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Who has the best starter guitar pack for beginners?

A starter guitar pack means you get a guitar, an amp, gig bag and accessories, and it's usually all in one box. These packs are designed to give the beginner guitar player everything they need all up front so that nothing else needs to be bought.

Currently, these packs have a price range of $200 to $350, so you won't spend too much. And, fortunately, just about every classic electric guitar shape is available.

I'm first going to list 5 starter packs, from least-to-most expensive, and give my opinions on each. At the end I'll say which I think is the best for the money.

Click any photo below to see the price.

Epiphone Guitar Pack - Vintage Sunburst
Epiphone Guitar Pack



Squier by Fender "Stop Dreaming, Start Playing" Set (Affinity Series Strat)
Squier by Fender "Stop Dreaming, Start Playing" Set
(Affinity Series Strat)



Squier by Fender Tele Electric Guitar Pack - Sunburst
Squier by Fender Tele Electric Guitar Pack



Squier by Fender Strat HSS Electric Guitar Pack
Squier by Fender Strat HSS Electric Guitar Pack



Ibanez IJX200 Electric Guitar Value Pack
Ibanez IJX200 Electric Guitar Value Pack



Which is the best?

The Squier Tele pack, no question. Best-made guitar of the bunch and easiest to set up and play. Looks fantastic and has actual resale value. Comes with DVD that obviously requires no sign-up for anything, so you can pop in a player and start learning guitar fast.

I also know from personal experience that the guitar does not feel cheap, even though it is cheap in price. Surprisingly good tuners, good feel and even the wiring is good in the Affinity Tele.

The runner-up is the Ibanez, but only for one reason. Kids like it better because it's a black Ibanez. Is the guitar better than the Squier? In terms of build quality, no. What kids see with the Ibanez is a "cool metal guitar". If you're shopping for your kid, know this when buying the Ibanez pack: Once you buy it, you'll never get your money back if the kid plays it for a few months then gives up guitar. At least with the Squier Tele (and the Strat) there are people on Craigslist who would be legitimately interested in buying it. The one major flaw of the Ibanez is that it has zero resale value. Other than that, it's a good kid rocker guitar.

Other stuff I recommend buying along with the any guitar starter pack

120-piece pick sampler - 120 picks for cheap. Real cheap. And they're made of delrin material which is easier to grab. If you don't know what that is, it's a mildly textured pick instead of a smooth surface. If your fingers sweat at all when playing, you'll like these a lot. Has light, medium and heavy thicknesses so you can mix-and-match. The best part is that it will take you a long time to go through these. And if buying for a kid, I guarantee the kid will lose picks ALL the time, so you might as well stock up.

Guitar polish cloth - Paper towels scratch guitar finishes. This doesn't. Get one. 'Nuff said.

Behringer UM300 Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal - This is for kid rockers. The first thing the kid will do is complain he hasn't enough distortion. The UM300 is the cheapest distortion pedal you can buy. It gets the job done.

Behringer VD400 Vintage Delay Pedal - This is for the adults. It's a cheap delay pedal, and delay is fun to play around with.

10-foot guitar cable - If you get a pedal, you're going to need another cable. This is another 10-footer. If you want something better and longer, get this 18-footer with the tweed jacket. Looks cool and you get an extra 8 feet.


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