8 Best Lightweight Electric Guitars
A party with friends is never complete without an impromptu jamming session and strumming old songs on the guitar. The guitar is associated with rock music, with being cool, with romance and so much more. The first image that comes to our minds when we think of guitar and music is Elvis Presley.
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Musical instruments with a long fretted neck, wooden soundboard, chords, and flat back have been around since the 12th Century. Though, the modern guitar, that we are all familiar with, was introduced in the 18th century by Spanish guitar maker Antonio Torres Jurado. Since then, several variations have been manufactured ranging from the Bass guitar, Acoustic guitar, Archtop Guitars, and Electric Guitars.
People today favor lighter guitars. Here, we focus on a list of the 8 best lightweight Electric Guitars to help you make the right (light??) choice!
By definition, an Electric guitar is one which turns strumming or picking of the strings into electromagnetic signals which are amplified using an amplifier or loudspeaker. An Electric guitar is better than a normal Acoustic guitar as it lets the player alter the timbre of the sound by using techniques like reverb, distortion, and overdrive. It’s a favorite with Jazz players as it lets them experiment with a different range of sounds.
Electric Guitars also come in many variations. Some are made of solid wood, some are semi-hollowed while few others are hollowed. The hollowed and semi-hollowed Electric guitars make for the most lightweight ones. During a concert, holding a heavy guitar on your shoulders while playing non-stop can be a little stressing. The lightweight Electric guitars give you the mobility to walk around on stage and due to their light weight, they do not cause as much pressure or stress on the shoulders and hands.
Below are the 8 best lightweight Electric guitars you can consider when planning to buy your next guitar.
Fender manufactures the Squier Thinline guitar with a semi-hollowed body. The guitar uses less wood as compared to other guitars which make it lightweight. This 6-pound guitar has a vintage feel with its natural wood body and white pickguard.
The Squier wins brownie points also for its C-shaped neck which fits well in the hand while playing. The frets on this guitar are taller than on other models and are perfect for bending notes, making it a favorite with Jazz and Country music players.
Also, the Squier Thinline lightweight guitar plays excellently and the semi-hollow ash body brings about warmth in the notes being played.
The Danelectro ‘59M has a stylish vintage look and is a refined version of the company’s earlier Shorthorn model. This guitar comes with a double cutaway design which provides comfort and rates high on aesthetics.
The body is made of sleek black with a white design and makes it a great looking guitar. But the actual magic lies in the guitar’s sound. The pickup has aged Alnico magnets which give it a distinctive vintage tone. The hardware on the guitar is also impressive with an adjustable wraparound bridge.
This gives the player full control over their string actions and intonations. Also, the metal nut in the guitar keeps the intonations on for a longer time. The Danelectro ‘59M is perfect for those who enjoy the classic rock and roll sounds.
Verdict: A true value for money lightweight guitar.
The Ibanez Steve Vai Signature guitar is as good to look at as it is to play and finds itself among the 8 best lightweight electric guitars. This guitar features a mahogany body with a double cut out and a monkey grip handle which makes it different from the other guitars in the market.
Its neck of this guitar is the real hero which is made with a wizard III design that is slim and fast. The fretboard has a tree of life inlay which complements the overall look of the guitar. The maple neck and rosewood fretboard is a classic combination which ensures that the guitar will sound good and last long.
The Ibanez Steve Vai Signature guitar weighs 8 pounds and is much lighter than it looks. This guitar has a superb build quality and does not look or feel flimsy. Its single-coil pickups of the guitar have a bright, bold tone while the double-locking bridge keeps the intonations strong.
Verdict: A lightweight guitar with a great fretboard and sound.
The Epiphone Les Paul Special-I weigh around 10 pounds and is not the lightest guitars around but is still lighter than other Les Paul or Gibson models. It has a conventional single cutout body with a sunburst finish. This guitar is made of Mahogany wood which is porous and thus keeps the weight light as compared to other woods like spruce or alder.
The Epiphone Les Paul Special-I is an affordable guitar along with having a great sound and feel. This guitar is very comfortable to play and gives a warm tone.
This is the best guitar to go for if you are looking for great sound quality and are ready to compromise the weight which is light though not the lightest.
Verdict: guitar with a great sound and feel along with being value for money.
5. Tom Anderson Hollow Drop Classic
Tom Anderson and his team of geniuses produce state-of-the-art guitars and the Hollow Drop Classic is one. This guitar has an aesthetic look but is modern in its built and sound.
The guitar has a classic S-shape with alder back. The alder back is hollowed out which leaves a centre block and sides. The block and sides are capped with a thin centre jointed flame maple cap that curves over the forearm cutaway. This design gives it the name ‘drop top’ and makes the guitar weigh less than 5.5 pounds.
The guitar has a single-coil and provides great intonations along with a range of sounds. The Anderson guitar might look vintage but its sound is modern. It gives its player a wide range of sound options and is a great choice for an electric guitar.
The only issue with the guitar is its price. In comparison, the high price is justified given its range of features and look.
Verdict: A classic twist on a modern guitar with a great build, sound and is also lightweight.
6. Gordon- Smith GS-1
The Gordon-Smith GS-1 weighs a measly 5.6 pounds and is one of the cheaper options in electric guitars. The guitar has a cedar body with a 35mm depth contributing to its lightweight design.
This Gordon Smith guitar has a piercing sound, and it is advised that the tone control is adjusted to avoid the harsh tone. The lightweight of this guitar, it has a resonant sound when played and is ideal for a rock and roll kind of feel.
The build of the guitar is good with cedar wood though it’s not one of the strongest guitars. Its fingerboard in this Gordon Smith guitar is made of charred ash instead of light colored rosewood which is usually the case. This guitar offers customization options and is great value for money.
Verdict: A versatile lightweight guitar ideal for rock roll and music and available at a cheap price.
Gretsch White Falcon is one of the top guitars from Gretsch’s Professional collection and is built to impress. This guitar is built on the design unveiled in 1954 by Gretsch’s former marketing strategist Jimmie Webster, solely to raise interest in the brand. Its design got appreciation from all corners and it was sent into production.
The Gretsch White Falcon is a hollow body guitar where both the back and sides are laminated maple wood. The laminated wood helps in sound amplification and is also good for feedback issues.
This guitar has a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece which provides a subtle vibrato but is not capable of advanced vibrato techniques. The White Falcon has an ebony fretboard and a bound maple neck The guitar is well made and lightweight though its price is high and it falls short in terms of versatility as compared to a Fender or Gibson.
Verdict: Great design, great performance, lightweight though the high price is a deal breaker.
PRS is a brand to reckon within guitar making. The brand was established by Paul Reed Smith, a master luthier who started making his own guitars in the 70s. The PRS Hollowbody is a feature packed guitar. It supports two humbacks and a Piezo Pickup System.
The guitar allows the musicians to blend both acoustic and electronic sounds. This guitar features carved maple backs and sides instead of the most commonly used laminated ones. Its laminated sides and back help in avoiding feedback issues while playing.
The PRS Hollowbody II avoids the feedback issues even after having carved back and sides because of its thin line model.
The PRS guitar includes proprietary hardware and does not get damaged easily. Though, on the flipside, if it gets damaged, getting a piece replaced is more expensive for PRS guitars than for say Gibson or Fender.
The guitar is not suitable for some harder genres of music but that kept aside, the PRS Hollowbody II is an ultimate secret weapon for musicians wanting to do gigging or recording.
The PRS guitars have a high level of quality with each guitar being made with the same level of standardization as the next. This is a hot favorite with musicians looking for a lightweight and quality electric guitar.
Verdict: Versatile instrument with excellent performance.
The weight of the guitar is not an important criterion for Luthiers while manufacturing guitars. The look, feel, build and performance play a greater role while designing the guitar.
Though the weight of the guitar comes into play when musicians need a lightweight guitar they can play and move along without feeling like a load is kept on their shoulders. Most of the guitars in the market are not branded as “lightweight” but with a little knowledge, we can pick the lightest guitar based on its build.
The hollowed or semi-hollowed guitars are more lightweight than the solid guitars and can be chosen over solid built guitars. Also, the wood used to manufacture the guitar is a key element in deciding the weight of the guitar.
Rosewood, Mahogany, and maple are heavier woods and guitars built out of these woods have higher densities and thus weight. Cedar and Spruce are lighter woods in comparison and can manufacture the body of the guitar if it is required to be lightweight.
The neck of most of the lightweight guitars is still made of denser woods like Maple, Rosewood, and Mahogany as they do not add overall weight when compared to the body.
The Electric guitars' performance and sound do not get affected by the weight or density of the body as compared to Acoustic guitars where the body structure plays an important role. For an electric guitar, the pickup and amplification are the most important.
This is the lowdown on the 8 best lightweight electric guitars in the market. One can choose from among these based on their requirements and budgets.
Some go for looks while some go for build quality while some choose sound performance over everything else. Whatever you choose, remember that the music must keep flowing!