As any musician knows, the seemingly small details of an instrument can deeply affect how rewarding each practice or jam session feels.
If you’ve already spent some time looking for your ideal acoustic guitar, then you’ve undoubtedly heard that the Yamaha FG800 is often cited as one of the most popular beginners’ guitars out there.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the defining features of the Yamaha FG800 Dreadnought so that you can make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you!
The Yamaha GF800 is an affordable choice for beginners
For guitarists who are just beginning their journey and want a good starter acoustic guitar that won’t break the bank, the Yamaha FG800 is a great way to go.
This guitar will usually cost right around $200, making it an accessible option for anyone on a budget.
But what really makes this instrument stand above its competitors is the fact that it feels like it should have cost significantly more!
People who purchase the Yamaha FG800 report that it delivers an excellent value for the money in terms of sound and quality, especially as compared to other common alternatives that fall within the same price range. Many musicians state that, no matter how many other acoustic guitars they tried while shopping around, they kept feeling the urge to come back to the FG800 because the tone was so incredibly good for the price.
Yamaha took a very practical approach to the design of their FG800. They know what their target audience wants, and they deliver! Beginning guitarists generally don’t have the keen, highly-trained ear for subtle differences in sound quality that experienced professionals do. Instead of trying to do too much with the FG800, Yamaha focuses on what beginners want: Comfort, accessibility, and a pleasant tone. The result is a comfortable, practical guitar that feels good to play and delivers a satisfying sound that’s sure to please any budding guitarist.
So, what makes Yamaha FG800 sound so great?
One of the most important factors in the incredible sound that the Yamaha FG800 will deliver for your money is the great quality of its materials. The solid top is made from Sitka spruce and the back and sides are crafted from Nato wood that complements the Rosewood bridge and fingerboard nicely. Not only do these materials make the guitar sound and feel great, but they’re highly durable and will hold up well under regular use.
Sitka spruce has just the right amount of give to produce a very clean, powerful tone whenever you strum or pick the guitar’s strings. It boasts a tight grain pattern, matures wonderfully, and is sturdy yet flexible, lending plenty of resonance and volume to each chord you play. It is also very lightweight despite its strength, meaning that your guitar won’t feel overly cumbersome or heavy.
Nato wood, which is also known as Eastern Mahogany despite its lack of relation to true Mahogany, also contributes to the surprisingly good tone of the FG800. Even though it isn’t the same as true Mahogany, Nato offers many similar advantages without jacking up the price. While Nato doesn’t offer the same volume boost that higher-end tonewoods do, this detail is extremely unlikely to hold most guitarists back from enjoying the FG800. This especially holds true for beginners.
Alongside the FG800’s dependable materials, the Dreadnought shape is another key factor in this instrument’s inviting sound. The Dreadnought’s shape is more rounded than the shape you see in traditional acoustic guitars. This particular difference lends a delightfully rich, warm quality to the sound of the instrument and makes it very satisfying to strum. Dreadnought guitars are especially good for guitar players who prefer strumming over finger picking, since strumming really invites the volume depth of the Dreadnought to shine. So, if you’re in the process of settling into your niche as a chord enthusiast, then the Yamaha FG800 can deliver the punch you need!
Lastly, the tuners on the headstock of this guitar are made from die-cast chrome, just like those found on more expensive Yamaha guitars such as the FG830. These classic, high-quality metal components will ensure that your guitar stays in tune once you get it there. This is an especially helpful perk for guitarists who are focused on learning how to play and don’t have much of a feel for tuning yet.
How does the FG800 feel to play in comparison with similar guitars?
The feel is another area where the FG800 shines with a quality far better than you’d expect for the price! The Dreadnought shape is already widely known for providing a comfortable, ergonomic structure that most adults can pick up and play without any issues. As we mentioned before, the Yamaha FG800 also feels very solid and well-made without being too clunky, thanks to the highly practical varieties of tonewood that go into its construction.
People of all skill levels and builds who use this guitar also report a high level of comfort when using the Rosewood fretboard, appreciating the fact that it’s easy to fret without straining to reach the strings. The reliable tuners and their less frequent need for adjustment also contribute to a pleasant and user-friendly experience.
How much flexibility will the FG800 offer in terms of looks?
The Yamaha FG800 prioritizes great sound quality on a budget over all else and a no-frills appearance is part of the highly practical package. Additionally, most people consider the Dreadnought shape to already be aesthetically pleasing enough on its own–even without added details and embellishments.
Most people aren’t looking for anything too snazzy while shopping for a starter guitar and instead focus on sound quality and comfort, and the FG800 certainly fits the bill there. This guitar looks sleek and professional overall without the need for any fancy details. However, if you’d still like the opportunity for at least a little bit of visual self-expression through your instrument choice, you’ll be happy to know that the FG800 is available in a variety of colors! Each variety of this guitar is given a smooth glossy or satin finish that brings out its best qualities and makes the instrument pleasant to touch and hold.
What other features make the FG800 unique?
The FG800 features scalloped bracing, which offers a distinct improvement over the preceding FG700 in both structure and sound. This feature is not visibly apparent, but it does wonders to improve the projection of the notes when you play. Many people believe that this is the secret ingredient that makes this guitar sound so much better than any competitors that fall within the same price range!
Remember how so many guitarists have positive things to say about the FG800’s playability and feel? Well, that’s partially thanks to the fact that its nut width is on the narrower side at just 43mm. This slimmer nut width translates to easier fretting since you won’t have to struggle to reach the strings and form your favorite chords.
All things considered, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better starter guitar than the Yamaha FG800 for the price tag! This guitar delivers superior sound alongside beginner-friendly playability and comfort that outshines competitors with similar prices–and even some with higher prices.
The rich, punchy tone of this guitar is enhanced by the solid top, scalloped bracing, and reliable choices in tonewood, and the chrome tuners ensure that the instrument will stay in tune for a long time while you play. These traits both make the instrument universally pleasant for beginners and more experienced players alike.
If you want a practical, high-quality, and affordable starter guitar that provides everything you’ll need in order to practice and learn, then the Yamaha FG800 is a great buy for you!