I would agree, that is probably not the way to go. You are in San Francisco, so there must be a GC or other store where you can try them out.
Half size is small. There are plenty of small people playing normal sized guitars and classical guitars are not that big. They also have 12 fret necks, so are shorter in general.
At that price range and only a little above, there are a bunch of used instruments that are likely to be better. Look at “Next Door” or Craigslist. There also seem to be about a million used instrument stores in the SF area.
A used Cordoba C5 won’t set you back much more and will be miles ahead of the mat Yamaha.
As a beginner I learned on a Yamaha C40 and proved to be more than fine for me, but I agree with @Jamolay half size is too small, you should go to a store and maybe try a 3/4 and see if it is more comfortable for you than a full size.
Joshua I just bought a Cordoba Iberia C5 Sp …and…I hear the difference from the Yamaha, which I think remains a good quality-price ratio option for a beginner
…now you see my Yamaha is more than 20 years old and since I feel an advancing beginner…eh, why not?!
Two points to ponder…
1. You say that you have small hands - Classical guitars tend to have wider fretboards which can make them more difficult to learn basic chords on and finger notes on the 5th & 6th strings for more “petit” individuals.
2. My grandson (He’s 13 & has typical sized hands for his age) was provided a Yamaha classical style guitar in his music class at school. I don’t know the exact model, but it’s not very “playable”. The action (height of strings above the fretboard) is very high & it doesn’t stay in tune - he’s constantly retuning. He has some of the issues with the G major & F major chords in point #1 above.
He’s frustrated with the instrument because of this & don’t tell him but my wife and I plan to gift him a 3/4 size guitar for his birthday that plays well, so he doesn’t lose interest!
I second the points above, Cordova make some nice, reasonably priced guitars! Go forth, find a music store with a good selection and tell them you’re just starting out, what your budget is and let them help you. Also, as Gordon @sairfingers points out, Bossa Nova may sound better on a Classical or Flamenco style guitar but can be played on anything…
Good hunting and whatever you do, have fun with it!!!
Can I ask why a 3/4 size? Why not get him a full size parlor or 00 size with a 24.75 in scale? He’ll have a much better guitar and won’t out grow it in a year. Just stay away from Dred size and he’ll do just fine.
The HONEST answer is because I own a 3/4 size that is nothing more than a large paperweight!!! I have a son who outgrew it & although it’s still in great condition, sounds good… it’s never played. If he sticks with guitar for a year or so, he’ll get something a bit more substantial!
I totally agree though, he could play a full sized guitar now.
Nice! That is a small guitar! You ought to look for a guitalele! Basically a 6 string large ukulele.
I bet there are some very petite women playing standard classical guitars (concert size), 00 and even OM sizes.
Maybe try them out when you are next in a guitar store. I bet you are surprised. I love my 00 size, 12 fret neck short scale guitar! I am a bit bigger than you at 5’6” (ok, I am old and now only 5’5”), but could easily play a larger guitar if I chose to. Just dislike dreads.
These steel strings on this guitar are killing my fingers - I know this is common when getting back into it.
I am clueless on terms like 00, OM, etc. I need a shorter size right now to learn on. I’m going to cut my teeth on this current guitar I have but I am looking now for a nylon string guitar which will feel good in my hands with good action.
It looks like things are pointing to a Cordoba but I’m going to some music stores this weekend to take a look to get a feel for some sizes and such.
I bet you’re right about the fact that there are some petite woman playing standard size classical guitars but I"m not there yet.
I think that you don’t want to be too dismissive about a full size guitar, a lot depends on the body style and thickness also if you’re really serious about a particular style of music then I would look for something that you won’t need to upgrade too son; this is the basis on which I would recommend you look for one of these: Cordoba Stage Nylon Acoustic - Natural Amber | Reverb UK
This is an instrument that would last you for as long as you want it to, remember that trade ins are expensive, it’s very rare that you will be offered more than 25% of its original price at lower value instruments!
There are a few more guitars that are similar to this one but this does represent good value for what it is and costs.