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Classical Guitar Basics

by on Oct.04, 2012, under General, Guitar Talk

classical guitarClassical guitars are typically 6-stringed are very popular among nylon string guitarists around the world. They are known for their complex melodic tones and provide a sound that you cannot find in most other guitars. The strings on this instrument are typically plucked with finger nails and almost never require a pick.

Classical guitars like to borrow certain traits from a variety of instruments and are ideal for mellow and soothing sounds. Their strings are nylon and you can choose from shapes that include:

–    Modern
–    Classical
–    Historical-Classical

Early romantic guitars were from classical origins and even the flamenco guitar was derived from this unique family.

What Kind of Sound Does it Produce?

If you see a classical guitar sale, you should do a little research on it before committing to a purchase. There are several genres of music that you can perform on this instrument – jazz, flamenco, and folk being the most common. However, this doesn’t mean that a wider array of genres can’t be played with classical model guitars.

A modern classical guitar will usually stick out and distinguish itself from other guitars of similar nature. More specifically, they will have six strings and are quite common with the characteristics of the guitars that were produced between 1790 and 1880. They are known as the “Spanish guitar” in most countries.

Classical Guitar Anatomy

Classical guitars separate themselves from the pack via a variety of unique traits:

–    It’s an acoustic instrument. You don’t need an amplifier and you can receive a deep, rich tone from the guitar with little effort.
–    It has six strings. However, don’t be surprised if you find a classical guitar that has seven or more strings.
–    The strings are made of nylon.

Most acoustic guitars have strings that are made of metal. This often produces a less than pleasing sound. Nylon is often the best route to take if you’re searching for a soothing tone.

Because the strings are tightened to such a loose tension, you receive a sound that is entirely different than regular acoustic guitars. Finger boards for this instrument are fairly flat and have, in some cases, dots that sit along the entire neck and up to the body. The strings are plucked with your fingers and a pick is almost never used.


Unlike regular guitars, strumming is almost never a technique used on the classical guitar. While some strumming patterns are available, they are not very common as this is primarily a picking instrument. The headstocks on the classical guitars are pointed backwards versus steel-string instruments that have them pointing out.


The overall design of the classical guitar is very comfortable. These instruments are light and are relatively small. You shouldn’t run into any problems if you need to transport them and many of the classical guitar packages found at classical guitar sales come with a hand bag as well as other accessories. If you see a classical guitar sale, refer to this article so that you know what you are buying.

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