I’ve lost count of the players who told me they got their start on a Squier Stratocaster – now Fender is offering them for under $150, a huge 40% discount on the go-to learner guitar

Squier Affinity Stratocaster deal
(Image credit: Squier)

When it comes to the title of the ultimate beginner electric guitar, the Squier Stratocaster is unrivaled. They have always represented great value for money – but now the Surf Green finish is down to $149 from $249, over on Fender’s site.

I’ve spent most of my (relatively) adult life talking to musicians for guitar publications and have given up counting the ones who told me they got their start on a Squier Strat. 

There are currently two Affinity Strat models available on the Fender site for a 40% discount, bringing the price below $150. How much guitar do you actually get for that money then?

Well, a fair bit. It’s got a poplar body, a friendly C-shaped maple neck with an Indian Laurel (a popular rosewood substitute) fretboard and a 9.5” radius. 

The three pickups (in a classic SSS configuration) are ceramic single-coils. These are typically brighter and a little harsher than the Alnico magnet units found on higher priced models, but absolutely do the job for a new player. 

Then you’ve got the standard five-way pickup selector switch, a 2-point vibrato and die-cast tuners. 

Squier Affinity Strat: was $249, now $149 (40% off)

Squier Affinity Strat: was $249, now $149 (40% off)
Bag a huge saving on the ultimate beginner guitar. Fender’s site currently has massive 40% discounts on two Squier Affinity Stratocasters – either of which would be perfect for a learner or new player. First up is the classic Affinity Stratocaster finished in Surf Green, which offers a triple single-coil configuration. However, if you want a humbucker for a bit of rock and metal bite, then check out the Affinity Stratocaster HSS, which is available in Black, for the same bargain price of $149, down from $249.

If you, or the new guitarist in your life, occasionally delve into the heavier end of the musical spectrum, then I recommend you consider the Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS. 

This has the same spec as the aforementioned Strat, but is finished in black and swaps the bridge pickup for a ceramic humbucker

That should open up the tonal options a little more when it comes to rock and metal. Some players prefer ceramic units for heavier tones, too, as they offer a little more bite and clarity in distorted settings.

These are cheap guitars but they are very different from the once-unplayable builds of the bad old days – and Squier has become a name to trust, even among established players. 

I often wonder what the big-name guitarists of the ’60s, who started off on poorly-made classical guitars, would make of today’s entry-level electrics. I suspect they would have bitten your hand off for one at the time.

Check out our round-up of Cyber Monday Guitar deals, for more great offers on guitars, pedals, amps and more.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.