I have been playing an acoustic guitar for 3 years. Now I want to try my hands on electric guitar and I am going to buy an electric guitar soon. My budget is 200 to 300 usd. My question is what things we must consider while selecting the guitar so that we come out with the best guitar from the shop?

  • 1
    Don't buy anything online is my advice to you, touch it, hear it and decide in a shop if you will be able to live with the instrument
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 12:03

3 Answers 3


If you have a guitar teacher or friend who plays electric a lot (not just a school kid who can manage 'Stairway to Heaven'), take them with you. Two sets of eyes are better than one.

You're going to need an amp, tuner and a cable as well. You may find a bundle deal that throws everything in for you. Test every guitar through the same amp, and don't have the distortion or reverb switched on all the time - you want to hear the guitar.

When testing the guitar, play every string at every fret (even the dusty ones above 12th fret). You're not playing a tune, you're looking for buzzes. If you get any, look for another guitar, or (if you really like the guitar) get the store tech to fix the problem for free.

Check that the neck is straight. The guitar tech in the store will be able to test that for you, but looking down the fingerboard will reveal any major problems.

Make sure there are no crackles when you use any rotary controls on the guitar.

Look for a low action. Action is generally a preference thing, but a lower action will be easier on fingers. Electrics are usually lower action and lighter strings than acoustics.

Check that there are no missing screws on the scratchplate, bridge, tuners, back of the guitar, etc. A missing screw indicates that someone has messed with the guitar badly (a decent tech won't lose a screw...)

Check that the tuners are smooth and not loose.

Buy a new set of strings (or negotiate them into the deal) with the guitar; you don't know how long the ones on it have been there, and good strings make a decent guitar sing.

Don't go over budget. Consider used guitars (always try for a deep discount), and accept that after a year playing electric, you'll probably feel the need to upgrade.


From my personal experience:

  1. Look at different guitars and select a shape that you like.

    2a. Ask who the manufacturer is!

    2b. Take it into your hands, hold it a while and feel its weight and shape. Do you like it?

  2. Play a little and see if it sounds okay. Play different things. Try slides and most certainly play in all positions on all strings. See if your hand is comfy.

  3. Ask someone to connect it to an amplifier. Keep playing.

  4. Ask for its parameters and read them.

  5. If you like it, buy it, else go to step 1 and repeat.

P.s. There is no best guitar, all guitars are different, but some can be cheap in quality and sound. Try different guitars on one amp with one setting. Search for second-hand guitars, you might find a good one, a store isn't the only place you can find a guitar in.

  • 5
    Not worth a separate answer, but might be worth adding to yours. Check out used models too - many a bargain to be had. Though last time I did that I ended up with a '64 daphne blue Strat... not exactly the 300 buck bargain I'd set out for ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:50

We have some guidlines here

Quite important is to choose guitar with right pickups There is broad choice of mixed pickups guitar and vanilla ones. Guitar with one type of pickup will be more specialized while more types of pickups will give more varied sounds. It is possible to change pickups but exchange cost may overcome beginners guitar.

Also there are different preferences about bridge: Hard tail -- easy to set up and change tuning but no Vibrato arm Movable bridge -- different types of bridges vary in vibrato effect range and how complicated setup is. It is possible to block it if it causes problems.

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