If you have an aspiring guitarist on your holiday gift list, consider getting an instrument designed just for them. Shopping for a beginner’s guitar can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be, and Sam Ash is here to make it easier.

With so many different models and manufacturers to choose from, where do you begin? Right here, with the suggestions in Sam Ash’s holiday buying guide! And if you want more information, we have detailed Buyer’s Guides for starter electric guitars and starter acoustic guitars that will help you find the perfect instrument for your budding guitarist.

The most important thing to remember when shopping for a beginner’s guitar is that you get what you pay for. A quality beginner’s guitar can play hard for years without needing major repairs or adjustments, but a cheap knock-off might be all but unplayable from the moment you get it and impossible to even keep in tune. But don’t worry, there are great beginner’s guitars available at fantastic prices if you know what to look for.

What to Look for in a Beginner’s Electric Guitar:

Playability is the key to any instrument. A good quality beginner’s electric guitar that is properly set up makes practicing and learning the nuances of the instrument easier and more fun. Since everything from the thickness of the strings to the size of the frets can affect playability, buying a guitar specifically designed for new players is your best bet. Thankfully, every major manufacturer now makes a starter guitar designed with entry-level players in mind.

Fender’s Squier line has a few great starter options, like the Bullet Strat. Epiphone makes the Les Paul Express, a $99 version of the Gibson original. If your new guitarist likes the sounds of metal, an Ibanez GRX20 or an ESP LTD Viper 10 may be just what they’re looking for.

Electric Guitar Starter Packs

Another way to shop for a beginner’s guitar is to go with a guitar starter pack. Guitar starter packs not only include a high-quality starter guitar, but a practice amp and all the accessories needed to get you going out of the box. Many of the top name brand manufacturers offer both acoustic and electric guitar starter packs, so you can always find a fantastic guitar with all of the equipment needed to play it right away. The accessories included in guitar starter packs vary, but they usually include the guitar plus a practice amp, gig bag, strap, cord, and instructional book.

What if they already have a guitar?

If your beginner already has an instrument, there are still many great gift ideas out there. Song books, tuners, effects pedals, strings, and more! Check out our gift guides for guitarists and musicians for more ideas.