yamaha entry level guitar

If you are thinking of learning to play the guitar you should go for it. As a beginner, it can be confusing and even a little frustrating, but if you stick with it you won’t regret it. In fact, years from now you will probably look back on it as one of the best decisions you ever made.

But first, you need an instrument. So which Yamaha Entry Level Guitar should you consider? I usually recommend Yamaha guitars, and I think they are the best options for beginners. Their FG Series consists of affordable, quality instruments and they get remarkably strong reviews from beginning, intermediate and advanced guitar players alike.

Of course, there are other brands out there, but in my opinion, Yamaha is at the top of the heap when it comes to acoustic guitars for a newbie. While Yamaha does have some excellent high-end guitars in their lineup, they have really developed a reputation for building some of the best instruments for new and intermediate players. From guitars for kids to instruments for adults and serious beginners, odds are there is a Yamaha acoustic that’s perfect for you.

Here are some awesome yamaha entry level guitars

Yamaha Entry Level Guitar

Yamaha JR1 and JR2

These are 3/4-size mini folk acoustics based on the FG design. They are some of the best acoustic guitars for kids or smaller people just picking up the guitar for the first time. Learning on a full-sized instrument can be hard for people with small hands and bodies. A 3/4-size guitar is less intimidating and more conducive to positive practice.Yamaha JR2TBS 3/4 Scale Guitar Tobacco SunburstA 3/4-size guitar is perfect for kids or smaller teens. It allows them to learn on a manageable instrument until they are able to graduate to a full-size guitar. The Yamaha JR2 is also an excellent choice as a travel guitar for veteran guitarists. Buy Now

Even though these guitars are small they are well made and up to the standards of the Yamaha name. These aren’t toys! They are quality student guitars that will start a newbie off right. And they sound pretty darned good for their size as well. Some advanced guitarists even like to use them as travel guitars for taking camping or to the beach.

The JR1 features a Spruce top, Meranti back and sides, a Nato neck and a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Nato and Meranti are economical replacements for Mahogany, and while they don’t quite have the same richness and depth they work well in budget guitars.

The Yamaha JR2 is an improvement over the JR, with a Mahogany Finish UTF back and sides instead of the Meranti. The JR2 also comes in a really pretty tobacco sunburst finish in addition to the natural top. It won’t make a difference for your sound, but it sure does look good.

Both guitars are affordable enough to serve as student guitars for children or smaller-bodied teens. However, for veteran guitarists looking for a small guitar to pack for trips, or a second guitar to stash at the office, either the JR1 or JR2 would be a really cool choice.

Don’t forget to look for convenient and affordable “bundles” if you are interested in getting a few important accessories with your new guitar.

Check Out the Yamaha JR2! (Natural Finish)

Yamaha FG800

The Yamaha FG700S was one of the most popular acoustic guitars in the world because of its quality and value, even though it is intended for first-time players. It was a full-sized acoustic with appointments you might expect to see in a more expensive guitar.

Yamaha recently upgraded this already amazing instrument and released it back into the world as the FG800. In my opinion, this is the best acoustic guitar a beginner can start out on, and it’s even good enough for intermediate players looking for a new acoustic.Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Acoustic GuitarI recommend the Yamaha FG800 for most beginners because it is affordable, sounds great and is easy to play. This a guitar that can last a new player a long time before they’ll feel the need to upgrade to a pro-level instrument. Or, if you are a casual player on a budget, you can stick with the FG800 indefinitely. Buy Now

This is a guitar that gets very strong reviews, which is pretty amazing for its low price tag. As with all Yamaha acoustic guitars, it comes down to solid constriction and sound quality. It’s tough to find a better starter acoustic guitar for under $200.

The FG800 features a Solid Sitka Spruce with a Nato back, sides and neck and a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Remember Nato has qualities similar to Mahogany and will help to provide depth and resonance, where the Spruce top will help with articulation and crispness. And a solid top is really nice to see on a guitar at this price point.

One of the best things about the FG800 is the praise it receives for ease of play. As I suggested earlier in this article, this is where Yamaha student guitars shine, and really separate themselves from the pack. While there are a few really good acoustic guitars in this price range, many budget-level guitars are hard to play due to less-than-stellar craftsmanship.

Learning to play guitar is hard enough without adding frustration of struggling with a poor-quality instrument. The Yamaha FG800 does not have that problem, and this makes it one of the best acoustic guitars for beginners.

Remember, you can also grab the FG800 in a bundle pack that comes with a nice hard case, a strap, stand, tuner, a capo, string winder, tuner and instructional DVD. You are going to need a collection of accessories for acoustic guitar as you progress in your playing, and this is a great way to start out with everything you need.

Yamaha FG820S and FG830

If you are a serious beginner with a few extra bucks to spend you’ll want to check out the FG820 and FG830. Both guitars are an upgrade from the FG800, and while they are more expensive instruments they still come in at very affordable prices.

These are some of the top acoustics for under $300, and you’ll get some mileage out of them before you need to upgrade to a pro-level guitar.

The FG830 and FG830 both feature a solid Sitka Spruce top, but where the FG820 has Eastern Mahogany back and sides, the FG830 has Rosewood. Rosewood is a warm, sweet tonewood and a favorite tonewood among acoustic players.Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Folk Guitar, NaturalThe Yamaha FG830 is a step up from a typical beginner’s guitar and a great choice for serious newbies or intermediate guitar players. Buy Now

Both guitars are available in some very pretty finishes such as Vintage Cherry Sunburst and Tobacco Brown Sunburst. So which should you choose? As a beginner, you might not care about tonewoods and all that mumbo jumbo, and you may just choose whichever guitar looks better to you. That’s okay. You can’t go wrong with either.

However, if I personally had to make a choice I think I’d go with the FG830 and pick the Rosewood over the Eastern Mahogany. Eastern Mahogany is often called Nato, and while Yamaha makes a distinction here I do think the Rosewood back and sides on the FG830 are slightly better quality.

The Improved Yamaha FG Series

Yamaha FGX800C

Some guitar players want to start out on an acoustic-electric guitar. These are acoustic instruments you can plug into any amplifier or PA system to reinforce your sound. Most performers use acoustic-electric instruments, so if your ambition is to play guitar for a crowd of people this may be the way to go.

It’s important to realize that choosing an acoustic-electric guitar won’t alter or hamper the way you learn to play acoustic guitar. Unplugged, these instruments have the same characteristics of purely acoustic guitars.

So, until you plan to “go live” and plug your guitar into an amp or powered board, you can learn the instrument just as you would with any acoustic guitar.

The FGX800C is similar in build to the FG800 above, with some key differences. The first thing you’ll notice is the single-cutaway design. This is typical of many acoustic-electric guitars and intended to allow you to reach the higher registers of the fretboard easier.

The other major difference is the electronics system. Acoustic-electric guitars require both a pickup and preamp to send their signal to the amplifier. In this case, Yamaha employs its System55T with a Piezo 3-band EQ. This allows you to adjust your tone and volume right on your guitar.

Not every beginning guitar player is brave enough to consider performing in front of an audience before they even strum their first chord, but for those who do Yamaha presents a quality, affordable instrument in the FGX800C.

Yamaha Acoustic Guitar Starter Packs

An acoustic guitar starter kit is a smart way for beginners to grab everything they need to start playing guitar in one kit. You get the guitar, plus a strap, picks, gig bag, tuner, extra strings and a DVD with instructions and lessons. This not only saves you from the hassle of having to figure out and then acquire all the accessories you need to go along with your new guitar, but you’ll also save a nice chunk of money as well.

Yamaha has two starter packs you should consider, and both are very wallet-friendly. The Gigmaker Standard is the basic and most affordable package and features Yamaha’s F325 acoustic guitar. The F325 is one of the most inexpensive guitars in Yamaha’s lineup, but it is certainly good enough to start out on, and the price is tough to beat.

The Gigmaker Deluxe starter pack upgrades you to a better guitar in the FD01S. This guitar features a solid spruce top (compared to the laminate on the F325), Nato back and sides and a Rosewood fingerboard and bridge. This instrument is a nice step up in quality for a small jump in price.

Both Yamaha starter packs offer a simple and affordable way to start playing guitar today. Everything you need comes in one box. Does it get any better than this?

Well, yeah, it does. Some of the higher-quality acoustic guitars listed below are also available in “bundles” that come with similar accessories as are included with Yamaha’s starter packs. If you find out you are interested in a guitar like the FG800, you ought to be able to find a cost-effective bundle that comes with a hard case, picks, capo and other accessories. These bundles are more expensive than the Gigmaker packs but also contain high-quality components.

Guitar Buying Guide: What To Know Before You Buy an Acoustic or Electric Guitar

Understanding how to select the right guitar type that’s best for your learning style and playing needs can help make the guitar buying process much easier. So, before we can officially salute those who are about to rock, we (along with our friends at Beginner Guitar HQ) have a few tips and recommendations to help you get started:

  1. Know the term “tonewood.”
  2. Know which guitar style is best for beginners.
  3. Know the types of electric guitars.
  4. Know budget-friendly accessories for your guitar.

1. Yes, “Tonewood” Is A Thing!

Wood is favored for guitar crafting. A guitar needs to hold itself together as well as produce a great tone (aka, “tonewood”). Tonewood has the capacity to effectively produce brighter, sharper sounds as well as warmer, deeper overtones.

However, not all types of wood are suitable for crafting guitar parts, which is why choosing the right type of tonewood is important! Below are three common wood types used in crafting:

Maple

  • Primarily used for the neck and fretboard
  • Produces an extremely clear sound
  • Maple resonates well and produces defined tones

Mahogany

  • Strong, but malleable
  • Produces a full, yet twangy sound
  • Many favor the red hue of the wood

Ash 

  • Sustains chords and notes
  • Strongest and most economical wood type

Each wood is used for its particular characteristics, so research the different woods suitable for the specific style of guitar you are interested in playing.

2. Beginner? Learn On The Acoustic First.

For a beginner guitarist, we recommend test-driving an acoustic. Acoustic guitars are one of the most beginner-friendly musical instruments and can be learned quickly.  Starting on the acoustic is more meant for learning chords and finger placement, as well as understanding how to amplify your sounds or quiet your sounds. Plus, many are low in cost, so they won’t break your budget!

Advantages Of An Acoustic

  • Portable
  • Doesn’t need electricity to play
  • Doesn’t need a lot of equipment other than a guitar pick
  • Usually, strings won’t hurt the fingers as much compared to the electric guitar strings

Washburn’s Apprentice Series

Never underestimate the wisdom of veteran guitarists when it comes to brand and style advice! Although many musicians will have their preferences, we recommend Washburn’s Apprentice Series as being a great starter for beginner musicians:

Credit: Washburn

  • Best to use when learning finger placement and sound desired
  • Most affordable
  • Premium spruce top
  • Mahogany back and sides for a full rich tone

Washburn guitars have plenty of series and styles to choose from. Do some research to find the best acoustic for your learning style!

3. Know Your Electric Guitars.

When choosing an electric guitar, decisions will rely more on the components and the quality of the craftsmanship rather than the type of wood used.

An electric guitar relies on the wood simply as a strong base capable of sustaining the tension of the strings, as opposed to an acoustic guitar using the wood to amplify the sound. The three most-common body styles are featured below:

Solid body

  • Most common for rock, pop, and country genres
  • Lacks a hollow resonating chamber, which means the sound can be amplified louderCredit: Guitar Center

Hollow body

  • Most common for jazz or blues genres, plus rock n’ roll
  • Tone is silky smooth and electrified
  • Has a large resonating chamberCredit: Guitar Center

Semi-Hollow body

  • Versatile and can adapt to any genre
  • Has a hollow resonating chamber paired with a solid center blockCredit: Guitar Center

Don’t forget!
A few components often overlooked are the switches, tone knobs and volume knobs just below the strings. Are they easy to reach and control with the hand not picking or strumming?

4. Budget For The Accessories, Too!

Enthusiastic shoppers may forget about the extras needed once the actual guitar is purchased. Our friends at Beginner Guitar HQ list several great products, including amp suggestions and guitar cases, but we’ve chosen a few common accessories below that are budget-friendly for beginners.

Picks

They are the tiniest accessory that can often cause the biggest headache for musicians. That’s because you need to find the right material and thickness that can help you strum or pluck without having to use your fingers all the time. If a pick is too flimsy, they can break easily or won’t provide the right sound you are looking for.

ChromaCast CC-Sample-12PK

Purchase on Amazon


Stands

Stands can be made out of different materials, but they should all be durable. The materials can dictate how much they will stand with your instrument and how much they will be able to shield it from danger and the like.

Top Stage Pro

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Storing your instrument in the right temperature is important. If you are not using your instrument, make sure you store it in the right place to avoid such hassle and damage to your instrument in the long run.


Straps

When you choose the best guitar strap, the length can vary depending on the desired length or type of guitar that you have, as well as how tall or short you are.

Protec Leather Ends

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You don’t want your guitar to be too far from your body, making it uncomfortable to play. The thickness can also have an impact, as a thickness that is wider can mean more support for your shoulders.


Tuner

It is always unpleasant to hear an off tune guitar, so you should make it a habit to tune your instrument before every performance or even practice. Tuning your guitar as quickly as possible is important because it will help save up on setup time; too long a setup time will get the audience bored eventually!

D’Addario NS

Purchase on Amazon

The standard tuning of a guitar is E A D G B E.


Strings

Different guitars have different purposes. Consider your choice in strings to meet the criteria that you expect so as not to waste money in the long run. Electric strings run on amplifier power and can produce loud sounds while acoustic strings are more for the quiet practice purposes, small venues and subtle music.

The gauge or thickness can play a role in a string set. Thickness is how much volume or bass you want or how much treble you want for your strings.

D’Addario EXL 110-3D *for electric guitars

For Electric Guitars. Purchase on Amazon

Acoustic guitars normally use nylon or steel strings. Electric guitars use stainless steel or nickel.

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