agile AL-2000 is a stunningly good LP type guitar (also from Rondo), and one of the best values on the market. I've got an AL-2000 Floyd, and it's one of my best "bar guitars." No problems using it right up to the professional level. Here's a array of AL-2000s. http://www.rondomusic.com/cgi-rondomusic/sb/productsearch.cgi?storeid=*0c1421a8d614cc26

Note that the "627" series designates a 27" scale (!) and the "727" designates a 27" scale *and* a seven string. I'd definitely stay away from the flat black guitars (I know, "cool stealth look" and all, but down the road they look like crap). Some are available with a"wide" neck (1 3/4" nut width; everything's about the same once you get to the 12th fret) and some with a "slim" neck (slim in depth only -- about 17mm at the first fret, 21mm at the 12th. Nut remains standard width). The standard neck is something more like a '60's LP neck and very comfortable; not a baseball bat nor a Wizard. No case on these (HS cases are available for about $60, delivery runs about $25 most places in the country). http://www.rondomusic.com/egc300lp.html and http://www.rondomusic.com/egc-200lp.html Brown one highly recommended if you want to make a great impression and definitely worth the price difference.

Leave yourself some budget to get ANY guitar that you select a really good Initial Setup.

The two most popular guitar shapes are the strat and the LP -- in part because they're immediately recognizable. I'd stay away from the SG; its design leaves it prone to being neck heavy. The strat is probably the most comfortable (tummy cut, forearm cut, great balance) and there shouldn't be major requirements for a beginner to have humbuckers. The LPs will generally be heavy, but there are reasons why that's a good thing. If your student is healthy and growing, the slight additional weight won't be an issue.
Last edited by dspellman at Jun 30, 2014,