Guitar starter kits are great for the new guitarist. They have everything that you would need to get started and often represent excellent value for money. But what are the best guitar starter kits and where should you spend your money.
I remember buying my first guitar. It was sometime ago so it shows that my memory, if nothing else, is still working. At that time guitar shops and manufacturers didn’t particularly cater for the novice guitarist. I bought my first electric guitar but had to wait a few months before I could afford to buy an amp. However, from those days things have changed quite dramatically. The electric guitar starter kit provides the new guitarist with everything that they could need to get started at a great price. Some guitar starter kits start for as little as £85. So now there is no waiting around until you can afford an amp as well as the guitar, fantastic! But where do you start and what kits represent great value for money and which should you avoid. Hopefully we can help you with your decision by compiling this list of the best guitar starter kits for under £250.
So what do we think are the best guitar starter kits for under £250?
Yamaha Pacifica 012 electric guitar
First up in our list of the best guitar starter kits for under £250 is the Yamaha Pacifica 012 Electric Guitar Starter Kit. We love this starter kit largely because it features the Yamaha Pacifica 012 guitar. In our opinion the Yamaha Pacifica 012 is one of the best starter guitars on the market for the price. If you want to read our full review then check out our Yamaha Pacifica 012 article. Yamaha are a company well known and well respected for their excellent value and extremely well manufactured musical instruments. The Yamaha Pacifica 012 is no exception. It is a great looking strat style guitar that plays incredibly well. The body is made from Agathis, a sustainable hardwood generally used in cheaper guitars because of its low cost. However, although a cheaper hardwood, Agathis is well known for its excellent strength to weight ratio which makes it lightweight but strong meaning the guitar is comfortable to hold as it does not weigh a tonne. Agathis also has excellent resonating properties so it is therefore an ideal wood for guitar construction. The bolt on maple neck has a rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets. The profile of the neck is slimline making it a great neck to learn to play on as you don’t have to unduly stretch your fingers to hold down a chord.
The electrics on the Yamaha Pacifica 012 make it a very versatile guitar for the beginner. It comes fitted with a humbucker in the bridge position and two single coil pickups in the middle and neck position. This is the classic rock combo giving the player great tonal variation and sonic output. From clean blues through to the heavy distortion of metal and trash this guitar can hold its own. The pickups can be selected through a five way selector switch and there are tone and volume dials giving you excellent control over the sound of the guitar.
The Yamaha GA15 practice amp is a great little amp suitable for the novice guitarist.
The Yamaha Pacifica 012 starter kit comes complete with a Yamaha GA15 amp which is an excellent little practice amp with more than enough power to satisfy the needs of the new guitarist. The Yamaha GA15 is a simple practice amp with a volume control and bass and treble tone dials as well as an overdrive feature. By engaging the overdrive feature you push the amp into heavily distorted tones which should more than satisfy the rock fans. As we have said this is a very simple amp so don’t expect the tonal output of a more expensive amplifier but to get you started this is more than suitable. The Yamaha Pacifica 012 starter kit also comes complete with cable, instructional CD, electronic guitar tuner, strap and bag.
In our opinion the Yamaha Pacifica 012 starter kit is a worthy addition to our list of Best Guitar Starter Kits for under £250. If you are looking for an excellent value starter kit with a guitar which we think is so much more than just a starter guitar then this is for you. You can order this guitar currently through Gear 4 Music for the amazing price of £176 saving you £73.19 off the RRP of £249.19. This is fantastic value for money for what is a really great guitar starter kit.
The Ibanez IJRG200E Jumpstart electric guitar starter kit is excellent value for money.
Next up on our list of the best guitar starter kits for under £250 is the Ibanez RG200E Jumpstart electric guitar starter kit. Ibanez are a Japanese company that have been making some of the best guitars in the world since the 1930s. However, it is there collaborations with some of the biggest names in guitar music that have made Ibanez such sought after instruments. From Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Mike Mushok and James “Munky” Shaffer to the jazz musician George Benson Ibanez guitars are used and endorsed by a wide range of musicians. So you could say that by purchasing an Ibanez starter kit you are buying into a rich pedigree of guitar manufacturing.
So what do you get with the Ibanez RG200E Jumpstart electric guitar starter kit? First off you get the Ibanez RG200E electric guitar which is, by any definition, a great guitar to be starting to learn to play on. If I had started learning on this guitar I think my progress would have been a lot quicker. I just wouldn’t have been able to put it down!
The Ibanez RG200E is a super strat style guitar made from a solid feeling piece of basswood. Basswood is another cheap wood used by guitar manufacturers to produce budget priced guitars. However, don’t be put off, basswood is still a great material for guitars and produces a great sound. The slim line bolt on neck is made from maple with a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. The feel of the guitar is great and the neck is quick to play with a low action which is ideal for a new guitarist.
In terms of electrics the RG200E is a turbo charged superstrat with humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions and a single coil pickup in the middle position. The pickups can be accessed through a five way pickup selector switch and there are master tone and master volume knobs to control the tonal output of the guitar. The bridge is a vintage style tremolo unit which is quite stable allowing some pitch diving whammy bar action without de-tuning the guitar. All in all this is a great guitar, well constructed with some nice touches that make it an incredibly versatile instrument. I would suggest that the styling of the guitar means that it is perhaps aimed at the rock/metal guitarist. But that said the sound and playability of the guitar means that you shouldn’t discount it if that style of music is not your thing. This guitar will still offer you plenty of options.
The Ibanez IJRG200E electric guitar starter pack comes with an Ibanez 10W practice amp. Again, like the Yamaha Pacifica 012 guitar starter kit, the amp is not fantastic but, for the price, it does everything that you would need it to do. Remember this is a starter kit with the aim of providing you with everything that you would need to get you started at a reasonable price. In a starter kit you want a great guitar and a suitable amp, not the other way round! The Ibanez starter kit also comes with an electronic tuner, cable, gig bag, picks and guitar strap.
The RRP of the Ibanez IJRG200E Jumpstart electric guitar starter kit is £299.97 but you can purchase it through Gear 4 Music for a fantastic £219 allowing us to include it in this list of the best guitar starter kits for under £250.
Many of you will have heard of Rocksmith a guitar game written by Ubisoft. The latest edition Rocksmith 2014 was released in October and received some well earned critical acclaim. The great thing about Rocksmith is that it is a very powerful way of teaching you how to play the guitar. By connecting your guitar through the Real Tone Cable to your PC, Playstation or Xbox you access a vast amount of content designed to teach you to play the guitar in a fun but structured way. In fact Ubisoft go so far as to cite research that has found that Rocksmith is the fastest way to learn the guitar. The research was conducted by Research Strategy Group Inc and involved a nationwide US in-home placement study. Now this does not sound much like a guitar starter kit. However, Ubisoft have teamed up with Epiphone to produce what I think is one of the best guitar starter kits that is on the market and that is why it features on our list of the best guitar starter kits for under £250.
The Rocksmith 2014 guitar bundle is a great deal. It includes Rocksmith 2014, Real Tone cable and a brilliant Epiphone Les Paul Junior. If you are worried that it does not feature an amp then don’t worry because Rocksmith 2014 plugs straight into your computer, Playstation or Xbox which means that you make use of the speakers in your computer or TV. Furthermore Rocksmith 2014 has a brilliant amplifier feature where by you can access pre-set guitar amp settings or create your own using a wide range of amps and effects. This on its own saves you a significant amount of money and allows you to really experiment with your guitar sound.
In terms of the guitar the Epiphone Les Paul Junior is a great budget guitar which plays really well. The body is, as you would expect, a typical Les Paul shape and is made from mahogany. The bolt on neck is again made from mahogany with a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. The Les Paul Junior has a single Epiphone 700T Humbucker which is great for rock guitar but can also hold its own whether you want to play blues, jazz or metal.
For me the Rocksmith 2014 guitar bundle is a brilliant buy for a beginner. You get a great guitar and one of the best guitar tuition packages on the market. The best thing is that for only £189.99 this is a great buy and I would recommend this as one of the best guitar starter kits for under £250.