To start learning classical guitar you need to make a few choices to give you a good start.
First of all, you need to have the right type of guitar, as guitars come in all shapes and sizes, and there are many different types.
The guitar we traditionally used to play classical music has a number of design features that distinguish it from other kinds of guitars.
The classical guitar is an acoustic instrument made almost entirely from wood, and it is played without the need for amplification.
It has a deep hollow body constructed in figure 8 shape with a sound hole in the middle.
The Classical Guitar
The classical guitar has six strings. These strings are made of nylon or nylon with a thin metal wire coiled around the lowest three.
The nylon strings are an important feature in determining its delicate and intimate sound.
The classical guitar is often called the Spanish guitar because the instrument was developed in Spain and because the instrument’s most celebrated music was written by Spanish composers.
However, the classical guitar is not the same as the Flamenco guitar. The Flamenco guitar is an instrument associated strongly with traditional Spanish dance.
It is constructed slightly differently and it has its own repertoire and distinctive playing techniques. Having said that, as classical guitarists we often borrow elements from this type of music.
things to consider to start learning classical guitar
As well as getting the right type of guitar, you need to make sure that the instrument is in good working order.
The instrument should be sturdy and seamless where each part of the instrument is glued together without any cracks or imperfections in the wood.
The tuning pegs must turn smoothly and the strings must lie close to the fingerboard but not too close.
Too high, and it becomes difficult to press the strings down. Too low, and the strings make unwanted noise and they buzz against the fingerboard. The distance between the strings and the fingerboard is called the guitar’s action.
The Playing Posture
So having acquired a good classical guitar the next consideration in approaching the instrument is playing posture.
Holding a guitar to play it can be done in many ways. But the classical guitar is typically played held sitting down with the instrument supported by one leg, usually the left which is raised with the use of a footstool.
Today, players often employ other ways to support the instrument as well. The most common one these days is the ErgoPlay.
It is a small frame that attaches to the guitar. This keeps both feet on the ground whilst still raising the instrument from the left leg.
Nails Vs. no nails
Finally, the sound of the classical guitar is produced by plucking the strings with the right-hand fingers.
Most players have long nails on their right hand (no nails on the left hand). This enables a greater volume range and a wider palette of tone colors than playing with the flesh of the fingertips alone.
Having nails, however, is optional for classical guitar playing particularly to begin with. If you have a good instrument and you find a comfortable way to sit that supports the instrument securely you are ready to start learning classical guitar.
One of the most important aspects to start learning classical guitar is choosing the right method for you.
There are many websites and books about the subject that this post is not enough to mention. But to be honest, for someone who spent the last 15 years teaching classical guitar, there are a few tips I can give you on the subject.
Take private lessons
Private lessons are the quickest way to start learning classical guitar, but they are costly. If you can afford it then by all means go for it.
If not then the next point may be a good solution.
More than ever online courses now a day are becoming the way to learn anything you want. Perhaps the reason is due to the Covid-19 pandemic, or the lower cost that these courses provide.
Whatever the reason, the point is that these courses can get you started with the basics and maybe beyond.
Here in Classical Guitar Essentials, I am proud to say that I created a series of courses that can take you from a total beginner to a confident player.
Join A Group Class
The last option which I don’t recommend is YouTube lessons. Although they are completely free, the lessons come with a few downsides.
The classical guitar is a wonderful instrument to learn and one of the best hobbies you can indulge yourself in.
I wrote this post just to mention the consideration to take in order to start learning classical guitar.
Whether you are going to take action or not, is entirely up to you. I hope you make the right decision and I promise you that you will find a whole new world waiting for you.