If you are searching for your first electric guitar to buy you may feel a little intimidated and overwhelmed, especially for those who still have minimal knowledge of guitars. It benefits to read up on the different types of guitars and options to make it is easier to find on that matches your needs and goals.
The process of choosing the best cheap electric guitar should be seen as a very important step on your long musical journey that is certain to reward you with endless fun and enjoyable experiences.
Why it benefits to start with an electric guitar
Many early guitar players had the misguided belief that it is more practical to start learning on the acoustic guitar and later to progress to the electric once the basics are understood. But, this thinking isn’t necessarily true. In fact, for many beginners looking for the first guitar, the electric model is found to be the easiest to learn on for the newbie. A major reason for this is the lighter strings that are generally easier to press on, which leads to easier control of chords and notes and less fumbling with the inexperienced fingers.
Also, if you look from the parent’s perspective, the electric guitar has a benefit over the acoustic alternative in that it is possible to control the volume. Simply turning the knob will lower the volume, while a pair of headphones plugged into the amplifier means it is possible for the beginner to learn in relative silence.
A further factor that needs considering includes the type of music you intend to play in the future. Go with the guitar that is most effective at playing the music that interests you and features in your favorite bands.
Overall, the right guitar is the one that has the ability to get you inspired and hold your interest for the long term. For this reason, many new guitarists go with the electric guitar because it is the most fun to learn and play on.
Guitar shop or online
Many first time guitar players are tempted with the all-round convenience of buying a new instrument online, especially when the electric guitar price is typically lower. Also, the ability to shop online is certain to give the widest range of choices and you have the option to comparison shop the different merchants to find not only the best prices, but also the most comprehensive package with all extras for the all-inclusive set up.
Most importantly, for those with a great idea of the preferred first electric guitar company, they have a much greater chance of finding the exact model when shopping online.
But, the process of shopping online does have its negatives in that you don’t have the option to test the guitar or get expert guidance to discuss your needs.
It may be beneficial to visit the local guitar shop in the process of buying your first guitar. This gives a perfect opportunity to see in-person the different types and styles of guitar and easily see which is most practical for your needs.
Even if you do end you buying online, the trip to a real guitar shop gives a perfect opportunity to try out the different guitars built with the first time guitarist in mind. It is best to conduct a little research to compile a list of the most attractive guitars that specifically match the needs.
The music stores are a great place with plenty of shiny things to admire, but it is essential to avoid simply going with what is on offer on the day you are there. Only buy an electric guitar when you are 100% satisfied. Most of the respected guitar shops will have no problem ordering a particular guitar if it isn’t currently in stock. However, you also have the option of looking online for the fastest shopping experience.
It can be a fun and a better experience to visit a guitar shop, but this option only applies to those that are lucky enough to be living near a respected guitar shop. However, the bricks and mortar shops are becoming harder to find and there are plenty of cities and towns without a reliable option in the local area.
If you need a little guidance on one of the best cheap electric guitar under $200 for the complete beginner, here is our recommendation among the top 10 best electric guitars for beginners in 2017
Epiphone Les Paul LP Special II
If it was necessary to nominate one electric guitar for beginners above all the others, the Epiphone Les Paul LP Special II is certain to be at the front of the queue. This guitar has the ability to deliver a great sound with a fixed bridge to make it really easy to keep in tune. Plus, the powerful humbucker pickups on this guitar have the ability to handle most tunes from jazz to hard rock.
The Les Paul Special II is styled in line with the Gibson Les Paul and this particular model of guitar is certain to appeal to the new guitarists because it is a style of instrument used by many well-known guitar greats.
How to evaluate the electric guitar
In the process of finding the right cheap electric guitar for beginners there are several things to consider, including the guitar’s construction. Before you start playing the guitar, you want to give it a close up inspection while it is still unplugged. This gives a perfect opportunity to see how it feels, learn about its layout, and make sure it is the right size.
There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to the build and construction, such as:
- Does the hardware appear to be solidly build or quite low-quality?
- Is the neck shape comfortable and able to fit your hand?
- Are you able to notice any issues with the build of the guitar?
- Give the controls or knobs a test to make sure they turn smoothly without any signs of friction
- Does it look well built with everything lined up correctly?
- Try the guitar when unplugged to make sure the strings are able to ring clear
- Do the tuners appear to be solid and have no looseness or wobble?
A close look at the guitar can give a useful indication of how well it is made and its ability to last the distance. If any guitar doesn’t appear to give the right feel or look you may as well pass on that model and look to the next. Even though the sound quality is the most important aspect of the guitar, you still want to invest in a musical instrument that has the desired look and appearance.
Also, it is important to remember that the build quality can vary among the exact same model. This is more likely to apply to the entry-level guitars, so just because you come across one guitar that doesn’t appear to be well made, it does not mean every model in the same series will be the same.
Determining the sound of the guitar
As a first time user of the guitar it can be difficult to evaluate the sound quality. But, it basically helps to find the type of guitar that produces a sound that you enjoy. If you are in a proper guitar shop, you can ask one of the shop’s salesmen to play a few notes to get a better appreciation of what you are looking to buy.
By listening to the sound of the electric guitar you are able to determine if it sounds pleasing and has the right characteristics and tone that you find interesting. Also, it is worth giving the pickup, tone and volume controls a test to make sure they are fully working as intended. Try listening to the guitar at various amplifier volume levels to understand the quality and appreciate the different distortion amounts.
If you plan to try out several different electric guitars, it can help to use the same amplifier on each occasion. This gives a like for like comparison and makes it easier to notice the differences when playing the different makes and models of guitar.
Don’t feel intimidated
For the complete guitar beginner it may be a little intimidating to walk into a reputable guitar shop where it looks like everyone inside is skilled at playing instruments. But, the staff members are there to help you find the best beginner guitar for your specific needs. If you have any questions, make sure to ask those and never let yourself feel pressured or uncomfortable. There is no reason to make the buying decision straightaway, you can always sleep on it and buy it in the shop on another day or online if you prefer. Also, if you are shopping online, you can do more research to make sure you really are making the right decision for your first guitar.