Best Electric Guitars Under $200

Best Electric Guitars Under $200

As a beginner guitar player, it’s hard to decide what guitar you want to buy. There’s a lot of choice in the market and it can be quite confusing as to what is a good brand and model. I know how hard this can be because I struggled as a beginner to find a good guitar just like you. There’s no need to be frustrated as you have more choice than ever before in great inexpensive guitars.

To make it easier for you I have created this guide of the best electric guitars under $200. You can get a good guitar for under $200 if you have some general knowledge behind you. These guitars are all good choices and would be perfect options for any beginner. Let’s have a good look at our list.

List of 10 Electric Guitars under $200 with reviews

1. Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster Electric Guitar - HSS

Squier by Fender Bullet Strat Beginner Electric Guitar HSS

Fender makes a wide rage of great guitars at all price ranges. The Fender Squier Bullet is a lower cost guitar, but it still has a lot of great features which make it at standout at under $200. Here’s what you get for your money.

The best part about this guitar is that it’s an HSS model. This means you get a humbucker along with the two single coils. You’ll have more tone options for rock, metal, shred, blues and more.  The HHS Fenders are great because they appeal to a wider audience and I really love how they sound. The neck of the guitar is maple and there’s a rosewood fingerboard with 21 frets. The guitar features the standard Fender volume, two tone controls, and the pickup selector switch. The bridge is a hardtail though the body which helps keep the tuning of the guitar stable.

Pros

  • Extra sound options
  • Looks great for the price

Cons

  • No traditional Fender tremolo system
  • Lacks the standard 22 frets

Final Verdict

For those getting into playing the guitar, you can’t go wrong with a Fender Squier Bullet. I played Squiers when I was learning how to play guitar and they sound good for the price you pay. Naturally they don’t have the features of higher priced guitars, but they give you a good sound at this price and they can’t be beat in terms of their overall value. This is a solid choice for any beginner that wants to experience that Fender sound without the major price tag.

2. Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar Heritage

Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar Heritage

Epiphone is the lower priced Gibson model and they have guitars in all price ranges even under $200. This guitar offers you a lot of value and has many great features.

The guitar has the classic Les Paul shape so it’s a familiar shape that you’ll love to play. There’s two 700T/650R open-coil humbuckers pickups for rock, blues, metal and other guitar styles. You get a tone, volume, and a pickup selector switch on the instrument. The fretboard is rosewood and it features 22 frets. The neck is bolt-on and made out of Mahogany so its stable. The bridge is a Tune-O Matic so your guitar will stay in tune for longer.

Pros

  • Easy to play
  • Beginner friendly

Cons

  • Bit heavier than some guitars
  • Lacks another tone and volume control of regular Les Paul

Final Verdict

The Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II is an inexpensive guitar under $200, and well worth that great price. The guitar has a very nice neck for a cheaper model and it feels great to play. My favorite part on the Epiphone is the neck which is smooth so you’ll hit all those fast leads with ease.  I think Epiphone is one of the best low-cost models as most of them just sound much better than the standard basic guitar. These instruments keep their tune very well and will last you a long time if you look after it. You can’t go wrong with an Epiphone which makes this guitar a solid buy in my opinion.

3. Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar

Dean Vendetta XMT Electric Guitar

Dean makes great guitars and they have models at all price levels, even beginners. The Vendetta model from Dean offers you a lot of value at a reasonable price.

This guitar has a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard which is a real value at under $200 as many models from other manufacturers don’t feature 24 frets at this price. The neck on this model is smooth so it’s ideal for fast guitar leads or crunchy rock rhythms. There’s two humbuckers for rock, blues, metal and other sounds so you have a wide range of tone choices with this instrument. You also get a volume, tone, and pickup selector to control the sounds of your pickups. The guitar has a basic tremolo system so you can do guitar tricks and dive bombs which is nice to see in an inexpensive guitar under $200.

Pros

  • Solid value for low price
  • Extras that similar models don’t have

Cons

  • Need another tone control
  • Tremolo doesn’t lock

Final Verdict

This Dean guitar is a real value at this price and I was impressed at how well it plays. It’s an amazing value at this price for any beginner that is looking for a bit more in their guitar. You can’t go wrong with this Dean as it has a lot going for it. I like the double cutaway feature as you can hit the higher notes with ease and play faster solos. While this guitar lacks a few features that higher cost guitars do, it’s the ideal choice for any beginner and well worth what you’ll pay.

4. Ibanez GRGA120 GIO RGA Series Electric Guitar

Ibanez GRGA120 GIO RGA Series Electric Guitar

Ibanez makes great guitars and one of the best for new players because they are so easy to play. One great option for an inexpensive electric guitar under $200, is the Ibanez GRGA120 GIO RGA Series. 

This guitar features two humbuckers so you’ll be able to play rock, metal, shred, and other styles on the instrument. I think the pickups on this guitar are quite good for what you pay and that makes this instrument a standout at this price. To control the pickups there’s a volume, tone, and pickup selector switch so you can get good sounds out of it. I like the double cutaway feature which is ideal for beginners because you can reach all the high notes with ease. This is ideal for beginners because their fingers aren’t as developed. The cutaway makes it more comfortable to play. The Ibanez cutaway feature is one of the best in the industry. There’s a popular body and the neck is maple with a rosewood 24 fret fretboard.

Pros

  • Classic Ibanez look for low price
  • Nice hardware

Cons

  • No locking nut like other Ibanez guitars
  • Not as versatile as other guitars

Final Verdict

I consider Ibanez a top choice for most beginners. The fact that you can get a quality Ibanez for under $200 is a fantastic value. This would be a great guitar for a beginner because it’s very easy to play and has almost everything you need to make some great music. It could use some additional features, but what you get at this price is pretty outstanding. I didn’t have guitars like thus when I was learning so this instrument has some great value going for it and it’s a good choice.

5. ESP LTD EC Series EC10 Electric Guitar

ESP LTD EC Series EC10 Electric Guitar

ESP makes some good guitars, but they can be expensive. They do have a few that are under $200 which you should take another look at such as the ESP LTD EC Series EC10.

This instrument is the perfect choice for a beginner. It has two humbucking pickups for blues, metal, shred, rock and other guitars styles. The pickups are ESP Designed LH-100N, and LH-100, so they are better than the average pickups you’ll find in other guitars. To control your pickups there’s a volume, tone, and pickups selector switch. There’s a maple neck with a 24-fret fingerboard which is comfortable to play and easy for beginners. The bridge is a Tune-O Matic, so the guitar stays in tune well and it makes for easy string changing.

Pros

  • Nice shape
  • Sounds great

Cons

  • Needs another volume and tone control
  • A bit smaller than some guitars

Final Verdict

This ESP LTD guitar is a great pick for a beginner because it has a lot of value. The instrument has jumbo frets which are easier to play than standard frets which I like.  The Les Paul shape is familiar and easy to hold and play for beginners that are just starting to learn. I find the necks on these ESP guitars are quite nice, even at this price so you’re getting something that will be easy to pick up and play right away.

6. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

Yamaha makes some nice guitars and they have several models which are cost less and offer you a good value for your dollar such as the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012.

This guitar has a humbucker pickup and two single coils so it offers you more value for your money.  To control the pickups there’s a tone volume, and pickup selector switch. The guitar has a standard fender style tremolo system so you can do dive bombs, guitar tricks, and fancy bends.  You’ll be able to play blues, rock, country, shred and other styles with this guitar. You get a maple bolt on neck and 22 frets.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • Need another tone control
  • No locking nut

Final Verdict

I really like this Yamaha Pacifica as it’s a fine instrument at this price. The double cutaway is nice for beginners so they can play higher notes comfortably without straining their hands. I love the tones you can get out of it with the pickup configuration A humbucker with the two single coils is ideal for so many different styles. I have this in my guitar and love how it sounds. This is a very nice inexpensive guitar under $200 which you’re going to enjoy for a long time to come.

7. Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazzmaster Electric Guitar - HH

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Jazzmaster Electric Guitar - HH

The Fender Jazzmaster is a unique shape and easy to play and an ideal choice for beginners. Fender offers the Affinity Series Jazzmaster that has a lot of value for you.

This guitar has two humbucking pickups which many Fender guitars don’t have so that’s a big plus to this guitar.

There’s a tone control, volume, and selector switch to control your pickups. The bridge is a hardtail so it helps keeps the instrument in tune and makes for easier string changing. You get 22 frets on a rosewood fingerboard.

Pros

  • Nice classic look
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • Lacks another tone control
  • No tremolo system

Final Verdict

The C shape of this neck is very comfortable and it’s great for beginners that struggle with bigger guitars. The Jazzmaster is naturally small so it’s perfect for those just starting out and recommended choice. The tuning pegs on the guitar are also exceptional so it will hold its tune. Many lower cost guitars have poor tuners which go out of tune quickly, but these are a lot better. It sounds good for the lower price and it has great tones that you’ll love. At under $200, this guitar is a real steal and should cost more. The value of this instrument can’t be beat.

8. C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric Guitar

C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric Guitar

Schecter features some good guitars at various price points. They also feature models that are low cost and perfect for beginners that are looking for a bit more such as the C-1 SGR which offers you a lot of value for your dollar.

This guitar has two humbucker pickups so you can play the latest metal, rock, and similar styles. To control the pickups there’s a volume, tone, and selector switch. The neck is made out of maple and it features a 24-fret fingerboard. I love the 24 frets on this guitar as many others at this price only have 22, so you can play more songs on this guitar. The instrument has a Tune-O Matic bridge which stabilizes the tuning and makes it easier to change your guitar strings. The tuning pegs on the guitar are also very stable which further enhance the tuning of the guitar.

Pros

  • Sleek deign
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • No tremolo system
  • Needs another tone control

Final Verdict

This guitar is a good choice for beginners that want to play metal and hard rock styles. The pickups sound very good and it holds its tuning well. I like the cutaway feature so you can play all the high notes with ease. The guitar comes with an attractive gig bag to protect your guitar which is an added bonus. This guitar is a solid choice for any beginner that wants a bit more in their guitar. It’s a good value at under $200 and well worth the purchase.

9. Silvertone SS10 Complete Electric Guitar Package

Silvertone SS10 Complete Electric Guitar Package

It’s not often you can get a full guitar package for under $200, but you can with the Silvertone guitar package which offers you a lot of value for your dollar. This package has everything that any beginner is going to need to begin to play right away.

This package comes complete with a guitars, amplifier, tons of accessories and software to help you play. The guitar is a standard Fender style guitar which looks good and even has features tan some standard cheaper models. The instrument has three single-clip pickups, two tone controls, volume knob, and pickup selector switch so you can get a wide range of great tones out of the guitar. Many cheaper models don’t have the extra tone control that this one does, so there’s a lot of value in this guitar. The instrument has a standard Fender style tremolo system for dive bombs. The neck and fingerboard are maple and you get 21 frets.

Pros

  • Huge value for a low cost
  • Great beginner guitar

Cons

  • Some accessories a bit weak

Final Verdict

This Silvertone package offers you a ton of value for your dollar. The package comes with lesson software so you can begin to play right away without having to buy those first lessons, so you save money. I was very impressed with all that’s include in this package. It has everything that any beginner needs to begin to play guitar which many other guitars at this price don’t even come close to offering you. It’s all at a very low price point so it makes for a good investment. There’s not a whole lot of downside to this package that costs under $200. I think this is some of the best value for your dollar and well worth the purchase.

10. Ibanez GRX20ZBKN Electric Guitar

Ibanez GRX20ZBKN Electric Guitar

Ibanez is a good choice for any beginner and they have many great guitar models. The Ibanez GRX20ZBKN is a solid choice for an electric guitar under $200. This instrument has a lot of amazing features for beginners that want a little more.

This guitar features two humbucking pickups so you can make a wide range of sounds from rock to metal and everything in-between. To control your pickups there’s a volume, tone, and pickup selector switch. The neck is rosewood with 22 frets and the body is made out of alder. The bridge is a standard Ibanez tremolo system which allows you to play guitar tricks but keeps the guitar in tune. The guitar also has stable tuners which further enhance the tuning of the guitar. This is a solid beginner instrument and all for under $200.

Pros

  • Solid design
  • Good hardware

Cons

  • Lacks 24 frets
  • No locking nut

Final Verdict

Ibanez guitars are easy to learn on. The body has a deep cutaway in both sides so you can reach all the notes. This is ideal for beginners because they can struggle with guitars that have a small cutaway or don’t feature one.  Ibanez makes most of their guitars have a nice deep cutaway, even the less expensive models. I love the sound of this Ibanez and it offers you a lot of good value at a low cost. Higher cost Ibanez guitars have more features, but this is a good choice at under $200 for any beginner that wants a quality guitar at a lower cost.


Things to Consider Before You Buy Your New Guitar

As a relative beginner to guitar, you have a few things to consider before you buy your new instrument. This guide will help you get the most out of your guitar and avoid a lot of the headaches that many new players experience with their instrument.

Pickups

The pickups on inexpensive guitars can be quite weak, they will product decent sounds, but this can be a bit lacking on some models do to the cheaper price. You can make the guitar sound eve better by changing the pickups. Many famous players will buy cheaper guitars and then add better pickups so this could be an option for you with your new guitar. There’s two types of pickups which are called humbuckers and single coils. The humbucker produces more harder rock tones and it sounds quite good. The single coil produces more mellow tones which are perfect for average rock, country, and blues. Pickups all come down to personal preference. Many guitars have both humbucking and single coil pickups which can be ideal as you get a wide range of tones out of the instrument. A good guitar tech can help you decide the right pickups to put in your guitar if you decide to change them out for better ones. Just remember that you don’t have to do this as it’s all just personal preference. It can add more cost to your guitar if you buy new pickups.

Strings

The strings on new guitars are quite bad. They have been sitting in a store of factory for some time. It’s ideal to take the strings off the guitar once you get it home and put fresh ones on it as the guitar will sound much better. Strings are quite cheap and you should have several sets so you can change strings often. It’s important to put fresh strings on often as this gives you better tones and they are much easier to play for beginners. For now, players, I recommend 009s gauge as these are easier to bend and play in general. The 010s are a bit too heavy for new players and can lead to frustration. You should use what you prefer, but 009s are going to make it easer for you to learn on than the heavier 10s will.

Setup

The setup of your guitar is very important and this can be a problem for inexpensive guitars. They will ship from the factory as standard, but this is usually not ideal for playing. The action or how high the strings are from the fretboard are be too high. This can be lowered or raised depending upon what you prefer. In general, lower action makes it easier to play fast a higher action make sit easier to do string bending for most people. A guitar tech can set this for you. New guitars usually have to be intonated as well. This will set the guitar in tune across the entire neck, so all notes have the right tuning. A guitar tech can also perform this for you if you don’t know how to do it as it can be a bit tricky for beginners. In some cases, the neck may also need a bit of adjustment to get rid of a curve or a bit of warping which the tech may do as well for you. Once a beginner guitar is setup properly it will generally play a whole lot better and you’ll get more use out of it so this should be something that you need to consider having done on your beginner guitar.

I have a Best Guitar Under $200, What Now?

Once you have your new guitar you have a few more things you need to think. Your guitar is important, but there are other factors which will make you a good guitar player which I will cover here.

Amplifiers

Once you have a good beginner guitar you may want to upgrade the amplifier you have now if it’s a cheap model. There’s many great amplifiers in the $300-$500-dollar range which make good intermediate amplifiers for beginner or early intermediate players which you should consider. I usually recommend a good solid-state amplifier for a beginner because it’s easier to use than a tube amplifier and you don’t need to hassle with the tubes. Manufacturers like Marshall, Fender, Blackstar, Orange, and other manufacturers make some amazing solid-state amplifiers at a reasonably low cost. Other amps include amp modelers which recreate the sounds you like from historic amplifiers such as those from the 1960s. These are nice because you can use the software with your computer and even try your hand at recording.  Marshall and Yamaha have some nice amp modelers that you might consider.

Pedals

You can also begin to experiment with pedals to widen the sounds you make. Pedals can be ideal if you have a poor-quality amplifier because they tend to improve the sound of a cheap amp to some degree. They can also be used with more expensive amplifiers to change the tone. Distortion, overdrive, wah, flanger, chorus, and digital delay are the most common pedals you can buy. You can have a lot of fun with a good guitar pedal amplifier, and your new guitar so don’t be afraid to experiment some to make new sounds.

Lessons

You should continue to take lessons if you don’t already. Lessons will help you learn the basics well. Most players that try to learn on their own will struggle if they don’t have the basics down first. By taking lessons, you’ll reduce common mistakes many new players make and have a good musical foundation which will help you improve even more. You can also take advantage of the many free lessons from sites such as YouTube as these can be very helpful to you as a newer player.

Avoiding Frustration

Asa guitar player for many years, I wanted to give you a few tips to avoid frustration as a guitar player which helped me. The first thing you need to do is just relax when you play. You don’t want to try and force something that your fingers can’t do yet. If you relax, it makes it easier to play complicated things. Take everything slow and learn to fret the notes properly. Far too many players try to play too fast when they aren’t ready for it. By slowing down, you’ll actually play better and will be able to play fast once you’re ready because you have learned the music slowly. Another things you can do is get a metronome as this helps you keep time and it’s a big help in learning music. Try to play with others as much as possible as you’ll learn about timing and keeping the beat, so your music sounds amazing.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of choice in inexpensive guitars under $200 that would make solid choices for any beginner or intermediate player that wants to step up from the average beginner guitar.  These guitars all sound great and have a lot of value for the dollar.

Beginners are going to have a good time with these guitars as they have almost everything you need as a beginner. It’s still a good idea to have them setup by a guitar tech or someone that’s know what they are going. A lower cost guitar can be made to sound great with just a few minor adjustments. Have fun with your new electric guitar and don’t forget to keep practicing and learning all you can about music. Now, get jamming!

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