Electric Guitars 2009: Budget and Beginners

Getting ready for this years Christmas? Looking for the ideal guitar for the complete beginner?

Hopefully this article on what is available this year and what I personally recommend will help point you  in the right direction.

The guitars in this article will be budget/beginners style guitars so the scores out of 10 will reflect that.

I’ll be looking at Electric Guitars in this article, I’ll also in future articles be writing about Acoustic guitars, Bass guitars, Guitar Gadgets and Software. Hopefully just in time for the Christmas season.

So let’s look at what’s available for between £100 and £250

Because this website is worldwide I’ll try and find links for USA and Europe for each item.

I’ll also try and get more than one link for each of my recommendations along with pros and cons and prices.

Electric Guitars Under £100

Nevada Stratocaster: During my teaching career I’ve seen a lot of guitars come through and none have suprised me more than Nevada. The Les Paul which used to be available at ToysRus was amazing in it’s build, tone and playability. The Stratocaster version is no different. Not in the same class as most guitars but in it’s price bracket you can’t go far wrong. Also the below price of £99 inclues an amp!!!

Nevada Stratocaster

‘The Nevada Electric Strat Sunburst Guitar package includes everything an aspiring enthusiast needs to start playing electric guitar. The Nevada sunburst guitar is an awesome looking, high-quality instrument with great sound and playability, featuring three single coil pickups, 5-way pick-up switch,1 volume and 2 tone controls plus a tremolo arm for those classic electric guitar sounds!

The pack also contains a Nevada 10 watt practice amp featuring master volume, treble and bass controls, plus a handy headphone socket. Together with the included guitar lead, strap, plectrums and even a beginner’s DVD showing you how to get started, you have everything you need all in one box and at a great value price!’


£99 @ ToysRus

Left Handed £129.99 @ ToysRus


Squire Bullet Stratocaster: I’ve had a few bullets as stand by guitars and they’ve generally been of good quality. That said I’ve not seen an awful lot of them around over the last few years so picking one up may be difficult.

Squire Bullet Stratocaster


£99 @ Amazon


Electric Guitars Under £150

Squire Stratocaster: The Affinity Stratocaster from squire is a well built guitar that is ideal for the beginner as it is about the right price and is functional.

Squire Affinity Black

Dressed in new eye-popping finishes, these Fender®-designed Stratocaster guitars have a great look and feel. With a contoured alder body, bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard (and a late ‘60s headstock), three single coils and a standard tremolo system – the Affinity Series® Strat® guitar has all the vintage vibe at a fraction of the price.


£129 @ Dolphin Music + £6.99 postage

£119 @ Gear 4 Music

£130 @ Thomann

$180.99  @  Guitar Trader


Affinity Squire Telecaster: Telecasters are my guitar of choice, they’re a workhorse guitar with a real twang to them. Plus they look cool.

More practical than the stratocaster they stay in tune better and don’t have a tremelo bar.

Great for chords and rhythm playing. The affinity also comes with a maple neck with will give you a faster playing surface and is great for lead playing as well.

Squire Affinity Red Telecaster

Fender Squire Affinity Telecaster MN MR electric guitar – solid alder body, maple neck, maple fretboard, 21 frets, 2 single coils and chrome hardware. Colour: Metallic Red.


£130 @ Thomann

£135 @ Gear 4 Music

$180.99 @ Guitar Trader


Ashton Electric Guitars: Ashton are a strange one, I first came across them as acoustics which were very well made indeed.

Their electrics are very playable but feel really light weight. Especially the strat versions although the ‘Rocker’ feels and looks heavy duty.

Value for money especially the Guitar pack itself. Although experience tells me don’t expect wonderful things from the amps in any package.

Ashton Rocker Electric Guitar

Turn up Ashton The Rocker and crank out a rocking sound, live or in the studio. From the classic double cutaway shape of the Basswood body, to the high output Wilkinson pickups, Ashton The Rocker is one guitar thats made to be played loud!

£119 @ Amazon

Ashton Guitar Pack

Ashton guitar pack includes guitar, amp, case, plectrums and book.

£149 @ Amazon


Under £200

Yamaha Pacifica: Yamaha’s guitars have also been my recommendation for a beginners electric guitar pricewise they are much more expensive but from a build, playability point of view they’re as good as it can get. Comes in lots of different colours.

Yamaha Pacifica - Sunburst

When the Pacifica 112 was launched in 1993, it turned the entry-level guitar market on its head. At the time, most guitars in its price-range featured low-grade appointments, often including cheap hardware, low quality pickups and plywood bodies.

The Pacifica 112’s quality hardware, custom wound pickups and consistently good setup said that this was a serious instrument built to sound great and play just as well. The striking natural finish gave away one more crucial feature – that this guitar had a solid body. In one move Yamaha had wiped away the certainty that your guitar would be made from cheap, heavy, bad-sounding plywood if your budget only stretched to £200.


£179@ Gear 4 Music

211 Euros @ Thomann

£179 @Dolphin Music


Pack containing a Pacifica 012 Electric Guitar with a Yamaha GA15 amplifier, cable, instructional CD, Strap and bag.

Yamaha Guitar Pack under £200

Modelled on the best-selling Pacifica 112, the new, even cheaper 012 has a similarly contoured double-cutaway body, and the firepower of a raunchy bridge-position humbucker plus two clear-toned single-coil pickups. The five-position pickup switch permits selection of those classic in-between sounds, while the vibrato bridge is a well-proven vintage design with six individually adjustable saddles for accurate intonation and a slinky set-up.

For an inexpensive yet high-quality introduction to the world of rock guitar, you ll not find better value than the Pacifica 012.


£199 @ Gear 4 Music

Thomann do a bundle package at £226 but what a bundle,

Thomann Yamaha Bundle

Pack Includes:

1 piece(s) DADDARIO EXL110

1 piece(s) GHS FAST FRET

1 piece(s) THOMANN GURT6,4B

1 piece(s) MILLENIUM GS-2001 E

1 piece(s) YAMAHA PACIFICA 112 BL

1 piece(s) KORG GA30

1 piece(s) THE SSSNAKE GKP6


259 Euros @ Thomann


Electric Guitars Under £250

Squire Telecaster Deluxe: So ok it’s just over £200 but there’s an awful lot of bang for your buck, plus ain’t she a beauty…


The Tele® Custom is an affordable hybrid of two popular Telecaster® designs. Fusing a ?72 Tele Custom with a Tele Deluxe, this guitar has two high-output humbuckers, a three-way pickup selector switch and independent volume and tone controls. The Squier Tele Custom also features a solid agathis body and bolt-on maple neck with maple fingerboard.


£209 @ Gear 4 Music


Related Links:

Buying Advice: Electric Guitar

Guitar Accesories Under £10: Capos

Guitar Accessories Under £20: Tuners

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