Throughout the years of my teaching guitar, many students started to ask me questions about the classical guitar and guitar in general. Some questions made sense, others did not.
In this article, Classical Guitar Guide I tried to do my best to answer the classical guitar most famous questions so you can refer to this article during your journey of discovering the classical guitar.
Feel free to add more questions in the comments below, and I will try my best to answer them.
Classical guitar Guide – where?
1) where to buy a classical guitar?
You can buy a good classical guitar online or at your local music store. If you are a total beginner, I recommend that you discuss it with your guitar teacher, or take a friend who plays the guitar.
RELATED: Top 10 Classical Guitars for Beginners and Pros in 2022.
2) where was the classical guitar invented?
The modern classical guitar was developed in the late 19th century in Spain.
3) where to learn classical guitar?
You can learn classical guitar in a music center, or make a private tutor come to your home. However, most people now a day prefer online courses because it is more convenient and cost less money than a private teacher.
Classical guitar Guide – What?
4) what classical guitar should i buy?
You should buy something of good quality at the beginning and not that expensive, something you can afford. Buying a bad guitar will make it difficult for you to learn classical guitar, and might cause injury to your fingers.
5) what classical guitar strings to buy?
The best strings for a beginner is Normal Tension. These strings will produce a balanced sound of bass and treble strings. There are many brands to choose from, and you might want to try a couple of brands before you decide which one to go with.
6) what is classical guitar style?
The classical guitar style is a fingerstyle. Meaning, that you don’t play with a plectrum but rather you use all four right-hand fingers (p,i,m,a) to play the strings.
It requires that the player read standard sheet music (notes and not TABS), and be familiar with music theory.
Many musicians consider it the most disciplined approach to guitar, as there is a lot of drills and techniques to practice.
The music range from the 17th century to modern Pop music arranged for classical guitar.
7) what are classical guitar strings made of?
Classical guitar strings are made of nylon and nylon wound with wire, which produces a different tone than steel strings.
8) what is the most expensive classical guitar?
As one of only 150 made during his lifetime, French guitar maker Robert Bouchet’s 1964 creation was designed for classical musician Julian Bream in Paris.
This one in particular features Bouchet’s signature, Parisian address, and the guitar’s date of conception. These unique qualities garnered it a world-record breaking price of $122,500 at auction in 2009.
9) what is the differeNCE between classic vs. acoustic guitar?
The main difference is the strings. The classical guitar has nylon strings while the acoustic guitar has steel strings. Also, the kind of wood that makes both of them is different, and the size of the body of the acoustic is much bigger than the classical guitar.
Classical guitar Guide – How?
10) how to change classical guitar strings?
Changing classical guitar strings can be a challenge for a beginner. There are a few tools required to make it easier, and you must be familiar with the names of the strings so you don’t accidentally cut a string!
It will be a good idea to take it to a music shop and watch the technician while he changes your guitar strings for the first time. After that, you can follow along with a video tutorial to change it yourself.
11) how long it will take to learn classical guitar?
Depending on how much you practice and the level you want to achieve. Taking guitar lessons with a good teacher will definitely shorten the time it will take you to learn the instrument.
In general, and this is based on teaching thousands of students, to learn classical guitar to a moderate level might take you 2 to 3 years. On the other hand, to master the classical guitar to a higher level, might take you 7 to 10 years.
12) how to learn classical guitar?
You are in the right place!
Here you can learn classical guitar based on a tested method with over 15000 students all over the world.
You will learn the basics of classical guitar step-by-step at your own pace, in small chunks to avoid information overload.
Classical guitar Guide – Can?
13) can you play classical guitar on an acoustic?
The answer is No.
In reality, the acoustic guitar is very close to the classical guitar. However, the nature of the steel strings will give a very different tone, and the music will not sound as it should.
In addition, the distance of the strings in the acoustic guitar is much smaller than the classical guitar, which will make some of the chords and fingering much harder.
14) can classical guitar use steel strings?
The classical guitar bridge is designed to install strings without a ball end and tie them manually. The steel strings have a ball end and they will not fit into the bridge.
15) can classical guitar play pop songs?
If you listen carefully to most Pop songs you will find some classical guitar background.
One of the most famous classical guitar Pop songs is “Shape of my Heart” by STING, and it was rearranged to become a Hip-Hop song Lucid Dreams.
Another extreme example is Queen’s song Bohemian Rhapsody arranged for the classical guitar, which gives you the perspective of how far the classical guitar can achieve.
16) can a classical guitar be strung left-handed?
Yes, it can.
Although it requires altering the saddle (the plastic piece on the guitar bridge). You will reverse the order of the strings, and so you need to reverse the saddle so the action (the distance between the strings and fretboard) stays the same.
Needless to say, it requires a good guitar technician to do this process.
17) can a classical guitar be strummed?
Most Flamenco guitarists use classical guitar (or Flamenco guitar which is the same but different wood) to execute heavy strumming.
But to be honest, If you use a classical guitar to strum a song by Oasis, for example, it will not sound right as the nylon strings give a much softer tone than the steel strings. But in general, you can use the classical guitar to strum a song to make it sound softer, or if the acoustic guitar hurts your fingers.
Classical guitar Guide – Why?
18) why the classical guitar is best for beginners?
Because of its reasonable price which can be less than $100, and because it has a wide neck, which allows the students to press the frets in a correct way, without gaining bad habits.
But I think the main reason is that the strings are made of nylon, so they will be softer on the fingertips.
19) why does the classical guitar has fewer fret markers?
Classical guitars has usually 2 fret markers, on fret numbers 7 and 12. If you look at a very expensive classical guitar you will not find a single mark!
Guitarists usually need marks for playing lead guitar solos, like the electric guitar, something that is not usually done on the classical guitar. That’s why there are a few marks on the neck, and professional classical guitarists usually have the entire fretboard memorized.
20) why are classical guitar’s necks so wide?
To allow the right-hand technique of playing two or three strings together, without hitting an adjacent string by accident. Also, in the advanced level, there are complicated chords for the left hand that requires more space to fit the fingers.
21) why do classical guitarists use a footstool?
The footstool is a must for any classical guitarist to raise the neck of the guitar to the players’ eye level.
This height makes it easier for the left-hand fingers to stretch much more than usual, something all classical guitarist requires and gives the player the advantage of seeing all the frets clearly.
Nowadays, something replaced the footstool called ErgoPlay which is much better than the footstool as you can rest your back while playing, and eliminated knee pain among older guitarists.
22) why do classical guitarists have to learn notes?
Because the classical guitar is usually learned in a step-by-step method. So the best way to learn it is by learning the notes on each string in the first position (first four frets), then combining the notes together to play more complex pieces.
Even though you can find almost every piece that was written for the classical guitar in TABS online, learning the standard notation teaches you music better, and allow you to become a musician, after all, it is the language of music.
23) why do classical guitarists grow nails?
To control the tone of the music.
Without nails, you play with the finger’s flesh, and you get a totally different tone from the guitar. Using sandpapers to file your right-hand fingernails can dramatically enhance the quality of the tone, as the contact point in the string becomes much softer.
Professional classical guitarists take utmost care of their nails, if one is broken before a concert it can be a disaster for the guitarist!
24) why can’t i learn classical guitar with tabs?
There are various problems associated with TABS, to name a few:
- You don’t know the length of the notes. Some books now have Rhythmic TABS, which are numbers attached to it the shape of the standard notes. This combines both, notes and TABS. This is OK, but you still miss out on the next point.
- It will be hard to understand the music theory that is associated with the piece you are playing, such as the key of music, chords, arpeggios, etc.
- Playing with other musicians will be very difficult, as you going to be the only person who does not know how to read notes!
If you are serious about learning the classical guitar, I strongly recommend that you learn how to read notes. Think of it like learning a new language, because it is.
25) why is so hard to learn classical guitar?
Because it requires a lot of discipline.
Like all other classical music instruments, piano, violin, and cello to name a few. If you ask any professional musician he will tell you that he still practices on a daily basis.
Here is a part from STING’s interview talking about practicing and how there is no other way!
26) why do i have to learn scales & arpeggios?
Learning scales and arpeggios will open up the instrument for you, and you will learn the mechanics of playing the classical guitar.
That is why we study Carcassi and Guiliani’s studies because it is filled with scales and arpeggios. After playing many studies, your fingers will memorize the location of the notes, and you will be able to connect the dots on the guitar.
Classical guitar Guide – Who?
27) Who invented the classical guitar?
The basis of most modern classical guitar designs was developed by Spanish luthier Antonio Torres Jurado in the mid-19th century.
28) who is the best classical guitar player?
Throughout history, many masters played the instrument and dazzled the audience with their virtuosity.
Among these masters who passed away were Mauro Guiliani, Fransico Tarrega, Andrea Segovia, and Paco de Lucia.
Right now, the only classical guitar master alive – in my opinion – is John Williams.
Classical guitar Guide – When?
29) when to change classical guitar strings?
There is no concrete rule about changing the strings. However, there are signs that it is time to change them:
- Tuning the guitar has become difficult.
- Rust signs began to appear.
- The strings had peeled off.
- The tone started to be flat or dead.
- You don’t remember the last time you changed them!
30) when was the classical guitar invented?
1400-1600: The first guitars are thought to have originated during the 15th Century in Spain. These had four ‘courses’ of strings or sets of two strings tuned to the same note to give the guitar resonance (like the Oud instrument of Egypt).
However, the Lute was consistently favored by the public over the Guitar until the end of the 15th Century.
1600-1650: During the Baroque period, the 5-course guitar effectively replaced the 4 and 6-course vihuela instruments, and the tuning was largely standardized (with notable exceptions) to ADGBE. Note that this matches the current standard tuning of the top 5 strings.
If you want to learn more about the history of music and guitar, click here for the full article.
Did you know: Henry VIII King of England had 21 guitars in his collection of musical instruments!
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