Are you a beginner electric guitar player on a budget?
Or are you rekindling an old passion?
In both cases, researching candidates for the best electric guitar starter pack is a smart move.
You won’t burn up money trying to buy all the pieces individually, or searching for “the perfect guitar.”
These packs will get you doing what really matters: playing your guitar. What’s better than that?
A Roundup Of The Best Electric Guitar Starter Packs For Beginners
No doubt about it, there’s plenty to think about here when researching the best electric guitar starter pack. But once you take a look at some of the most popular packs out there, your final decision should be a bit easier.
To further guide you, here’s a quick roundup of the pros and cons of all the best electric guitar starter packs that we’ve analyzed so far.
Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack
Here’s your shot at getting the classic Les Paul growl without breaking the bank.
The idea behind the Les Paul Player Pack is simple: if your guitar feels as good as it looks, you’ll play more often.
The Epiphone Les Paul has a glossy mahogany finish, which is a crucial element of the Les Paul look and feel. The emphasis is on a comfortable instrument for the beginner.
Also, a slim, tapered neck helps newbies get around the fretboard faster, with minimal fuss. And a clip-on tuner will keep you sounding right.
- Great overall look and feel.
- Solid workmanship.
- Superior customer service.
- May have to upgrade your amplifier sooner rather than later.
- Notable fret buzzes.
- Wood in the neck may warp or shrink, forcing additional repairs.
The same philosophy applies to the 10-watt Electra amp, which comes with a clean/crunch switch. You can further tweak your tone with the two-EQ band, or with the three-way pickup switch on the guitar itself.
Overall, the setup of this starter kit is as basic as it gets. But it offers great value for money.
You won’t have to mix and match your own guitar/amp combo in search of the Les Paul sound. You also won’t have to hunt around for the guitar cable, gig bag, straps, and pick, which are all included.
It also includes a downloadable lesson guide, so you can start learning right away.
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Epiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul Special-II Performance Pack
The AFD’s features reflect the attitudes of Guns ‘N’ Roses’s lead guitarist, Slash.
The AFD’s initials mean “Appetite for Destruction,” Guns ‘N’ Roses’ classic 1987 debut. It’s considered to be one of hard rock’s landmark albums.
So, I suppose you could say this electric guitar starter kit is also a bit of a landmark, especially in terms of aesthetics.
The AFD’s body combines a flame maple and dark cherry mahogany body, with an ivory binding.
But appearance is only half the story. For its users, the Les Paul Special II is the star of the show. It delivers all the familiar overdrive that you’ve come to expect.
Two open-coil humbucker pickups achieve Slash’s characteristic, overdriven crunch. They supply all the grit and growl you’ll ever need for styles like classic rock and metal if that’s what moves you.
The same philosophy carries over to the AFD’s 15-watt amplifier. It offers two channels. One for Slash’s signature Guns ‘N’ Roses overdriven leads, and another for clean sounds. A full EQ section ensures additional punch.
- Great for beginners or hobbyists.
- Surprisingly powerful for a beginner guitar pack.
- Wide variety of sounds and tone for your money.
- Fret buzzing and crackling may appear after extended use.
- Short shelf life, especially for the amp. After six months, you may look for something else.
Of course, you get all the usual accessories that manufacturers throw into these packs: Cables, gig bag, picks, and strap, plus an Epiphone digital tuner. The gig bag has a cool Slash drawing on it, which separates it from other starer packs.
Once again, the philosophy is simple, and to the point: to spend less time searching, and more time playing your electric guitar.
Whiel this is one of the best electric guitar starter packs for beginners on this list, remember that it’s an Epiphone Les Paul — not a Gibson Les Paul Electric Guitar. It’s certainly a great Les Paul copy, but it’s still a beginner guitar.
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Squier Stratocaster Pack (Black)
This is a more basic setup than the Squier HSS. Still, this starter pack paves the way to the classic bright Fender tone, without shelling out big bucks.
The guitar is very comfortable, thanks to the maple neck and laurel fingerboard. Its three single-coil pickups and five-way selector empower you to achieve the tones you hear in your head.
All the classic Fender blackface visuals — black panel, skirted knobs, and silver grille cloth — are present in the Frontman 10G amplifier. An adjustable gain control allows players to explore every sonic option, from tube-emulated overdrive to uber-distortion.
Three tone knobs, for volume, treble, and bass, allow you to further fine-tune your approach. Auxiliary and headphone input jacks will keep you rocking into the wee hours.
The tremolo bar and tremolo bridge are decent, but will throw your strings out of tune after constant use.
- Adaptable and versatile for most styles and situations.
- Classic sounds and tones at an affordable price.
- Lightweight body is ideal for beginners.
- Quality control varies at times.
- Tough to keep in tune.
- Won't last a lifetime.
Like other starter pack options profiled here, it includes a bunch of accessories. And the three-month subscription to the Fender Play learning series provides all the motivation — and perspiration — you’ll ever need to work on your guitar chops.
As you can see, a guitar strap and gig bag come with this starter pack. I only wish it also was available in candy apple red.
If you’d rather buy this guitar than the pack, check out our Squier Stratocaster review article.
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Squier Bullet Strat HT Essentials Bundle
The Squier Bullet Strat HT Essentials Bundle is definitely the best-sounding and best-playing package on this list, but it’s also the most expensive. It includes a Squier Bullet, which is one of the more popular Squier-branded beginner guitars, and a Fender Mustang, which is the company’s most popular digital amp.
The three tone knobs control everything you’d expect to control your guitar sounds, and the maple neck is comfortable to hold.. All-and-all, it’s a great first electric guitar.
The Mustang is what really makes this package shine. As a digital amp, you can download an app and mimic other iconic amps and effects, which make your Squier sound even better plugged in.
Fender also includes a nice gig bag, cable, picks, clip-on tuner, and lots of picks — all of which are Fender branded, so you know it’s a quality kit.
- Quality guitar. This is, by far, the best guitar in a bundled package on this list.
- Big amp. At 50 watts, this is the biggest amp on this list.
- Plenty of picks. You’ll get a dozen medium-gauge Fender-branded picks.
- Pricey. Think of this guitar as a more premium starter pack.
But yes, this package costs about $200-$300 more than some of the other popular packages on our list. If you have some money to burn or if you’re really confident you’re going to stick with the guitar, I would absolutely recommend this pack. If you’re not so sure, then I’d go with something more affordable.
What’s interesting about this kit is that you can actually purchase everything separately, but doing so costs you more than $40 extra. So, it’s advantageous to purchase through Sweetwater at a cheaper price.
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Yamaha Gig Maker Electric Guitar Pack
An electric guitar kit roundup wouldn’t be complete without a guitar from Yamaha on it. While the longtime music brand does sell higher-end instruments across its guitar lineup, it’s best known for its beginner acoustics and electrics, including the Yamaha Pacifica electric guitar.
And that’s exactly what this starter pack includes!
Inside your box, you’ll have a Yamaha PAC012 Pacifica, a gig bag, tuner, 2-channel, 15-watt amp (the perfect practice amp size), and a bunch of accessories, including a guitar strap, cable, extra strings, and picks. Essentially, you have everything you need to start learning the guitar.
Like most of the guitars on this list, the materials Yamaha uses on its guitar and amp aren’t the highest of quality, but if you treat it nicely, you’ll have a solid guitar to learn how to play.
- Color options. This guitar pack comes in three different colors — red, black, and blue.
- Tuner included. Not all starter kits include a tuner.
- Trusted brand. Yamaha is a great value brand for beginner guitars.
- Cheap materials. But this is expected with these beginner guitar kits.
My favorite part of this package is that they actually give you some color options! Choose between black, blue, and red.
This Yamaha guitar package is reasonably priced, considering it includes an amp and all the accessories you need to start playing guitar, but it’s not the cheapest option on this list.
If I was purchasing a kit for a first-time buyer, I’d be torn between the Yamaha and a kit from Fender.
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Kramer Focus Electric Guitar Player Pack
Kramer may sound like a cheap brand if you’re not familiar with it, but it’s actually a division of Gibson and the company still makes guitars in the U.S.
Now, this electric guitar player pack isn’t one of those American-made guitars. It’s made overseas in a mass-production factory, which is why when you hold it, it’s not the most robust and reliable feeling guitar. Again, this is the story with a lot of these electric guitar packs because they’re geared toward first-time players who are feeling out the guitar and learning on it to decide if they want to spend more money in the future on a more reliable instrument.
Now, the Kramer Focus Electric Guitar Player Pack features what you would expect from a starter kit: A guitar, a 10-watt amp (which is a little small, in my opinion), cables, a guitar strap, clip-on tuner, and picks.
It only comes in red and black, so don’t ask about other colors.
According to owners of this package, the neck actually plays pretty comfortably and the guitar stays in tune decently. This is a sub-$300 guitar, so you don’t really expect those types of positive reviews, but it’s the truth.
- Super affordable. It’s not the best option on this list, but it’s certainly one of the most affordable.
- Decent neck. The maple neck is relatively smooth and easy to grip.
- Clip-on tuner. Most guitar players prefer clip-on tuners.
- Only two colors. I hope you like red and black.
Now, the tone isn’t going to be the best, but if you’re playing in tune, you’ll be able to shape and play chords on it and hear what they should sound like. The amp is average at best, but it’ll be perfect for beginners who simply want to learn the instrument.
This is one of the more affordable guitar packages on this list, which likely makes it attractive for beginners and I wouldn’t be mad if you bought it.
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The Best Acoustic Guitar Package
Yes, this roundup is about electric guitar starter packages, but when it comes to new guitar players, one of the first things they need to decide is if they want to first play electric or acoustic. You typically pick one and add the other to your arsenal as you learn the instrument.
Luckily, there is an excellent option for acoustic players who want the ability to plug in that sells at a budget price.
Epiphone PR-4E Player Pack
Yes, this is a guitar designed for beginners, but it looks, feels, and plays very well. I would actually classify this acoustic as more of a high-beginner/low-intermediate type acoustic.
What’s most impressive about the low price on this package is the fact you also get an acoustic amplifier, which — in a way — is the best of both worlds for those struggling to decide between first going with an electric or an acoustic guitar.
In addition to the amp, you also receive a tuner, strap, picks, free downloadable guitar lessons from eMedia, and a gig bag. Out of everything, the gig bag is the worst part of this package. It’s thin and flimsy, and the zipper isn’t the best. If you end up liking this guitar, I would recommend upgrading the case down the road.
- Includes an amp. Most acoustic starter kits only include a gig bag, strap, and some picks with the guitar.
- Beautiful design. For a budget guitar, this Epiphone looks fantastic.
- Lightweight. Obviously, the guitar is light, but so is the amplifier.
- Cheap gig bag. The zipper is tough to use, and it feels flimsy.
Honestly, this is a great-sounding guitar that would be suitable for a true beginner or a seasoned player who took time off from the instrument and now wants to return to it years later.
And the fact it comes with an amp that you can gig at a coffee shop with makes it a top acoustic package for the money.
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Buyers Guide: Looking for The best Electric Guitar Starter Pack
Now you’re ready to plug in your guitar and take the plunge. But with so many makes and models out there, how do you know which of the handful of electric guitar starter packs for beginners is the right one for you? The choice can definitely seem intimidating.
The good news? There’s really no right or wrong answer. These electric guitar pack options are all quite good. It really comes down to what feels best for you.
Of course, there are a few pointers in mind before you buy. One of the first things I ask, for instance, is “Does it include a gig bag?”
Another positive: There are only a few electric guitar starter packs on the market today. Instead of 25 electric guitars to sift through, you can research and demo less than 10 and you’ll be well on your way to deciding which one is the best electric guitar starter pack for you.
Most practice amps in any beginner package should offer at least two channels, for clean or distorted sounds. For now, you won’t need many more options than that.
Main Things to Look For in an Electric Guitar Pack
The good news with these electric guitar starter kits is that they’re quite similar in playability and tone. Sure, an Epiphone model with humbuckers sounds different than the Squier with single-coil pickups, but you get my point: These are cheaper, beginner models that are intended to be a starting point for your guitar journey.
That being said, I’d look for these features and accessories — like a gig bag — when shopping for the best guitar starter kit:
Some electric guitar kits include a clip-on tuner; others give you a chromatic tuner that can rest on your knee near the guitar. Clip-on’s are more accurate, and you don’t need to worry about them falling on the floor.
A nice case
Most include a gig bag, but there are different levels of thickness and padding. Look for one that zips and unzips easily and gives you the confidence that your guitar is protected.
Some of these kits include paid-for subscriptions to online guitar lessons that are really handy when learning the guitar. That’s a nice bonus.
Are Electric Guitar Packs Worth It?
So you’ve made up your mind to learn the guitar. But a more basic question may still dog your mind: Are electric guitar starter packs the best option for you?
The short answer is yes. Mostly because it’s such a great value for the money you need to spend to get one.
As a rule of thumb, you could spend as little as $40 to get started.
But you could also shell out $500 or more on a “dream” brand name guitar. The problem is it might end up sitting on a shelf, or in a closet, gathering dust. Even the very best electric guitar starter pack will cost you a fraction of that
If youare brand new to music and have never touched a guitar, I’d stick closer to the cheap end of things. If you’re returning to the guitar after a decades-long hiatus, you may be more inclined to spend a little more money.
You Get What You Pay For with Electric Guitars
Even with the best electric guitar starter pack, you sacrifice a bit of sound quality and workmanship to start playing.
Pack guitars are typically manufactured in the Far East, where labor costs and quality standards are lower in those.
So, you may struggle with buzzing or sharp-edged frets, cheaper electronics, and lower-quality materials.
You could also end up with a guitar that doesn’t stay in tune that well, which could be problematic when you’re trying to hear what certain chords an. scales sound like.
Also, packs don’t allow you to mix and match items. You won’t have the luxury of topnotch players, who do that to their heart’s content.
In short, you’ll have to deal with whatever the manufacturer gives you, and whatever quirks pop up.
Keep in mind that you won’t face these issues forever. Like everything else, buying a guitar, and learning to play doesn’t happen in an ideal world.
Once you accept that idea, you’ll be more driven to overcome whatever problems you run into.
The better you get at your craft, the more likely you’ll earn the money you need to upgrade, when the time comes.
Other Pros And Cons
When all’s said and done, don’t forget why you’re plunking down for a beginner pack in the first place.
The aim is to get you started right away. To avoid the hassles of buying everything separately, without knowing anything about it.
With time, both your guitar chops and knowledge will increase. And you’ll shape that knowledge around your preferences and interests.
But until you start playing, you won’t know what those preferences and interests are. Manufacturers know this. They don’t expect you to stay at the beginner-electric-guitar-package stage forever.
You’ll probably upgrade to something else in two to four years. And manufacturers hope that when that day comes, you’ll stick with the brand you started out with.
Ultimately, guitar packs are all about building brand loyalty, but what that means is up to you. How do these issues work out in the real world? The following electric guitar packages for beginners should give you an idea.
Electric Guitar Starter Packs for Beginners FAQs
Let’s now answer some of the most common questions that will probably pop in your head when you explore the market for guitar starter packs.
How Much Should I Pay for an Electric Guitar Starter Kit?
You shouldn’t pay more than $500 for any electric guitar kit. The guitars are relatively cheap, and the accessories — especially the amplifier — aren’t that amazing. Again, these are designed for beginners, and we never encourage beginners to spend a ton of money on gear until 1) they feel comfortable with the instrument and 2) are committed to playing it for a long time.
Electric Guitar Starter Kit vs. Buying Separately: What’s Better?
As you dive deep into the various electric guitar starter packs for beginners, you might ask yourself: Should I just buy all of this separately?
And honestly, that’s a fair question to ask.
Here’s the answer: It depends.
A starter kit is nice because you don’t have to worry about researching multiple guitars, amplifiers — even picks or straps. You buy one box that includes everything that Epiphone, Fender, or Squier think a beginner player needs. You can literally unbox it and start playing today.
Buying things separately, though, opens up your options immensely. Truth be told, there are probably less than a dozen starter packs for beginners available on the market today. Meanwhile, there are literally hundreds of different beginner electric guitars to choose from — not to mention the fact that you have WAY more color and finish choices.
Here’s what I suggest: If you really want to have control over the look of your guitar and have specific color preferences, then buy things separately. If you’re not picky about that kind of stuff — or if you’re OK with basic options like black or red, then a starter package is an excellent way to go.
What To Do Next: Start Playing Electric Guitar
Once you choose an guitar kit, perhaps you’d like to complement your fledgling musical arsenal with a cheap acoustic.
Or maybe you feel that a guitar package is just too basic for you.
If so, check out our selection of the best electric guitars under $1,000. Any of these guitars will be of significantly higher quality that the ones included in packages, without breaking the bank.
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Guitar factory image: nicolerugman, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr.com
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