Two Squier Sonic guitars next to each other in front of a bunch of amps
For Beginners,  Guitar Guides

The best guitars for beginners (The alt-rock version)

Finding the right guitar to start can be a difficult challenge. That is why we will comprise a list of the best guitars for beginners. Of course, we will add our own twist and focus on alt-rock, but again these guitars will work for a bunch of other genres also.

The List

We are going to go through our six best guitars for beginners, and we will also add some honourable mentions for those that don’t quite make the list. So what are we waiting around for, let’s get into the list, shall we?

1. Squier Sonic Mustang (Best Electric Guitar)

A Squier Mustang being played
A Squier Mustang being played

The Squier Sonic Mustang has to be one of the best beginner guitars on the market. This is for multiple reasons. For starters the guitar is affordable, sitting at around £140 at the time of writing, which is essential for your first guitar. While it may be affordable, you do get a whole lot of guitar for your money.

The best thing about Squier guitars is the fact that you get the iconic Fender models, as well as the same high-quality reliability. Equipped with a bunch of impressive hardware and electronics, you can use this guitar from learning the basics to your first year of performances. Seriously, I cannot recommend the Squier brand enough.

The reason that I picked the Mustang is purely for the aesthetic and the importance of the guitar in the world of alt-rock (See the 7 iconic guitars of Kurt Cobain), but honestly, any Squier will do! I’m a big believer in the versatility of Squier guitars and this is why I vouch for the Sonic series.

2. Hartwood Revival (Best Semi-Hollow)

A Hartwood Revival guitar.
Credit: Gear4music

The Hartwood Revival may be a little more costly than the Squier series, mainly because it is targeted at a guitarist as an intermediate guitar. If you have a little more budget to spend however we do recommend heading for this model, especially if it is a Semi-Hollow guitar that you want.

Designed in a similar vein to that of a Gibson ES-335, you can go full Dave Grohl with this guitar. Although we love it for its rock potential, the Hartwood Revival has two humbucking pickups, which give it a variety of tones. This makes it a great guitar for playing a variety of genres, from rock to blues to jazz.

I’ll be honest, I own one of these guitars, and I love it! It plays beautifully, and that is before any modifications. The neck is smooth and provides easy playability, the fretboard is smooth and fluid, and the tone controls are intuitive.

3. 3/4 LA Electric guitar by Gear4music (Best guitar for kids)

LA Electric being played by a kid
Credit: Gear4music

The best guitar for young beginners is the 3/4 LA Electric guitar. I won’t lie here, there isn’t much overly exciting for an intermediate guitarist in this package, but what it is is it does its job, and does it well. There are no bells and whistles on this guitar, but it functions brilliantly and delivers a fantastic neutral tone. This makes it an excellent guitar for guitarists to get to grips with the fundamentals.

Then when you consider the price of the instrument the package becomes more and more appealing. For £109 you can get everything you need to get started. This includes an amp, a gig bag, a lead, a strap, and of course the guitar. But it is true, you will want to replace most of these items before you consider playing on stage.

Simple but does its job and introduces you to the world of the guitar. If you want to go for another shape or size Gear4music also offers a single cutaway model called “Knoxville”.

4. Epiphone Les Paul Studio (Best beginner guitar for classic rock)

Les Paul Studio.
Credit: Epiphone

The Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar is a brilliant option for those looking to embrace the classic style of rock. Although it is much more than that. The Les Paul Studio is a popular choice among alternative rock guitarists, and it has been used by some of the biggest names in the genre, including Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan, and Jack White.

While these all used a Gibson, the Epiphone Les Paul is an excellent option to get a similar tone at half the budget. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners who are just starting and don’t want to spend a lot of money on their first guitar but still want an iconic body shape.

The Les Paul Studio has two humbucking pickups, which give it a variety of tones. This makes it a great guitar for playing a variety of genres, from alternative rock to blues. Therefore if you are going for a guitar based on the versatility of its tones, this may be it.

5. Tanglewood TWCR OE Crossroads Electro Acoustic (Best acoustic guitar for beginners)

Tanglewood Acoustic.
Credit: Gear4music youtube

The Tanglewood TWCR OE Crossroads Electro Acoustic is a great guitar for people looking to learn alternative rock music. It has a warm, rich sound, a built-in pickup, and is versatile enough to be used for a variety of genres. If you are a beginner looking for a quality guitar that won’t break the bank, the Tanglewood TWCR OE Crossroads Electro Acoustic is a great option. But what makes it so great let’s go into more detail.

The all-mahogany body and neck of the Tanglewood TWCR OE Crossroads Electro Acoustic give it a deep, resonant sound, which is amazing especially when you task it with playing the moody acoustic tracks of alternative rock. The fact it has a built-in preamp too goes a long way to diversifying its sound. The fact you can use it with an amplifier means that it will grow alongside you as it will be perfectly serviceable for your first open-mic nights.

Tanglewood construction is something you can rely on too. The Tanglewood TWCR OE Crossroads Electro Acoustic is a great value for the price. It is made with high-quality materials and construction, so you can be sure that it will last for years to come. This all together makes it the best acoustic guitar for beginners.

6. Fender Player Series (Best guitar for those looking to spend more)

Woman Playing Fender Player Stratocaster.
Credit: Fender

Should you get a nice guitar as a beginner? I mean if you have the budget and the dedication, then why not. That is why I have gone for the Fender Player series here. Yeah, I know that may be cheating on the point of the list but the Fender Player Series is an excellent option when it comes to those with a bit more cash. One thing that sells the range is that these guitars are well-made and affordable. This makes them a great value for the price, especially for beginners who are still learning about their playing styles and preferences, and therefore don’t yet want to go all out.

Another thing about these guitars are they are built for the player. The necks are slim and comfortable, and the fretboards are made of rosewood, which is a smooth and fast-playing material. This makes it easier for beginners to learn how to play chords and scales. When your guitar is as comfortable as this you will struggle to put it down. This of course will help you learn.

The last thing here is the selection, every classic shape is on offer here! That means that no matter which Fender Player Series guitar you choose, you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality instrument that will last for years to come.

Where can I buy these from? 

For the LA Electric and Hartwood Revival, you can get them from only Gear4music.

The rest you can get from Gear4music, Andertons, Thomann, and Gak .

Some Honourable mentions

Yamaha Pacifica 112V: This is a great guitar for beginners who want a versatile instrument.

Harley Benton TE-52: This guitar is a great value for the price. It has a classic Telecaster sound that is perfect for genres like country, blues, and rock.

Epiphone Wilshire Delux: This guitar is a great choice for beginners who want a guitar with a unique sound.

Yamaha F310: The essential entry-level acoustic for those who want a simple start to their journey.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, for anyone looking to learn alternative rock guitar, there are plenty of excellent options out there that cater to beginners. These guitars are specially designed to produce top-notch sound quality and help new players learn the instrument quickly and efficiently. With the right instrument and some dedication, anyone can become proficient in playing alternative rock guitar.

Head here for 11 things I wish I knew before learning the guitar.

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