Piano and Keyboard lessons from Glenn Sutton in Poway and San Diego

What is a Classical Guitar?

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Interested in learning the electric, bass or acoustic guitar? Need lessons in the Scripps Ranch or Sabre Springs area? Would you like to learn to play your favorite songs?

Contact Glenn Sutton at 619-306-3664.

Many people have asked ‘what is a classical guitar and how is it different from a regular guitar?’ To the casual observer, you may not realize that there is a difference between a regular guitar and a classical guitar. A classical guitar, which was first introduced to the music world sometime during the 1800s, is considered to be the basis for which all other guitars have been designed and manufactured. It was developed in Spain by a man named Antonio de Torres, a luthier of some renown. It is the changed he added to a standard guitar that gave birth to the classical guitar.

classical guitar nylon strings

Classical guitar nylon strings
Scripps Ranch guitar lessons

Torres started out by adding a “fan-strutting” technique to the underside of the guitar top. It is not something you can easily see, but it helps distribute the sound of the guitar through the body and helps provide additional strength to the instrument. This method is still used today in the manufacturing of classical guitars. If you listen to a regular guitar, and then a classical guitar, you will notice that the volume, tone and overall quality of the classical guitar are far superior to a regular one.

In addition to changing the body and style of the guitar, the strings of a classical guitar were changed. Originally, a guitar string was made from cat gut, the treble strings being plain “gut strings” and the bass strings being made from metal wound silk. These strings were replaced with nylon strings for both the treble and the bass. These strings last longer, as easier on the fingers of the guitar player, and produce a better sound, one that is more in tune with classical guitar playing.

The neck on a classical guitar is wider than that found on a steel string or regular acoustic guitar. This was done to allow the player to finger pick each note with more ease instead of strumming the strings. The right hand – which is the hand used to pick the strings – is identified in many guitar books with the acronym P-I-M-A. These are the first letter of Latin words that represent a particular finger. The P is for the thumb or pulga. I means indicio, the index finger. M stands for medio or middle finger and A stands for anular, the ring finger.

nylon strings classical guitar

Nylon string classical guitar
Scripps Ranch guitar lessons 619–306–3664

Typically, the body of the classical guitar is made from Brazilian or Indian rosewood. The neck is made of cedar and the top is usually silka spruce or cedar. A well made guitar will produce a mellow tone that deep and rich. The tone should resonate through the body of the guitar. The sound is distinctive and you can hear the difference between a steel string guitar and a classical guitar.

There are numerous well known classical guitar players that helped revive the love of the instruments during the 19th century. One of the most well known classical guitar players of today is Andres Segovia. He is responsible for turning the guitar into something heard in concert halls and taught Christopher Parkening, another well known classical guitarist of today.

Phone Glenn Sutton at: 619-306-3664 or email: guitarman.glenn@gmail.com

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