Fender has many different lines of guitars spanning decades. With different guitarist signature models, upgraded lines, price-point variances, etc. Because of the many options, it can be difficult for a beginner to choose which Fender guitar is best for them. I did the research and tried them all to find out which Fender guitar is best for a beginner.
What are the best Fender guitars for beginners? The best Fender guitar for a beginner is the Fender Player Series Stratocaster. Second and third best Fender guitars for a beginner are the Fender Player Series Telecaster and the Fender CD-60S Dreadnought.
Continue reading to learn more about each of these guitars and to decide which one is best for you.
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Are Fender Guitars Good For Beginners?
Fender guitars are good for beginners. The brand has been around for decades and has perfected their production, giving the guitarist a quality instrument straight out of the box that is guaranteed to last years. Fender guitars have a great playability and construction, two great aspects for a beginner who is just starting to get comfortable with the guitar.
Here’s the thing, there is no such thing as a ‘beginner guitar’. There is a preconceived notion in the guitar community that if you have never played the guitar before, then you need to buy a cheap guitar. This is simply incorrect. In actuality, it promotes new guitarists giving up on the instrument.
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Often, a blogger or Youtuber will recommend ‘beginner guitars’ that are very poor quality; recommended because of the price point. I even saw a blogger recommend First Act as a first guitar, a guitar that is sure to make the player want to quit shortly after starting.
The difference between a $250 guitar and a $500-$600 guitar is massive. Playability, quality, finish, and electronics are extremely better, and the guitar is much more likely to last you years only for a few hundred more dollars. Which is why I recommend a brand like Fender, which typically has a medium to higher price point but with amazing quality.
With all that being said, there are guitars from Fender that I recommend that a new guitarist would like because of the quality and value they bring. Let’s dig in.
Best Fender Guitars For Beginners:
The 3 best Fender guitars for beginners are:
- Fender Player Stratocaster
- Fender Player Telecaster
- Fender CD-60S Dreadnought
As you can see above, two out of three of the listings above are electric. I strongly recommend new guitarists playing electric first. I am also not a big fan of Fender Acoustics, which you would know if you are a consistent reader of this site. Although, there is one Fender acoustic guitar I stand behind, which is the one listed above.
Find out which one is best for you below
1. Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar
The best Fender guitar for a beginner is the Fender Player Stratocaster.
Offered in 7 different color combinations and two different necks, there are plenty of options to choose from with this series. Let’s find out why this guitar made number on the list.
The price of this guitar is cheap compared to other Fender models. Although, with this cheaper price point, you are not sacrificing quality.
You can get this guitar in two days on Amazon for $849.
In terms of Mexican made Fenders, this is the best one that I have ever played.
First thing I do with a new guitar, especially one under $1000, is feel up and down the neck. I like to ensure the frets are not sharp and they are smooth. With this guitar, the frets were rounded which was great to see and feel.
Fender replaced the pickups with the Alnico 5 series. These pickups still give the vintage Strat sound but with a modern feel to them. This suits a modern player more but still gives those who like the oldies like myself something to grasp.
The neck radius is a modern C 9.5 inches. This is much more comfortable in your hand than a guitar with a chunky neck would be. I have smaller hands and have no issue reaching my thumb around for the Hendrix style low E fretting.
Another test I like to do with new guitars to ensure their quality is play Pride and Joy. If a guitar can rake well on the A string, then the guitar is good in my books. This guitar did just that.
The versatility of the Stratocaster is what guarantees its number one spot over the Telecaster.
The appearance, as seen below, is second to none. Guitar legends like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Clapton, Cory Wong, all swear by the Stratocaster look. The guitar is simply great to look at, especially knowing your favorite guitarists played the same looking guitar.
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This model has an alder body with a gloss finish and signature cutaways you come to expect with a Stratocaster.
There are many different cool colors to choose from. The one I have is the one seen below. There is a black pick guard option as well if you really want to look like SRV. Of course, this is a subjective category. I personally love this look over any guitar in the world. Others may prefer the Les Paul look; I prefer the Stratocaster look.
2. Fender Player Telecaster
The second-best Fender guitar for a beginner is the Fender Player Telecaster.
Offered in many different colorways, the Fender Player Telecaster is a great choice for a beginner who wants that vintage tele sound without having to dish out a ton of money.
Like the Fender Player Stratocaster, the price is the same. Making this an extremely affordable option if you are looking for a Fender.
You can get this guitar on Amazon for $849.
The Fender Player Telecaster runs the risk of it becoming your only guitar for years to come. After playing it for the past month, I have not picked up any other guitar in my collection. This guitar is seriously fun to play.
The neck feels nice and holds well in your hands. I did notice the frets edges are not as rounded as my Player Series Stratocaster but that could have just been the guitar I picked up.
The quality of this guitar, regardless of the price, is superb. Nothing is out of place, the finish is amazing, intonation is dialed in, and the pickups are the perfect level of warm. The combination of all these things makes for an extremely playable and fun guitar.
The pickups are a big differentiator between the Tele and the Strat.
“To enhance the traditional twang and bite of a Telecaster, Fender added block saddles to the string-through-body bridge for precise intonation and to help your sound cut through the mix, sustaining until the sun burns out.”Fender
This guitar is very light so playing guitar while standing is easier. To summarize, this guitar gives the quintessential tele sound at a fraction of the price that an American model would.
The Fender Player Telecaster gives the customer the classic Telecaster look that we have all come to love. Legendary guitarists and musicians like George Harrison, Yardbirds era Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck have all sported the telecaster in their careers.
The iconic shape of the guitar is extremely comfortable to both play and look at. The parts look like they are taken from a $2000+ Telecaster, nothing cheap looking.
3. Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The third best Fender guitar for a beginner is the Fender CD-60S Dreadnought acoustic guitar. The Fender CD-60S Dreadnought is also the best Fender acoustic guitar for a beginner.
This is the only Fender acoustic guitar I recommend so if you do not want to go electric, then this is the way to go.
Compared to the previous two electric options, this acoustic guitar is far less expensive.
You can get this guitar on Amazon for $229.
This guitar was remarkably easy to play for the price point when I compared it to some of my higher end acoustics.
The fingerboard edges were rolled which made for an extremely comfortable neck. Neck is a big factor for me on acoustics. It will make or break a guitar for me. If a neck is too thick or wide, then the guitar becomes a chore to play. Luckily, the neck on this guitar was very easy to play. This made chord changes, slide guitar, and acoustic solos much more fun.
With an inexpensive guitar, I usually worry about the action and intonation. I did not have to worry about these aspects with this guitar. The action height was great straight out of the box, and I have not had any intonation issues. One big thing to note, no fret buzzing issues yet.
As expected from a dreadnaught guitar, the sound is full and well-balanced.
This guitar has an added flare over traditional looking acoustic guitars. That added flare is the solid mahogany top, sides and back. These grain patterns are extremely pleasing to the eye and allow the guitar to stand out.
The dark chocolatey mahogany wood grain is not a common wood type on acoustics so it is great that Fender decided to release with this.
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