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What's the Best Electric Guitar if You're On a Budget?

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Buying a guitar can be the most rewarding experience, especially when you know what you are looking for when buying a new instrument. However, looking at the price tag of instruments is always stressful and can make the process of deciding on an instrument really stressful! To help with this process, it is best to first decide on what features you are looking for in an instrument. Ask yourself questions like what type of guitar can help me develop my playing style? Should I get a guitar with single coil or humbucker pickups? Do I really need a tremolo system like a Floyd Rose Bridge?

When asking these questions, it’s important to decide what features you need and what features you don’t need. For developing players, I always recommend getting a guitar that is incredibly versatile in it’s tone qualities. This will allow each player to explore the tones needed for most styles of play. I personally have used only one electric guitar for over 12 years. The versatility of the instrument has allowed me to explore all genres without sacrificing tone quality.

So what guitar is indeed the best guitar on a budget? Well, that depends on your definition of “budget.” For the purpose of this article, we will consider our budget anywhere from $300-$600. This is an incredible reasonable price range for guitars. Anything below this price range could potentially be a risky purchase. That doesn’t mean that great guitars do not exist under $300, but anything below that price point will likely sacrifice some constructive element of the guitar that might compromise your satisfaction with your purchase.

The first guitar on the list is the PRS SE Standard:

This instrument offers the most versatility for the price. At $649, it is right at the top of our budget. The playability of these instruments is superb, while the PRS 85/15 S pickups provide a sweet range of tonal versatility. This guitar also features a coil tap, which allows for more tonal range than a traditional guitar with humbucker style pickups. The last great feature on this instrument is the PRS tremolo system. This patented system is much easier to control when compared to a floating bridge like a Floyd Rose.

The second guitar on the list is the Schecter Omen Extreme-6:

This guitar offers many of the same qualities as the PRS SE Standard, but with a sleeker look and incredibly nice finish for the price! Remember when I mentioned earlier that I’ve only played one electric guitar for 12 years? That guitar is a Schecter! This brand offers some of the best features at incredibly affordable prices. This one is priced at $499! These instruments exhibit the qualities of guitars that retail for over $1000!

The third guitar on the list is the G&L Tribute Legacy Special:

If you are looking for the classic “Stratocaster” look and feel without paying too much, then this is your instrument. It features the classic trio of single coil pickups that provide you with the bright tones of a strat style guitar. Another great feature that I love about this instrument is the beautiful maple fretboard!

Next on the list is the Yamaha PAC112V Electric Guitar:

Over the last several years, I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of instruments produced by Yamaha. This guitar exceeds the expectations from the modest price of $299. This guitar features a S/S/H pickup configuration that produces exquisite tones for the price!

Last on the list is the Squire Classic Vibe ‘50s Telecaster:

I know, I know! Squire is not entirely known for their quality. However, over the last few years, these instruments have improved tremendously in their construction and quality features. If you want that tele style, but don’t want to pay the big bucks, consider this your first stop on trying out guitars!

In conclusion, there’s a great selection of quality instruments that are affordable and can fit almost any budget! Please remember that it is always best to go to your local music shop and try before you buy! The last thing you want to do is end up with an instrument that you don’t enjoy playing! I hope you enjoyed this article!