Electric guitars are one of the most infamous instruments that can be heard on soundtracks of all genres. This instrument is a great place to begin for those interested in learning guitar or to amp up the sound of budding professionals.
Many of the best electric guitar brands have worked at their craft for generations, and they have a rich history worth exploring. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of their history and explore what makes them so great. Let’s take a look.
When speaking of the best brands of electric guitar, it’s impossible not to mention Gibson. The famous company had humble beginnings dating back to 1902 as a mandolin maker.
Soon, Gibson began making guitars and creating the recognizable Gibson Les Paul. Today, these guitars are still available in classic styles that look as good as they sound.
The brand has become so well-loved by musicians that they now have an entire artist collection, featuring lookalikes to guitars played by the likes of Jimi Hendrix.
If the artists collection is not quite in your budget, there are still a huge catalog of guitars to choose from at Gibson, from original to body style, and you can even have one custom-made.
One of the top electric guitar brands, and possibly one of the most famous, Fender, began with an electric focus on amps. Soon after, Leo Fender paired his amp with his now infamous Telecaster. A new electric guitar hit the ’50s music scene that was reliable and accessible.
Fender continued to create new options like the Stratocaster and more. Today, these classic varieties are still available. From beginners to pros like Eric Clapton, Fender guitars are widespread.
Today, Fender remains dedicated to creating quality electric guitars and electric accessories for the best performances. They also offer extensive customization options.
Next up, we have Heritage guitar company. This brand has a unique story, as they began in 1985 when a few craftsmen left Gibson. They were dedicated to handmaking instruments in America, whereas Gibson had begun to spread their manufacturing.
Heritage made its first unique electric guitar in 1985 and quickly became known for its artistry and instruments with superior tone. Still handcrafted in America to this day, they continue to create both standard and custom electric guitars.
The brand is known to craft using superior materials and create eye-grabbing finishes to match any style. Their one-of-a-kind dedication to craftsmanship, players, and the electric form makes them one of the best.
Another brand with plenty of name recognition in electric guitars is Ibanez. From the late ’50s on, this brand has been producing affordable and recognizable guitars.
Spread between Japan, China, Indonesia, and the US, Ibanez manufactures thousands of guitars, and perhaps one of the most well-known Ibanez belongs to Paul Stanley, frontman of KISS. His signature models feature sharp edges and nontraditional body shapes.
For beginners or pros, Ibanez has an extensive collection of electric guitars. They have sleek necks for quick playing and superior tuning. You’ll enjoy the feel of classic models and pride in the many sleek looks available to Ibanez players.
Guitars made by Eastman are the lifelong dedication of Qian Ni, a Boston University School of Music graduate. He started selling guitars out of the back of his car and has since grown into one of the leading names of electric guitar brands.
Ni’s love of music has given Eastman guitars a foundation to provide instruments that never fail the musician. Dedicated workers sculpt wood into violins, basses, cellos, and guitars.
Eastman guitars offer both solid body electric guitars and laminate. Their guitars have had features with the Smashing Pumpkins, Sheryl Crow, and Steely Dan.
ESP guitars technically began in 1975, when they were primarily a custom parts guitar shop in Japan. Soon, they were introduced in the US and started to make their guitars for members of KISS and the Rolling Stones.
Overachieving from the beginning, ESP has been dedicated to great sound and exclusively electric guitars and basses since. This focus on the craft makes them one of the greatest electric guitar brands, as they’ve spent years perfecting the process.
ESP has plenty of impressive stock electric guitars with stunning performance, or mimic favorite artists by ordering a custom-made guitar. Either way, these guitars are worth playing.
Rickenbacker has one of the most impressive histories, as they’re considered the original electric guitar manufacturer.
Beginning in 1932, George Beauchamp was a steel guitarist who wanted a louder instrument. He taught himself some basic electronics, and soon, the first ever electric guitar was born. It was aptly named the Frying Pan due to its round and slightly awkward look.
Nevertheless, soon electric guitars took off. Rickenbacker would continue tinkering with electric guitar designs to produce modern leaders in solid body guitar development.
Their classic sounds would be unmistakable and unreplaceable for musicians like the Who, Rush, Pink Floyd, Sex Pistols, and Black Flag.
Yamaha is a brand with plenty of recognition, and it’s not all in guitars. You’ll find the Yamaha name familiar with other musical instruments or even motorized recreational vehicles. Despite this broad range of services, Yamaha began with musical instruments.
Torakusu Yamaha repaired a broken reed organ in 1887, and a love for musical mechanics began. The mythical story says that Yamaha carried this reed organ over mountains to a music institute, and a classical bas-relief exists of this occurrence.
Either way, Yamaha began making electric guitars in 1966 and has been dedicated to improving the form since. Their guitars go through rigorous and multi-step quality control, and each is lovingly handmade down to precise details, using custom carving tools.
Like a few other of these amazing electric guitar brands, Schecter started as a guitar repair company in 1976 by David Schecter, who was committed to the quality of work they provided.
Soon, this commitment made his repair company become the leading supplier for other major guitar brands; however, this would change in 1979, when David Schecter decided to create his unique guitar.
The Schecter brand name was synonymous with quality, so these custom guitars were expensive and sparse. Their guitars immediately attracted star musicians like Pete Townshend and Chris Poland.
Today, these guitars still have a line produced in the USA. Their expansive guitar series have made appearances in performances from Type O Negative, the Cure, Cage the Elephant, Machine Gun Kelly, and Avenged Sevenfold.
Second to last on this list, we have Godin guitars, which began in 1972 in Quebec, where the Godin family still runs the show. Robert Godin had the dream to provide worldwide artists with a guitar that reflected North American quality.
Proper to his dream, all materials and manufacturing are in North America. Godin has recently passed the business to his sons Patrick and Simon, who have a guitar series named after them.
The devotion to quality has led to Godin creating guitars great to play for beginners and professionals and other top-notch accessories like cases meant to travel through the worst road conditions.
And last on our list of electric guitar brands, we have PRS—otherwise known as Paul Reed Smith guitars. Smith loved crafting and built his first guitar as a challenge for his college music professor. After completing the challenge, he knew he had to keep building guitars.
Through trial and error and bringing freshly crafted guitars to test at gigs, Smith perfected his guitar formula. By 1985, PRS was born in Maryland. Since then, they’ve focused on keeping traditional quality paired with the newest technological innovations for a guitar that evolves with the players.
Their guitars have signature fret inlays that mimic the bird logo of PRS. Classic style, feel, and sound is part of the PRS experience.
Summing Up Our List Of Electric Guitar Brands
As you can see, these top brands of electric guitars have a diverse and rich history. The models to choose from are as varied as the musicians who choose electric.
No matter the preference for style or sound, these brands can provide the electric guitar of anyone’s dream.
It’s hard to imagine a world without electric guitars, and these manufacturers are who we have to thank for their existence.
But which brands did we leave off our list? Let us know and we’ll add them in!