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Recommended Classical Guitars For Beginners

Updated on May 18, 2015
Image courtesy of Amazon.
Image courtesy of Amazon. | Source

Best Value Classical Guitars For Beginners and Improvers

Classical guitar is such a noble instrument, but do you wonder what is the best value classical guitar for a beginner? Even though these guitars are so affordable compared with wind or brass instruments, getting the best value classical guitar can be a minefield for beginner guitarists or parents. Classical guitars all look the same, so where do you start with buying a budget classical guitar ?


How can you buy a good beginner classical guitar?

Guitars have mysterious specifications and technical jargon from the manufacturers and what looks like a good deal in guitars may not be. Buying a guitar might not be as simple as you first thought. Manufacturers do really bad things like using "classical guitar" as a description for a steel strung acoustic just to get more keywords and this is confusing too. As a professional guitarist and teacher I often have parents asking advice and I have experience in playing many guitars of all types. I have put this page together to show what I think are a few good deals in buying classical guitars for older beginners. These classical guitars are nearly all full size and available in the USA.

Lucida LK-2 Student Model Classical Guitar, 4/4 Size
Lucida LK-2 Student Model Classical Guitar, 4/4 Size

This guitar has a white wood top, back and sides, Neck and Fretboard are Nato, it has Gold-Plated tuners. It is a good starter instrument that will get a youngster through the first few months of playing. If he sticks with it, you can easily upgrade and buy a better instrument now he knows how to take care of it and play some tunes.

 

Buy Budget Classical Guitars - Classical Guitars under $70

All of these classical guitars have been chosen for the budget price. At under $70 a guitar works out much cheaper than many other instruments and can be upgraded when the beginner guitarist makes progress. It may not hold its value as well as a better quality instrument, but costing less than a family meal at a diner makes it worth the risk.

Beginner Classical Guitars - Good Value Budget Guitars Under $140

At this price range, Amazon's ability to bulk buy and discount shows some great household names in guitars, such as Fender, Yamaha or Oscar Schidt.

Oscar Schmidt OC9 Classical Guitar
Oscar Schmidt OC9 Classical Guitar

Nice intermediate guitar with Spruce top, Catalpa sides and back, Mahogany neck with Rosewood fingerboard & bridge, Gold hardware and Pearloid tuners.

 
Valencia VG-30R Classical Guitar
Valencia VG-30R Classical Guitar

Valencia VG-30R Classical Guitar. Valencia guitars are sweet toned and reliable. This top end model has a high-gloss amber finish and high quality tuners with pearloid buttons. The body features a solid red cedar top, mahogany back and sides with multi-ply body binding and a decorative centerstripe, The neck is mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard, bridge, peghead overlay and heel cap are also rosewood, Bone nut and saddle, The soundhole rosette is a traditional wood inla.

 

Footstools for Classical Guitarists - A comfortable playing position needs a footrest

Unless you are happy to rest your left foot on a pile of library books, I would recommend a good quality stable footstool. It improves the playing position by making it more easy and comfortable to hold the guitar correctly. My personal preference would be for a handmade footstool for home use because of its stability, but adjustable footstools take care of varied seat heights and leg lengths!

Good Value Intermediate Guitars - Classical Guitars from $140 to $200

Excellent quality classical guitars at a reasonable price. A solid top guitar for less than $200? That in my book is incredibly good value for money,

Antonio Hermosa Classical Guitar, Solid Cedar Top
Antonio Hermosa Classical Guitar, Solid Cedar Top

Once you have heard the gorgeous warm sound of a solid cedar top guitar you won't go back! Mahogany Back and Sides; Neck, Maple Binding, Gold-Plated Tuners with Brown Pearloid Buttons.

 

Crossover instruments, fretboard width and cutaways

When I started playing I crossed over from classical to electric. These days it is just as common for guitarists to do the opposite and obviously the full width fretboard of a classical guitar is a world away from an easy electric or acoustic guitar neck. A classical guitar with a narrower neck can be a useful halfway point.

Antonio Hermosa Classical Guitar, Solid Cedar Top, Narrow Fretboard
Antonio Hermosa Classical Guitar, Solid Cedar Top, Narrow Fretboard

Narrow fretboard is ideal for smaller hands or crossover guitarists. Classical guitar made of Solid Cedar Top, Mahogany Back, Sides and Neck, Maple Binding

 

Great classical guitars at affordable prices - Some excellent intermediate classical guitars

Again these guitars are nearly good enough for professionals. Some of them are unbelievable value for money and very playable for adult beginners too. As well as Cordoba I also recommend Yamaha and Ibanez guitars. Yamaha is superbly reliable for good quality classical guitars at affordable prices, Ibanez are usually very playable with a lowish action and a sweet tone.

The Alvarez RC210 Regent Series Classical Guitar is an intermediate classical guitar with a mahogany body, a spruce top to give it superior projection and crisp tone, rosewood fingerboard and bridge and traditional mosaic soundhole rosette.

Espana Classical Guitar w/Hardshell Case
Espana Classical Guitar w/Hardshell Case

Espana Classical Guitar with Hardshell Case This Espana classical guitar comes complete with its own hardshell case which is excellent value! Traditional classical guitar design, with Select spruce top and Mahogany back and sides

 

I love Cordoba classical guitars!

Cordoba guitars are a lovely transitional instrument for the more advanced player. They are well constructed and sound great. Going for a classical guitar outfit also gives you useful accessories to keep your guitar safe.The Cordoba guitar has low comfortable string action, solid cedar top, inlaid rosette, mahogany back and sides, rosewood fingerboard and bridge. A typical classical guitar package might include also gig bag, electronic tuner, DVD, polishing cloth, and string winder

Cordoba C3M Classical Guitar
Cordoba C3M Classical Guitar

Cordoba guitars have a finish, sound quality and feel comparable with concert classical guitars. Solid Cedar top, all natural wood, hand inlaid rosette, natural matte/satin finish allows resonance and sustain, Rosewood bridge and fingerboard.

 

Only in my dreams - Superb concert classical guitars from Takamine and Ramirez

Takamine are not such a household name, but I love my Takamine. A visit to the Spanish Guitar Centre in London revealed the true value of this guitar was surprisingly high. I retired my Takamine concert when it got attacked by a music stand. This broke my heart! Maybe one day I will be able to afford a new one or perhaps that George Harrison Ramirez? I played a Ramirez with cutaway at Hanks music in London but fortunately I forgot my cheque book....

Update, my current guitar is an award winning Picado, which I love, and I am restringing the injured Takamine for my best friend to play...

Ramirez FL2 Flamenco Classical Guitar

Flamenco guitars have a lighter feel and a tone more conducive to dnce rhythms and flamenco. Ramirez are a great name in flamenco guitars. Ramirez have also been the name in classical guitars for many, many years. The family now produce many beautiful professional quality instruments.

Ramirez are to classical guitars as Reebok are to sports gear! There is a reason for this.

Should I try a Cutaway Classic?

I spent a happy hour playing on a Ramirez cutaway at a famous London music store. If I had stayed longer it might have needed surgical removal. The only drawback is a slight loss of resonance due to the cutaway. For this reason I stuck with the standard concert guitar I now have but the Ramirez was a beauty.

Jose Ramirez 1A CD/IR Classical Guitar
Jose Ramirez 1A CD/IR Classical Guitar

George Harrison might have been better known for electric guitar and sitar, but he also owned a Ramirez classical guitar. The model shown here is not the George Harrison model but it is also a very fine acoustic instrument.

 

I do hope you found this page helpful and that you might check out some of my other guitar pages. Playing and teaching the guitar has been my life's work, so if I can help I am happy to do so. Thank you for visiting this page.

© 2011 Lisa Marie Gabriel

Did you enjoy this selection of classical guitars? - Do you play classical guitar?

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    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

      I've never tried playing classical guitar myself but love to listen to others who do. I hope you've just launched the career of a few more wonderful guitarists.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 5 years ago

      Nice selection of guitars.

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      Certainly a lot of good info here for a beginner to chose a guitar.

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 5 years ago

      oooOOOooo..what a great collection of guitars. Best wishes for your success!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I don't play guitar but these look like some excellent choices for gifts!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Great list of guitar recommendations for those 'budding' classical guitarists who want to 'begin' playing, but don't want to spend a lot until they know how well they do.

      I was once visiting a friend when her friend, a superb 'classical guitarist' stopped by (with his guitar) and played an 'impromptu concert for us. It was some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. He was 'amazing'.

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      This is remarkable. I would love to have known you a few months ago, when we were trying to find a guitar for one 'uh my grandies. I think it may have been very uncomfortable for him an' this eventually prompted him to set it down an' walk away. He actually gave it to his little brother, so there is still hope. Also, Little Brother is completely enjoying the guitar he was given. Thanks for such great pointers. I do hope you are able to get another Takamine or some other sweet guitar that you would enjoy. :)

    • profile image

      Sojourn 5 years ago

      LOL on the stack of books under foot! ;) Great overview of classical guitars for beginners. Getting started is half the battle, my mom used to say. She played for years and still strums for us every now and then.

    • profile image

      jseven lm 5 years ago

      You covered everything anyone who plays or wants to play classical guitar. My son plays and I love to listen to him. Great looking lens!

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 5 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Great resource for classical guitar beginners!

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      You have a very good lense here. THanks for sharing about guitars that make people dream of playing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent!!

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      The Yamaha C40 is an excellent beginner guitar to learn your classical chops on. It was my first nylon stringed guitar and I've never regretted owning it. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for your suggestions. I'm doing research on a guitar and it one keeps appearing, The Yamaha C40, I have read more positive reviews on the C40 than any other, your other choices have giving me a wider playing field.

      Thank you for taking the time to gives us prospective Classical guitar students so many choices.

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 4 years ago

      Love your range of guitars. Still sorry I sold my Gibson years ago!!!!

    • profile image

      applejacking 4 years ago

      for this day APX 500 II is best recommended for beginner. Not too expensive and medium quality.

    • techstorm2 profile image

      techstorm2 4 years ago

      Great Lens.

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      I love playing guitar great lessongs

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I enjoyed reading through this lens. I have wanted a classical acoustic for awhile, but have not gotten once yet. Someday I will.

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