Should Beginners Invest in An Expensive Electric Guitar?

Should Beginners Invest in An Expensive Electric Guitar?

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Over the past two years, many people have been encouraged to pick up the guitar as a hobby. A recent report on guitar users by Business Insider even notes that around 72 million people play the guitar. Of this number, 7% are beginner guitar players. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of players were inspired to learn after consuming guitar content on social media, particularly TikTok.

Given this popularity, guitar companies have provided plenty of guitar options for buyers with diverse prices and styles. For beginners, this means electric guitars are more accessible than ever. Yet this doesn’t mean that finding the right model for you will be any easier. In order to find the right setup for your specific needs, certain considerations must taken into account. If you’re thinking of buying your own electric guitar, here are a few things you should think about:

Is it even worth buying an expensive electric guitar?

Before even considering what guitar to buy, you must first consider your own needs. As shared in our post on “What Age is Best to Start Guitar Lessons?” it may not be wise to invest in an expensive guitar for children as they first need to be interested in practicing consistently. Furthermore, younger children might be unable to play an otherwise good guitar model because it’s too heavy for them.

If you’re a teenager or an adult, you’ll want to consider your personal preferences before making a purchase. Depending on your preferred type of music and musical venue, an acoustic guitar may be a better choice than an electrical one for music style and portability. Additionally, if you have any specific musical idols, you may want to take a cue from their gear. For instance, fans of Jimi Hendrix will likely be happier on a Stratocaster, one of the most iconic guitar models on Rolling Stone.

How much do quality electric guitars cost?

Getting a quality electric guitar won’t be cheap. You also have to consider the price of additional equipment—like pedals and amplifiers—when you’re first starting out. An intermediate electric guitar model may cost around $500, while high-end electric guitars may cost above $1,000.

Many beginners and even professionals lean toward combo amps, which combine the technical sound processing and speaker unit into one amplifier. It’s essential to note that even the best electric guitar will sound bad with a terrible amp, so if you’re investing in a mid-range combo amplifier, it may cost anywhere from $250 to $750. In most cases, more expensive guitars from trusted brands tend to have better hardware, design, and quality electronics. All in all, this can cost you a pretty penny.

Is an expensive electric guitar easier to play?

Overall, electric guitars are often considered easier to play as they have a thinner body and neck with lighter strings. This allows better access to the frets and helps develop finger posture on the fretboard much faster than acoustic guitars. Furthermore, we mentioned earlier that expensive electric guitars tend to have greater overall build quality than cheaper ones while having hardware that is relatively easy to connect to an amplifier.

Having said that, even cheaper electric guitars can be good enough for practice if you enlist the help of a guitar technician. At the end of the day, though, a guitar that’s easier to play doesn’t mean it will sound better. Even high-end electric guitars can sound terrible without proper practice, so it’s important to factor in the time you’ll spend practicing when thinking about how much nicer a specific model can sound.

Tips on buying expensive electric guitars

Once you’ve made up your mind to get a pricier guitar, it’s essential that you do your research on the best kind of electric guitar for you. If you look at the famous electric guitar brands available on Adorama such as Fender, you’ll notice that there are different specifications to consider. These specs include cutaway, fret number, string number, whammy bar, and even guitar finish. All of these factors can influence your playing style and musical sound. You can also opt to purchase a second-hand guitar or ones in a set which includes a guitar bag and amplifier to help you save on costs while still availing of good quality equipment.

Before making a purchase, it’s crucial that you first try the guitar model at a physical store. Beginners can try holding a few frets and strumming some notes to assess how it sounds and feels. You can also consult online resources that review your desired guitar model to give you an idea of its tone. This will ensure that you’re buying an electric guitar with all the right information in your hands.

As someone starting just out, it’s up to you to decide whether you are ready for a long-term investment such as an expensive electric guitar. Once you decide to take this pricey leap, regular practice and proper maintenance can see you becoming a full-fledged electric guitar maven.

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Rick is the founder of All Stringed. He started playing with a classical guitar when he was 10, but changed soon to electric guitar and later also to an acoustic. You can find more about him here.