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Learn Classical Guitar

Updated on November 8, 2010
Learn How to Play Classical Guitar
Learn How to Play Classical Guitar

The Classical Guitar

It has often been called "The Little Symphony" and for very good reason. A skilled player can fill a concert hall with the wonderful and rich sounds of this instrument.

About the Classical Guitar

For Centuries it was the king of the small venue and was relegated to performances in bars and small clubs until Andre Segovia introduced its potential to the world. Now it is respected as a virtuoso instrument throughout the world.

What Makes the Classical Guitar different than other guitars?

The obvious answer is that you play classical music on it. But there are other differences and one of the most notable things about the classical guitar is that the strings are made of silk and nylon. Your typical acoustic or electric guitar has steel strings. This change in strings makes a very different sound.

But, another important difference about the classical guitar is that the neck (where you place your left hand fingers to press on the strings) is significantly thicker. This makes for quite a different playing style. When you learn how to play classical or folk/electric guitar your skills will transfer but there is an adjustment you will have to make.

Never Played but want to? What should you get?

Here is a quick overview of the things you will need to get started:

  • Classical Guitar
  • 2 sets of strings
  • Instructional Book
  • Guitar care kit (polishing and cleaning)
  • Tuning Fork or electronic tuner
  • Music Stand to hold your music Guitar Stand to hold your guitar - This is important. Don't skip this. This is a musical instrument. You shouldn't just lean it against the wall or tuck it under the bed.
  • A footstool to rest your elevated left foot on (optional)

Remember: A classical guitar is a finely crafted musical instrument. It is not a toy. You need to care for it. But the care will be a pleasure for you because of all the joy this instrument will bring you for many years.

Classical Guitar Basic Items at Amazon

What Book Should You Get?

There are literallly hundreds of different classical guitar instructional books to choose from. So which book is right for you?

I have picked three of the books I consider to be the absolute best and I describe each one so you can choose the one that is right for you.

1. The Carcassi Method - This is the defacto standard that has been around for a hundred years. This book will give you a solid playing ability in the traditional method. There is an outstanding addition to this book called 25 Progressive studies that will take give you a solid repertoire to play.

2. The Christoper Parkening Guitar Method - This is a modern approach to classical guitar and Mr. Parkening is a master in the field. (He was a pupil of Andres Segovia) This method assumes no prior knowledge and has lots of photos to help you along. The second volume of this set gives you a nice repertoire to play.

3. The Mel Bay Complete Method for Classical Guitar - This book follows the successful Mel Bay formula and takes you through the complete process of learning the instrument. It assumes no prior knowledge and is suitable both for children and adults.

The Three Recommended Books at Amazon.com

How to Tune Your Classical Guitar

Inspiration

The Classical Guitar is a remarkable instrument and while it takes years to master it you can learn how to play satisfactory in just a few months. And in your playing you will have access to a tremendous repertoire of music that has evolved over hundreds of years.

It is the perfect instrument because it is portable, beautiful in sound and easily played either solo or in a group with others.

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