Yamaha JR1 Review

yamaha jr1 3/4 guitar

Recommended Age: 8-11 years
Guitar Type: Steel String Acoustic

There are not many quality acoustic guitars for kids, but the Yamaha JR1* is certainly one of them, offering great value at an affordable price. This small size guitar also works well as a faithful travel guitar. In this review we are going to take a look at the details of the guitar.

Review of the Yamaha JR1

3/4 acoustic guitar
Yamaha FG Juniour JR1
Guitare Yamaha Junior

It’s a 3/4 steel-string guitar, which means it’s 3/4 the distance between the strings on Yamaha’s full-size acoustic guitars. If your child is not used to steel strings, it can be a bit uncomfortable and painful for their fingertips at first. Therefore, they only need to play for a short period of time each day until they develop some callouses on their fingers. If you are not sure if this is the right thing for your child, I would also recommend taking a look at a classical guitar. Classical guitars come with nylon strings and are much more comfortable for a beginner to play. But remember, with a little practice and patience, any type of string is comfortable to play because you will build up callus on the fingertips

The Yamaha JR1 comes with a neck that is slimmer than usual, making it much more comfortable for kids to play. The body has a spruce top and meranti back and sides. Spruce is always a good choice for a top as it provides a full and bright sound. This youth guitar comes with a laminated top and that’s fine considering the price. You won’t find a steel string acoustic guitar with a solid top in this price range.

Strumming 1

Strumming 2


Many people would say that a solid top is always the best choice. In fact, solid tops increase the sound quality, but a laminated top is absolutely fine for beginners and as a travel guitar. The guitar is easy to tune and holds the tuning really well. The out of the box action is pretty good and in my case I was able to play it as it was. The Yamaha guitar is really light, making it ideal for kids. It also comes with a gig bag.

Besides all the facts about this little guitar, the sound is certainly the most important thing to discuss in a review. I should say clearly that you will never mistake the JR1 for a $1000 guitar and that shouldn’t be the expectation. Since it is a reduced size guitar, it can’t have the same warm, rich tone that a full size guitar would have. However, I was really surprised with the bright and full sound for a ¾ scale guitar. The JR1 has a nice typical steel string sound, which is not surprising since it’s a steel string guitar. But if you are looking for a small guitar that has a sound like the guitars in country songs, then this Yamaha guitar is your choice.

For a small investment, you get a guitar that is easy and fun to play, has a great sound, and holds its tone for a long time. It’s the perfect guitar for any kid or teen who wants a steel-string acoustic. It is also a faithful travel guitar since you can take it on any plane and put it in the overhead compartment. I really like how the size is reduced for a kid, but still very playable for an adult. For the money, the Yamaha JR1 is one of the best beginner guitars you’ll find.

3/4 Acoustic Guitar
yamaha jr1 guitar
Yamaha JR1
– great value for money
– ideal beginner acoustic guitar
– nice quality and sound

Specifications of the Yamaha JR1

Tuning Machines:Opened Chrome
Scale:21-1/4″ (540mm)

More information on manufacturer’s site: Yamaha JR1

Other guitars we have already reviewed:
Squier by Fender Mini Strat
Yamaha F310