ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Music

Best Gifts For The Classical Guitarist

Updated on September 14, 2014

Ramirez Cedar Top Guitar

Source

Ever Wanted To Know What Would Make An Ideal Gift For A Classical Guitarist?

If you have a Classical Guitarist in your family, or a budding one, there are certain gifts that are items that they are always going to need. However a word of caution is necessary here. There are a lot of personal preferences that come into play; so I will go through a list of the items that make good gifts, and give you tips on how to find out which brands and the other information that will help you to make the right choices.

No one wants to buy a gift only to have the recipient react coldly, or worse cruelly, that it is not the right type, brand, tension etc.So I am going to give you some ideas and list my personal favourites, but as always with personal gifts try to get as much information as you can about the players practices and preferences before you buy.

The picture shown here for example is of a Ramirez 125 year anniversary guitar it is usually sold for around $3,000 but can be found for less if you search hard enough, but you would not want to spend that unless you were 100% certain that it was the guitar that your loved one aspired to, and even then it is important to know whether they prefer spruce or cedar tops.

There are other things too, for example they may find in practice after trying an instrument that a different maker and type of wood may actually suit their playing style better. I am going to try to unravel the mystery and help you to make the right choices.

My photographs for this lens are courtesy of Amazon, where I am an affiliate so if you buy from the lens I will benefit. I will not let this influence my recommendations and advice.

Ramirez George Harrison Guitar

Source

Things You Should Know About Guitars

All guitars have a unique sound of their own and this will gradually develop over time as they age. In general guitars are not as long lived as violins, they reach their peak sound at about 20 years of age, but this will vary based on the types of wood used, the style of the instrument and how much it is used. A fine instrument will also need to be kept with a humidifier to ensure that it stays in prime condition. Being made of natural materials every instrument, even those made by the same luthier will be subtly and slightly different.

The best string for the guitar (once chosen) will be the one that gives the best tone, in the opinion of the player; although he or she may be better advised to ask their audience. The general rule is that you will usually get what you pay for, but within that there are subtleties that the player may or may not be bothered with. The strings will generally produce a better sound if they are uniform in diameter and of a tension that matches the way the luthier built the instrument. For example a low tension or soft string gives a lower softer tone than a medium or high tension, as the tension increases the tone gets brighter, but may lose some of the subtle overtones, that some players may want. It is due to these variations that even the most experienced players often experiment with different strings.

The woods used in the guitar serve different purposes, the top or face is resonant so it needs to be of a softer wood that will vibrate and project the sound (like a loudspeaker). The back is made of a harder wood, mahogany or rose wood are often used, this is more reflective so that the sound is reflected back through the sound hole, and on to the audience. The bracing of the guitar is made of woods that give stiffness where it is required, and that maintain the flexibility of the top or front so that the guitar projects its voice. Some modern guitars are being made with lighter grade tops and bracing in between a second top, this gives a deeper richer sound, that may be preferred.

It is generally thought that hand made guitars made by skilled and experienced luthiers are the best. There are however some extremely well made factory built guitars such as the Yamaha's that are made of hand selected woods by computerized machines, in the end they are often as good, but at a lower price, as some of the hand made items. Often the differences are such that only the most refined ear could actually detect the differences. The best guitarists do still tend to get their guitars built to match their personal preference, but some of the top off the shelf items are just as good to all intents and purposes.

Since the guitar is the most expensive and personal choice I do not suggest you buy one as a gift unless you have been told specifically which one, and that you are happy to make a gift of that amount to your loved player.

Nemanja Ostojic Classical Guitarist

Nemanja Ostojic
Nemanja Ostojic | Source

Things The Classical Guitarist Needs

1. His instrument - make sure you are in full agreement with the player if you buy this.

2. Strings these vary in tension and material (nylon, carbon fiber, gut) - Make sure you know which he/she uses if you are to buy.

3. Music Stand - These can be metal or wood and vary greatly so make sure you know their desires.

4. Metronome - Used for practice to get rhythm correct, can be mechanical or electronic, some are decorative.

5. Electronic Tuner - These can be large hand held units or small and subtle so they can be attached just above the fret board.

6. Footstool - Goes under the left foot (usual playing stance) can be metal or wood and should be adjustable in height to suit chair used, etc.

7. Stool or Chair - This needs to be matched in height to the player and footstool used.

8. Music to play - This should be annotated for the guitar - It will usually have fingering and suggested fretting if it is guitar, and be all treble clef.

Picture Nermanja Ostojic - Courtesy Indiana University

Ramirez Great Guitars On Amazon

Ramirez Guitars are accepted to be amongst the finest ever built, and I think anyone wanting one of these will be more than satisfied with the purchase.

Spruce tops start out much lighter than cedar, and generally take a little longer to develop their full tonal range, they also are more likely in the long run to have a broader range of tones. Choosing the right sound for you is a matter of personal preference. Many professional guitarists have both and use them for different pieces as they find the tonal qualities more suitable to their taste and the feel of the piece.

Jose Ramirez 130 Anos CD/IN Classical Guitar
Jose Ramirez 130 Anos CD/IN Classical Guitar

This is a special issue for the 130 year anniversary of the Ramirez company and therefore is of great value. The woods having been specially selected to create a worthy instrument for their customers to celebrate with them. The model shown is cedar, it is also available with a spruce top.

 

Ramirez Anniversary Guitars

These guitars are based on the 4e model and are specially made on the larger anniversaries of the Ramirez company. They are offered at an amazing price for helping their loyal customers celebrate with them.

Ramirez 125 Anos Classical Guitar, SP/IN
Ramirez 125 Anos Classical Guitar, SP/IN

This was a special issue for the 125 year anniversary of the Ramirez company and was considered to be one of the best guitars they ever produced. The model shown has a spruce top and is also available with cedar.

 

Foot Stools For Classical Guitar on Amazon

Footstools are used to support the Classical Guitarists left foot at the right height to assume the correct classical playing position. Most are adjustable in height to allow them to be used with different chairs, and for guitarists of varying heights. They make reasonably priced gifts for the Classical Guitarists in your life.

Cordoba Folding Wood Folding Footstool (Rosewood) Guitar Stool
Cordoba Folding Wood Folding Footstool (Rosewood) Guitar Stool

The wood finish and adjust-ability make this a very attractive footstool. Rosewood is also very durable and long lived.

 

Everyday Working Footstools

The most popular foot stools are made of metal and are more durable for carrying in travel bags to performances, and lessons etc.

Performance Plus PGF1 Footstool Adjustable Height Black Metal Tour Grade Professional
Performance Plus PGF1 Footstool Adjustable Height Black Metal Tour Grade Professional

This is an all metal footstool like the one that I use and I have had mine for about 20 years now and it is still going strong!

 

Cheaper Foot Stool Suitable For Beginner

You may have no intention of touring and traveling the world. If this is the case a lighter grade foot stool such as this may be suitable.

Guitar Foot Stool 7590
Guitar Foot Stool 7590

This is another metal footstool and suitable for the busy traveling musician. It is important to have equipment that will take the strain of traveling.

 

Guitarists Chairs on Amazon

In order to play the Classical Guitar the guitarist needs a chair or stool that will allow him to assume the correct playing position. The Photograph in the Guitarists needs section above illustrates the classical playing position. These chairs and stools would all be suitable, and would make good gifts.

ADJUSTRITE Musician's Chair by Vivo USA
ADJUSTRITE Musician's Chair by Vivo USA

This type of chair is favoured by most of the top Classical Guitarists. This is because it sits you in the right position and is adjustable too.

 

Some Musicians Prefer A Stool

Traditionally Classical Guitarists use a chair, however for those that prefer them you can also get musicians stools.

Budget Bar Stools 0-1950BLK24 Guitar Stool, Professional Guitarist's Stage Stool, PVC, 16" L x 16" W x 24" H, Black
Budget Bar Stools 0-1950BLK24 Guitar Stool, Professional Guitarist's Stage Stool, PVC, 16" L x 16" W x 24" H, Black

This is the type of stool preferred by rock and country musicians. Most Classical players do not use them as there is no back support. However they work well and may be more to your preference. The supporting ring can be used as a footrest.

 

Classical Guitar Strings On Amazon

Guitar Strings are a great gift and within the price range of most givers, just ensure that you know the players personal preference at least in terms of tension. The hand made guitars will often not be built to take high tension strings, and never ever put steel strings on a classical guitar, they will not take the higher tension.

These are all strings that I have used and will give excellent results and value for the money. There are many more strings available from Amazon and I recommend any from Savarez, D'addario or Augustine for Classical Guitars. Of course Ramirez's own strings are excellent too.

D'Addario EJ45-3D Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings, Normal Tension, 3 Sets
D'Addario EJ45-3D Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings, Normal Tension, 3 Sets

D'Addario's most popular professional grade nylon strings. I like their long lasting sound tones and playability. I often use these strings. This is a 3 pack which is better value.

 

Augustine Strings The Original Nylon String Maker

Augustine make particularly good guitar strings and were the choice of Andre Segovia. As well as being one of my favorite strings.

AUGUSTINE CLASSIC-RED MEDIUM TENSION CLASSICAL GUITAR STRINGS
AUGUSTINE CLASSIC-RED MEDIUM TENSION CLASSICAL GUITAR STRINGS

The red label strings have a higher tension and are a little brighter in sound on my guitar than the blues. Remember to try a lot of different strings until you find the ones best suited to you.

 

Music Stands from Amazon

Any serious Classical Guitarist will learn to sight read so that they do not have to memorise every tune that they could play. This skill allows them to play with orchestras and anyone that has the sheet music for the piece they want played. These are all well made stands that any Classical Guitarist would be happy to use. They are a necessity until the piece has been committed to memory.

Hisonic Signature Series 7121 Two Section Folding Music Stand with Carrying Bag
Hisonic Signature Series 7121 Two Section Folding Music Stand with Carrying Bag

This stand is similar to the one I use. Mine is over 20 now and I am not sure who made it anymore. So this one is both light and strong enough to tour with. I like the fact it is height adjustable in two place.

 

Music Stands

Most Classical Guitarists learn to play by sight reading and become quite good at it. This skill is worth developing as over time you may want to play with orchestra's etc. Being able to sight read well makes you able to play anything anytime with anybody. This is not possible if you learn everything by ear. Playing by ear means you need to understand music theory and play a part to fit with the key or just remember all the music you ever want to play. That is no mean task!

On Stage SM7122B Folding Music Stand, Black
On Stage SM7122B Folding Music Stand, Black

This is a basic fold-able stand and suitable for most purposes, but fairly light weight.

 

Guitar Tuners From Amazon

Tuners are the quickest and easiest way of ensuring that the guitar is in tune before playing that important gig.They are reasonably priced and are far more accurate than most people's ears, because of this they make great gifts for your Classical Guitarist.

Korg GA1 Guitar and Bass Tuner
Korg GA1 Guitar and Bass Tuner

Korg are a solid manufacturer of quality tuners and this one can be used for a lead or Classical Guitar as well as for the Bass.

 

Headstock Tuners

For those that do not like the large tuners they now make small models that can be clipped to the guitars head stock.

D'Addario Clip-On Headstock Tuner
D'Addario Clip-On Headstock Tuner

For those who lose things there are tuners that attach to the headstock of your guitar. This way you will always have it with you!

 

Metronomes from Amazon

The metronome is essential if you ever want to learn to keep to the beat. Traditionally they have a bell that sounds on the first beat of the bar. The musician has to try to start on the bell and remain on it for every bar of the music.

Wittner 836 Taktell Piccolo Metronome, Black
Wittner 836 Taktell Piccolo Metronome, Black

This is a traditional style metronome like the one I learned with. Mine was actually a Yamaha, but looks very like this.

 

Spotlight On What I Consider To Be The Best Value Gift

Due to the value offered and their amazing tone. This is what I consider to be the best value guitar gift overall.

Best Value Guitar to Give as a Gift

Cordoba C7 SP Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar
Cordoba C7 SP Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar

This Guitar is widely getting recognition as being in the league of guitars by the better known big brands such as Ramirez, and yet it is much cheaper to buy. This appears to be due to the name not being as recognised yet.

 

My Personal Choice In Strings

Augustine make fine guitar strings and have been my favorite brand for some time. Strings are personal and you should choose a brand after trying several as the tone produced varies by guitar and the players style. Choose the string that sounds best to you on your guitar. The general rule is the higher the tension the brighter the sound. Do not use steel strings on a classical guitar as you will likely pull your bridge off.


Some classical guitars are made to sound best with normal or even low tension strings sometimes using high tension will void any warranty. Always check the manufacturers guidelines, before changing the tension of the strings you use.

My Personal Favourite Strings

Albert Augustine 525A Gut Classical Guitar Strings, High Tension
Albert Augustine 525A Gut Classical Guitar Strings, High Tension

It is hard for guitarists and others to find a truly great string and this is one of the best.

 

A Little Known Fact

D'Addario student strings are not just for beginners the name was chosen to distinguish their original strings from the more modern ones they now make. Student strings sound great and cost less, because they have been making them longer.

Best Value Strings

D'Addario EJ27N Student Nylon Classical Guitar Strings, Normal Tension
D'Addario EJ27N Student Nylon Classical Guitar Strings, Normal Tension

These are a quality string suitable for all purposes they were actually the original D'Addario string and are called student only to distinguish them from today's newer strings they come at a great price!

 

The Best Gift For All Serious Musicians Is Music!

The Hardest Thing For a Musician Is To Find Music Properly Transcribed For Their Instrument Download It From Here!

A great gift that you do not need to worry about if it is what they want or not is an annual subscription to the biggest on-line provider of downloadable sheet music. There is music for all instruments and all occasions and it is correctly transcribed for each instrument. Buy this and your player can download all the music they ever wanted!

Guitar Preference Poll

Which Type Of Guitar Do You Prefer?

See results

Any Questions or Comments about Classical Guitars?

Submit a Comment

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    The tuners are one of the best gifts, because so few people are blessed with perfect pitch. However we can all hear when an instrument is off! The electronic ones are very accurate.

  • MJ Martin profile image

    MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 2 years ago from Washington State

    Great guitar information. I like the tuner ideas.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Faye Rutledge: Thank you, This lens is my best performer so I guess a lot of musicians like it!

  • Faye Rutledge profile image

    Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

    My grandson loves all kinds of guitars. These are great gift ideas. Thanks for your visit and comment to my LotD! :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Adventuretravels: Thank you I do appreciate encouragement from fellow players!

  • Adventuretravels profile image

    Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

    I love playing my guitar. Great lens with good tips and advice. Thanks.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @AntonioM23: Thank you I appreciate the comments.

  • AntonioM23 profile image

    AntonioM23 3 years ago

    Great lens,thanks for sharing.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @anonymous: Fuhr Elise which is often played on the piano was actually written as guitar piece for Beethoven's niece who was learning to play the Classical Guitar! So Beethoven would be happy he used to call the guitar a veritable orchestra unto itself!

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    An excellent selection of gifts for classical guitarists, I have a son who plays and last year he perfected Beethoven on the guitar. :)

  • profile image

    TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

    I have a steel string acoustic but have been wanting to get a classical nylon string guitar!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @najem lm: Yes! I would not mind any of them as a gift.

  • najem lm profile image

    najem lm 4 years ago

    I like those guitars!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @VspaBotanicals: Maybe you should buy him a Classical Guitar sometime, the technique is not that different and I am sure he could learn and then he might surprise you. My wife and family find the Classical very romantic!

  • VspaBotanicals profile image

    VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

    My husband is a bass player and he loves this lens!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @MariaMontgomery: The Guitar is one of the easiest to start with, but it is one of the hardest to master. This is because the same notes can be played in several positions so if you are not careful a piece can become unplayable.

    This is not a problem if you look for scores that give the left hand positions, for the more difficult sections at least. It is surprising, but this is often done with guitar music.

  • MariaMontgomery profile image

    MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

    I have always enjoyed classical guitar music, but don't know how to play any musical instrument. Maybe someday I will learn.

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @Deborah Swain: Debs, You should either get it out and start over or get another and play for relaxation, it is a wonderful pastime that totally relaxes the mind and body as all you can do is live and play in the moment. People and animals love it, both of my dogs will stop what they are doing and come lie at my feet when I play. It is a pleasure to all who are close enough to hear.

    I think the research is easy when it is one of your hobbies.

  • Deborah Swain profile image

    Deborah Swain 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

    exhaustive research! i played the classical guitar as a child...this lens made me feel nostalgic!

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @yourselfempowered: Thank you I hope there was something that you might need represented here.

  • yourselfempowered profile image

    Odille Rault 4 years ago from Gloucester

    Fabulously comprehensive lens on gifts for classical guitar players! :)

  • Dressage Husband profile image
    Author

    Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

    @TolovajWordsmith: It is never too late to start. The Cordoba C7 is a great guitar for the serious beginner as it is good enough for even a great amateur player too!

  • TolovajWordsmith profile image

    Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

    I always wanted to learn playing classical guitar:)