Why Are Rock Band Guitars So Expensive?

Every guitarist dreams of the day when they’re up on a stage with hundreds of people swaying to their melodies. Like every artist, you must have an instrument worthy of your art. You may have noticed though, that rock guitars are expensive; why is that?

Rock guitars can be extremely expensive because they depend on multiple factors like place of manufacture, the material used, brand name, and method of manufacture. Many rock guitars are also expensive because of their association with a particular artist. 

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In this article, we will talk about some of the most famous and best guitars on the market. We will also discuss the key reason behind the high price points of these guitars. Let’s rock right into the article!

4 Reasons Why Rock Guitars Are So Expensive

A good quality guitar will set you back from anywhere between $600 to $2800; let’s look at some factors that affect the price and why these price tags are justified.

1. Place of Guitar Manufacturing 

An American-made guitar has much better quality simply because it’s hand-made. 

People are taught how to machine components, put together, and hand-craft elements of the guitar in a way that honors the quality of the company’s name.

The finer elements that are overlooked by inexpensive guitars are carefully considered. Each guitar is produced to precise standards with a rigorous quality control procedure. This is why American-made guitars are more expensive than their counterparts.

As with anything produced in the USA, the production costs are much higher. This is why big brands such as Apple and Levi’s outsource their productions to China and South Asia.

But here’s the catch, these production units are designed for maximum efficiency and are usually fully automated. Not much attention is given to quality as the focus is on production speed. 

The general rule of thumb is: the farther the guitar is made from the USA, the cheaper it is.

2. What the Guitar Is Made Of

Part of the high price for American guitars is the materials used for making them. For example, American guitar manufacturers produce the highest quality tonewoods for their instruments.  While other companies may use the same woods, they use laminates which are more porous and therefore cheaper. 

Other parts of the guitars such as the metallic components are made of the purest metals by American brands, while their counterparts resort to less pure metals which of course are cheaper in the long run.

All of this is visible in the finished product as American guitars have much better finishing, with little to no plastic components in the final product. The woods are solid and are parsed through to ensure the highest quality. 

3. How the Guitar Is Manufactured

Producing the guitar, just like playing it, is itself an art. Now using the same analogy we don’t see multiple people playing the guitar, and similarly with high-quality guitars not many people can make them. 

The highest quality guitars are usually made by one or two people from start to finish. This ensures the highest quality and each guitar is unique in its own way. 

A single builder works on the guitar often for weeks or months. Perfecting each aspect of the guitar with very high attention to detail, which cannot be achieved in a mass-produced guitar.

In some cases, the master builder will add a special touch to their creation by replicating a legendary guitar model from the past, or a guitar used by some famous artist. Whatever the case may be, the end-product has unmatched quality and looks. 

This is why these guitars are considered top-of-the-line, while the more affordable variants are produced by machines and have multiple people work on them.

4. The Brand Name

Finally, the brand name plays a certain role. The most legendary guitar companies such as Gibson and Fender have much prestige attached to their name. Of course, having the same guitar model as James Hetfield from Metallica is sure to cost you a heavy sum. 

The choice of your purchase should be made by you and perhaps your choice should be more dependent on what is comfortable for you in terms of playing the guitar.

We can safely say that these high-end guitars are well worth their price. They are built to have the most precise sound, have unmatched looks, and last a long time. 

These guitars age like fine wine, and as the years pass they become classics. 

Some of the Best Rock Band Guitars Available on the Market

There are many companies that make high-quality guitars. Here is a list of the most popular guitar brands available in the market in no particular order:


Gibson is the industry standard in guitar making. Some of the most famous artists out there use Gibson guitars, including Elvis Presley, Angus Young, and Jimmy Page among others.

Gibson’s best-selling guitars include the Gibson Les Paul and the Gibson SG Standard.


Fender produces some of the highest quality guitars out there. They are famous for their attention to detail and high-quality parts. 

The best-selling Fender Guitars are the Fender Stratocaster and the Fender Telecaster


Ibanez Guitars are well respected in the market for their crisp sound, high-quality materials, and lightweight designs. 

The best Ibanez guitars available are the Ibanez RG550


Professionals use Gretsch because it guarantees that the player will get a top-notch guitar with exceptional playability, tone, and quality control. 

In brief, Gretsch has a reputation for creating exquisitely built guitars using premium materials. One of the best products by Gretsch is the Gretsch G5220.


Fit, finish, and feel are exceptional and fully live up to the high standards of quality that have helped Sterling guitars build their prestigious reputations throughout time. 

The best option for this brand is Sterling Majesty.

Here are some famous electric guitars used by popular rock bands.

Guitar BrandGuitar TypeGuitarist NameBand
Gibson Les PaulSlashGuns n Roses
Fender JaguarKurt CobainNirvana
GibsonSG Angus YoungAC DC
ESPKH-II Kirk HammettMetallica

Final Thoughts

Like a Masterchef and his knife, or a painter and their brush, a guitarist must have a suitable guitar. Similar to hand-made Japanese knives, high-quality guitars don’t come cheap. Before you dive in, it is probably not a good idea to purchase a high-end guitar if you’re a beginner. Perhaps start off by purchasing a cheaper guitar to familiarize yourself with the instrument, and then upgrading to a higher quality guitar.



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