If you are looking to get started on the guitar, but are on a tight budget, then electric guitar starter packs are a great place to start. Packed full with all the essentials that you need to get started electric guitar starter packs provide a great value option for those starting out on the guitar. This is especially true if you are purchasing for a son or daughter where you perhaps don’t want to spend too much money before seeing if they will stick with the guitar.
Electric guitar starter packs have a lot of advantages but the main one can be illustrated by a story from when I first picked up the guitar.
I clearly remember the day I bought my first electric guitar. It was in the late 80s and this was a day I had been anticipating for months. I had saved my meagre pay cheques from the local supermarket where I had slaved away stacking shelves. I had enough money and it was the day that I was going to take my first step on the road to rock stardom. I didn’t want an acoustic guitar I was hell bent on an electric guitar. Unfortunately I only had enough money to buy the guitar, sadly my pitiful wages could not stretch to the all important amp. So although I could take my first faltering steps towards rock stardom, nobody could hear me as they were rather silent steps with no amp. A few months later and I had enough money to buy a very cheap amp.
Leap forward nearly 25 years and fortunately for the novice guitarist just starting out there are some very attractive Electric guitar starter packs where you get not only the guitar but everything else that you could possibly think of including the all important amplifier.
So what are the benefits of electric guitar starter packs?
Perhaps the biggest advantage is one of cost. For a very tight budget you will get a lot for your money. In most electric guitar starter packs you will get the guitar and amp but there will be a whole load of other stuff included. Think guitar straps, leads, tuner, stand, plectrums and tuition guides. That is a lot for your money. Because these are budget electric guitar starter packs you can buy as a trial to see if you like playing the guitar and not shed out a fortune. This is very useful if you are buying for a son or daughter who wants to give the guitar a go. If they love playing, and we are sure they will, the budget electric guitar starter kit will allow them to take their first few steps. At a later stage they can chose to up-grade and go for a more expensive guitar. However, if they don’t enjoy playing then you haven’t spent a huge amount of money.
This all sounds too good to be true…
There must be some disadvantages surely?
Well yes you have to bear in mind that as this is firmly in the budget sector of the market the guitar and amp are going to be basic. The guitar will be playable and the amp will produce a sound but don’t expect top of the range quality. The manufacturers have to compromise somewhere and for budget electric guitars this means cheaper wood used in the construction of the guitar and budget electrics, don’t expect rip roaring pick-ups.
Therefore if you bear this all in mind there are some really good budget electric guitar starter packs out there which are well worth putting on your shopping list.
Here we review a few of the best starter packs to see what they have to offer and whether they are good value for money.
The first of our reviews is the Encore EBP-E69CR Electric Guitar Starter Pack – Cherry Red. Produced by Encore the pack includes a very nice looking Gibson SG copy, guitar case, 10 watt practice amplifier, tuner, leads, guitar stand, spare strings and tutorial DVD. In fact just about all you would possibly need to get started. The guitar itself is based on the popular Gibson SG and is made from basswood with a maple neck. The fretboard is rosewood with 22 frets and it has two guitar tech humbucker pick-ups. The 10 watt practice amp is reasonable and has a pleasant tone which gets a bit wobbly at higher volumes but is more than suitable for the typical play in their bedroom guitarist. The good thing about this pack is that it includes a guitar tuner. The tuner really takes the frustration out of tuning your guitar which is even more important when you consider the strings that are supplied with the guitar. The strings are rather cheap and are prone to de-tuning if you look at them wrong. This can be incredibly frustrating but the tuner relieves some of this frustration as does buying a more expensive set of strings. Apart from these criticisms all in all this represents excellent value for money and is a great starting place for the novice guitarist.
If you are looking for a Fender Stratocaster copy then the Rockburn ST Style Electric Guitar Pack – Black is a good place to start. Once again the starter pack includes the guitar, in this case a copy of the Fender Stratocaster, guitar case, 10 watt practice amplifier, leads, spare strings and tutorial DVD. However, unlike the Encore starter pack there is no tuner or guitar stand. This is a bit of a shame as a tuner, in my opinion, is invaluable for the novice guitarist to prevent early tuning frustrations. A stand is also handy as you don’t want your pride and joy balancing precariously in the corner of your room. The guitar itself is not too bad. It is a classic Strat copy with a bolt on maple neck with 22 fret rosewood fretboard. The body is made from basswood and it features the standard Strat three single coil pickups. The 5 way pickup selector switch gives you the full choice of pickup selection and the single volume and 2 tone controls provide plenty of opportunity to experiment with your sound. The bridge is adjustable and comes with an allen key to allow you to change the height of the strings above the fretboard. There is also a tremolo arm which can be fitted to the bridge but we would suggest leaving this off, at least until you are confident in tuning your guitar. If anything the guitar seems a little light and plays that way but for the money you can’t complain.
RockJam Guitars, like Rockburn, are a name synonymous with budget guitars. If you are looking for a budget electric guitar then RockJam are going to be a name that you have come across. Their Stratocaster electric guitar starter pack is a good example of what they have to offer. The pack consists of a full size Stratocaster style guitar, you can choose between a 10 watt and 20 watt amp, a tuner, capo, cables, spare set of strings, plectrums and a gig bag. The guitar is a good Stratocaster copy and is what you would expect. The body is basswood with a maple neck topped off with a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. There are 3 single coil pick-ups with a five way pick-up selector and a master volume and two tone dials. The guitar finish is good quality and it plays well. But as with all these budget electric guitar packs a decent set of strings is a worthy investment. The 20 watt amp is good with plenty of volume for the bedroom guitarist and a great clean tone which is controlled through the 3 band graphic equaliser (Bass, middle and treble). By cranking up the gain you can create a reasonably good distorted sound which goes a little manic if you use the boost button. The RockJam starter pack comes with a tuner which I think is a great thing to have for any novice guitarist. The guitar strap is a bit feeble and the gig bag is ok but not amazing. All in all the RockJam electric guitar starter pack represents great value for money and is well worth a look.
The final starter pack in our review is the Rockburn LP2 Electric Guitar Pack. Once again the pack comes complete with the full range of goodies including a nice looking Gibson Les Paul copy, 10 watt practice amp, guitar strap, lead, strings and tutorial DVD. The Rockburn guitar feels sturdy, in fact it is quite heavy but we liked the reassuring weight. The body is basswood with a 22 fret rosewood neck and the hardware is the traditional 2 humbucker pickups, two volume and 2 tone knobs with a 3 way selector switch. Plugged into the amp the guitar sounds good and plays reasonably well. Once again a reasonable guitar for the money.
Things to be wary of.
The straps for these guitars were a little feeble and we certainly didn’t feel that they were particularly secure so it is worth investing in a more sturdy strap. The guitar case, in those packs that had them, were also fairly feeble and would not protect your guitar from much. Also the strings supplied were fairly cheap and cheerful but suitable for getting started. If ordering on line check the returns policy of the company to make sure that, if you are not happy, you can return the item and get your money back.
These packs do represent excellent value for money and are ideal for the novice guitarist keen to get started. But bear in mind that for the money you will get a basic entry level guitar which will be ideal to learn on but as you advance you may well want to upgrade.
As to which one you chose, well that is up to you. All are good value electric guitar starter packs and so it essentially boils down to the type of guitar you want to play, Strat, Les Paul or SG.
We have written a number of relevant articles to help the beginner choose their first guitar which you might find useful.
If you are looking for a slightly more expensive guitar starter pack we review some of the best…
Best guitar starter kits for under £250
If you are looking for some guidance on how to choose your guitar then check out the article below…
Top tips for choosing your first guitar
Buying a guitar online is fairly straight forward but we give you some tips to consider…
Buying a guitar online
Top beginner guitars for under £200
Are guitar starter packs any good?
If you would rather play the acoustic guitar then check out our review of some of the best budget acoustic guitars…
Budget Acoustic guitars you will want to play
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