When talking about electric guitars, many things come to mind. It depends on your preferred music genre, your taste (both audio and visual) and many other things.

But what are the best electric guitars? The ones that are the most iconic that you could buy? Here we are going to list the most popular and recognizable guitars that you should definitely and can buy.

Gibson Les Paul

You probably already know this guitar. It was played by the best guitar players in the world like Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Billy Gibbons, Slash, etc.

While it is one of the most expensive guitars in the market you can be sure that you’ll get a truly high-end guitar. While there are different types, the one that always comes to my mind when thinking of Les Paul is the ’60s model.

Features of the guitar:

  • It is a solid body guitar usually with a mahogany body and set-in neck. The neck is glued to the body.
  • The body is made of mahogany wood with a rosewood fretboard.
  • While it may vary, LP usually has two humbucker pickups and a fixed bridge.
  • It is not impossible to find it with P9, humbuckers are more popular because they provide a wider range of tone colors you could play on your guitar.
  • It has two-tone and two-volume potentiometers one for each pickup.
  • A standard three-way switch that allows you to select the pickup you want to use. It has rhythm, treble, and middle position allowing you to transit between lead and rhythm parts easily.
  • The price for a Gibson Les Paul (standard) is over $3.000 and

Fender Stratocaster

Usually, guitar players are divided between Fender and Gibson players. I always love to say that Stratocaster and Les Paul are the two best guitars ever made. Stratocaster was introduced in 1954 and it changed the music world. From Buddy Holly to Dave Murray from Iron Maiden everyone owns at least one Strat.

What I like the most about this guitar is its versatility. You can play it clean, with a bit of drive for beautiful bluesy tones, or you can play it overdriven for hard rock and metal.

What I always liked about Strats is that maple necks are made from one piece of wood with truss rod inserted from the back of the neck and covered with a piece of walnut that creates that famous “skunk stripe”.

But if this price is too much for you, you can always opt for lower price ones made in Mexico (MIM) or for a Squier Stratocaster.

Features of the guitar:

  • Solid-body guitars with bolt-on neck which is bolted with 3 or 4 screws and a synchronized tremolo bridge.
  • Modern Strats are equipped with a five-way switch and three single-coil pickups.
  • You can also get models with HSS (hum-single-single) build or HSH (hum-single-hum) or even with two humbuckers.
  • Three pots allow you to adjust volume and tone. Standard wiring is one volume, tone for neck pickup and tone for a middle pickup.
  • This Guitar is made from a variety of wood, from alder, ash, poplar, basswood while necks are mostly made from maple.
  • The price range for one of these beauties goes from $1500 for the American Standard model to several thousand for custom shop ones.

Ibanez Jem

Introduced in the late ’80s, co-designed by one of the guitar legends Steve Vai, this guitar created a modern revolution of electric guitars. Influenced by “superstrats”, this solid-body guitar was originally created for its co-designer but found a place in the hearts of many other players.

 Features of the guitar:

  • While it is similar in shape to a Stratocaster with bolt-on neck construction, it has sharper edges and quite a lot of modifications that made it differ from its “role model”.
  • What I always loved about this guitar is it’s “tree of life” inlay across the fretboard. It has basswood or alder body with a maple neck with rosewood or ebony fretboard.
  • It has DiMarzio pickups with HSH configuration, one volume, one tone potentiometer and a five-way switch that allows you, in the 2nd and 3rd position, to split the pickup and combine it with the middle one.
  • The other thing that is interesting about this model is the Floyd Rose tremolo system. While it might be more difficult to re-string the guitar, it will help you stay in tune no matter how many “dive bombs” you might want to do.
  • If you are a fan of guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, this guitar can be yours for a bit over $2000.

Ernie Ball Music Man (Silhouette)

The music man series is often associated with John Petrucci, Steve Morse, and Joe Satriani. Even though the Silhouette series uses standard Alder body with a maple neck, they managed to create something unique that gave them a well-earned place on my list.

 Features of the guitar:

  • Comfortable shape of the body with smooth round edges,
  • Bolt-on neck with 24 frets,
  • One volume, one tone potentiometer, five-way switch, and a standard Ernie Ball bridge.
  • The bridge is a hardtail, so there is no “whammy bar”, and the strings go through the bridge and through the body for a better sustain.
  • if you are a fan of guitars with a tremolo bridge, you can always get the special model from the Silhouette series.
  • It has two DiMarzio Virtual PAF pickups, along with a custom single-coil DiMarzio which will allow you to create some beautiful music.
  • If you choose to get this model but be prepared that with the high-end guitar like this the price is over $2000

Gibson Sg

The best selling Gibson guitar of all time made even more famous by Angus Young of AC/DC. Les Paul’s younger sibling is also made of the mahogany solid body with the set-in neck. Although, some of the entry-level models have a bolt-on neck.

 Features of the guitar:

  • With a double-cutaway of the body, the upper frets are more accessible and more comfortable.
  • The body is thinner than on the Les Paul which makes the guitar a bit lighter and easier for playing.
  • Four potentiometers, two-volume, and two-tone controls.
  • Standard SG has two humbuckers but it is not rare to see an SG with one or even three humbuckers!
  • Three-way switch with rhythm, treble and middle position and a fixed bridge are a part of the Standard SG. But you can get it with Gibson tremolo as well.
  • The price range for SG is around $1500

Fender Telecaster

The Fender Telecaster referred to as Tele. It is usually associated with country musicians but later it found an audience with musicians of other genres as well. The Telecaster is one of the first successful electric guitars. Same as with the Stratocaster, it is an incredibly versatile guitar that allows you to play almost any genre you desire.

 Features of the guitar:

  • With a solid body made of alder, ash, poplar, and others.
  • A Bolt-on neck
  • Necks are either one-piece maple or maple with a rosewood fretboard.
  • As for the pickups, Telecaster comes in several variations. You can get it with one single-coil pickup, two singles, a single and hum, and even with two humbucker pickups.
  • It comes with a three-way switch, and with two pots: one tone and one volume.
  • While you can get it with three or four pots it is not as usual.
  • Original Tele was built with a three-saddle bridge but you can get it with hardtail bridge and even with Bigsby tailpiece system as well.
  • The price for Telecaster is from $1000 depending on the model that you like.

Evh (Striped)

Created for Eddie Van Halen and inspired by his famous “Frankenstrat”. In the ’80s, companies like Fender or Gibson didn’t make custom models, so if you didn’t like some part of the guitar, you’d have to adjust to it.

Eddie created his own guitar with the idea of combining Gibson and Fender creating a Frankenstrat or Frankenstein guitar. Without pickguard, tone pots or switch. this guitar was created for Eddie Van Halen but found love with many other guitarists around the world.

Features of the guitar:

  • A solid body guitar, with a maple bolt-on neck
  • The Striped Series guitar has one Wolfgang humbucker with one master volume potentiometer, similar to the original model.
  • It also includes EVH Floyd Rose tremolo with a “D-Tuna” allowing you to go to switch between a drop and standard tuning with a push-pull lever, along with a string lock and bar string retainer.
  • The price is around $1400 depending on the color of the model.

Gibson Es-335

ES-335 is a thin line semi-hollow electric guitar. Semi-hollow means that it is neither hollow nor solid. There is a block that runs through the center of the guitar and the “wing” parts of the guitar are hollow.

There are several variations of this model including ES-345, ES-355, ES-330, and others. Probably the most famous version of this guitar is B.B. King’s Lucille.

 Features of the guitar:

  • On the hollow part of the body is a famous f-shaped hole like on a violin.
  • The body is made of maple along with the maple center block.
  • The neck is mahogany with rosewood or ebony fretboard.
  • there are two humbucker pickups with a three-way switch and four pots: two volume and two tones, Same as with the SG and Les Paul models.
  • Gibson’s fixed bridged is sometimes replaced with tremolo.
  • The price for these guitars goes from $3000 and higher or $5500 for a replica of B.B. King’s guitar

Paul Reed Smith PRS Custom 22

One of the most obvious things about PRS guitars is how beautiful they are. I listened to Paul Reed Smith’s interview which described how they choose their wood. they carefully choose the wood that has perfect grain for their famous flame maple tops.

It worth checking their newest models of the PRS guitars, I believe that they came a long way from being the company recognized only because Santana played their model.

 Features of the guitar:

  • PRS Custom 22 is mahogany solid body guitar with a carved figured maple top.
  • There are two humbucker pickups, along with the five-way switch, which is unusual for a guitar with two hums. The difference is that two extra positions allow you to split humbucker and use a single coil of a pickup.
  • There are two pots, volume, and tone.
  • A PRS tremolo bridge.
  • There are lots of color options and all of them look great. The price range for Custom 22 is around $3000

Gretsch White Falcon

There are people who are not fans of hollow-body guitars, but this one is a real beauty. White Falcon went through lots of changes since it was introduced in 1954. Two humbuckers have replaced single-coil pickups in ’58.

The theme of this guitar is white and gold. The main problem with this model is its price.

 Features of the guitar:

  • 17-inch wide body painted gold and white colors.
  • The body and neck are made of Maple. The fretboard of ebony and pearl inlays. of course, a falcon engraved on the gold pickguard.
  • The Bigsby, pickups, bridge, pickguard, tuning machines have a gold finish.
  • There are versions with Bigsby and with standard “Cadillac” tailpiece.
  • Unlike ES-335 this guitar is entirely hollow.
  • A three-way switch for selecting pickups and three pots.
  • What is unusual is that there are three volume potentiometers. One for the neck pickup, one for bridge pickup and one master volume pot.
  • The estimated price is over $5000

Fender Jaguar

Some people might think that this guitar is weird and a part of me does too. I read somewhere that it wasn’t very popular when they started producing it and that during the ’80 because of the alt-rock and punk gained fame.

So if you think that this is complicated, you’re right! I always loved Jaguar and probably the main reason is that it’s a bit weird.

Features of the guitar:

  • Alder or basswood body, and maple neck with a rosewood fretboard.
  • What is unusual, besides the “Tune-o-Matic” bridge, are the controls.
  • Jaguar has two potentiometers, one for master tone and one for master volume.
  • There are rhythm tone and rhythm volume. A rhythm/lead switch. On/off switches for pickups and mid-tone cut or a “strangle switch”.
  • The first versions of Jaguar had two single-coil pickups. However, there are newer versions with two humbuckers.
  • The price for it goes around $1000

Gibson Flying V

The futuristic generation of Gibson’s guitars the Flying V and Explorer made a big impact on the music scene. While many people believe that this guitar was made for metal music and metal guitarists. However, it was Albert King that first started playing it and Hendrix joined later.

A shape like a letter “V” made the guitar an instant hit or a total miss. I don’t think that there are guitarists out there who are in between. You either love it or hate it. It gained huge popularity among heavier guitar players that inspired other companies to use this guitar as an inspiration.

It might be funny to mention that in 2007, Gibson released the “Reverse Flying V” model which had the recognizable “V” shape rotated for 180 degrees. It was a limited edition made during 2007 and 2008 with only less than a thousand models created.

 Features of the guitar:

  • A solid body guitar with a set-in neck. Both are made of mahogany or Korina wood with two humbuckers,
  • Controls for the Flying V are similar to any other Gibson model.
  • Two or three knobs, a three-way switch.
  • A unique V shape.
  • Two humbucker pickups
  • Its price range is around $1000.

Rickenbacker 300 Series

This guitar gains its fame thanks to The Beatles. They played with the  Rickenbacker 325 during their early years. This model left a huge mark in the guitar history thanks to the musicians who owned it.

Features of the guitar:

  • It’s a semi-hollow body guitar with a set-in neck.
  • Unlike the other semi-hollow guitars, the 300 series is either completely lacking the soundhole or has a famous Rickenbacker “slash” hole.
  • The guitars that made for the European market had the traditional f-shaped hole like on a violin because it was requested by the European dealers.
  • They are made usually made of maple body and neck but sometimes they used alder.
  • The number of pickups varies between two or three single-coil pickups.
  • An Adjustable bridge. A pickup selecting switch and four potentiometers.
  • There were deluxe features on their models like binding and inlays.
  • The double moon-like cutaway allows better access to higher frets.
  • Both six string and twelve-string versions are available.
  • the price for this one is between $1000 to $3000.

Gibson Explorer

The Explorer was designed to be Gibson’s attempt at futuristic guitars, besides Flying V. It had a rocky start and was discounted during the ’70s and ’80s. Until it gained popularity among heavy metal and hard rock players.

The Explorer marked an era of modern hard rock and metal music. It became an inspiration for many other models of the guitar, just as Flying V did,

 Features of the guitar:

  • Gibson used Korina wood for both body and neck on the early models. However, they started using mahogany for the newer ones.
  • The Explorer is a solid body guitar with a set-in neck.
  • It has an unusual but recognizable shape.
  • Like most of Gibson models, it has two humbuckers are controlled with a three-way switch.
  • A fixed bridge is usually the default. But, there are models with “Tune-O-Matic” or even Floyd-Rose.
  • If you decide that you still want the original Explorer, you should be prepared to pay around $1500 for this model.

Esp Horizon

ESP Horizon is one of the “Superstrat” guitars. Similar in shape to a Strat, but with so many variations that it can be mentioned in the list.

 Features of the guitar:

  • With a solid mahogany body and a neck-thru construction which means that the neck is not glued or bolted but goes through the center of the guitar’s body which provides great sustain and tone quality.
  • The neck is built of maple and the fingerboard with ebony.
  • A Super thin neck “U” shaped neck with 24 frets is perfect for shredding.
  • Every horizon is loaded with Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups in both neck and bridge positions.
  • ESP Horizon is available with both fixed bridge and with Floyd Rose tremolo system.
  • One volume and one tone control with a three-way switch.
  • For a price of $1600, this guitar is perfect for lovers of heavier music.

Gretsch Billy-bo Jupiter

Created as a reproduction of old guitar designed by Bo Diddley, Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird. It was requested by the ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. The guitar is unique in every way, like all Bo Diddley’s guitars. This guitar is one of the unusual ones, but if you are a fan of unusual guitars you should definitely check this one.

Features of the guitar:

  • It is a solid body guitar made of laminated maple with the back of the body made of mahogany.
  • The neck is made of mahogany with an ebony fingerboard. It has  22 frets and a “thumbnail” inlays.
  • It has TV Jones Power’tron pickups in both bridge and neck position,
  • A Volume for the neck pickup, volume for bridge pickup and a master tone control.
  • Standard three-way switch that allows the player to select between using one or both of the pickups.
  • The price range is around $4000.

Schecter Hellraiser

Schecter started as a company that was producing replacement parts for Gibson and Fender guitars. Before their custom shop was available, they were creating guitars based on Fender like the one Mark Knopfler used to play. Hellraiser is similar to Stratocaster, but only in shape. there is also a seven-string version of the Hellraiser model.

 Features of the guitar:

  • Mahogany solid-body guitar, with a bit sharper edges and binding and a set-in mahogany neck with ultra access.
  • The neck is a thin “C” shape, 24 x-jumbo frets and gothic cross inlays. A fixed bridge where strings go through the body.
  • There are two push/pull volume controls, master tone, and a three-way switch.
  • The guitar is loaded with active EMG 81TW/89 pickups and there is a compartment on the back of the guitar for a 9V battery.
  • The price is around $1000

Charvel San Dimas

Charvel guitars became popular thanks to guitar players like Eddie Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Jake E. Lee, and others. They are mostly creating “superstrat” guitars.

Created for players who love the looks of a Stratocaster but find the guitar to “vanilla”. These guitars are perfect for anyone who is looking for a little hotter Stratocaster.

 Features of the guitar:

  • Using exotic wood for bodies like okume, but also with alder and ash.
  • San Dimas (not to be confused with Jackson’s San Dimas model) are sold with either two-point tremolo or Floyd Rose.
  • With master volume and master tone potentiometer and a standard three-way switch.
  • Guitars are loaded with custom Seymour Duncan pickups
  • Price can vary between $1000 and $4000 depending on the type of guitar that you want.

Ibanez Rg Series

Ibanez RG series, along with GRG series, has been one of the most popular Ibanez guitars ever. Similar in style to JEM but with the much lower price made this guitar one of the world’s most wanted guitars. This has been a guitar of choice for both professionals and beginners for years. So if you are a metal player, this might be the guitar you were looking for!

Features of the guitar:

  • Solid-body, usually mahogany or basswood
  • Shape similar to JEM and EVO series
  • Whether you like hardtail or tremolo or Floyd Rose
  • Along with pickup configuration from HH to HSH.
  • Standard three-way switch and a master volume and master tone control.
  • Price can vary between several thousand for RG series to several hundred for the GRG model!

Jackson Dinky

The Jackson guitars have been around for ages. They are usually preferred by hard rock and metal guitarists. Dinky is a series of Jackson which got its name after a slightly smaller body size that is another Superstrat guitar.

Features of the guitar:

  • Solid-body guitars made of alder or basswood with a set-in maple neck with rosewood, maple or ebony fretboard.
  • 7/8 body size
  • While it usually has a double humbucker pickup combination, there are models with HSH and HSS pickup combination.
  • The bridge can also be a thing of choice between a hardtail and a Floyd Rose tremolo.
  • Depending on the model, there are ones with Jackson humbuckers, EMGs, Seymour Duncan or even with DiMarzio pickups.
  • Price range is between $300 for entry models, around $1000 for pro series and up to $9000 for signature models


While there are countless of other iconic guitars that weren’t mentioned. These are the ones that I found the most influential and the most important throughout history. I tried including all the types of guitars out there. Solid-body, hollow body, semi-hollow, country, blues, rock, metal,…

The ones that marked either a period of music history or had been inspiring others to start playing and start creating beautiful music. For the past 90 years, electric guitars have been a huge part of our lives and we can hope that it will continue to be even bigger.

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