Build Quality:4.5 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.4 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.4 out of 5 stars
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars

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Yamaha JR1 3-4 Scale Guitar with Gig Bag


  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Nice build


  • Not the full tone that full-sized guitar have
  • Tonewood is not the highest quality but that a beginner will notice the difference in sound

This is a great model for beginners because of the comfort that the smaller scale body brings. Despite the size the sound does not suffer so you will be getting an instrument that might look more like a soprano ukulele in size but definitely sounds more like a full-sized guitar. The JR1 is modeled after Yamaha’s famous FG series but in contrast to them it comes at a much lower price.


Yamaha has equipped JR1 with a Spruce top and Meranti back and sides. Spruce is a great, standard material for the top that will only improve the sound of your guitar, and Meranti, a variation of mahogany wood, is a lightweight and durable material. It is not the same quality as the actual mahogany or cedar but it comes close at a much lower price which makes this guitar so much more affordable. The 21-¼” scale neck is made of Nato. The shorter neck provides great comfort for beginners or anyone with smaller hands.


The fingerboard, as well as the bridge, are made from rosewood. The tuning machine is standard opened chrome and the finish is natural. Since this is more of a beginners’ guitar you are probably researching multiple guitars and trying to learn more about different tonewood as well as hardware – therefore it can be rather daunting, so you do not really want to bother yourself with researching and spending more money, at least at this point, on accessories like strings or gig bags. OR maybe you are getting this model because you do not want to drag your full-sized guitar around when you are traveling. In either case, Yamaha, fortunately, has included a gig bag to keep your instrument intact.

Yamaha JR1 Sound

Let’s be honest, a small-sized guitar at such a low price cannot be expected to sound like a full-sized $1000 model. That is just a fact but the key it to find a guitar that comes close in intonation, tonality and overall sound to the perfect guitar and I think Yamaha Junior is doing just that. I would say, for the first guitar, this model has great sound and playability that you can enjoy while learning how to play.


If you are looking for a first guitar for yourself or your kid, or you are more comfortable with smaller-sized guitars Yamaha JR1 is a great option for you. Delivering, and exceeding the expectations, this model provides the full tone and volume that you would be expecting from a larger model, while paying a lot less and having more comfort in playing.

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