How Much is an Electric Guitar?

Who else wants to know: How much is an electric guitar?

Often people want to know how much is an electric guitar? 

The easy answer is that electric guitars can cost anywhere from under $100 all the way up to $10,000. 

If you’re an absolute beginner, you’re better off spending about $200 on an electric guitar. 

At this price point, you’re much more likely to buy an electric guitar that is properly set up and will be easy to play out of the box.

You should be able to just tune it up and start learning.

At price points lower than this, you run the risk of getting an electric guitar that isn’t properly set up and could be difficult, if not impossible to play.

Also, don’t forget you’ll need an amplifier so you need to add that into your budget. 

A quality amplifier can cost as little as $100, so you should probably budget around $300 for your electric guitar and amplifier.

Electric guitar packages are a great way to get a guitar, amplifier, and accessories all at one go and are worth considering. See our post on Electric Guitar Packages for Beginners for more in-depth information.  

Bottom Line: Expect to spend around $300 for a quality electric guitar and amplifier.

What is the biggest determining factor in how much an electric guitar costs?

The style of music you want to play on the electric guitar will have a big impact on how much your new electric guitar costs. 

The different features of an electric guitar are designed for playing different types of music.

If you’re planning on playing heavy metal music exclusively, you’ll want to purchase a different type of guitar than someone who wants to simply learn the basics of electric guitar and play some simple songs.

The biggest thing to worry about is that you are looking at guitars with the right features for you.

If you plan to play country music, you’ll be a lot happier with a guitar that has single-coil pickups.

If you want to play rhythm guitar, you won’t be well served with a guitar that has a very thin and flat neck since they’re designed for shredding.

These are all things you need to take into consideration because they will affect the price of the guitar.

Luckily, if you’re simply eager to learn the basics, just about any electric guitar will do for a beginner.

As long as it’s set up correctly, intonates properly, and is enjoyable design-wise you should be fine.

This will help us narrow down what price you should expect to pay for an electric guitar. 

Otherwise, you won’t know why one guitar costs 10x as much as another, despite the fact that they look almost exactly the same.

With guitars, you can expect to pay more for more features.

That’s one of the reasons it’s important to think about what type of music you’re looking to play.

You don’t want to waste money paying for features you don’t need or features that could hamper you from playing the kind of music you want to. 

Is it worth paying a bit more money for an electric guitar?

While it’s easy to assume that a guitar with a low price will be good enough for a beginner, it’s not that straightforward.

The quality of an electric guitar can differ dramatically with the price.

A $99 guitar could be playable, or it could be so unplayable that a beginner gives up and never touches the guitar again.

If you’re spending about $300 you can expect to receive a good quality guitar that will be set up properly, will intonate correctly, and will be easier for a beginner to learn to play.

The problem with trying to save money on an electric guitar is that experienced guitarists can easily set up, adjust, and repair most of these inexpensive sub $200 and $100 guitars because they have experience and know-how.

If you’re just starting out, however, it’s worth it to pay a bit more to ensure the guitar you receive doesn’t have issues like rough fret ends or is set up improperly.

It could cost anywhere from $50 to $100 to take an electric guitar to a guitar tech and have it set up.

This is why it’s often better to save that money and buy an electric guitar that costs a bit more.

This isn’t to say that lower priced guitars aren’t any good!

It simply means that the cost savings measures that the manufacturers rely on could end up hampering beginners from being able to play.

It can be a gamble whether you end up getting a good guitar or not.

Do I need to buy anything else when purchasing an electric guitar?

An amplifier is often something that people forget when pricing out an electric guitar.

It’s an important factor in buying an electric guitar because an amp can often cost as much, if not more, than an electric guitar.

This is a good reason to expand your budget beyond what an electric guitar by itself costs.

Fortunately, you can get an excellent solid-state amp that has many useful features for less than $100.

It’s important to remember that without an amplifier you can’t really play an electric guitar.

Yes, you can still practice and play but the volume will be extremely low and you risk developing bad habits.

It’s common to end up picking or strumming too loudly when playing without an amplifier in an unconscious attempt to have more volume.

What happens when you finally plug in your guitar is your playing habits causes problems like over distortion or even fret buzz since on an electric guitar, as opposed to an acoustic, a lot of volume is controlled solely by settings on the amplifier.

Other than an amp, you’ll probably want to consider things like a guitar case or a gig bag, a guitar stand, an assortment of picks, and a tuner.

Is it okay to buy one of the cheap guitars I see available online?

The labor that goes into making inexpensive electric guitars means that they don’t spend as much time finishing the guitar.

This means that things like sharp fret ends are very common.

You have to adjust your expectations for what you’re getting for $99.

The reason is that you may get a gem of a guitar for $99 that’s been set up properly and plays wonderfully out of the box.

We’ve seen guitars that were purchased for $75 that were perfect.

Or you could end up with an electric guitar that has rough fret ends, a nut that has been improperly cut, and a fretboard that doesn’t intonate correctly.

There’s no way to know beforehand with a very inexpensive electric guitar.

Plus, things like rough fret ends are very easy to deal with and are more of an inconvenience than anything else.

An improperly cut nut or frets that aren’t set up properly can keep beginners from being able to play the guitar at all.

The labor required for things like checking string height and ensuring that there are no frets that buzz would make the inexpensive $99 guitar cost two or even three times as much.

This is why it’s often a false economy to try and buy the cheapest electric guitar you can find.

You’ll often end up paying as much as you would for a guitar that comes set up properly out of the box.

Why can’t I just fix up a really cheap electric guitar?

If you’re handy or have some basic tools at home, it’s possible that you can easily fix whatever’s wrong with an electric guitar.

At the very least you can make it playable.

If you’ve got a friend who plays electric guitar it can be worth asking them about setting up your guitar.

Most guitarists learn to do the basic maintenance and setup of their electric guitars because they don’t want to pay $50 to $100 for someone else to set up their guitar when they own 5 or 10 different guitars.

Set up is something you really only have to do once unless you drastically switch playing styles or change to a very different gauge of guitar strings.

The most common faults of very inexpensive electric guitars can often be fixed for an investment of under $40, assuming that the basic build and set upof the electric guitar is adequate.

You really have to ask yourself how comfortable you are doing your own work on your guitar, especially if you’re a complete beginner.

It’s sort of like maintaining your car. Yes, you can change your own oil and tune it up, but would it be better to pay someone else to do it? Only you can answer this question.


  • How much is a beginner electric guitar?
    • Beginner electric guitars range anywhere from under $100 all the way up to about $500. A lower cost guitar might not be set up properly and have minor issues like rough fret ends or could be absolutely perfect, it’s a bit of a luck of the draw situation.
  • How much should you spend on electric guitar?
    • If you’re an absolute beginner, you should budget around $300 for an electric guitar and amplifier.