You may think it’s hard to find the best electric guitars under $1,000, but it’s easier than you think. This guide will help you find a great one. I’ve played for many years and tried many lower-cost guitars.

Before you buy, have an idea of what you want. Most manufacturers have lower-cost models that fit your budget, so have a look at what they have to offer you.

Quick Look: Best Electric Guitars Under $1000

#1 Best Electric Guitar Under $1000 Overall: Fender Player


Today, more guitars than ever before are playable for under $1,000. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your next guitar. You’ll find guitars here for all playing levels and styles, so let’s dig in and look at the list.

Are There Good Electric Guitars Under $1000?

I’ve played plenty of excellent electric guitars under $1,000. One of my favorite lower-cost instruments was my Fender Squier Stratocaster. This guitar sounded great, and it only cost me a couple hundred dollars.

electric guitar under $1000

You’ll find that there’s a broad range of different instruments under this price range. Many top companies today are producing excellent lower-cost instruments, so you should find something you like.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Electric Guitar Under $1000

Before you purchase an instrument under $1,000, you have a few things you need to address. Here are a few points to keep in mind before you purchase.

Level of Experience

Your level of experience may determine the type of guitar that you purchase. If you’ve played for a while, you may have certain features in mind that you like. For example, you may like humbucking pickups and not single coils.

Beginner Electric Guitars Under $1000

There’s a great range of electric guitars under $1,000 for beginners. Fender makes the excellent Squire brand, while Gibson has the Epiphone brand. Most other manufacturers have similar lower-cost guitar lines.

Intermediate Electric Guitars Under $1000

At the intermediate level, you can branch out a little bit and get a guitar that has the features you like. This will depend on the playing style you have currently, so have a few ideas in mind before you buy.

Pro Electric Guitars Under $1000

You can still find a professional instrument for under $1,000. If you’re at this level, you can pick and choose between individual guitars to find something that matches the requirements you have for an instrument.


Most electric guitar players are going to want a full-size electric guitar. If there’s a younger student in the household, you may want a smaller student-sized electric guitar, but most should go with a full-size instrument.

The Overall Tone & Sound

Have an idea of the sound and tone that you want. For example, do you want single-coil pickups or pickups more suited for blues and rock tones? Guitars with humbucking pickups are better suited for harder rock styles and heavy metal.


Decide upon the price that you want to pay for your instrument. You can get a pretty decent guitar between $300 and $1,000. I wouldn’t go much lower than this because the quality tends to drop off a bit at the lower price range.

See More: Best Fender Telecasters Buyer’s Guide

10 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000

Here is my list of the 10 best electric guitars under $1,000. These are all my personal choices. You may have different requirements when it comes to your own selection.

A man plays an electric guitar

I find that these guitars are well worth the price for all players.

1. Epiphone SG Special

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker
  • What’s included: Optional case, guitar
  • Frets: 22
  • Material & finish: Mahogany, maple, rosewood, satin finish
  • Best for: Beginners and intermediate players

The Epiphone SG Special is an excellent guitar for anyone looking for that killer rock tone. This one features two humbucking pickups, two tone controls, and two volume controls. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic, and it has deluxe machine heads.

✅ Great pickups
✅ Good tone
✅ Nice finish
✅ 22 frets
❌ Case is optional
❌ A bit expensive

Why I Recommend It

I had several students that owned Epiphone Guitars. This is the perfect guitar for anyone looking for an SG-style body. The guitar is comfortable to play with a 22 fret neck and plenty of room thanks to the double cutaway.

It comes with two excellent humbucking pickups that sound great. This one also features a full set of controls that many guitars at this price range don’t have. There’s also a nice Graphtech nut for better tuning and stability.



2. Fender Squier Classic Vibe 1950s Stratocaster

  • Pickups: 3 x single-coil
  • What’s included: Guitar, tremolo arm
  • Frets: 21
  • Material & finish: Maple, pine, polyurethane finish
  • Best for: Beginner/intermediate players that want a great sounding Strat

For players looking for an excellent lower-cost Stratocaster, the Fender Squier Classic Vibe 1950s gives you everything you need. It features three single-coil pickups, an excellent neck, and a superior tone from Fender.

✅ Great tone
✅ Vintage looks
✅ Good pickups
✅ Great price
❌ No case
❌ May need a bit of setup

Why I Recommend It

I played a Fender Squier for many years. This is one of the better lower-cost instruments. This one is nice because it’s a vintage ’50s looking Stratocaster. You get three great single-coil pickups, a tremolo arm, and an excellent tone.

This model has a maple neck with 21 frets. It’s comfortable to play on. The tremolo arm stays in tune, and it has excellent machine heads. With a little bit of setup from a guitar tech, this instrument will play great.



3. Schecter Hellraiser C-1

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker
  • What’s included: Guitar
  • Frets: 24
  • Material & finish: Mahogany, maple, rosewood
  • Best for: Intermediate/advanced metal players

For those that need an instrument for hard rock and heavy metal, the Schecter Hellraiser C-1 is an excellent choice. It features great EMG pickups, a 24 fret neck, locking tuners, and an amazing tone.

✅ Excellent pickups
✅ 24 frets
✅ Fast neck
✅ Locking tuners
❌ No tremolo
❌ A bit expensive

Why I Recommend It

Schecter has been making some great guitars in recent years. The C-1 is a really nice guitar for heavy metal. It comes with EMG pickups that have a great output and pair well with distortion.

This one also has 24 frets, so you can play all of those advanced solos. I also like the fact that it has locking tuners. I have a guitar that features locking tuners, and I like them since they make it easier to keep your guitar in tune.



4. ESP LTD EC-401 Electric Guitar

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker
  • What’s included: Guitar
  • Frets: 24
  • Material & finish: Mahogany, Pau Ferro
  • Best for: Intermediate players wanting a Les Paul style guitar

The ESP LTD EC-401 is an excellent guitar for many different styles. It has two great-sounding EMG pickups, 24 frets, and a smooth-playing neck. The bridge is a Tune-o-Matic style that helps keep the instrument in tune.

✅ 24 frets
✅ Great pickups
✅ Good tone
✅ Classic looks
❌ Expensive
❌ No tremolo

Why I Recommend It

Les Paul style guitars can be quite expensive. I like this model from ESP as it features 24 frets and great-sounding EMG pickups. This allows you to get a wide range of rock tones out of the guitar.

It’s easy to hit all of the higher frets, and the guitar also has a good bridge and stable tuning machines. This is excellent value and one of the top electric guitars under $1,000 for rock players.



5. Jackson JS32T King V

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker
  • What’s included: Guitar
  • Frets: 24
  • Material & finish: Maple, poplar, amaranth gloss finish
  • Best for: Intermediate players that want a rock/metal guitar

The Jackson JS32T King V is an excellent rock and metal guitar. You get 24 frets, two excellent Jackson pickups, and one tone and one volume control for easy operation. This guitar is ready for any rock fan.

✅ Great pickups
✅ Solid tone
✅ Simple controls
✅ 24 frets
❌ Hard to hold while sitting
❌ No case

Why I Recommend It

It’s hard to find a decent hard rock or metal guitar under $300, but the Jackson King V is an excellent guitar for not a lot of money. I like the fact that it has 24 frets so you can play all those wild solos.

This one has decent pickups, and in this price range, that’s hard to come by. It’s also suited for beginners as it only has a couple of control knobs. Rings go through the body, so it makes for simple string changes.



6. Fender Player Telecaster Package

  • Pickups: 2 x single-coil
  • What’s included: Guitar, accessories, case
  • Frets: 22
  • Material & finish: Alder, maple, gloss polyester
  • Best for: Intermediate players looking for a Telecaster guitar

The Fender Player Telecaster Package comes with not only an excellent Fender guitar but plenty of accessories such as picks, strings, an instructional DVD, and a case. You have all you need to rock out with this excellent guitar kit.

✅ Case
✅ Tons of accessories
✅ Great tone
✅ Nice looks
❌ Some accessories could be better
❌ A bit expensive

Why I Recommend It

It’s not often you can find a great guitar with a ton of included accessories, but this Fender Telecaster package has that for you. The guitar sounds great with Player Series pickups, a 22 fret maple neck, and nickel-chrome hardware.

I think the Player Series is one of the better lower-cost Fender guitars, and this is a great deal that you shouldn’t pass up. This is the perfect kit for the intermediate player looking to step up to a nice guitar.



7. Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker, 1 x single coil
  • What’s included: Guitar, tremolo
  • Frets: 24
  • Material & finish: Maple, meranti, ebony, gloss finish
  • Best for: Advanced players looking for a rock/metal guitar

The Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature guitar is the perfect rock or metal guitar. It’s got a locking tremolo for dive bombs and a nice pickup configuration with two humbuckers and one single coil. It’s ready for solos with 24 frets.

✅ 24 frets
✅ Tremolo
✅ Nice pickup config
✅ Excellent tone
❌A bit expensive
❌ No case

Why I Recommend It

I like the Nita Strauss Signature Ibanez as it’s got a lot going for it in an electric guitar under $1,000. The single-coil and double humbucker pickups open up the guitar, so you have a lot of tonal options available.

The locking tremolo is perfect for dive bombs and whammy tricks. The deep double-cutaway makes it easy to hit the 24 frets without any hand strain. This is one of the best electric guitars for less than 1000 for professionals.



8. Gretsch G2655 Streamliner

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker
  • What’s included: Guitar
  • Frets: 22
  • Material & finish: Maple, laurel, nato, gloss finish
  • Best for: Players looking for an intermediate jazz/blues guitar

Gretsch G2655 Streamliner is semi-hollow electric guitar that’s ideal for blues and jazz playing. It’s got two great-sounding Broad’Tron pickups and a nice 22 fret neck. The double-cutaway makes it easy to access the higher frets.

✅ Great pickups
✅ Smooth neck
✅ Stable bridge
✅ Great price
❌ No case
❌ Not ideal for some styles

Why I Recommend It

I like the Broad’Tron humbucking pickups in the guitar as they give it a big tone for blues or jazz playing. The 12″ radius fretboard is easy to play, and it has 22 frets so you can pay most solos on the guitar.

The double-cutaway is nice as you get easy access to the higher frets on the guitar. It’s got a great Tune-O-Matic bridge that keeps the guitar in tune and solid chrome machine heads. This guitar sounds great right out of the box.



9. Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster

  • Pickups: 1 x humbucker, 2 x single coil
  • What’s included: Guitar, tremolo
  • Frets: 22
  • Material & finish: Basswood, poplar, maple, laurel
  • Best for: Beginners that need a great sounding guitar

The Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster is an excellent guitar pack for kids. This one has a great-sounding HSS Strat, a small amp, a case, picks, a cable, a tuner, and a guitar strap for one low price. Kids will be rocking out in no time.

✅ Lots of accessories
✅ Easy to play
✅ Sounds great
Gig bag included
❌ May need some setup
❌ Some accessories could be better

Why I Recommend It

I like the Squier series from Fender as I used to own one. This one has a humbucker and two single-coils, so it’s ideal for rock. The fact that it comes with a bunch of accessories is a bonus.

The guitar sounds great but may require a bit of setup. I find that once this is done, the Squire guitars start to shine. You may want to upgrade the amp, but it’s not too bad for someone starting on guitar.



10. Paul Reed Smith SE Custom

  • Pickups: 2 x humbucker
  • What’s included: Guitar, tremolo
  • Frets: 22
  • Material & finish: Mahogany, maple, rosewood
  • Best for: Intermediate/advanced player looking for a well-rounded guitar

The PRS SE Custom has everything that the modern player needs. It features 2 humbucking pickups and 22 frets. The neck is smooth and comfortable to play on, and it has a standard tremolo system.

✅ Great pickups
✅ Good tone
✅ Easy playing neck
✅ Gig bag
❌ A bit expensive
❌ Case could be better

Why I Recommend It

I recently purchased a Paul Reed Smith similar to this one. They make great-sounding guitars. I love the neck’s feel, and the 85/15 pickups sound perfect for many styles of music. The build quality of the PRS is also outstanding.

This one has a push/pull toggle so that you can get single-coil tones out of the guitar as well. The double-cutaway makes it easy to access the higher frets. The PRS SE Custom is a nice guitar that you’ll love to play.



Best Brands For Electric Guitars Under $1000

It’s important to purchase guitars from major manufacturers. This ensures that you get a guitar that’s well built and has a decent sound.

fender best guitars

Here are the major brands that you should have a look at.

Gibson Epiphone

The Epiphone line from Gibson is a great choice. They make models similar to the traditional Les Pauls, SGs, and so on. These guitars are well built and won’t break your bank account. They are perfect for beginners to start with.

Fender Squier

The Fender Squier is a nice lower-cost Fender. I played one for many years and was impressed with the sound and feel of the guitar. They have a wide range of guitars for first-time players all the way up to intermediate students.


Ibanez makes some great guitars for under $1,000, so give them a try. The Nita Strauss Signature is one of the better ones, but they have other models, such as the Artcore Series.


ESP guitars are great for intermediate players. They have many instruments under $1,000. These guitars sound great and are ideal for all players. So give them a try.


If you like heavy metal, try Schecter. They have quite a few lower-cost instruments such as the Hellraiser and other models. Most of them feature great necks and high-quality humbucking pickups.

What Comes With Electric Guitars Under $1000?

Here is what to look for in terms of the parts of your new guitar under $1,000. You can pick and choose what you want in a model before you buy.


The shape of the headstock may matter to you, but the machine heads are more important. You want a guitar with good machine heads. Some guitars have locking tuners, so you may want these as they help keep the tuning stable.


You want a comfortable neck on your guitar. A fretboard with 22 frets is standard on many models. A guitar with 24 frets is ideal for advanced styles like metal, but you may pay a bit more for it. Many guitars have maple necks.

Guitar Body

The shape of the guitar may be important to you. A guitar with a deep cutaway makes it easy to play all of the frets. Some body styles like a Flying V aren’t as comfortable to hold, so look at several body styles.


The pickups are important. A guitar with single coils is ideal for rock and blues, but not as good as humbucker electric guitar pickups for harder rock or metal styles. Get a guitar that has a good set of pickups and controls.


A tremolo is nice, but they can put the guitar out of tune. A floating tremolo is better, but this costs more. Beginners may not want to fiddle with locking tremolo systems.


You may want to pick up a few extras when you buy a guitar. You may need a case if it doesn’t ship with one. I suggest a hardshell case as it offers maximum protection.

  • Picks
  • Strings
  • Guitar cable
  • Amplifier
  • Guitar strap
  • Capo/slide
  • Instruction books
  • Music stand
  • Guitar stool/chair

Electric Guitar Build and Materials

Here are a few points that you should look at before you buy. This mainly deals with the look of your guitar and how it feels when playing.


Wood choice is important, but not as much as the pickups. Here are the main wood types you can expect to find on guitars under $1,000.

  • Maple: Standard hardwood mainly used for the neck of many guitars
  • Alder: Often used in Strat-style guitars as it’s fairly lightweight and gives a good tone
  • Ash: Similar wood to alder for guitar bodies
  • Basswood: Lower-end wood used on cheaper beginner style guitars
  • Poplar: Similar wood to basswood
  • Mahogany: Often used in guitar bodies. It gives a nice resonance and tone.
  • Rosewood: Used for guitar fretboards. Similar woods include ebony and laurel wood.


Electric guitars have several different finishes. Here’s a rundown on the basic ones that you may find on your new electric guitar under $1,000.

  • Lacquer: There are several different types of lacquer used on electric guitars. This is one of the most common types of finishes for a guitar.
  • Nitrocellulose: This is a popular lacquer used on guitars. It offers a great shine and a hard surface that lasts a long time without any wear.
  • Polyester and similar: These finishes are easy to apply and many newer guitars have this type of finish. Polyurethane is one of the most common ones.


Electric guitars come in a wide range of different colors. You can pick and choose what you want here, as most manufacturers have multiple color options for most of their guitars. Black, white, red, and sunburst are standard.

A darker color such as black shows the scratches, while white will fade and turn yellowish over time. It’s up to you to determine the best color option for your guitar.

Looks vs. Playability

Your guitar’s look is important as we all want to appear cool while playing guitar, but playability is more important. You want a guitar that’s easy to play, so you don’t struggle with it.

Make sure the guitar is playable at your current level. Some guitars are too advanced, and you may struggle with them. For example, a locking nut isn’t ideal for beginners unless you’re prepared to learn how it works.

Buying New vs. Used

Try to buy a new guitar if possible. If you have experience with guitars or know someone that plays, then go for a used one. You want to ensure that you get a quality guitar, and you may not get one with a used guitar.

Electric Guitar black and white

When you buy new, you’ll most likely be covered under warranty, so you can return it if something goes wrong. You don’t have that with a used guitar, so you may need to shell out more for repairs if you have an issue.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some frequently asked questions that people ask about guitars under $1,000 that you need to be aware of.

What Pickups Should I Get?

You will need to determine what you want. Pickups are an individual choice. Here are some guidelines.

  • Single coil: Sounds great for clean tones, blues, and similar. These aren’t as good for harder rock or a lot of distortion. These pickups tend to feed back with lots of gain. They’re typically found on Fender-style guitars.
  • Humbucking: Great all-round pickups, but they may not give you the cleaner tones you want. They work best with lots of distortion. They’re typically found on Gibson-style guitars.
  • Combo: Some guitars have single-coil and humbucking pickup combinations. This allows you a broader range of tones. For example, my Stratocaster is an HSS with one humbucker and two single-coils.

You can also modify your guitar and put in your own pickups. This costs a lot and will require that you have the skills to do it, or you’ll need to hire a guitar tech to install the pickups for you.

Do I Need a Tremolo System?

A basic tremolo such as on a Strat is fine, as it isn’t complicated to use. A floating tremolo or Floyd Rose requires more skill and can be frustrating for a beginner. There is a learning curve with this type of system, so be aware.

It will all depend upon the style you want to play. You may want one guitar with a dedicated Floyd Rose style tremolo and one without.

Will My Guitar Sound Good?

Your sound depends upon a few factors. This includes the strings, amp, and even your guitar cable. A poor-quality amp won’t bring out the tone of your guitar. Use fresh strings and have a quality cable for the best sound.

Some lower-cost guitars sound better with new pickups or other electronics. This will cost you more, so be aware before deciding to change your stock model to something else.

My New Guitar Sounds Strange, What Do I Do?

Your guitar probably needs a setup. New guitars tend to have old strings on them, so change these first. You may also want to have the intonation set at your local guitar shop, as this will improve the sound.

Make sure you change the strings periodically for the best tone, and you may want to use coated strings as these have a longer life, so you save money, but it’s a personal preference.

What Are the Best Electric Guitars Under $1000?

Here are my top three choices for electric guitars under $1,000. All of these make excellent picks and will give you a guitar that you’ll enjoy for a long time.

Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature: Best for Intermediate/Advanced Players

The Ibanez Nita Strauss Signature guitar has a lot going for it with an excellent pickup configuration, locking tremolo, and a smooth playing 24-fret neck. If you want to play fast, this is the guitar for you.

Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster Package: Best for Beginners

The Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster is ideal for beginners. It comes with an amp, picks, strings, a gig bag, and a nice sounding Fender Strat HSS guitar. This setup is one of the best electric guitars below 1000 for kids.

PRS Custom 22: Best for All Players

The PRS SE Custom 22 is a well-built modern guitar with excellent pickups and a smooth playing neck. Plus, it comes in at a reasonable price. It’s suitable for many different playing styles and all playing levels.

Where Are the Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 Made?

Most of the best guitars under the $1,000 price range are made in the USA. Companies such as Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, ESP, and Schecter make excellent guitars in this price range.

What Is the Best Sounding Electric Guitar Under $1000?

The best guitar overall under $1,000 is the Fender Player Telecaster package. This guitar packs a lot of value, and it also contains a top-quality Fender Telecaster, which sounds great. This is an ideal package for any player.

Where to Buy Electric Guitars Under $1000

Here are a few places where you can pick up a great guitar under $1,000. You can shop online or visit your local guitar store to pick up your new instrument.


I like to shop on Amazon as they have a great selection of guitars. They ship fast and have good customer service. I always read reviews about products on the site before I buy to determine the quality of the gear I want.

Online Music Retailers

Sweetwater and Guitar Center are two other locations where you’ll find quality instruments. They have a wide selection, good prices, fast shipping, and reliable customer service.

Your Local Music Store

You’ll find a wide range of guitars at your local music shop. Keep in mind that they can’t stock everything, so you’ll be limited to what they have or you may have to custom order something.

Review This Post

In Conclusion

Thanks for reading this guide to the best electric guitars under 1000. You’ll find a wide range of excellent guitars under this price range, so don’t be afraid to try some out. You don’t have to spend a ton to get a great-sounding guitar.

Please leave a comment, like this article, and share it. I want to hear from you. Now, go and enjoy your new guitar and make some great music.