If you are new to playing and performing music, how and where to shop for an electric guitar is important to consider. It really comes down to how often you think you will be playing an instrument and how much it will cost you to buy it. As a student, just beginning to learn how to play guitar, it would be wise to buy something basic and to not invest a lot of time or money searching for the instrument you think you want to play. If money and a budget concerns you, it would be better for you to start out learning how to play an acoustic guitar well before graduating to an electric guitar. With a basic acoustic guitar, one does not need to have a guitar amplifier to be heard while playing. When you practice on an electric guitar, your neighbors will be more likely to hear you than if you were to practice on a traditional acoustic guitar that is not amplified.
Obviously, people change their minds frequently and on a regular basis, but let us assume you have some level of accomplishment on an acoustic guitar. Now you are ready to jam on an electric one. As with an acoustic guitar, you want to first learn how to play on something basic and less expensive. Fender offers a cheaper line of good quality electric guitars under the brand name Squier. The Squier "Bullet Stratocaster Bundle" is an excellent and affordable electric guitar to learn on. Gibson offers a cheaper line of good quality electric guitars under the brand name of Epiphone. An excellent combo pack for begnners is offered by Epiphone called the "Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Package." For $469, it includes a guitar, an amplifier, an audio cord, guitar picks, and an electric tuner. If money is not a concern and you want to sound just like Joe Satriani in a competition, then you might want his "Ibanez JS1CR", or “Chrome Boy” as it called. Be prepared to spend over $5000, just on the guitar alone. That does not include a guitar amplifier, an audio cord to plug your guitar into the amplifier with, or a case to protect your guitar. It also does not include a guitar strap autographed by "Satch." Seek advice and take lessons from an experienced and professional guitar teacher such as Katie Hester of Homestyle Music. She will likely know of some good basic electric guitars that will fit your budget and meet your needs.
Unless you buy from a trusted source such as a family member or neighbor, it might be better for you to stick to buying from a reputable company online such as Amazon, or a well-established local retail store with a good reputation. Buying from a business rather than an individual is usually safer if you want a refund or an exchange for your purchase. Lastly, another important consideration would be taking care of your electric guitar. It is recommended that you purchase some sort of case to protect your electric guitar and that you also purchase a music stand to set it on as well. If your guitar does not come with a strap, that is another valuable investment that will save you from juggling the guitar and possibly dropping it. It will give you a better presence as well, when you are ready to play your guitar in front of others. Listeners will not be distracted by your trying to hold your guitar steady. Another important accessory is polish for your guitar if you want to keep it looking nice. Good luck and happy hunting!