Starter Guitars - Guitars for Beginners at Chicago Music Exchange

Get started on the right note.  

From your first guitar to your best guitar, Chicago Music Exchange has everything you need to get started playing guitar. As your playing evolves and improves we are here for you every step away as you move from basic chords to complex arrangements. Chicago Music Exchange carries entry level to advanced instruments from all of the best makers in the world; including Fender, Squier, Gibson, Epiphone, Jackson, Charvel, Ibanez, Loog, Danelectro, Sterling by Music Man, Silverton and more! And we have the amplifiers, effects and accessories that help you dial in your desired tone. Don't delay, start playing guitar today! Call 1-773-525-7773 to speak to a CME Musician. We will find the right fit for the first, next and last guitar you'll ever need.

To start, a budget of $200 opens you up to solid introductory models made by some of the industry’s leading manufacturers. Adults may want to try the Ibanez AX120 standard or Jackson JS Series Dinky, both performance-engineered for comfort and playability, while our friends with smaller wingspans might feel more comfortable with an Epiphone LP Express or Squier Mini Stratocaster.  

If instant rock star is more your speed, upping your budget to $300 brings some of history’s most famous silhouettes within reach. The Squier Affinity Series features beginner Jazzmasters, Stratocasters, Telecasters, and Starcasters with classic looks to get the creative juices flowing, as does Gretsch’s G2210 Streamliner.  

Electric guitars in the $500 range feature upgraded specs and electronics that are more difficult to outgrow, offering a professional-quality playing experience while you continue to learn. Squier’s Classic Vibe Series features famous models with vintage specs for a specialized sound and feel, like the ‘60s Jazzmaster, ‘50s Stratocaster, ‘50s Telecaster, ‘70s HSS Stratocaster, 60s Mustang, and ‘70s Jaguar. Epiphone’s 2020 models epitomize some of rock’s most iconic guitars, like the SG Standard, SG Special Les Paul Studio, and Les Paul Classic. The Danelectro ‘59M is stylish and straightforward, while the PRS SE Standard 24 appeals to the technical player.  

Considering a more substantial budget means looking at professional instruments with top quality construction, components, and design. For under $1000, players have their choice of a wide range of electric guitars engineered to perform at the highest level. When you’re ready to upgrade, or if you want to start with the best, models like our CME Exclusive Gibson USA Les Paul Juniors and Specials in Worn White and TV Yellow, bona fide classics, offer time-tested quality at an incredible value. Gretsch’s Electromatic Jet with Bigsby is a well-equipped winner. The EVH Wolfgang Standard and Standard Exotic are Eddie-approved. Maryland’s PRS has one of the tightest quality control divisions in the industry, and their SE Custom 22 and Custom 24 electric guitars are proof. Fender’s Player Series redefines what a player’s model can be, with durable, versatile instruments like the Lead II & III, and our CME Exclusive Stratocasters, Telecasters, and Jazzmaster. The Fender Vintera Series takes this a step further, bringing classic sound and feel from Fender’s most popular eras into the modern age with models suited to a real player’s budget.  

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