Instrument Insight

Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under 300 (A Complete Buying Guide)

Best Electric Guitars Under 300

Top 10 recommendations for the best electric guitars under $300 with the best purposes and a complete buying guide that will help you to make an informed decision.

Everybody has a different opinion when it comes to choosing the best electric guitar for them. To some people, the best electric guitar might mean the most expensive, most tricked-out model available. On the other hand, for some people, it might mean finding a guitar that helps them to learn. So, choosing the best electric guitar is a very personal choice. However, you just need to make an informed decision to succeed in the long run.

Related Complete Buying Guides:

There are so many options out there to invest in, designed for every kind of player and style. Therefore, you need to consider your budget. That’s why we’ve come up with the 10 best electric guitars for under 300 dollars which will help you to select the right electric guitar for you. Let’s have an in-depth look at the guitars that we’ve chosen and which one is best for what reason.

Our Top 3 Picks (At A Glance)

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Yamaha GigMaker EG Pack
Yamaha GigMaker EG Pack
9.9
  • PAC012 Pacifica Electric Guitar Old Violin Sunburst
  • 15-watt Yamaha guitar amp
  • Picks, straps, tuner and cable
  • Protective gig bag
PREMIUM PICK
Ibanez GRGA 120QA
Ibanez GRGA 120QA
9.8
  • GRGA Maple neck
  • 24 frets
  • High output Infinity R pickups
BUDGET PICK
Squier Affinity Telecaster
Squier Affinity Telecaster
9.7
  • Two single-coil pickups offer a great range of tones.
  • With a 3-way pickup selector switch, choosing your favorite tones is a breeze.
  • A comfortable neck, quality hardware, and quality construction make this guitar a great buy.

What Are The Best Electric Guitars Under $300

First, let’s have a look at the summary of our review of the top 10 best electric guitars under 300 dollars where we have summarized some of the specific specifications with the best purposes:

1. Best For All-Around: Yamaha GigMaker Electric Guitar Pack

Maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 15-watt Yamaha guitar amp, cables, tuners, and much more.

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2. Best For Value: Ibanez GRGA 120QA

Poplar body with art grain quilted maple top, GRGA maple neck, Infinity R dual pickups, and Jumbo frets.

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3. Best For Blues: Squier Affinity Telecaster

1950’s classic shape with an Alder body, Maple neck, and fretboard, 2 single-coil pickups.

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4. Best For Classic Rock: Epiphone Les Paul-100

Mahogany body and neck with rosewood fretboard, Epiphone 650R, and 700T Humbucker pickups.

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5. Best For Rock and Heavy Metal: Ibanez GRGA 120

Poplar body in a double-cutaway shape, Dual Infinity R humbucker pickups, Std. tremolo.

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6. Best For Versatility: Yamaha Pacifica 112

Alder body with maple top and neck, Rosewood fretboard, HSS configured 2 single-coil pickups.

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7. Best For Speed and Expression: Ibanez GRG7221M

Double-cutaway poplar body, Bolt-on GRG neck, Infinity R humbucking pickups, 7-string instrument.

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8. Best For Hard Rock: Ibanez PS60 Paul Stanley Signature

Solid Poplar body with a high-gloss finish, PS maple neck, Dual Ibanez Infinity R pickups.

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9. Best For Beginners: Washburn Sonamaster

Double-cutaway basswood body with a Canadian maple neck, 3 single-coil pickups.

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10. Best For Hard Rock And Heavy Metal: Dean Icon X

Double-cutaway solid basswood body, C shape bolt-on maple neck, Dual DMT design humbuckers.

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Comparison Table (Best Electric Guitars Under 300)

Best For All-Around
Yamaha GigMaker Electric Guitar Pack
Yamaha GigMaker Electric Guitar Pack
  • PAC012 Pacifica Electric Guitar Old Violin Sunburst
  • 15-watt Yamaha guitar amp
  • Picks, straps, tuner and cable
  • Protective gig bag
Best For Value
Ibanez GRGA120QA
Ibanez GRGA120QA
  • GRGA Maple neck
  • 24 frets
  • High output Infinity R pickups
Best For Blues
Squier Affinity Telecaster
Squier Affinity Telecaster
  • Two single-coil pickups offer a great range of tones.
  • With a 3-way pickup selector switch, choosing your favorite tones is a breeze.
  • A comfortable neck, quality hardware, and quality construction make this guitar a great buy.
Best For Classic Rock
Epiphone Les Paul-100, Ebony
Epiphone Les Paul-100, Ebony
  • Mahogany Body with Maple Top
  • Epiphone 650R & 700T Humbuckers
  • Okoume Neck
Best For Rock And Heavy Metal
Ibanez GRGA 120
Ibanez GRGA 120
  • GRGA Maple neck
  • 24 frets
  • High output Infinity R pickups
Best For Versatility
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112
  • Alder Body
  • Maple Bolt-On Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Vintage Tremolo
  • 5 Position Switch
Best For Speed And Expression
Ibanez GRG7221M
Ibanez GRG7221M
  • GRG-7 Maple neck
  • 24 frets
  • High output Infinity R pickups
Best For Hard Rock
Ibanez PS60 Paul Stanley Signature
Ibanez PS60 Paul Stanley Signature
  • Uniquely Styled Resonant Poplar Body
  • Slim Profile Maple Neck with Bound Purpleheart Fingerboard
  • High Output Infinity R Humbucker Pickups
  • Chrome Hardware
  • Case Not Included
Best For Beginners
Washburn Sonamaster S1
Washburn Sonamaster S1
  • Double Cut Bolt On
  • Triple Washburn Sonamaster Single Coil pickups and Fulcrum Trem bridge
  • Chrome Hardware
  • Basswood back and sides
  • Gloss Finish
Best For Hard Rock And Heavy Metal
Dean 6 String Icon X (SGD)
Dean 6 String Icon X (SGD)
  • Basswood top
  • Basswood Body
  • Tune-O-Matich Bridge
  • Pickup (neck): DMT design humbucker BKBK
  • Pickup (Bridge): DMT design humbucker BKBK

Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under $300 (In-depth Guide)

1. Best For All-Around: Yamaha GigMaker Electric Guitar Pack

Yamaha-Gigmaker-Electric-Package

Pros
  • Soundwise, the guitar is really good
  • Plenty of adjustments for different sounds
  • Frets are smooth and well finished
  • The body finish is flawless
  • Good low action guitar
  • Intonations seem pretty good
  • Easy to make minor adjustments
  • Tuners hold their tune with easy adjustments
  • High quality from Yamaha’s low end
  • Outstanding value for money
  • Great bundle for beginners, secure packaging
  • The cable that comes with it is nice
  • Guitar size works for adults and teens
  • Good looking versatile instrument
Cons
  • Needs a little work out of the box
  • Not an extraordinary amp
  • You may want better strings
  • Not as rounded as the edges as Squier
  • Sharp frets
  • Some QC issues have been reported

Our Score

The GigMaker electric guitar from Yamaha is a great well-rounded guitar. If you're looking for a guitar, either just to pass the time or be a great musician, the Yamaha GigMaker electric guitar is the perfect choice for you.

Key Features

  • PAC012 Pacifica electric guitar, 4 color options
  • Bolt-on maple neck and rosewood fretboard with 22 frets
  • 15-watt, 2-channel Drive Yamaha guitar amp
  • Included tuner, cable, strap, and picks
  • Protective gig bag increases the value

This guitar is made with Agathis wood and a variety of finish options including black, metallic blue, metallic red, and old violin sunburst. To be honest, the wood that has been used is less expensive. However, I don't think because of the less expensive wood; the guitar will look cheap. It's still very charming, and you can't complain about anything about the body.

The bolt-on maple neck perfectly feels comfortable and fits the hand perfectly. It has a 22 frets fingerboard that is made out of Sonokeling rosewood. The frets are very smooth with classic white dot inlays. Moreover, the package comes with wonderful accessories equal to a ton of value.

Verdict: Overall, the Yamaha GigMaker is an excellent guitar pack with amazing features at a reasonable price making it the number 1 and our Editor's Choice for today's list of the best electric guitars under 300. If you're just starting out and need extra equipment with the guitar itself, then this package can be an excellent option to consider in the first place which also comes with a great number of positive feedback from the real users. That's why we call it an all-around.

Yamaha GigMaker Pack Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Yamaha GigMaker Electric Guitar Pack

Product Description: The Yamaha GigMaker is an all-around guitar because it comes with everything that you need to a jump start including PAC012 Pacifica electric guitar, 15-watt Yamaha guitar amp, tuner, strap, cable, picks, and a gig bag. The guitar itself features a double-cutaway Agathis body and maple neck with a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets offers extended playing style.

Brand: Yamaha

  • Build Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.9)
  • Versatility
    (4.9)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value
    (5)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Agathis
  • Color: 4 variables
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Inlays: White Dot
  • Amp: Yamaha 15-watt
  • Amp Drive: 2-channel
  • Tuner and Cable: Yes
  • Strap and Picks: Yes
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.9

2. Best For Value: Ibanez GRGA 120QA

Ibanez GRGA-120QA

Pros
  • Looks and sounds great
  • Stays in tune
  • Well built
  • Perfect setup
  • Great quality for the price
  • Suits any beginner player very well
  • Stains on the neck
  • Fast shipping
  • Good pickups
  • Great aesthetics
  • Fun to play
  • Good value for money
  • Versatile one
Cons
  • Pickups are a little inconsistent
  • Rough frets
  • Neck being a little thick
  • Buzzing issue while fingers aren’t touching the strings

Our Score

The Ibanez GRGA 120QA is an excellent electric guitar that is available with two types of lucrative finishes: transparent blue burst and transparent black sunburst and these are our premium pick for the list.

Key Features

  • Double-cutaway poplar tonewood body
  • Art grain quilted top with ultra-fine finish
  • Beautiful arched top and body binding
  • Fret profile features aggressive power chording
  • Electronics feature a variety of tonal options
  • Case sold separately

The guitar offers great value for money and is the perfect electric guitar for beginners or backup for more advanced players. The body of this guitar has been made using Poplar tonewood and art grain quilted maple used on top to give the guitar a premium look. It has a double-cutaway which allows easy access to the upper frets. The all-access neck joint further enhanced its playability.

This guitar is equipped with Dual Infinity R humbucking pickups that let you go from chunky riffs to fast lead lines. You can switch up how you use the HH pickup configuration with a 5-way lever on hand. The volume and tone controls allow you to put the final touches on your sound.

Verdict: Overall, the GRGA 120QA will impress you from the tone and playability to the great looks making it our number 2.

Ibanez GRGA 120QA Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez GRGA 120QA

Product Description: As the name suggests, the GRGA 120QA comes with a GRGA maple neck combined with art grain quilted maple top and poplar body. Other features include Jumbo frets and treated New Zealand Pine fretboard which is perfect for smooth and fast playing. It has two Infinity R pickups with a 3-way selector switch when it comes to electronics. In summary, the GRGA 120QA can be an excellent choice with great value for the money.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.6)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.9)
  • Versatility
    (4.8)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Body Shape: Double-Cutaway
  • Guitar Top: Quilted Art Grain Maple
  • Neck Profile: GRGA Maple
  • Fretboard: New Zealand Pine Treated
  • Fret Type: Jumbo
  • Number of Frets: 24
  • Inlay: White Dot
  • Neck Pickup: Infinity R (H)
  • Bridge Pickup: Infinity R (H)
  • Bridge: T102
  • Hardware: Black
Overall
4.8

3. Best For Blues: Squier Affinity Telecaster

Squier-Fender-Affinity-Telecaster

Pros
  • Solid long-lasting alder body
  • Beautiful matte finish smooth playing maple neck
  • Maple fingerboard, classic Fender 25.5” scale length
  • Versatile for clean/mildly-distorted genres
  • Convincing Telecaster tone
  • Great price, simple setup
  • Can be modified
  • Different color options
Cons
  • Cheap, low-quality parts such as nuts, controls, jack input
  • It May have rough frets (reported on some guitars)
  • May have minor blemishes on the body and the neck
  • A thin coat of body finish
  • Mediocre pickups

Our Score

The next model on our review of the best electric guitar under 300 is Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster and it's our budget pick as well.

Key Features

  • Made from a single piece of Alder wood
  • Features maple fretboard on a classic (C-shape) maple neck
  • Dual single-coil pickups with a 3-way switch
  • Die-cast chrome machine heads
  • Also available in left-handed

It's an excellent option for any newbie guitarist looking for a new electric guitar. This one is also a great choice for playing blues and classic rock within budget. The guitar is equipped with two vintage-style single-coil pickups. These pickups are located at the neck and near the bridge. The best thing you'll love about this guitar is that you can modify it. You'll find so many resources where people discuss how they modified their guitars.

You can enjoy the different color options available on the Telecaster, including Lake Placid Blue, Butterscotch Blonde, and Sunburst. All of them are very beautiful and have a great number of positive feedback from real users (almost over 1600 at the time of writing). The body of the guitar is shaped out of a single piece of alder wood that is clear, well-rounded, and with highly responsive lows.

One drawback of this guitar is the natural tone the guitar which isn't incredible in terms of versatility. So, it's a finesse guitar that's not meant to play heavy metal or hard rock. Otherwise, this gem can do your job for what this guitar is meant for.

Verdict: Overall, the Squier Affinity Telecaster is a great budget electric guitar that is great for country and blues music for beginners and enthusiasts making it a well-deserved number 3.

Squier Affinity Telecaster Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Squier Affinity Telecaster

Product Description: With a slim and comfortable "C"-shaped neck profile, loaded with dual Squier single-coil Tele pickups, the Squier Affinity Telecaster offers genre-defying sonic variety. Its 6-saddle Tele bridge and sealed die-cast tuning machines allow fine intonation adjustment and accurate tuning. The Squier Affinity Telecaster is great for playing blues and has a good resale value.

Brand: Fender

  • Build Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.9)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Classic (Same as 1950s)
  • Body Material: Alder
  • Body Wood: Solid
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Finish: Satin
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Fret Type: Medium Jumbo
  • Scale Length: 25-1/2 inch
  • Bridge: Fender Vintage
  • Pickups: 2 Single-coil
  • Pickup Switch: 3-way
  • Control Layout: Volume and Tone
  • Orientation: Both
  • Color Options: 8 Variables
Overall
4.8

4. Best For Classic Rock: Epiphone Les Paul-100

Epiphone-Les-Paul-100

Pros
  • Features the classic Les Paul look
  • Twin humbucking pickups for rock, blues, metal, and other genres
  • Toggle switch for the pickups in a wide range of tonal variations
  • Beautiful arched top with a smaller scale length
  • Great Design with great finish options
  • Angled pickguard to help protect the finish against pick scratches
  • Sturdy construction, great quality
  • Bolt-on neck is easy to repair
  • Easy and fun to play
  • Good for beginners
Cons
  • Beginners may find it difficult to tune because of below-average tuning stability
  • Lacks the full and professional tones that a full-range Les Paul does
  • No accessories come with the guitar
  • Pricier than some other competitors
  • There are not many color variations

Our Score

The Epiphone LP-100 is a superb instrument for guitarists who are looking for a guitar with a reasonable price tag. It's a reliable electric guitar that has the classic look, sound, and feel of a Les Paul.

Key Features

  • Mahogany body with Maple top construction
  • Mahogany neck and rosewood fretboard with 22 frets
  • Equipped with Epiphone branded 650R and 700T dual humbuckers
  • Perfect for both rhythm and lead playing
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge

The body is all mahogany that includes a maple top. It's lighter and slimmer compare to the full-size Les Paul's. Therefore, you'll be able to hold it easily for long practices and gigs. The neck has Les Paul's classic scale length of 24.75 inches which is relatively easier to play and tune.

This guitar feature two humbucker pickups with tone and volume control for each. These humbucker pickups ensure minimal humming. It also features all-metal hardware having premium die-cast machine tuners in it. But all-around hardware quality is not that good as it comes with a cheaper price point.

Verdict: Overall, the LP-100 has everything that a beginner or an advanced player looks for in a quality instrument making it qualified for our position 4.

Epiphone Les Paul-100 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Epiphone Les Paul-100

Product Description: The Epiphone Les Paul-100 is like the junior of the Les Paul. It's equipped with Epiphone branded 650R neck pickup and 700T bridge pickup that allows it to play in a wide range of sounds including classic rock, rock, and even metal. A Les Paul logo on the headstock enhanced the look and appearance of the guitar. The control layout consists of two volume controls and two tone controls. The Epiphone Les Paul-100 is a perfect pick for musicians who like Gibson Les Paul but not ready to spend a bunch of pennies.

Brand: Epiphone

  • Build Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.8)
  • Playability
    (4.9)
  • Versatility
    (4.9)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Classic LP
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Top Material: Maple
  • Color: Ebony
  • Neck: Okoume
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Pickups: 650R and 700T Humbucker
  • Pickups Brand: Epiphone
  • Pickup Configuration: H
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
  • Scale Length: 24.75 inch
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.8

5. Best For Rock And Heavy Metal: Ibanez GRGA 120

Ibanez-GRGA-120

Pros
  • Classic Ibanez looks for a low price
  • Easy to play even for adolescents
  • Great tone and feel
  • Available in multi colors
  • Great pickup
  • Solid electronics
  • Nice hardware
  • Fantastic for the price
  • Lightweight
  • Nice action

 

Cons
  • The strap nuts are slightly loose
  • Not as versatile as other guitars
  • Tuning stability is an issue
  • Slight fret buzz issue
  • The Whammy bar and strings are a bit cheap though

Our Score

We have got another gem by Ibanez called the Ibanez GRGA 120, and it’s hands down the best electric guitar under 300 in the market and the best alternative of our Editor's Choice the Ibanez GRGA 120 QA.

Key Features

  • Poplar body
  • GRGA Maple neck
  • Treated New Zealand pine fretboard
  • Dual pickup with black hardware
  • Case sold separately

Ibanez is known for its incredible instruments across all price ranges. One thing they never compromise is the sound quality of the instrument. The Ibanez GRGA120 GIO is an absolute gem that comes in two different solid colors.

The body has a poplar construction with a maple neck. The fretboard is treated with New Zealand pine, which is quite standard considering an entry-level guitar. The neck is quite smooth and thin, making it easier to grab even for the smaller hands. It's equipped with a dual Infinity R humbucker pickup that generates a grunge sound. You can control the pickups by the tone and volume knobs along with the 3-way selector switches.

Verdict: Overall, the Ibanez GRGA 120 offers excellent playability for the price. This one is a perfect choice if rock and heavy metal are your preferred genres.

Ibanez GRGA120 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez GRGA120

Product Description: With beautiful body binding and arched top, the GRGA120 features a poplar body with GRGA Maple neck. Other features include the jumbo frets that allows aggressive power chording with fast and smooth playing. Electronics and the whole pickup system is pretty much capable for various tonal options. Regardless of price, the Ibanez GRGA120 has the absolute best sound and style in its class with excellent playability.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.8)
  • Playability
    (4.8)
  • Versatility
    (4.5)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Neck Pickup: Infinity R Humbucker
  • Bridge Pickup: Infinity R Humbucker
  • Bridge: Std. Tremolo
  • Inlay: White Dot
  • Finish: BKN (Black Night)
Overall
4.7

6. Best For Versatility: Yamaha Pacifica 112

Yamaha-Pacifica-PAC112J

Pros
  • It’s a bargain for the price
  • The fretboard is quite playable
  • Pickups are decent, great sound quality
  • Overall feel and finish outshines
  • Available for lefties as well
  • Great looks and aesthetics
  • Comes with premium D’Addario EXL 120 strings
  • Comes with better quality tuners
  • Well packaged and perfect out of the box setup
  • Allen wrenches included to set things up though
  • Pretty nice action and good built quality
  • Amazing woodwork, Lightweight and versatile
  • Excellent choice for guitar enthusiasts
Cons
  • A little fret buzz issue
  • Needs a little set up according to some reports
  • Some users complain about tuning stability
  • One user complains about inherent defect in plastic pickguard

Our Score

At number 6 on our list, we have the Yamaha Pacifica 112 which has earned quite a reputation for its low price and decent quality. It's a perfect pick for beginners.

Key Features

  • Solid alder body with maple top construction
  • Maple neck with rosewood fretboard
  • Humbucker pickup in bridge with 2 single coils
  • Vintage-style tremolo bridge
  • Steel strings

The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is a solid-body guitar. You can buy it at a very reasonable price, as well as rely on it for most of your performances. The body is made using Alder wood. It comes with a C-shaped neck that is crafted from maple and includes a rosewood fingerboard. It consists of 22 frets.

The hardware of this guitar is pretty much decent. It features a tremolo bridge, along with adjustable saddles and die-cast turners. There are three pickups: one Alnico humbucker at the bridge and two Alnico single-coil pickups. It also incorporates standard controls. Moreover, you can choose from a vast number of different color options including black, lake blue, metallic red, old violin sunburst, and our featured natural.

Verdict: Overall, it's one of the best budget, versatile and beginner-friendly electric guitars.

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Review Insight

Product Name: Yamaha Pacifica 112

Product Description: The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is a top choice for musicians who loves versatility. From blues to metal, it can handle all with great playability. The guitar's control layout consists of one master volume and one tone control knob. Moreover, it has a solid Alder body with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard that makes the guitar feature-rich. With a double-cutaway shape, the Yamaha Pacifica 112 offers an extended playing style and it is available for both left and right-handed.

Brand: Yamaha

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.8)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Alder
  • Body Wood: Solid
  • Top Material: Maple
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Pickups: 2 single-coil Humbucker
  • Pickup Configuration: H-S-S
  • Bridge Type: Tremolo
  • Bridge Design: Vintage-Style
  • String Material: Steel
  • Orientation: Both
Overall
4.7

7. Best For Speed And Expression: Ibanez GRG7221M

Ibanez-GRG7221M

Pros
  • Poplar body delivers excellent balance and resonance
  • Smooth Maplewood neck and fingerboard
  • Classic Ibanez speed, well fast neck
  • Hardtail bridge for enhanced tuning stability
  • Decent tonal range considering the price
  • Aesthetic glossy finish
  • Budget pricing
Cons
  • The 7-string design may seem confusing to the beginners
  • Cheap hardware as expected with cheap 7-string guitars
  • No variations, only a pretty soft-looking blue

Our Score

The GRG7221M from Ibanez is an absolute powerhouse with a unique blend of speed and expression. Ibanez has induced a minimalistic feature on this one. However, this 7-string guitar has gained quite some popularity among garage and punk rockers.

Key Features

  • Poplar body cloaked with a high gloss finish
  • Jumbo frets are friendly for string-bending
  • Infinity R pickups deliver the distorted tone and extra fat
  • Perfect for metal guitarists who craved for that extra requisite fat
  • A whole new level of playing experience with the Ibanez Fixed 7 bridge

The guitar has a poplar body design with a high gloss finish. The double-cutaway design enhances the playability and makes it easier to master even for novice players. The fretboards feature string-bending jumbo frets so that you can have the proper reach on all frets. The tone of the guitar is pretty decent, considering under the $300 price.

It comes with Infinity R humbucking pickup that ensures a crisp and distorted tone metal that every rock metal guitarist wishes in a budget guitar. The 7-string feature makes it a quite versatile one as well that fits well for those who want to explore the mesmerizing world of 7-strings electric guitar.

Verdict: Overall, the 7221M is an excellent guitar for those who’re into rock music and looking for a 7-string electric under the budget of $300. The Ibanez GRG7221M is also a great choice for children as it has a thin neck design that will make it easier for them to play the guitar making it a well-deserved number 7 on the list.

Ibanez GRG7221M Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez GRG7221M

Product Description: The Ibanez GRG7221M is an affordable option for beginner metal guitarists that patterned after the Ibanez metal monster. This GRG features as same fury and speed as that legendary monster. Other features include - Poplar body with high gloss finish, maple neck and fretboard, infinity R humbucking pickups and 24 jumbo frets with dot inlays. Absolutely bargain for beginner metal guitarists who like discovery in playing guitars.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.8)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double cutaway
  • Body Type and Wood: Solid, Poplar
  • Body Finish: Gloss
  • Orientation: Right-handed
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Shape and Finish: GRG, Satin
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Scale Length: 25.5 inch
  • Fretboard Radius: 15.75 inch
  • Pickups: HH Passive
  • Bridge: 7-saddle string through body (Fixed)
  • Number of Strings: 7-string
Overall
4.7

8. Best For Hard Rock: Ibanez PS60 Paul Stanley Signature

Ibanez-PS60

Pros
  • Good, easy, and comfortable playability
  • Paul Stanley Signature guitar
  • Stays in tune
  • Beautiful out of the box setup
  • High output pickups
  • Stock pickups are really good with great midrange response
  • Produces a well-balanced tone
  • Great for rock and grunge sounds
  • Looks phenomenal and fun to play
  • Very lightweight guitar
  • Great value and a definite eye-catcher
  • Packed properly from the factory
Cons
  • You may need to upgrade the tuners
  • The tip of the guitar slightly chipped
  • Doesn’t come with a guitar case

Our Score

The Ibanez PS60 Paul Stanley Signature has earned praises for featuring distinguishing yet memorable characteristics and this one is our hand-pick for number 8.

Key Features

  • Solid Poplar body construction with a high-gloss finish
  • PS profile maple neck
  • Equipped with high-output dual Infinity R Ibanez pickups
  • Chrome hardware with Full Tune III bridge
  • Control layout consists of Volume 1, Volume 2, and a Master Tone knob

Paul Stanley is an American singer and musician who is the co-founder, frontman, rhythm guitarist, and co-singer of the all-time famous band called KISS. And, Ibanez has produced the PS60 as his signature model for rock guitarists and Paul Stanley fans who are on a budget and still want the look and feel of the Paul Stanley style.

The PS60 has a uniquely shaped body that is crafted from resonant poplar. It comes with chrome hardware and a slim profile maple neck. The neck is equipped with a Bound Purpleheart fingerboard. Thanks to this fingerboard, you'll get a balanced tone from the guitar. It includes two high-output Infinity R humbucker pickups. These pickups are capable of producing a sound perfect for playing rock 'n' roll music.

Their stylish poplar body is also adorned with a bottom cutaway design. Therefore, you'll be able to play it more comfortably. It's also a great on-stage guitar as well for use in live performances. With the unique look, it's surely an eye-catcher. You have to purchase the guitar case as a separate one though.

Verdict: Overall, it's perfect for rock guitarists who're looking for an awesome yet affordable electric guitar.

Ibanez PS60 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez PS60 Paul Stanley Signature

Product Description: The Ibanez PS60 is a gem when it comes to playing hard rock. Since 1996, legendary guitarist Paul Stanley from KISS and Ibanez teamed up for the first time in order to make this famous signature that features striking looks, New Zealand treated pine fretboard with medium size 22 frets for balanced tone, a pair of Infinity R passive series humbuckers- allow you to play powerful riffs and chords, along with stable Full Tune III bridge.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.5)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.3)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Other
  • Body Material: Solid Poplar
  • Body Finish: High-Gloss
  • Neck Profile: PS set-in Maple
  • Scale Length: 24.75 inch
  • Fretboard Radius: 12 inch
  • Nut Width: 1.69 inch (43 mm)
  • Pickups: Dual Infinity R
  • Pickup Configuration: HH
  • Pickup Switch: 3-way
  • Bridge: Fixed Full Tune III
  • Tailpiece: Quick Change
  • Hardware Color: Chrome
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.6

9. Best For Beginners: Washburn SonaMaster S1

Washburn-Sonamaster-S1

Pros
  • Nice 80s punk rock sound from this series
  • Absolute beginner guitar that's very light
  • The finish is done exceptionally
  • Three single-coil pickups in the neck, bridge, and middle
  • Solid basswood construction
  • Cutaway design for better playability
  • Good out-of-the-box setup
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Real value
Cons
  • Some users complain about tuning stability
  • Better options are available in this price range

Our Score

At number 9, we have the classic-sounding S1 from the SonaMaster series of a lesser-known brand called Washburn.

Key Features

  • Perfect place to begin the journey
  • Draws inspiration from 1980's popular Washburn guitars
  • Suitable for any age
  • Reverse headstock
  • Classic tone with muscular mid-range
  • Case sold separately

Washburn SonaMaster is one of the finest electric guitars out there under $300. It has a lightweight construction that’s suitable for both children and adults. The Washburn SonaMaster S1's aesthetic combination of white and tobacco sunburst finish will surely catch the eyes on the very first look. Some other model like the S2 also has some nice eye-catchy combinations as well.

It has a solid basswood construction that looks just as good as it sounds. The guitar features a Canadian Maplewood neck with a sturdy rosewood fingerboard. The double-cutaway design makes it easier to play, and you can reach all 22-frets easily. It features three single-coil pickups with a 5-position switch. The single-coil pickup generates a classic tone that rock lovers crave. It has superior quality hardware, which makes it quite a winner for the prize.

Verdict: No matter what type of music you're into, you can play it all with this guitar. Along with playing your favorite songs, you can practice and enhance your skills with the Washburn SonaMaster Electric Guitar.

Washburn SonaMaster Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Washburn SonaMaster

Product Description: The Washburn Sonamaster is a perfect beginner-friendly guitar inspired from Washburn's golden age guitars that are played by some biggest breakthrough guitarists around 1980's. It's reverse headstock adds more value to it. Some other features include 3-single coil pickups. The Washburn Sonamaster is all about the classic tone.

Brand: Washburn

  • Build Quality
    (4.6)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.6)
  • Playability
    (4.6)
  • Versatility
    (4.5)
  • Electronics
    (4.6)
  • Value
    (4.7)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Neck: Canadian Maple
  • Pickups: 3 single coil
  • Pickup Switch: 5-position switch
  • Number of Volume Control: 1
  • Number of Tone Control: 1
Overall
4.6

10. Best For Hard Rock And Heavy Metal: Dean ICON X

Dean-ICONX

Pros
  • Perfect for playing excellent authentic music
  • Comes assembled
  • Satin gold finish
  • Amazing looks
  • Lightweight
  • Bang for your bucks
Cons
  • No pickguards
  • No whammy bar
  • No color variation
  • Guitar case not included

Our Score

And finally, at number 10 on our review is the Dean ICON X Electric Guitar. There's actually much more to this guitar than its outward stylish appearance.

Key Features

  • Double-cutaway solid basswood construction
  • Bolt-on dual-action maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • Equipped with DMT design passive series pickups with no special electronics
  • Control layout consists of Volume 1, Volume 2, Tone 1, and Tone 2
  • Case sold separately

This guitar is crafted from high-quality materials. While both the body and top are made of basswood, the neck and the fretboard are constructed using maple and rosewood, respectively. It proudly boasts DMT design humbuckers and chrome hardware, including Grover tuners, as well as a Tune-O-Matic bridge. All of these features make this product fantastic and ready for an outstanding stage performance. One of the major drawbacks is- this guitar will limit you to only hard rock and heavy metal.

Verdict: Overall, it's the best in terms of quality and sound making it well-deserved for the list of best electric guitars under 300. If you value the excellent balance of quality and sound, then go and purchase the Dean ICON X Electric Guitar.

 

Dean ICON X Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Dean ICON X

Product Description: The Dean Icon X is equipped with Dean branded DMT design passive HH configuration pickups which allows this guitar to play within the hard rock and heavy metal genres. At the same time, it features a solid basswood body and maple neck with a gloss finish which turns it to be a perfect balance between looks and quality. Fretboard consists of 22 Jumbo frets with Pearl icon inlays while hardware includes stopbar tailpiece with die-cast sealed tuning machines.

Brand: Dean

  • Build Quality
    (4.6)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.6)
  • Playability
    (4.6)
  • Versatility
    (4.1)
  • Electronics
    (4.6)
  • Value
    (4.7)

Specifications

  • Body shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Wood: Solid
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Body Finish: Gloss
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Scale Length: 24.75 inch
  • Neck Finish: Gloss
  • Fretboard Radius: 12 inch
  • Nut Width: 1.69 inch (43 mm)
  • Pickups: DMT Design
  • Pickup Configuration: HH
  • Bridge: Fixed Tune-O-Matic
  • Orientation: Right-handed
Overall
4.5

What to look for in a $300 Electric Guitar to get the Most Output

Body

The body type of an electric guitar can make a huge difference. It’s not only unique for the type of wood it’s constructed with, but also for the type of body, it is, from solid to hollow to semi-hollow. So, make sure one of these types can accommodate your preferences.

Neck Profile

The neck is an integral part of the guitar build. It not only contains the fretboard and headstock for the tuners but also a metal truss rod. There are 3 types of neck: Bolt-on, Set neck, and Neck-through. Bolt-on necks are easy to replace, customize, and repair. Set necks lead to complex repairs while neck-throughs are more stable than the other two; though it costs a lot.

Fingerboard And Bridge

Fingerboards are essential to creating a warm sound. They’re constructed of different tonewoods. Each of them has its own traits; which gives them the ability to create sounds of different warmth. So, you should choose the fretboard according to your personal preferences and tastes.

The bridge also plays an essential role in the tone and playability of the guitar. With it, you’ll be able to adjust string lengths, gauges, and metals. They’re responsible for keeping the guitar in tune. So, make sure that the one you’re purchasing has an excellent bridge.

Tuning Machines

Electric guitars must be equipped with tuning machines. Without them, you won’t be able to set the guitar in tune every time you pick it up. However, their addition makes them a little bit pricey. In that case, you should install a tuning app on your device.

Pickups

Passive pickups are the best choice. They’re relatively cheap and can be used well with amps. On the other hand, you can also opt for active pickups. They’re great for delivering distinctive clarity and crispness.

In case you have an interest in playing aggressive music, you should go for humbucker pickups. They’re also perfect for playing fast and heavy metal.

Scale Length

Scale lengths are crucial to consider when you’re purchasing an electric guitar for under $300. Guitars with longer scale lengths can make the string tension tighter.

Meanwhile, guitars with shorter scale lengths are easy to play with, especially if you have small hands. They’re also capable of producing a warm tone.

Strings Action

The height at which the strings sit above the fret is known as the term Strings Action. This factor is very important when you’re on the lookout for an electric guitar. They have a huge impact on the feel and the sound. So, if you end up buying one that has poor strings action, then you won’t get the results you were expecting.

Finish

Though the finish of an electric guitar doesn’t hold that much importance, it’s important to consider it as they do have an effect on the guitar’s body. If you buy a guitar that’s covered with a very poor finish, you won’t be able to protect it from getting damaged by humidity or other environmental factors.

Overall Built Quality

One of the most important things you must consider is the built quality. When you’re in the market searching for an electric guitar, you should make sure whether it has the ability to protect itself from damages, whether it can offer you service for a long time, and whether they’re durable.

Sound Quality

Guitars are capable of producing different types of sound. If you’re looking for a guitar with the purpose of playing rock music but instead purchase one designed for playing blues music, then you didn’t waste only your time but also your money.

In order to prevent these disastrous outcomes, you should make sure that the guitar you’re going to buy is suitable for the type of music you’re into playing.

Playability

Playability has a significant impact on an electric guitar’s functionality. It’s essential to consider this factor when buying one. By considering this factor, you’ll be able to decide which guitar can make playing easy for you. Therefore, you’ll have no problem mastering playing it, no matter what level or age you are.

Versatility

Along with playability, you should also consider whether the guitar’s versatile enough. A versatile guitar can help you explore different musical genres and play different tones of music.

Who Should Buy an Electric Guitar In This Price Range?

Electric guitars under $300 are mostly for beginner players. In fact, the $300 price range is the best price range for beginners.

These guitars are made with a decent standard of quality. They’re perfect for learning and practicing. With their help, beginners and novices can start to hone their musical hobbies on these instruments.

What Budget Electric Guitar Is Best for Beginners? (Under $300)

It’s nearly impossible to be completely objective about choosing an electric guitar, especially under a $300 budget or any other price range. Still, we’re going to come to the conclusion that the Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster is the best budget electric guitar for beginners.

This guitar is an excellent choice for beginners who’re looking for an affordable yet well-functional option. It has a beautiful appearance. You can easily rely on its hardware, including the tuners. In fact, it’s capable of producing a good tone.

Overall, the Squire by Fender Affinity Telecaster can offer beginners a great remarkable value for a small amount of money.

Can I Upgrade A $300 Electric Guitar?

Yes, you can absolutely upgrade a $300 electric guitar. As a matter of fact, it’s highly recommendable to do. The overall constructions of $300 electric guitars are usually great. They barely differ from guitars that cost more, which is why they hardly need any upgrades.

It’s the hardware and electronics of these guitars that need upgrades. They’re relatively easy and fun to upgrade. By upgrading an electric guitar, you’ll be able to improve the overall playability, intonation, tone, tuning stability, and a lot more. Shortly speaking, you’ll be able to make it efficient as it was when you first purchased it.

Best Alternative to a $300 Electric Guitar for a Lower Budget (Under $200)

If you’re on the lookout for an alternative to a $300 electric guitar for a lower budget, then you should make a purchase among guitars that fall under a $200 price range. To limit your options, we suggest that you buy either the Ibanez GRX70QA or the Jackson Dinky JS22. The ESP LTD EC-10 is also a good option that you can look for.

Best Alternative to a $300 Electric Guitar: A Step above Entry Level (Under $500)

If you’re ready to take your electric guitar-playing skills to the next level, you should go for the PRS SE Standard 24. It’s recommended by most electric guitar-playing experts. Another great option that is worth looking at is the ESP LTD EC-256FM.

You can also go through the full list of guitars under 500.

Have A Bigger Budget? (Under $1000)

If you’re looking for a more expensive option or have planned to buy an electric guitar under a bigger budget, then, in that case, you should buy the Epiphone Les Paul Cherry Sunburst Electric Guitar.

Gears and Accessories That You Need with Your Electric Guitar

If you’ve taken the decision of learning to play an electric guitar, you should be proud of yourself. However, before you go learn the basics of electric guitar playing, you should have knowledge about which instruments are essential to improve your experience. Here are some important accessories and gears that you should gain an understanding of:

Tuners

A guitar tuner is one of the most important instruments you must have, especially if you’re a newbie. Though it might seem trivial at the moment, it’s a smart approach to making sure that the guitar’s in tune. With its help, you’ll be able to train your ears and improve your playing.

Straps

Guitar straps are very essential for playing an electric guitar, especially when you’re doing it while standing up. Though all straps usually work the same way, not all of them are created equally.

Extra Strings

No matter what quality your guitar strings are, sooner or later, it’s bound to break and require a replacement. So, you should definitely have a supply of extra strings.

Another reason you should have extra strings is that whenever a string breaks, a lack of extra strings can hinder practice flow. With a supply of extra strings, you’ll be able to make sure that your practice isn’t being obstructed.

Instructional Materials

If you want to master your electric guitar playing skills, then it’s better to invest money in at least one instruction book, DVD, or tutorial program. Due to these instructional materials, you’ll be able to develop as well as improve your skills within a short amount of time.

However, if you want to take help from instruction materials without spending any money, then you should take help from online resources and computer-based programs.

Picks

Picks are used by almost all guitar players. Though they’re not that necessary, they still come into action. Picks are great for having more control over the guitar and strumming.

Gig Bags

Gig bags are important for carrying your guitar around. They not only make the carrying easy but also protect the instrument from scratches, dust, humidity, etc. They also work as a great place for storing, when you’re not using them.

Pro-Tip

  • Obtain necessary equipment
  • Get the perfect starter electric guitar
  • Acquire knowledge of basic chords and notes
  • Get some advice from professionals
  • Take the help of online lessons if you’re stuck on a problem
  • Listen to the music of your favorite electric guitarists
  • Practice as much as you can

FAQs

Q) Will a budget electric guitar still sound good?

Ans: Yes, it will. Just because it’s budget-friendly, that necessarily doesn’t mean it will stop sounding good. As long as you take good care of it and maintain it properly, you can expect to get the sound it produced when you bought it new.

Q) Should beginners use an electric guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo?

Ans: No, beginners should definitely not use an electric guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo. Floyd Rose Tremolo guitars need a lot of maintenance. They require more focus and understanding of how things work, which can be a bit overwhelming for beginners. Moreover, as soon as they start working with them, they’ll get frustrated very soon.

Q) Which material is the best for an electric guitar under 300?

Ans: Alder is the best electric guitar material. It makes the guitar look more stylish. It offers a decent level of sustainability. Though they produce less bass and mid-range, they can retain the highs while giving room for the lows.

Q) What type of tuner do I need with my electric guitar?

Ans: You should use a vibration-based tuner with your electric guitar. Vibration-based tuners can clip onto the headstock of the guitar. They can detect the pitch of each note through vibrations.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy when it comes to choosing an electric guitar that too under a $300 budget. In fact, you’ll find it very difficult to find an electric guitar that will suit your needs. So, that’s why we have come up with our top 10 best electric guitars that will definitely make your life easier. We hope that you’ll find the best match and be able to rock the stage with these lovely guitars.

Author | Electric Guitar and Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Cornell K. Benson is from Mansfield, OH. He is 30 years old and has expertise in electric guitars and gears. Cornell has a great understanding of electric guitars and their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of various electric guitar brands.


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