When Should I Buy An Electric Guitar? Let Me Clear Your Doubt

A lot of beginners ask whatever they should get an electric guitar or they need to start with an acoustic or classical guitar first. This question has been on the debit amount guitarists for quite some time.

So, when should I buy an electric guitar? The answer is whenever you feel like it! I don’t agree with guitarists or teachers that tell you to get an acoustic guitar because “you need to learn the basics first”. Learning the guitar should be fun and NOT a chore. If you want to get an electric guitar because you want to play rock, metal, jazz or whatever then you should do it.

When I began learning guitar I was taught first on a classical guitar because I need to know the basics and only when I’m “good enough” I can move to an electric guitar. As if this was a must thing to do. I was discouraged to a point I almost quit playing.

Learning To Play Guitar Should Be Fun

Sure learning to play chords and note to sound the right way and learning music theory is important but how it will help you if you are so discouraged from playing that you want to quit. This is exactly what happened to me when I first began playing.

The guitar teacher I was assigned to, told my mother that I need to begin learning on a classical guitar. By his recommendation, she bought me my first guitar for my birthday, which was, as you can guess a classical guitar. At first, I didn’t care, I was excited to play the guitar. But, as time passed and I was taught music theory and folk songs which discouraged me from playing and it became a chore until one day I quit playing. Fortunately, I managed to forget all about it when I bought my first electric guitar and got a new teacher.

I tell you this from my experience and I hope that as you read this the answer should be clear to you. If you have a passion for certain music and an electric guitar is what is required for it then you should get one. You should not listen to teachers, parents, other guitarists who discourage you from playing the music you want. When learning to play guitar the most important thing is to have fun, and if you don’t learn what you want most defiantly you won’t have fun. 

“A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument.” – Eddie Van Halen

If there is a chance that you have a guitar teacher as I had that wants you to play something you are not instead in then you should look for a new teacher ASAP.

Pros With Learning On An Electric Guitar First

If you are still not convinced that you can start to play an electric guitar if you wish to. Then let me list the pros of starting out with an electric guitar instead of an acoustic or a classical.

Lighter String Gauge(Thickness)

I personally use Elixir Strings for my guitar. If you search the online shops or even the local ones, you will find that the lightest string gauge available for the acoustic guitar is 0.10 – 0.47 they also label this as the “extra light”. Whereas the lightest string gauge available for electric guitar is 0.09 – 0.42.

I know it seems like an insignificant difference but it does matter. When you play 0.10 – 0.47 strings you notice it will hurt your fingertips much more, especially if you are a beginner.

Neck Difference

First of all, there is a difference in neck width. The neck width isn’t constant and it goes towards the soundhole or the pickups it gest wider. Therefore almost always you will see the measurement at the nut and at the 12th fret. The most significant difference in the nut width is between a classical guitar and acoustic and electric. The classical guitar is with a width of 2 inches (52mm) and the others vary between 1.69 – 1.85 inches (43mm – 47mm). The acoustic guitar usually has a slightly wider nut than electric.

The second difference is the fingerboard radius. Classical guitars have no radius at all, it is completely flat. Whereas acoustic has on average 15 inches (38cm) and electric guitars vary between 7.5 inches (19cm) to 12 inches (30cm).

You may be asking yourself what all these means? Well, The wider the nut the easier it will be for you to play fingerstyle because of all the spaces between the strings. But this means also more that your hands require more movement for example if you want to play a solo or doing bends on a classical it will be much harder. As for the fingerboard radius the lower the radius the easier to play barre chords but harder to move between the strings.

More Styles Of Music You Can Play

I see the electric guitar like the best of all worlds. With an electric guitar, you will be able to play almost all music styles available to you anything from classical music to heavy rock. This is achievable not just because of how the guitar is designed but also because that sound of an electric guitar needs to be amplified through a traditional amp or other ways. Whatever method you choose you to have full control over the tone of your guitar. It can be clean and crisp for classical or clean and warm for jazz, it can have distortion for rock or reverb for pop or many other variations you have for your disposal.

On the other hand, classical and acoustic guitars don’t usually use effects or amps. Their sound is defined by the set of strings you have and the wood that the guitar is made of. As you can imagine the styles of music you can play on them are limited. 

What Electric Guitar You Should Buy

“OK you convinced me”, I hope you just said this to yourself as you are reading this. So what next? What electric guitar should you buy? How much should you spend on it? The short answer is the best you can with the budget you have. try avoiding cheap guitar as you regard it later on. I recommend spending between $200 and $400 on your first guitar

Top 3 Electric Guitars For Beginners

The market of electric guitars for beginners is huge and finding a good guitar the suits you well is not easy. Well, I’m here to help you with that. If you made your mind about buying an electric guitar and not sure which one to check, then here are my top 3 picks. Make sure you test those guitars at your local shop. If this is your first guitar I don’t recommend buying it from the internet.

Squier Affinity Stratocaster

I think this is the ultimate beginner’s guitar. Squier is a sub-company that is owned by Fender. Fender is an excellent and well know guitar company. You can be sure their products are top-notch. The Stratocaster is a light way guitar that has single-coil and humbuckers picks that will offer you a flexible tone. Fender also offers a beginner’s pack that includes everything you need to get started rocking right away. The pack includes the guitar, 15-watt fender amp, guitar strap, cable, picks and a gig back. To sweeten the deal they included a 3-month free subscription to Fender Play so you can start learning guitar online right away. It comes at a very affordable price in the range I specified.

Jackson Dinky

If you are into metal then this is your kind of guitar. This guitar comes with 2 humbucker pickups and a vibrato bridge also known as “floating bridge”. It costs a bit more but still in the range of price for a first guitar. If you have the option to buy a guitar with a floating bridge I totally recommend this. I have it on one of my guitars and it is amazing. Probably as a beginner you won’t use it a lot, but as you progress I assure you that you will do.

Epiphone Les Paul Studio

Guns N Roses fans will love this one. It isn’t identical to what Slash has, but similar enough, considering the price range for the first guitar. The guitar comes with 2 Humbucker pickups for a warm tone.

Related Post
you can find more great electric guitars in my post Top 20 Budget Electric Guitars Under $200, $250, $300 and $400 For Beginners

Used Electric Guitar

Buying a used guitar in your local area can be a hard process. But sometimes you can find very good guitars for a fraction of the price you will buy in a store. Especially if your budget is limited. My first electric guitar is a used guitar, I bought it for 40% less than a new one, and it is in great condition. If you have patience and time I definitely recommend exploring this option


By all means, I don’t say that an electric guitar is better than the acoustic or classical. I don’t want you to feel discouraged purchasing those if you feel like it. You should do whatever you think is right for you. Overall the electric guitar is much easier to play rather than classical or acoustic. It also offers you more styles of music you can play or explore as you progress. Despite this, you should choose whatever you like more.

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


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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