8 Lightest electric guitars: comfortable and great sounding!

8 Lightest electric guitars: comfortable and great sounding!
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The lightest electric guitars that are comfortable and great-sounding, cheap, intermediate and expensive, for adults and children: weight and features.

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Lightweight electric guitars for adults and children

Maybe you have to stand for a long time playing the guitar, or you have a small body build, so it may affect you since electric guitars are not light instruments. Electric guitars are mostly made from solid pieces of wood glued together, and depending on the tonewood used, these can get quite heavy.

The first piece of advice for a guitarist who has to have a guitar strapped around his neck, sometimes for hours on end, is to wear a good thick padded strap. But even so, if the guitar exceeds 4 kg or 8.8 pounds, carrying a guitar can become unbearable. Fortunately, because of how guitars are made in different shapes, sizes, and woods, some weigh less than others and you don’t need to sacrifice tone or playability.

Light guitars are great for several reasons:

  • Mainly because they don’t hurt our back while we play.
  • Lighter guitars tend to resonate more.
  • In the event of a fall, they are less likely to break due to their low weight.

We recommend that you visit this excellent guide on guitar sizes for children and adults.

The lightest electric guitars

  • Gibson SG
  • Epiphone SG
  • Danelectro ’59M NOS+
  • Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6
  • Epiphone Casino Coupe
  • Squier Telecaster Thinline Classic Vibe ’60s
  • PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo
  • Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric

Gibson SG Standard

Gibson SG Standard Cherry, a lightweight electric guitar.

Gibson SG is an iconic guitar, released in the late 1960s to replace none other than the Gibson Les Paul. The SG model is known, among other things, for being a characteristic part of the style and tone of AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.

The Gibson SG was designed as a response to the Fender Stratocaster, looking for a comfortable and light guitar, as opposed to the Les Paul. This model is a great guitar for a vintage rock sound with a preponderance of midrange frequencies.

The SG is the best-selling Gibson model of all time. Also, SG guitars are the ones Gibson has made for the longest uninterrupted period, from 1960 to today.

Difference in size, shape and weight between the Gibson Les Paul and SG.

The Gibson SG is used by Tony Iommi for heavy styles like Heavy Metal. Also, this guitar is used by Derek Trucks for Blues and Rock. Plus, we can name guitarists like Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, and more who have used the Gibson SG for all kinds of classic musical styles.

The weight of the Gibson SG ranges from 2.9 to 3.6 kg or 6.5 to 8 lbs. While 8 lbs or 3.6 kg is a normal weight, one under 7.25 lbs or 3.3 kg will be a light enough electric guitar to play for several hours. Still, if you want lighter guitars, further down, we have other options for you.

The price of Gibson SG guitars are varied, getting cheaper models such as the Tribute for USD 1,299, the Junior with a value of USD 1,399 or the Special with a price of USD 1,599. Gibson SG Standards are priced from $1,799 to $1,999.

Pros of the Gibson SG Standard

  • Classic tone heard on records by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and more.
  • Good price for a guitar made in the USA.
  • Excellent access to high frets

Cons of the Gibson SG Standard

  • There are not many cons to highlight about the Gibson SG Standard

Verdict on the Gibson SG Standard

The SG is Gibson’s best-selling guitar, with over 40 years of uninterrupted manufacturing. The Gibson SG is one of the most iconic rock guitars. This guitar was specially designed to be light and comfortable. Nothing can go wrong if you rock with an SG.

We recommend this review on the best years to buy a Gibson SG, and the years to avoid.

Epiphone SG Standard

Epiphone SG Standard 60s one of the best lightweight guitars for classic Rock tones.

Epiphone, as you probably already know, is Gibson’s second brand. Thus, the Epiphone SG is the budget version of the Gibson SG. These guitars are made in Asia, usually in China, unlike Gibson guitars that are made in the US.

Epiphone SGs are also known for their raw, punchy sound. Also, these electric guitars have a very snappy sound, which makes them quite easy to control. Also, having a volume and tone knob for each of the guitar pickups is a great feature that allows you to achieve a wide variety of sounds, giving you more control over your guitar tone.

So when you use both pickups together you can easily match the volume and tone of both pickups to your liking.

The Gibson and Epiphone SG sound pretty good on clean tones, but really shine when played with distortion. In fact, the SG has a much fatter sound than you might expect from a light guitar.

You may also be interested in the comparison of the Gibson Les Paul vs Epiphone Les Paul: characteristics and differences.

Prices for the Epiphone SG range from USD 199 in the Special version, going through USD 499 to USD 599 in the Standard version and up to values ​​of USD 999 for special Signature versions such as the Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Special.

Pros of the Epiphone SG Standard

  • Classic tone heard on records by AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and more.
  • Excellent quality and tone in relation to its price
  • Excellent access to high frets

Cons of the Epiphone SG Standard

  • Some guitars can be unbalanced in weight, causing them to tip over.

Verdict on the Epiphone SG Standard

The SG is a true classic and a great guitar that will allow you to cover a wide variety of musical genres. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, lightweight iconic guitar for playing Rock ‘n Roll or other classic styles, the Epiphone is the perfect choice.

We recommend that you read our analysis of woods similar to mahogany used by Asian guitar makers.

Danelectro ’59M NOS+

Danelectro '59M NOS+, a super lightweight hollow body electric guitar.

Danelectro is one of the oldest guitar brands with a history in the 50’s. It may not be as familiar to you as Fender or Gibson, since it didn’t have the same level of success. In general, they were cheaper options to Fender and Gibson guitars. The Danelectro ’59M NOS+ is a great tribute to one of their best and oldest models.

The ’59M NOS+ guitar has a Semi-Hollow or Chambered body, which makes it very light in weight. They are generally around 6.1 to 6.7 pounds or 2.6 to 3.1 kg. In the case of the guitar that we tested, its weight was 2.8 kg or 6.15 lbs.

This guitar has quite a unique sound with its own personality. It features NOS+ lipstick pickups, with the character of the original NOS pickups but with brighter highs, punchier mids, and punchier lows. Some describe it as a sound that falls somewhere between the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul. Thus, the Danelectro is not bright like a Stratocaster, nor as aggressive as a Les Paul, giving a dirty alternative sound. But better than describing it with words is listening to it, watch the video below.

It is noteworthy that the design of this Danelectro guitar does not have good access to the high frets where the neck and body join.

The price of the Danelectro ’59M NOS+ is between USD 500 and USD 600, making it a cheap option on our list of light electric guitars.

Pros of the Danelectro ’59M NOS+

  • Tones with their own personality, somewhere between the Fender and Gibson sound
  • Classic brand with affordable price

Cons of the Danelectro ’59M NOS+

  • Access to the higher frets could be better.
  • The body has no forearm contour and belly cut.

Verdict on the Danelectro ’59M NOS+

The Danelectro are guitars for those who are looking for something different from Fender and Gibson, but who enjoy playing classic musical styles, such as Blues and Rock. They are lightweight and relatively cheap guitars with a unique design.

You may be interested in reading our note on the history of the guitar: from the classical to the electric guitar.

Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6

Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6, one of the lightest solid body electric guitars.

Strandberg is famous for his headless guitars -without headstock-, super functional and reduced bodies. The Boden Prog NX6 guitar is a fresh take on the iconic Boden. Thus, the compact design of Strandberg electric guitars makes them excellent for transporting, given their small size and light weight.

We tested three guitars and on average they weighed between 2.1 and 2.3 kg or 4.5 and 5 lbs. Which makes them one of the lightest guitars we’ve ever tried. Only comparable with travel guitars or Luthier versions of Stratocaster and Telecaster made in Kiri or Paulownia, an extremely light tonewood.

The NX6 is quite a versatile guitar with warm clean tones and powerful distorted tones. This lightweight electric guitar plays well with almost any genre of music. Although at first glance its design is a bit shocking, when you play this guitar you immediately enjoy it for its extremely ergonomic design.

The price of the Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6 ranges from USD 1,900 to USD 2,400. These are somewhat high prices, but they are high quality guitars.

Pros of the Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6

  • Comfort and playability taken to its maximum expression.
  • Great build quality

Cons of the Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6

  • It’s an expensive guitar
  • Aesthetics can be a bit difficult for traditional guitarists.

Verdict on the Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6

Strandberg guitars are renowned for their excellent quality and their commitment to extreme playability. This guitar is perfect for the modern guitarist who is looking to expand the possibilities beyond the limits offered by traditional guitars.

We recommend that you visit our guide on the best free online guitar amp simulators.

Epiphone Casino Coupe

Epiphone Casino Coupe is a smaller model than the standard Casino, which makes it an extremely light guitar.

The Epiphone Casino is probably the brand’s most iconic guitar. The Casino Coupe guitar is a modern, smaller-bodied version of that legendary guitar used by the Beatles.

This Epiphone guitar with its ES-339 type hollow body is great for classic rock, blues and jazz sounds. Not so for heavier styles with a lot of gain. Also, unlike the traditional Casino model, this guitar has excellent access to the high frets.

This guitar has a very sweet and warm bluesy tone, especially in the neck pickup. With a little less bass than the original Casino. The P90 pickups on this guitar work great for clean sounds and vintage crunch.

It is an electric guitar that is super light with a weight that is between 5.8 and 6.4 lbs or 2.6 and 2.9 kg. Thus, this is an excellent option if you like hollowed-out tones.

The price of the Epiphone Casino Coupe is USD 499, being a very affordable electric guitar as well as being light.

Pros of the Epiphone Casino Coupe

  • Classic Gibson tones at a convenient price
  • Great build quality for its price
  • Excellent access to the high frets -unlike the standard Casino-.

Cons of the Epiphone Casino Coupe

  • It can be a bit noisy guitar for Lead tones.
  • The body has no forearm contour and belly cut.

Verdict on the Epiphone Casino Coupe

The Epiphone Casino Coupe is the perfect guitar if you’re looking for traditional Gibson tone in a cheap, lightweight instrument. It’s an excellent guitar for vintage tones, but a bit noisy for modern tones.

Also, you might be interested in our article about the history of Epiphone guitars: secrets, myths and truths.

Squier Telecaster Thinline Classic Vibe ’60s

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Telecaster Thinline in Natural finish, one of the lightest guitars you can get.

The Fender Telecaster was the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar. Their sound is immortalized in records of The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin and many more. In the late ’60s, Fender released a hollow-body Telecaster that maintains the essence of the guitar while greatly lightening its weight. They have a slightly more acoustic sound, but the difference is really very little.

Squier is the second brand of Fender, made in Asia. These guitars maintain the essence of the Fender tone at a very friendly price for any guitarist. The Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Telecaster Thinline is one of the best guitars of the brand, with excellent quality.

The Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Telecaster Thinline is perfect for classic styles like Blues, Rock ‘n Roll, Country, Jazz, among others. In case you’re not a single-coil player, there’s also the 70s version that comes with Wide-Range Humbucker pickups. This guitar usually weighs a little more due to the greater weight of the pickups, but the difference is minimal.

Squier Classic Vibe '70s Telecaster Thinline in Sunburst with Wide Range pickups, a great light guitar.

Thinline Telecaster like this Squier has a weight between 2.6 – 3.2 kg or 5.8 – 7.1 lbs while solid body Telecasters weigh between 3.2 – 3.7 kg or 7 – 8.2 pounds.

The price of the Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Telecaster Thinline is USD 449. There are Fender versions of this same guitar, some made in Mexico with a price around USD 1,200, and also made in the US that start at USD 2,000 up to USD 5,000 in the case of the Custom Shop line.

Pros of the Squier Telecaster Thinline Classic Vibe ’60s

  • Classic tones of the legendary Fender guitar
  • Great build quality for its price
  • Model Options with Wide Range Aesthetic Humbucker Pickups

Cons of the Squier Telecaster Thinline Classic Vibe ’60s

  • The body has no forearm contour and belly cut.

Verdict on the Squier Telecaster Thinline Classic Vibe ’60s

This Telecaster Thinline is an example of the great value-priced musical instruments Squier can make. The Squier Telecaster Thinline shines in classic styles like Blues, Rock, Country, and Jazz. Like all traditional Telecasters, it has no forearm contour and belly cut, which can make it a bit uncomfortable to play while sitting down. In our opinion, this guitar is an excellent choice without looking for a lightweight guitar for playing popular music genres.

You may also be interested in our investigation into the history of Squier guitars and the landing of Fender in Japan.

PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo, the most versatile option on our list of lightweight guitars.

Paul Reed Smith or simply PRS are guitars that stand out for their extreme quality, but also very high prices. However, several years ago the brand expanded its product line with the SE -Student Edition- line manufactured entirely in Asia. But make no mistake, this line maintains the quality essence of the brand. In fact, they are more similar in price to US-made guitars than other Asian guitars.

The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo is an excellent guitar with the design similar to a Custom 22, with the versatile sound of PRS that plays well with modern heavy styles and with vintage styles. Its design is ergonomic and super comfortable for any guitarist.

The clean tone of this guitar is excellent, thanks to the resonance given by the hollowed body and the piezo pickup. You will get an acoustic sound without losing the benefits of a classic electric guitar. Also this PRS guitar gets along very well with distortion thanks to the excellent humbucker pickups it is equipped with.

The PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo weighs between 2.6 and 2.9 kg or 5.7 and 6.4 lbs, making them very light guitars. This is an excellent weight for a guitar with a mahogany neck and body and a maple top, two fairly heavy tonewoods.

The price of the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo guitar is between $1,250 and $1,500, but you can get non-piezo versions without piezo for close to $1,000.

Pros of the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

  • Great versatility and tone quality thanks to its piezo pickup
  • Awesome aesthetic
  • Ergonomic design, super comfortable.

Cons of the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

  • It is a very expensive guitar for many guitarists

Verdict on the PRS SE Hollowbody II Piezo

This guitar is an excellent musical instrument with features similar to those of a high-end guitar made in the USA. This PRS SE boasts excellent playability, impressive tonal versatility – thanks to its humbucker and piezo pickups – and stunning aesthetics. However, its price is too high for most guitarists.

Also, you might be interested in our story about PRS S2 Standard 24 review: A real Paul Reed Smith?

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric, the lightest guitar of our list.

Traveler Guitars are the quintessential traveling guitars. The brand has been known to earn a reputation as the most popular travel guitar brand. This Strandberg-style headless guitar is designed to take up as little space and weigh as little as possible. Thus, this minimalist guitar design allows to keep the size and weight to a minimum. What we found after play it a while is that this guitar has nowhere to lean your forearm, which is quite awkward.

The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric has a single pickup and no tone controls, as this guitar is meant to be the bare minimum for a traveling musician. This model also comes in acoustic and classical nylon-string versions.

The Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric weighs between 2.9 and 3.3 lbs or 1.3 and 1.5 kg, making it an excellent guitar to transport and travel anywhere.

The price of the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric is USD 349, making it a very affordable guitar for any guitarist.

Pros of the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric

  • Extremely light guitar
  • Small size while maintaining full scale of 24.75″
  • Sounds really good!

Cons of the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric

  • Limited features
  • Nowhere to rest the right forearm.

Verdict on the Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Electric

This guitar stands out for its minimal size and weight. So it’s a perfect travel guitar that sounds really good. As expected, it has limited features. But it fulfills its basic functions perfectly, which are to sound good and be transportable.

We recommend that you visit this curious article about the rarest, most collectible and desired guitars of all time.

How much does an electric guitar weigh?

The average electric guitar will generally weigh around 8 pounds or 3.6 kilograms. This is especially true for Fender guitars and the like. On the other hand, in the case of the Gibson Les Paul, these guitars are heavier and usually weigh over 9 lbs or 4.1 kg. The heaviest guitars can reach 11 lbs or 5 kg.

A guitar is considered light when it weighs 7 pounds / 3.2 kg or less. But there are guitars like the Strandberg that are extremely light at only 4.5 – 5 pounds or 2 – 2.2 . Also, there are travel guitars like the Traveler Ultra-Light that weigh around 2.9 lbs or 1.3 kg.

You may be interested in learning more about how much each make and model of electric guitar weighs.

What type of body is the lightest?

There are several factors that determine the weight of a guitar. The three main variables are body size, tonewood, and whether or not they are hollowed. As you may have noticed, the lighter guitars are not hollow, but have a reduced body.

On the other hand, mahogany, rosewood, and maple are heavier tonewoods overall than alder, basswood, and others. There are woods that can be very heavy or very light, as is the case with Ash. Swamp ash is one of the lightest woods, but common ash can be heavier than mahogany.

Semi-hollow and hollow guitars from Fender, Gibson and PRS.

If you want to know more about the different types of guitars, visit this article on types of guitars: classical, acoustic and electric.

What are the advantages of a lightweight guitar?

The main advantages of having a lighter guitar are its comfort and that it takes care of your back. Thus, lightweight guitars are friendlier for both children and older adults. Also, low-weight guitars allow you to play for longer times, and are easier to transport.

On the other hand, a lightweight guitar usually has less risk of breaking and being damaged due to its weight.

Do lighter guitars sound worse? Or better?

The tone of a guitar is shaped by a lot of variables. It is very difficult to say that a light guitar has certain tonal characteristics. But let’s see case by case: hollowed bodies, light woods and small bodies.

Tonal Characteristics of Hollow Body Guitars

Hollowed bodies tend to have fewer mids than solid bodies, which is neither good nor bad. This is combined with the tone of the wood, the size of the body and the characteristics of the pickups.

On the other hand, hollowed bodies resonate better, which can give them better acoustics. This is a great point in favor of hollow guitars.

Tonal characteristics of light tonewoods

Each tonewood has its tonal characteristics. Swamp ash is a wood characterized by good high and low frequencies, but not as many mids. The Kiri or Pawlonia is characterized by having good treble, but few bass and midrange.

Traveler Guitar Ultra-Light Acoustic, the lightest electric guitar on our list.

Tonal characteristics of small body guitars

Small-bodied guitars tend to have fewer low frequencies, so the high frequencies are the ones that stand out.

Other components that affect the tone of the guitar

All this has to be considered as part of a system. The pickups and electronics used also affect the tone, being able to emphasize mid and high frequencies to balance the tone of the guitar. So you can have a very light guitar that with the right pickups can sound as big as a guitar twice its size.

Also, you have to consider the amplifier and the guitar pedals that you will use. Personally, I prefer big hollowed-out guitars or full-size guitars with tonewoods with good hollowed-out mids and lows.

Conclusion: Final Thoughts on Lightweight Guitars

Light weight guitars make the playing experience much more comfortable and beautiful for guitarists. Also, playing a light guitar doesn’t mean sacrificing tonal quality. Also, I always advise beginning guitarists to pick the guitar they feel most comfortable with first.

In short, light electric guitars are fantastic!

Check out this review on the best electric guitar models ever.

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Federico Valle

I've been a guitarist since I was 13 years old, which means 30 years with music. I studied guitar construction for three years. Also, I am a gear enthusiast with a collection of guitars that cover practically all styles. In addition, I owned more than a hundred guitars.

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