How Much Does An Electric Guitar Cost? Novice, Advanced, Pro


Recently, one of my closest friends decided to buy an electric guitar. He came to me for some guidelines on which electric guitar he should buy and what price he should expect. Once I helped him, I thought it would be a great idea to share the information with you as well. Hopefully, it will help you as well

So, how much does an electric guitar cost?

  • An average/decent guitar would cost something around $500.
  • Beginner guitars cost between $100-$400.
  • Intermediate guitars cost between $400-$900.
  • Higher-end/advance guitars cost between $1000-$2500.
  • Professional/guitars cost $2500- and above.

Playing an instrument like an electric guitar is an affordable activity. If you are just a beginner, then you do not have to spend a lot of money to get a quality instrument that will meet your needs.   

Choosing The Right Electric Guitar

In short, you need to buy a guitar according to your budget and skill. If you are a beginner, then you may be a little hesitant to spend a lot of money on your first guitar. This is fine and acceptable. But there is a chance that you will continue to learn and play. It would be better to get a guitar that will be suited for you as you improve. Depending on your budget, you can buy from the following categories:

  • Low end guitars cost Under $100: There are many options in this range that beginners can select from. Almost every major guitar company or brand has a low budget series. You won’t be able to get Fender Stratocaster but you can opt for its more affordable younger brother Squier. You have to take into account that these are low budget guitars and you would have to compromise a lot on material, pickups, and hardware.   
  • Beginner guitars cost between $100 – $400: As the price goes higher, you get more options. This is the ultimate price point for a beginner. Usually, the guitars in this range are upgrades of the less expensive models. These upgrades can come in the form of better hardware, woods, construction methods, cosmetics, and electronics.  
  • Intermediate guitars cost between $400 – $900: If you think that it is impossible to get American Gibson or Fender for under a thousand dollars then you are maybe wrong. One of the most iconic electric guitars of all time, the Gibson Les Paul falls in this category. Occasionally, you can get them for $800-$999. You can also get Fender American Special Stratocaster for under a 1000 dollars.
  • Top end guitars cost between $1000 – $2500: This is an ideal range to spend on a guitar if you have acquired the skills and know the music you are going to play. This would get you a premium quality guitar that can satisfy even the most discerning players. Gibson Flying V, Fender American Original ‘60s Stratocaster is a few top notch guitars that you can buy in this range.
  • Professional guitars cost 2500$ and above: The guitars in this range are for the pros. Steve Vai’s signature guitar the Ibanez JEM7V is a top of the line 6 string solid body capable of exploring the most extreme sonic territories at any speed. If you have the budget and skills, you can definitely buy top notch guitars in this range used by the like of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.
Related Post
If you are interested more in acoustic guitar and want to know how much they cost, check out my post How Much Does An Acoustic Guitar Cost? (13 Examples)

Beginner Guitars:

When talking about the first guitar for a beginner player, there are many factors that should be considered. One of the main ones is the price. Beginner players aren’t really ready to invest a large sum of money for something that they might abandon or get bored of. They are usually a lot of lower quality and the price is adjusted accordingly. I mentioned several guitars here according to the standard of the country. Beginner price would not be the same in the USA and India for example. But there are still lots of options for a good beginner guitar that will help you on your journey.

Beginners guitar costs between $100 and $400.


USAIndiaPhilippines
1.Jackson DinkySquier by Fender Bullet StratocasterEpiphone Les Paul SL
2.Squier by Fender Affinity StratocasterIbanex GRX 40Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster HSS.
3.Epiphone Les Paul StudioJuarez JRZ ST01Yamaha Pacifica 112V OVS
4.Epiphone SG G310Vault RG1RWIbanez Series GRG140
5.Ibanez GIO GRX20ZSquier by Fender Affinity StratocasterESP LTD EC-10 KIT

Squier

When it comes to cheaper, more affordable models, I would always go for Squier. There are several series that come to this price range: Bullet Squier, which is the cheapest; Affinity with better wood and hardware but still affordable. No matter which series you choose, you will have both HSS and SSS option available. HSS means that there will be a humbucker pickup in the bridge position, while SSS will have three single coil pickups.

Specifications:

  • Solid body
  • hss or sss pickups
  • Basswood or Agathis (for Affinity) body
  • Tremolo bridge
  • Bolt-on neck; maple with rosewood or Laurel

Epiphone

Epiphone is a semi affordable guitar. The price can go much higher than other low-cost guitars. Similar to Squier, they are a sub company of Gibson, creating more affordable guitars with the same idea. They create all models like Gibson: SG, Les Paul, ES-335, etc… They usually have two humbuckers each.

Specifications

  • Solid body
  • Humbucker pickups
  • Fixed bridge
  • Mahogany neck
  • Mahogany body

Jackson

Dinky is one of the most recognizable guitars ever. If you are a metal fan, you probably own either Jackson Dinky or Ibanez. They are quite affordable and you will surely be satisfied with this pick if you are into more heavier music genre.

Specifications:

  • A solid Poplar body
  • HSH or HH pickups combination
  • Bolt on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • A fixed bridge or Floyd Rose

Ibanez

Ibanez got famous thanks to Steve Vai and his unique EVO series of Ibanez guitars. They are created for shredding! Of course, his signature model is a bit expensive, but you can always opt for more affordable versions of Ibanez guitars. They are usually picked by metal or hard rock guitar players. The prices for Ibanez guitars can vary. One of the best things about Ibanez is that you can buy their model for $250 or for $2500 and everything in between!

Specifications:

  • A solid Mahogany body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • HSH, HH or HSS pickup combination
  • Tremolo bridge or Floyd Rose

Yamaha

Yamaha guitars have been well known and they create one of the best acoustic guitars in their price range. Their famous Yamaha Pacifica has been “the first guitar” for many players that started learning.

Specifications:

  • A solid Alder body
  • Bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fretboard
  • HSS pickup combination
  • Tremolo bridge

ESP

While this guitar looks similar to Les Paul at first glance, over the years ESP has created a unique style for their guitars. ESP guitar will be a lot heavier than LP, which makes it perfect for playing metal or hard rock.

Specifications:

  • Solid body
  • HH pickup combination
  • Two potentiometers
  • Fixed bridge
  • Basswood body
  • Rosewood neck

Vault and Juarez

While Vault guitars are not the best guitars you can get, they are certainly affordable. The entire design is based on the Fender Stratocaster and it is a good option for someone who wants to start learning but is not willing to invest a lot of money. Juarez guitars are copies of Ibanez, which means that there’ll be HSH combination, tremolo bridge, and flame maple tops. Great for beginners

Intermediate Guitars:

The intermediate can be really great instruments and some of the instruments in this price range could be very close to pro level guitars, but there are factors like brands and a bit lower quality of materials used. Similar to beginner models, the country standard is a big factor for choosing these type of guitars.

Intermediate guitar costs between  $400 and $900

In each item of the table, there are two links available to you.

  • More info – will take you to a brief about the brand of the guitar and its specification.
  • Check price on Amazon – will be available for you to check the current price on Amazon if that item is available on your local Amazon store.

USAIndiaPhilippines
1.Squier by Fender Classic Vibe StratocasterIbanez RG421EXEpiphone G400 Pro SG
2.Squier by Fender Standard StratocasterSchecter C-6Tagima TLP Les Paul EG-535
3.Yamaha RevstarEpiphone Slash LP Special IIChapman Ghost Fret Explorer
4.Epiphone CasinoSquier by Fender Classic Vibe StratocasterChapman ML-1 Cap10 HSH Strat
5.Gretsch G5439ESP LTD ViperSquier by Fender Vintage Modified

Squier

Now let’s talk about more serious guitars. While these guitars aren’t the best you can get, they are actually pretty good. When we talk about more expensive Squiers which are over $500, you can be sure that you will get an amazing instrument. George Harrison from the Beatles and Chris Rea both played Squier guitars during their carriers. Classic Vibe Series of Squier has that original Fender vibe for a half or a third of a price. These models are usually inspired by the ‘60s or ‘50s models. One piece maple neck, vintage bridge, vintage pickups will make sure that your guitar both sounds and look incredible.

Specifications:

  • Original body shape made of alder
  • Modern “c” neck, one piece maple
  • SSS pickup configuration
  • Vintage tremolo bridge
  • Famous “skunk stripe” made of walnut

Yamaha

When we talk about more expensive Yamaha guitars, Yamaha Revstar is one of the best for its price. With a unique shape and standard Yamaha quality, this guitar will surely be a great instrument for intermediate players. The price range for this Revstar guitar is around $500.

Specifications:

  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Solid mahogany body
  • Maple top
  • Glued neck; mahogany
  • 2 alnico pickups

Epiphone

Like previous models, you will have an option to choose between SG, Les Paul or any other Gibson models. Similar to Squier guitars, you can get guitar that is a lot better for more money. It is important to mention that the price would still be a lot lower than original Gibson guitars. They look amazing, feel amazing, and will satisfy any Gibson lover out there. You can choose from standard and even signature artist models.

Specifications:

  • Hollow body for ES and Casino models, Solid for Les Paul and SG
  • Set-in mahogany neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard, there are options with mahogany
  • Humbucker pickups
  • Unique Gibson shape and style
  • Fixed bridge

Schecter

Schecter started its carrier as a Fender mod company. They used old Fender guitars and add modifications according to the customer’s desires. During the years, they managed to develop their own style and unique feel. One of the most famous models is Schecter C-6. Usually picked by heavier players like hard rock and metal, this guitar is one of the best for intermediate players and price range below $1000.

Specifications:

  • Mahogany body
  • Poplar top
  • Bolt-on Neck
  • Ultra thin C shape
  • Three piece maple neck with carbon reinforcement
  • Schecter humbucker pickups
  • Push/pull potentiometer
  • Hardtail bridge

Chapman

Chapman guitars are relatively new to the market. Created by Rob Chapman, all these guitars have slight modifications and a lot of improvements compared to all the guitars that are in the market. The price for these guitars is over $500 and can go a lot higher. They are somewhere in between intermediate and pro level models and price.

Specifications:

  • Mahogany body
  • Maple neck
  • Bolt-on neck for lower price models
  • Ebony fretboard
  • 2 Chapman humbucker pickups
  • Fixed bridge
  • Laminated maple top

Top End Guitars

Top end guitars or pro level would be something you see when you go to Clapton’s show. They are very expensive but you can be sure that you’ll get the best there is. The country is not a huge factor for these top end instruments because you’ll have to pay a lot no matter where you live.

Top end guitar costs between $1000 and $2500.


USIndiaPhilippines
1.Fender Stratocaster Standard (or Elite Series)Ibanez Prestige SeriesESP Eclipse
2.Gibson Les Paul 1960Fender American SpecialFender Stratocaster Standard
3.Fender TelecasterGibson Les Paul StandardGibson Les Paul
4.Gibson SGESP HorizonIbanez EVO
5.PRS CustomGibson ES-335Sterling by Music Man

Fender

Fender is one of the greatest guitar manufacturer ever. Amongst a variety of their models, two stand up. Fender Stratocaster and Fender Telecaster. These guitars are top of the shelf models and have been the go-to guitar for many players throughout history. Because of the master crafter, their skill, and high-quality materials, these guitars will cost over $1500. American Standard Stratocaster is made in the USA and you can be sure that you’ll get one of the best guitars in the world.

Specifications:

  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Either rosewood or maple fretboard (one piece maple)
  • Tremolo bridge
  • SSS, HSS, HSH pickup combination. HH is a bit rarer, but still possible
  • Fender pickups
  • Solid body
  • Bolt-on neck

Gibson

We already mentioned many companies copying their models, and now let’s talk about the original. Gibson has been creating electric guitars for over 70 years. Whether you choose Les Paul, SG, ES-335, or any other model, you can be sure that the guitar you got is worth the money. Similar to Fender, you’ll have to pay a larger sum of money for one of these beauties. Gibson guitar can be around $2000 and more.

Specifications:

  • Mahogany body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Glued neck
  • 2 Gibson humbuckers
  • Solid body for SG and Les Paul and Semi-hollow for ES-335, or other ES models
  • A fixed bridge or Bigsby tremolo system

PRS

Made famous by Carlos Santana, these guitars have become one of the famous and more expensive guitars for professional musicians. Their unique design, beautiful flame maple tops, and unique sound made PRS guitars one of the go-to models for players like Santana.

Specifications:

  • Solid body
  • Bolt on neck
  • Mahogany body
  • Flame maple top
  • PRS Bridge
  • PRS humbucker pickups
  • Rosewood fingerboard with bird inlay
  • Mahogany neck

ESP

ESP is a Japanese company. They started creating guitars similar to Schecter. During the time they developed their own style and way to create instruments. During the years, guitarists like James Hetfield and other thrash metal players started playing ESP guitars more often. They are usually associated with the metal genre. While they are somewhat similar to Stratocaster in shape, the tone is much different and a lot heavier.

Specifications:

  • Bolt on neck
  • Solid body
  • Either fixed bridge or Floyd Rose
  • EMG Humbuckers, most of the time
  • Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard

Ibanez

Ibanez guitars are created as another superstrat model. Since then they have inspired many players and became the first and the main instrument for them. Famous JEM EVO model, designed by guitarist Steve Vai, has a similar Stratocaster shape, but HSH pickup combination.

Specifications:

  • Solid alder body
  • Maple bolt-on neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Floyd Rose
  • Unique “tree of life” inlay
  • DiMarzio pickups
  • HSH combination

Music Man

Guitar players like John Petrucci and Steve Morse (from Deep Purple) have been playing Music Man for years. The guitar is perfect for shredding and has incredible tone variety. From soft clean to a heavy hard rock sound. This guitar can do anything. Six strings, seven, SSS, HH, HSH, you name it. The choice is incredible and the price is according to that. While this has never been a super affordable instrument, you can be sure that it is one of the best guitars created.

Specifications:

  • Solid body
  • Fixed bridge, tremolo or Floyd Rose
  • HH, HSH, SSS, HSS pickup combination
  • Body made of Basswood, poplar, swamp ash, mahogany
  • Bolt on neck made of maple or mahogany
  • Fretboard made of Rosewood, maple or laurel.

Luxury Guitars

It is worth mentioning that there are guitars who aren’t really a lot better than pro level guitars but can cost a lot more because of their rarity or exclusivity.

Guitars like Gretsch White Falcon can go up to $10000, and signature models of the mentioned guitars are sold for even higher. There is always Fender’s Custom Shop models, where you can contact their master crafter and design the guitar according to your wishes. You can choose the neck profile, any color you can imagine and even custom pickups. Your only limit is your imagination, and your wallet since these guitars can be around $6000.

Of course, there are guitars that are unique and are being sold at an auction like Eric Clapton’s Blackie. This guitar was famous because it was his main instrument for almost 30 years. The price it was sold for was almost $1.000.000. The most expensive guitar ever was white Fender Stratocaster that was signed by 19 guitar players like Clapton, Gilmour, Knopfler, Beck, and others. It was sold for $2.7 million and all of it went for victims of 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean.  

Electric Guitar Essential Equipment

Buying a guitar comes with additional costs as well.  

  • Protective Case: Protection of your instruments is really essential. You need to protect your electric guitar from excessive humidity, dryness, temperature changes and as well as from getting scratched. You can buy basic padded fabric gig bags for $15-$90. You also have the option of buying high-quality models for as high as $100-$300. If you prefer buying Hardshell cases, you can get them for $50-$100 or more expensive ones can get around $300-$400. Padded leather bags cost $300-$500 or more.
  • Amplifier: An electric guitar sound as good as its amplifier. If the amplifier does not come with your guitar then a basic amplifier starts around $20-$200. A better-quality amplifier can cost you about $250-$500 and can get as high as a $1000 or more.
    However, you can always find alternatives for the amp, you can read about it in the following article.
  • Guitar picks: A pack of 12 guitar picks can cost you an average of $2-$4.
  • Guitar Strap: A basic guitar strap will cost you an average of $10-$30. But if you are looking for something fancy, then fancy could cost you more.
  • Guitar Tuner: A basic guitar tuner will cost you about $15-$100.
  • Extra Strings: Strings can break at any moment. So, buying a set of six for $2.50-$12.50 can come in handy.

Buying A Used Electric Guitar

You also have a choice of buying a second-hand guitar. But whatever you buy, it should suit you the best. However, the condition of the guitar is very important. The better the condition, the better the sound. It is always recommended to try your guitar before purchasing. You should try, even if you do not know how to play. You need to have a feel for it and be comfortable while holding it.  

You could also get your guitars from the internet as well. But you won’t be able to test play it and try to get a feel for it. And you can also not be sure of its condition as well. Most people keep their instrument with great care but you cannot always be sure. But if you do not feel this way, you are free to buy from anywhere you want. I would like to add that now, a lot of online places put guitars up for sale after testing them. So, you can buy from them. But again, you won’t be able to have a feel for it.

For an in-depth explanation read Buying A Used Electric Guitar – 17 Useful Tips You Must Know an article I wrote about this subject.

Conclusion

In conclusion, electric guitars cost between $100 and several million dollars. Depending on the skill level of the player and, of course, budget, you should choose your guitar. It is important to mention that when we talk about the price range over $1000 there is little to no difference in quality. The guitar that is $5000 won’t be better than a $1500. The price is for additional comfort, luxury, and certain specification someone might prefer. But when we talk about pro level instruments, you can be sure that any guitar in that price range would be more than awesome. The real trick is to find the beginner and intermediate price guitars that are good or at least decent. But $100 will almost certainly be quite bad. So, be sure to check a lot of different guitars, play as much as you can, and be sure to try everything that will help you pick a guitar that is best suited for your needs. Other interesting option would be to buy an intermediate priced guitar and upgrade pickups or any other part of the guitar you’re not satisfied with. This way you can create your own little custom shop guitar that will be perfect for you and your needs. And the most important thing is practice, even with the best guitar in the world, you will still need to invest lots of hours into practice. Otherwise, not even that guitar will sound good.

If you found this article useful you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board

Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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