1. Best Overall: Squier Classic Vibe 60's Stratocaster
Ten years ago, we were in a considerably worse situation than we are today when purchasing an electric guitar for less than $500. More and more of us are choosing low-priced instruments. Thus, it's crucial that they can withstand regular usage. Squier is one of the all-time greats in the budget guitar market, producing excellent tools for very little money (particularly in the Classic Vibe series). In contrast, other companies in the budget market have a more hit-or-miss track record.
2. Best Easy to Use: Epiphone SG Standard Electric Guitar
You won't find a more recognizable rock guitar than the SG. It's no surprise that the SG is included in our list of the greatest electric guitars for under $500, given the extensive list of legendary guitarists who have used them, including Tony Iommi, Angus Young, and Derek Trucks. Les Paul isn't even close to matching its level of popularity. The SG's signature sound is a punchy, mid-heavy tone that can be pushed to extremes with some high amplification. When you turn it down, it produces some beautiful clean tones, but we don't think that's why you're looking for an SG in the first place.
3. Best Wooden Guitar: Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar
It's safe to say that Yamaha makes some of the finest guitars available. There are fancier, more costly options available for less than $500, but none compare to the value offered by the Yamaha Pacifica 112V. For a long time, the Pacifica has been the gold standard for entry-level guitars, and the 112V lives up to our lofty expectations. While it's true that this guitar has been stripped down to the bare essentials, that's not always a bad thing.
4. Best Vintage Style: Epiphone Les Paul Special VE (Ebony)
The Epiphone Les Paul Junior is the best guitar on the market if you value ease of use above all else. Gibson marketed it as a student-friendly model, but it became a legend in punk and rock circles because of its no-nonsense style and bright, snappy sound. The mahogany slab body, mahogany neck, and single dog-ear P90 pickup on this Epiphone clone keep things nice and simple.
5. Best Adjustable Truss Rod: Kramer Baretta Special Maple Neck
Of all the vintage guitar manufacturers making a comeback, Kramer is high on our want list. By the '80s, Kramer had established itself as the go-to manufacturer of high-end Strat-like guitars for almost every playing style. We've always liked the Baretta, but now that a "special" version has been produced for less than $200, we don't want to pass it up. This guitar has a mahogany body with a maple neck and fingerboard, creating a harmonious blend of tone and playability.
Last update on 2023-01-31 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Is it difficult to learn the electric guitar?
Electric guitars are often the simplest to play because they have thinner strings and reduced "action," making pushing the strings down simpler. Additionally, the necks are often more delicate, which is advantageous in the beginning.
2. How do I pick my first electric guitar?
A simple guitar to play and maintain pitch is essential for beginners. But the tone, body type, electronics, and cosmetics are all important. Beginners often have a favorite guitarist who motivates them to practice. Look into the guitars that your idol plays and attempt to emulate them.
If you're looking for the best electric guitar under $500, you should first listen to the sound in your brain. Could it be darker and warmer? Slenderer and sleeker? Between the two? The best way to get started is to research the guitars used by your favorite musicians or the people you want to emulate.