For many aspiring electric guitar buyers, price is the primary concern. Given the plethora of brands, designs, and models available, our financial limitations guide our choices from the beginning to the end, irrespective of our musical prowess. In this piece, we'll delve into the average pricing of an electric guitar for those unfamiliar with the market.
Entry-Level Electric Guitars
Beginner guitarists generally lean toward entry-level electric guitars as their introduction to the instrument. These more budget-friendly guitars are made in East and Southeast Asian countries like China, Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam. They are usually mass-produced, using more economical materials.
Iconic electric guitar manufacturers often have helpful lines for beginners. For example, Fender's Squier and Gibson's Epiphone Famous sub-brands replicate their parent company's famous models using simpler designs and more affordable materials.
This strategy allows budding musicians to own a reasonably priced guitar, get used to its features, gauge their passion for the instrument, and, if desired, upgrade to a more premium model later.
The Squier Affinity, the Ibanez G.R.G., and the Epiphone Les Paul series are highly recommended for a decent entry-level guitar. Additionally, emerging brands such as Harley Benton and Donner, which hail from China, are gaining traction for offering quality beginner guitars at an impressive price.
Mid-Level Electric Guitars
Intermediate guitars represent quality from beginner instruments, boasting superior materials and construction and sustaining mass production. Priced between $400 and $1000, these guitars offer an attractive choice for beginners looking to improve their musical equipment.
Featuring upgraded tonewoods, pickups, hardware, and electronics, intermediate guitars offer improved playability through refined designs and enhanced sound quality attributed to superior pickups and electronics systems.
Typically, intermediate guitars serve as a second purchase for musicians on their tonal journey. Their production is spread across numerous global locations, including prominent manufacturing countries such as China, Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Notably, Japan and Mexico take center stage in manufacturing mid-range electric guitars, with rare versions originating directly from the United States.
Among mid-level electric guitar models, standout series include the Fender Player Series, the Ibanez RG Series, and the P.R.S. S.E. Series. These choices promise a superior musical experience, perfectly adapting to studio, home, and even live performance settings, making them versatile companions for musicians at different stages of their artistic journey.
High-End Electric Guitars
Entering the realm above the $1,000 mark, high-end electric guitars are tools for seasoned professionals who frequent the stage and studio. Meticulously crafted, these instruments embody artistry and precision, often bearing the hallmarks of partial or full craftsmanship.
Serving as reliable workhorses, professional electric guitars accommodate the demands of frequent, high-level use in studio and live settings. Every aspect, from top-level tonewoods to pickups, hardware, and electronics, contributes to impeccable playability and sonic excellence.
At this juncture, guitarists chart their artistic identity, tone preferences, and instrument expectations. Hence, professional guitars exist across a spectrum of tones and playing styles to meet the needs of different musicians.
Consider, for example, how certain models meet heavy metal ferocity, adopting aggressive styles such as shredding. In contrast, others find their strength in the sweet realm of blues, jazz, and smooth playing techniques.
Many high-end guitars, especially those over the $2500 threshold, proudly bear the "Made in the U.S.A." label, a testament to their handcrafted originality and premium quality. This distinction, often associated with professional brands like Fender and Gibson, contributes to their enduring value over time.
While mid-level guitars serve most guitarists well, the rigors of making a living focusing on guitar performance demand the top-of-the-line instrument. Notable among the professional guitar model series are the Ibanez Prestige range, the Fender American Professional II series, and the iconic Gibson SG and Les Paul series, which exemplify the height of musical craftsmanship and power.
How Much Do Used Electric Guitars Cost?
In the contemporary landscape, the thriving second-hand guitar market owes its strength to technological advances and the expansive realm of the Internet. Platforms like Reverb and eBay have become fertile ground for significant deals.
In this vibrant market, a second-hand electric guitar appears to be a wise choice, often presenting price tags 20% to 40% lower than their new counterparts of the same model, depending on their condition. Furthermore, a compelling advantage lies in the enduring value of the guitar, boasting mid-to-high-level quality. These instruments retain their value remarkably well over time. As a result, the prospect of reselling a used guitar at the same price, if not at a premium, becomes a real possibility, further underlining the financial prudence of exploring the second-hand market.
Why Does an Electric Guitar Cost More?
Numerous factors contribute to the elevated price tag of electric guitars in comparison to their counterparts:
Top-tier electric guitars frequently incorporate superior woods like mahogany or maple, accompanied by bespoke elements like handcrafted pickups. These factors collectively propel the cost upwards.
Electric guitars necessitate an array of electronic parts, including pickups and wiring, along with hardware like tuners and bridges. Premium models opt for top-notch components like artisanal pickups and locking tuners, amplifying the overall expense.
Incorporating personalised touches like distinctive finishes and intricate inlays can significantly augment the final expenditure of an electric guitar.
Brand Aura: Renowned electric guitar brands celebrated for their eminence and command of heftier prices attributed to their distinguished reputation.
A significant portion of high-end electric guitars is meticulously handcrafted by proficient luthiers, thereby magnifying the production cost.
In summation, the price tag associated with an electric guitar fluctuates extensively based on the quality of raw materials, intricacy of electronics and hardware, extent of customization choices, influence of brand standing, and expenditure on skilled craftsmanship. Hence, procuring an electric guitar requires thoughtful analysis of your requisites and financial considerations.
What Affects Electric Guitar Price?
As previously discussed, a substantial divide exists between high-end and low-end electric guitars, a distinction from various influential factors dictating guitar pricing. Elements like production origin, wood calibre, hardware excellence, and brand credibility contribute significantly to an electric guitar's cost. For a comprehensive comprehension of electric guitar construction, it's worthwhile to delve into the various constituents that collectively shape these instruments.
Location Of Production
The choice of production country holds significant weight, serving as a key indicator of the meticulousness applied to details and the methodologies employed during manufacturing. Notably, entry-level guitars, often under $500, go into mass production in China or neighboring countries, falling short of the meticulous quality control and attention to minutiae observed in their U.S.A. counterparts.
Furthermore, the elevated wages characteristic of countries like the U.S.A., Japan, and various European nations naturally contribute to escalated production costs.
While the effect of tonewood may not be as pronounced as its acoustic counterpart on electric guitars, it does have a noticeable effect on enhancing tonal quality. As a result, premium electric guitars often feature rarer or superior wood varieties, reflected in their price points. Beyond the type of wood, the treatment and processing of the wood also play a role in the overall sonic outcome of the instrument.
When it comes to electric guitars, the importance of hardware quality rivals that of tonewood quality. The centerpiece of the hardware is the pickups, which greatly impact the instrument's tonal characteristics. Complementing these are tuners, helping to maintain tuning stability, while the bridge improves tremolo technique. Furthermore, electronics contribute to expanding the guitar's tonal range, which completely shapes a melodic musical experience.
Regarding market dynamics, the lure of brand reliability exerts a significant influence, often resulting in significant price increases. This phenomenon is particularly evident in the case of iconic electric guitar manufacturers with venerable names such as Fender, Gibson, and Suhr. These brands have earned a reputation for making exceptional guitars with fine craftsmanship and distinct aesthetics. As a result, the price point of their instruments exceeds that of comparable brands despite similarities in component caliber and manufacturing locale.
How Much Should You Spend on an Electric Guitar?
Starting your electric guitar-playing journey requires a budget of at least $500, including the instrument itself and the necessary accompanying gear. Conveniently, comprehensive electric guitar bundles include a range of essential components for a seamless start to playing.
A protective case is needed to protect your device; fabric bags can be in the $15 to $90 range, while premium variants can stretch up to $300. Alternatively, although slightly more expensive, the hard case option offers superior protection, with average models falling between $50 and $100 and higher-end versions costing $300 to $400.
When completing the addition, additional essentials include a guitar pick, a guitar strap, a guitar tuner, and additional strings, collectively estimated to cost an additional $50. As such, cumulative costs to assemble a comprehensive set start at around $500, with numerous bundle options built around entry-level guitars for this price bracket.
Is it easy to learn electric guitar?
Learning to play basic chords and simple melodies is often realized quickly, providing a sense of accomplishment. However, progressing to more complex techniques, such as complex solos and advanced scales, and understanding the nuances of various effects pedals can require significant time and effort. In essence, the ease of learning electric guitar depends on a combination of personal inclination, consistent practice, and a willingness to embrace both the highs and lows of the learning curve.
The ease of learning electric guitar can also depend on a person's prior musical experience. Those who have already learned to play other instruments can get a head start on understanding music theory, rhythm, and basic techniques, making the transition to electric guitar smooth.
Learning electric guitar can range from relatively easy to quite challenging, with the final result depending on factors such as personal dedication, musical background, learning resources, and willingness to persevere in the face of adversity. With consistent practice, a positive attitude, and a passion for music, individuals can navigate the learning process and discover the immense joy and creative possibilities of playing the electric guitar.
Check out our No.1 recommendation for learning guitar by clicking below:
Buying A Used Electric Guitar
Exploring the option of buying a second-hand guitar adds another dimension to your choices. Regardless of your selection, the most important thing is that the guitar aligns with your preferences and needs. The guitar's condition carries significant weight, directly affecting its sonic output - the better the condition, the louder the sound. Before finalizing a purchase, testing the guitar in person is highly advisable. Even if you're not good at playing, being physically involved with the instrument is crucial to establishing comfort and a tactile connection.
Venturing into online platforms offers advantages yet presents limitations. Acquiring a guitar from the Internet denies you the opportunity to play it in person and familiarize yourself with it. Concerns also arise about the instrument's condition, as it is only sometimes guaranteed the careful care it has received. Still, if you still have faith in an online purchase, it's worth noting that many platforms now test their guitars before sale, upping the reliability factor. However, the tactile experience of holding and playing the instrument must be included.
For a more comprehensive guide on this topic, I recommend checking out my article titled "Buying a Used Electric Guitar - 17 Useful Tips You Must Know," where I delve deeper into the intricacies of this topic.
The price spectrum for electric guitars spans a significant range, starting at $100 and rising into the hundreds of dollars for professional caliber instruments. As a benchmark, introductory electric guitars typically hover around the $300 mark, while mid-range options gravitate toward $750 and premium instruments soar past the $1000 threshold.
Notably, the incidental costs of essential gear must also be factored in, including components such as amplifiers, protective cases, picks, cables, straps, tuners, and extra strings. For those starting their guitar journey, it's wise to explore bundled packages that provide a comprehensive starting point, including the guitar itself and all the necessary accessories, accelerating your entry into the world of music.