If you’re just starting out, or looking for a beater electric guitar, you’ve come to the right place. Budget or beginner guitars are perfect for aspiring guitarists who are just starting out. They’re equally at home in the hands of experienced players keen on a backup guitar for the road.
Of course, working with a tighter budget means you won’t be getting all the bells and whistles. However, you’ll still be getting a heck of an instrument with little compromise in terms of features. Also, guitar manufacturing technology (i.e. CNC) is improving all the time. Coupled with more stringent quality control – you’ll find that many of these guitars are built to impressive standards. Especially when you compare them to similar beginner guitars built a decade or so ago.
With that thought in mind, check out some of our curated list of beginner guitars that are a steal at below $700.
Squier FSR Affinity Telecaster
The Squier Affinity line gives you a taste of Fender guitar shapes and tones at a stellar price. This FSR Affinity Telecaster bears all the hallmarks of a classic Telecaster – a sleek and resonant body, a solid C-shape maple neck, vintage-style pair of single coils, and the iconic headstock and shape. Bright, full, and bold, this Tele will offer endless hours of fun as you explore and find your own style across music genres.
Squier Classic Vibe 70s Stratocaster
The Stratocasters of the 70s were easily distinguishable from the first iterations of the 50s and 60s. They rocked a larger headstock, that according to legends like Yngwie Malmsteen – provides better resonance and sustain.
Whatever your thoughts are on the CBS vs pre-CBS era, the one thing you can’t argue is that the Squier Classic Vibe 70s replicates guitars from that era with astonishing accuracy. Equipped with three Fender-designed pickups (two single-coil and a humbucker), a vintage-style tremolo and a comfortable C-shape maple neck, you’ve got a guitar that has solid rock’n’roll credentials.
Squier Affinity Series Starcaster
Seeking a guitar that is sure to turn heads? Check out this unique Squier Starcaster, an offset semi-hollow with an unconventional bolt-on neck. This galactic guitar comes equipped with quality appointments that have helped propel it into cult classic status.
Control-wise, this quirky guitar has a 3-way switch, master volume and master tone. It’s a simple layout that makes it really easy to dial in that sound in your head. You’ll definitely love the chimey high frequencies and fat mids that will shine through whenever you play.
Playability, tone, and looks are all hallmarks of an Ibanez guitar. You’ll find all that even in their highly acclaimed RG line. Home to some of the best metal guitars around, these solidbodies are built for speed and precision. The RG421 shreds through riffs like nobody’s business, thanks to the ultra-fast 3 piece Wizard III neck. The versatility of its dual humbucking pickups also makes it ideal for players looking to delve into multiple styles of music. Throw in a fixed bridge for rock-solid tuning stability, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic instrument that is unmistakably Ibanez through and through.
Gretsch G2210 Streamliner
The Gretsch G2210 Streamliner is a great value guitar, especially if you love classic ’50s tone. Broad’Tron humbucking pickups deliver traditional growl and grit, but are capable of the cleanest sounds out there too. Its compensated wraparound bridge is another plus, ramping up sustain while also supporting chord and leadwork. Since the nato body is lightweight enough for extended jamming sessions, be ready to spend hours getting to know every inch of its 22-fret laurel fingerboard.