What Is the Best Electric Guitar?

What is the best electric guitar? It’s a bit of a loaded question, that doesn’t really have one true answer. 


As always with music, it’s going to come down to your personal tastes and style. What you think is the best electric guitar ever made, could be completely different to what someone else believes. 


But with the enormous range of electric guitars available, it can be difficult to decide where to even start. 


To help you get more acquainted with these beautiful instruments, we’ve created this guide on some of the best electric guitars available. 

Body Shape

Electric guitars have some of the most iconic body shapes of any musical instrument. Music legends become known for their guitar's signature shape, and different genres are synonymous with certain guitar shapes. 

Many guitar players will already have a favourite shape, and this will often be informed by both the sound of the guitar, the genre they favour and the look of the guitar. 


The shape of your guitar will impact the tone and overall sound of your instrument, so it’s important that you assess your own goals and aims. 


The options almost seem infinite when it comes to body shape, so here are some of the most popular.

Fender Stratocaster

When you think of an electric guitar, the Strat is probably one of the first ones that come to mind. The stratocaster has a double cutaway shape that has since been replicated by many other guitar builders. 


It has two cutaways, round edges, three pickups with a 5 way selection switch, and a whammy bar. It has a gorgeous vintage style to it, providing that authentic Strat tone. 


It works well with blues, rock, indie, metal, funk and pretty much anything in between. 

Fender Telecaster 

The Fender Telecaster has a bright clean tone that it has become known for. The typical telecaster shape is a flat asymmetric single-cutaway body.  


The Telecaster is well known for being an amazing guitar for country music, but it also suits genres such as math rock, blues, jazz and rock. 

Gibson Les Paul

The Gibson Les Paul used a single-cutaway body with two single coil pickups, a set-in neck and mahogany body. 


With the introduction of humbuckers, it became known for its unique sound that was much thicker and more powerful than a single coiled guitar. 


You can buy guitars with the Les Paul body shape under the Epiphone brand. This incredibly versatile guitar is suitable for nearly every genre. 


Gibson Explorer

The difference in the previous guitar shapes may seem subtle to a novice, but you’re sure to notice the difference with the Explorer. 

Gibson developed the explorer to be futuristic and radical, unlike anything else on the market at the time. 


You can find the Epiphone version here.


There are so many different body shapes out there, and you can often find copies of all the popular body styles produced by different brands. 


You may be happy to settle for a more common shape then a Strat or Les Paul will suit you fine. But if you’re really wanting to get the look of a heavy metal guitarist then you might want to search for your perfect flying V.

Body Type

Body type refers to whether the guitar has a solid body, a semi-hollow body, or a hollow body. This has a massive impact on the sound that the guitar makes, so it’s important to understand the body type of your chosen guitar. 

Solid Body

In modern days, solid body electric guitars are the most popular type of electric guitars on the market. This is thanks to the efforts of both Les Paul for inventing them, and Leo Fender for popularising them in the mainstream market.


They have more sustain, and are resistant to feedback. These features make them excellent for genres with more distortion such as rock and metal, but with today's innovative designs they are excellent for nearly every single genre. 

Hollow Body

All guitars were once hollow bodied, but now hollow bodied electric guitars can be difficult to find. 


They have a warm, clean, bassy tone that is very desirable when playing jazz and blues, as well as some indie genres. 


However the added resonance means they have less resistance to feedback, making them harder to use in loud environments. 


This may be one of the reasons why they have become less and less common, with people opting for a more versatile, semi-hollow guitar. 

Semi-Hollow Body

Semi-hollow body guitars are the middle ground between the other two types. They have an exposed opening, often in the form of two f-holes at the top of the guitar’s body and the inner chamber of the guitar is divided into two by a block of wood that runs through the body.


They have less sustain than a solid body guitar, but are more resistant to feedback than a hollow body guitar. 


They’re more similar in tone to a solid body instrument, but still have a subtle acoustic tone when. 

Pickups

Pickups are another factor that can completely change the tone of your chosen guitar. While Fender are known for their single coil pickups, rival Gibson made their guitars unique with the introduction of humbucker pickups. 


This rivalry was amazing for the production of electric guitars, as they both continued to innovate on the instruments.


They can be placed in different sections of the guitar, such as a neck pickup, or a bridge pickup. These different locations can also completely change the tone of your guitar. 

Single Coil Pickups

A single coil pickup uses a single magnet, and typically has a lower output, producing less distortion than a humbucker. 


They provide a rich tone when played with lower amounts of gain, but are known for the bright and crisp tone, working well with clean sounds. They can also provide more note definition between strings.

Humbucker Pickups

Humbucker pickups use two magnets, with one working as a pickup and the other one working to cancel out 60-cycle hum. They have more sustain, a stronger output and less noise than the single coil pickups. 


They’re known for their warmer and darker tones, performing better when playing with distortion. They sound amazing when playing jazz, and other genres that use a darker voice. 


While each pickup is known for being good with a different sound, it’s important to remember that you can still achieve those tones no matter what type you have. 

Price

When it comes to choosing your electric guitar, price will be an important consideration. You don’t want to buy a cheaply made guitar, and end up with a sound that doesn’t satisfy your needs. 


You also don’t want to overspend if you aren’t committed to your instrument, you could end up with a guitar you don’t even like playing. 


When it comes to your first guitar you’re best going for a good mid range instrument, that has an affordable price, but isn’t so cheap that you compromise on quality. 


Shake It Up Music is proud to offer a huge range of high quality electric guitars for all different price points. 


If you are already an experienced musician, and know exactly what you are looking for, then you might be willing to splurge and go with a more expensive guitar for your collection. 

Try In Store

While this guide might help you get started on choosing your next electric guitar, there are still many considerations to make. 


The easiest way to find the guitar that suits you best, is to try it out in person.


Shake It Up Music is located on Nambour, Sunshine Coast. The team is always eager to give you advice on music and have a laugh. 


Explore the range of electric guitars online, and get ready to fall in love with these magnificent instruments.