Top: Laminated spruce
Back and sides: Laminated meranti
Frets: 17 full width frets and a half fret that sits on a slight extension over the soundhole.
Bridge saddle: Plastic.
The yamaha gl1 is a combination of guitar and ukulele and thus the name – guitalele. It is small in size and looks like a ukulele but has six strings like the guitar. The tuning of the strings is just like the guitar with capo on the 5th fret. So the open strings are A, E, C, G, D, A from top to bottom. The tunings are 5 frets higher than a guitar.
The yamaha gl1 guitalele is a classical style and so has classical headstock and nylon strings. The bridge does not have plugs to hold the strings. Instead you have to tie the strings to bridge holes, which you might have to get used to.
Classical nylon strings are set up in a different way at the bridge. I have written a tutorial on how to change acoustic steel strings as well as classical nylon strings in “how to change guitar strings“.
The top of the body is made of laminated spruce and the back and sides of the body are made of laminated meranti. The neck is made of nato. The fingerboard is made of rosewood. It has 17 full frets and an extra half fret for the top four strings only. So the top four strings have 18 frets and the 5th and 6th strings have 17 frets. The 18th half fret sits over a slight extension over the soundhole. Since the yamaha gl1 guitalele fingerboard is smaller, the frets are smaller too and so you have to squeeze your fingers to fit into the frets. It could feel uncomfortable at first but you get used to it after a while.
Sound and portability
The sound is not as full as the regular full sized guitars and feels a little suppressed and boxy. That’s the price you pay for portability. But that is only when you compare the yamaha gl1 guitalele to a full guitar. Otherwise, for a small and portable instrument, the sound production is good enough. Moreover, the gl1 is very portable, light and convenient to hold and play in situations like when lying down for example. Its also more convenient to carry during journeys. The yamaha gl1 guitalele also comes with a mini gig bag!
You may also want to see our “Takamine EG440C acoustic guitar review“.