Whether you’re looking for a guitar for yourself or someone else, it can be hard to find the right one. They vary in shapes, sizes, and types, such as Acoustic guitars (Steel string guitars), Electric guitars, and Classical guitars (Nylon string guitars), so it’s easy to get lost in all the information.
One of the most enjoyable pastimes is picking up the guitar and learning to play. Getting started with the correct instrument makes this process go much more quickly.
Well, you’re in luck! Because in this blog post, we’ll look at the tips from Classical Guitar Shed for choosing the best classical guitars.
What is Classical Guitar?
Classical guitar is acoustic guitar typically played by classical and flamenco musicians. The body of a classical guitar is built differently than that of an acoustic guitar. Classical guitars have a broader neck and a smaller body, which gives them a different sound than regular acoustic guitars. They are also usually played with fingerpicking instead of a pick.
Is Classical Guitar the Same as Flamenco Guitar?
The answer is no, but they are similar in many ways. Classical guitars have nylon strings which produce a softer, more mellow sound. Flamenco guitars have steel strings that give a brighter, more energetic sound. Both guitar styles are played with the fingertips, but flamenco-style emphasizes rhythm more than melody.
In terms of technique, classical guitar is played with the right-hand thumb over the neck while the left-hand fingers pluck the strings.
For flamenco guitar, the right hand is positioned under the neck while the left-hand fingers pluck the strings. This gives the player more control over dynamics and allows for more complex rhythms. While both guitar styles are similar in many ways, they are ultimately different in their sound and technique.
Tips on Buying a Classical Guitar
1) Know your choice of music.
Knowing your taste in music is one of the most important aspects of choosing the best guitar for you. So, If you want to listen to traditional classical music, you need a “purist” classical guitar.
If you like modern music like pop, rock, or jazz and you want to add some nylon sounds to your sound palette, you can use a nylon string guitar. Lastly, consider electric guitar if you have some rock star vibe to the music.
2) Consider guitar size.
In contrast to an acoustic or electric guitar, classical and flamenco guitars come in different sizes. Because of this, classical guitars are good for people of any age who are just starting. (Also, nylon strings are easier on small fingers than steel ones.)
In general, the only choice for a normal adult is only the full-size classical guitar. But there are 3/4-size guitars for kids older than 12 and 1/2-size for kids younger than 12.
Manufacturers use these fractions to say that the 1/2 size guitar is for little kids and the 3/4 size guitar is for kids who aren’t so little.
3) Buy an acoustic guitar with nylon strings or a classical guitar.
If you play classical guitar or want to learn, you will need a nylon string guitar. Avoid making the common beginner error of choosing a steel-string guitar. Even though the steel string guitar is beautiful, many classical techniques don’t work on it.
Gut strings, which are found on nylon-stringed acoustic guitars and classical guitars, make a sound that is round and smooth. This will also be better for your fingers since steel strings are painful for people just starting on the guitar.
4) Buy a guitar with a solid top.
The best classical guitar tops are spruce or cedar, but mahogany and maple are also popular choices. Many think cedar is the best wood because it makes the sound quality round and warm.
For a beginner classical guitarist, I think a spruce top is better. Spruce is usually a bit cheaper than other woods, but to my ears, it sounds stronger and cleaner, which is a good thing. Wood should be used to make the fretboard. Some common solid wood is rosewood, maple, and ebony. If you can help it, avoid using instruments with stained fretboards.
5) Consider comfort, sound, and body styles.
There are many different ways to make an acoustic guitar body, and many different ways to make one. It’s important to ensure that the guitar you choose can make the sound you want and is comfortable to play, whether sitting or standing.
The top part of the guitar’s body is the soundboard. The soundboard size generally affects how deep and loud the sound is. In other styles, the guitar is made more comfortable by having a large soundboard and a narrow waist.
Even though exact measurements can vary from one guitar maker to the next, there are a few popular shapes for the body of an acoustic guitar:
- Concert and Grand Concert
- Auditorium and Grand Auditorium
- Travel Mini-Acoustics
6) Look at your budget.
A lot depends on your budget. Between $100 and $200 is a good price range for a first guitar. Anything cheaper is likely made of plywood, which falls apart over time and makes a terrible sound because it doesn’t allow for the resonance that classical guitar-playing needs.
Nothing is worse for your confidence or your musical ear than a thin, tinny-sounding instrument that won’t make the warm, round sound you want, no matter how hard you try.
That’s all there is to it! All the information you need to choose the best classical guitar for your needs. Don’t forget that you should try out a few different guitars before making your final choice. This will help you find the one that sounds and feels best to you.
And if you have plans to learn how to play guitar along the way, don’t be afraid to ask us. We’re always happy to help. Thanks for reading, and have fun playing the guitar!