The sound of classical guitars is enough to inspire future musicians. If you are one who aims to learn the best techniques and become the best classical guitar player, you must first get to know your instrument. Or if you’ve been playing for a long time now, your expertise could still use some assistance with choosing your next partner.
It used to be that the classical guitar is only afforded by the wealthy as well as its study. Today, there are classical guitars made for those looking for a lower price range. One may even learn the basics of guitar playing just by watching free videos. Classical guitars can be played with a wide variety of music genres such as jazz, Latin, fingerstyle and more.
To help you with your journey, we’ve put up a buying guide and a list of the best classical guitars on the market today. Here you can get a good description from its appearance down to its features so to help you find the right guitar for you!
Buying Guide for the Best Classical Guitars
One misconception about classical guitars is that they are commonly thought of the same as acoustic guitars. It’s been played with classical and un-amplified instruments but one way you can differentiate acoustic from classical is the appearance. Classical guitars have an hourglass-shaped body and are smaller. They use Nylon strings, have a wider neck, it uses notches when changing strings, and the positions of the tuning pegs are at the same angle as the fretboard. There are other factors that could help you decide with purchasing a classical guitar and here are some of what you should look out for.
Choose your classical guitar wisely
- Handmade or factory made
A classical guitar is not always manufactured by machine. In fact, this type of guitar is also made through artisanal work. Hand-crafted guitars, though more expensive because of the labor involved, have a lesser risk of getting defects unlike those that came out of factories. On the other hand, their branded and machine-treated counterparts are more affordable and production is much faster.
- Build your own or buy from a famous brand
Would you believe that there are now classical guitar kits out in the market today? You can actually build your own classical guitar instead so you’ll know what components it has. Then again, if you know that you’re buying from a trusted brand, why spend time on it and risk breaking a few parts here and there? It’s up to you how much work you’d actually want to do and would consider practical.
- Body Shape
Classical guitars for the solo performer have a particular body shape to be able to express low, middle, and high ranges to project a colorful, balanced imagery of the tones they make. The fretboards are wider than acoustic types, the main body has a cutaway shape so the high frets can be accessed easily. The neck and body are thinner as well which makes it easy when the performer is seated. Classical guitars were made differently to be able to serve players well depending on the type of music they will play. If one chooses to concentrate on flamenco, there’s a particular type of classical guitar built specifically for it.
The type of wood that makes up the classical guitar gives the tone its own characteristic. There are different types of wood used to make a classical guitar such as cedar that doesn’t decay easily; spruce that gives off a bright and clear sound; and koa that produces a clear midrange. An in-depth research of the wood’s effect on the classical guitar’s voice with surely help you when choosing the right one for the specific music you like.
Top Rated Classical Guitars
Yamaha is a brand that’s been producing top-notch acoustic, electric, and yes, classical guitars for ages so it’s only natural that we include an awesome model that both newbies and experienced players would delight in. The Yamaha CGI122MCH is a lighter instrument than most at a little over 5lbs. Made from cedar wood and a fretboard from rosewood, it also has a 3-layered neck to prevent damage. The cedar surface has a matte finish that gives a vintage feel. This kind of wood creates a depth of warmth and tones richer than what a spruce body can give. Truly, it is just as good as any guitar for those starting out to find their sound or for long-time players who want a good entry-level backup.
- It’s simplicity is just right for those long hours of prac
- It has nice wood and craftsmanship
- The guitar has a fantastic sound
- The fretboard is not as detailed and as finished as expected
Cordoba C3M Classical Guitar
The Cordoba name has been creating classical guitars of both style and substance for twenty years now and still growing strong. And why not? The Cordoba C3M is a creation that players at any level would value so much. The cedar body creates produces resonance and a smooth sustenation naturally. Its neck is made of nato wood partnered with a fretboard of rosewood with a number of 19 frets. The headstock is spanked with six nickel tuners and the signature rosette adorning the soundhole, this 25.6 inches of beauty is not one to ignore. It creates warm, clean, and brilliant tones at a competitive price that won’t break the bank.
- It has excellent sound quality
- The construction is superb
- Has a warm and rich, clear sound
- The edges of the fret are rough
Another Yamaha classic is the C40 that has a simple full-body design at 22.8 inches. The fretboard is rosewood with 18 frets and a wide nut of a bit over 2 inches. All of it with a body of spruce partnered with meranti for the sides and back of the guitar. Looking at the headstocks, it has some serious chrome tuners, a bridge made of rosewood which is the same as the fretboard. Although not as fancy as other classical guitars, this model creates clear, warm sounds for something that has an entry-level affordability. It’s more suitable for practice and giving lessons as it makes a good solid foundation to learn the basics.
- Has nice tunes
- A good guitar for the price
- Has great sustain
- Doesn’t have a smooth finish and fit
- No truss rod adjustment
Cordoba C7 CD
The Cordoba makers are known for the best value classical guitars. Behind the sound quality and the affordability is the desire to increase the popularity of classical guitars. The noble intention of spreading the word about this instruments gave birth to another noteworthy model in the form of the Cordoba C7 CD. It has a full-body cedar surface from Canada and the sides, the back, and fretboard are made out of rosewood measuring at 2.04 inches. With Savarez-types chords, it’s a classical guitar with a comfortable feel and weight that produces a balance of warm, flowy sounds making it hard to put down.
- Excellent value with a good playable design
- Definitely for those with bigger fingers because of the size of fret
- It beautifully resonates and articulates
- There is lack of humidification
Kremona is the name of master classical guitar creators since the 1920s and is a veteran in the business, they’ve earned a solid reputation for producing the best classical guitars like the Kremona Solea. This is a full body guitar at 25.6 inches made from tropical cocobolo wood. The neck is made from cedar from Honduras at a width of 2.04 inches layered with ebony from India slapped with 19 frets. The heel cap is also in cocobolo without any inlays. Brass tuners at the head and a nice rosette in abalone surrounding the soundhole makes it a stunning instrument. Good quality wood and build and a simple but solid hardware make it a top-notch classical guitar that will last for years.
- Beautifully made with a lush voice and richly registers
- Solidly built with attention to detail
- Handcrafted shows character
- There’s a soft buzzing sound
The classical guitar you choose is only as good as the player makes it. It is a fact that you must meet your instrument halfway. The list above contains all great classical guitars and any of them may for your needs. However, you must also match the effort that took to create these classical guitars with your passion and drive to be a better player. It is the best compliment any player can give to the creator of the classical guitar. Your personal love for classical music and similar types of genre will help lead you to the classical guitar that will fit your style. So don’t rush. Give it some careful consideration and you’ll be playing the best instrument for you in the long run.