Choosing your first electric guitar might be a daunting task. There are hundreds of guitar models available on the market. Which one fits your needs better? While there is no universal answer to that question, we’ll try to list the most important aspects to consider when choosing your first guitar.
First of all, it is important to mention that brand does matter. You probably would like to start with a budget guitar. Not every brand can keep a decent quality at such a low price. Harley Benton and Fender are the two manufacturers that have the best price/quality ratios when it comes to budget guitars.
Someday soon, you might probably want to join a band and perform live. Some budget guitars have a great sound and are suited both for practice and for live concerts. Therefore, durability is important as much a sound quality. Some Fender models are sturdy and proved to be loyal companions for years.
Having all of that in mind, we’re compiled a list of five guitars that proved to be great starters.
Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series - Price: €79
The ST-20 is a well-built, versatile guitar. It comes with three single coil pickups, which make it perfect for any genre, especially jazz, blues and rock. Their sound is very close to the one of the classic Fender Stratocaster.
It features a Modern C profile maple neck. Many guitarists prefer this neck shape, since it allows you to place your thumb comfortably and slide it without any issues. The surface of the neck is extremely smooth, which contributes even more to the playability.
The Squier Bullet is an extremely durable and well-sounding beginner guitar. It has that special sound only Fender guitars have. If you’re a fan of Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix, then the HSS Bullet Strat would be probably the best starter for you. Its pickups are not the most expensive ones, but they still have that recognizable signature Fender sound. Many professional musicians report that it is almost impossible to distinguish a Bullet Strat from an American Standard Strat when performing on stage.
This is a modified version of the Bullet HSS with a sound that is more oriented towards blues, jazz and classic rock. It comes with three Fender single coil pickups, which gives it that slight vintage Fender flavor.
Harley Benton TE-70 Rosewood Deluxe Series - Price: €148
The TE-70 strives to re-create the sound of the classic Fender Telecaster. It features a rosewood fretboard, which adds a lot of warmth to the tone. Its three-way toggle switch allows you to choose between the two pickups. The neck pickup features a mellow, more bass-oriented sound, perfect for lead notes. The bridge pickup sounds rather bright and slightly more aggressive -- It might even work with hard rock and metal, when used with the right amp.
While the TE-70 is considered a budget guitar, many guitarists agree that it looks and sounds really close to a real vintage Telecaster. Talking about aesthetics, it has a very clean and polished finish; it is a very comfortable guitar overall. Its light weight adds to its playability and comfort.
Finally, the Harley Benton ST-20 SB is a special edition ST-20 that comes in a stylish, high-gloss Sunburst finish. This color scheme is very popular, and it has rather deep historical roots. It was originally intended to imitate an aged French polish finish, as applied to violins and other classical instruments. This golden finish can also be found on many iconic vintage Strats.
All of the listed models are widely used both by beginners and advanced musicians. While you might choose to upgrade to a more professional model in the future, it is always good to keep the sturdy starter guitar as a workhorse for live performances and as a backup guitar.
Good luck on your musical journey!