ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Buying a guitar: Beginner's guide to buying a Spanish guitar.

Updated on March 31, 2016

I had always wanted to play Spanish Classical guitar. I had fallen in love with Spanish Classical on listening to “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo and many others. I had found the right academy. I paid my money up-front for the classes. I had my timetable. Now there was only one thing left to do before the first lesson on Tuesday.

I had to find the guitar! I didn’t know where to begin.

Which one to choose?


I had been given as a gift for my 15th birthday. This was the guitar that I had played around with for about three weeks. I had bought a beginners’ method for learning the guitar from a local bookstore and drove everybody mad in my home before admitting defeat and rendering it lifeless, laying it to rest under my bed. Several months later, it was ceremoniously moved into the attic. I told myself this was just a temporary measure. I whispered to it, as I closed the trapdoor to the attic, that I wouldn’t forget it. I promised that I wouldn’t leave it to rot up there forever. I lied.

45 years ago...

As you might imagine, this was all quite a long while ago. My personal situation is naturally very different to when I was 15, (some 45 years later!). Now I have time to attend Spanish Classical guitar classes with a great teacher. I can dedicate time to practising scales and to preparing for the next lessons. I even participate in performances organised by the local education department of my small Spanish village in Andalucía.

But not before I went through the daunting process of choosing the guitar which was going to get me to where I am today.

Five useful tips on buying a Spanish Classical Guitar

As a complete beginner I had no idea where to start. Here is what I learned through my personal experience.

* 1 - Decide which style of music you want to play

Basically, you will have the choice of three basic instruments: Spanish guitar, Acoustic (for use with plectrum) and a Solid Electric Guitar.

Many beginners enjoy starting off their guitar playing on an acoustic guitar. This is suitable for country, western, folk music, ballads and accompanying singing. This considered a good guitar for beginners.

The solid electric is for use with amplifiers and speakers. This is suitable for pop, rock, rock and roll, heavy rock heavy metal etc.

If you have decided your passion is for Spanish classical music then logically you will choose the Spanish guitar.

Ana Vidovic performing Isaac Albeniz's Asturias at the New York Guitar Festival

* 2 - Stick to your budget

A decent Spanish classical guitar for beginners can be picked up for between 100-150 euros.

The basic idea you must have is to invest in a half-decent instrument at the moment. If you decide to take your music further, you will be able to purchase a better guitar. If this were the case, then you will be able to sell your first guitar second-hand…(Think about looking after it well in order to be able to sell it well in the future if necessary)

* 3 - Find a guitar-playing friend / or a store recommended by a friend who plays

There comes a point when you really can’t do this alone. You will need help. If you are already a guitar player then you need to read no further. If you are complete beginner as I was, the best advice I can give is to take along a friend who already plays the guitar to help you buy your guitar. Do not go into a store ‘cold’ and ask for a guitar, unless it is a store that has been recommended. An unethical owner or assistant will see you coming and perhaps try to sell you what you don’t need. The basic idea you must have is to invest in a half-decent instrument at the moment. If you decide to take your music further, then you can always buy a better quality guitar.

Tuning a twelve-string guitar


* 4 - Check the tuning and the tone

Even if you can't play the guitar yet, you should try the feel of the guitar in the shop. This is where your guitar-playing friend will be of great use. Guitars need to be tuned constantly, so a guitar in a shop will almost certainly be out of tune. Get your friend to tune the guitar, (easy when you know how!) or if there is no friend, ask the assistant to tune the guitar for you so you can hear the 'tone'. If the sound or the 'tone' falls flat quickly then you need to find another guitar. You would want the tone to linger and sing, not fall flat or be 'woody'.

Take a look at the 'action'

The 'action' is the height of the stringsfrom the neck. This affects how easy it will be to play the notes
The 'action' is the height of the stringsfrom the neck. This affects how easy it will be to play the notes | Source

* 5 - Check the action

When playing the guitar, one hand plucks or strums the strings near the sound hole, while the other hand presses the string on the fingerboard, behind the fret. This process is called "action". 'High action' or 'low action' then refers to how high or how low the strings are above the fingerbaord. If too high then the giutar will be very painful and difficult to play. If too low the strings will be almost touching the fingerbaord, which is not suitable either. According to Dan Morgan in "Guitar" (Corgi Books, 1978) the optimum height of the strings should be 1/4 inch above the fingerboard.

Constancy and Consistency

You have done the easy part. Now comes the hard work of organising your practice; timetabling your practice and sticking to your timetable. There is nothing like consistency and balance in all things in life. The same goes for guitar playing.

In my experience, I have learned over the few years I have been learning, that even when I feel I have very little time for practice, I need to find only half and hour per day. At the very least, I aim at practising basic scales, which although can seem very boring, really to help when moving on to more complex pieces.

If you can find enjoyment in practising, then you may last the course and find a true vocation in your guitar playing. Enjoy your lovely instrument and delight your friends and family with your new skills!

My favourite! The perfect gift for a music lover


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • marieryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Ryan 

      5 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      Thanksfor reading CMCastro. I just checkedout your hubpages and yes, we do share a common taste in guitar music!

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 

      5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      What a fitting time to be reading this. I have been taught to play classical guitar as a child. I took about 5 years of piano lessons, learning to read music, and then when I got my first guitar it was a nylon string classical. Perfect size for an 11 year old. It was a "Harmony" guitar. I had the gift for learning quickly. So I hope you have success in choosing- Yamaha is the most popular brand, followed by Cordoba, and Ibanez. If you check my hubpages, you will see we have a lot in common when it comes to favorite guitar music. Enjoy your instrument. Hope that I can follow you too.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)