Top Seven Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitars

If you are thinking about learning how to play the acoustic guitar, you should totally go for it. As a beginning guitar player, the learning process can be equally frustrating and confusing. However, sticking to the learning process isn’t going to be something that you regret! Years from now, you’re going to be grateful that you stuck with it and learned how to play.

Before you even begin to start learning how to play acoustic guitar, you need to first have an instrument. I personally always recommend Yamaha guitars to my beginning students or any parents who ask me what guitar they should purchase for their child. Yamaha’s FG series is one of the most consistently affordable instruments, while still being quality guitars. I’m constantly recommending the FG series because the instrument in these series are built to grow with you; as a professional guitar player, I often find myself telling my co-workers and peers about how much I enjoy using the FG series.

There are a lot of different guitar brands that are available on the market, but in my professional opinion, Yamaha offers a top quality guitar for beginning guitar players, all at an affordable price.

Why choose Yamaha?

I recommend beginners to purchase a Yamaha guitar because Yamaha guitars are easy to play. As a beginning guitar player, I know it’s tempting to purchase a cheap guitar kit off of a website and call in the day. However, if you want to grow with your guitar, I would advise against that. It’s a common trait over lower priced, no-name guitars to have design issues that ensure that the guitar produces a poor sound and that it doesn’t withstand much abuse.

With Yamaha, it all comes down to the build quality that they produce. Guitars that mass produced at a low price range make the learning process difficult and frustrating for beginning guitar players. If you plan on sticking with your guitar for several years and have the desire to become a good musician, a quality guitar is going to send you a long way on the road to your success. That’s what make Yamaha guitars stand out from the rest!

Another amazing quality of the guitars that Yamaha produces is the overall sound quality of their guitars. One of the most popular guitars out of the FG series is the FG800, which is a guitar that’s well suited for both beginning guitarists and veteran players. The most important part of finding a guitar that’s suitable for a new player is finding a guitar that sounds good; if your guitar sounds good, you’re going to be inspired to play more often and enjoy the learning process.

Yamaha is a brand that knows that their target demographic is beginning guitar players. When you start doing your research on Yamaha guitars, you’re going to find that they have a lot of different options for beginning guitarists. Here is a list of some of Yamaha’s best acoustic guitars for beginners!

Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack

If you want to purchase an acoustic guitar that comes with all of the bells and whistles, an acoustic guitar starter kit from Yamaha is available. For around $200, you can purchase a Yamaha guitar kit that comes with:

  • A Yamaha guitar
  • Neck strap
  • Guitar picks
  • Gig bag
  • Extra strings
  • Guitar tuner
  • An instructional DVD that also comes with lessons

This starter kit is actually a money saver; instead of having to purchase every single item separately, you can get all of the items that you need to get started all for a lump sum. Not to mention it totally saves you time and hassle!

There are two starter packs that Yamaha offers that you should consider- both of these options are budget conscious. There two starter packs are:

The Gigmaker Standard Starter Pack

This is the basic package out of the two, which means that it is also more affordable. This starter pack comes with Yamaha’s F325 acoustic guitar; the F325 is one of the least expensive acoustic guitars that Yamaha has in their lineup. The F325 sports a laminate top, which is part of the reason why the guitar is less expensive than the Deluxe Starter Pack.

The Gigmaker Deluxe Starter Pack

In the Gigmaker Deluxe starter pack upgrades your guitar selection from the F325 to the FD01S. Instead of featuring a laminate top like the F325, the FD01S has a solid spruce top, Rosewood fingerboard, Rosewood bridge, and Nato sides and back. For just a small change in price, you’ll receive an instrument that’s better quality. Both of the starter packs come with other accessories such as picks, a gig bag, extra strings, etc., but the main difference in the starter packs is the guitar build and quality.

However, if you aren’t looking for a starter pack and you just want to get yourself a guitar, there are still affordable options out there that are perfect for you!

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar

 The FG800 is a guitar that’s popular all around the world, because of the full sized features that are more commonly found in expensive guitars. While the Yamaha FG800 is intended for beginning guitarists, it definitely is a guitar that’s a fit perfect for both beginning and intermediate guitarists.

For under $350, you can purchase yourself a solid Sitka Spruce top that has a Rosewood fingerboard, a Rosewood bridge, and Nato neck, sides, and back. Nato is a wood that shares several similarities to Mahogany, which helps to ensure that the FG800 has not only solid construction and sound quality, but it also produces similar resonance and depth. The Spruce top on the FG800 finishes the sound that the guitar produces off with crispness and definite articulation. Having a solid top on a guitar at this price is a rarity, but it certainly does the FG800 justice.

The most loved part of the FG800 is how easy it is to play. As a beginning guitarist, you’re going to want to find yourself a guitar that’s easy to play. The student guitars that Yamaha produces truly are worth the small investment; while they are budget friendly, they are easy to play, have amazing craftsmanship, and produce a balanced tone.

The only complaint that I have about the Yamaha FG800, is that it tends to have a very high action. However, this does tend to be a problem for guitars that are on the lower end of the price range. I am a guitarist who enjoys playing the guitar that has a lower action, but there are people out there who enjoy playing the guitar that has a higher action. Don’t let the high action make you second guess this guitar; if you love this guitar and the price tag on this guitar, you can always spend a little bit of extra money and get your guitar adjusted to fix the action.

The FG800 can be purchased individually or in a bundle pack; the bundle pack comes with a hard case (which can cost several hundred dollars by itself), a tuner, string winder, a capo, stand, tuner, and an instructional DVD. Whether you want to learn how to play guitar in order to perform covers, want to play in a band, or you truly want to learn how to read and play guitar music, you’re going to need a small collection of accessories to progress with you as you continue playing. If you’re looking to start out with everything you need and not have to make continual purchases as you continue playing, a bundle pack truly is the way you should go.

Summary:

  • Dreadnought body
  • Solid Spruce top
  • Laminate Nato Sides and Back
  • Scalloped X Bracing
  • Laminate Nato Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 25 9/16 inch scale length
  • 1 11/16 inch nut width
  • Urea Plastic Nut
  • Rosewood Bridge
  • Urea plastic saddle
  • No cutaway
  • No electronics
  • Four color options: natural, brown sunburst, sand burst, black

Yamaha FG820 and FG830

The Yamaha FG series is truly a great series for beginners to choose from. If you are someone who is truly serious about learning how to play guitar and have some extra money you are willing to spend on your guitar, I would suggest that you take some time to check out the FG820 and the FG830. Both of these guitars are an improved version of the FG800; while they do cost a bit more than the FG800, they are still in an affordable price range.

For under $300, you can purchase yourself a high-quality guitar that will last with you for years to come; the only reason you’ll ever need to change out from this guitar is if you want to upgrade to a pro-quality guitar. Both the FG820 and the FG830 sport a solid Sitka Spruce top. The FG820 has Eastern Mahogany sides and back. However, the FG830 has Rosewood installed on the sides and back. Rosewood is often favored more prominently among acoustic guitar players because it is amazing tone.

You have the option to purchase either guitar in a Vintage Cherry Sunburst finish or a Tobacco Brown Sunburst finish. As a beginner, which one should you choose? Since you are a beginning guitar player, you probably don’t know all that much (or even care) about tone woods. Both make a great choice and you can’t go wrong with either.

As a personal preference, I prefer the FG830, only because I prefer the sound of the Rosewood over the sound of the Eastern Mahogany; Eastern Mahogany is often referred to as Nato. For the same price, the FG830 has a slightly better quality and sound quality, because of the use of the tone wood.

Summary for FG820:

  • The FG800 and FG820 are similar but have only two main differences. Difference number one is that the FG820 has a laminate Mahogany sides and back. Difference number two is that the FG820 has a cream plastic binding, which is really just a cosmetic difference.
  • Has a warmer tone than the FG800
  • Comes in five finishes: natural, black, autumn burst, sunset blue, brown sunburst

Summary for the FG830:

  • Comes in three finishes: natural, autumn burst, tobacco brown sunburst
  • The Rosewood on the FG830 helps to ensure that this guitar produces more sustain compared to the FG820
  • Rosewood also helps to produce more clarity when the guitar produces high and low pitches, especially when compared against Mahogany
  • Brighter sound compared to the FG820
  • Abalone inlay around the sound hole, which is different compared to the FG820L, but this is merely a cosmetic difference

Yamaha FGX800C

Maybe you’re looking to be an acoustic guitar player, but you’ve heard about acoustic electric guitars. If you don’t know what an acoustic electric guitar is, it’s an acoustic guitar that you plug into an amplifier to produce a larger amount of sound (just like with an electric guitar). If you have ever been to a live performance that used an acoustic guitar, you’ve probably heard an acoustic electric guitar being played. If you have the desire to play in live performances in front of a crowd of people, an acoustic electric guitar is the way to go.

Whether you choose to go with an acoustic electric guitar or just a regular acoustic guitar, the learning process will be the exact same. When the acoustic-electric guitar is unplugged, it’s the exact same as a regular acoustic guitar.

The FGX800C has a very similar build to the FG800 acoustic guitar that we talked about earlier; however, these two guitars do have some very distinct differences. The first big difference that you will notice between the two guitars it the single cutaway design; this type of design allows the guitar player to reach higher registers on the fretboard with more ease.

Another major difference is the electronics system that is placed in the FGX800C guitar; acoustic electric guitars need a preamp and a pickup in order to send their signal over to the amplifier. The FGX800C has a System55T with a Piezo 3-band EQ in it, which allows you to adjust your volume and tone right on your guitar, instead of on the amp.

Yamaha FG700S Folk Acoustic Guitar

This is the first acoustic guitar that I recommend to beginning left handed players. Matter of fact, the FG700S has been a favorite among left-handed players for more than fifty years. The FG700S is a unique combination of both a classical design and a modern guitar build. Yamaha made sure to focus on creating a guitar that produces excellent tone, in order to provide their left-handed players with an exciting experience.

While this guitar has not been specifically made with left-handed players in mind, this guitar does come with a left handed option. You can purchase a bundle for the FG700S that comes with the guitar, picks, capo, string winder, hard case, strap, tuner, extra strings, a hard case, and an instructional DVD. The physical build of the FG700S consists of a solid Sitka Spruce top, diecast tuners, and Rosewood fingerboard.

Yamaha JR1 and JR2

If you are shopping around for your child, you’re not going to want to purchase a full sized guitar. In fact, you’re going to want to purchase a ¾ size guitar. A ¾ size guitar is a guitar that’s body and neck is scaled down from a full sized guitar; this is in order to make the guitar playable for small bodied children.

The JR1 and JR2 are ¾ sized mini folk acoustic guitars that are based on the Yamaha FG series. The JR1 and JR2 are the best acoustic guitars for kids that I’ve ever used; these guitars aren’t made specifically for children either. If you are someone who has a small stature or small hands, you can also use this guitar! Another cool feature on the JR1 and JR2 is that you can choose the visual design of the guitar; for example, we have a JR2 Sunburst pictured above!

Don’t be alarmed by the small size of these guitars- they aren’t toys! These guitars have been created with the same standards that all other Yamaha guitars are made with. Specifically, the JR1 and the JR2 guitars are popular among professional guitarists, because they make great travel companions. While their bodies may be smaller, the sound quality and the size of sound that they produce is the same as a full sized guitar.

The Yamaha JR2 sports a Spruce top, Nato neck, Rosewood fingerboard, Meranti side and back, and Rosewood bridge. Meranti and Nato are woods used in budget guitars as a replacement for Mahogany; while the richness that these woods produce aren’t the exact same as Mahogany, they are still really close.

As for the Yamaha JR2, it’s a guitar that has a little bit of improvement over the JR1. The JR2 has a Mahogany Finish UTF sides and back, instead of the Meranti that’s used on the JR1. The JR2 also offers the sunburst finish, which doesn’t make a difference in the sound produced, but it does make the guitar look great.

Whether you are shopping for your student, you’re shopping for yourself as somebody with a small body, or a veteran guitarist looking for a small guitar along with you or to stash away in your office, the JR1 guitar and the JR2 guitar both make amazing choices. These guitars also come with a bundle option, so don’t forget to look at that!

Summary

In this article, we talked about several different Yamaha acoustic guitars that stand out from the rest of the competition. Which one should you go about choosing? Below, I have listed some general advice to use when shopping for your new guitar, in case you’re unsure about which to pick from!

  • If you or your child or student is not certain that they are going to stick with their instrument for years to come, the FG800 is one of the top acoustic guitars that are student level on the market today. If you/ your child/ your student is big enough to play a full sized guitar comfortably, this is the best option for them.
  • However, if you/ your child/ your student is truly serious about playing guitar and wants to stick with it for years to come, the FG820, FGX800C, and FG830 will all make great guitars for the new guitarist to stick with. These guitars all have solid tonality and sound projection, even though they are at an affordable price. Any one of these three guitars will be an instrument that they won’t outgrow to years to come.
  • If you are looking to purchase a full sized guitar but are worried about the pricing of additional accessories, the starter packs that Yamaha offers are amazing choices.
  • The JR1 and JR2 Yamaha acoustic guitars are guitars that have been built with smaller bodied people in mind; these guitars make great instruments for children. Once they outgrow this guitar, your guitarist can keep this guitar and use it as a travel instrument.

If for some reason you aren’t finding yourself to be super impressed with the starter packs that Yamaha offers, there are other guitar brands out there that do offer starting packs for beginning guitar players. However, Yamaha is always the brand that I recommend to people who are looking for purchase an affordable guitar for their new guitar player.

Good luck finding your dream guitar and I hope you have fun learning how to play!

About the Author Danny Trent

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