Learning to play the acoustic guitar is an incredibly exciting hobby to take on. Many people aspire to be full-time musicians, famous for their lyrics and chords. But the great thing about playing the acoustic guitar is that you don’t have to be famous to be amazingly talented!
With so many options available, picking a single acoustic guitar can be a daunting task, even more so if you consider that the needs and expectations of guitarists differ as you move up in price range. Here we help you narrow down your options to only those worth considering, conveniently grouped into their specific price ranges.
For a long time Yamaha were regarded as one of the best producers of student guitars but their reputation didn’t go far beyond that. And it’s true that they make excellent guitars for beginners, I am one of the many who originally learned to play on their student nylon string C40. BTW I’m one of those guitarists who thoroughly recommend initially learning to play on a nylon string guitar.
Over the last decade or so, Yamaha have become a widely regarded brand for all kinds of guitars, and in addition to their many student friendly nylon and steel-string acoustics, they also make some very highly rated acoustic guitars such as the Yamaha AC3R (pictured)
Some of the notable musicians who play Yamaha acoustic guitars are Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Ed Roland from Collective Soul, and Joe Bonamassa just to name a few.
our best yamaha acoustic guitar picks
Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha’s F325D Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar gives you that classic dreadnought shape and sound at a price point that won’t break your bank. The F325D’s tonewood combination includes a laminate spruce top, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and meranti back and sides. Gold die-cast tuners provide smooth and accurate tuning while a tortoiseshell pickguard gives a bit more style. Case sold separately.
This guitar can be found in most places for less than $200. This price bracket is awash with acoustic guitars from all kinds of brands, but when we think about the best in this region, we’re drawn to the Yamaha FG800. Put simply, the sound this guitar produces makes it worth the money alone.
This is largely down to features like scalloped bracing, which boosts the low end sound, and the solid spruce top, which is normally found on higher end instruments. All of which adds up to make the FG800 a highly credible guitar. You’ll struggle to find a (relatively) inexpensive acoustic which matches up.
The Yamaha FG830 is a very similar instrument to the FG800, with the most important difference being that the FG830 comes with rosewood back and sides.
Rosewood is more “focused” than mahogany, so the guitar has a stronger mid-range and high-end punch. This lets you be heard better over other instruments. However, musicians who prefer Americana music (not including bluegrass) or solo arrangements may prefer a mahogany guitar because of their warmer voicing.
Yamaha Storia III Acoustic Guitar
Yamaha Storia series acoustic guitars bring beauty into your home and provide you with a path to creativity and self-expression. Storia guitars feature statement-making finishes and brilliant details like shimmering inlays, brass adornments, and eye-catching champagne-gold tuners. The accommodating body shape, slim walnut neck, comfortable string height, and hand-rolled fingerboard edges make Storia easy to pick up and play at any time.
Storia I delivers clear yet rich tones with its one-of-a-kind aesthetic featuring a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany and ivory inlay, and semi-gloss finish. Storia II and Storia III deliver a strong, earthy midrange tonality with a solid mahogany top and mahogany back and sides. Storia II features rounded edges with abalone and ivory inlay, while Storia III features a luminous gloss finish with black, wine red, and ivory inlay.
Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar
The Yamaha C40II is the successor to the discontinued C40. Almost every single thing about the C40 is inherited by the C40II, with a slight difference in the tonewood and hardware used. The C40II is a more durable iteration and a perfect companion to carry around, whether it is for traveling, camping, or out-of-state visits.
The Yamaha C40II sports a spruce top and meranti back and sides; both are laminated.
The bridge and the fretboard are made from ebonized rosewood, while the wide and flat neck is made from nato. These tonewoods are strong and durable enough to last the guitar for years. Unfortunately, the binding looks a little bit odd with its simple black paint.
The nylon strings are easier on the fingers than steel strings, so beginners would really enjoy strumming and picking it for the first time. They have light action or lower tension so it is not difficult to press them down onto the frets. The frets, however, are not as sharp as the other low-end classical guitars on the market. Nonetheless, it is comfortable to play.
By nature, classical guitars have to be tuned more frequently due to the nylon strings which stretch out more often. But true to Yamaha’s legacy, the tuning pegs are easy to adjust and they last for a really long time. That is so useful if you do not know yet how the whole tuning system on classic guitars works.
The sound is decent enough, although not as powerful as an all solid wood handmade guitar can deliver. Taking a closer look and feel to the sound, it is smoother with an emphasis on mid-tones. In fact, the tone is way better than some more expensive classical guitars. Props to the sound engineers who have maximized the tone and playability of the guitar in spite of the cheap price tag.
Conclusion - Choose your best Yamaha acoustic guitar
With over 130 years of operation under its belt, there is no doubt that Yamaha is a well-respected and trusted musical instrument maker. They combine the best of old school techniques with new technology.