a new instrument is a critical step for the
novice guitarist. A basic knowledge of the
instrument and an assessment of your musical
goals will help you make a wise purchase, a
purchase you can enjoy for years, perhaps even a
lifetime. Walking into a shop without a basic
understanding of the instrument and your goals
is a formula for disappointment.
Guitar | Hirade H5R | Nylon strings and cedar top
is a Classical Guitar?
A classical guitar is a traditional Spanish acoustic guitar with wide-neck and nylon strings. In contrast to the metallic voice of steel-string guitars, it has a sweeter and darker tone more akin to a harp or piano:
Classical Guitar Sound | Lesson for 2 Lutes
Like all acoustic guitars, the classical guitar produces sound through the mechanical vibration of strings. The vibration of the string is transmitted to the soundboard via the saddle and bridge. The combined resonance of the strings, saddle, bridge and soundboard are, in turn, "amplified" in the sound box or body of the guitar. The design and quality of the strings, saddle, bridge and soundboard have a major impact on the guitar's sound. One weak link in the transmission chain—a cheap plastic saddle, worn out strings, etc.—degrade sound considerably.
of the Classical Guitar
classical guitar differs from its steel-string
relatives in several significant ways:
strings are used on the upper three strings with wire-wrapped nylon thread on basses. Nylon
produces a round, mellow sound and is the
preferred sound for classical, Latin and many
pop/folk styles. Cat gut strings were used until the invention of nylon in the 1940s.
string tension (75-90 pounds versus150-200
pounds for steel-strings). Lower string
tension makes classic guitars easier to play
than steel-string acoustics.
fingerboard. The fingerboard, 50 to 52 mm at
the nut, provides room for intricate finger
picking. In contrast, the narrow fingerboard
of a steel-string acoustic, 40 mm at the nut,
is optimized for playing with a pick.
string length. The longer string length
from saddle to nut (650 mm vs. 644 mm for
steel-string acoustics) enhances bass
response and sustain.
easy to hold body. The classic body style
is smaller than most other acoustic
Classical Guitar | Guitarist Honybal Sosa | The guitar is the world's most popular plucked string instrument.