The Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar Review – A Great Beginner Guitar

Yamaha C40 GigmakerToday, I would like to introduce my personal recommendation for a great beginner guitar, the Yamaha C40. This model is a light, but very solid classical guitar that is being sold by amazon in a kit with a bunch of useful accessories for around $149.99.

In the following article we look at the Yamaha C40 classical guitar from a bunch of different angles. Ultimately, my goal is to give you a proper introduction to the instrument, so that you can decide if this is the right choice for you as an acoustic guitar beginner or intermediate player. Also, I put a little video together for you where you will see and hear the C40 in action.

Here are the topics we will be discussing in more detail. Just click on the link of your choice to jump right to the section you’re interested in. As usual, though, I think it would make most sense to read – and watch – my entire Yamaha C40 review.

1. What A Good Beginners Acoustic Guitar Must Have
2. Unboxing the Yamaha C40 Gigmaker Bundle
3. Technical Specifications
4. Video Discussion: The Yamaha C40 Review
5. Should I Get The Bundle Option Or Just The Guitar?
6. Yamaha C40 Price And Purchasing Information
7. Tips And Tricks To Get Started With Acoustic Guitar

1. What A Good Beginners Acoustic Guitar Must Have

As a general matter, before we take a closer look at the Yamaha Classical Guitar C40, let’s look at the key criteria any good acoustic guitar for beginners should meet. Because the price is really only one aspect within the bigger picture, albeit an important one, of course. But speaking of the price, let me address one common misconception right off the bat: a decent guitar for beginners doesn’t have to be expensive, quite the opposite actually. If you’ve been following my website for a while, you know I’m not one of those guys who tell you that any instrument under $500 is not even worthwhile looking at. Simply because in my opinion, that’s not true and secondly, I would go as far as saying that you actually shouldn’t spend a lot of your money on your first guitar. For starters, the reality is you don’t even know if you going to stick with it. And secondly, most guitar beginners wouldn’t be able to appreciate the difference between a decent, yet cheap guitar, and a more sophisticated instrument at a much higher price-point.

Don’t get me wrong, you want a decent, playable instrument and not a toy! So, chances are if you buy a guitar under $100, you may end up with a piece that may make a fine decoration accessory, but has absolutely no place in the hands of someone who is asking him- or herself the question: what’s the best way to learn guitar and what kind of instrument do I need? Of course, I’m not saying that’s impossible to get a good guitar for under $100, but in my experience, there is just a much greater risk that you end up with something you can’t use.

My first guitar was very similar to the C40 by Yamaha in terms of built, play-ability and price. And without a doubt, it was a perfectly fine guitar for my purposes back then. So, let’s look at a couple of things that we want to see in a good starter acoustic guitar.

Yamaha C40 Best Beginners GuitarHandling:

The C40 Yamaha acoustic guitar is a full size classical guitar. This is very important, because that means that this instrument may be too big for a child. It all depends on the age and physical maturity of the youngster, as to whether or not the C40 would be simply too big for him or her. For instance, my 6-year-old nephew would not be able to handle this guitar, but my 15 year old niece has no problem with it at all. There are smaller sized guitars available specifically for young kids. If you are looking to get a good kids acoustic guitar for children, click here.

As a typical classical guitar, the Yamaha C40 is on the light side which makes handling the instrument easy. The same is true for its dimensions which make the life of a guitar beginner easier compared to a Western guitar for example which has a bigger body.

General play-ability:

The C40 plays very well. The fretboard is smooth and the action is just right for a guitar beginner. In case you don’t know what I mean by “action” – it’s essentially the distances between the strings and the fretboard. If this distance is too big, then it’s difficult to press the strings down to the fretboard. If it’s too small, then you might get a buzz when playing.

The guitar has a nice tone to it. It’s obviously not a $3,000 Cordoba but I find the sound of the C40 pretty good.

Price:

You can get the instrument either just by itself or as a bundle where the guitar comes with a bunch of different accessories. Obviously buying just the guitar is cheaper than the bundle, however, unless you have no need for the accessories, I recommend that you get yourself the Yamaha C40 Gigmaker package for guitar starters. The guitar by itself comes to roughly $140 (as of April 2016) and the bundle option is available for about $160. So, for a $20 price difference you can get yourself a few additional items that come in very handy, including a set of spare strings, a clip on guitar tuner, a gigbag, a strap and a DVD. I bought the bundle and if I was you, I’d do the same.

Proven Track Record:

Now, I can tell you a lot of things. And as usual, I am always the first one to admit that whatever I share with you when it comes to guitars and learning to play guitar, all I can do is give you my honest opinion. And I can only talk about items that I actually know, meaning things that I either used in the past or that I still own. Now, with the Yamaha C40, I obviously still use the instrument all the time and I am still very happy with it. More importantly, though, this particular guitar has been a bestseller in the “best beginner acoustic guitars” category for a long time, simply because you get an excellent product at a very affordable price. In other words, the good news is, however I feel about this instrument is consistent with what the vast majority of people who bought this guitar think. On amazon for example, the C40 gets 4.5 out of 5 stars which is exactly how I would rate this instrument, too.

2. Unboxing the Yamaha C40 Gigmaker Bundle

In the beginning I was a little skeptical because let’s be honest, there is only so much you can expect from an instrument at such a low price point. The more surprised I was when the guitar arrived here a few days after I had ordered it. It comes in a sturdy box and the instrument itself was wrapped carefully into that white foamy stuff you usually see furniture wrapped in when people move. It was inside a nicely fitting Yamaha gig-bag. For what it’s worth, even that gig-bag is actually of great quality. I’ve seen many of these over the past two decades and I can tell the good ones from the rest. Yamaha C40 GigMaker PackageThe Yamaha C40 classical guitar was already stringed, so all I had to do is bring it into tune. Which was fairly easy since the Yamaha GCT1, a chromatic clip on tuner came along with the kit. This little device is fabulous; it works like a charm, accurate, easy to operate and a crystal clear display.

I inspected the instrument carefully and I did not find any flaws at all. Well, there is a very small spot of discoloration on the fret-board near the body. This has absolutely no effect on the quality of the instrument, but I wanted to mention it so you get the complete picture. Other than that, the Yamaha C40 is of solid built with a beautiful glossy finish. The tuning keys work very well and allow for accurate tuning. The guitar produces a rich and full sound that definitely exceeded my expectations considering the price I purchased it for. Part of the kit was also a manual, as well as a DVD with setup instructions and beginner lessons. Also, the package included a set of spare strings, a strap and a gig-bag.

3. Technical Specifications

  • Spruce Top, Nato Neck
  • Indonesian Mahogany Back and Sides
  • Melamine Gloss Finish
  • Item Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 7 x 10 inches

4. Video Discussion: The Yamaha C40 Review

In the video below I will show you the guitar and some of the accessories you get if you opt for the package option. You will also get a chance to hear play a little bit. If you want to hear more examples of the Yamaha C40 in action, here is a tutorial I did for a classical tune (Mr. Dowland’s Midnight) using the instrument.

5. Should I Get The Bundle Option Or Just The Guitar?

The answer to that question really depends on your situation. Let me ask you this: do you already have a decent guitar tuner? If yes, then I guess you could just go with the instrument without all the accessories. Because the tuner is probably the most valuable of all items – aside from the guitar itself, of course – among all the accessories you get with the bundle option. On the other hand, keep in mind, it’s only a $20 price difference and you get some decent additional value when you go with the bundle instead of just with the bare guitar. Also, there actually a couple of different bundles available. If I was you, unless you really have absolutely no need for the accessories, go with the starter package (bundle). Even if you end up with two tuners, always good to have more than one of those. So, here is exactly what you would get as part of the Yamaha C40 bundle (bundle option 2, as of April 2016):

– Yamaha C40 classical acoustic guitar with nylon strings
– Onstage guitar stand
– 12 pack of Dunlop guitar picks
– Digital guitar tuner
– Padded gig-bag
– Instructional booklet and DVD

So, looking at everything you get, I think it’s worth spending the extra $20 to get all the additional accessories.

6. Yamaha C40 Price And Purchasing Information

As I mentioned before, you can either purchase the Yamaha C40 just by itself or as part of a bundle, where you get a bunch of accessories in addition to the actual instrument. Below is a comparison of the several buying options. Click on “Get the best price now” under each option for more details on what exactly you get for your money.

Recommended Option: Yamaha C40 Review (Bundle 2)
9.5/10 Ulrich's Rating
Pros
- Best Value Package - Playability & Handling - Accessories - Best Customer Ratings
Cons
- Limited Availability
Summary
The Yamaha C40 bundle options are amazing! If you are a guitar beginner and if you are looking for the best price/value regarding your instrument and accessories, either this option (Bundle 2) or one we are discussing in the next chapter, are my personal top recommendations for all guitar starters.
Price/Value Ratio10
Customer Rating9
Ulrich's Rating9.5
Yamaha C40 Gigmaker Review (Bundle 1)
8.5 Ulrich's Rating
Pros
- Excellent Price/Value Ratio - Playability & Handling - Accessories - Bestseller Beginner Guitar
Cons
- Limited Availability
Summary
This is yet another Yamaha C40 Bundle option. The guitar comes along a learning book, DVD, digital tuner and a gig bag for transportation.
Price/Value Ratio9.5
Customer Rating8
Ulrich's Rating8.5
Yamaha C40 (no bundle, just the guitar)
9.3/10 Ulrich's Rating
Pros
- Price/Product value - Top rated Beginners Guitar - Playability - Weight
Cons
- This option DOES NOT come with accessories
Summary
For those of you who don't need any accessories but just want the instrument, this option is the right one for you.
Price/Value Ratio9
Customer Rating9.5
Ulrich's Rating9

7. Tips And Tricks To Get Started With Acoustic Guitar

Alright, in the following, I thought I share a few more resources with you that might be helpful as you get started with learning to play the guitar.

Best Way To Learn Guitar: in this write-up and video discussion I explore in detail all the things you need to know around the several options available to you relative to learning the instrument. We look at the Dos and Don’ts, scams, setting realistic expectations and develop a solid understanding of what it takes to make your guitar learning experience a success story.

Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners: as the name suggest, in this article we look at my 5 Top Picks in this category. it features a few steel-string and a couple of nylon string acoustic guitars. We put them to a little head-on-head to figure out which instrument is the best for your purposes.

Best Kids Acoustic Guitars For Under $150: again the name says it all. The focus of this post is on kids-size guitars which are obviously smaller than regular sized guitars. All these instrument are excellent choices for smaller children who have a serious interest in learning the instrument. And if it later turns out that their interest was actually not as serious as you had hoped, no worries, your monetary losses will be manageable as none of the instruments we look at are over $150!

Beginners Guitar Course: this is a course I specifically developed for guitar starters. It used to be a paid-for option, but I converted it to a complete free of charge online guitar learning program. Go ahead and check it out!

Jamplay: since a long time Jamplay has been consistently rated the #1 online guitar learning platform. For a good reason because as far as I can tell they are the best out there. Fortunately for you, I have a bunch of coupon codes that make an already attractive offer even more affordable. Click here for more details.

Alright, that’s it for today. I hope all this and my detailed review on the Yamaha C40 was of help to you. So in sum, if you are looking for a great classical guitar for beginners, the Yamaha C40 would be my recommendation. As I mentioned before, I was very surprised when I took the instrument out of the box and played my first tunes on it. The value you get for roughly $150 is phenomenal, hands down; I don’t think it gets any better than that. it’s a guitar that will likely not only accompany you through your guitar beginner phase, but likely serve you well beyond that, just as it did for me.

If you have any specific questions I haven’t answered here, please leave a comment below.

Published date: May 21st, 2016 by Ulrich Peise

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