In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: March 14, 2021
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Whether you are just starting out to jam or you’ve been playing riffs for years, getting the best instrument for your money can be your best bet in heading to your next gig. Especially if you’re new to the music scene, getting an easy to play, yet popular instruments like the best electric guitar under $1,000, can not only help with learning how to play with ease but also finding affordable and quality teachers in your area to teach you.
Not only are electric guitars popular for solo players, but they are also sought-out for those who want to play in a band. Luxury brands are often sought-out the most because of their high-quality materials and even higher quality sounds. Fortunately, most luxury brands in guitars actually make quite affordable instruments for even the most starters of beginners. Some of the best electric guitars on the market are under $1,000.
In our guide today, we’ve highlighted the most important features of each of the electric guitars featured here, like back and top wood, scale length, number of frets, type of pickups, and warranty information, and why each of these features is important. We hope that you consider our review as an important part of the buying process before you choose the perfect guitar. After hours of research looking through various sources, we’ve put together a comparison table, in-detail reviews of each product, and a buying guide.
For the best all around electric guitar, the SE Custom 24 has the features to be one of the most sought-out designs on a high-quality platform. It is also extremely affordable even with all the features included.
This is undoubtedly one of the best PRS guitars that endorses quality and is also backed by the line of credibility through internationally-touring artists, musicians, and even those who aren’t exactly on the highest point of their careers, the amateur, aspiring players.
The SE Custom 24 has a maple top finish with a mahogany back. Layered with a wide, thin maple neck and topped with rosewood fretboard with bird inlays, this guitar is one of the best of the best on the market in its class.
The PRS patented molded tremolo bridge not only offers an improvement on sound but also on visually-appealing substance. The sounds are directly sourced from the 85/15 “S” pickups and paired with a multiple sound features, including the volume and push or pull tone control. You can also enjoy a unique sound from the 3-way blade switch controller and pickup selector. The SE Custom 24 is backed by nickel hardware and tailored to a modern classic sound with road-worthy durability.
The double cutaway shape of the Yamaha RevStar RS720B is not the only feature that makes this guitar the top of our list. It’s also the solid body of its build and the solid wood material that it is constructed with.
The Yamaha RevStar RS720B is made with maple flame for its top frame and mahogany for the wood. To finish out the design, this electric guitar is then finished with a classic gloss body finish and a standard truss rod.
The design is also unique with the various wood types. From a Rosewood fretboard to its mahogany neck.
The Yamaha RevStar RS720B is designed to rev up, with master volume and tone, making it possible to control your play to the utmost degree, as well as the 3-way pickup switch, this guitar can be played on by beginners and experts.
This model of Yamaha has the VT5+ passive pickups and can be found as P90 guitar also. The music line has 22 frets to its name. What makes another feature great in this guitar is also the gig bag that is included.
What we liked:
Really well designed and built with the binding
The feel with the wrap around bridge is great in the hands
The finish matt top is unique with subtle maple under charcoal
You can feel the top vibrate powerfully
What could be better:
The guitar has a plastic nut
The frets are under-pronounced under the neck binding
Designed for metal rock specifically, the Ibanez Iron Label RGIX27FESM is the most unique and updated version of the Iron Label Series.
It is not only lightweight, it is made with a designed body to last with the basswood body and a spalted maple top.
Not only does it look good, it has a sound that resonates, too with rich sustenance. The Ibanez Iron Label RGIX27FESM has a variety of features, with a 3-piece maple/bubinga Nitro Wizard fast neck, jumbo features, and a bound ebony fingerboard. It was made for metal, emitting a thick, complex distortion to be able to dish and carve out the perfect sound.
Fortunately, with all this sound also comes control. The Ibanez Iron Label RGIX27FESM comes with a performance-enhancing killswitch that puts—and keeps—you in command.
The foggy stained finish, the jumbo frets, and the Gibraltar Standard II-7 bridge not only make this guitar unique but also impressive.
What we liked:
Comes with a Standard II-7 bridge
Kill switch for optimal control
What could be better:
Some artists may not like the colors of the guitar
Under the $1,000 price range mark, the Gretsch 5420T is a great buy for those looking for a traditional design and an even better play. The single-cutaway hollow body guitar comes backed by a 1-year limited warranty and is designed with incredibly affordable yet professional features to blow the price tag out of the water.
The Gretsch twang is not only vintage but also contains humbucking pickups. The
Gretsch G5420T also has an adjusto-matic bridge and a Bigsby B60 tailpiece so that you can best control your pitches while you play.
The guitar also has a three-way pickup switching and four controls for optimal performance and settings that you can switch on-demand. The master volume is also another feature that you will enjoy, whether a beginning player or a more advanced instrumentalist.
In the spotlight, you will be able to land your perfect solo with tonal tricks and its electromatic, unique skillset.
The tailpiece is another feature of the Gretsch G5420T that makes it unique and well-worth adding to your instrumental stock.
If you’re wanting to load your instrumental arsenal with a workhorse that also changed the way the world plays guitar, the Fender Standard Stratocaster should be your go-to instrument.
For the design on its own, the Fender Standard Stratocaster, like its name, comes with a select alder body and is lined with a 21-fret gloss maple neck. This not only gives it a unique look but also a musical style that is great for solo or band playing.
The guitar also has a maple fretboard, 2 single-coil pickups, and a humbucker bridge pickup. Some other features also include a vintage-style tremolo and die-cast tuning keys.
Although it has a vintage style tremolo, it is finished with chrome hardware and a modern, C-shaped gloss maple neck. The maple fretboard also is a great part of the guitar, with its unique design and reputable build.
The Fender Standard Stratocaster also boasts die-cast tuning keys and two standard, single-coil pickups with ceramic magnets.
Although the case and gig bag are sold separately, the guitar is under full pro coverage that not only backs up the guitar but also has protection for your gear.
The ESP LTD D-5 is a 5-string bass guitar that is designed with a 5-piece maple and mahogany neck and a roasted jatoba neck. The guitar is also finalized with natural satin finish and a string thru bridge.
The natural merbau body and neck-through design can help provide the body you need for the electronic, high-quality performance you’re looking for. This guitar, the ESP LTD D-5 has the sustain and resonance you need for it to sound high-quality—no matter the style.
The neck-through construction and particular woods used in this guitar will help keep the volume in balance.
The scale of the ESP LTD D-5 is measured at 34″ and contains a rosewood fingerboard with 24 XJ frets. The hardware is made of black nickel with grover tuners and a 3-band active EQ.
The ESP LTD D-5 doesn’t come with a case included but still has a lifetime limited warranty.
What we liked:
Comes with a lifetime limited warranty
Designed with multiple woods in the build of the design
The Schecter 430 C-6 is a great entry level guitar for not only beginners but those looking to switch to the Diamond Series name.
The Schecter name is not only a high-quality brand backed by years of experience and brand-building, the C-6 Deluxe also has features that are found on much more expensive guitars.
Its design, new, sleep contours of the C-6 are a high upgrade from the C-6, and combines tone, good looks, and a resonating sound.
The Schecter 430 C-6 is made with Basswood Body with a maple neck, a Tune-O-Matic Bridge with a string-thru body, and Schechter Diamond Plus Pickups. The fretboard is made out of rosewood and the nut is made of graphite.
The Schecter 430 C-6 has two humbuckers and a speed-built neck. This guitar is also made for rock and roll and various types of music. The neck is much thicker, woodier, and offers clean and reverberating tones.
Extremely functional, although this guitar may lack in a bit of personality, this is a perfect “budget guitar” that can handle the sound and playing hard.
The maple, bolted on neck is built smooth with a jaundiced yellow feature and a svelte C-profile.
The Takamine GC5CE-NAT has not only a solid-top construction but it sounds great, too. The Venetian-style cutaway and Takamine electronics system produces the great sound that only an acoustic-electric classical guitar can do.
The Takamine GC5CE-NAT is a fantastic guitar for not only solo performance but also on-stage band-playing. The GC5CE is built with a fan-braced solid spruce top and a black walnut back and sides. These particular woods make it possible to produce warm and rich sound. Especially with the nylon strings, you’ll get quality sound with every pluck.
The Takamine GC5CE-NAT also has a slim mahogany neck and a laurel fingerboard so that it can feel and play with high-quality performance. The onboard TP-4T preamp system comes with a built-in tuner.
The guitar also has great features including a dovetail neck joint, an inlaid mosaic rosette, a synthetic bone nut and bridge saddle, a laurel head cap, gold tuners with white pearl buttons, and a gloss finish.
What we liked:
The high-quality construction of the guitar and the wood
The Oscar Schmidt OE30 is build with a classic semi-hollow body and is backed by multiple, versatile tone options.
The high-quality construction and components make the instrument unique and high-performing. Great for rock, blues, and jazz, the Oscar Schmidt OE30 can tailor to any type of music.
Especially if you’re looking for that hollow body or semi-hollow body sound, the mahogany double cutaway comes with a maple bolt-on neck for optimum design and build.
The Oscar Schmidt OE30 also has a rosewood fingerboard and comes built with a Tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece. You can control your music and sound through two volume and two tone controls, as well as a 3-way pickup selector.
This is a perfect beginner electric guitar and it also comes with chrome die cast tuners and 2 humbucker pickups. The entire guitar is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
If you want to perform a rich, clear, and distinct sound, with well-adjusted tuners for manipulation, the Oscar Schmidt OE30 is a great buy.
What we liked:
Clear sound with well-adjusted tuners
Comfortable and convenient to play seated or standing up
With a hollow body or semi-hollow body build
What could be better:
If you are a more advanced player, it might be too basic
Things to Consider
To help you decide which electric guitar is not only best on the market but also best for you and your playing level and style, here is a buying guide to sort out the most important features and details you should look out for.
Especially if you’ve got your budget up high to $1,000, that puts you in the woods for some pretty amazing guitars. So, when we say you should set and keep your expectations pretty high, we’re not trying to sell you short!
Raising your budget up to $1,000 means that you’re in the market for some quality wood, components, design, and even hardware parts that make up the instrument.
Each of these features can be a factor in its own right to making a decision on which guitar you should be. Normally, if your guitar is designed with basswood and adler, it will mean that it is made of relatively affordable wood. However, you may come to find these woods in high-quality pieces like the ones on this guide.
All of the guitars on this market are compatible with various types of music—from jazz to metal to soft rock. Especially with the price range, there are plenty of high-quality guitars available. From retro to modern to vintage styles and designs, there are various types for what you’re looking for.
Let’s take care of your electric guitar
Before you buy, make sure you know what you’re going to be getting yourself into when it comes to maintenance. Certain electric guitars require much more care and attention than others.
Here are some tips to caring for an electric guitar:
Especially when you’re learning guitar chords, you’ll need to care for your guitar so it sounds just right—learning on an un-tuned guitar can certainly set you up for a tune-less guitar future.
Oils coming from your fingers might cause problems for you with your guitar in the near future—especially if it isn’t well maintained.
The dust, oil, and dirt from your fingers will have a negative effect on your strings. This may lead later on to stress cracking in the finish, especially if it isn’t properly cleaned on a regular basis.
Maintenance also isn’t just about cleaning—you’ll need to change the strings for maintenance, clean the neck and clean the body. Make sure you are getting the right strings for your guitar, though!
Choosing the Right Strings for Your Guitar: The type of strings of your guitar will depend on not only your guitar model but also the type of music you want to play and your personal playing preference.
Clean Your Strings and Change Regularly: Depending on how often you play, cleaning and changing can make a difference in the sound and lifetime of your guitar.
You can easily clean your strings using soft microfiber cleaning cloths. If you have the extra time, try and wipe the strings after every single time you play to help extend the lifetime of your strings (and even keep them in tune).
Clean The Neck and Body: Using the same cloth you just used for cleaning the strings, you can clean the body. For particular wood like rosewood or mahogany fretboard in the neck, you can use steel wool for the frets and in between them.
No matter which type of electric guitar you’re cleaning, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you are staying away from the pickups or electronic hardware with liquid. The electronics of the guitar are particularly delicate and can be destroyed with contact with any liquids.
Tips on choosing an electric guitar
To help you decide which electric guitar you want, here are some tips:
You should familiarize yourself with the various components of a guitar.
Decide the body style that works for you, between solid bodies, hollow bodies, semi-hollow bodies, and electric-acoustic guitars.
Make sure the neck and different features of the guitars are up to not only your standard but also quite comfortable in your hands.
You should also make sure that the rest of your gear is up to standard and compatible with other guitars, like an amplifier, cables, pedals, etc.
Consider the following features to choose the best electric guitar under $1000
Before you buy, we mentioned that it is clever if you should familiarize yourself with the various features often associated with electric guitars. Here is the section in our guide where we will help give a little insight into what there is to know when it comes to guitars:
Body style and shape
There are three different types of electric guitars when it comes to the body: Solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body.
These different bodies have one significant characteristic that sets them apart: the sound resonance that comes out from them.
A solid body is best if you’re looking to play fast and heavy music like metal, rock or punk. These particular types of music work best with this guitar because of the sustenance of the sound and the loud sound. Most beginners should use a solid body guitar, like the Yamaha RevStar RS720B.
A semi-hollow or hollow body are best for jazz players or someone looking to play a softer style like jazz, soft rock, pop, country or even the blues. These guitars are full and rich with sound.
The importance of the shape of the guitar on the other hand also lies not only on looks but also the style of how it fits in with your genre and how comfortable it feels in your hands.
Scale length and neck
Another feature that is important when choosing a guitar to suit your style and taste is the scale length and neck. The length is produced by the string that vibrates. It is normally measured in inches, from the length of the nut to the bridge.
When that number of the scale length is longer, that means the tension in the strings of the guitar will be much tighter, meaning you have to give more effort to pluck them. The sound of these particular strings will be much brighter and with a well-defined tone.
If the scale length is shorter, that means it will be much easier to play—especially for softer, weaker or smaller hands and less-advanced players.
The neck of the guitar extends out from the body and is used to show and display the frets. With most guitars on the market, the metal truss rod will help prevent the neck from bowing and twisting.
How wide the neck is and the type of wood the neck is designed with will make a difference in comfort, especially when interchanging the position of your hands on the neck.
Most necks found on the guitars of this guide will be either “C”- or “U”-shaped. However, if you have smaller hands, you’ll want a narrower neck to be able to fiddle with the frets and notes much easier.
There are three different ways that necks are set:
The pickups of the guitar are the metal pieces that lie beneath the strings of your guitar. These can be made of plastic or metal.
These pieces of the guitar give the guitar its tone. The string vibrations are sent electronically to sound distribution through the two different types of pickups: single-coil and humbuckers.
As we mentioned before, the tonewood, the wood that the guitars are made of will make a huge difference when it comes to sound. This interaction between the strings, the magnets, and the wood is an extremely important component that defines the guitar’s sound.
The type of wood will influence the resonance of the guitar’s sound. It will influence how long the strings will vibrate for and the motion’s shape.
Bridges and tailpieces change the game
The bridges and the tailpieces of the guitar can also make a huge difference in the sound of its tone and your decision in choosing a particular kind.
The tailpiece of the guitar can also be bolted on or synced on.
Fretboard and frets
Ever see lead guitarists running their hands back and forth in a blur to jam in their music? The fretboards and frets of the guitar are those thin metal bars that run down the neck. They are note separators that help beginners find the perfect finger placement and experts play to their heart’s content.
In our guide, the guitars displayed here normally have 22 frets, like the Oscar Schmidt OE30. However, if you want to play rock or metal music, you’ll want to aim for 24 frets, like the ESP LTD D-5.
A warranty on an investment like an electric guitar is something that you definitely need to consider before you buy. Some guitar will have a 1-year limited warranty, like the Yamaha RevStar RS720B while others will have a lifetime limited warranty, like the Oscar Schmidt OE30.
For the frequently asked questions that you also may have, here are some answers:
Especially if you’re a beginner, you might not be wanting to go a long way in investing in something that in the long run, might not be worth your time. However, this new purchase will be well worth the investment if you’re willing to spend the money and the time in picking a high-quality instrument.
Especially if you have a warranty, which in most cases—you will, then investing in the guitar will be a much easier decision to make. Any damage to your guitar can and will be covered by the manufacturer. Whether it will be repaired or replaced is another question, however, either way—it will be taken care of.
An electric guitar is not like an acoustic guitar—especially in the way it can be tuned. The electric guitar can actually be tuned in a ton of different ways. With the type of music being played, the way the guitar is tuned will differ. If you are a beginner looking for average-style playing, the electric guitar can be tuned by the basic standard way.
Using an LED tuner, you need to make sure the needle is properly centered.
Not only do you need an electric guitar in itself, but you’ll also need certain accessories and features to be able to play it and progress in your playing. Especially if you are planning on traveling from lessons, back home, and to your gigs, you’ll need accessories to have your guitar much more portable.
All electric guitars will need an amplifier and cable to play and emit sound. However, other accessories that you may need include a strap, a stand, a case for portability, extra strings and picks, and a tuner.
We definitely recommend you to consider the ESP LTD D-5 for its rich deep sound has made us consider no other guitar as the best bass option under $1000.
If you’ve skipped our guide today, here is the best three guitars on the market:
The PRS SE Custom 24 is rated as our Editor’s Choice for the best electric guitar under $1000. With its lifetime limited warranty, it is backed with the influence of a rosewood fretboard, PRS patented tremolo bridge, a 3-way blade switch controller, and nickel hardware for optimal playing.
The Yamaha RevStar RS720B is rated as our Best Solid Body Electric Guitar Under $1000. Although it is only backed by a 1-year limited warranty, it still has a ton of features to put it at the top. The Yamaha RevStar has jumbo frets, a set-in neck, master tone and volume controls, and a gig bag included in the set.
The Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II is our best budget-friendly electric guitar under $1000. With 22 frets, humbucker pickups, and backed by a lifetime-limited guarantee, this budget guitar has the features to go above and beyond the affordable instrument.
We hope this guide has helped you choose the best electric guitar under $1,000 and the best one for you.