Choosing The Best Electric Guitar Starter Pack for Beginners

Last Updated: Mar-01-2017
Subtle changes to the content of majority of these packs saw us give this article a complete overhaul – refreshing our reviews and replacing a couple of older packs. We added two excellent packs: the good-looking Ibanez IJRG220Z Jumpstart Package and the upgraded Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Performance Package, which replaced the slightly out-dated combo packs from Dean and ESP.

Learning how to play the electric guitar is one of the best lifestyle choices you could make, and an excellent instrument to dedicate your time to – one that can lead to wonderful things. But to learn the instrument, you need to buy the instrument and that opens the door to a whole new world of questions.

Firstly, you can breathe a sigh of relief – if you are a beginner on a budget, buying something like an SGJ (a $600 entry-level Gibson) and an equally costly premium amp is not necessary. In fact, it could prove to be an expensive mistake if you eventually realize that guitar is not actually the instrument you want to play.

Instead, it’s worth opting for a beginner’s guitar (anywhere up to the $200 mark) or – as I will cover on this page – a convenient and affordable combo pack. These starter kits usually contain everything you need to get you up and playing instantly, including a guitar, an amp, a cable, strap and plectrums, at a price anyone can afford. Here are some great beginner guitar packs to start with:

8 Recommended Beginner Electric Guitar Packs:

ImageElectric Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Total of 4.74/5   4.74 Stars

One of the most popular packs around with a superb Les Paul guitar.

+ - Yamaha Gigmaker EG Yamaha Gigmaker EG

Total of 4.80/5   4.80 Stars

Yamaha impress with this package, boasting a quality guitar and advanced amp.

+ - Squier by Fender Strat HSS Pack Squier by Fender Strat HSS Pack

Total of 4.70/5   4.70 Stars

Superb playability and an upgraded amp are the highlights of this pack.

+ - Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Performance Package Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Performance Package

Total of 4.68/5   4.68 Stars

Awesome Epiphone guitar and amp combo designed by the legendary Slash.

+ - Squier by Fender Stop Dreaming Start Playing Starter Pack Squier by Fender Stop Dreaming Start Playing Starter Pack

Total of 4.58/5   4.58 Stars

Authentic Fender style guitar and amp that make practice sessions a pleasure.

+ - Ibanez IJRG220Z Jumpstart Package Ibanez IJRG220Z Jumpstart Package

Total of 4.72/5   4.72 Stars

Ibanez offer one of the best looking guitar packages on this list!

+ - Pyle-Pro PEGKT15 Pyle-Pro PEGKT15

Total of 4.20/5   4.20 Stars

Pretty basic and no frills, but super affordable and fun to use.

+ - The Amazon Bestseller Starter Electric Guitar Package The Amazon Bestseller Starter Electric Guitar Package

Total of 4.32/5   4.32 Stars

The most affordable complete electric guitar set on the market!

Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Electronics:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

Prefer the Les Paul style to a Strat? You’re in luck, as Epiphone offer a quality pack that combines a great guitar, amp, and accessories for an affordable price. The Player Pack – as we mention in our full review – features the Les Paul Special-II LTD, which is a beginner’s guitar with awesome feel and tone. With a solid, Les Paul shaped body, there’s a sturdy maple neck and rosewood fretboard, while the two open-coil humbuckers give the guitar some growl. It sounds great through the included Epiphone Electar 10-watt amp, which gives you enough power and plenty of full, meaty tone you’d expect from Epiphone. The pack also features a quality Epiphone digital tuner, as well as a strap, cable, plectrums, branded gigbag, and some online lessons from eMedia.

Yamaha Gigmaker EG

Yamaha Gigmaker EG

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Yamaha should be one of your first stops when it comes to a combo pack, as they are masters of budget guitar gear. In this great pack you’ll find a PAC012 electric guitar – an attractive solid body guitar, with a versatile set of pickups (a humbucker and two single-coils) and a vintage tremolo bridge. You also get a 15-watt Yamaha-branded amplifier, which has all the power you’ll need for practicing and casual jamming with friends, as well as a variety of tone and overdrive controls. The kit also comes with a multitude of accessories – a cable, strap, digital tuner, plectrums, strings, and a Quickstart DVD. Everything you need out of the box, and a smart choice for beginners. Check out the full review of this awesome pack.

Squier by Fender Strat HSS Pack

Squier by Fender Strat HSS Pack

Body And Neck:4.7 Stars
Hardware:4.5 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

This pack is slightly more expensive than the Squier kit we mention above, but you get a better guitar, louder amp, and a little more overall quality for your money. With Fender’s familiar Strat design, the guitar sports an alder body, a maple neck, and a beefed-up pickup combo – featuring a humbucker and two single-coils, making this a versatile instrument for most styles of music. The amp – a Fender Champion 20 – also packs a little more punch than the more basic models, with 20 watts of power, and a good range of tones to play around with. Throw in a cable, strap, an electronic tuner, instructional DVD, gigbag, and plectrums, and you have a combo kit that will offer you years of happy playing. Make sure to read our full review of this combo pack.

Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Performance Package

Epiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Performance Package

Body And Neck:5 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Electronics:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.6 Stars
Value:4.6 Stars

This upgraded starter pack influenced by the legendary Slash is one of the more expensive packs on our list, but the price is justified. The pack features an eye-catching Epiphone Les Paul Special-II, with a solid mahogany body and a flamed maple top, finished in amber and cherry red on the back, sides and neck, which is also mahogany and sports a 22-fret rosewood fretboard. As we mention in our full review, it’s voiced by two excellent Epiphone-designed Ceramic Plus Zebra Coil humbuckers, with the bridge humbucker featuring a built-in Shadow E-Tuner. In this pack you also get Epiphone’s Slash Snakepit-15 amplifier – which is powerful enough for everyday use, and offers good clean and distorted sounds – as well as a strap, cable, signature plectrums, and a padded Slash gig bag.

Squier by Fender Stop Dreaming Start Playing Starter Pack

Squier by Fender Stop Dreaming Start Playing Starter Pack

Body And Neck:4.7 Stars
Hardware:4.4 Stars
Electronics:4.4 Stars
Sound:4.6 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Fender’s budget branch Squier are superb when it comes to affordable gear for beginners, and this Stop Dreaming Start Playing set – reviewed in full here – sets a benchmark for the others on this list. It stars an Affinity series Strat, with the classic Stratocaster design. There’s an agathis body, highly playable C-shaped maple neck, three single-coil pickups, and a tremolo bridge with whammy bar. The guitar offers good versatility and a solid platform on which to learn, especially when combined with the Fender Frontman 10G 10-watt amplifier (with tone controls to allow plenty of experimentation). It comes bundled with a cable, digital tuner, gig bag, strap and instructional DVD. If you love the Fender brand and style, this is a great set for you.

Ibanez IJRG220Z Jumpstart Package

Ibanez IJRG220Z Jumpstart Package

Body And Neck:5 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Electronics:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

As Ibanez boast on the box, this Jumpstart Package contains everything you need to get out and gig! The guitar itself is fantastic in look and feel – a classic glossy black Ibanez RG body, made from solid poplar, with a bolt-on maple neck, a rosewood fretboard and 24 frets. As we detail in our full review of this Ibanez pack, the guitar sports two Ibanez-designed Infinity humbuckers at the bridge and neck positions, which are great for rock and metal. The 10-watt IBZ1G amplifier in the pack is a little quiet and, contrary to what Ibanez say, isn’t ideal for gigging, but gives you enough volume to practice and jam nicely. The pack also contains a good selection of Ibanez-branded extras, including a gig bag, plectrums, a cable, and a guitar strap.

Pyle-Pro PEGKT15

Pyle-Pro PEGKT15

Body And Neck:4 Stars
Hardware:4 Stars
Electronics:4 Stars
Sound:4.3 Stars
Value:4.7 Stars

Pyle may not be big a name when it comes to guitars, but their beginner’s electric guitar pack is one of the most affordable on the market, and a good option for those on a strict budget. As well as a good looking Strat-style solid paulownia guitar, with three single-coil pickups and tone controls, you get a compact 10-watt amplifier, with a variety of tone and volume options. There’s also an accessory pack including a strap, cable, plectrums, gig bag, and a tuner. It’s a no-frills package, but it gives you a stable platform on which to learn your first chords, licks and riffs, at a price that won’t break the bank. Be sure to check out our full review of the Pyle Pro PEGKT15R.

The Amazon Bestseller Starter Electric Guitar Package

The Amazon Bestseller Starter Electric Guitar Package

Body And Neck:4.6 Stars
Hardware:4 Stars
Electronics:4 Stars
Sound:4 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Whether you have a limited budget or aren’t even sure if the electric guitar is the right instrument for you, then this super-affordable pack could be a very wise choice. With little branding or polish, the guitar – made by a company called Best Choice Products – is actually pretty decent, with a double-cutaway solid body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, as well as three single-coil pickups with dedicated controls. Not the most versatile, but the small 10-watt practice amp allows you to achieve both clear and overdriven tones easily. It also comes with a basic accessories bundle including a gig bag, a strap, a plectrum, and a cable. As we state in our full review this kit offers great value and convenience in bucket-loads!

Why Buy a Beginner’s Guitar Combo

If you are buying an electric guitar for yourself or your child for the first time, choosing a beginner’s combo pack is a very smart move. They don’t come with hefty price tags and arrive with everything you need to start playing on the same day.

If you try to buy everything individually it can take more time and, usually, more money. Manufacturers know the importance of the beginner market and will offer as much as they can for as little as they can, in order to turn you into a devoted follower. As GuitarFella has shown, you can find some real quality at ridiculously low prices.

What to Look For in a Budget Combo Pack

The first thing to remember in this starter combo pack category is that you generally swap words like ‘premium’ and ‘polished’ for words like ‘convenient’ and ‘value’. But as a beginner this shouldn’t bother you – there’s plenty of time to enjoy the more expensive aspects of the instrument when you can play and enjoy it to a higher standard.

That’s not to say that you don’t want to be picking the best guitar that your money can buy. Because you definitely want something that’s comfortable to hold, fun to play, and nice to look at!

Firstly, ignore things like body and neck woods – which, in this category, are most likely to be basswood, paulownia, or alder (body), and maple (neck). Your main priority is looking for a shape and color that you like – either single-cutaway (like a Les Paul) or double-cutaway (like a Strat) – and something that feels good to play.

Pickups in this category are typically very basic, but a combination of single-coils and humbuckers will give you the most versatility in sound. But don’t worry if you only see one kind of humbucker – at this stage, providing it can make a clear sound, it will be good enough.

Besides, it’s the amplifier that will make the most difference to your sound compared to things like body wood and pickups (at this level anyway). Whatever pack you go for, rest assured the amp will be loud enough for practicing and even jamming with other guitarists, although always look out for something with a headphone jack, for quieter practice sessions.

As for the accessories in this kind of pack, they too will be basic and – probably – unbranded. They’ll do the job of getting you up and playing, but as soon as you start to develop your skills, you may want to buy a stronger strap and cable, as they can be a little flimsy in this area. The gig bags are usually worth upgrading too, to something that is padded and/or hard-shelled, for ultimate protection.

Read our reviews, try some guitars out (if you have access to them), then make a purchase that suits you and check out some good guitar lessons. Good luck and happy shopping!


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