Just rock off with your electric guitar
The electric guitar has always fascinated music lovers and its sound has become an integral part of the entire musical landscape and history. Jimi Hendrix, for example, is truly a guitar god. As a beginner you should of course keep the scale a bit lower, but what matters in the beginning is the desire to learn electric guitar and the ambition to simply pull it through. The need to learn acoustic guitar first is a widespread misconception. We’ll show you the best way to start learning electric guitar, what’s important when you start, and give you a few recommendations. Afterwards you will be ready to start rockin‘ and rollin‘!
- Knowledge in acoustic guitar is not necessary
- Beginner sets are particularly inexpensive
- Self assembled equipment for individual sound
- There are special electric guitar sizes for children
Start for adults
As an adult the start into the world of electric guitars often depends on the budget. In principle, a more expensive electric guitar sounds better than a cheap one. If you want to learn electric guitar in the medium to long term, you should invest about 250-300€ for the basic equipment and put it together individually. The advantage of cheaper beginner sets is that you have everything you need and can try out whether the instrument is really something for you or whether you have the motivation to practice at all in the long run.
Start for children
From the age of primary school, i.e. about 6 years, children can start to learn electric guitar. Please consider that the guitar is not too big. For this reason there are special electric guitars for children, which are available in different sizes. For a start, it is definitely worth buying an electric guitar set for children, because the first thing that counts is the fun of playing rather than the perfect sound. The set includes all important components for the start – the best conditions for little rock stars!
The setup and components of an electric guitar at a glance
The functions of the individual components at a glance
The electric guitar consists of three main elements: Body, neck and head. Unlike the acoustic guitar, the body does not serve as a resonator. Instead, the string vibrations are transmitted via the bridge to the pickup, converted into electrical voltage and transmitted to the amplifier. Since the electric guitar – in contrast to the acoustic guitar – has some more technical gimmicks to consider, we have summarized the individual components and their functions in our table for you.
|Body||Consists of three parts: Soundboard, bottom and ribs. In contrast to the acoustic guitar, the body of the electric guitar usually does not serve as a resonator.|
|Fretboard||Here the strings are gripped, frets on the fretboard make playing easier.|
|Saddle||Connects fretboard with head and leads the strings straight over the neck to the tuning mechanism.|
|Tuning Pegs||Enable the tuning of the electric guitar.|
|Bridge||Located on the top of the electric guitar body, the bridge holds the lower ends of the strings and transmits the vibrations to the pickup.|
|Pickup||The pickup converts the string vibration into electrical voltage and transmits it to the amplifier.|
|Volume Control||Adjusts the volume of the pickup.|
|Tone Control||Controls the timbre of the pickup.|
|Pickup-Switch||Allows you to switch between multiple pickups.|
|Tremolo||By pulling the tremolo, the tension of the strings can be changed thanks to the vibrato or tremolo system. This changes - depending on the system - the tone of the strings.|
Choosing the right electric guitar size
From primary school age it is possible for children to learn playing the electric guitar. While adults usually take a 4/4 electric guitar, there are different guitar sizes available for children. At a height of 45″ to 53″, i.e. around the age of 6-9 years, children learn with special “junior” or “short scale” electric guitars. For a height of 51″ to 61″, 3/4 or 2/3 electric guitars are suitable. Which electric guitar is suitable for your age and height, you can find in our chart.
|Age||3-5 years||4-7 years||6-9 years||8-11 years||11-13 years||<13 years|
|Guitar length||74 cm||78 cm||83 cm||90 cm||95 cm||98 cm|
|Scale||40-44 cm||47-49 cm||53-55 cm||58-62 cm||62-63 cm||63-65 cm|
Electric guitars in different sizes
- Body: lime tree
- Neck: maple
- Fretboard: roseacer
- Body: poplar
- Neck: maple
- Fretboard: roseacer
- Body: mahogany, maple
- Neck: mahogany
- Fretboard: roseacer
Electric guitar shapes
Electric guitars come in countless shapes and sizes, some of which can be very experimental. Unlike western or concert guitars, the tones of an electric guitar are produced by an amplifier and not by the body as a resonator. The body of an electric guitar is also called the solid body.
Since the 1920s, various shapes for electric guitars have been developed. The most common designs are ST models, TL models, single-cut models, double-cut models and the unusual heavy models (e.g. for metal).
Electric guitars in the most popular shapes
- Type: ST
- Body: lime tree
- Neck: maple
- Fretboard: roseacer
- Type: Single Cut
- Body: mahogany
- Neck: mahogany
- Fretboard: blackwood
- Design: Double Cut
- Body: mahogany
- Neck: mahogany
- Fretboard: rosewood
- Type: Heavy
- Body: lime tree
- Neck: maple
- Fretboard: roseacer
How to recognize good finish and sound quality
As with any instrument, the workmanship can have a direct effect on the feel and sound quality of the instrument. But what do beginners have to look out for to find a high-quality entry-level guitar in the lower price segment? The fact is: The price does not necessarily determine the sound quality. Many well-known manufacturers offer inexpensive entry-level models that deliver solid sound performance. But even if you can assume that brands like Fender, Gibson or Epiphone have a good finish, there are some tips that beginners should follow when buying their first electric guitar.
First of all, the external processing is decisive here. Often small errors in the paint finish, which potentially affect the touch, indicate poor workmanship. The transition between body and neck should also be clean, the frets on the neck well polished and with rounded edges to ensure a pleasant haptic.
- Check electric guitar for manufacturing defects
- The instrument should be ready to play
For beginners it is especially important that the electric guitar is delivered ready to play and does not have to be tuned first. For the wood of the body, woods such as alder, ash or – especially for rock guitars – mahogany are established. If the electric guitar is made of high-quality wood, it will also be noticeable in the sound.
Admittedly, in order to assess the sound quality of an electric guitar, a little playing experience is required. Often the guitar teacher can also help with the purchase. If you already have some experience in playing or have already learned acoustic guitar, you can easily test the sound quality yourself. Are the tones reproduced clean and evenly? How sensitive does the electric guitar react to different playing styles? If the electric guitar is equipped with a piezo pickup system, this should not produce any strong noise. If you have tested this, you already have a good idea of what the workmanship and sound quality of the electric guitar is like.
- Body woods such as alder, ash or mahogany
- Sounds should be reproduced evenly
Does it make sense to start with an electric guitar set?
Choosing all components carefully
Many musicians recommend newcomers not to buy a beginner’s set but to choose the single components by themselves instead. They criticize the quality of the offered sets and are of the opinion that one should rather focus on a good sounding electric guitar, which can be enjoyed in the long term. With a tight budget it can also help to do without less important equipment such as a strap and to buy these accessories only gradually. Then beginners can usually estimate whether they will continue or not. Guitars from manufacturers like Yamaha and Ibanez are recommended for beginners, as they have a flexible and very good sound.
- Good workmanship
- Great sound
- Long-term investment
Set: Everything you need to get started
A beginner’s set for electric guitars has the advantage that you don’t have to deal with the accessories in detail beforehand. In addition to the electric guitar, the set usually includes an amplifier, cables, picks and a GigBag for transport. Sometimes a tuner or some spare strings are already included. Often, however, the quality of the components is not as high as when you assemble them individually. But you also save a lot of money and this is important for many beginners. The decision is up to you and depends on your personal preferences.
- All-round package
- Ideal for getting a taste of it
- Low cost
Electric guitar: Which equipment makes sense?
Amplifiers give you more power
Without an amplifier, the best electric guitar appears weak and powerless. Every electric guitar gets its sound power only through the right amplifier. For beginners, a compact model is particularly suitable, which can also be operated at living room volume.
In addition, there are usually various setting options to choose from, with which you can adjust the sound of your electric guitar at your own pace. Some models also have a recording function, so you can record your songs quickly and easily, for example on a USB stick.check offer
Instrument cable - not too short!
The basic equipment of course also includes an instrument cable. With this you can connect the electric guitar to the amplifier. Many manufacturers offer instrument cables in different lengths, processing qualities and price segments. In addition to quality, you should pay particular attention to the right length for your purposes.
Cables from 4 meters in length are ideal, so that you have enough freedom of movement. Would you like to use an effects pedal while playing? Then of course shorter cable connections can be of use, because this avoids trip hazards.check offer
A digital tuner is a must!
Sometimes a tuner is already integrated into the amplifier. In every other case a tuner is part of the compulsory purchase. The tuner creates the basis for clean tones. If the electric guitar is tuned incorrectly, even the most experienced musicians sound like a greenhorn.
In addition to the classic, simpler models, so-called pitch clips are now also available that can be clamped to the guitar neck. They allow an even easier tuning directly on the guitar. Tip: models with an additional metronome are also practical.check offer
Headphones please you and your neighbors
Headphones are a must-have when you play electric guitar. Because you can’t always rock out loud with your amp. So if you also want to play in the evening hours, you can’t avoid the use of headphones. But your family and neighbours will also thank you during the day if you practice more frequently with headphones.
But headphones are also very useful for you personally! Connect your headphones to the amplifier, isolate yourself from the outside world and concentrate on your guitar play. You’ll hear sound impurities so much better, so you’ll be able to find mistakes even better and work harder on yourself. Headphones are also essential when using a PocketPod.check offer
Protect the electric guitar during transport
To protect the electric guitar from transport damage, you have two options. You are most flexible with a GigBag. This is especially handy when you’re walking to guitar lessons or on your way to a gig. But also at home or in the car they are pleasantly space-saving and you can usually stow everything important in it.
However, guitar cases are better suited for transportation in the car as they provide optimum protection for your electric guitar. Note here that you must choose a compatible case depending on the shape of your guitar.check offer
Pick up your picks!
The strings of an electric guitar are struck with a pick. The sound is much louder and clearer with a pick than with a hand pick, which is why picks in different sizes and thicknesses are part of the basic equipment.
With three or more different sizes/strengths you are well served at the beginning. The colors are just a matter of taste and when you choose the right set you can’t do anything wrong even as a beginner. The materials range from rubberized to rough, which is subjectively perceived as better or worse when playing. Just try a few and soon you’ll find one that suits you best.check offer
Fasten your belt, please.
As a beginner you should practice while sitting first, as this gives you more control over your electric guitar. For the beginning a guitar strap is not absolutely necessary. One day, however, the big day may come when you want to try playing standing up. If this is the case, you should definitely attach a strap to your guitar to avoid damage from falls!
First of all, a nylon belt should be completely sufficient, as the belt fulfills safety aspects rather than optical purposes. Later you can choose between leather and cotton belts.check offer
PocketPod for on the go
In principle, a pockrock is a mini amplifier. So you don’t necessarily need it if you already have a good amplifier. Rather, it is aimed at all those who want it even more handy, because there is not enough space in the living room or they want to practice on the go with the electric guitar. After all, such an amplifier is not as easy to take along with you…
The Pockrock solves this problem by allowing you to connect your headphones directly and get started right away. For example, play your favourite song on the Pockrock and play along on your electric guitar. Effects are also possible, and presets are usually already available.check offer
More recommended accessories
Changing electric guitar strings and rewinding them
At the latest after three quarters of a year the strings of an electric guitar should be replaced. To change the strings, first cut the old strings with a string cutter and pull the lower ends out of the tailpiece. If the upper ends are not knotted with the pegs, you can easily pull them out at the guitar head. Now pull the new strings down through the tailpiece. Short the strings to the correct length with the string cutter and insert the upper end of the string through the pegs, so that only a few millimeters can be seen on the other side. Now wind the string several times around the pegs using the string winder and make sure that the windings do not overlap. When the string is in tension, you can continue with the other strings one after the other.
What you need for a string change
Electric guitar tuning with and without tuner
Tuning your electric guitar with a digital tuner
Especially as a beginner you often shy away from tuning your electric guitar. With the help of a digital tuner, however, it is very simple and easy to master even for beginners. Starting with the E-string you play the strings one after the other. The tuner indicates whether the tone of the string is reproduced correctly. If, for example, a note higher is displayed instead of the desired “E”, the tuning peg belonging to the string must be turned clockwise until the tone is tuned correctly. If the tuner displays a note too low, turn the tuning peg counterclockwise. Done!
Tuning your electric guitar without a tuner
If you have a good musical ear, you can tune your electric guitar without a tuner. If you’re not quite sure, you can also listen to sound samples for the individual strings on the Internet. Starting with the E-string, you play the strings one after the other and make sure that the tone is reproduced correctly. If the tone is too high, turn the corresponding pegs clockwise using the string crank. If the tone is too low, turn it counterclockwise.
Practical tools to tune your electric guitar
How to care for your electric guitar
Like any other instrument, the electric guitar needs some care from time to time. Especially with the strings a good corrosion care can contribute a lot to the longevity, while a good wood care prevents cracks in the fretboard and body caused by dryness. We introduce you to the most important utensils for the care of your electric guitar.
Regular cleaning with a polishing cloth
Anyone who wants to avoid major soiling and thus major cleaning actions in the long term should regularly wipe the body, strings and fingerboard of his electric guitar with a lint-free polishing cloth after practicing. If you want to clean the strings particularly thoroughly, you should also relax them before wiping them off. While the manufacturer’s instructions should also be observed when cleaning coated strings, you can also use a special cleaning product from a specialist dealer for more intensive cleaning.check offer
Cleaning the fretboard with lemon oil
If you want to have your fretboard cleaned and cared for from time to time, it is best to use the “classic”. Lemon Oil is an important utensil for every guitarist and maintains and polishes the wood of the electric guitar in one step. It is best to use a classic polishing cloth for application. Even those who own an electric guitar with a lacquered body can use the Lemon Oil for polishing. Cleaning is especially useful when the strings are stretched out for changing and the fretboard is exposed.check offer
Surface sealing with Carnauba wax
Carnauba wax is a proven way to seal the wood of the electric guitar and protect it from moisture. It also helps to conceal minor scratches and irregularities. If the body of the electric guitar is varnished, the Carnauba wax is only used on the wooden fretboard, ideally when the strings have been removed. Old wax residues, on the other hand, can be removed wonderfully with the all-rounder Lemon Oil.check offer
More cleaning and care products for your electric guitar
How to learn playing electric guitar
Electric guitar lessons
The classical method to learn an instrument is probably music school. This learning method is also suitable for learning the electric guitar. Of course you can also take private lessons. The big advantage of learning with a guitar teacher is the personal exchange between teacher and student. The result is an immediate learning process in which the teacher can correct posture errors directly. In addition, he can always show you how to do it better and give you individual tips. Most guitar teachers offer a good mixture of theoretical music learning and practical exercises with chords.
- Mentor with experience
- Direct exchange
- Mixture of practice & theory
Electric guitar textbooks
At home it is a good idea to work with learning materials such as textbooks, CDs and DVDs. This has the advantage that you can acquire a profound theoretical basis which is the starting point for composing your own songs. Learning with a book is often perceived as bulky and tenacious, as you learn slower but more thoroughly. That’s why books are all about quality, not quantity. Better buy a good book with which you learn intensively than many different ones, which rather confuse you. CDs and DVDs are usually included in the books and serve to illustrate the topics covered in the book.
- Understanding the theoretical basics
- One good textbook is enough!
- CD/DVD in addition to the textbook
Videos for guitar beginners
In beginner videos, you can usually achieve quick learning success, since these videos are usually very practice-oriented. You can quickly learn a few new chords, with which you can then play a song. Compared to a textbook with CD or DVD you have a similar learning experience, but it is free or at least much cheaper. The beginner videos are also suitable for practicing between lectures in your textbook or private guitar lessons. You can search for specific tips or songs and learn them on your own. In this way you can compile your learning content individually.
- Practice-oriented learning
- Individual learning content
Good electric guitar textbooks for beginners
Electric guitar for beginners: Checklist for your electric guitar purchase
Even if the right gigbag is often included when buying an electric guitar, you should play it safe. Whether for transport or storage: A gigbag is essential to prevent damage to the body.
- Guitar size depending on body size
A 4/4 electric guitar is suitable for teenagers and adults. For children and teenagers you should follow our size guide.
- Electric guitar set instead of single purchase
Buying electric guitars and accessories separately can be quite expensive. Better: Many manufacturers offer complete starter sets that can save you a lot of money.
- Invest in a good amplifier
The electric guitar can be as good as it gets: if the amplifier is of inferior quality, the sound result suffers. So if your starter set doesn’t include an amplifier, it’s worth investing in a high-quality model.
- No no-name products
No-name goods are not recommended for instruments in particular. Beginners are best served with inexpensive beginner guitars from renowned manufacturers such as Yamaha or Ibanez.
Electric guitar sets for beginners compared
Shape ST ST LP ST Product Harley Benton
ST-20HSS CA Standard Set 1
Guitar Set G13 Black
Squier Affinity Tele MN Bundle
ST-Mini BK Bundle 1
PictureBest dealBest price Color Red / White Black / White Blonde / Black Black / White Age Adults Adults Adults Children Material Lime tree, maple Lime tree, maple Alder, maple Set content That contains the Electric guitar-beginner set Electric guitar Electric guitar Electric guitar Electric guitar Electric guitar Tremolo Tremolo Tremolo Tremolo Tremolo Amplifier Amplifier Amplifier Amplifier Amplifier Gigbag Gigbag Gigbag Gigbag Gigbag Tuner Tuner Tuner Tuner Tuner Guitar strap Guitar strap Guitar strap Guitar strap Guitar strap Instrument cable Instrument cable Instrument cable Instrument cable Instrument cable Picks Picks Picks Picks Picks Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Textbook Offeronly 138 €only 109 €only 285 €only 133 €
Equipment for ambitious electric guitar beginners
The most important questions and answers at a glance
When should I change the strings of an electric guitar?
The strings of an electric guitar are exposed to sweat, dirt and humidity as well as mechanical stress. Depending on the intensity of your practice, the sound will therefore deteriorate over time. Even rust can set in and cause the string to break sooner or later. If symptoms such as these occur with your strings, this is an indication that the strings need to be replaced. If, as a beginner, you cannot detect any symptoms, you should still replace the strings after three quarters of a year with normal exercise intensity at the latest.
How can I tune an electric guitar myself?
You can easily tune your electric guitar using a digital tuner. Start at the E-string and play through all the strings one by one. The tuner indicates whether the tone of the string is reproduced correctly. If the tone is too low, turn the tuning knob counterclockwise. If it is too high, turn it clockwise until the tone is correct. More information about tuning with and without a tuner can be found here.
When was the electric guitar invented?
The first electric pickup for amplifying sound was developed as early as 1923. The first “real” electric guitar was launched by Gibson in 1936.
Which strings are suitable for the electric guitar?
In the most common cases, electric guitar strings consist of a steel core with a magnetic nickel coating. Nickel allergy sufferers can either use pure steel strings (which are more susceptible to corrosion) or durable plastic-coated strings.
Which electric guitar is best suited for children?
Primary students with a height between 45″ and 53″ should start with an electric guitar in size 1/2. For older schoolchildren between 51″ and 61″, 3/4 or 2/3 electric guitars are best. From a height of 63″ you can switch to a standard model of size 4/4, which is also suitable for adults. More information in our size guide.
Which electric guitar is best for beginners?
In addition to the choice of the right guitar size, the price also plays an important role when buying a guitar. For beginners, there are special beginner sets containing electric guitars and accessories from the manufacturer at a reasonable price. Many well-known manufacturers also offer inexpensive electric guitars for beginners individually, without you having to compromise on quality.
Can I record my electric guitar and connect it to my PC?
The big advantage of an electric guitar is that you can connect it relatively easily to the PC and record it. For this you need a good sound card, to whose line input you can connect the guitar directly. This replaces miking and ensures the quality of the recording better than using a simple sound recorder like Audacity.
Which electric guitar is suitable for rock and metal?
Basically electric guitars are suitable for different styles. However, there are special construction types, such as the heavy guitar, which are at least visually oriented towards the rock or metal genre.
Can you play electric guitar with headphones?
Electric guitars not only provide a great sound, but enable you to practice silently over headphones as well. Normally, pickups already have a special headphone output that makes it easy to connect them to the guitar.
Which equipment do I need for my electric guitar?
Of course, accessories always depend on personal needs and preferences. However, an amplifier is a must for every electric guitar player and is therefore also included in all starter sets. If you want to play faster melodies on your electric guitar, you also need picks to strike the strings. Also useful: a gigbag for safe storage and transport of the guitar, a guitar strap and a digital tuner. We have compiled further information on accessories for you here.
Which guitar is better suited for beginners: Electric guitar or acoustic guitar?
Basically, both electric and acoustic guitars are suitable for beginners. However, there is a great temptation to neglect the basics when playing electric guitars and to focus on the possible effects. If you start with an acoustic guitar and learn the basic playing techniques and grips, you can add the electric guitar to your playing already after half a year. If you still want to start with an electric guitar, you should take the basics at least as seriously as riffs à la Metallica.
Are there electric guitars with resonators?
The so-called semiacoustic electric guitars (also called semi-resonance guitars) actually have a resonating body. In contrast to acoustic guitars, however, this one is somewhat smaller and has F-holes instead of a sound hole, as is the case with many string instruments. Another difference: a wooden block is embedded in the resonator between the neck base and the rear strap button, hence the term “semi-resonance”. Although the semi-resonance guitar was initially popular in jazz and rock, today it is represented in all musical genres.
Do you have questions about this topic Electric guitar?
Even more for you as Electric guitar-Beginner
Facebook community for Electric guitar-fans
Rock music is also on our Facebook page. In alternation with other topics, we post all kinds of interesting facts about music and electric guitars. Which idols of rock history do you know, for example?
- Always up to date
- Practice motivation
- Background information on grip techniques, rock stars a. s. o.
Share your opinion and visit us on facebook!Picture sources: © Syda Productions , © Voyagerix , © Pia Jungblut , © goodmanphoto , © www.karrastock.com , © ronnarong , © vostal - Fotolia.comOur Electric guitar recommendationsHarley Benton ST-20HSS CA Standard Set 1check offerThomann Guitar Set G13 Blackcheck offerOr have a look at Thomann.de!