Buying your first Electric Guitar can be a daunting task, there are so many options out there and it can be confusing where to start, hopefully this guide you can help you out! Please note, I understand there are loads more options when looking for your first guitar, I’m just going by my experience what students tend to purchase.
Most starter guitars seem to be either Stratocaster (three single coil pickups), or a dual humbucker pickup style guitars. So firstly we need to decide what is suited for your needs. Generally, if you want to play Blues, Pop, Light Rock, Funk or Country a Stratocaster is a good shout, as the single coil pickups has a brighter more cutting sound. Alternatively, if you want to play anything where you want a thicker sound for heavier Rock music, Metal, Jazz, some Blues etc. then a guitar with humbucker would suit your needs more.
For looking for your first Stratocaster Style guitar, I would look no further than a Squier guitar. Squier used to make there own guitars, but were bought out by Fender in the mid 60s, and in the early 80s they started using the factory and name to produce there own quality budget guitars.
The first guitar we’re going to have a look at is a Squier Bullet Stratocaster https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-dept/electric-guitars/stratocaster/squier-bullet-stratocaster-ht-arctic-white-with-hard-tail-0311001580 This is a very popular choice among students as it is very affordable, being just over the £100 mark (at the time of writing) and is a very well playing guitar for the money, my only criticism would be that sometimes the fret edges can be a little sharp, and the electronics aren’t that great, meaning you will easily get crackling sounds and overly bright sounding pickups. The Basswood body can sometimes feel very cheap because of it’s very light weight, but for the money I don’t think you will find a stronger option and this would be a solid choice for a first time player.
Secondly we’re going to have a look at the Squier Affinity Stratocaster https://www.andertons.co.uk/squier-affinity-strat-black-r-n-0310600506 This is an considerable upgrade from the Bullet and is a solid choice for those who are sure they want to play guitar. You get better electronics, a usable tremolo system, as opposed to the fixed bridge on the Bullet, an Alder body which has a far more solid and heavier feel that the Basswood on the Bullet. You can also purchase all in one packs which come with a practise amp, lead and a strap so you can get going straight away and you get a range of finishes to choose from.
Finally, for those wanting to spend more, we have the Squier Vintage Modified Stratocaster https://www.andertons.co.uk/guitar-dept/electric-guitars/stratocaster/squier-vintage-modified-stratocaster-rosewood-fretboard-3-tone-sunburst-0301205500 This is an excellent guitar, and would be one you could easily play for years. The finish on the frets and overall feel would be miles ahead of the other two, and the Duncan Designed pickups sound very good, I actually know pro players who take one of these to gigs as backups for there main guitars, so you won’t need to upgrade this for a long while! Everything on this guitar just feels great, especially for the money, though it could be out of the price range for a beginners instrument! I recommend this option for those who are 100% sure they’ll want to be playing guitar and want something they can keep, without modifying, for years to come.