Newbie Series Part2 : Beginner Electric Guitar List

Neal Beedie August 22, 2011 29

As I said in part one of this series of guides, you really don’t want to get a cheap first guitar just to save a few bucks. The advantages to buying a cheaper guitar are FAR outweighed by the disadvantages.

This list comprises a number of quality guitars that are still reasonably priced.  Any one of them will make a fantastic first guitar and should give you the best possible introduction to your new hobby. I think £200/$300 is a good budget in order to ensure we get something respectable,  so all of these guitars weigh in at under this price.  Obviously they can be had for much less second hand.  These guitars will all hold their value well as they are all from well known, respected brands.

Enough talk! Show me the guitars!

Here’s the list so far, keep checking back as I plan on updating it periodically.

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Left Handed GuitarYamaha Pacifica 112 Left Handed Guitar

My first decent quality guitar! The Yamaha Pacifica was designed by Yamaha’s USA team, primarily by ex-Ibanez designer Rich Lasner, the 112 first appeared in 1993 and not only overtook all previous (and subsequent) Pacifica models in terms of sales, it actually proved a benchmark for quality and specification. The Pacifica 112 is not only the perfect start-up guitar for the serious student, but also a solid, reliable choice whatever your age or ability.

New From : £145 /  $?
Used From :  £60 / $?

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Left Handed GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Special II Left Handed Guitar

What’s so special about the Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar? The super-low price for starters and that’s not all. It gives you all the essential elements of a Les Paul. Made with a mahogany body, bolt-on mahogany neck, smooth 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, this baby is every bit as handsome as its uptown cousins. Features 700T/650R open-coil humbucking pickups that deliver long, singing sustain and true Les Paul tones. The LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece add more sustain and make string changing easier.

New From : £120 / $184
Used From :  £75 / $99

Vintage Make Great Left Handed GuitarsVintage Left Handed Guitars in General

This one’s probably only for European guitar players as this UK brand will be hard to get a hold of in the USA.  Vintage is a brand that is gaining huge momentum in Europe for the quality of their guitars so buy them now before they explode in price! In particular check out their V100 Les Paul style guitar, I have one and love it! If you don’t want a Les Paul style guitar they also do Strat and Tele styles which are equally as good.

New From : £165 / $?
Used From :
£110 / $?

Agile Left Handed GuitarsAgile Left Handed Guitars in General

Ok, so I’ve given one Euro exclusive brand, now let’s take care of you Westerners.  USA brand Agile is probably America’s equivalent to Vintage guitars and make some absolutely stunning guitars at great prices.  Living in the UK I have not personally had a chance to try Agile, but the reviews speak for themselves, these things are killer! One to look out for is the AL-2000 Les Paul style model.

New From : £? / $225
Used From : £? / $200

Squier Affinity Strat Left Handed GuitarSquier Affinity Left Handed Guitar

The Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster Electric Guitar has a proud heritage and a sweet price. The contoured solid alder body is the same world-renowned style that fuelled the fires of Hendrix, Clapton, SRV, and thousands more. Pure vintage tone comes pounding out of 3 biting single-coil pickups, taking on flavor from a classic rocking tremolo and 5-way switching. Genuine die-cast tuners provide unprecedented tuning stability in this price range. The headstock is the classic ’70s “big” style. The maple neck plays fast and feels great. When you trade up, your Affinity Series Strat will be worth far more than any no-name copy.

If you absolutely must have the Fender logo on your first guitar, you may be able to pick up a used Mexican Strat/Tele for under our £200 budget.

New From : £140 / $180
Used From :
£99 / $120

Epiphone SG G310 LEft Handed GuitarEpiphone SG G-310 Left Handed Guitar

The Epiphone G-310 SG Electric Guitar is an axe that delivers everything from warm distortion to all-out scream. Crafted with alder body, bolt-on mahogany neck, and rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay. Also has chrome LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece for more sustain and easier string changing, and LockTone tuners.

New From : £170 / $265
Used From : £100 / $150

Left Handed Guitar Kits

Here’s the best piece of advice you may gain on this page; do not buy a guitar kit! Some reputable brands make half decent guitar bundles for righties…lefties not so much! The only one that comes to mind off the top of my head is the bundle put together by Squier.  It would not be a total waste of money.

If you feel I’ve missed any out leave a comment and I will add it to the list. As I said I will be continually updating this guide.

Any one of these will make a great starter guitar, but obviously if you are willing to drop a little more coin then things can only get better!

Want to get your guitar playing off to the best possible start? Well check out JamPlay.com! In our opinion JamPlay offers the absolute ultimate online guitar learning experience – in fact, we guarantee it will improve your playing ability!

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Part One : Important Tips Before You Buy

Part Two : Beginner Electric Guitars
Part Three : Beginner Acoustic Guitars
Part Four : Beginner Bass Guitars
Part Five : Amps
Part Six : Effects
Part Seven : Accessories
Part Eight : Lessons

29 Comments »

  1. Josh @ Fretterverse August 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Great post. My main jazz axe is an Epiphone. I really like what they've been coming out with the past few years. And I have my eyes on an Agile 8-string; I hear their stuff is very good, too!

    • LeftyFretz August 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Josh. I get asked on a daily basis what a good beginner lefty is, so hopefully this should save me some typing!

      If you do pick up one of the 8-strings I would be super interested to hear your thoughts, obviously it would cost me a lot to ship one across the pond. The only thing that concerns me is the almost 29" scale length! I don't have the biggest hands so i'm bit weary of them at the moment! :) There's even a guy on youtube who has one of the 8 strings in a 30" scale length, but I guess that's for righties only. Yikes!

  2. Jose August 15, 2010 at 10:20 am - Reply

    i'm really close to deciding which guitar to buy, i'm often getting discouraged by some righties and even left handed people ( in my local store) to start with right-handed. but i'm really leaning towards left handed, would a left-handed fender stratocaster (new) going for $500 be a good starter guitar?

    • LeftyFretz August 15, 2010 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Hi Jose. A real Fender would give you a perfect start to learning guitar. The idea behind my newbie guide was to help people avoid getting a poor first guitar, but your Fender would be a notch above the choices I gave here. You didn't mention which model you were looking at, but I assume it will be something along the lines of a Mexican Strat with 3 single coil pickups? I don't know what styles you want to learn but just keep in mind that single coils aren't neccesarily the best choice for heavy rock. As such, the Fender wouldnt be the MOST versatile if you want to dabble into heavy metal and the like… :)

      I'd recommend you read my guide ( http://leftyfretz.com/should-i-learn-guitar-right… ) to help cement which way you want to play in your head, sounds as if you are still dithering a little! Good luck!

  3. Jose August 15, 2010 at 11:56 am - Reply

    i'm thinking about this one http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Standard-Strat… ; i'm wondering if this one of good enough to last me through basic learning to advanced playing of multiple styles (blues, classic, metal, alternative). I want to know if it would last me through the years for whatever I would be playing? thanks in advance

    • LeftyFretz August 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      Something like that would last you potentially your entire guitar playing career. It's a great guitar and what a fantastic price, here in the UK we'd probably pay near double that.

      Like I said, the single coils aren't the best suited to heavier music like heavy metal. But that is something you can change at a later date if you decided to. For heavier music you ideally want a humbucker in the bridge position at least, but you can get mini-humbuckers that will fit in your Fender as well. You can also buy fully wired replacement pickguards. It's not really something to worry about too much right now.

      You'll find that most players have a Fender Strat in their collection anyway so it's a great guitar to have. I have a strat which I use for clean, country, blues, rock etc.. Then I have another guitar with humbuckers that I use for heavier stuff.

      But yeah, you can't go wrong with Fender, it will make an excellent first guitar.

  4. Anonymous September 14, 2010 at 6:17 am - Reply

    Hi dude, I’m just wondering where can I check the available colours for the Yamaha Pacifica 112L?

    Thanks.

    • LeftyFretz September 14, 2010 at 9:52 am - Reply

      It's available in Yellow Natural Satin (the natural finish shown above) or black, it's most common in YNS. Your best bet is probably to check eBay.

  5. CM September 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    HI,what do you think of Ibanez as73 for a first guitar? thanks

  6. Tim San 55 December 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Adding to the list of guitars here, I would also recommend the Squier Affinity left hand Telecaster copy, I just bought one and it is great.

    • Neal December 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      Absolutely – I’ll need to give this series a bit of a refresh soon! :)

  7. Rooney September 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Hey I’m a beginner lefty and I was wondering if the epiphone lp 100 is any good?
    Also I’m planning on buying a Marshall 100W dfx amp…again opinions on this. I’m 14 if this helps

  8. Pranshu December 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    What About a Cort X-2 Lefty? It’s a Versatile economic guitar with good tones.

  9. james January 2, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    im a lefty and my friend has a bc rich vg1 and i love it, he got it for under 300.00 new but they dont makem for a left handed guy, is there anything thats close to it in sound / specs for the 300.00 and under price range for a lefty? thanks

    • Neal January 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      If you’re in the States try contacting David at Xtreme Lefty Guitars. They quite often commission small runs of otherwise unavailable BC Rich guitars. He might have something in the pipeline. http://xlguitars.com/products-page/bc-rich-guitars/

  10. Anne Marie March 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    I fell in love with the Jaxville Hades electric guitar and wanted it, I am left handed and they only do right handed ones in the Hades guitar. So unfair as it is the one I really wanted.

  11. Alvin October 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Great article, but it might be helpful to say a few words about lefties making the transition to guitar from bass, like I may look to do at some point. I play a Fender Jazz and a Martin Acoustic, and may look at getting a guitar. Any good lefty suggestions for making that jump?

  12. S Wolf March 30, 2014 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Great article. I play a Squier Affinity Strat – it’s not fancy, but it sure does its job. I’d like to get another one at some point, but it’s definitely a quality instrument.

    I think Agile is really neat because they make lefty 7-, 8-, and 12-strings at great prices, but I like to try guitars out before I decide to buy one, and I can’t find them in stores. Anyone know where I can find one in New York?

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