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Starter guitars for every taste and style

The sub-£250 price bracket is chock full of quite wonderful guitars to suit any player. From entry-level versions of the traditional big-hitters, through to more considered variations not replicated further up the range, there are rich pickings to be had. It’s not all cheap and cheerful either. The build quality and tonal variety of these supposed beginner guitars are better than you perhaps might think, making them ideal as second guitars for the more advanced player, or just as something to store under the sofa and whip out when the break comes on during Emmerdale. If you’re into that kind of thing. So, with that in mind, here’s a few of the best electric guitars under £250.

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Squier Affinity Stratocaster

The Squier Affinity range, which comes in Stratocaster and Telecaster variations, is often the first port of call for most learner guitarists. It boasts the same classic styling as its more esteemed colleagues but offers increased affordability due to the body woods used and on some of the fixtures and fittings. Make no mistake though, plug it in and you’ll still get that same Strat ‘quack’ tone, while the 5-way switch provides plenty of tonal variation. Providing you’re not an aspiring shred-head, or are intent on a career down tuning to Drop A, you’d do well to keep one of these on your shortlist.

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Epiphone Les Paul SL

Assuming your budget can’t stretch to one of the full-fat Epiphone Les Paul Standards, the bestselling guitars the world over, then the Les Paul SL makes a darn fine alternative. In some ways it offers a nice alternative to the Standard too, notably on the thinner body type which makes it lighter and easier to manoeuvre for younger players. It lacks the binding around the body, and the pickups won’t sound quite as hot, but for playing at home and finding your way around the instrument it ticks a lot of boxes.

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Redwood G1 Goth

Knowing there are probably some bedroom shredders among our readership, we thought it fitting to include the most metal guitar we could find for under £250. Aptly titled the G1 Goth from Redwood, it’s fairly safe to say you’re not going to be busting out Coldplay or trying out for the local jazz troupe whilst wielding this bad-boy. If metal is your thing then the Redwood G1 Goth is a great place to start. Equipped with a humbucker and two single coils for versatile tone – you’re well on your way to shred heaven with this entry level guitar.

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Ibanez GRG170DX Black Night

The Ibanez RG series are known within the guitar world for being the go-to superstrat shape. For a shade under 250 notes you can pick up one of the exceptionally well-made GRG170DX Black Night guitars. It features the classic slim, flat Ibanez neck which makes building your playing speed a doddle and, despite being associated with metal, this is actually a more versatile guitar than it perhaps seems. For the intermediate player, it also acts as a great base for experimenting with mods. Whack a pair of high output active pickups in this and you’ve got a highly playable, great sounding guitar for not a lot of money.

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Epiphone SG-400

What many people don’t know is that the ‘Solid Guitar’ (SG) shape actually started life as a variation of the Les Paul, but used less wood and had a thinner, faster neck to play. Players soon picked up on the SG and grew to love it for its distinctive, meaty tone and unique styling. The Epiphone SG-400, based on the Gibson US Standard model, doesn’t skimp on features or build quality, offering the perfect axe to learn your chops or add a bit of humbucker bite into your recordings.

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Jackson JS Series Dinky JS32Q

We round this list off with the awesome Jackson JS Series Dinky. For anyone familiar with heavy metal, the Dinky is instantly recognisable. For those of you who aren’t, in the simplest terms the Jackson Dinky is built with speed in mind. From the lean body depth paired with deep double-cutaways to the slender and shallow neck/fingerboard partnership, your fingers can race through lightning fast licks with ease. The pummelling power of the humbuckers cut through any mix like a hot knife through butter. If you fancy re-enacting the mind-boggling diving and wailing exhibited at the end of Raining Blood, the Jackson/Floyd Rose-licensed tremolo dutifully obliges. Fulfil your metal destiny, grab a Dinky, and hit the stage!