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Good for Beginners and No one Else

21.03.2012 (23.02.2016)

Playability, Build

Sound, Feedback, Dials

Recommendable No:

Detailed rating:

How well constructed is it?


Quality of sound


Value for money

Range of tonespoor

Quality of intonationaverage

How easy is it to buy accessories?hard

Recommended forbeginners 

Amount paid135

I brought itnew 

Quality of amplified soundterrible

10 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (80%):
  1. bettyboo47
  2. sirodar
  3. cr01
and 5 other members
helpful by (20%):
  1. ithoughtyoudneverask
  2. gingelou

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My first meaningful experience with musical instruments came some time in in school, maybe year 8-9 (so when I was entering my teens - sounds sexual). My friend Darryl Bagley had been over and let me borrow his Encore guitar and amplifier for a little while, whammy bar and all! I loved it. So I saved up all my birthday money and combined it with whatever little savings I had - bought my first guitar - a basic Yamaha ERG 121 and p*ss poor amp accompanying it. This was my first electric guitar (first guitar ever in fact), purchased as a kit from an Argos catalogue in 2002-2003 for around £135 and crazily, still goes for a similar price (first search result revealed just the guitar for only a fiver less - says a lot about the amplifier). Should you be considering buying this guitar however, I encourage you to read on as this may sway you one way or the other.

Needless to say I was impressed with it at first, a fairly cheap, well made guitar in a crisp black finish (minimal cracking over time), brown fretboard with 22 frets, the standard white dot markers. The Strat-style body rests easily against your body, (which reminds me, a strap wasn't included in my kit, but this may have changed). It's a fairly ok looking axe but that head looks out of place in the photo and real life - the dark brown fretboard just doesn't mix well with the light wooden top. Nice having all 6 tuning pegs on one side though and the body shape is a classic. Rather lightweight, so you can chuck it around for a bit and makes it a decent choice for a first guitar - because you can smash it up a bit. S'got a slot for the whammy bar but.. well, you won't bother using it after the novelty wares of or you're in an Iron Maiden tribute band.
Sound & Playability

The guitar itself is super easy to use for a beginner, especially when using super slinky guitar strings (easier on the fingers but sound less rich). The sound, based on the amp included, is really nothing special, being quite hollow and scratchy as the amp can give a little bit of bad feedback. It can still reach a decent volume but you'll really have to mess around with the dials to get a preferred sound and even then its sub par and a bit of a desperate attempt at anything metal. Comes with HSH pickups and 2 dials, one for volume and a second for tone. It also has a rather unnecessarily large range, 5 way selector which makes minimal difference to the sound, considering the amp. Something you learn quickly is that often, guitars don't have a sound as such because a lot of the work is down to the amp or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I realised this when a friend bought his meaty American amp round that was at least 3 times the size and blew my eyebrows off at how crisper and badass it sounded compared to the piece of utter crap Yamaha included.

I dillied and dallied playing it, but in the end its general crappiness and sound pushed me further away from practicing with it - so I sold it several years later for something better... Think I sold this to some guy at work for like £40 so lookout for people trying to get rid because they're either ashamed of it or are just way better at guitar than you. I can say that on a good amp, the guitar can pack a much larger punch, so regardless of if you are a beginner or buying for one, I would strongly suggest getting the guitar on its own (it can be found new and second hand for between £50-100) and finding all the accessories yourself. However if the interest in the guitar is minimal and only a little hobby, then a kit is worth the money in the end.
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Comments about this review »

bettyboo47 05.03.2016 06:16

dillied and it!! Did your old man tell you to follow the van??

sirodar 04.03.2016 13:26

Good for smashing up while in the moment

cr01 25.02.2016 07:01


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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Yamaha ERG121 Electric Guitar - H-S-H, vintage tremolo.

Product details

Long Name ERG121BLACK
Type Electric Guitar
Manufacturer Yamaha


Listed on Ciao since 24/11/2009

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Review Ratings »

This review of Yamaha ERG121BLACK has been rated:

"very helpful" by (80%):

  1. bettyboo47
  2. sirodar
  3. cr01

and 5 other members

"helpful" by (20%):

  1. ithoughtyoudneverask
  2. gingelou

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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