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How to Choose an Electric Guitar

When purchasing an electric guitar there are two different factors to consider. Body style and pickup types.

Starting with Body Styles, Electric

Guitars come in two main styles:

  • Solid Body

  • Hollow Body

As the names imply, a Solid Body guitar is made of a solid

piece of wood whereas a Hollow Body is more similar to an Acoustic Guitar.

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  • Better Sustain (notes ring out longer)

  • Quieter when unplugged

  • Less Feedback*

  • Much more common

  • Less Sustain

  • Louder when unplugged

  • More Feedback*

  • Less common

* Feedback is an audio loop which often times produces a loud

Electric Guitar
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Body Style

When you think of an Electric Guitar, chances are you think of a Solid Body. Hollow-Body Guitars are not nearly as common and in most cases you should purchase a Solid-Body Guitar. 


Hollow Body Guitars have a higher chance of feedback. This is because the sound from your amplifier can make its way into the guitar body and get picked up again causing an audio loop. 

Hollow-Body guitars will be slightly louder when unplugged.

There are also "Semi-Hollow Body" guitars that are in-between the two.


A pickup is an electronic component placed beneath the strings of the guitar that "pickup" the sound and send it to your amplifier.

Without getting into too much detail, the two main types of pickups are Single-Coil and Dual-Coil (also known as Humbucking or Humbucker pickups).

Due to the nature of pickups, Single-Coils can pickup more buzzing and interference. Having two coils in a single pickup causes a "canceling" effect on the humming/buzzing.

Now don't go thinking that this means single-coils are "bad". They are not. They provide a different tone and compliment different playing styles. 



  • Brighter Tone

  • Better Clean Tone*

  • More Hum/Buzz

  • Darker Tone

  • Better Distorted Tone*

  • Less Hum/Buzz

In general, you can play any style of guitar regardless of the pickups you have, but, playing Heavy Metal might sound better on a guitar with Humbuckers where as clean sounding Jazz guitar might sound better with Single-Coil pickups.

Guitars usually come equipped with either 2 or 3 pickups. Most of the time all pickups are the same kind, but some guitars come with a configuration of Single and Dual to achieve the best of both worlds. 

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As previously mentioned, the guitar that's right for you is MOST LIKELY a Solid-Body. 

After clicking either Solid or Hollow you'll be presented with an option of pickup combinations. 

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