Beginners Electric Guitar Buyer’s Guide


There are seven most commonly used woods for electric guitar crafting. Each wood will offer different qualities and characteristics, and your choice will affect the sound of your music.


Alder wood is a lightweight wood that offers a balanced sound.


Ash is perfect for a transparent finish, lending to visually appealing guitars. Ash offers a balanced tone.


Basswood is lightweight and offers warm tones and strong mid-tones.


Korina is a medium to heavyweight wood that offers warmth and richness to tone, though it isn’t great for high tones.


Mahogany is a medium to heavyweight wood that offers warmth and good sustain.


Maple wood is medium to heavyweight and offers a bright tone.


Poplar is a lightweight hardwood offering crisp, bright tones.

Neck Wood


Maple neck wood is dense, hard, and sturdy, perfect for sustain.


Mahogany neck wood offers a warm, rich sound.

Fretboard Wood


Maple fretboards offer density and sturdiness, great for fast playing.


Rosewood fretboards are smooth, offering a warm tone. Rosewood is incredible for fast playing.


Ebony is a hard, smooth wood best for fast playing and offers a bright sound.

Pau Ferro

Pau Ferro is a very hardwood that offers bright, warm tones.


Pickups will affect the sound of your guitar, and choosing the right pickup setup is essential.

Single coil

The first electric guitars all had only single-coil pickups. Single coil pickups are rare in modern guitars because they are prone to picking up sound from wires in the environment, from computer monitors to fluorescent lighting, to building wiring. Single coil pickups are not without merit; they offer the thin, clean sound popularized in classic rock.


Humbucker pickups produce a deeper, thicker sound and cancel out or buck the humming sound that single-coil pickups would produce, hence the name Humbucker. Electric guitars with Humbucker pickups are still quite common, despite the technology being more than 65 years old. Many guitars come equipped with a switch that allows the musician to turn one of the coils off at will, offering more sound options.

Frets-22 or 24

Selecting an electric guitar with 22 frets or 24 frets is a matter of preference. A 24 fret guitar allows for additional notes in a higher register than a 22 fret guitar.

Neck Profile

Electric guitars come in three neck profiles, C, U, and V. C neck profiles tend to be more user-friendly, especially for beginners. Selecting your neck profile is very much a matter of preference and comfort.

Set Neck vs. Bolt-On vs. Neck Through Body

Set neck simply refers to the fact that the neck of the guitar is glued on. Set necks offer better sustain than bolt-on necks. Bolt-on necks are screwed into or bolted onto the body of the guitar. Whether a guitar neck is glued or screwed on is very much up to the manufacturer, so if you have a preference, you’ll probably want to shop around based on manufacturer practice. The neck through body style is exclusive to solid-body guitars. The neck is an integrated part of the body, running the length of the entire guitar. This style of neck offers a lower body mass and can dampen lower frequency resonance, lending a clear, bright, thin sound.