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Yamaha JR1 FG – Good For Kids? [REVIEW]

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yamaha jr1 fg review

If you’re wondering if Yamaha JR1 FG is a good 3/4-sized acoustic guitar or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s review, I’m going to take an in-depth look at this affordable model. Many parents choose that guitar for their kids, but is it actually worth the money?

The truth is that Yamaha JR1 FG offers a great value for the money. It’s really well made and it’s suitable for both kids and adults. Considering how inexpensive it actually is, it’s definitely one of the best guitars of this type that you can find on the market right now.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the Yamaha JR1 FG so good and so popular. Firstly, we’ll have a close look at the specs and the main advantages of that model. Additionally, we’ll see if it features any potential flaws. Of course, the sound demos will be included as well!

Specs & Pricing

Yamaha JR1 FG is an affordable 3/4-sized guitar which offers a really good tone and a great look. What’s interesting, it’s actually one of the most popular guitars for teens and teenagers all around the world!

What makes it so special? Well, the guitar features a laminated spruce top with Meranti back and sides. On top of that, there’s a comfortable Nato neck with rosewood fingerboard, which feels really nice and guarantees an enjoyable playing experience.

Although this is a compact-sized guitar and it’s significantly smaller than regular acoustic guitars, it has a surprisingly big and resonant tone. This is definitely not a toy – it’s a well made instrument with a great acoustic sound.

What’s important, Yamaha JR1 FG usually comes with a gig bag. It’s not the best soft case in the world, but it will help you get from point A to point B. This is a big advantage, because you won’t heave to search for it at some other places.

When it comes to pricing, it’s really affordable. Although it’s not the cheapest compact guitar in the world, it’s still considered as a cheap guitar. That being said, getting it for yourself or your kid shouldn’t be a big trouble. It’s a perfect choice for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much on a new guitar.

Here’s a quick review and sound demo – feel free to check it out.

Who Is It For?

Yamaha JR1 FG is mainly designed for beginners (especially kids), who are just starting out their musical journey. Nevertheless, it can also be used by adults as a travel guitar or as an instrument that you can casually play while you’re sitting on the couch.

When it comes to sound, this Yamaha guitar exceeds all the expectations. Considering the fact that it’s a cheap model, it exceeds all the expectations. It can be used for a wide range of different music styles, so whether you’re into blues, folk, country or rock – you won’t be disappointed.

It is also worth mentioning that the low price makes that model really appealing for a lot of musicians out there. In fact, the price is the main factor that makes the JR1 FG model so popular. Surely, it won’t be difficult to save up for that guitar – it’s within reach of any guitar player.

Overall, Yamaha JR1 FG offers a great value for the money. Of course, it’s not the best guitar in the world, but that’s totally fine. It will not be easy to find a better and more affordable 3/4-sized guitar on today’s guitar market. That’s why I highly recommend checking it out!

Here’s an another sound demo.

Disadvantages Of Yamaha JR1 FG

Honestly, the advantages of Yamaha JR1 FG outweigh its disadvantages. The truth is that it’s really tough to complain about anything when you think of how inexpensive this guitar actually is! Still, there’s a few things that you should be aware of before you decide to get it.

Firstly, this is an acoustic guitar with steel strings. Sometimes classical guitars are better for young guitarists due to the fact that they have nylon strings, which are a bit more easier to use. But this is a really subjective thing and it all depends on your own preferences.

Additionally, bear in mind that this is a small guitar. It’s actually a bit smaller than some other 3/4-sized guitars, so while it’s a big advantage for young guitarists, it may not be a good thing for those who are searching for a travel guitar.

Also, the gig bag included with the guitar doesn’t feature the best quality. It’s pretty thin and it doesn’t protect the guitar efficiently, although on the other hand, the vast majority of other acoustic guitars don’t include cases at all.

Summing up, the main cons of Yamaha JR1 FG are:

  • steel strings may be uncomfortable for kids (but it’s really subjective)
  • it’s a bit smaller than other 3/4-sized guitars
  • the included gig bag isn’t the best

Nevertheless, I still believe that disadvantages of that model aren’t that relevant. This guitar still offers a fantastic value for the money, so it will be difficult to find something better, especially at this price level.

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you believe that Yamaha JR1 FG is not a good fit for you or your kid, that’s totally fine too! There’s still a lot of other acoustic guitars that also deserve a lot of attention. Of course, it all depends on how much are you willing to spend on a new instrument.

Here’s a few more gear recommendations based on my experience.

acoustic guitars

Firstly, I highly recommend checking out Fender FA-15. It’s an another 3/4 scale guitar that offers a great value for the money. Just like the Yamaha JR1 FG, it’s mainly recommended for young beginners, but it can also be used as a travel guitar.

Alternatively, there’s also Gretsch Jim Dandy G9500. This particular model will be an excellent choice for adult players who are searching for a compact guitar suitable for traveling and noodling on the couch. It has a very unique vintage vibe, so it’s ideal for all lovers of folk and country music.

If you or your kid are absolute beginners, you may also check out Epiphone DR100. This is a regular sized acoustic guitar, but it’s a perfect option for amateur teenagers and adults. It was actually my first acoustic guitar (I bought it back in 2008). What’s important, I still like to play on that model – even after all these years!


Where is Yamaha JR1 FG made?

Yamaha JR1 FG is manufactured in Indonesia.

Is that guitar good for a 8-year old kid?

Yes, the JR1 FG is excellent for kids of that age.

Does that guitar have steel or nylon strings?

The JR1 FG model has steel strings.

Want to learn more about Yamaha guitars?

If you want to find out more about that legendary manufacturer of stringed instruments, make sure to check out the official website of Yamaha.


As you can see, Yamaha JR1 FG is a really cool and inexpensive acoustic guitar. Whether you decide to get it for yourself or your kid, I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed. There’s just not much to complain about, especially when you consider how cheap that model actually is!

What do you think of that 3/4-sized guitar? Would you get it for yourself? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: