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Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

70% of the musicians surveyed suffer from chronic back pain. And when talking about guitarists exclusively, our fellow shredder found moderate correlations between pain and playing posture and comfort. Those are pretty bad numbers. So the weight of our electric guitar might be a lot more important than we even realize…

Author: Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover.

Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music.

Whenever Santiago is not pouring all that experience and love for the instrument into articles, you can find him playing live shows supporting his music and poetry books as “Sandel”. If he’s not doing either of those, you can also find him gigging with his band, “San Juan”, writing, reading, or enjoying the Sun.

displays Edward Bond and Gibson Guitar

Editor: Edward Bond

Edward has been playing the guitar since 2002. So Edward has over 20 years of experience as a guitarist, has authored 15 guitar books, has written for renowned music blogs, and spent a decade teaching music. He began merging his passion for writing and music in 2020 and has written for big guitar websites such as Guitar Head Publishing and KillerGuitarRigs.com.

Originally from Seattle, Edward moved to Norway in 2021 for a master’s in music. He’s studied at the Jazz Institute Berlin and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and currently resides in Trondheim. His education includes a European Jazz Master’s, a diploma in Film and Game Scoring from Sofia, and a Bachelor’s in Jazz from University of Oregon.

Edward has played in numerous bands and currently, Edward works on his own project Starship Infinity


In this scenario, electric guitar weight becomes a defining factor. Yes, performing a guitar weight comparison between axes is the perfect way to choose the one that will help you avoid back pain the most while still sounding great.

You might know the average electric guitar weight, but do you know the weight of specific electric guitars you might be interested in choosing? 

Worry not; you came to the right place.


How Much Do Electric Guitars Weigh?

  • Solid-body electric guitars weigh between 6 and 12 lbs. (2.72 – 5.44 kg). 
  • Semi-hollow-body guitars can weigh between 6 and 8 lbs. (2.72 – 3.62 kg). 
  • Hollow-body guitars weigh similar to semi-hollows, but are generally closer to 6 pounds than 8.  

Let me spoil the scoop for you right away: there are lightweight electric guitars and heavy electric guitars. This is not necessarily related to the body shape of the guitar but a combination of the shape, the tonewood, and the construction technique.

We decided to divide this piece into three different categories: solid-body electrics, semi-hollow electrics, and hollow electrics. This way, you’ll find the answers to your questions easier.

Do Heavier Guitars *REALLY* Sustain Longer? – Let’s Fine Out!!

Solid-body Electric Guitars

Solid-body electric guitars are the heaviest category of this piece. Here, you’ll find details about the PRS Custom 24 weight, Fender Stratocaster weight, and Telecaster weight, among other relevant Fender models.

But that’s not all, because we’ll talk about thin-body electric guitars like the Gibson SG weight and Les Paul weight without the (in)famous weight relief.

Solid Body Guitar History

But before discussing brands and models, let’s talk about what a solid-body electric guitar is.

Solid-body electrics became a must when the instrument needed to compete for volume. I mean, can you imagine looking killer in your black tuxedo but sweating like a madman while competing against an entire brass section holding just an acoustic?

Yeah, I know; it’s madness.

But what happens when you increase the volume on a plugged-in acoustic or hollow guitar? Yes, feedback comes into the scene as a supervillain to blow your plans.

Electric guitar history tells us that the first solid-body electric was a Hawaiian guitar named Frying Pan in 1931. Despite working great, the world had to wait 20 more years for Leonidas Fender to create the first mass-produced and massively sold solid-body electric guitar: The Telecaster.

While solid-body electrics did solve the volume and feedback problem, they brought another element to the equation: weight. Solid-body electric guitars are the heaviest category.

Let’s take a look at some average weights in the following chart.

BrandModelBody WoodWeight
FenderVintera Road Worn ‘60s StratocasterAlder7.3 lbs. / 3.3 kg
FenderAmerican Ultra Luxe StratocasterAsh7.89 lbs. / 3.5 kg
FenderAerodyne Special StratocasterBasswood7.48 lbs. / 3.39 kg
FenderJim Root StratocasterMahogany8.8 lbs. / 3.99 kg
FenderAmerican Professional II TelecasterRoasted Pine7.22 lbs. / 3.27 kg
SquierClassic Vibe ‘70s JaguarPoplar10.6 lbs. / 4.8 kg
GibsonLes Paul Standard 50sMahogany with Maple Top9 – 12 lbs. / 4 – 5.5 kg
GibsonLes Paul JuniorMahogany7 – 8 lbs. / 3.1 – 3.6 kg
GibsonSG StandardMahogany6 lbs. / 2.7 kg
GibsonFirebirdMahogany with Maple Stripes7 – 9 lbs. / 3.1 – 4 kg
Gibson1958 Korina Explorer ReissueKorina9.48 lbs. / 4.3 kg
PRSCustom 24Mahogany with Maple Top7.44 lbs. / 3.38 kg
PRSS2 McCarty 594 SinglecutMahogany with Maple Top8.85 lbs. / 4 kg
PRSFioreSwamp Ash7.12 lbs. / 3.22 kg
PRSSilver SkyAlder7.3 lbs. / 3.3 kg
PRSNF53Swamp Ash6.2 lbs. / 2.81 kg
IbanezS6570SKAfrican Mahogany with Silky Oak Top7.76 lbs. / 3.52 kg
IbanezRG550Basswood7.7 lbs. / 3.49 kg

The chart compares Stratocasters made of different tonewoods. Mahogany is the heaviest of the pack (Jim Root is also the heaviest endorser of the brand, right?).

On the other hand, roasted pine, swamp ash, and alder come across as the lightest.

You can also see that some guitars that use a wood combination for the body are heavier than guitars with thinner bodies, regardless of the wood type (Les Paul Jr. vs. Les Paul Standard, for example).

Hollowbody and Semi-Hollowbody Electric Guitars

To begin this second section, let’s define what we’re talking about:

  • Chambered guitar: A chambered guitar is a solid-body guitar machined to have cavities inside the body covered with a wooden top. Examples go from Godin’s MultiAc guitars to thinline Telecasters.
  • Semi-Hollow-Body Electrics: Semi-hollow guitars usually feature a main wooden block from the neck to the bottom, like the Gibson ES-335.
  • Hollow-body electric guitars: Electric guitars with a fully hollow body are much like an acoustic with electronics. In this category, you’ll find big yacht-like guitars like the Gibson L-5 or the ES-175 or thinner designs like the Epiphone Casino, for example.

These types of guitars are much lighter than solid-body electrics, especially those that are fully hollow. That said, these guitars also tend to be much bulkier, bigger, and more fragile than their solid-body counterparts.

For example, if you compare the ES-335 weight with a Les Paul, the LP will be much heavier. That said, it’s harder to move around with an ES-335 (don’t even get me started with moving an L-5 around) than with a Les Paul or SG.

But beyond body size and guitar anatomy, let’s get to the chart. You’ll find all the categories above in each brand; perhaps your next hollow-body ax is on this chart!

BrandModelBody WoodBody TypeWeight
FenderVintera II ‘60s Telecaster ThinlineAshChambered6.125 – 6.75 lbs. / 2.8 – 3.1 kg
FenderLimited Edition Suona Telecaster ThinlineAsh with Italian Alpine Spruce TopChambered7 lbs. / 3.17 kg
FenderAmerican Vintage II 1972 Telecaster ThinlineAshChambered8.6 lbs. / 3.9 kg
GibsonChuck Berry 1955 ES-350T3-ply Maple/ Poplar/ MapleHollow6.14 lbs. / 2.7 kg
GibsonES-3353-ply Maple/ Poplar/ MapleSemi-Hollow7-8.12 lbs / .3.17-3.68 kg
GibsonES-3393-ply Maple/ Poplar/ MapleSemi-Hollow6.82 lbs / .3.1 kg
EpiphoneCasinoLayered MapleHollow6.6 lbs / .2.99 kg
EpiphoneBroadwayLayered Maple with Select Spruce TopHollow7.1 lbs / .3.22 kg
EpiphoneEmperor SwingsterLayered MapleHollow7.6 lbs / .3.4 kg
D’AngelicoDeluxe DCLaminated MapleSemi-Hollow7.4 lbs / .3.35 kg
D’AngelicoPremier DCLaminated MapleSemi-Hollow8 lbs / . 3.7 kg
D’AngelicoExcel SSLaminated Maple with Laminated Spruce TopSemi-Hollow7.2 lbs / .3.26 kg
D’AngelicoExcel EXL-1Laminated Flame Maple with Laminated Spruce TopHollow6.98 lbs / .3.16 kg
D’AngelicoExcel 59Laminated Flame Maple with Laminated Spruce TopHollow6.8 lbs / .3 kg
IbanezGB-10Maple with Spruce TopHollow7.6 lbs / .3.4 kg
IbanezPM200MapleHollow7.3 lbs / .3.31 kg
IbanezJSM100Figured AngireHollow8.36 lbs / .3.8 kg
IbanezAF75LindenHollow6 lbs. / 2.72 kg
PRSHollowbody II PiezoMaple top and back with mahogany sidesHollow6.13 lbs. / 2.78 kg
GretschG6636TSL Players Edition Silver FalconLaminated MapleSemi-Hollow8.4 lbs. / 3.8 kg
GretschG2622T StreamlinerLaminated MapleSemi-Hollow12.6 lbs. / 5.7 kg
GretschG5655TG ElectromaticLaminated MapleSemi-Hollow7.3 lbs. / 3.31 kg
GretschG6120TG-DSLaminated MapleHollow7.3 lbs. / 3.31 kg
GretschG2420 StreamlinerLaminated MapleHollow7.05 lbs. / 3.19 kg
GretschG5422G-12 Electromatic 12-StringLaminated MapleHollow11 lbs. / 4.98 kg

What Factors Affect An Electric Guitar’s Weight?

Answering the question above requires getting into the dissection of a guitar into its parts. I went to the Warmoth page so we can have some estimates.

Neck

Necks are mostly a deal maker or a deal breaker for us players. Moreover, let me tell you that things get worse with age. I’m way more picky nowadays than I was before.

Why is this important?

We tend to choose necks more for their shape and comfort than their weight.

For example, Warmoth necks weigh, on average, 1.23 lbs. or  0.56 kg.

Body

Bodies are the main contributor to the guitar’s weight; tonewood choices change the guitar’s weight, shape, and build.

This is because that’s the most significant wood concentration on your guitar. Do different tonewood choices affect a guitar’s body weight?

Well, a Warmoth Les-Paul-type body made of mahogany with a canary top weighs 5.56 lbs. or 2.5 kg. That weight changes if we choose, for example, a Starcaster-type hollow body made of swamp ash, reducing it to 3.44 lbs. or 1.56 kg.

Tone Woods Part II – Bodies | Fender Custom Shop | Fender – YouTube

Hardware

Some hardware components are heavier than others.

For example, if you install a Floyd Rose tremolo on your guitar, you’ll add a good 1.5 lbs. or 0.68 kg to its overall weight. A tune-o-matic bridge, on the other hand, would add just 0.144 lbs or 0.07 kg.

Additionally, tuners, jacks, pickups, switches, and pots add little to the overall weight.

For example, the Gibson Les Paul Axcess, a Floyd-Rose-equipped LP (the heaviest tremolo system in the heaviest guitar), might make too heavy an axe. Thus, Gibson chose to use its 9-hole weight relief to make it usable for people the age of Alex Lifeson (born in 1953).

Before making an electric guitar weight comparison, bear these things in mind and choose good combinations.

Tonewood Density

To finish this section, let’s talk about the density of each tonewood type. Bear in mind that these numbers may vary depending on the drying process of the guitar and from guitar to guitar. Always remember that wood is organic, and there aren’t two identical trees on this planet.

Therefore, take these names and numbers as general guides. They’re ordered from the lightest to the heaviest.

WoodDensity (kg/m3)Density (lb/ft3)
Basswood0.3 – 0.620 – 37
Poplar0.35 – 0.522 – 31
Alder0.4 – 0.726 – 42
Pine0.42 – 0.6726 – 53
Mahogany0.5 – 0.631 – 37
Swamp Ash (Black ash)0.5433
Korina (Limba)0.5535
Koa0.637
Maple0.6 – 0.7539 – 47
Cherry0.6343- 56
Walnut0.65 – 0.740 – 43
Hard Ash0.65 – 0.8540 – 53

Sometimes, when we see a guitar with a price tag close to $5,000 (like a Gibson Les Paul ’59 reissue), we tend to think, “Where did all that money go?” as we scratch our chin. But let me tell you that when you put that guitar to your chest and strum an open E chord, it all comes together.

Yes, the vibrations of a lightweight, resonant mahogany body are just as beautiful as the outstanding flame maple of the top.

So, companies like Gibson, Fender, Jackson, Gretsch, and most Custom Shops worldwide go the extra mile to find the tonewood that sounds and weighs perfectly and spend time matching it to perfection. 

Does the Weight of the Guitar Matter?

The answer to the question above is definitely yes. But we must discuss three essential aspects to answer this question fully.

  • Playability & Comfort: Playing comfort is paramount to buying a guitar. After all, you’re planning on playing it for a long time, aren’t you? Well, playability-wise, guitars need to be balanced. If the body is too light and the neck too heavy, it’ll nose-dive. If the body is too heavy, it’ll fall the other way (Les Paul players playing sitting will know this). Also, a guitar that’s too heavy is an anchor on stage and might prevent you from playing that wild solo upside down on your spandex leggings.
  • The Tone Myth: Let’s address the elephant in the room. Much has been said and written about heavy guitars sounding better than lighter guitars. The truth is there’s no definite piece of evidence that can prove this myth right or wrong. In my experience, it’s the absolute opposite. My favorite, best-playing guitars are the lightest in my collection. For example, my ’68 SG Jr. is almost the same weight as an acoustic and sounds better than my heavier-than-life, all-mahogany ’81 Ibanez Studio.  
  • Portability: An easy-to-carry, gig-friendly guitar is a must if you play live a lot. Especially if you haven’t earned that celebrity badge that allows you to hire roadies who can carry all your gear. That said, you should also think of reliability and sturdiness. Drunken fans are way more dangerous than sober fans. Therefore, lighter guitars like a hollow Epiphone Casino demand a hardshell case, which compensates for the hollow body.

Conclusion: How Much Do Electric Guitars Weigh?

The question of how much electric guitars weigh is a common one among guitarists. You’ll definitely read people who say wood type is definitive and others who talk about guitar shape or build.

We addressed all those aspects above, and by now, you know how each impacts the whole. In our opinion, the weight and tone of a guitar are the result of the combination of all those factors. 

That’s why no two guitars sound identical.

Do you agree with our opinions on this? Did you ever sell a guitar because it was too heavy? Let me know in the comments. I would love to know your opinion on this.

Happy (lightweight) guitar playing! 


FAQs

Why is an Electric Guitar Heavier Than an Acoustic?

The best answer to this question is because wood is heavier than air.I know it sounds silly, but acoustics are filled with air, and solid-body electrics are filled with wood. Semi-hollow and hollow electrics also have electronics that add to their overall weight, making them heavier than regular acoustics. 

Should my Electric Guitar be Heavy or Light?

There’s a myth surrounding heavy guitars that says that they sustain more and sound better. If you ask me, personally,in my years selling guitars and my 3+ decades playing them, I’ve had the opposite experience. Indeed, some lighter guitars resonate more and thus, in my opinion, sound better.

So, with that in mind, you should choose a guitar that sounds great and doesn’t break your back.

How Much Does an Electric Guitar Case Weigh?

Most hardshell cases are anywhere between 8 to 15 lbs. or 3.6 to 6.8 kg. This means the electric guitar case weight is just as much as the guitar inside of them, in most cases.

Gig bags, on the other hand, can range anywhere between 2 and 5 lbs. or 0.9 to 2.3 kg.

How Heavy is a Stratocaster?

Most contemporary Strats are made of alder. According to our chart above, they should be around 7.5 lbs. or 3.4 kg.

Is 8 lbs. Heavy for an Electric Guitar?

No, 8 lbs. is about average for an electric guitar, depending on the model. For example, at 8lbs., a Les Paul is light, but it’s on the heavy side for a Stratocaster. That said, it’s not a weight that would break your shoulder or back.

What is the Heaviest Electric Guitar?

As a rule of thumb, the heaviest guitar model out of the most popular ones is the Gibson Les Paul. These guitars weigh between 9 and 12 lbs. or  4 – 5.5 kg on average.

How Heavy is a Fender Mustang?

Fender Mustangs were born as student-oriented models featuring a smaller contoured body and a short-scale 24” neck. This combination makes them some of the lightest guitars in the market, roughly between 7 and 8 lbs. or 3.17 – 3.62 kg.

Are Les Pauls Heavy?

Gibson Les Pauls are among the heaviest guitars in the market. This is because they’re made of mahogany and sport a maple top arched to mimic a violin. Therefore, you have a slab of thick mahogany (that’s as thick as a Telecaster) and the arched maple on top. That combination gives you 1.85” or 47mm of height.

That alone is heavy for any guitar. 

How Much Does a Telecaster Electric Guitar Weigh?

Telecaster guitars can be made of various wood types, from rosewood to pine. That said, most commonly, Fender Telecasters are constructed of alder and maple and weigh 7.3 lbs. or 3.3 kg on average.

Are There Any Lightweight Electric Guitars?

Yes, there are many lightweight electric guitars. 

Let me answer this with an example. If you buy a Gibson Les Paul, you can have a guitar between 9 and 12 lbs. or 4 – 5.44 kg. A Gibson SG can weigh around 6 lbs. or 2.7 kg.

That’s about the weight difference between a lightweight and a heavy guitar. Therefore, yes, there are lightweight guitars.

Santiago Motto

Aka. Sandel. Pure Telecasters and all-mahogany Martins lover. Besides that, Sandel is a professional writer, guitar player, confessed guitar nerd, and all-things-guitar consumer. He has been playing for 25 years which makes him a nineties kid with serious low-tuning youngster years, and a pop palate for melodies, ballads, and world music. You can connect with Santiago on LinkedIn or just email him.
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