The Cheapest Electric Guitar On Amazon vs my custom Fender. Beginners Should Buy Electric!

What is the cheapest electric guitar on Amazon (£62) really like? is it playable? How does it compare with a Fender? In the coming months I’ll be exploring what we can do to improve it, adjusting the action, nut and bridge heights, new strings, new pickups and a setup with luthier legend Charlie Chandler! Beginners on a low budget should start on an electric guitar – no question!

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Comments

scott greg says:

some alnicos and cts pots and you’re in business.

Farmer Pete says:

Just add two $11 hot rail EBay pickups…one in the neck, one in the bridge…
and it will give your expensive guitar nightmares..!

TimmyP1955 says:

Positions 2 and 4 lose highs instead of having the proper “quack”.

Josh Edwards says:

I played acoustic before i played electric and i didnt find it hard but maybe thats just me.

Dr Avalanche says:

Low output?, turn your bloody amp up then haha. A french luthier who worked for Martin once told me solid body electrics could be made outta any hard wood and there is a minimal effect on tone or resonance as long as the necks on straight it’s all about the internals. Brian Mays is made out of a fireplace for example.

d Walker says:

Is one kinman pickup > or < £62? Many get hung up on details/finessing Most garage punk bands had a whole lot more fun with crap gear! Than when they were grown up enough to get good gear RnR!!

The Laird says:

Cheap beginners’ guitars are a whole heap better than the equivalents from yesteryear.

I started off with an old Futurama II, which I think was a Czechoslovakian thing built for Selmer’s of London, or somebody. It had all the build quality you’d expect from a state-owned company in the Communist Eastern Bloc.

My next guitar was a Columbus LP copy, which had a ply body, bolt-on neck, sloppy tuners and humbuckers that were really cheap single coils in disguise. Made in Japan, I think, but not nearly to the standards later achieved by MiJ stuff.

You could just about learn on either of these, but the instruments being knocked out at an equivalent or even cheaper price point nowadays are so much better. The factory setup can sometimes (but not always) be a little casual, but this is usually easily remedied. Things can be further be improved with one or two low-cost after-market add ons, such as pickups (for a Strat copy, think Toneriders – same as the top-of-the-range Squiers).

If it’s an unbranded Chinese copy, it’s usually an idea to take off and throw away the strings and fit a decent set.

Javier Valles says:

Just FYI, that wiring for the tone knob is traditional for Strat-style guitars. It’s to be expected with most Strats.

Bigfoot in Germany says:

I completely agree. For a beginners first guitar, should be an electric. My first guitar was an acoustic, and not a cheapy either. It was my Uncles D-18. When he passed on, I inherited it. He was a pretty good guitar player, so I knew that good music was in that guitar somewhere. So I practiced my butt off until I could do about 1/2 of what he had been able to do with it. But, the real problem came along when I started playing electrics. Fretting an electric doesn’t take anywhere near the finger strength of an acoustic. I was so accustomed with grabbing a handful of neck, and clamping down like a bench vise to get those open chords out of it. It took several years to learn how to loosen up the death grip I had on the neck. Of course once I did, then speed came along with it.
The one thing I would highly recommend, is to buy it locally if possible, and before even bringing it home, get a full professional set up on it. On this cheap S-type, the nut needs filing, the truss rod needs adjusting, intonation, and of course those pups need to be raised. Not only would the output be much louder, but the playability, would be drastically improved. Justin is a great guitar player. He could make polished dog poop sound good. But a beginner… not so much. But the easier it is to play, the more likely they are to stick with it. The only thing that kept me going, was remembering the songs my uncle would play on that old Martin. If I had it to do all over, knowing what I know now, I would have bought something more like this along with a cheap transistor practice amp, just to get a little more volume out of it. I had a teacher once tell me to keep struggling along on the acoustic. Because if I could make it sound good, I could make anything sound good. Bad advice. While I don’t suggest parents go buy their kids a $3,000 Les Paul for their first guitar, a couple hundred dollar Epiphone wouldn’t be a bad thing. Justin thanks for the great vids you put out, and addressing such important topics as this. Now, get that beast over to a proper technician for a bit of adjustment! lol Bob in Germany

Dan says:

You look like Young Norm MacDonald

Michael Mott says:

You should do a “build up” on this guitar. Add some cheaper but still good pickups and sort out the wiring. Have a Luthier work the neck and then do another video comparison.

Simon Hren says:

Beginners should buy the type of music they will play – I do not recommend electric gtr for classical music. Thx for sharing, have fun, Simon

billyclub56 says:

What is the lowest cost guitar, that will reasonably stay tuned & intonate well. If it sounds like shit, it’s gonna discourage you also. A new hobby, that requires that much time & effort, should be worth a few bucks. Save for one & don’t buy an amp right now!!
They’re easy to find later & someone will probably lend or give you one, til you get the one you want.

Lilly the Service Chihuahua says:

Scallop the fret board and shred

Jesse Landreth says:

My personal opinion is that its best to learn acoustic first. I learnt acoustic for about a year playing at least 4 hours a day before I picked up an electric. I’d say what I learnt on acoustic before electric made picking up the electric extremely easy. Not only because my fingers could easily handle it but because I instantly had a lot of necessary skills to play rythmicly on electric. I know a lot of people who originally learnt electric first and even after decades of playing, for some reason tend to play an acoustic like an electric (lots of down strumming, not as much open chords etc). That’s not to say that anyone who plays electric first can’t play acoustic amazingly well but from my experience I’ve seen that people who can play acoustic solidly can pick up electric guitar easily but not so much vice versa. Kinda like how people who learn how to drive small diggers can drive big ones but people who learn big ones can’t drive small ones

Simon Hren says:

Beginners should also be firmly aware, that only expensive (high class) gtrs are factory pre-setup, to be playable out-of-the-box. There are exceptions, of course. Test harmonic/12th fret tone, and act accordingly – take the gtr to luthier, or DIY fix. I just fixed my Washburn WP26 SENS, and Cordoba C5 CE is waiting for saddle pieces to arrive. Have fun, S

roger ballog says:

Wow plugged into a good amplification like kemper that cheap guitar sounds very good and clear. That is a great starter guitarand can easily be upgraded and brought to a more professional spec

Cris Clay says:

Hi to Justin watching some of your lessons excellent teacher any chance you could do Hysteria Def Leppard you great teacher hope you can do this song one of my favourite kind regards Cris.

Marcos Chavez says:

Ahhh the recycled raincoat gig bag. The hallmark of a classic guitar

Joey Baima says:

Pokey Outty, You kill Me Justin. Rock On Mutha !!!

upplsuckimcool16 says:

Noah Marchais says:

8:15 using the neck /middle pickup tone knobs when playing on the bridge pickup… real genius we got here folks

szaki says:

Difference between cheap vs. expensive guitar is the material, finish and build of the instrument.
Expensive guitar is still solid, plays well even after 20 years, while the cheap guitar can have all kinds of problems after a few years, which can make it totally unplayable.
Musicians know, on stage one has to have the best, can’t afford any break downs during playing!

M.r. Moon says:

Don’t expect it to last…that’s why it’s cheap.
…but I guess spending 62 pounds every few years for a guitar might be the way to go for some.

Frits van Zanten says:

Before there were tuners all around, the A-string used to be the most steady in tuning, so you took that as starting point, tuning the low E to the A, and then up to the lighter strings that are out of tune easier.

bob bitchen says:

What are you doin.Everyone knows a cheap guitar is going to sound cheap.why o why do people still do this.Of course a Custom guitar is always going to be better sounding and
playing.waste of time mate.

Gilly says:

the fender has a way fuller sound

Techgeek says:

I’m looking for a good strat guitar for learning as a beginner… fairly wide neck and great sounding pickups etc… about £200 upwards in price…. any ideas Justin? Cheers…

Christian Ruocco says:

Great vid Justin. Thanks for taking the time to make this!

Ron Mathison says:

How’r yeh doin? I loik yer videos, mate… But What’s thet loin on yer arm et 2:29, mate?

Kurdt Cobain says:

My first guitar was an electric and I loved it, it was a Yamaha Pacifica. I have only been playing for 8 months though

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