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Buying a good beginner electric guitar

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I'm looking for advice on buying a good guitar for a beginning teenager who will turn 14 on September. He is a son of my best friend, and he is very interested in learning the guitar, but he doesn't like learning on the acoustic he has at home, because he wants to play rock and metal. As his birthday is coming forth, we're thinking of buying him a good guitar to start his lessons with.

I actually play both acoustic and electric guitars for a few years myself, but am as confused on what to buy for him as he is.

My guitars are not beginner guitars, and I actually started on a good Yamaha acoustic before switching to electric, which I play now. So I don't know much about beginner electric guitars.

What I think would be a good option... I tried looking into specific styles of electric guitars like Stratocaster, Les Paul, SG, and various other, including metal guitars. I know that Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez and Epiphone make great beginner models, and also some other unknown brands, so I'm not looking for the specific brand name for now.

As he doesn't know allot about guitar playing, I'm pretty skeptical of bringing him a guitar that's more than $300 as he doesn't yet know how to handle and play one. We don't even know how much would he practice. He talks allot like "I'd practice more if I had an electric..." but how much is this true we won't know until we buy him one.

He is mostly into metal and hard rock music. His idols are ACDC, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Hammerfall, KISS, Dire Straits, Metallica, Megadeth... more hard stuff.

I mean the guitar can be any color, but it would be best if it would be either black or black-white combination.

Now... can anyone here recommend us a guitar that ranges from 100$- 300$ with that in mind:

- playability, feel, and ease of playing (possibly as good as can be for that price)

- good for rock and "harder stuff" as he likes to say it

- the best quality for the cheapest price possible. (I know these guitars are not "best quality", we don't need that yet, but kind of getting the cheapest guitar possible that has the best quality in that price range, or something like that. Many beginner guitarists are looking for that.)

It doesn't matter what brand name is on the headstock. Also for the shape... what would you advice us to get? There are many shapes of a guitar, but we're looking for one that is good for hard rock stuff and metal. Shape itself doesn't matter, it's only important that guitar has a nice sound for stuff like that.

That would be it... I know the best is to go to the shop and just try them all, we do plan on doing it, but before we go do that, I'd like to at least have an "image" of what we should look for to try so we don't spend all days long just trying out all of the cheaper guitars they have at various stores available.

Thank you in advance for the advices, we will really appreciate them in making our own decision. :)

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The classic vibe Squier strats are great. They sound great and play great. In looking to buy my son a guitar, I also tried an Epiphone Les Paul Special II recently and I came away impressed in how it felt and played. Each is easy to play. Strats have that contoured body and the Epiphone is a bit shorter in scale. The only advice I have is to give them a good try out, as the quality varies. Make sure the frets feel comfortable up and down the neck. Play C/Am/F chord changes to make sure the nut is not too rough.

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Here's my two cents worth, don't but him a guitar! Give him a hand-made voucher for one guitar up to $300. Take him to the guitar shop and let him choose. You can't go wrong. cheers.

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