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Lightweight electric guitars

If solid-body electric guitars are too heavy for you, these are some alternatives you should consider.

Before showing the alternatives, the regular weight of a new Fender Stratocaster is usually about 8 pounds, and the weight of a Squier Stratocaster is slightly less at about 7 pounds, 14 ounces, give or take an ounce. Even for models where both the Fender and the Squier use the same wood species for the body, the Squier has a slim profile Strat body which is what takes off a few ounces.

However, when it comes to truly lightweight electrics that aren't acoustic-electric, certain semi-hollow body guitars are noticeably lighter.

You could spend a ton of cash for a semi-hollow, but here are 3 semi-hollow lightweights that are priced nice that won't break the bank.

Gretsch G2622 Streamliner
Gretsch G2622 Streamliner

The Gretsch weighs in at about 6lbs 10oz. Gorgeous guitar. 5-ply arched maple body and loaded with Broad'Tron pickups. The center block is spruce. And that V-shape tailpiece always catches my eye.

Epiphone ES-339 Pro
Epiphone ES-339 Pro

The Epiphone weighs in at 7lbs 6oz. This is a guitar I've mentioned a few times before as it's one of the best that Epiphone makes. It has advanced electronics with two coil-tapped humbuckers, but the best part is that this is a semi-hollow that is almost the same size as a Les Paul. This is not the larger ES-335 body style of the Epiphone Dot. Many players appreciate the smaller ES-339 size. If you want a lightweight Les Paul without major modifications or ridiculous amounts of weight reduction, you want the ES-339.

Squier Vintage Modified '72 Tele Thinline
Squier Vintage Modified '72 Tele Thinline

This Squier is the same weight as the Gretsch at 6lbs 10oz. This is a very cool Telecaster from Squier that sounds as good as it looks. Truly, it does. Yes, the strings do install through the body, so you can truly feel all that wonderful semi-hollow vibration when playing this axe. This Tele projects acoustically just as well as the two other guitars above and that's no joke.

Compared to the other two guitars above, this is the simplest of the lot. One 3-way switch, 2 knobs and nothing else, which is how a Telecaster should be.

Which has the best sound?

If you want twang and snap, you get the Squier. If you want something good for blues, jazz and rock, get the Epiphone. If you want something that's good for '50s and '60s tones, get the Gretsch.

Out of the three, the one that covers the most range of sounds is the Epiphone mainly because of its coil-tapped humbuckers. But I'd personally get the Squier instead.

Published 2017 Jun 19

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