Cheap, Fancy Electric Guitars

Kevin Casper
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One area of the economy that has definitely benefited from globalization is the market for cheap fancy electric guitars. Full featured guitars that look great and sound respectable are no longer relegated to the top shelf. Whether you're a beginning musician looking for a fun guitar to start up your first band or an experienced musician in need of a flashy backup stage ax, your options today are plentiful and diverse. A number of companies ranging from familiar standbys to new startups are offering fun, creative, well-made guitars at prices that won't break the bank.

Standout Cheap Fancy Electric Guitars

Your choices when shopping for cheap fancy electric guitars depend on what style of music you like to play and what features you want the guitar to have. For those looking for a flashy instrument, custom body shapes and colorful finishes might be in order. Others might need a tremolo bar or multiple pickups to craft the perfect sound. Below is a list of inexpensive guitars that run the gamut from radical to retro.

  • Daisy Rock Guitars: The first guitar manufacturer marketed exclusively for girls, Daisy Rock Guitars has created some of the most visually exciting instruments on the market today. Their line of specially shaped guitars like the Daisy, Star, Butterfly, and Heartbreaker are colorfully finished and guaranteed to turn heads. More traditionally shaped models such as the Tom Boy Deuce feature ruby or rainbow sparkle finishes and signature curved pick guards.
  • Danelectro: Danelectro has been creating stylish, affordable, and great sounding electric guitars since 1947. Originally distributed only through department stores, today Danelectros are synonymous with cool, chic, retro, and rock-n-roll. The '59 Dano is a throwback to the guitar that started it all for Danelectro. This reissue is available in royal blue, burgundy, and keen green and features the classic two lipstick pickup configuration that made Danelectro famous. The funky Dano Pro is available in ten fun colors and features an offset-rectangular body with a cool triangular pick guard.
  • Fender Squire: As a division of the world-famous Fender guitar company, Squier Guitars offers the same classic Fender designs at budget prices. The Affinity Series Stratocaster features a two-tone sunburst finish and a tremolo bar. If that Tele sound is more what you're after, however, check out the Affinity Series Telecaster model, which is available in red, white, black, and a special blonde edition. Of particular interest to younger guitar players or players with smaller hands might be the Hello Kitty Mini Strat, a small-scale electric guitar available in black or pink and emblazoned with the Hello Kitty logo.
  • BC Rich: With their angular body shapes and signature widow head stocks, BC Rich guitars have long been associated with hard rock and heavy metal. If metal is your scene, check out the Blem Metal Master Warlock with its agathis body style and tribal fire finish. Or take the jet black Warbeast for a test drive, and unleash your inner metal head.
  • Epiphone: Much like the Fender Squire, the Epiphone guitar company distributes many Gibson guitar models at greatly discounted prices. Epiphone offers the popular Les Paul Special, the SG, and Firebird in classic colors and finishes at a fraction of the price of their high end Gibson relatives.

How Cheap Is Cheap?

Of course the definition of "cheap" in terms of a guitar is relative for everyone, but the above list of brand new instruments can all be found for under $250. Many of the guitars listed above come with gig bags and some can even be packaged in starter kits that include a small amp. So squirrel away your pennies, and shop around until you find the perfect fit.

Where Else to Look

  • Musician's Friend: Musician's Friend is presently celebrating 25 years as a direct-to-door music supply business and offers a wide range of inexpensive six strings. All orders over $99 are shipped free of charge.
  • Sweetwater: Sweetwater features a large inventory, renowned customer service, and free shipping on all orders.

Time to Shop

Now you know about some great places to shop for fancy guitars that won't break your budget. So, the mission is to find a model you can't resist at a price you can afford. Take the time to look at a number of guitars and you'll probably find that you're drawn to a particular style. Once you have that narrowed down, it should be easy to find that gem you've been looking for.

Cheap, Fancy Electric Guitars