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Best Guitars for Lead Guitarists: Soloing & Speed

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best guitars for lead guitarists

In today’s article, we’re going to highlight the 10 best guitars for lead guitarists and soloing. If you’re into playing fast, you’ll most definitely enjoy the list below! All of the models mentioned in this article are perfect for fast solos and shredding.

Undoubtedly, finding a good guitar for this type of playing is not an easy task. There is just so many guitars out there! Strats, Superstrats, Telecasters, Jaguars, Mustangs, Les Pauls… the options are unlimited. But don’t worry – the guitars listed below are loved and recommended by some of the best guitarists in the world.

What’s more, most of these guitars are totally affordable. Check out the list below and find out which guitars are best for soloing and playing extremely fast. There are sound demos included, so make sure to check them out as well.

10 Best Guitars For Lead Guitarists – List

1.ESP LTD EC-1000See on Amazon
2.Ibanez JEM (Steve Vai Signature)See on Amazon
3.Squier J Mascis JazzmasterSee on Amazon
4.Charvel DK24See on Amazon
5.Fender Vintera ’60s JaguarSee on Amazon
6.Ibanez Axion Label RGA61ALSee on Amazon
7.ESP LTD MH-10See on Amazon
8.Fender American Performer StratocasterSee on Amazon
9.ESP LTD KH-602See on Amazon
10.Squier Classic Vibe ’50s TelecasterSee on Amazon

1. ESP LTD EC-1000

esp ltd - Best Guitars For Lead Guitarists

One of the best guitars for lead guitarists. It looks absolutely fantastic and most importantly, it’s perfect for all the shredders out there. This brand is particularly loved by rock and metal guitarists, so if you’re playing this kind of music, you should definitely consider adding it to your collection.

The only disadvantage is the price – it’s not the cheapest guitar on today’s list. Nevertheless, this model is definitely worth it.

Feel free to check out the sound demo below.

2. Ibanez JEM (Steve Vai Signature)

Ibanez JEM - Best Guitars For Lead Guitarists

Another really cool and a bit more affordable guitar perfect for fast soloing. This cool Superstrat offers a really versatile sound and a comfortable neck. The Japanese manufacturer decided to put the HSH pickup setting which gives you access to a wide variety of tones.

Of course, the fact that it’s a signature model of Steve Vai proves that this guitar is great for lead musicians. Certainly, it’s worth every cent.

Check out the demo below.

3. Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster

squier j mascis jazzmaster

One of the best Squier guitars ever made. For those who don’t know, this brand offers cheaper versions of Fender guitars. But to be honest, even some of the Fenders may not be as good as this Jazzmaster.

There is something really cool about the combination of white color with golden pickguard. From the outside, the guitar looks just spectacular. But most importantly, it sounds amazing too. I think that it will be perfect for all lead guitarists of indie and alternative bands.

I highly recommend checking out the demo below.

4. Charvel DK24

Charvel DK24 - Best Guitars For Lead Guitarists

If you’re not familiar with this brand, make sure to check out my separate article about them. The DK22 model is made for advanced guitarists who enjoy playing heavy riffs and fast solos. The HSH pickup setting gives you a lot of versatility when it comes to tone.

Personally, I really like the natural vibe that this guitar is giving. There are no fancy colors and it simply looks like a piece of raw wood. This minimalist approach makes it a really interesting high-quality guitar suitable for all kinds of guitarists. I highly recommend checking it out!

5. Fender Vintera ’60s Jaguar

Fender Vintera - Best Guitars For Lead Guitarists

This offset guitar is an extremely interesting choice for all lead guitarists out there. It may not be ideal for metal, but it works particularly well in indie and alternative rock music. Think about Kurt Cobain, Johnny Marr or John Frusciante – they all used Jaguars on their most famous records!

The Vintera Series offers high quality guitars that are made in Fender’s Mexican factory. Personally, I think that the level of these axes is comparable with some of their best guitars made in their main factory in Corona, California. If you’re into surf rock, shoegaze or indie, this Jaguar will definitely be a good chioce.

6. Ibanez Axion Label RGA61AL

Ibanez Axion Label - best guitars for lead guitarists

Undoubtedly, this is one of the best electric guitars for lead guitarists. This Ibanez Axion Label model has everything you need for solos – a really comfortable, slim neck and a an extremely versatile tone.

Although it’s not a cheap guitar, it’s definitely worth it. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re an intermediate guitarist who’s looking for a reliable gear that’s going to last you on stage for years to come.

7. ESP LTD MH-10


One of the cheapest guitars on today’s list. Although it’s a few times cheaper than some of the guitars mentioned above, it still offers a really good quality. It may not be the best choice for more advanced players but if you’re just starting out, the MH-10 is an excellent choice.

Of course, you can’t expect wonders at this price level. But overall, this is a really solid choice. The manufacturer decided to equip this axe with the U-shaped neck which is really comfortable and easy to play. In addition, two ESP pickups offer a wide selection of tones suitable for a lot of different genres.

It’s a great guitar for players on a tight budget!

8. Fender American Performer Stratocaster

Fender American Performer Stratocasters - best guitars for lead guitarists

Of course, we have to include one of the most legendary guitars of all time – a classic Stratocaster. This American-made model is perfect for lead guitarists of all genres. Whether you’re into jazz, blues, rock or indie, getting a Strat is always a safe choice.

Some people say that Strats are not good for heavier music, but it’s not always the case. As an example, Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro uses his Fender Stratocaster during most of his performances. It may not be the cheapest guitar on the market, but it won’t leave you disappointed, that’s for sure.

9. ESP LTD KH-602

esp ltd kh-602 - best guitars for lead guitarists

If you’re a fan of Metallica, you probably recognize this guitar. Since it’s a signature model of Kirk Hammett, the lead guitarist of Metallica, you can be sure that its quality is perfect for all kinds of lead guitarists in the world – especially the ones who are into metal.

Undoubtedly, this is a shredding machine. Extra thin neck, a Floyd Rose bridge and a set of two EMG Bone Breaker pickups offer a remarkable playing experience. I highly recommend it to any lead guitar player who likes to play heavy riffs and fast, melodic solos.

Here’s a quick demo – feel free to check it out.

10. Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Telecaster

squier classic vibe

Another really good and affordable guitar for lead guitarists. If you’re a fan of a classic and twangy sound of a Telecaster, you should definitely give this Squier a chance. Personally, I think that it can easily compete with some of the Mexican-made Fenders.

The guitar sounds and looks absolutely fantastic. In addition, it’s perfect for a wide range of different genres. Personally, I think it works particularly well for indie rock. Peach Pit is a great example of that – their lead guitarist uses a Tele and he manages to create a really magical lead guitar sound. What’s more, Telecasters are actually really good for metal too.

I highly recommend checking out the demo below. You won’t be disappointed!

Is soloing on guitar hard?

That’s really debatable. If you’re an absolute beginner, guitar solos may seem like an extremely complicated thing. But the more you learn and practice, the better you become at playing guitar solos. In general, basic guitar solos are not difficult, but if you want to become a real guitar virtuoso – that will take hundreds or even thousands hours of practice.

What makes a good lead guitarist?

If you want to become a great lead guitarist, you need to practice a lot and understand the basic theory of guitar (for example guitar scales). Once you learn more about the elements of music and how they fit together, you will become a really versatile guitarist.

Best Guitars For Lead Guitarists – Summary

Undoubtedly, all of the guitars listed above are one of the best for lead guitarists. If you’re one of them, you’re absolutely going to love each of these models. Whether you’re into blues, rock or metal, I guarantee that if you stick to today’s recommendations, you won’t be disappointed.

Which guitar would I choose? Well, I’m a massive fan of Jazzmasters and Jaguars, so if I had to choose the best guitar for fast playing, I’d probably stick to one of them. The fact that such guitarists as Johnny Marr or John Frusciante use them on a daily basis means that they’re perfect for lead guitarists. But this is just my subjective choice, so if you decide to pick a Stratocaster or a Superstrat, you’re going to love it too.

Thanks for checking out today’s post! I hope that it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:

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