Shootout: Electric Guitar Starter Kits for Beginners (WINNERS Only)

A beginner guitar kit is the ideal first purchase for any learner, ensuring you have everything you’ll need to start playing right in one box.

Sure, you can go to the store and pick up a guitar and amp, but every few months, you’ll find yourself heading back for a tuner, and then a strap, and then a capo, and so on.

Buying a beginner guitar pack means you get everything you’ll need to start playing electric guitar in one go. In most cases, you save a ton of money over buying things one at a time. As a bonus, many also include things like instructional guitar books or online lessons that will get you up and running in no time.

We’ve picked out seven of the best electric guitar starter packs on the market for you. Since most of the accessories are identical in terms of quality and construction, we won’t feature detailed reviews of paraphernalia, such as the gig bag or guitar strap, unless there is something compelling to report.

Instead, our evaluation will focus mainly on the performance of the electric guitar and amplifier, the two important components of the kit.

Read more about our review process.

Editor's Choice
Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Features: Les Paul Special guitar, 10w Practice amp, Accessory kit

Benefits: Big humbucker tones, Great playability, Appealing design

Best Value
Squier Affinity Series Pack HSS

Squier Affinity Series Pack HSS

Features: Strat with HSS pickups, Fender Frontman amp, Tremolo bridge

Benefits: Great tonal variety, Plenty of volume, Quality construction

Best Budget
Donner DST-100S Pack

Donner DST-100S Pack

Features: Strat style guitar, USB rechargeable amp, Large accessory pack

Benefits: Excellent playability, Highly portable amp, Bright tones

Our Top 3

Our top recommendation for the Best Beginner electric guitar kit is the Fender Squier Stratocaster Pack. Every component of this guitar bundle ticks all the boxes of performance, durability, and construction. The Fender Squier electric guitar kit is a great ‘first-guitar’ purchase that will last well past the beginner phase of your musical journey. In addition, Fender has thrown in some free online lessons to sweeten the deal. 

If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend the Donner DST-1S Electric Guitar Starter Kit. It’s high on performance, low on cost, and is available in four finish options. The above-average components (including a best-in-class gig bag) make it the best starter pack for the money. And some good news for our southpaw friends out there: Donner offers a left-handed option as well. The only drawback is that the amplifier taps out at 3 watts, but you can write that off as being kind to your neighbors. 

Finally, the Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack earns the (virtual) badge for KGR Editor’s Choice. It’s hard to go wrong with this classic Les Paul-shaped guitar, with its vintage sunburst finish and great-sounding mini guitar amp. The product is backed by a big-name brand that abides by strict Q&A and offers a first-rate all-purpose guitar kit for beginner to intermediate guitar players (especially those who dream of a Les Paul).

Individual Reviews

Top Choice

An iconic guitar in an affordable, beginner-friendly package!

One of the world’s best-selling guitars, this Stratocaster gets bundled with everything you’ll need to get started on your music journey at an extremely attractive price.

Fender is a monumental brand when it comes to all things guitar. There is no end to the number of legendary guitar players who play a Fender Stratocaster. It has an instantly recognizable tone that you have heard on countless hit records. Squier is their budget-friendly product line and owning this kit is the first step to joining the Fender family.

The construction and finish of the guitar are as good as it gets at this price point. The guitar plays great right out of the box, and the slim neck is beginner-friendly and easy on the hands. This will make life easy when you first encounter barre chords. The fit/finish of the guitar is on point, and the three single-coil pickups and tremolo bridge add a lot of tonal depth, with more high-end than you’d get from a Les Paul-style guitar. The guitar control panel has three tone knobs, one for master volume and two for tone selection. When you combine this with the 3-way pickup selector, you can dial in a wide variety of tones to suit most genres.

The Frontman 10G is a great guitar amp with excellent tone and sufficient volume for a beginner guitar amp. The flexible 4-knob EQ panel has a master volume, treble, bass, and gain. It also sports a clean/drive attenuator button and a power on/off switch with an LED indicator. The aux-in allows you to connect your music-playing device (like a cellphone) to jam with backing tracks or listen to music through the amp. The headphone-in will also come in handy when you want to keep it down. The included accessories, such as the gig bag, guitar strap, capo, etc are all of above-average quality.

If you have small hands or are looking for a starter pack for your child, you can opt for the short-scale version of this product. Left-handed guitarists can opt for the lefty version.

Verdict: Any way you look at it, the Fender Squier electric guitar starter kit is just a notch above the rest. All 10 items in the starter pack add immense value to the product and justify the price tag. It’s quite inexpensive, in our opinion, if you consider the brand recognition, reliability, and iconic tone that are hallmarks of Fender-made guitars.

Budget Pick

Quality surpasses cost in this high-on-value version of the classic kit!

A stylish kit that looks the part and offers a versatile range of tones to satisfy just about any budding guitarist.


Donner does a good job with the three main components of the pack – the electric guitar, the amplifier, and the gig bag. Of these, the 3-watt MINI is slightly underwhelming compared to the 10w or 15w amps included in most starter packs. The amp-control panel has only a clean master volume knob without any EQ options. It has three knobs for distortion (volume, tone, and gain). The tone is reasonable and the volume is sufficient for individual practice, but it isn’t as loud and powerful as other amps in this list. Overall, it’s a simple amp that gets the job done.

The strat-inspired guitar is a full-sized instrument with a solid basswood body, maple neck and ebony fretboard, which is impressive for the price tag. The pickup configuration is S-S-H (meaning two single-coil pickups and a humbucker) and the control panel is a combination of the usual three knobs (two tone knobs + master volume) alongside a 3-way pickup selector. Head-to-head, it isn’t as impressive as the Squier, but the tone is versatile, and playability and construction are great for the price.

Despite the humble price tag, none of the accessories feel cheap or sub-standard. As a matter of fact, the sleek black soft-case gig bag has a reliable 5mm padding and the soft nylon fabric is water-resistant. The cable, tuner, guitar strap and capo (all black) are also well-constructed and should pose no problems for beginners or intermediate players. At the time of this review, the Donner DST-1S Electric Guitar Kit was rated as Amazon’s Top Choice with over 600 customer reviews. Our first impressions echo those flattering sentiments.

Verdict: This affordable kit can appease all the needs of any student or beginner looking for a complete bundle that has good playability right out of the box. Also, props to Donner for offering a Left-Handed Version for the southpaws. As any left-handed guitarist will tell you, this is rarer than you might think.

Read our full review of the Donner DST-102 here.

Editor’s Choice

The stuff rock ‘n’ roll dreams are made of!

Classic Les Paul styling at an unbeatable price, with quality to go the extra mile.

Epiphone, owned by Gibson Guitars, is one of the top brands when it comes to the electric guitar. The Les Paul electric guitar pack they offer for beginners and students (full review here) is a high-quality collection of all the essentials. However, they don’t offer as many items as other packs. For instance, despite being priced $100 more than the Donner bundle, they don’t offer any capo (get one of these instead), but they do offer free downloadable guitar lessons from eMedia. Nevertheless, they have not cut any corners in the two main components of the bundle – the guitar and the amplifier.

The Les Paul sports a very different look than the bulk of strat-shaped guitars in our list. It’s well-crafted and looks gorgeous in Vintage Sunburst if you’re into that styling (and what Les Paul fan isn’t?). As for the sound, it’s hard to compare the double-humbucker pickups to the single-coil pups of a Fender Squier. The Les Paul Special is known to be chunkier in construction and sound, with more mid-presence and less of the high-end sparkle you get with a single-coil pickup. The body is compact & curvaceous, the pickups sound dark and warm, and the maple neck profile of the guitar is broader. Overall, it’s a very different experience, and the Gibson/Epiphone QA is evident in the top-notch craftsmanship and finish.

Similarly, the mini amplifier is meaty and clear. The clean tones sound great and the distortion, though a tad muddy, sounds robust and energetic. It has more power than any student or beginner will need to start playing at home, and the headphone input will come in handy when you want to practice quietly. The guitar and amp combination sounds great right out of the box.  The all-black Epiphone gig bag is well-padded and feels durable enough for transport and storage. Some wear and tear may be seen on the handles with rough use over time. The other accessories in the bundle like the cable, tuner, strap, and plectrums, are all standard quality.  

Verdict: The Epiphone Les Paul Special Starter Kit is KGR Editor’s Recommendation for an electric starter pack. It’s decidedly better in component quality and will last well beyond the initial phase of your musical journey.

LyxPro Electric Guitar Kit Bundle 

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A pocket-friendly option, also available in a left-handed version!

Product Highlights:

LyxPro may not have the brand recognition of Fender or Epiphone, but they offer a highly-affordable all-in-one starter pack. Head-to-head, the LyxPro bundle felt slightly inferior to the Donner DST-1S bundle in terms of construction and durability, which is why we decided to recommend Donner as our Best Budget option. This doesn’t imply there is anything wrong with the product. For the most part, the quality is on par with the Donner electric guitar, but the DST1 edges out the LyxPro in tone and clarity.

The LyxPro 39” electric guitar has a Canadian maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and standard dot inlays. The slim neck profile makes it easy to play barre chords and the rosewood fretboard is fast and playable. The fret finish and construction is good for the price, but the guitar may need a setup to suit your preferences. The electronics feature three single-coil pickups with the volume/tone knobs and a 3-way pickup selector. Overall, this is a versatile guitar with medium-high action and good playability out of the box.

The AGL-20 amplifier is the loudest among the products in our list. The control panel has master volume, gain, bass, and treble knobs with a button to activate overdrive. It also has an input for headphones, but you will need a 6.5mm convertor in order to plug in standard 3.5 mm headphones jacks.

However, louder doesn’t always mean better. The amp tones are reasonable when clean, but the distortion sounds strident and muddy at higher volumes. The LyxPro clip-on tuner and gig bag felt a little underwhelming and flimsy compared to other products we reviewed.

Verdict: The LyxPro is a good second option for those on a tight budget if the Donner DST1 doesn’t appeal to you. The good news is all variants of the LyxPro electric guitar starter bundle are available in left-handed models. The bad news is that one of them is pink. 

Pyle PEGT14R – Electric Guitar Beginner Starter Package

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Reasonable quality for the price, I guess we can say ‘it fits the bill’.

Product Highlights:

  • 22-fret Strat-styled Electric Guitar
  • 10watt Amp with Distortion
  • Reasonable Quality for the Price
  • Good Low-budget Option
  • Pitch-pipe Tuner instead of Digital

People often buy a beginner electric guitar, then lose interest in the instrument. If you’re a parent trying to encourage your kid to pick up an instrument or if you’re looking to test those waters yourself, it may be better to opt for something around $150, like the Donner, LyxPro, or PylePro guitar kits.

This is an affordable product with reasonable quality for the price. There is nothing miraculous about the Paulownia wood guitar body or the maple neck with rosewood fretboard. The neck is slim and beginner-friendly and houses 22 medium jumbo frets with dot inlays, pretty standard stuff. As with most of the others on our list, you have three single-coil pickups, a three-way selector, and the standard volume/tone knobs. The intonation and tuning are decent, with no evident buzzing out of the box. A quick tune-up, and you’re good to go.

The 10-watt Pyle Guitar amplifier has a master volume, bass, and treble knobs with headphone input. The amp is reasonable for the price and handles clean and distorted tones well at low-to-moderate volume. The accessories are reasonably good, especially the detachable shoulder strap and gig bag. The spare set of strings and 3 picks are decent too, but this kit doesn’t offer a digital tuner. Instead, it has the old-school ‘pitch pipe’ tuner, which will take some getting used to.

The Pyle Pro PEGKT14R is a beginner package that can be a good first step if you’ve never owned an electric guitar. They offer all the basics at a pocket-friendly price, and for an entry-level brand with an entry-level product, they are spot on with the quality. But bear in mind that you will need to upgrade to something better once you advance past the beginner stage.

Verdict: We felt the need to include more brands that offer value and affordability, but with so many big-names ‘pyle-ing’ on them, it’s a tough crowd to go up against in terms of tone or playability. The PylePro is a pocket-friendly option that will get the ball rolling, but that’s about it.

Smartxchoices Electric Guitar Beginner Pack

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The last frontier for beginners on a shoestring budget!

Product Highlights:

  • Full-sized Strat-inspired Guitar
  • Good Accessories & Amp for the Price
  • Ideal for Beginners & Hobbyists
  • Available in 2 Options: Black & Blue
  • Reasonable Value at a Throwaway Price

Many people want to explore an instrument out of curiosity, uncertain if they will continue or move on. If you fall in that category, you can save some money by opting for a cheaper bundle like Smartxchoices to thwart any buyer’s remorse. It may be simple, but it covers all your bases, and the components are prudent and sturdy for the price.

The Strat-styled double-cutaway electric guitar is decent if the oddly-shaped headstock doesn’t bother you. The three single-coil pickups and 3-way selector can conjure some decent tones, but there is an inherent ‘tinny-ness’ to the highs that you easily can’t dial out. The intonation and action need some work before you start playing seriously, but it plays okay out of the box. It would be best to get the guitar professionally set up before you start using it.

The 10w amplifier is sufficiently loud and offers the usual fare of clean and distortion tones. The headphone input, drive button, and control panel are up to the mark. The construction is a little flimsy and the amp sounds strident when you crank up the volume too much. Overall, it gets the job done and will hang out in your shed long enough to justify the cost.

All other accessories share the same ‘great-for-the-price’ quality with the exception of the fragile nylon gig bag, which is probably going to the be the first casualty in the bundle (though you can get a good quality gig bag for under $20). The price tag is one of the key factors in recommending this product. It teeters on a delicate balance of cost and quality without tipping over. Honestly, you won’t find any better if searching for something cheaper, because any further compromise in component quality will really tarnish your playing experience.

Verdict: The Smartxchoices Beginners Kit is one of those throwaway price kits that you buy and discard in a year, but it should hold for long enough for you to decide how serious you are about the instrument.

Bonus: Schecter OMEN-6 Deluxe Guitar Kit Bundle + Review

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Wicked styling, assertive tone but lacks an amp and case.

Product Highlights:

  • Sleek Styling & Diamond Plus Pickups
  • Maintenance Kit Included
  • Foldable Floorstand
  • No Case, Gig Bag, or Amplifier
  • Great for Hard Rock & Metal

After some back and forth, we decided to feature the Schecter OMEN-6 bundle despite it being priced considerably higher than the other products. The Schecter bundle is just guitar + accessories and doesn’t include an amplifier or guitar case/gig bag like most other electric guitar kits. However, the extra accessories add enough value to make it comparable, and the OMEN-6 Deluxe Electric Guitar is an absolute beauty for the price.

The basswood body is covered in an elegant gloss-black finish with ivory-white binding on the body contours. The bolt-on maple neck houses a rosewood fretboard with 24 frets with gothic Pearloid inlays. The guitar sounds reasonably good for clean tones, but the Diamond Plus Bridge & Neck pickups are on the money when it comes to the gritty and raspy distortion, a step above a Les Paul-style humbucker.

The thoughtful inclusion of nitty-gritties is the other reason Schecter made it on the list. The gig-strap, for example, is a great addition to any guitar strap. It sits comfortably on the shoulder and takes a lot of weight away from the guitar. Then there is the foldable guitar floor-stand, the spray-polish, and a clip-on tuner w/ 360-degree rotating display. They also offer a 12-pack of guitar picks and a set of high-quality DR LITE strings.

It lacks some of the main components like a gig bag and amplifier (though at this budget the Fender Mustang I V2 is the guitar amp we’d suggest), but the guitar itself is great for hard-rock and modern-metal enthusiasts. It could easily serve as a primary axe or a backup guitar for intermediate and semi-pro musicians.

Verdict: This isn’t a cookie-cutter beginner guitar, as its scope extends to serious intermediate guitarists. Let’s face it, if you’re picking up a guitar because you love metal music, you might as well get the OMEN-6 Deluxe Bundle to get you up and running.  

Final Thoughts

Electric guitar starter kits are a great place to get your feet wet with the guitar and, once you feel confident, step up to a more intermediate-level guitar.

You can also supplement your bundle with a nice guitar wall mount like the Hercules GSP38 which was our Top Choice in our detailed review of guitar wall hangers.