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When it comes to getting started on the electric guitar, beginner bundles are quite attractive. They give you all the essentials at a reasonable price, and once it arrives at your doorstep, you’ll be off to the races.
But which starter kit should you buy? Which is the best? Which one offers the best bang for buck?
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the best electric guitar starter kits for beginners.
Fender Squier 3/4 Size Kids Mini Stratocaster Electric Guitar Learn-to-Play Bundle
From beginner to professional gear, you can count on Fender to deliver.
The Fender Squier Learn-to-Play Bundle features a 3/4 size kids guitar, an instrument cable, tuner, strap, picks, Fender Play Online lessons, and an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD. So, even if you’re having to learn from home, you’ve got the resources necessary to get up and running.
The guitar features a 22.75” scale length, C-shaped maple neck, 20-fret fingerboard, three single coil Stratocaster pickups with five-way switching, and vintage-style hardtail Strat bridge.
Fender says the guitar is ideal for children aged six to 12, but this can be a decent choice for those with smaller hands as well.
It would seem Fender went above and beyond in crafting a solid beginner guitar here. The only downside with this pack is that an amp is not included and would need to be purchased separately. An electric guitar doesn’t sound like much without amplification, just so you know.
Most customers enjoyed the guitar, liked its sound, and even said it’s a solid option for those who have small hands.
Others thought the guitar was just okay, and some weren’t impressed. There were also those who pointed out that the extras weren’t anything special.
Of course, you’ve got to have realistic expectations here. You’re not going to get a top-of-the-line guitar for what this package costs.
Item weight: 9.83 lbs.
Package dimensions: 39.7 x 14.8 x 3.7 inches
Ediors Full Size Electric Guitar Starter Package
For those looking for a full-size electric guitar, there’s the Edior starter package.
In addition to the full-size, Strat style electric guitar, this kit comes with a gig bag, strap, guitar pick, guitar amp, amp cable, and strings.
The guitar is equipped with a maple neck, pickup selector switch, volume knob, tone controls, and all the standard features you would expect from an axe like this.
The included amp is quite basic (as you would expect) but will do the trick for everyday practicing purposes.
Users were generally thrilled with the quality of the guitar, despite it being an “off” brand.
Item weight: 14.9 lbs.
Package dimensions: 40 x 17.5 x 6 inches
LyxPro 39 Inch Electric Guitar Kit Bundle
LyxPro has several starter packages that might be of interest to you, depending on what you’re looking for. We’re about to look at three.
The first is the LyxPro 39-inch electric guitar kit bundle. This is basically a full-size electric guitar with rather classy looking black hardware. You don’t generally expect guitars to look this good in this price range.
This kit comes with a battery-operated clip-on tuner, instruction book, replacement strings, two picks, strap, 20W amp and instrument cable.
There are different starter packs out there, but I rather like this configuration, because it comes with essentials you will use.
The amp is basic, but it does come with all the essentials as well – MP3 (aux) input, instrument input, gain, bass, treble, volume, headphone in, on/off controls, and the humorously named “grind” switch, which we assume is for turning overdrive on and off.
Most customers said they thought this was a great starter guitar.
But less enthusiastic reviewers thought the guitar was just okay.
Item weight: 16.5 lbs.
Package dimensions: 5.2 x 16.8 x 40 inches
LyxPro 36 Inch Electric Guitar And Kit For Kids
The LyxPro 36-inch electric guitar kit comes with what is basically a 3/4 size guitar, ideal for kids or those with small hands.
The guitar itself is a little more like an Ibanez or Jackson style guitar, especially with the humbucking (double coil) pickups.
As with the other LyxPro bundle just mentioned, this one comes with a 20-watt amp, instrument cable, digital tuner, instruction book, replacement strings, two picks, and a strap.
The amp is the same one you saw in the last LyxPro pack, except that its color matches the guitar, which is kind of a nice bonus.
Overall, reviewers thought the beginner bundle was worth it and enjoyed the color of the guitar as well.
Some said quality control left something to be desired though.
Item weight: 14.72 lbs.
Package dimensions: 36.5 x 13 x 6.6 inches
LyxPro 30 Inch Electric Guitar Starter Kit
The LyxPro 30-inch electric guitar starter kit comes with an even smaller guitar (basically 1/2 size) with a slightly unusual design. It’s rare that any guitar would come with just one pickup. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it is a little more common with beginner guitars.
The package, of course, comes with the same components as the other LyxPro bundles – amp, cable, tuner, instruction book, replacement strings, two picks, and a strap.
Customers thought this was an excellent starter guitar kit, and others even said it was the best deal available for new guitar players.
Some noticed that their order was missing pieces. It’s always a good idea to contact the seller if that happens with your shipment.
Item weight: 14.27 lbs.
Package dimensions: 7 x 13 x 34 inches
Rise By Sawtooth Right-Handed 3/4 Size Beginner Electric Guitar Kit
Here’s yet another beginner guitar that comes with just one pickup.
The Rise By Sawtooth 3/4 size beginner electric guitar kit comes with a basswood body, maple neck, maple fingerboard, chrome hardware, and a nice-looking sunburst finish.
This kit includes the guitar, a 5W amp, guitar strap, instrument cable, gig bag, pitch pipe, and three picks.
Even legendary shredder Michael Angelo Batio says this is a real instrument with some serious merit, and the bundle is great bang for buck too.
Buyers of the guitar seem to echo the same sentiment, that this is a quality instrument that’s highly playable.
Some reviewers apparently had issues with the strings and fret buzz, though, so that might be something to look out for. Others weren’t too crazy about the amp either.
Item weight: 4.5 lbs.
Package dimensions: 36 x 11 x 2 inches
Raptor 30” Kids 1/2 Size ULTIMATE Electric Guitar Package
Next on the list is the Raptor 1/2 size ULTIMATE guitar package, which is perfect for kids and students.
This is a lightweight guitar with a basswood body, maple neck, and maple fingerboard.
The Raptor bundle comes with an amp, gig bag, strap, hex key, replacement E string, and Raptor guitar picks.
Plenty of customers thought this was a good deal for a guitar pack, and even said the smaller guitar felt like a higher quality, full size guitar.
Less enthusiastic buyers said the guitar was kind of hard to keep in tune.
Item weight: 6 lbs.
Package dimensions: 31 x 11 x 4 inches
Best Choice Products 30in Kids Electric Guitar Beginner Starter Kit
Here’s another budget option that might appeal to price shoppers.
The Best Choice Products starter kit comes with a barebones 1/2 size Start style guitar.
The accessory bundle still includes an amplifier, carrying case, replacement strings, strap, cable, and picks, which is getting to be quite generous at this price point.
Enthusiastic reviewers said they thought this was the perfect starter guitar set. They noted it that it was fun and good quality.
Less sanguine buyers thought the guitar (and especially the amp) left something to be desired. Others even said you would need to get a setup for the guitar to play normally.
Item weight: 7.55 lbs.
Package dimensions: 30.7 x 12.2 x 3.5 inches
Stedman Pro Kid Series Electric Guitar Pack
Finishing off this list is a small axe that’s sure to delight some students and beginners.
The Stedman Pro electric guitar pack comes with a 1/2 size guitar, battery-powered 5W amplifier, instrument cable, strap, picks, gig bag, and wrench.
Customers thought it was perfect for kids and even as a gift.
Some had issues with the included accessories, however, and weren’t happy about that.
Item weight: 6.89 lbs.
Package dimensions: 31 x 4 x 10 inches
What Should I Look For In An Electric Guitar Starter Kit?
First and foremost, it’s important to set expectations.
Starter kits are just that – starter kits. They are not comparable to professional or intermediate gear, and their cost is generally five to 10% of pro level equipment.
What this means is that while you can find some decent quality starter packs, if you’re expecting to get a stunning quality amp and guitar at this price, you’re not being realistic.
Generally, what you get is a working guitar and amp (if the amp is included). They don’t promise to be a whole lot more than that.
That said, for trying out guitar, getting a feel for it, or for general at-home practice use, there are some reasonably good options available.
To determine which package is right for you, it’s important to consider a few factors.
Here are the main criteria considered here:
- A package matched to your needs
- Tuning Stability
Let’s get into it.
The Right Bundle
Most bundles come with amps, but some do not. And the accessories or tools included in the bundle can vary from one starter package to another.
The key will be to find a bundle that’s matched to your needs.
If you buy a kit without an amp, you can still find an amp that’s more to your liking, but it also means you’re going to end up spending more money.
There are other small variations on bundles, such as the fact that some include a full pack of replacement strings, while others only include one string.
No matter which kit you end up with, though, it would be wise to think of the extras as just that, because you’re mainly paying for the guitar. The accessories don’t cost the manufacturers much at all, and that’s not where the money is made.
So, the best strategy is to buy based on the guitar rather than what’s included with it, even though what’s included with it is a nice bonus.
Playability Is Still Important
For a beginner, playability might well be the deciding factor. I don’t say that to scare you, however, because you can always get your guitar set up by a professional tech. They’ll know what to do with it.
In some rare instances, even a pro might not be able to do much, but you shouldn’t need to worry about that.
But why is playability important?
Well, the main reason is because the guitar, as with any other instrument, takes time to learn, and it’s not necessarily easy.
So, when the instrument is harder to play (such as when the string action is too high), it only adds to the frustration and challenge of learning the instrument, and I’m not sure that’s something you want to put your child or even yourself through.
I’m not promising that you will never need to get any of the above guitars set up, but most should be good to play out of the box, or at least close to play ready without any modifications.
Durable & Sturdy Gear
For a beginner, especially a child, durability can be a key factor.
It’s not that children are careless. But they can be more prone to dropping, bumping, and scraping their gear without thinking.
It’s good news, then, that most guitars are made of wood, and they tend not to break easily (though it depends somewhat on the guitar – Gibson headstocks are kind of notorious for snapping off). It’s also good news that beginner gear is cheaper.
It’s still good to care for your instrument and gear, of course. Some parts are more vulnerable on the guitar than others, such as the neck, machine heads, bridge, tone knobs, or otherwise.
For the most part, though, guitars have been built to last, and there aren’t any issues we’re aware of with the above axes.
Keep That Thing In Tune
Tuning stability, sadly, can be an issue with cheap, beginner gear.
This probably won’t bother you much if you’re just getting started and aren’t planning to practice on the same guitar for all eternity.
But all things being equal, it’s nicer to work with a guitar that keeps reasonably good tune.
This probably won’t be a major issue with any gear costing $120 and up, but if it costs less than $100, it might be an issue.
You can, of course, take the guitar to a tech and see if they can do anything with it, but in some cases, they might need to strip out some of the components to replace them. That’s not a bad thing per se – just that it might cost more than a quick restring or something like that.
A beginner may not be able to hear all the subtle nuances in pitch, so it’s not an immediate concern, but once they start playing along to songs, they’re going to have a better experience if their guitar keeps solid tune.
Note: Regular tuning is par for the course, no matter the guitar. I recommend tuning at least daily, if not every time before you pick up the guitar to play.
The Right Price
Since you’re on the hunt for a starter package, we know that budget might be a bit of a concern.
The starter kits introduced here only cost from about $70 to $200, which shouldn’t break the bank, but it’s nice to know there are some options if you can’t see yourself throwing $200 at a beginner guitar at this time.
Aside from that, there aren’t many concerns, especially based on the price point. But we do recommend against going into debt for any gear related purchases. So, please spend responsibly.
Would It Make Sense For Someone Who Isn’t A Beginner To Purchase A Starter Pack?
It’s certainly not against the rules or anything.
We get that not everyone has several thousand dollars to spend on gear at a given time, and besides, it might not be what you need right now. Sometimes, a workhorse or a “beater” is all you need.
Of course, you can purchase a starter kit even if you aren’t a beginner. You might even end up being impressed by the quality of modern beginner instruments. They’ve come a long way.
But as I mentioned in the previous section, keep your expectations in check. I don’t know of any way of getting a high-quality guitar for a couple hundred dollars (unless it’s used), and I’m not sure anyone else does either.
Your best bet in terms of quality to price ratio is probably Fender Squier, Epiphone, Ibanez, and Donner, if you can get ahold of their product (more on that in a moment).
If you just need an instrument to kick around and mess around with, we take no issue whatsoever with getting a starter kit, and it can certainly tide you over while you save up and keep an eye open for better quality gear.
What Are Some Of The Best Electric Guitar Starter Kit Brands?
Some of the best electric guitar starter kit brands also tend to be those with some of the best guitar related gear in general.
Some were not represented above, simply because their products are out of stock or currently not available.
So, the following list should be somewhat enlightening. Here are some of the best brands:
Fender/Squier hardly needs an introduction. It’s the same Fender that made the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Bassman, and other legendary gear.
Squier is their cheaper, more beginner-oriented brand, but even these have come a long way in recent years (i.e., they’ve gotten a lot better).
My electric guitar journey started on a Squier, and even at the time, it was a decent guitar. So, if you’re just getting started, you can’t go wrong here.
Donner has emerged as a great bang for buck musical gear brand in recent years. That said, the quality of their product is better than you would expect. It’s to the point now where even known YouTube personalities like Stevie T are impressed with their gear.
I don’t think you can go wrong with one of their starter kits if you can get ahold of one.
I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Gibson-owned Epiphone has risen to the point of becoming a competent intermediate brand, despite basically being the “cheaper” Gibson.
What you get will still depend a lot on how much you spend on it. That said, a Gibson beginner pack would be a good place to start for just about anyone.
I have personally owned a starter Epiphone guitar and thought it was a solid instrument.
Ibanez products are surprisingly affordable, especially for the quality.
And their brand has risen to legendary status, if for no other reason than the Ibanez Tube Screamer series of effects pedals.
Again, if you can get ahold of one of their starter packs, you should be quite satisfied with the results.
Yamaha’s starter kits were quite popular going back a decade or so, and what they offer is more than reasonable.
Their gear does have a bit of that “mass produced” feel to it, but when the template you’re basing your work on is more than adequate, you end up with a solid product.
Orange offers a beginner electric guitar kit that, while it costs more than most, is also some of the highest quality available.
It comes with a Chinese made solid body electric guitar and Crush 12L amp, as well as a digital tuner, lead, picks, spare strings, guitar strap, and soft case.
Orange is certainly better known for their creamy, warm, British amp tones than anything, and they don’t make a ton of instruments, but it seems they’ve begun dipping their toes into that world too.
Top Electric Guitar Starter Kits, Final Thoughts
Starter kits can be excellent value for the money, especially for those just getting started on the guitar.
If, however, you or your child develop a strong passion for the guitar, and end up wanting to take your playing further, just don’t expect your beginner gear to last you much longer than a year or two. At that point, you’ll probably want to consider upgrading to intermediate gear at least.
Either way, don’t forget to have fun on your guitar playing journey. If you end up enjoying it, it will probably be a long one!
Last Updated on June 23, 2021.