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Turn the dial to eleven and make some noise with these Electric Guitars

Many aspiring guitarists dream of what it would be like to hold an electric guitar one day and shake a massive arena of screaming fans with a simple power chord. And while they do have a history of catering to stadiums full of music fans, electric guitars are extremely versatile as well. Whether you’re a touring musician playing gigs at the club or an aspiring Eddie Van Halen practicing his or her chops in the garage, there’s an electric guitar for every skill level and preference in style.

How do electric guitars work?

When you pick or strum the strings of an electric guitar, it causes a vibration which is detected by the magnetic “pickups” located on the face of the guitar. Pickups are magnets wrapped in coils of wire which convert the movement of the strings into an electric signal. The signal is passed through to the electric guitar’s output jack and on to an amplifier.

Unlike an acoustic guitar, which amplifies itself naturally through its hollow body, an electric guitar typically requires an amplifier to project its sound. The quality and placement of the pickups that send the signal to an amplifier have a strong influence on the sound of an electric guitar. Most electric guitars have at least 2-3 different pickups, which can be cycled through in various combinations using a switch located on the body. This allows guitarists to create multiple unique tones with a single electric guitar.

Best electric guitars for kids and beginners

There are a lot of options available for players and enthusiasts of the electric guitar. From the latest high quality builds from top manufacturers like Fender and Gibson to classic vintage guitars that can fetch high prices for their style and collectability, there are truly some incredible instruments for guitarists to choose from.

However, it is much more practical for young children and/or beginners to start with a more modest guitar. Not only is a beginner guitar much more economical, but most new guitarists are likely to be unaware or indifferent to the quality inherent to a higher-end instrument anyway. Like most musical instruments, electric guitarists tend to move on to higher quality guitars as their skills and passion for the instrument progress.

Some of the best electric guitars for kids and beginners come in bundles designed specifically with new players in mind. These all-in-one packages usually include an economical beginner guitar, a small amplifier, cables, and a guitar strap—basically everything an electric guitar player needs to hit the ground running. These bundles make taking the first steps into learning the electric guitar easy, and then don’t break the bank as aspiring players decide if they truly have a desire to learn.

Types of electric guitars

Electric guitars come in a variety of shapes and styles. The quality of an electric guitar is most often determined by the components and materials used in its construction—from the type of wood that makes up the body and the fretboard to key parts such as the bridge, pickups, and tuning keys.

Some of the most recognizable and desired makes of electric guitar are popular not just for their quality, but for their history as well—not to mention the famous guitarists who play them. The Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster are two of the world’s most well-known electric guitars. The Stratocaster has been around since the early 50’s, and was the favoured electric guitar of players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and David Gilmour. The Telecaster made its first appearance a few years earlier—around 1949-1950, and is the main choice of guitar gurus such as Keith Richards and Bruce Springsteen.

Another model in the pantheon of electric guitar fame is the Gibson Les Paul. Named for the father of the modern electric guitar himself, the Les Paul was first sold commercially in 1952. Famous Les Paul players include Jimmy Page, Slash, and Ace Frehley.

Other styles of electric guitars

Most electric guitars feature a solid body construction, but hollow body electric guitars are available as well. While a hollow (or semi-hollow) body electric guitar will certainly give players a different tone than a solid body, they still typically require an amplifier to achieve a desirable sound. Gretch is a notable manufacturer of hollow-body electric guitars, and notable players include Eddie Cochran, Brian Setzer, and Chet Atkins.

The Flying V is another popular style that really deviates from the standard shape of most electric guitars. The Flying V was introduced by Gibson in the late 1950’s, but its futuristic, aggressive shape didn’t reach its height of popularity until the 1980’s, when it was adopted by the heavy metal community and players such as Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, and Rudolf Schenker.