In the world of guitars, Yamaha Guitars has established itself as an excellent option for those looking to buy a beginner classical guitar. My very first guitar was a Yamaha and I know of many others who have begun playing on one.
Even on their website, Yamaha notes that the C40 is a “full-sized classical guitar” that was built with “beginners” in mind.
So if you’re looking for an upgrade guitar you might want to check out other classical guitars available, but if you’re looking for a review of a good first-time beginner classical guitar, I think you’ll find this helpful.
My Yamaha C40 Review
First of all, let me be clear that the Yamaha C40 is very much a beginner’s guitar and I’m keeping that in mind as I write this review. Anybody expecting a high-quality guitar for a price this low is kidding themselves.
Instead, I’m looking at this from the point of view of a person who has never owned a guitar before and wants to learn. Their budget is very tight and they’re not quite ready to invest big dollars into a hobby they’re not sure they’re going to like.
If that’s you, then read on!
The Yamaha C40 is one of the cheapest full-sized classical guitars on the market and acts as an excellent place to start learning if you prefer a classical.
It is manufactured with a Spruce wood top – which is common on guitars – as well as Meranti back and sides. The wood is laminate, meaning that the projection of the guitar won’t be quite as good as a solid wood guitar, but that’s one of the sacrifices you have to make with a beginner guitar.
The neck is wide like most all classical guitars and is made of Nato with a rosewood fretboard. Again, this is pretty standard.
Opening the Box
When you first receive the Yamaha C40, it comes boxed up and secured in a padded gig bag. The strings are already put on the guitar which means that all you need to do is tune it up to begin playing. The beginner pack even comes with an electronic tuner to help with that!
What’s great about purchasing the C40 as a bundle is that it also comes with a guitar stand, a string winder, guitar polish, guitar rag, extra strings and a DVD to get you started.
It’s worth noting, however, that the factory strings aren’t that great. You’re probably going to want to change those within the first month or two so check out my guide to changing classical guitar strings for more help on that.
The C40 Sound
For more beginner guitarists, the sound from a Yamaha C40 will be sufficient to practice and lay a good foundation for future playing. For those who have a critical ear or who have been playing guitar for a while, you might notice that it has a more muted sound and doesn’t project like you might have hoped.
You will most likely want to change from the factory strings. But, remember, as a beginner guitar don’t typically have a super-high quality of sound.
The C40 Feel
The advantage of purchasing a Yamaha over some no-name beginner guitar is that you know it will come out of the box feeling good. I’ve never seen any defects or problems with a C40 that affect playability.
The neck is smooth and the body is an appropriate size. If you’re purchasing this guitar for a younger player, you might consider the Yamaha CS40ii. It is the same guitar but with a shorter scale length and thinner body. Basically, it will be more comfortable for them to play as they learn, which is a huge advantage.
The C40 Look
Finally, the Yamaha C40 has a gloss finish that is traditional with many classical guitars. It looks nice and has a bit of a “shine” that most people like.
You’ll want to keep a rag with you to wipe it down, as gloss tends to show fingerprints and smudges. Thankfully that comes with that pack!
Overall Impression of the C40
I highly recommend the Yamaha C40 as a first-time, beginner guitar for somebody who is just learning. You won’t be breaking the bank and the Yamaha quality is tons better than the no-name brands online.
The strings will need replacing and the sound is a bit muted. So expect to upgrade in a year or two once you’ve had time to learn the guitar. Still, you’ll be glad you started on the Yamaha C40. And, it will be a great guitar to pass down to the next generation of beginner guitarists!