- The guitar is an excellent option for beginners, as well as skilled players who want a fun, relatively inexpensive guitar to play around with.
- Clear sound and great resonance.
- Stays in tune for longer than many other similar acoustics
- Good build quality for the price
- The guitar does not have a cutaway, which makes playing on the lower part of the fretboard difficult.
- The action is high.
What to Consider When Buying an Acoustic Guitar
You’ve made up your mind that you are going to buy an acoustic guitar, but you aren’t quite sure what you should be looking for when you make your purchase. This is common with those who are just beginning with this or any other instrument. We want to make it easier for you to think about the most important things to consider when buying.
The Body Style
Many who are just beginning on the guitar are not aware that there are different body styles of guitar from which they can choose. However, these styles are not interchangeable, as they each tend to serve their purpose. The FG800 solid top is a dreadnought body style, for example. Below are some of the popular different body styles and a bit about each of them.
- Classical – Classical guitars are often used to play Flamenco music, and they use nylon strings rather than steel strings. These guitars are smaller than many of the other options, including the dreadnought.
- Dreadnought – The dreadnought is easily the most popular and common body style for acoustic guitars. They are workhorses that can play all types of music from rock to country to indie and more with ease. These can be a fantastic first guitar, but they are popular enough that most well-known players will have some in their collection.
- Jumbo – Jumbo guitar bodies are just what the name implies. They are large and loud acoustic guitars, but they can be more difficult for many smaller players to use.
- Parlour – The parlour acoustic, which is typically used in smaller settings, is a smaller guitar that is often used for folk and indie music.
- Auditorium – These guitars, created by Martin, have an hourglass shape. They work well for fingerpicking, but they can be strummed just as easily.
- Small body – Small body guitars are often called travel guitars. They are similar to dreadnoughts in the body shape, but they have been reduced in size to make them easier to transport.
Quality of the Materials
In addition to understanding the body style that you will be getting, you will also want to look into the quality of the materials used in the manufacturing of the guitar. When the price is a factor, you can’t expect filet mignon on a hamburger budget, but this does not mean that you should settle for low-quality wood and materials being used.
There are excellent guitars for beginners that feature solid Sitka spruce tops, scalloped bracing, and quality wood for the back and sides. Options like the FG800 even have quality diecast tuners that are used on guitars that typically have a higher price.
When you are spending a couple of hundred dollars on a guitar, make sure that you don’t skimp on the quality of the materials. It will make a difference in the way the guitar feels, plays, and sounds. Get the best you can afford.
The Size of the Guitar
The overall size of the guitar is a factor to consider, as well. Always take a look at the length, width, and depth of the guitar to get an idea of whether it will be too large for you or not. The FG800, for example, is a full-size guitar that is suitable for most teens and adults. However, those who are younger or who are very petite might have trouble with its size.
Getting the proper size will ensure you are more comfortable when you play, and that it will be easier to learn and to get a great sound.
Your Level of Skill
When buying an acoustic, your level of skill should be considered, as well. If you are a beginner, then you will likely want to focus your attention on guitars that are geared toward beginners. These can still be high-quality, like this option from Yamaha, but they will not have a large price tag associated with them.
Those who are more skilled may still find that getting a beginner acoustic can be a lot of fun. They can save some money on a guitar that they bring with them to parties, camping, and more.
What Accessories You Might Need
The guitar is just the first thing that you need to think about when you are buying your first acoustic. You will also want to think about some of the various accessories that you might want. Some guitars will be bundled with accessories, but that’s not always the case. Below are some of the items that you will certainly want to make sure you have available when you start playing.
- Extra strings
- A tuner
- Polishing cloth
- Gig bag/hard case
Along with these, make sure you have a good method of learning the guitar, so you can start playing and enjoying the instrument as soon as possible.
What’s a Good Price Range for a Beginner Acoustic Guitar?
How much should you spend on a beginner acoustic guitar? While the price range can vary quite a bit, you will find that you are typically going to spend between $200 and $400 to get a good guitar that will last and that will sound great.
If you try to buy a budget guitar for less than $100, you have to be aware that you will get what you pay for. These instruments tend to have low-quality wood and hardware, and they do not always stay in tune for very long.
Yamaha FG800 Overview
Let’s take a quick look at some of the main specs of the Yamaha FG800 to see what you can expect if you choose this guitar.
- Acoustic guitar in the dreadnought body style
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Nato back and sides
- Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
- Diecast tuners
- Adjustable truss rod
- Natural finish
- Measures 42.5” x 20.7” x 6.1”
Features of the Yamaha FG800
The FG Series of guitars from Yamaha has proven to be popular due to their sound, their design, and their price range. The FG800 is one of the top options in the series, and it is an ideal guitar for those who are just beginning to play and who want something that sounds great.
Let’s look at some of the main features and benefits that the Yamaha FG800 can offer to see if it could be a good choice for you or someone in your life.
The Body, Neck, and Hardware
You will find that the guitar has a very classic appearance from top to bottom, and part of that is due to the beautiful natural finish on the guitar along with the faux tortoiseshell pickguard. The solid top guitar has a rosewood fingerboard and a 25” scale. Made from a solid Sitka spruce top and with laminated nato on the sides, you will find that the style and aesthetics of the guitar are exceptional for the price.
The guitar is comfortable to hold, which is always important when you are buying a guitar. Many guitars that are in a similar price range are not comfortable to hold and play for any length of time, but you should not find this issue with the Yamaha FG800.
The hardware on the solid top is high-quality, as Yamaha is using the same components that they use on some of the more expensive models in the FG Series. The headstock features diecast chrome tuners that help the guitar stay in tune. From the nut and saddle to the bridge, the hardware is exceptional for a guitar of this price.
Naturally, you want to know about the quality of the sound from the guitar. Despite the price, you will find that this guitar performs very well, producing a loud and resonant sound. You will find that the guitar has a warm tone with just enough brightness to make it really stand out.
Many guitars that are in a similar price range sound like cheap guitars when you play them. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the FG800 dreadnought. This is why even though it is an excellent guitar for beginners, many advanced players like to have one around just to noodle on or to take with them camping or to the beach.
What About the Negatives?
As great as this guitar is for the price, there are also some potential issues that you will want to be aware of before you make your choice. All guitar reviews should make a point to add in the cons of an instrument, so you can make a good decision before buying. Fortunately, they are not dealbreakers by any means.
For starters, you will find that this model does not have a cutaway. This means that when you are trying to play on the lower part of the fretboard, hitting some of those frets properly and getting sound from them will be difficult.
One of the other issues that some players have had is that the action is on the high side. This means that it will be more difficult to press on the strings. Fortunately, it is possible to lower the bridge and make this problem go away.
As you can see, the negatives are very minimal compared with the benefits you will find when you choose this affordable guitar.
It is easy to see why so many people like the Yamaha FG800. It is a high-quality guitar with a price that’s on the lower side of good beginner guitars. The quality of the materials, the sound, the aesthetics, and the overall value help to make it a good option.
Of course, each guitar player is different. Once you’ve finished this review, you might find that you want to give the FG800 a shot. It could be a nice first guitar for yourself or someone in your life, or it might be a good second or third guitar for those who want an affordable guitar for playing around with. It will be hard to pass on a guitar of this quality for the price.