Yamaha C40 Review – the Classical Guitar For Everyone

yamaha c40 classical guitar
  • Top: Spruce
  • Back: Meranti
  • Sides: Meranti
  • Neck: Nato
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Freadboard width: 2.063″ (52 mm)
  • Scale: 25.6″ (650 mm)
  • Body Depth: 25.6″ (650 mm)

Quick Summary

The Yamaha C40 full nylon-string classical guitar was designed with beginners in mind but isn’t a bad option for players outside of that range who are looking for an affordable guitar. It is a high-quality instrument that looks good, sounds great and is made by the experts at Yamaha, who began making guitars in 1940.

80 years later, Yamaha has cemented themselves as one of the best guitar making companies who are especially known for their excellent classical guitars. The C40 is a Yamaha guitar that is easy on the wallet and is very pleasant to play, especially for beginners.

For intermediate and expert players, the Yamaha C40 might not meet their high standards though. Yamaha even notes on their website that the C40 is made specifically for beginners so, while the guitar is high-quality and sounds good, it is not created with high-quality players in mind. The price should be a good indication that this isn’t a top model when comparing classical guitars.

With all of this in mind, below I will outline everything you need to know about the Yamaha C40 full-size classical guitar if a beginner was looking to purchase it. If you are intermediate to an expert player looking for a guitar to fit your playing, this review might not be of benefit to you.

Yamaha C40 full-size classic guitar – in-depth review

The Yamaha C40 is a nice looking guitar that fits your standard classical guitar appearance. It has very few factors that make it stand out but still look quite nice when you first see it. The simplicity is charming and fits the beginner market it was designed for.

For under $200, the Yamaha C40 might be one of the best beginner guitars on the market. A beginner will enjoy the lightweight feel to it, but – once again – for someone who has played other, more expensive classical guitars, it might feel cheap.


The overall construction of this guitar is good for what is considered a beginner guitar. While it is made for beginners, it is a strong guitar that can last the usual wear and tear a guitar takes over several years.

This classical guitar has a Spruce wood top with Indonesian Mahogany on the sides and back of the body. The wood is laminate (a lesser quality than other guitars) and is a very light guitar.

Most of the other parts of the guitar are pretty standard for a cheaper classical guitar and it doesn’t take much work to get it ready for playing when you first buy it because it already has the strings on it when you take it out of the box. Because it is a lower quality guitar, it does struggle to stay in tune so you’ll definitely have to do that before playing it for the first time, and often after that.

If you’d like a guitar strap on this guitar, be prepared to do some work as well. There is no place to connect a guitar strap on either end.


The Spruce wood top and Indonesian mahogany back and sides make up the body of this guitar. There is also a gloss finish on this normal-sized classical guitar body. It is not too unique or fancy and has a natural finish. One nice part of the body is the bridge, which has a vintage style and appearance.

The body will feel comfortable and light on your knee while playing and is similar to pretty well any other classical guitar on the market today.

Neck and Head

This classical guitar measures in at 22.8 inches from the tip of the body to top of the head. Between the body to the neck, they used a classic dovetail neck joint.

The Yamaha C40 has a Nato neck with a Javanese Rosewood fingerboard. There are 18 frets in total on what is a standard fretboard that is easy to navigate.

The head has Pearloid tuners and all chrome hardware that, while not top quality, aren’t too bad for the price you are paying for the guitar. It can be tough to stay in tune while playing and you might want to consider some light upgrades to the head of this guitar if you purchase and plan on keeping it.


The Yamaha C40 has a traditional classical guitar sound that’s great for the beginner or casual intermediate player. It is not quite as loud as other classical guitars because of the laminate wood and it isn’t as rich sounding as other guitars.

If someone is looking for a richer, stronger classical guitar sound then spending a little more money is recommended. You won’t have to spend too much more to buy a guitar that has a more distinct sound.

This guitar will mostly be used for fingerpicking and the sound is good for playing traditional classical guitar that most new players want to play.


The best thing about this affordable and cheaply made Yamaha C40 classical guitar is how easy it is to play. The lightweight body and smooth neck combine for a nice experience when you pick it up and put it on your lap.

The neck is the normal size for a classical guitar this size and plays nicely when fingerpicking.

A beginner wouldn’t be able to tell that the sound is weak and low, but someone with experience playing a more expensive classical guitar would.

Overall the playability is fine and, while nothing to rave about, is worth the price you’ll pay for the Yamaha C40.


The overall quality makes up the biggest disadvantage of the Yamaha C40 classical guitar, but for the price that you pay for this guitar, it’s what you’d expect.

The guitar is light and feels a little cheap because of the material that is used in the making of it. There is nothing terrible about the body and neck, but there are some disadvantages because of the inexpensive tuner knobs and bridge that is used. It can often fall out of tune and there may need to be minor repairs in time to the hardware.

The sound is a little dull and low but it does have a nice sound otherwise.

Final word

For a beginner, this is a great instrument because it has a nice sound and is an enjoyable classical guitar to play. If you aren’t sure if the guitar is for you, the Yama C40 is an affordable investment to get your feet weight that will hold up over time.

The Yamaha C40 classical guitar is inexpensive to buy, but also features some inexpensive hardware. It’s perfect for the beginner but not recommended for a serious intermediate and beyond.