5 Budget-Friendly Electric Guitars Under $300 – Get the Best Sound for the Price
Last updated: Apr 15, 2020
59Hours of Research
Whether you‘re a beginner guitarist or looking to amp up your solo, investing in the best electric guitar can make all the difference in the world. If you’re on the market for a new electric guitar, you’re not alone. Electric guitars are quite popular instruments to invest in—regardless if you are a beginning level musician, a teacher or a rock pro! Especially with our list here of the best electric guitars under $300, it doesn’t matter your budget—the cheaper guitars can be not only affordable but also of decent quality, delivering outstanding performance.
In our guide today, we’re going to be taking you through the various features to consider before you buy, like the scale length, weight, body wood, number of frets, and warranty information, and then give you a buying guide to help you make the decision.
Top 5 Electric Guitars Under $300 Review 2020
After hours and hours of research trying to find the best guitars out there, we’ve put together this article, beginning with the product table and ending with the buying guide to help you figure out which guitar is right for you. You can check out each individual product review or scroll all the way down to the end to see our final verdict. Either way, we hope this article can help you choose the best electric guitar under $300 for you.
The Schecter 430 C-6 Deluxe is our Editor’s Choice of being the best all-around electric guitar for under $300. If you’re looking for a guitar to fit the bill, no matter your experience level and everything like that—this one will!
Beginning with its construction, Basswood body with a Maple neck, the design of the actual guitar itself is music to your ears. The Tune-O-Matic Bridge with its string-thru body are also great features on this guitar, as well as the sound and control you get from the Schechter Diamond Plus Pickups.
You can hear the smooth tones and easy maneuverability of the Rosewood fretboard and of course the Graphite Nut of the guitar is always a nice touch.
The Schecter 430 C-6 Deluxe is actually one of the first entry level guitars of the Schechter Diamond Series, which makes it pretty special. Not only is it backed by a high-quality company, it also is backed with several features that increase it’s already high-end value.
It boasts, actually, features that you would normally find on much more expensive guitars. The Schecter 420 C-6 Deluxe is the perfect combination of professional quality, playability, and playing tone.
It’s sleek black look
Comes with features not found in other “budget guitars”
Can be for beginners or experts
Lifetime limited warranty
It is an entry-level guitar so maybe not for advanced
The Ibanez GRX70QA TEB is one of the best electric guitars that your under $500 money price can buy.
Backed by the Ibanez line, there are over three decades of history and brand perfecting when it comes to this high-performance instrument. It doesn’t matter if you want to play a hardtail or fixed bridge, this locking tremolo system is one of the most precise guitars.
If you want an affordable, quality, electric guitar, the Ibanez GRX70QA TEB not only fits the bill with sound but also looks great—with its solid body, transparent emerald green finish, modern strat body shape and 6 strings for easy play.
When going upward on the neck, it has a bolt placed on there, leading up to 22 frets for easy playing—whether you’re playing full-on rock or strumming your way through a piece.
The body of the Ibanez GRX70QA TEB is made of Poplar and the top of Quilted Maple Veneer. The GRX neck is designed with Maple and the 16” fretboard is made of New Zealand Pine.
The inlays on the fretboard are dots, which make it easy to see for beginners learning cords. The entire hardware is chrome and the guitar has a 5-way pickup selector switch to bring home the tones.
The selection and switch is easy-to-use
The neck is designed with quality, is comfortable, and is fast
If you’re looking to switch up performance, the Yamaha APXT2EW is a great choice for an acoustic-electric guitar under $300.
With its compact size and exotic wood design, has a top made of spruce wood and tropical tonewood fills up the back and sides.
Coming with a built-in tuner included, the Yamaha APXT2EW is seen as a premium upgrade to the Yamaha APXT2. You can get all you want from the model but in a more compact size that is not only easier to transport but extremely easy to use.
Perfect for those who are beginners or with smaller hands, this a fun travel guitar to have as a musical instrument. However, it’s not simply just a travel guitar—it has features of some of the most expensive and advanced guitars. With an active preamp, a shandy onboard tuner (perfect for the stage or in the studio), a padded gig bag for travel, and a 2-year limited warranty, this is a great buy for an acoustic-electric guitar.
The exotic wood finish with the mango-topped merant will give you that balanced tone and natural acoustic sound you’re looking for with an onboard ART-based preamp to plug in anywhere.
It is 3/4 of the normal size of a guitar—perfect for smaller hands
Coming up on our already budgeted list, the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II is our budget-friendly pick for an artist who is still looking to save even more!
As one of the top-selling models of the Epiphone line, this is a great electric guitar for a beginner who wants to get used to the feel and tone of a Les Paul for a possible guitarist career. However, it’s not just for beginners—even seasoned pros like the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II because of it’s great sound and how it can take a beating.
Not only is it budget-friendly—but you still get high quality for an affordable price. It actually comes with a lifetime limited warranty, meaning you can keep on ripping your riffs and it will never cave in.
The body of the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II is made of Okoume, as well as the 1960s SlimTaper “D” Profile neck. The neck joint is a bolt-on style, with an increased scale length of 24.75”, which is one of our longer ones here on in this guide.
As other guitars here, the fingerboard has a dot inlay and a radius of 12”. The nut width is measured out at 1.68” and is designed with nickel-made hardware.
According to a number of buyers, this is also an ideal guitar for the Rocksmith game which is designed to aid beginners on their learning path.
With a lifetime warranty
Ergonomic and comfortable to play especially for users with small and medium-sized hands
Has a Simplified Tonal Adjustment with single Toggle Switch
The Squier is one of the longest electric guitars we have here on our guide and in the marker under a price of $300. With its agathis body and 19 frets to work with, you can definitely consider this a great buy—from its features to its build to how it plays.
The Squier is one of the more modest guitars from the Fender line, however, its long scale makes it possible to play all the tones you want, with 30” of scale length.
This model is perfect for beginners to full-time guitarists, and is backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
Although it has a shorter scale it is less wiry, which leads to a lighter sound than the normal, deep, long scale basses.
It is designed with a one-piece maple neck, giving off a solid tone and maple fingerboard for the master volume and tone controls.
The Squier has a double cutaway body and a single coil. It comes with an excellent finish and an all-black look.
Looks great for a budgeted price
Warm tone that is smooth
Perfect for new players
Fast to play, use, and is comfortable
It needs help staying in tune—constant care and maintenance
Whether it’s your first guitar and you’re looking to rip or you’ve been in the game so long you’re looking for a budget travel guitar, here is our buying guide to help you choose the perfect product.
Cheap electric guitar – what to expect from the instrument?
You really opt for a new electric guitar, but can’t afford a high-end one, like an Ibanez or a PRS guitar. You might think that going cheap will compromise quality. However, certain styles and models that come at a more affordable price will still have the features needed to generate a fantastic, high-quality sound. If you’re only starting to play, check out our selection of the best beginner electric guitar packs that can also easily be found under 300 dollars only.
Electric guitars across the board will work along the same lines—no matter how expensive their price tag may be. The pickup of the guitar normally works as a magnetic field, gathering that current generated by the pluck and vibration of the string.
That vibration goes through the preamp circuit and is controlled by the guitar cable and settings and then transferred to the amplifier. That’s where the sound comes out, with the signal, various tones, controls, and effects. You can get a high-quality guitar amp for under 200 dollars, so there’s no need to empty your entire purse for a superb sound.
The sound that comes out of the amp will be determined by the amplifier’s design and capabilities, which is then outputted to a speaker.
In short, the various features of the guitar each play a role in how the sound is then transmitted.
How to take care of an electric guitar – life-prolonging tips
Especially since you’re not only investing your money but also your time and effort into your music, you should try your best to take care of your guitar so it lasts as long (or even longer) than your warranty ensures:
Make sure you change the strings on a regular basis. Clean the fretboard while you’re doing so.
Wipe down the fretboard quickly after every time you use it
Don’t leave your guitar in a changing weather environment—keep it in a consistent-temperature kept area. Keep it also humidified.
Clean and polish your guitar regularly.
Do not scratch or ding your guitar if you can help it—a case can definitely help.
Bring it regularly to a technician for a tune-up.
Consider the following features to choose the perfect electric guitar under $300
Before you buy, here are a few features to consider to make sure you’re choosing the right fit for your musical adventure:
Scale length and weight
The measurement of the length of the string that vibrates is normally taken from the nut all the way to the bridge. If you have a longer scale length, like the Squier by Fender Bronco Bass which has a 30” scale length, it means that the tighter the feel will be with the string tension. A shorter scale length means the play is easier for smaller hands—it also means a warmer tone.
The weight of the guitar is also a huge factor—especially if you are looking to transport it for gigs or while you’re traveling. Although the weight of each guitar is not featured here, it is definitely something that you should consider.
The body type of the guitar can make all the difference. As seen here, the body is not only unique with the type of wood it is designed with but also the type of body it is, from solid to hollow to semi-hollow.
The wood makes a huge difference to the sound. As you can see through looking at the individual product reviews, each guitar is made up of a combination of several different types of wood.
From a rosewood fretboard to a maple neck, these guitars will differ based on the type of wood they are made out of and will then differ in sound, as well.
Here are a few types of tone wood available:
Pickups and controls
With electric guitars, the features go beyond the build and to the controls. if you’re looking for a basic design, you can get the single-coil pickup, which produces a bright and crisp sound.
A humbucker pickup will, as the name suggests, leaving a humming sound with two single-coils. This sort of pickup will emit a thicker, louder, and more powerful tone.
The piezo pickup uses mechanical vibration instead of magnets. The sort of sound emulated here are much like an acoustic tone.
Finally, an active pickup will need batteries. They also include filters and equalization circuits. This sort of pickup emits a higher output and a cleaner, clearer sound.
Bridge and tailpiece
The bridge and the tailpiece play important roles with the tone and playability of the guitar.
Found mounted on the lower portion. They can be used to adjust string lengths, gauges, and metals. They are responsible for keeping the guitar in tune.
The bridge-tailpiece system:
Can be a Tune-o-matic, a two-point rocking tremolo, a fulcrum vibrato, a locking vibrato, a Bigsby, a six-point rocking tremolo, a trapeze tailpiece or a string-through body.
The guitar shape can also make a difference in the sound. There are a few different shapes when it comes to an electric guitar:
Consider the neck
The neck is also a highly important part of the guitar build. Extending out from the body, this part has not only the fretboard and headstock for the tuners, but also a metal truss rod. This is an important feature of the neck that keeps the shape of the neck from contorting.
The neck will be different not only in construction but also in the design of wood.
The three different types of necks are Bolt-on, Set neck, and Neck-through.
Bolt-on necks are nailed right onto the guitar—this makes the necks easier to replace, customize and repair.
Set necks are glued onto the guitar and clamped on. These make for more difficult repairs.
Neck-throughs are much more stable than the other two but also more expensive. They are laminated along the whole length of the neck and come with ‘wings’ or ‘fins’.
Acoustic-electric guitar – would it fit your style?
The main solution to figuring out which would best fit your style is deciding how you want to use your guitar. Playing live, recording song, and avoiding having to buy extra equipment will make a huge difference in your decision.
After all, if you can’t choose between acoustic or electric, you can always choose something like we discussed today—an acoustic-electric guitar.
There are some guitars on here that come backed with a lifetime warranty, like the Schecter 430 C-6 Deluxe or the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II. Of course, a lifetime limited is a great deal, showing that you can get the most and longest life out of your guitar. However, there are other budgeted guitars under $300 on this list that only come with a 2-year warranty, like the Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, which might not be worth your time.
Depending on your initial budget, we would always recommend sticking with your financial responsibilities before you go out and buy the most expensive guitar. However, if you truly plan on committing to learning and playing, it does pay off to not buy the cheapest guitar out there if you want to have it last a few years.
The material of a cheaper electric guitar will definitely be lesser quality, however, sound is of preference.
If you’ve skipped everything else, here is our verdict on the best electric guitars on the market today:
The Schecter 430 C-6 Deluxe is our Editor’s Choice. With its sleek black look and features not found on other budget guitars, this product is a great investment with a lifetime limited warranty. It is perfect for beginners or experts.
You want to rip heavy metal into shreds? The Ibanez GRX70QA TEB is our Best Electric Guitar For Metal Under $300. The selection and switch are easy-to-use, the neck is comfortable and fast, and the hardware is something found on a much more expensive guitar.
If you’re limited to even more of a budget, the Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II is our Budget Pick. Capable of playing a nice bright sound, ergonomic and comfortable for those with smaller hands an backed by a lifetime warranty, this is a great guitar at an affordable price.
We hope that this guide has helped you pick out the best electric guitar under $300 for your style and your bank account.