best acoustic electric guitars under $400

Best Electric Guitars Under $300 [2020] – Buyer’s Guide & Review 👈

Picking the best electric guitars that plays great and will make you sound like a rockstar isn’t easy. Not all budget electric guitars in the $300 price range are made of solid tonewoods and have great electronics and pickups. Some less expensive electric guitars also tend to cheap out on the hardware like bridges and tuners.

That’s why we made this review. We wanted to show you all of the most popular best electric guitars under $300 that are made of good quality materials and are worth buying. It doesn’t matter whether this if your first electric guitar or simply a beginner guitar that you want to learn on. We’ll show you which one is right for you and will make you into the rockstar you want to me.

Let’s check out some of the best electric guitar under $300 that are worth the money.

Best Electric Guitar Under 300

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1. Fender Squier Vintage Stratocaster

The Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster is a great guitar, for an affordable price.

The body of the best electric guitar under 300 is made out of Basswood, while the bolt-on neck is made out of maple with rosewood fingerboard on top. It is a C-shaped, 25.5″ Scale neck with twenty-one medium-jumbo frets and a large 70′ headstock. It has nice-looking, vintage-style hardware, and three Duncan Designed SC-101 single-coil pickups. Of course, there are the five-way selector-switch, the two Tone knobs, and the Volume control knob.

Pros & Cons

Pros and Highlights
  • Sounds awesome – The three single-coil pick-ups sound great both clean and with distortion!
  • Vintage look – The large 70’s headstock and the hardware on the guitar are giving this guitar very cool look;
  • Feels great – The guitar is extremely playable.
Cons and Potential Flaws
  • It might need a setup – This is not a flaw or something. But it is something you should be aware of. The guitar will probably need a setup right out of the box.

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Bottom line

Many owners of this best electric guitar under $300 are claiming that this guitar is the best Squier ever. It plays and feels nice, and it sounds great! The Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Stratocaster is a great instrument, both for beginners and for intermediate players.

2. Jackson JS32 Rhoads Best Electric Guitar Under 300

The Jackson JS32 is the affordable version of signature Randy Rhoads Jackson guitar. The body of the best electric guitar under 300 is made out of poplar wood, while the bolt-on neck is made out of maple with graphite reinforcements. The fingerboard is rosewood one, with twenty-four frets. The neck is rounder at the nut position, for easy rhythm playing.

The JS32 has a licensed Floyd Rose Jackson double-locking tremolo bridge, and Jackson Sealed Die-cast Tuning machines. It has two Jackson-designed high-output humbucker pickups, a three-way selector switch, and Tone and Volume control knobs.

Pros & Cons

Pros and Highlights
  • Sounds amazing – The two humbuckers produce a great, fat tone. They sound amazing both in clean and distorted setup.
  • Great Neck – The neck is specially designed for easy and fast movements.
  • The bang for the buck – If you are looking for a great value for the money, and you want this kind of guitar, don’t hesitate – you won’t be disappointed.
Cons and Potential Flaws
  • No cons! – If you are a true metal-fan guitarist, and you don’t want to spend a fortune on a great guitar – the Jackson JS32 is a great choice for an axe.

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Bottom line

Affordable, sturdy, comfortable and durable guitar. It feels great, and it sounds amazing. If you are a big fan of heavy music – this is all you need to enter the shredding world. Great best electric guitar under 300 for the money.    

3. Ibanez RG421 Best Electric Guitar Under 300

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 The body of the RG421 Best Electric Guitar Under 300 is made out of mahogany, while the neck is made out of maple. It has a rosewood fingerboard with twenty-four jumbo frets. The bridge on the guitar is not a tremolo one, however, it is of high-quality. Also, the nut and the tuning machines are not expensive, but they do perform without flaws. The pick-ups on the guitar are Ibanez Quantum – they sound great. It has a five-way selector-switch, Tone and Volume control knobs.

Pros & Cons

Pros and Highlights
  • It shreds! – This guitar is great for shredding. The neck is fast, and the pick-ups sound awesome!
  • Solid-body – The body is made out of mahogany. Some may not like this, because it weights more, but also, this is why the guitar sounds the way it sounds.
  • Great for beginners – It is an affordable guitar, with a great amount of playability. If you are just starting out, this guitar is a great starting point.
Cons and Potential Flaws
  • Fixed bridge – If you are into smoking and fast style of playing guitar, you may also want a tremolo bar. The bridge on the Ibanez RG421 lacks this feature.

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Bottom line

If you are a beginner, and you are into metal music, the Ibanez RG421 best electric guitar under 300 is a great starting point. It is an affordable and durable guitar and sounds awesome. The neck on the guitar is specially designed for fast movements!

However, if you are an intermediate shredder, or you are not into metal music, this guitar is not for you. You will probably need something more suitable for your style.

4. Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Best Electric Guitar Under 300

 If you like Gibsons more than Fenders, and you are looking for a cheap Les Paul, Gibson’s little brother Epiphone makes just what you are looking for.

The Epiphone Les Paul Special-II is made out of Okoume wood, which is like a lightweight substitute for mahogany, and the body of this best electric guitar under 300 is flat – different from the Gibson Les Paul’s body, which is curved a bit. Also, the neck on the Epiphone Les Paul is bolted, unlike the neck on the Gibson, which is glued to the body. It has a 24.75 Scale neck.

The fingerboard on the guitar is made out of rosewood and has twenty-two frets. It has two open-coil, humbucker pick-ups, which are providing a long sustain, Tone and Volume control knobs, and three-way Treble/Rhythm switch. The Epiphone LP Special-II has Tune-o-Matic bridge with stop bar tailpiece, and covered tuning machines.

Pros & Cons

Pros and Highlights
  • Good for starters! – If you are just starting out and Slash or Jimmy Page is your guitar idols, and your father is not a millionaire, you should probably start with this guitar!
  • Feels good – The overall feel this guitar has it’s really not far away from a “professional” guitar. In fact, with a few changes, you can take this beauty on the road!
  • It sounds ok – For a 199$ guitar, this is a great sounding one!
Cons and Potential Flaws
  • Bad tuning machines – They are really bad. They tend to get out of tune really quickly. If you already have this guitar, or you are planning to buy it. You should consider buying decent tuning machines and replace the old ones.

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Bottom line

The Epiphone Les Paul Special-II Best Electric Under 300  is an ok guitar for the money. It has its pros and cons, but it is a decent one if you are just starting out. The negative sides are that the tuning machines don’t hold very well, and the pick-ups and the electronics are cheap. However, with a few modifications, the Epiphone LP-Special-II can easily become a guitar that you can play with on gigs.

5. Epiphone SG Special VE Best Electric Guitar Under 300

Affordable guitar, yet very playable! The Epiphone SG Special VE best electric guitar under 300 has body which is made out of poplar wood with mahogany veneer on top. The bolt-on neck of the guitar is made out of okoume wood, with a rosewood fingerboard, which has twenty-two medium jumbo, frets. The hardware on the guitar is made out of nickel, and features LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge and tailpiece, and premium covered tuning machines.

The SG Special VE has two humbucking, ceramic pick-ups, one at the bridge, and the other at the neck position, three-way toggle switch for pick-up selecting, Tone and Volume control knobs. It is available in several different colors.

Pros & Cons

Pros and Highlights
  • Affordable – If you are looking for an SG that won’t break the bank – there you go!
  • Great sound – You will be amazed by the sound you will get with this guitar. The two humbucker pick-ups provide you with punchy, yet warm guitar sounds.
  • Playability – The “D”-shaped neck is great for playing both rhythm and solo!

Cons and Potential Flaws
  • You need something better if you are a professional musician – Although this guitar is pretty good for beginners, and it sounds decent, if you are on the “professional” side (meaning that you earn from guitar playing), you will need something that sounds and performs better.

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Bottom line

If you are a big SG fan, you probably can’t find a better low-cost SG on the market. Epiphone SG Special VE best electric guitar under 300 is a solid-body guitar that plays and sounds decent for the price. However, if you are a professional musician, you probably need something better, something with better quality pick-ups and hardware at least.

6. Fender Squier Standard Stratocaster Best Electric Guitar Under 300

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The Standard Stratocaster by Squier is a great guitar for those who are just starting out. It has a body made out of Agathis wood and a C-shaped neck made of maple with large 70′ headstock. There are two fingerboards available, Laurel and Maple. It has twenty-two medium frets.

It has 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Block Saddles bridge and standard Die-cast tuning machines. The pick-ups on the Squier Standard Stratocaster are three single-coil Standard Strat pick-ups, and they have the standard layout of controls: the five-way switch, and the two Tone and one Volume control knobs.

Pros & Cons

Pros and Highlights
  • Great for beginners! – It is affordable and playable. If you are just getting into the guitar world – the Standard Strat by Squier is a good choice for an axe.
  • Very nice looks – It is available in several different colors, all of them with a polyurethane finish. They look awesome.
  • Playable – If you are a newbie, this guitar is great for you – it won’t back you off from playing. The neck is very playable.
Cons and Potential Flaws
  • Cheap-made – Well, to be honest with you – there might be some better options out there. You can buy a decent Squier, but you may also get a defective one. Squier is not a very consistent company. The pick-ups on the Squier Standard Strat are far from amazing.
  • The guitar is probably useless in a studio.

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Bottom line

If you are just starting out, or your grandson is just starting out – The Standard Stratocaster by Squier may be a good choice. However, if you are a more experienced player, you will probably be disappointed with this best electric guitar under 300. It offers good value for the money, but professionals usually need a better tone and performance.

 to improving your ability, even for those who are “naturals.” What’s more important, however, is proper practice. Keeping your technique in check will prevent you from forming bad habits that may sometimes take years to break.

Good posture, proper hand positioning and preventative stretching should always be considered. While it is normal to experience discomfort during your first few months of play, be mindful of tension and unnatural bending in your fingers and wrists.

Remember to take breaks. Great guitar playing doesn’t necessarily come from hours upon hours of excruciating practice. Quality is just as important as quantity. A refreshing breather every 20 minutes will keep your mind clear and enthusiasm piqued.

Pros & Cons

Advantages
  • Depending on your personality, you might want to learn what is easier first. While the acoustic guitar and classical guitar are also great for a best electric guitar for under 300  is far easier to master. The design is such that the strings are generally situated closer to the frets, so it doesn’t take as much effort to push it down. In short, you will be expending less energy and it is easier to pick up for beginners. The structure of this kind of best electric guitar under 300 also makes it easier to hold and handle, and developing a good posture is easier.

  • One of the main reasons why the best  electric guitar under 300  is often preferred is that it has the capacity to produce a large variety of sounds and can be used in playing different styles of music. It is used heavily in more aggressive music like rock and metal, but can be put to other uses as well. With the help of different electronic devices, you can create just about any sound effect you like. The use of amplifiers also helps in creating and enhancing lucid tones, making the best electric guitar under 300 a popular instrument.

  • If you are living in a house or a flat and face a lack of space to strum on your instrument at any time when you feel like practicing, or if you have touchy neighbours who object to any sound, electric guitar is a great option because it comes with headphones. You can just plug on the headphones and get on with your best electric guitar under 300  tutorials without disturbing anyone. This really enhances the quality of your learning experience as you won’t have to face irate family members and neighbours just because you want to play.

Disadvantages
  • In general, a best electric guitar under 300 an cost up to double that of an acoustic guitar. This makes it expensive to most beginners who are not even sure whether they want to invest in a guitar long term. The high price is due to all the accessories such as cables and amplifiers that also need to be purchased along with the best electric guitar under 300.

  • Another problem with the best electric guitar under 300  is that you cannot just grab it on a whim and take it along with you on a picnic or a friend’s house, or even for a sudden jam session. You will have to ensure that there is an electric outlet at the place where you want to play and plan in advance.

  • You will also have to take along cables and amps, which can make it a tiresome procedure. Forget one thing, and you can forget the session!

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FAQs

Should I learn on an electric guitar or acoustic?

It all depends on your personal preference and the type of music you want to play. Electric and acoustic guitars both have unique advantages.

Best Electric Guitar Under 300

 have thinner strings and therefore are a great choice for beginners because they require less hand strength. Players with small hands might also prefer an electric for its slimmer neck, which warrants an easier grip and shorter reach.

Learning on an acoustic guitar, conversely, can often be a less costly investment because it doesn’t require additional equipment. It can also ease a future transition into electric guitar because a player’s hands will already be acclimated to heavy acoustic strings.

If you are set on an best electric guitar under 300, Fender offers affordable guitar amplifiers at a variety of price points. Most are not only portable, but also easy to operate, making dialing in settings quite simple for newbies.

What strings do I need?

You’ll want to begin with a lighter string gauge. Lighter, thinner strings produce less tension, and for that reason are generally easier for beginners to work with. We recommend using a set of strings with a gauge of .009 inches to .042 inches, or .010 inches to .046 inches (known informally as “nines” or “10s”) for electric players. If you’re learning on an acoustic, look for a gauge of .011 inches to .052 inches (known as 11s) .

Different string materials also have unique benefits, including the tone they produce. Here’s a quick guide to buying guitar strings:

Electric Guitar Strings

Nickel strings: Clear and articulate; a versatile choice for rock, blues and jazz players

Stainless steel strings: Bright and less prone to wear; good for hard rock and metal

Acoustic Guitar Strings

80/20 Bronze: Bright and more metallic

Phosphor bronze: Dark, warm and mellow; a great choice for strummers.

Do I need other equipment to get started?

Yes. The right equipment can make all the difference in improving your technique and your tone. As you mature as a player, you can surround yourself with other tone-shaping accessories such as effects pedals, slides, etc.

 But for now, here are the absolute essentials:

 

  • Picks

 

Nothing is as vibrant–or confusing–as the sheer volume of pick shapes, sizes, thicknesses and materials offered at a music store. As you become more familiar with your best electric guitar under 300  you may find yourself trying out a number of picks to better accommodate your playing style. But generally speaking, plastic picks are a popular choice for their flexibility and grip. We recommend sticking to a standard size and shape, like the Fender Celluloid Pick, as a good starting point. Not to mention, the classic celluloid pick is an industry standard among many players.

As far as thickness goes, opt for a pick of medium thickness (between .73 mm–.88 mm), as it will guarantee you a solid grip without being too overwhelming to hold.

 

  • Strap

 

A strap is essential for stabilizing your instrument, especially if you intend to play standing up. Again, the variety of products you’ll encounter here is vast, and whatever material or design you choose is left to your discretion. However, as a beginner, comfort should be your ultimate priority. Choosing a strap that’s at least 2 inches in width, with additional padding (usually called neoprene), will help to prevent shoulder and neck pain.

Keep in mind that while electric guitars typically have two endpins on which you can attach your strap, acoustic guitars normally do not. You’ll need to purchase a strap button to secure the strap to your headstock. You can also use a shoelace or piece of string of equal density.

 

  • Cable

 

A cable can break your tone as quickly as it can make it, so opt for an instrument cable that’s shorter than 18.6 feet and features reinforced ends for minimal handling noise and signal loss.

 

  • Tuner

 

You’ll be able to tune your best electric guitar under 300 far more quickly and accurately with an electronic tuner or pitch pipe. Try a chromatic tuner, which allows you to tune in any key. Clip-on tuners, which attach to the headstock of your instrument and tune through the vibration of your strings, are a great choice for beginners because they’re portable, visible and very easy to use. And the Fender Tune app is a great tool, too, offering several tunings right on your mobile device.

How is a guitar tuned?

A guitar can be tuned a number of ways depending on the style of music being played, but for beginners, we’ll focus on basic standard tuning. If you are using a tuner with an LED display, make sure the needle is properly centered. Adjust your tuning machines accordingly if your sound falls flat or sharp.

When speaking in guitar terms, each string is numbered accordingly. The first string is the lightest string on the instrument — the one closest to the floor — whereas your sixth string is the heaviest. Beginning at the sixth string and progressing upward, the key for each string is as follows: E-A-D-G-B-E.

What’s the difference between barre chords and open chords?

You’ll start hearing both of these terms a lot as you develop your practice. Barre chords are produced by using your index finger to “fret” all six strings at once as you strum. Different chords are formed by forming different patterns with your other three fingers as you hold down the other six strings. Because a barre chord can be played in any key, you can also change keys quickly by simply moving your hand up and down the neck. New players may find it difficult to play barre chords initially because they require more hand strength and stretching.

Open chords, as the name suggests, do not require each string to be fretted, therefore leaving them “open” when strummed. As you progress as a player or develop your songwriting skills, you may opt for one over the other due to its sound. But by supplementing your play with both types of chords — especially in settings with multiple guitars — you’ll generate more full, complex and multidimensional tone.

Are my fingers supposed to hurt?

Yes, but don’t be discouraged. As a beginner, you’ll eventually improve your muscle strength in your playing arm and form calluses on your fretting hand. And yes, that dull pain and discomfort does come with the territory. Those aches are short-lived, especially if you continue to practice regularly, which is key to alleviating pain.

There are some ways to push through the pain like a pro. Again, lighter strings can help, as will lowering your string action (the distance between the fingerboard and the strings. A quick fix by a professional will shorten the amount of pressure you’ll need to exert as you press down.

How do I get the most out of my practice time?

The more you put into practicing your instrument, the more you’ll get out of it. Regular guitar practice is critical to improving your ability, even for those who are “naturals.” What’s more important, however, is proper practice. Keeping your technique in check will prevent you from forming bad habits that may sometimes take years to break.

Good posture, proper hand positioning and preventative stretching should always be considered. While it is normal to experience discomfort during your first few months of play, be mindful of tension and unnatural bending in your fingers and wrists.

Remember to take breaks. Great guitar playing doesn’t necessarily come from hours upon hours of excruciating practice. Quality is just as important as quantity. A refreshing breather every 20 minutes will keep your mind clear and enthusiasm piqued.

What’s the most common beginner’s pitfall?

Many beginners assume that technique and ability will come to them overnight. It’s this misnomer that leads to frustration and, sometimes, giving up your instrument altogether. Learning music is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a gradual learning experience that requires patience, time and true comprehension of concepts.

Racing through scales and scrutinizing every note is not what makes this craft enjoyable. Let your passion lead you. Learn at your own pace. Keep your abashed curiosity alive throughout the process. And above all else … just have fun.

Looking for more guitar knowledge? Check out our ultimate guide to your best electric guitar under 300  if you’re ready to learn guitar, sign up for a free trial to Fender Play.

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