It is customary that a request for closed eyes be made before the text that weighs heavily on imagination is given, but I do not have that luxury. Instead I’ll ask you not to close your eyes but instead dedicate your ears to the hearing of what I am about to suggest. Have you ever felt a love so strong but so hopeless you could not express it by any means other than screaming, and even then it felt not enough? A rage so strong your body tightened so hard it felt like it was about to break? A fear so powerful all you could do is freeze in place? A melancholy so deep that even the raindrops on your head or on the car window could barely reach down into the put? An emotion so strong it made you convulse in pain? You must then know how hard it is to be unable to produce a voice or a sound to reflect it. We all do. It is entirely human to feel it and to want to express and the only way I have found to express it is a guitar. And only the best electric guitar is capable of such expression. What else could describe the desperate ambiguity of human existence than the soul crushing whines of a well tuned, well played, electric guitar.
Top 10 Best Electric Guitars – All Categories
There are not a lot of guitars out there that give you the option of looking as good as you sound in the price range. The ESP LTD M100FM is probably one of the best affordable electric guitars to do that. You see, the guitar is equipped with exceptional passive humbuckers capable of intense sound, but the great value of the guitar just begins there. The translucent flamed basswood body of the guitar, whether black or cherry colored, gives it the handsome look of a white moonrise on a dark night. Or if you prefer something more graphic to fuel your nightmarish tunes, the coloring of the guitar resembles a ribcage (happy halloween). Whatever your preferences are, this guitar is more of a challenge to your ability to rock constantly than anything else. It never gets tired and it never stops, not until you do. It is like an undead army that does your bidding. If you do stop eventually, the desire to continue will consume you, so that you might find yourself getting up in the morning, strapping the guitar on and practicing until you can’t feel your fingers. Have fun with it.
The Yamaha Gigmaker EG is the best friend to any beginner solo or rhythm guitar player that started their garage band after their 4th guitar class. I am not saying it is a bad thing, in actuality, I did the same thing when I started out. What I am saying is that this guitar will be your best friend. It often comes as part of a pack deal, where you also get your hands on a travel pack, and amplifier, extra strings and some other goodies that you will find useful on your road to neighborhood and town battle of the band’s success. The body of this guitar is solid spruce, with a rosewood fretboard. This makes it lightweight and easy to play or carry. The sound on this guitar is solid but not out of this world. Combined with the awesome pack that it might come as a part of and you have yourself one of the best affordable electric guitars on this list.
Epiphone thought of the best way to dash through all those pesky songs and rhythms you’ve wanted to play for so long without having to drop more of your money than you would on a day at six flags. They created the Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul that combines the outstanding look of the Les Paul guitars with the piercing potential that Slash put into this guitar as he designed it. Yes, Slash of guns’n’roses, the legendary, top hat wearing, soul stealing, ear bursting solo man Slash. Yes while designing the guitar the guitar god kept in mind what we all wanted to do – play like Slash. So he made it easier for chumps like me to achieve the expressive sound that he produces by installing two Open Coil Humbuckers onto the guitar. Pick it up and play it and immediately you will feel like the only thing stopping you from sweet child of mine is your own stubborn need to play welcome to the jungle first.
Some guitars are cheaper than others. This also means that the cheaper guitars are also inferior to the more expensive ones. An unfortunate fact of life and capitalism, where only money buys the best. Fortunately, progress comes as part of capitalism and living in the future (welcome to the future by the way) meaning that some of the cheaper guitars are pretty decent. It also means that the best cheap electric guitars are almost on the same level as any professional electric guitar. The ESP LTD F-50 Electric guitar is no exception. This incredibly affordable option of an electric guitar provides everything a beginner would need, starting out as well as when eventually moving into the advanced guitar playing world. It has a standard basswood body and a rosewood fretboard, as well as an edgy design fit for any startup rocker.
The funny name of this Dinky comes packaged with an almost funny price, meaning that you will only be laughing only until you start playing, when you will realize how good the guitar sounds, especially for its sound. The JS22 Dinky is one of the best electric guitar for beginners available on the market. Combining cheap price with a quality make and good sound, the versatility of the guitar and its two humbuckers make sure that you will be able to travel through genres like a knife through butter. Your country might sound a little harsher than the average country musicians, but it will retain musical integrity. The basswood body and the rosewood fretboard of the guitar are comfortable and lightweight, meaning endless practice hours will never feel painful. As for the fun – well how could you not have all of it with a name like this, so go ahead and make the right decision for any beginner.
Just because you have not heard of Schecter (or maybe you have and I am assuming things making me the first three letters of the verb that stands for the action) does not mean that the company is not a formidable one. In actuality this manufacturer makes some of the best electric guitars on the market and the C-1 SGR is a great example of one. You see, all of us metalheads know how hard it is to find a guitar that is fitting in style, sound and price to your wants and needs. Well Schecter knew it too, so they made an incredible guitar for all beginners, or normal metal heads, without the pocket the pocket busting requirements. A lightweight basswood body and a comfortable rosewood fretboard, combined with two humbucking pickups and a stylish, arched cutaway that looks metal, hard rock and pop at the same time are what makes this guitar one of the best on the market. It is comfortable, stylish and sustain heavy. What else do you need?
When I say “Les” you say “Paul”! Les!.. Ok don’t make me wait so long. Don’t make the Epiphone Les Paul-100 wait either. This guitar is way too iconic and way too much of a pop culture iconic on its own for you to keep ignoring it. I mean, look at it. At its handsome face and a body you can’t tear your eyes away from. The long fretboard that simply beckons to you, asks you to play it just right. Listen to its song, its beckoning tones and it’s sweet, sweet sound. Yes, now you understand why the entirety of the world went crazy for this guitar in one day. Well not this one specifically, saying so would be an insult to the inventor Les Paul, but this guitar has everything this man valued in his guitars. The body is made of standard basswood, with the fretboard being, just like so many others, rosewood. The pickups are the ever sustained humbuckers for the little bit of “umph” we all love in our sound. The style is unique.
One of the most beautiful things about electric guitars is the fact that you don’t have to rob a bank to be able to buy one of the best guitars available on the market. The only thing you need to be able to do is stop procrastinating, pick one, buy one, and keep playing until you sound like, or even better than, Jack White. And, if you finally do stop putting it off, the ESP LTD EC100AT might be the best choice for your first electric guitar, which is again, a subjective decision. So here have some details to help you decide: The body is made of lightweight basswood, the fretboard is rosewood, as is standard among affordable electric guitars. The guitar is strapped with a couple of humbuckers crafted specifically for a heavy sound that would satisfy that itch deep in your soul. It comes, just like all the others, with controls allowing you to customize your sound, to a point. Honestly, the affordable price and the awesome playability and sound of this guitar are what make it one of the best. The only thing is for you to decide is do you like it better than the others?
The stratocaster has been around the world as many times as any rockstar has hoped to be seen. It has been held by more hopefuls and more fans than there have been songs written and still, after so many years of fame and fortune, the strat remains as popular as ever. Which is why you are fortunate – the Squier by Fender Deluxe Stratocaster is an awesome piece of equipment that gives you everything you wanted as a starry eyed teenager for a price that makes sense to a starry eyed teenager. This squier holds dear everything you do – the unique, iconic style, the beautiful sound and the comfort of playing. Combine all of this together, accidentally add chemical “cheap” and you get one of the best affordable electric guitars on the market.
You never wanted a guitar. No metalhead ever does. What you always wanted was an axe, a weapon of mass destruction, a tool to slay through the hordes of your own personal demons, and others, with sonic speed and cruel sustain. This is why you went on a quest looking for the best electric guitar for metal. This is why you came upon this scroll, this list, this dictionary of artifacts. It was not a simple coincidence, it was destiny. Destiny that lead you to find the Epiphone G-400 Pro, the most axe like musical instrument you, or I, have ever seen in our long, metal filled, battlefield ridden lives. The mahogany body of this guitar is shaped like a battle axe, for maximum metal, while the rosewood fretboard feels like the most comfortable handle in the world. The humbuckers announce to the world the strength of your swing and the danger of your song. So go ahead and grab this (affordable) bomb of a guitar and keep slaying, for me and you.
Not all beautiful guitars look like Les Pauls. A lot of them do. And some of them look like a Les Paul was put into a blender and sprinkled with the dust of a fairy kidnapped from the mind of a designer. Sometimes the result is the Gretsch G5345T Pro Jet, and when it is, I am happy. Because the world could use more guitars like this. This beautiful amalgamation of the already existing and new design is one of the best guitars under 500 you could lay your hands on. The chambered rosewood body is lightweight and comfortable to hold, while the single cutaway is easy to play, with even the farthest frets being easy to access. The fretboard is homely, handsome, cosy and, as you have come to expect, made of rosewood. The humbuckers are strong and attention seeking. The Bigsby tremolo bar makes all of the trembling tones you ever wanted to escape your soul easy to produce.
If Abed from community was a guitar geek instead of television geek, the only thing he would be able to say about this guitar is cool. Cool, cool, cool. After all, there really isn’t much to say about it beyond how cool the guitar is overall. The telecaster design is one of the few designs that has made it into the rock and roll and pop music collective memory to stick around, possibly forever, so the guitar gets a cool point for that. But then you find out that the body is made of pine, a wood that adds the little bit of resonance that fills out the sound even more. Another cool point. The pickup configuration is Humbucker, Single Coil, Single Coil, which means the guitar is incredibly versatile in how it sounds. Third cool point. Finally, the fretboard of the guitar is made of maple. The fourth, and final cool point. So what else do you need? Well, once you playing the guitar, you will know how all these cool point summarize into a single phrase. Cool. Cool, cool, cool, in a quick succession of musical tones that you cannot help but love.
This is not the original Gibson Les Paul produced in the 50s. This is just a tribute. And just like the Tenacious D song, Tribute, this guitar stands to be one of the best things to happen to music on its own. You see, while the original Gibson Les Paul was used in many contexts, mostly to write legendary songs by legendary musicians, the world clambered on ahead. Today, taking modern technology accidentally discovered after the 50s, and combining it with the best things about the original Les Paul, results in the Gibson 2016 T Les Paul Studio 50’s Tribute. This means that the sound from the 50’s echoes into the modern times but it does so amplified and filled out, more mature and at the same time more vibrant. This is an exceptional instrument, and it is an honorable homage to the original. So what if the original was used to produce some of the best rock and roll ever? The modern alternative stands and awaits the right musician to produce even better music on it.
Beautiful and powerful isn’t it? Well, don’t stare at it. Move on. This guitar is too much. Too much of a challenge and too much fun packed into one mahogany body. So move on, because you are not ready. You are not ready to bear the responsibility of raising the demons from the underworld with the heavy metal that the strings and lips of this guitar produce. It is too much power for one so unwilling to tame it. After all how could you stand ahead of the demons pouring out of this guitar’s humbuckers, how could you attempt to bend them to your will and send them into the wild to fulfill your bidding, if you are unwilling to yourself commit to the art of metal. If I am wrong and you are willing to prove me wrong then this is the best electric guitar under 800 to do so with. Go ahead, get it, and make me tremble, wherever across the globe I am, in anticipation of the chaos you are going to summon using this magical instrument.
Do you think that the beatniks back in the fifties, while listening to their jazz records and smoking their jazz cigarettes, could have imagined that the Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster Special electric guitar would sport the classic jazzmaster design? They could have maybe spoken of the future in their strange poetry or written about the present and its consequences in their prose, but they could not have known, that the design would be timeless. Or maybe, in their scramble to live in the moment they assumed that things would remain the same forever and in a way were right about the jazzmaster remaining true and famous? Either way, this guitar is a standout piece among string instruments. It bears the design so valued among jazz players sitting down on their high benches, as they improvise the tone and tunes fitting for our ears. Pick up this maple wonder and you too may end up playing something exceptional for the ears of the world.
I would advise all those inexperience with raising hell to be careful when playing Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR. You see, the hellraiser series guitars have a very specific purpose – to raise hell, and while all of them succeed at doing so with ease, none of them are capable of producing a sound as violent and strong as this one. The 7th string allows direct connection to the source of all violence, violently raising the emotions of those who listen to it being played. The result is that no matter what kind of music you play, the listener will always be moved to express their emotion to the fullest. Be it crying, dancing, jumping or moshing, the extra string will allow you, the musician, to produce chaos in unison with your listener. So be ready to play hard and fast, so that the sonic boom has the instantaneous effect on the audience that you so much desire.
Ahh, the tuxedo guitar. The guitar that special agent James Bond would play if he knew how to do, and blow the mind of any listener he deemed worthy. The guitar that looks so fresh on its own the owner must keep up to it, otherwise risk being outshone by the instrument itself. The guitar that sounds so good you will do a double take to make sure that the instrument you are playing is real. It sports a beautiful, custom tinted (black or white) mahogany body shaped in the classical, recognizable and iconic Les Paul design. The humbuckers placed on the neck and bridge of the guitar produce a hypnotic sound, one that will result in the audience being unable to tear away their eyes or minds from you. This guitar is a danger to everyone around it and to itself, it is just that good.
We all have hopes, aspirations and dreams. Some of us aspire to be great men who create legacies that will stick in the history of the world. Others hope to achieve fame and leave behind pieces of their soul within their art for future generations to find. Still more hope that some day they will get to create their own guitars. John Petrucci is one of the few people who has achieved these ambitions. As the founding and lasting member of the legendary metal band dream theater he has created music that has affected and will still affect people around the world. He has written his name in the sustain heavy tones of his guitar and after doing so, he also got to put his name in a guitar of his own. The Sterling by Music Man JP157 John Petrucci Signature is a great musical instrument with the ability to produce sound that, just like dream theater, is harrowing and energetic. This handsome musical instrument is made of african mahogany and rosewood, with a double humbucking configuration for all your metal needs.
This high end, high skill level, high string count guitar is no simple hellraiser. While the guitars in the series, including the 7 stringer hellraiser, are all exceptional in their quality, the greed, ambition and the pride of the fans of the hellraiser series summoned a creature of special quality. The Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 bares all of its teeth the moment you first strike a chord on it. The humbuckers on this guitar are heavy with sustain and heavier still on impact to the ears, sending shivers down the bodies of anyone brave enough to remain still while this guitar plays. The 8 strings give it the versatility undreamed by those playing 6 or 7 strings, going so low or so high in tone you might feel slightly indecent doing it. The guitar can growl like a demon from the deepest pits and scream like a soul in the hottest pots. No wonder it is part of the hellraiser series, it can raise the temperature at a concert in an instant, and the hair on the backs of anyone at it in a second. It is chaos contained in an instrument, and it is a tool to both release this chaos and tame it.
If you have ever wondered what it would feel like to feel beyond what is given to humans, to hear things that are not of this world and still remain sane, to possess some kind of superpower, than you need to grab a hold of the ESP H LH408BFMSTBLKSB 8-String. The ESP here stands as much for the name of the guitar manufacturer as it stands for the gift it bestows upon both player and listener: Extrasensory Perception. While 8 strings in other guitars are there to expand tone capabilities or cause chaos, this guitar has all of its 8 strings dedicated to one thing – expanding your ability to perceive. Playing this guitar may sometimes feel like dark magic, at other like communicating with otherworldly creatures. In the end, the verdict is simple – this guitar has the ability to shake anyone to their very core purely through sound. And if they do actually hear creatures from the other worlds speaking, you might need to slow down your shredding.
There are not many men in this world capable of understanding the point of 8 strings on a guitar. To many the 2 extra seem excessive, decadent, something for a show off to have rather than for a musician to play. These men know little about what it means to want to play without limits. I will not lie by saying that this guitar, or any 8 stringer, is comfortable to play. What I will say is that this guitar expands your tonal range, it expands your range of expression and it helps you reach those depths and those peaks that seem to be so out of reach with the average guitar. The Ibanez RG8 8-string is a paint brush that has the ability to paint any color you desire. All you need is imagination and ability. The guitar itself is of excellent craftsmanship and it will never fall behind you in the demand for skill that is needed to play it. It is a way to push yourself into somewhere not many guitar players are capable of going to. Godspeed.
There are few things as beautiful or as versatile as a well made hollow body guitar. D’Angelico EXL 102 is one of the rarest examples of such beauty. You see there are a lot of hollow body guitars around the world and all of them are versatile and produce a beautiful sound, but not all of them are well made. Some of these end up struggling with feedback issues and some simply start to underperform after a few years. D’Angelico EXL 102 is not one of these guitars. The beautiful make of this spirit of music allows it to avoid feedback issues often encountered by its cousins, while aging, gracefully and without a hiccup, remaining useful and beautiful many years down the line. This guitar is like a spirit of music, always around, always pleasant, never aging but always changing with the times, capable of adapting and producing whatever the ear demands. Which is why this is one of the best hollow body electric guitars to ever grace this market. The laminated spruce top of the guitar gives it a vibrant sound both plugged in or not. The only thing you could do with this guitar is enjoy it.
The comet that falls in the middle of the night, illuminating the sky with its fiery tail, as if a star burning up in the atmosphere of our planet, but only a passing visage of a body traveling through the endless. It is not fair to compare such beauty to the Guild Starfire V with Guild Vibrato Tailpiece. Because sometimes even the marvels of the world fail in front of the makings of man. I joke of course, there are few things as beautiful as a passing comet, but this guitar could, maybe, in some twisted world similar to the one I live in (in my head) compare. Or maybe the song played using the vibrant or, if wanted, solemn tones on this guitar could serve as a comparable beauty? After all a guitar is only the sound it produces. So maybe, just maybe, the comparison between a comet and this guitar is just what needs to be made. After all the laminated mahogany with its subtle warmth and the two humbuckers with their impeccable sound reproduction bring this guitar into the world of exceptional things to see, hear and have.
Can you see yourself in a roofless Cadillac riding through the desert during a time when there were no cars, only horses? Can you see the dust behind you stirred up by your wheels? Can you feel the hot wind beating in your face as you get away from the wild west sheriff? Then you can also hear the Gretsch G5422TDCG Electromatic playing the soundtrack to your escape. This guitar is what I would call versatile, for its ability to be the source of bottomless cool, a reflection of sensitivity and just a little bit of mischievous. Thanks to the 5 ply maple body and the two humbuckers gracing it, this guitar sounds vibrant and strong, while remaining subtle and malleable, the perfect representation of versatility in a hollow body guitar. It will play anything you want, for as long as you want, however you want. Just be careful. I can confirm nor deny that playing it just right might cause you to end up accidentally riding into the sunset, dust settling slowly behind you.
Perfection in the Details
What is it that makes an electric guitar the best? Well, many things. You see, every guitar has an anatomy to it, little details that make it perfect for one thing or another. These slight differences are what make a guitar perfect for you. Such details range from how the guitar is built and its electronics all the way to its price. The history of a guitar, how it was made, who played it, why it became famous. Maybe it just has a long history of “cool” associated with it. The look of the guitar plays a big role in why it could be perfect, after all a guitar after your own soul is what you are looking for, right? And finally, the price. Not everybody can, or wants to, afford the best electric guitar for 1000. Some of us are fine with playing a guitar that is just under 500 but is perfect for them. So, if you want to choose right instrument from the list above, why don’t you take a look at some of the details I talk more about below.
The electric guitar has a long history of being used. Glossing over its creation for the orchestra play, or its use as part of the jazz, blues and so many other genres, we come into the time when the instrument found its actual place: Rock and Roll. The electric guitar is, of course, not limited to this genre, ever. Any single musical genre may end up using the instrument. But if you are like me, you like to imagine yourself standing, guitar in hand, as a rock star on a stage, with men and women fainting to the sounds you create.
Thing is even if all electric guitars share some sort of history, each guitar also has its own little chapter in it. Most of the best electric guitars have been about for more than a minute and some of them have a history of being famous. There are times when this becomes a decisive feature for a fan buying a guitar. I mean what’s better than owning the same guitar that your favorite song was written on? It might not be the very same, but it still remains the guitar that was played by someone you admire, someone you want to be like. Or maybe the guitar was made in your hometown? Or maybe there is some other story about the guitar you enjoy? Whatever it is, if you see one that has a a tale you like, maybe that makes the guitar perfect for you?
The Little Details
Then again, the history of the instrument cannot be the only thing that makes you want it, right? I mean, the guitar is built of things and the better the guitar is, the more likely it is to be made for a very specific purpose.
When buying an electric guitar remember to check what you are buying for here is a quick checklist of questions to ask yourself:
- Are you going to be playing a genre that leans more on sustain or would you be playing something that sounds cleaner?
- If the answer is heavy – consider buying a guitar with humbucker pickups.
- If the answer is clean – consider buying a single coil pickup guitar.
- What type of material do you want? There are several options for the body, and all of them have a slight effect on the sound of the guitar, as well as price.
- Do you want natural woods? If yes, you guitar might end up a little more expensive if you go for some of the more expensive woods, but it might also end up with a better tonality, as well as being slightly on the heavy side.
- Do you want synthetic materials? This might end up being a cheaper option, but might also result in a slightly inferior tone. Though the guitar may be on the light side if you pick this option
- Do you want fully electric, semi-hollow body, or hollow body?
- Fully electric has no acoustic sound, is better fitting for heavy sustain and does not suffer from feedback.
- Semi-Hollow Body guitars combine the qualities of acoustic and electric guitars, where both worlds remain in harmony. While sometimes suffering from feedback, these guitars are some of the most versatile instruments, capable of both sustain and clean sound.
- Hollow-Body, or otherwise known as acoustic electric guitars, are the original electric guitars. These suffer from feedback the most, but also have the full capabilities of an acoustic guitar. They are unable to perform with sustain as well as the other two, because of feedback, and are usually bought for their ability to amplify clean sound without the need for a mic.
- Are you looking for a specific design? There are some iconic designs on the list that you might find fitting for your instrument, or you might be looking for something unique. Either way, in the world of the best electric guitars you will end up finding something you find attractive.
Thing is, no matter what your specification are, the only perfect or best electric guitar is the one you find to be the best for you. So go over this list many times before you actually choose. So that in the end your guitar reflects who you are.
If you have ever wondered what despair sounds like, take a gander at the now critically acclaimed but once a critically failed song, Since I’ve Been Loving You by the good, old Led Zeppelin. Some of you might actually hate them and that is perfectly natural. I do have one question for you: how can you deny Jimmy Page’s almost indecent ability to make the guitar cry the tears of true, stretched, heavy emotion? Now, I might be biased, but I feel like every note in this song is dedicated to making you feel the harrowing nature of a love so strong and insane that it cannot be requited the same way. I might be subjective in this case, judging by how I Love Zeppelin, but I cannot help but feel Jimmy Page pulling at the strings of my heart as I listen to his guitar. Proof, once more, that there are few instruments in the world, that are any better than the guitar at making you feel the heavy, almost unbearable, part of what makes us so human.
Even the best musicians require the best electric guitars to play our emotions right. Which is why this list was made – there is nothing more in the world that I’d like than to have another one of you darn musicians play with my feelings. Maybe, one day, when I break up with my next girlfriend, I’ll be listening to your song instead of Since I’ve Been Loving You. Or maybe I’ll be listening to it when I fall in love again. Whichever it is, I hope I helped you find whatever you were looking for.