Best Guitars Under $500 (Cheap In 2024)


Best Guitars Under $500

Striking the perfect chord between affordability and quality, finding a guitar that delivers exceptional sound and playability under a budget of $500 is a feat that many aspiring musicians strive for.

Fortunately, the modern market is rich with options that cater to both beginners and experienced players without breaking the bank.

In this concise guide, we’ll explore a curated selection of the best guitars under $500, each offering a harmonious blend of craftsmanship, tone, and value.

Whether you’re plucking your first notes or adding to your collection, these instruments are poised to elevate your musical journey without putting a strain on your wallet.

Let’s dive in and discover your next musical companion!

Check out my other posts on the best electric guitars or the best acoustic guitars for any budget!

Table Of Contents show

Best Guitars Under $500 (Cheap)

1. Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V Electric Guitar

Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar; Sonic Blue
  • Solid Alder Body
  • Maple Bolt-On Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Vintage Tremelo with block saddles
  • 5 Position Switch with coil tap

Specifications:

  • Body: Agathis
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Two single-coil, one humbucker
  • Bridge: Vintage-style tremolo
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Number of Frets: 22

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Versatile tonal options
Solid build quality
Comfortable playability
Great value for the price

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Entry-level components
Limited color options

In-Depth Description:

The Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V is a highly regarded electric guitar known for its exceptional versatility and balanced performance. Crafted with an agathis body and a maple neck, this guitar offers a comfortable playing experience and delivers a wide range of tones. The combination of two single-coil pickups and a humbucker in the bridge position allows players to explore various sonic landscapes, from bright and clear to warm and gritty.

The vintage-style tremolo bridge adds a touch of classic vibe to the guitar’s design while providing the option for expressive pitch modulation. With 22 frets on its rosewood fingerboard, players can access higher notes comfortably. The build quality of the Pacifica PAC112V is solid, making it an ideal choice for beginners and intermediate players alike.

Reasons to buy the Pacifica PAC112V include its affordability, making it accessible to a wide range of players, and its versatility, which suits various musical styles. The comfortable neck profile and well-placed controls contribute to its ease of playability. However, it’s worth noting that some players might find the entry-level components and limited color options less appealing.

2. Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar

Epiphone Les Paul Special-II E1 Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst
  • Mahogany neck and body
  • Indian Laurel Fretboard
  • 650R/700T Humbucker Pickups
  • Heavy-duty 3-way pickup selector toggle switch and non-rotating heavy duty output jack
  • Tune-o-matic bridge and Stop-bar tailpiece

Specifications:

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: 2x Open-coil humbuckers
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Number of Frets: 22

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Iconic Les Paul design
Rich, warm humbucking tones
Comfortable to play
Budget-friendly price

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Limited tonal versatility
Basic hardware

In-Depth Description:

The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is a budget-friendly take on the legendary Gibson Les Paul design. With a mahogany body and neck, this guitar carries the classic Les Paul tonewood combination, providing a warm and resonant sound. Equipped with two open-coil humbucking pickups, the Special II delivers rich and full-bodied tones, making it well-suited for rock, blues, and hard rock genres.

The Tune-O-Matic bridge enhances sustain and tuning stability, while the 22-fret rosewood fingerboard ensures smooth playability. The Les Paul Special II’s design captures the iconic double-cutaway shape, and its accessible price point makes it a popular choice for beginners and players on a budget.

Reasons to consider the Les Paul Special II include its recognizable aesthetics and the ability to achieve classic humbucker-driven tones. It’s also praised for its playability, making it suitable for players of various skill levels. However, its tonal versatility is somewhat limited due to the focus on humbucking pickups, and the hardware is more basic compared to higher-end models.

3. Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster Electric Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, 2-Color Sunburst, Maple Fingerboard
  • The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster Fender electric guitar celebrates the birth of the Strat in the 1950s.
  • Built with comfort in mind, this Strat features a contoured body, “C”-shaped neck profile, and narrow-tall frets for easy playability.
  • The Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Strat features three Fender-designed single-coil pickups that create a variety of incredible tones.
  • Fans of vintage-inspired electric guitar design will appreciate the tinted gloss neck finish, nickel-plated hardware, and 1950s-style headstock markings.
  • This Stratocaster embodies iconic Fender style and tone for any player at any stage.

Specifications:

  • Body: Pine
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Pickups: 3x Custom Vintage-Style Single-Coil
  • Bridge: Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Number of Frets: 21

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Vintage-inspired design
Authentic Stratocaster tones
Smooth tremolo system
Affordable price point

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Vintage-style frets
Pine body may not appeal to all

In-Depth Description:

The Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster pays homage to the iconic Fender Stratocaster design of the 1950s. With a pine body and a maple neck, this guitar offers a vintage aesthetic and resonant tonal qualities. The three custom vintage-style single-coil pickups capture the classic Stratocaster sound, delivering crisp and chimey tones that are ideal for various genres like rock, blues, and funk.

The vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge allows for expressive pitch bending and adds to the guitar’s vintage vibe. The 21 vintage-style frets on the maple fingerboard contribute to the guitar’s authentic feel. The Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster is a popular choice among players looking for a budget-friendly instrument that captures the essence of a true Stratocaster.

Reasons to consider the Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster include its vintage aesthetics and authentic Stratocaster tones. The smooth tremolo system enhances playing versatility, while the affordable price makes it accessible to a wide range of players. Some players might be cautious of the vintage-style frets, and the choice of pine for the body might be a matter of personal preference.

4. Ibanez RG421 Electric Guitar

Ibanez RG421AHM RG Series Electric Guitar Blue Moon Burst
  • Wizard III Maple neck Ash body Maple fretboard w/Black dot inlay Jumbo frets Quantum (H) neck pickup Quantum (H) bridge pickup Fixed bridge Cosmo Black Hardware
  • The RG421AHM features an ash body sparkling highs and beefy lows, and it’s complemented by the distinction of a maple fretboard, which, as tone aficionados know well, yields a shade more “bite” to the guitar’s voice
  • As the originators of the thin, fast neck, the Wizard III is yet another achievement in player comfort—comfort that translates into maximizing player performance
  • A pair of proprietary Quantum pickups produces an entire palette of thick, distorted tone textures that offer exceptional high-end articulation
  • A simple, yet solid fixed bridge provides stable, dependable tuning and accurate intonation

Specifications:

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Wizard III Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: 2x Quantum Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Fixed bridge
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Number of Frets: 24

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Sleek, modern design
Fast-playing neck
High-output humbuckers
Extended range with 24 frets

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
May not suit vintage tone enthusiasts
Fixed bridge limits tremolo effects

In-Depth Description:

The Ibanez RG421 is a part of the RG series, known for its contemporary design and versatile performance. With a mahogany body and a Wizard III maple neck, this guitar is built for speed and comfort. The 24-fret rosewood fingerboard and extended scale length make it ideal for players who demand extended range and shred-friendly playability.

Equipped with two Quantum humbucking pickups, the RG421 offers high-output tones suitable for rock, metal, and other heavy genres. The fixed bridge enhances tuning stability and sustain, though it limits the use of tremolo effects. The sleek and modern aesthetics of the RG421 appeal to players seeking a more aggressive look.

Reasons to consider the RG421 include its modern design, fast neck, and high-output pickups that cater to players looking for a contemporary edge. The extended range provided by the 24 frets is also a plus for those who venture into the upper registers. However, if you prefer vintage-inspired tones or desire extensive tremolo capabilities, this guitar might not be the best fit.

5. Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar

YAMAHA FG800 Solid Top Acoustic Guitar,Natural,Guitar Only
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Nato back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Diecast tuners

Specifications:

  • Body Shape: Dreadnought
  • Top: Solid Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Nato/Okoume
  • Neck: Nato/Okoume
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.6″
  • Number of Frets: 20

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Solid top for enhanced resonance
Balanced and warm acoustic tone
Durable construction
Excellent value for the price

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Basic aesthetics
Fewer frets compared to some models

In-Depth Description:

The Yamaha FG800 is a classic dreadnought acoustic guitar designed for consistent performance and a balanced sound. Its solid spruce top contributes to enhanced resonance and projection, while the nato/okoume back and sides offer a warm and well-rounded acoustic tone. The FG800 is well-suited for various playing styles, from fingerpicking to strumming.

Featuring a nato/okoume neck and a rosewood fingerboard, this guitar offers comfortable playability. With a 25.6″ scale length and 20 frets, it provides a familiar and accessible fretboard layout. The FG800’s construction is durable, making it an ideal choice for beginners and players who need a reliable acoustic companion.

Reasons to consider the FG800 include its solid top that contributes to a well-defined sound and its overall balanced tonal characteristics. The instrument’s durability and affordable price point are also strong selling points. However, if you’re looking for intricate aesthetics or require more than 20 frets, you might want to explore other options.

6. Epiphone SG Special Electric Guitar

Epiphone SG Special Electric Guitar, Black
  • Lam Alder/Maple body
  • Two open-coil humbuckers
  • Angled headstock
  • Rosewood fingerboard

Specifications:

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Okoume
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: 2x Epiphone Open Coil Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Fixed bridge
  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Number of Frets: 22

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Classic SG body design
Versatile humbucking tones
Smooth playability
Affordable price point

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Lighter tonewoods
Limited tonal variety

In-Depth Description:

The Epiphone SG Special draws inspiration from the iconic Gibson SG model, featuring a poplar body that maintains the distinctive double-horned shape. The okoume neck and rosewood fingerboard provide a smooth and comfortable playing experience. Equipped with two Epiphone open coil humbuckers, this guitar delivers a range of tones suitable for rock, blues, and more.

With a fixed bridge and 22 frets on the 24.75″ scale length, the SG Special offers accessible playability. The classic SG design is a draw for players seeking an instrument with vintage rock aesthetics. The guitar’s affordability makes it an attractive option for both beginners and experienced players on a budget.

Reasons to consider the Epiphone SG Special include its classic design and versatile humbucking tones. The smooth playability and approachable price point are also key selling points. However, players who prefer heavier tonewoods might find the poplar body less appealing, and those seeking a wider tonal palette might want to explore guitars with more pickup options.

7. Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster Electric Guitar

Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster Electric Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Olympic White, Laurel Fingerboard
  • 100% designed by Fender
  • Inspired by 1960s-era Jazzmaster models
  • Fender-Designed alnico pickups
  • Vintage-tinted gloss neck finish
  • Nickel-plated hardware

Specifications:

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel
  • Pickups: 2x Duncan Designed JM-101 Single-Coil
  • Bridge: Adjusto-Matic with Vintage-Style Floating Tremolo
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Number of Frets: 21

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Distinctive offset body shape
Unique single-coil tones
Versatile tremolo system
Affordable alternative to pricier models

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Basswood body may not suit all tastes
Fewer frets compared to some models

In-Depth Description:

The Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster showcases the unique offset body design that Jazzmaster guitars are known for. With a basswood body, maple neck, and Indian laurel fingerboard, this guitar offers a blend of lightweight construction and playability. The two Duncan Designed JM-101 single-coil pickups provide distinctive Jazzmaster tones, suitable for alternative rock, indie, and other eclectic genres.

The Adjusto-Matic bridge with a vintage-style floating tremolo system allows for smooth vibrato effects and adds to the guitar’s unique character. The 21 frets on the 25.5″ scale length make it a comfortable and familiar instrument for players of various styles. The Vintage Modified Jazzmaster serves as an affordable option for those intrigued by the Jazzmaster’s aesthetic and sonic qualities.

Reasons to consider the Vintage Modified Jazzmaster include its distinctive offset design and unique single-coil tones. The versatile tremolo system adds to its playability, making it suitable for expressive playing styles. However, players with tonal preferences for heavier woods might be cautious about the basswood body, and those seeking more frets may want to explore guitars with extended ranges.

8. Ibanez AS53 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

Ibanez AS53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar (Flat Transparent Black) Bundle with Practice Amp, Tripod Guitar Stand, Guitar Cable, Learning and Playing CD, and Guitar Picks (12-Pack) (6 Items)
  • Bundle Includes: Ibanez AS53 Artcore Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar (Flat Transparent Black), Debut 10E Practice Amp, XCG4 Tripod Guitar Stand (Black), Right Angle Instrument Cable (10-Feet), A Concise Approach to Learning and Playing with CD, and Standard .88mm Green Guitar Picks (12-Pack)
  • Style: Musicians can find the purity of an old-school style jazz-box to a hybrid semi-hollow rocker
  • Workmanship: The Artcore’s combination of quality workmanship and affordability has created legions of fans from diverse genres such as blues, country, rock, and jazz
  • Premium Material: The double-cutaway body with Sapele top, back, and sides are solid and resonant, while the 22-fret set mahogany neck with bound rosewood fretboard is satin-smooth and dishes out sweet sustain
  • Pickups: Infinity R pickups feature warm, balanced articulation and excellent response for various music genres

Specifications:

  • Body: Sapele
  • Top: Flamed Maple
  • Neck: Artcore AS Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Bound Laurel
  • Pickups: 2x Infinity R Humbuckers
  • Bridge: ART-ST Bridge with Quik Change III Tailpiece
  • Scale Length: 24.7″
  • Number of Frets: 22

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Semi-hollow body for warm tones
Artcore construction for resonance
Comfortable playability
Stylish design with flamed maple top

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Semi-hollow feedback in high-gain situations
May not suit heavy metal styles

In-Depth Description:

The Ibanez AS53 combines elements of a semi-hollow body design with the Artcore construction for enhanced resonance and playability. The sapele body and flamed maple top contribute to warm and rich tones, while the Artcore AS mahogany neck and bound laurel fingerboard provide a comfortable platform for playing.

Equipped with two Infinity R humbucking pickups, the AS53 delivers versatile tones well-suited for jazz, blues, and rock genres. The semi-hollow body design enhances natural resonance, but it’s worth noting that it might be susceptible to feedback in high-gain situations. The ART-ST bridge with a Quik Change III tailpiece adds to the guitar’s vintage appeal.

Reasons to consider the Ibanez AS53 include its semi-hollow body for warm tones and the Artcore construction that enhances resonance. The stylish design, complete with a flamed maple top, adds visual flair to its appeal. Players seeking a guitar for genres like jazz, blues, and classic rock will find the AS53 fitting. However, those looking for an instrument to handle heavy metal or high-gain styles might want to explore options with solid bodies.

9. Washburn WD10S Acoustic Guitar

Specifications:

  • Body Shape: Dreadnought
  • Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Number of Frets: 20

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Solid Sitka spruce top for resonance
Balanced acoustic tone
Quality tonewoods
Good value for an all-solid guitar

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
Limited aesthetic embellishments
Fewer frets compared to some models

In-Depth Description:

The Washburn WD10S is an acoustic guitar known for its straightforward design and solid construction. Featuring a dreadnought body shape, the guitar is equipped with a solid sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, offering a balanced and versatile acoustic tone. The mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard contribute to a comfortable playing experience.

With a 25.5″ scale length and 20 frets, the WD10S provides a traditional and familiar feel for players. The choice of solid tonewoods enhances resonance and projection, making it an attractive option for players seeking an all-solid guitar at an affordable price point.

Reasons to consider the Washburn WD10S include its solid sitka spruce top and quality tonewoods that contribute to a balanced acoustic sound. The guitar’s simplicity and solid construction make it a reliable choice for various playing styles. However, players who are drawn to guitars with more elaborate aesthetics might find the WD10S lacking, and those who require additional frets for their playing may prefer guitars with extended ranges.

10. Epiphone Casino Thinline Hollow Body P90 Guitar

Specifications:

  • Body: Laminated Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Pau Ferro
  • Pickups: 2x Epiphone P-90 Dogear
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic with Trapeze Tailpiece
  • Scale Length: 24.75″
  • Number of Frets: 22

Reasons to Buy:

Pros
Classic and iconic design
P-90 pickups for unique tones
Hollow body provides resonance
Versatile for various genres

Reasons to Avoid:

Cons
May experience feedback at high volumes
Not suitable for heavy metal styles

In-Depth Description:

The Epiphone Casino Thinline Hollow Body P90 Guitar is a distinguished member of the Epiphone Casino lineup, known for its hollow body construction and distinctive tonal qualities. Crafted with a laminated maple body, mahogany neck, and pau ferro fingerboard, this guitar captures the essence of classic hollow body instruments. The two Epiphone P-90 dogear pickups deliver vintage-inspired tones that are well-suited for genres ranging from rock and blues to jazz and beyond.

Equipped with a tune-o-matic bridge and trapeze tailpiece, the Casino Thinline maintains a traditional appearance while offering modern playability. The 24.75″ scale length and 22 frets provide a familiar and comfortable playing experience. The hollow body construction contributes to a resonant and open sound, making the Casino Thinline a versatile instrument that can be appreciated in various musical contexts.

Reasons to consider the Epiphone Casino Thinline Hollow Body P90 Guitar include its classic design, unique P-90 pickups, and hollow body resonance. The guitar’s vintage-inspired tones and versatile playability make it a favorite among players seeking a broad sonic palette. However, it’s important to note that the hollow body design can be prone to feedback at high volumes, and players seeking heavy metal tones might need to explore other options.

Is a $400 guitar good?

The quality of a guitar can vary greatly based on its price, brand, materials, and craftsmanship. A $400 guitar can be considered good or not-so-good depending on your specific needs and expectations. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Brand and Reputation: Some well-known guitar brands offer excellent quality instruments in the $400 price range, while others might not be as reliable. Research the brand’s reputation for producing good guitars.
  2. Materials: The materials used in the construction of the guitar play a significant role in its overall quality and sound. Solid wood tops generally produce better sound than laminate tops. Look for a guitar with quality tonewoods like spruce, cedar, mahogany, or rosewood.
  3. Craftsmanship: The way the guitar is built and assembled can greatly affect its playability, durability, and sound. Check for consistent and clean construction.
  4. Sound and Playability: Play the guitar if possible to assess its sound and playability. It should feel comfortable in your hands and produce a pleasing tone. However, keep in mind that guitars can sound different based on the type of strings, playing technique, and amplification.
  5. Intended Use: Consider your skill level and intended use for the guitar. If you’re a beginner, a $400 guitar with good playability and decent sound is likely suitable. If you’re an experienced player or performing musician, you might have higher expectations and requirements.
  6. Accessories: Take into account whether the guitar comes with any accessories such as a case, gig bag, strap, tuner, or extra strings. These extras can add value to the overall package.
  7. Longevity: A higher-priced guitar might have better durability and longevity. If you’re planning to play the guitar for years to come, investing in a slightly more expensive instrument might be a good idea.

In general, $400 can get you a solid entry-level acoustic or electric guitar from reputable brands that offer good quality and playability for beginners and intermediate players. It’s essential to try out the guitar if possible or read reviews from trusted sources to get a sense of its quality before making a purchase decision.

What is a good budget for a guitar?

The budget for a guitar depends on several factors, including your playing level, goals, and preferences. Here’s a general guideline based on different player types:

  1. Absolute Beginner: If you’re just starting to learn the guitar, you can find good entry-level acoustic or electric guitars in the range of $100 to $300. These guitars will provide the basics you need to get started without breaking the bank.
  2. Casual Hobbyist: If you’re playing for fun and not aiming for professional-level performance, a budget of $300 to $600 can get you a guitar with better build quality, playability, and sound. This range will offer guitars suitable for practice and occasional playing.
  3. Serious Intermediate Player: If you’ve been playing for a while and are dedicated to improving your skills, investing around $600 to $1000 will open up options for guitars with higher quality materials, better craftsmanship, and improved tone. Guitars in this range can serve intermediate players well as they continue to advance.
  4. Advanced and Performing Musicians: If you’re a performing musician or an experienced player, a budget of $1000 and above will provide access to guitars with exceptional playability, tonewoods, and electronics (for electric guitars). These instruments are designed to meet the demands of professional players.

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines, and there can be exceptions. The most critical aspect is to try out guitars within your budget range, as individual preferences vary. Playability, sound, and comfort should be your top priorities when choosing a guitar, regardless of your budget.

Remember that in addition to the guitar itself, you might need to budget for accessories like a case or gig bag, a tuner, a strap, extra strings, and potentially lessons or instructional material, especially if you’re a beginner.

What is the best cheap guitar brands?

There are several guitar brands that are known for offering good quality instruments at affordable prices. Keep in mind that while these brands are generally well-regarded for their budget-friendly options, the quality of specific models can still vary. Here are some of the best cheap guitar brands to consider:

  1. Yamaha: Yamaha is known for producing reliable and well-constructed guitars in various price ranges. Their beginner and intermediate models often receive positive reviews for their playability and sound.
  2. Squier (by Fender): Squier is Fender’s budget-friendly line of guitars. They offer a wide range of electric and acoustic models that provide a solid entry point for beginners and players on a budget.
  3. Epiphone: Epiphone is a subsidiary of Gibson and offers a range of affordable electric and acoustic guitars. They are well-known for producing quality instruments that resemble higher-end Gibson models.
  4. Ibanez: Ibanez is renowned for its versatile electric guitars, often favored by players in genres like rock and metal. They offer a variety of affordable options that are highly playable and offer good value for the money.
  5. Cort: Cort is a brand that produces a range of acoustic and electric guitars at various price points. They are known for their attention to detail and quality craftsmanship in their more affordable models.
  6. Washburn: Washburn offers a selection of affordable acoustic and electric guitars that often receive positive feedback for their playability and sound quality.
  7. Harley Benton: Harley Benton is a brand known for offering remarkably budget-friendly guitars with surprisingly good quality. They often get positive attention for their value for money.
  8. Mitchell: Mitchell guitars offer a range of affordable options for both beginners and intermediate players. They offer a variety of styles and features to suit different preferences.

Remember that while these brands have a reputation for producing good cheap guitars, it’s still essential to try out the specific model you’re interested in before purchasing. Each individual guitar can have variations in sound, playability, and overall quality. Additionally, read reviews and seek recommendations from experienced players or guitar teachers to get more insight into the specific models you’re considering.

Is it OK to use a cheap guitar?

Yes, it’s absolutely okay to use a cheap guitar, especially if you’re a beginner or if you’re on a tight budget. Cheap guitars can serve as a great starting point for learning and practicing the basics of playing the instrument. Here are a few points to consider:

  1. Learning Curve: When you’re just starting out, your focus should be on learning proper technique, developing finger strength, and understanding basic concepts of playing. A cheap guitar can provide these learning opportunities without the need for a significant financial investment.
  2. Budget Considerations: Not everyone has the budget for an expensive guitar, especially if they’re uncertain about their commitment to playing or are simply looking for a cost-effective option.
  3. Portability: A cheaper guitar can be more suitable for travel or situations where you might be concerned about the safety of a more expensive instrument.
  4. Upgrades: Many guitarists start with a more affordable model and then gradually upgrade as their skills improve and they gain a deeper understanding of their preferences.
  5. Experimentation: If you’re new to playing, you might not yet know what type of guitar or playing style you prefer. Starting with a cheaper guitar allows you to experiment without a significant financial commitment.

However, it’s important to note that while cheap guitars can be perfectly fine for beginners and casual players, there might be some limitations in terms of sound quality, playability, and durability. As you progress and become more experienced, you might eventually consider upgrading to a higher-quality instrument that better suits your evolving needs and preferences.

Regardless of the cost of your guitar, regular maintenance, proper care, and regular practice are key factors in getting the most out of your instrument. With dedication and practice, you can make great music on a cheap guitar and decide later whether you want to invest in a more expensive model.

FAQs About the Best Guitars Under $500 (Cheap)

How many guitars is it reasonable to own?

The number of guitars a person should own is subjective and depends on their preferences, budget, and playing style. Some guitarists are content with one or two guitars, while others may collect a variety for different sounds and purposes.

How good is Grade 4 guitar?

“Grade 4” typically refers to a level of proficiency in guitar playing within a grading system, such as music examination boards. Achieving Grade 4 suggests a moderate skill level where you can play more complex pieces, demonstrate better technique, and have a good understanding of musical concepts.

Is it OK to buy an expensive guitar as a beginner?

While it’s not necessary to start with an expensive guitar as a beginner, if you have the budget and commitment, an expensive guitar can offer better playability, sound quality, and potential for growth. However, many beginners start with more affordable options and upgrade later as they gain experience.

Is it better to buy a cheap or expensive guitar?

The choice between a cheap and expensive guitar depends on your budget, commitment to playing, and preferences. Expensive guitars often offer better craftsmanship, materials, and sound, but there are many affordable options that provide decent quality for beginners and hobbyists.

Are cheap guitars harder to play?

Cheap guitars can sometimes be harder to play due to lower-quality components and less precise craftsmanship. However, proper setup and adjustments can improve playability. Expensive guitars may offer better playability out of the box, but skill and technique development matter more than the price.

How much should you play guitar a day?

The amount of time you play guitar daily depends on your goals, schedule, and comfort level. Consistent practice, even for a short duration like 20-30 minutes, is more beneficial than occasional long sessions. Gradually increase practice time as your skills and endurance improve.

Can a good guitarist make a cheap guitar sound good?

Yes, a skilled guitarist can make a cheap guitar sound better through proper technique, setup adjustments, and using suitable amplification/effects. While an expensive guitar might have inherent advantages, a skilled player can still achieve a pleasing sound with a budget instrument.

How much does an entry level guitar cost?

Entry-level guitars vary widely in price, but they typically range from $100 to $300. These guitars are designed for beginners and offer decent quality for learning purposes. Prices may vary based on the brand, features, and construction.

What is the #1 guitar brand?

There isn’t a single “#1” guitar brand as preferences vary among players. Some popular guitar brands include Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Taylor, and Martin, each known for different styles and qualities.

What is a really good guitar brand?

Several guitar brands are considered really good, depending on your preferences and playing style. Brands like Taylor, Martin, Fender, Gibson, PRS (Paul Reed Smith), and Ibanez are known for producing high-quality instruments.

How long do cheap guitars last?

The lifespan of a cheap guitar can vary widely based on how well it’s taken care of, the quality of materials, and usage. With proper care, even an affordable guitar can last several years. However, as skills improve and dedication grows, many players eventually seek higher-quality instruments.

What guitar did Kurt Cobain use?

Kurt Cobain, the late frontman of Nirvana, famously used several guitars, but his most iconic was a modified Fender Mustang. He also played Fender Jaguars and a variety of other guitars during his career.

Which guitars are easiest to play?

Generally, guitars with smaller bodies and thinner neck profiles are considered easier to play, especially for beginners. Electric guitars often have slimmer necks than acoustic guitars, making them more comfortable for some players.

Who makes the easiest guitar to play?

Brands like Yamaha and Ibanez are known for producing guitars with comfortable neck profiles, low action (string height), and good playability, which can be beneficial for beginners and players seeking easy playability.

Are guitars becoming less popular?

Guitars have gone through phases of popularity, but they remain a staple instrument in various genres. While trends may shift, guitars continue to be widely used in music production and performance.

Should a beginner buy a cheap guitar?

Buying a cheap guitar can be a good option for beginners to start learning without a significant financial commitment. However, it’s important to find a balance between affordability and reasonable quality to ensure a positive learning experience.

Do used guitars sound better?

The sound of a guitar is influenced by its build, materials, and condition rather than whether it’s new or used. A well-maintained used guitar can sound just as good as a new one. When buying used, inspect the guitar’s condition, playability, and any necessary repairs.

Should I pay for a guitar setup?

Paying for a professional guitar setup can greatly improve the playability and performance of a guitar, especially if you’re a beginner. A setup adjusts factors like string height, intonation, and neck relief for optimal playability.

Does buying a guitar extend life?

Buying a guitar doesn’t directly extend its lifespan, but investing in a quality instrument and providing proper care can certainly prolong its playable life. Regular maintenance and responsible storage help preserve a guitar’s condition.

Is it worth it to buy second-hand guitar?

Buying a second-hand guitar can be a cost-effective way to get a higher-quality instrument within your budget. Just ensure you thoroughly evaluate its condition, playability, and potential repair costs before purchasing.

What is the best place to buy a guitar from?

You can buy guitars from various sources, including local music stores, online retailers, and private sellers. The best place depends on your comfort level, ability to try the guitar, and the reputation of the seller. Make sure to research and read reviews.

How do I choose a good quality guitar?

Choosing a good quality guitar involves considering factors like your budget, playing style, preferred genre, and comfort. Look for solid construction, reputable brands, comfortable playability, and a sound that resonates with you.

Is a $100 dollar guitar good for beginners?

A $100 guitar can be suitable for beginners who are just starting and want an affordable option. While these guitars might have limitations in terms of playability and sound quality, they can serve as a starting point for learning.

How much should a first guitar be?

The price of a first guitar can vary, but a budget of around $150 to $300 can provide you with a decent entry-level instrument for learning. Spending a bit more can often result in better playability and sound quality.

Is a Fender Squier worth it?

Fender Squier guitars are known for offering good value for their price. They’re often recommended for beginners and players on a budget, providing a way to experience the Fender brand without the higher cost of their premium models.

What makes a guitar gig worthy?

A gig-worthy guitar should have reliable tuning stability, good playability, suitable tonal characteristics for the music you’re playing, and durability to withstand live performances. It should also be comfortable to play for extended periods.

What is the best acoustic guitar under $400?

There are many good options in the acoustic guitar market under $400. Some popular choices include models from brands like Yamaha, Epiphone, and Ibanez. It’s important to try different options and choose one that suits your preferences.

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David Sandy

Hey there! My name is David Sandy and I'm the founder of Sandy Music Lab. I've been playing guitar for several years now and created this site to be able to share and explore music with others.
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