There are a lot of electric guitars that are aimed at beginners, most of them are very affordable and promise different qualities, but nobody does it better than Squier’s Affinity series. I would say that this guitar is definitely one of the best electric guitars under $500.
This series has stood the test of time and provides an excellent lineup that will please beginners regardless of their style. Such a guitar is the Jazzmaster because let’s be honest not everybody wants a Les Paul or a Stratocaster, this is aimed for those that seek a little more jazzy tones, the fans of Muddy Blues with a tendency for mellow tones. The guitar is not marketed by the company for beginners, but thanks to its playability, simplicity and gorgeous design, I can comfortably suggest it for a beginner that wants to experiment with its tunes.
Like the original Fender Jazzmaster, the Squier Affinity Series Jazzmaster is very untroubled in style. I find this very attractive as it sends the ‘me against the world’ vibes, it has a solid alder body coming in two paint jobs, the solid Black and the Arctic white which looks perfect, to enhance the vintage look the company has chosen to incorporate the ’68 Strat headstock to it. It rocks the Jazzmaster shape, formerly Jaguar, that gives a breath of fresh air to the market dominated by Strats and Les Pauls.
The neck of this guitar is a one-piece bolt-on maple neck, with a C shape and satin finish to deliver perfect playability. On top of that, you will find the rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, that are perfect to play on, and I can guarantee you that your fretting hand will be very pleased with this. I will stress this again, the Fender Squier by Affinity Series Jazzmaster is a great beginner guitar because of its playability, in fact, no other beginner guitar does it better than this.
In terms of hardware and electronics, the Fender Squier by Affinity Series Jazzmaster made things simpler so it is not overwhelming for beginners. It has two stock Squier humbucking pickups that are pretty decent for the price of this guitar, and are controlled a three-way selector switch, and two control knobs, one for master volume and one for master tone, this is a good and simple layout that will teach you the foundations of controls and you will quickly push them to their limits.
It has a six-saddle hardtail bridge, which was a little surprising because I expected a classic tremolo bridge in a Jazzmaster. But it has great tuning stability though, through the bridge and the nickel tuning machines that are mediocre as well.
I found the humbucking pickups on the Jazzmaster very hot, and were pretty capable of various genres, and excelled in hard rock, but they could provide melancholy blues tunes as well. It is perfect for any beginner, even gig-worthy thanks to its great overall output. I noticed that the sound was very clear and sharp, I would definitely keep this one handy for mellow jam sessions.
A very affordable guitar, with great tones, amazing playability, and excellent comfort, we can’t really require more from a beginner guitar.