Learn to Play Classical Guitar
This lens is aimed at helping those who have not yet fully decided to learn about and take up the noble instrument so they may Play Classical Guitar. At the same time there should be a lot of useful information for the established guitarist too. The Classical Guitar is one of the oldest instruments, it developed from the stringed instruments of Africa and Arabia, gradually being refined and improved to its current form by the great Spanish guitarists of the 19th Century.
The main features of the Classical Guitar are illustrated on the diagram attached. The instrument is stringed from bass E to high E, the strings being E, A, D, G , B and E as seen from left to right on the image. You thread the strings through the bridge and wrap the bottom end under the string then under and over it for 3 turns, the final 1 inch to 1.5 inches is pulled tight and laid along the bottom of the bridge. The next string is inserted through the bridge and its end is wrapped over the loose end of the previous string in order to hold it in place. The top end is passed over the nut and pushed through the hole in the machine head, loop the end around the string and tighten the machine head, use the string to overlap the loose end as you wind, the skill is in not over tightening initially so that the string needs a further 3 or 4 full turns to tighten, Once tight the loose end is always cut off on Classical Guitars, for appearance sake. You string from base E to top E and always replace all strings, if one is broken, this is due to the brightness of the string changing with wear and time. The tone of the instrument will not be balanced if you do not change all strings together. You will have fun learning to Play Classical Guitar.
All images from Amazon except for the Introduction image from Wikipedia - 2007
Where do You All Come From?
Blessed By Squid Angels
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Playing Classical Guitar
The Classical Guitar is ergonomic to play, if sat correctly on a square backed chair and using a footstool for the left foot. The left arm and hand are totally free to move up and down the instruments neck. The Classical position is easy on the body, but like any other repetitive task you should get up and move around periodically, to avoid cramping and repetitive stress injuries.
In order to play Classical Guitar you will need a guitar, a case, a footstool, spare strings, an instruction book, some music, a tuner, a metronome, a guitar stand and a music stand. I would advise you to find a good instructor, but you could also learn on-line, there are many free lessons on You Tube, and sheet music and tabs can also be found on the web. There are links to useful sites on my guitar blog at Play Classical Guitar
For the entertainment of those who have read this far I have included a video of Peo Kindgren playing Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven on the Classical Guitar. Beautiful! However note Peo does not use a footstool and could over time give himself repetitive stress injuries from this style of play. If you are interested in the correct position watch videos of John Williams, Andres Segovia and Julian Bream.
Stairway to Heaven
Why Not Bookmark This Lens So You Can Easily Return?
Learn To Play Guitar with these Top Rated Internet Courses
One specifically for the Electric Guitar Players out there, with 7 different tutors so you can pick the one you like most ,or try them all! It will cost less than a single live instructor and you can repeat a lesson as often as you need. Guitar Super Stars.
These systems are video based and have music you can play along to, students report that these systems give quicker results than standard music lessons, and all the lessons can be repeated as often as you like, until you have mastered them. This makes them both cheaper and faster to learn with than is the case with conventional music lessons.
For those that want to learn by ear there is a neat new product on the market that allows you to slow down the music but keep the correct pitch for each of the notes Riff Master Pro. You speed the music up as your technique improves, until you can play along to the music with correct timing.
If you have a good ear for music and like to learn by ear there is a fantastic new learning product that helps you get absolute pitch and relative pitch skills so that you can name any note and even place it in relation to where it is played on the instrument. The Pure Pitch Method. Wow!
When learning Classical Guitar and Lead Guitar one of the main secrets is mastery of the scales so here is a great course on mastering guitar scales. Guitar Scale Mastery
Many people (like me) have for some reason or another put off learning to play Guitar for many years and now there is a great course just for us! It is specifically designed for the different way that adults approach learning.
Adult Guitar Lessons This course made for the older learner, seems like a great idea to me!
Buying a Classical Guitar
The instruments that I have listed below are all good quality, fairly inexpensive models that are currently being offered at reasonable prices by Amazon or for auction on eBay, so it is a good idea to bookmark this page and so you can return often to check out the deals here.
I have found that in some music stores the instruments are handled and played by many people before they are sold. The advantage of buying them here is that the instrument you get will be new and unused and is delivered direct to your home, plus it is backed by Amazon's warranty.
If you live in a remote area then you may not be able to test instruments in a music store, buying through this site means that you get an instrument of good quality delivered to you, if you are not totally satisfied it can always be returned.
Classical Guitar Quiz
Play Classical Guitar - My Guitar Blog
Extracts from Play Classical Guitar
Comparison Of CG40 to CG111C Yamaha Guitars
I would say if you really want better tone then the more expensive the guitar, in general, then the better the tone will be. Yamaha guitars are excellent, as their quality control is second to none. The elite guitarists still prefer handmade instruments from top quality luthiers, but these are variable and are to be advised only if you have a really good ear and are wanting a guitar built to suit your style of playing. I would not advise any guitarist to go this route until they have mastered the instrument or if the money is no object to them.
Beginner to Intermediate Classical Guitars from Amazon
This is a good quality (for the money) first full size guitar for the younger player. If the player has serious aspirations then it is probably better to pay up to 3 or 4 times this amount to get an instrument that will last them many years, or even for life.
This guitar is a cutaway and therefore the sound is compromised to some extent. The compensating factor is that it is much easier to play the really high notes. Also note that many cutaway models also are designed to be electro-acoustic and are suitable for adding nylon string guitar music to a band.
The Stagg is a Left handed model that will save having to re-string a right handed model to suit the left handed player. Since it was designed this way you will not have to worry about whether the bridge can be reversed or not, which can be an issue with some models of other makes of guitar.
Intermediate to Advanced Guitars from Amazon
This guitar is probably the best deal of all the guitars on Amazon for the serious player. It is around half normal price and it would be the ideal gift for someone special who plays.
This is the identical guitar to the CG151C only this time it has a Spruce top rather than Cedar, the choice is a matter of personal preference, and this is a really great sounding guitar.
For those musicians that prefer an electric instrument Yamaha make this fine cutaway Classical Guitar this is ideal for the solo performer or those guitarists that play in an ensemble where the guitars natural voicing will not be sufficient.
Professional Standard Classical Guitars From Amazon
Great Bargains on Guitars and equipment from eBay
Guitar Cases from Amazon
This is a plastic case with reasonable impact resistance and suitable for carrying your guitar to gigs, or on an airplane.
This is a chipboard case made specifically for the Amigo 1/2 size guitar, and it is durable enough for most transportation purposes.
These cases are cheap but only really suitable for carrying your guitar short distances and then only if you are accompanying it these cases will not stand transportation by air for example.
Guitar Footstools and Stands from Amazon
Music Stands from Amazon
This is a fairly lightweight stand suitable for a few pieces of sheet music, but not really sturdy enough for heavy books.
This is an orchestral quality stand and will carry most music books that you are ever likely to use.
This is another lighter stand that is just fun to use due to the color.
If you can not afford lessons get a classical guitar, a footstool, a music stand, a metronome and this book and you can teach yourself.
CP69239 - Progressive Complete Learn to Play: Classical Guitar (Progressive: Complete Learn to Play Instructions)
This is probably the best book to buy for a beginner player as it goes from complete beginner to professional in one book. It is clearly written and has tabs as well as conventional Classical Guitar notation so it is suitable for players that have initially been learning from tabs and the pure classical players too!
This is a great book for developing your left hand and right hand techniques for the intermediate to advanced player. This is a synopsis of the techniques use by Abel Carvellaro, probably the best player ever, from the technical standpoint. Abel's book is no longer generally available.
This is a wonderful book for getting you started along the right tracks. Jason Waldron is one of the top Australian Guitarists and I have used all of his books and they are really good..
There is a a whole series of these books and you will be able to play all of them as you progress. Jason has done a great job in selecting pieces that progress with you, and as you work through the books you will build technique and confidence. Most people will recognize the tunes, and this aids in playing the correct rhythm and timing for the pieces.
Progressive Popular Classics of the Great Composers Vol. 2 (Morning; Air on a G string; Toreador Song from Carmen; et. al.)
The second book in the series is somewhat harder than the first, but again Jason has selected the pieces to progress with you, so if you have mastered book one this is a natural progression for you.
Don't Want To Wait For Your Music?
Download It and Mp3 versions Too Here!
Guitar Strings, Capo Tuner and Metronome
This is my personal favorite string but It is close between this string and Savarez! It is also available in Red and Gold Label.
This is a concert Quality string and one of my favourites. I think I prefer Augustine Blue Label as they seem to last longer, but it is very close!
Every aspiring Guitarist should be aware that the capo is a guitarists best friend. Some musicians claim that they are not necessary, but they really help with pieces that require a barre to be held in a certain position and then all the playing takes place either there or further up the neck.
This is both a tuner and metronome. The traditional way of tuning is to use a tuning fork for the bottom E string (Bass) and tune the guitar to itself from there, however since the accuracy of modern electronics exceeds the best ear, it is now perfectly acceptable to tune all six strings electronically. Since strings tend to stretch you should re-tune after every piece you play, until the give goes out of the strings.