Congratulations on your choice/decision to begin playing the guitar. You are about to embark on a truly rewarding musical journey ! The journey begins at the decision on the type of guitar you want to start playing. You can begin learning with any type of guitar: acoustic, electric or classical ( nylon strings ) and switch among them once you become competent. However, this article will focus on the most common fork in the road for guitarists; acoustic – steel strings and classical – nylon string guitars. Which one is right for you?
Most guitarists begin with an acoustic guitar because it is slightly less harsh on the fingers and a very straightforward pick-up-and-play option. There is no need for an amplifier in order to hear the sound clearly and they are also usually available at lower prices than electric guitars.
The differences between classical and acoustic guitars
Fretboard A classical guitar generally has a wider fretboard than acoustic guitars.
Shape Acoustic guitars are more commonly found with a dreadnought shape, which is usually much larger than classical guitars. Both Classical acoustic come as Cutaways models giving access to the left hand to reach higher positions.
Strings We should make it quite clear here that both of these guitars are actually acoustic guitars. The major distinction is that one uses nylon strings (classical guitars) whereas the other uses steel strings (acoustic). However, there are still vast differences between the two models. For this reason, the acoustic guitar is often referred to as a “steel string acoustic”.
Sound The difference in the type of strings is a major determining factor in how the guitars sound. What sound you prefer will also influence the decision you make in your choice of guitar. Consider the type of music you prefer to listen to. If you enjoy music such as Otman Libert, Armik , Brazilian jazz or Gypsy King style, Flamenco or Spanish guitar music, then the classical guitar is the one for you.
So which one is the right guitar for me?
If you like the sounds of Flamenco or Spanish guitar, want a less expensive alternative to learning the basics with or a lighter option that is easier to carry, the classical guitar may be for you.
On the other hand, if you prefer loud, rich tones and a more versatile guitar that you can use for a wide range of music genres, then you will probably want to start with a steel string acoustic. We will be glad to assist you in your journey.
Top: The front of the guitar where the strings are played, usually made of Cedar or Spruce.
Back & Sides : The wooden parts of the box that rest on your arms and body.
Sound-hole: The hole in the middle/front where the sound comes out.
Strings: There are six of them. You pluck them to create sound.
Fingerboard: Where you press your left-hand fingers on. Usually made of Rosewood, Ebony or Maple.
Frets: Thin metal bars diving the fretboard
Neck: The rounded piece of wood supporting the fingerboard.
Bridge: The wooden bar on the guitar top where the strings are attached.
Heel : Where the guitar neck connects to the body.
Nut: Small piece of bone at the beginning of the neck/fretboard
Headstock: The highest part of the guitar which houses the six machine heads used to tune the strings.
Machine heads: Tool to tune your strings , there are six machine heads, one for each string.