Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tips to Buy a Classical Guitar

Tips to Buy a Classical Guitar


Guitars from Spain

Buying a new guitar is always an exciting process for the beginner or experienced guitarist. A basic knowledge of the instrument and an assessment of your musical goals will help you make a wise purchase, a purchase you can enjoy for years, perhaps even a lifetime All guitars produce sound through the vibration of the strings. Classical guitars transmit the vibration of the string to the soundboard via the saddle and bridge. The combined resonance of the strings, saddle, bridge and soundboard are, in turn, amplified in the sound-box or body of the guitar. The design and quality of the, saddle, bridge and soundboard have a major impact on the guitar\'s sound.

Have in mind before buying…

Nylon produces a round, mellow sound and is the preferred sound for classical, Low, medium, normal and hard tension strings create a tension up 75-90 pounds. Less string tension makes a classic guitar easier to play. The fingerboard, 50-52 mm at the nut, provides room for intricate finger picking. The longer string, 650-655mm length from saddle to nut enhances the bass response and sustain. The classical guitar body style is smaller than most other acoustic designs which make the instrument easy to handle and feel. Always remember, when buying a handmade guitar, you are buying a live instrument. Temperature and humidity are the main factors to ruptures and instrument deterioration if not cared according to the maker\'s instructions.

See' taking care of your guitar' below.

Setting Goals

What are your goals? Are you anticipating a serious hobby or majoring in music? If so, buy the best solid top guitar you can afford. An inexpensive guitar is a good choice if your goal is merely casual enjoyment for a semester or so (or if you\'re really poor!). Do you need to be amplified for church or stage? If so, an acoustic-electric classical will afford maximize versatility. Before shopping, decide on a budget so the dealer can show you guitars in your price range.

Trying Out a Guitar - Action

Each guitar is unique in feel due to variations in neck thickness and shape. If the neck is comfortable, the guitar will be easier to play. The string height above the fingerboard--the action--also influences playing ease. The action may vary according to personal taste and playing style. High action is difficult to play but allows buzz-free high volume playing. Low

action is easy to play but buzzes during aggressive playing. A compromise between the two is best for most players. Fortunately, the action can be adjusted to suit your needs. If you are a steel-string player, remember that classical action is higher than steel-string action due to nylon\'s lower tension. Listen carefully to the timbre (tone color) of the guitar. A balance between dark and bright is the most versatile. However, timbre preference is subject to taste and playing style. If your right hand technique is on the bright side, a dark sounding guitar will help balance your tone. If you play without

nails, a brighter guitar will help bring out the upper frequencies. Play single notes throughout the guitar\'s range and listen to how they sustain. Listen to the relationship of the bass notes to the treble. The bass should be firm with a long sustain. However, the treble notes must be able to stand out in relation to the bass so you can project the melody. Finally, have someone play the instrument so you can judge the projection. What\'s the difference in sound between a $300 guitar and a $3000 one? Budget guitars are less resonate and have a smaller tonal and dynamic range than expensive guitars.


Whether you are a beginning or advanced player, a quality guitar is crucial to your success and enjoyment. A fine instrument is easy to play, exudes workmanship, and sounds resonant and responsive. A quality instrument inspires you to practice and excel as a musician. Buy the best guitar you can afford and it will greatly enhance your learning and enjoyment. Note the quality of workmanship in the seating and polish of the frets, the binding between the top and sides, and in the finish. However, in all fairness, you normally get what you pay for. Budget guitars cost less because cheap materials and lesser workmanship are used to trim costs. Budget guitars should be playable but will have numerous finish defects, unpolished frets, messy glue joints, unsanded bracing and poorly adjusted action (a good dealer will adjust the action if needed). Premium quality guitars will have a near perfect fit and finish of all components. Even the interior bracing will be neatly glued and sanded smooth! Before purchasing a guitar, confirm that the tuning heads turn smoothly and allow reasonable pitch control. Fortunately, cheap or broken turning heads are relatively easy and inexpensive to replace.

Price Ranges

Professional classical guitarists play instruments handcrafted by individual makers, e.g., Fleta, Hauser or Gilbert. Depending on the maker\'s reputation, these guitars cost $3,000 to $20,000. Guitars made by a specialized group of builders in a small shop cost from $1000 to $10,000 e.g., Ramírez, Hirade or Asturias. For most people these instruments are out of each.

Most beginners are looking for an inexpensive guitar. Buyer beware: most guitars retailing for under $100 are disappointing junk. Don\'t throw your money away on a cheap toy, pay a little more and get a real guitar. Really cheap guitars have

unacceptable compromises in design, materials and construction quality. Fortunately, there are many factory-made guitars costing from $150 to $300 that make fine beginning instruments.

Recommended Classic Guitars

These models are excellent values in their respective price ranges. Granada guitars from Sevilla- Spain range form $299- $499, Prudencio Saez - guitars form Torrent - Spain. range from $380 -$1,800. Amalio Burguet guitars- Catarroja- Spain, range fro, $999- $4,500.

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About the Author

Deen Jonse
Guitars from Spain, Inc.
2658 Del Mar Heights Rd. #242
Del Mar/California/USA 92014
Phone : (866)-396-1933
Fax : (561)-347-0291

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Six hands on one guitar!

I ran across this video that simply blew my mind! It not only shows the technical skills of the guitarists, but also shows the versatility of this wonderful instrument!

A Guide to Classical Guitar Instruction Books

A Guide to Classical Guitar Instruction Books


Will Kalif

There are lots of instructional books that show you how to play classical guitar. So which one should you use? That depends on your goals with the guitar and your style of learning. Here is a guide to some of the more popular instructional books.

If you are looking for a traditional instructional book you should consider the Carcassi Method. It has been the standard guidebook for generations of classical guitarists. If you want to go the traditional route this is a solid choice. It was written over a hundred years ago and although a bit dated it is still a fine choice. There is a second part to this method called twenty-five progressive studies that are extraordinary in that they give you a solid repertoire of professional pieces to learn.

For a more contemporary guide to playing you should consider the Christopher Parking Guitar Method. It is a modern method for learning classical guitar and it comes in two books. The first book focuses on learning how to play and the second book teaches you all about refining and improving your technique while developing your repertoire. This is an excellent set of books on classical guitar and Christopher Parkening is a world class guitarist who was a pupil of Andres Segovia.

If you are looking for an easy to understand and more relaxed way to learn classical guitar consider Mel Bay\'s Complete Method for Classic Guitar. Mel Bay has been publishing easy to follow, and easy to understand guitar books for decades now. And this book follows this formula. It is clearly written and easy to understand. It assumes you know nothing about music or guitar and this book is very well suited for younger players.

If you want the benefits of being able to watch someone play and hear what the guitar sounds like you should consider the Basic Classical Guitar Method books 1 and 2 by Scott Tennant. The first book has a dvd so you can see how the guitar is played and the second book has a CD so you can hear what the exercises and pieces sound like.

As your skill with the classical guitar develops you are going to want to expand beyond the traditional instructional book and choose books in two different areas. They are technique books that improve your technique and repertoire books that give you pieces you can perform. One of the best technique books you can get is Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennant. This book is a practical approach to really improving your playing technique.
If you are looking for an inexpensive collection of music to play I highly recommend The Library of Guitar Classics by Jerry Willard. This enormous book covers classical guitar across centuries, genres, composers and difficulty levels. It has a great variety of works that will keep you learning new pieces for many years. I own this book and refer to it all the time.

If you are interested in getting a better look at the whole subject of music theory I recommend you take a look at a book called: Scales, Intervals, Keys, and Triads. This book is an in depth look at music theory and music composition. It is independent of any instrument and is just a self-taught course on the theory of music.

There are lots of great books that will teach you how to play classical guitar and you can almost not go wrong choosing a book that works with your goals will make the process move much faster and easier.

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About the Author
For more interesting insights and information about the beautiful classical guitar or to hear pieces played by the author visit his website at:

The Classical Guitarist


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ben Bolt - Classical Guitar Music Master

Ben Bolt - Classical Guitar Music Master


Steven Herron

Ben Bolt was playing lead guitar in rock bands at the age of 12 and performed professionally at 16 in Miami. After high school, Ben left his band to study classical guitar music in Spain. At the age of 19 he studied classical guitar with Andres Segovia in Madrid. Andrés Segovia, the father of the classical guitar, said 'Ben Bolt is an excellent guitarist with fine tone.' Segovia personally paid for a scholarship so that Bolt could continue his studies at the Musica en Compostela, which Segovia founded. Later in Paris, Ben Bolt sought out and studied with Abel Carlevaro who continued to teach Bolt in Brazil at the International Guitar Conservatory. There under full scholarship, Bolt was introduced to more Segovia teaching information and equally important to the Carlevaro school of guitar technique.

During the next several years Ben Bolt went on to Montevideo, Uruguay, Carlevaro\'s home town, to complete his music studies under the direction of Maestro Carlevaro and Guido Santorsola, the distinguished Italian composer and conductor. Carlevaro invited him to attend the 1974 International Guitar Seminary in Brazil under full scholarship. In that same year Ben won the coveted Merit Prize as Outstanding Student at the First International Masters Class in Montevideo. Bolt is credited with being an innovator in introducing thousands of new people to the classical style of guitar playing through his DVDs and books which use a revolutionary format of learning. In the past, guitar students needed to learn to read classical guitar music at the same time they were learning to play the classical guitar which was complicated. Since the publication of Bolt\'s classical guitar book/CD packages, beginners are able to play immediately. His guitar tablature system, which uses lines and numbers to show where the notes are on the fretboard, along with the CD recordings empower all students to play. Because of his vision of making classical guitar accessible to all kinds of musicians, the classical guitar is now being experienced by the masses.

Several Ben Bolt classical guitar books have become best sellers and his 'Anyone Can Play the Classical Guitar' DVD has become a reference source for college guitar students as the authority on basic fundamentals concerning classical guitar technique. Ben currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee where he teaches all styles of guitar. He is also Professor of Guitar at Carson-Newman College. He believes anyone can play the guitar well provided they have these three key ingredients: a good instrument, a knowledgeable teacher, and music that holds the student\'s interest. Fortunately for avid classical guitarists, Ben continues to release more instructional guitar tab books and DVDs every year covering the music of various composers such as Bach, Mozart, Pagannini, Tarrega, Sor, and Carcassi.

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About the Author
Peabody Conservatory trained guitarist Steven Herron helps people succeed at becoming better guitar players. His company features an enormous, unique selection of classical guitar tab as well as guitar books and instructional DVDs by Ben Bolt himself.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Classical Guitars – A Short History

Classical Guitars – A Short History

Author: Miles Roberts

Classical Guitars – A Short History
What makes a guitar “classical”? The traditional classical guitar is an acoustic (nonelectric) instrument with six strings but there are some models with eight or more. Both classical guitars and acoustic guitars have the same basic design and shape, have six strings, and are tuned in the same manner. The main difference is the width of the fret board, which is much wider on classical guitars. The treble strings (high E, B, and G) are usually made of nylon on classical guitars, while all strings on an acoustic guitar are made of metal. A classical guitarist uses his fingers to play rather than a pick.
The name classical guitar does not imply that only classical pieces are performed on it, although classical music is an important part of the guitar’s history. Rather, all kinds of music (folk, alternative, jazz, flamenco, etc.) are played on it today.
In the 19th century, a solo guitarist would usually perform as part of an ensemble in small concert venues. Eventually, professional soloists would perform recitals to big audiences in larger venues. Guitar makers began looking for ways to make the concert guitar louder. This search perhaps started with the Spanish guitar maker Antonio Torres Jurado in the late 19th century.
The classical guitar is sometimes called the "Spanish guitar" because Torres, working with Juilian Arcos, essentially redesigned the material, the shape, and the construction of the guitar. The changes Torres made modified the tone and increased the volume by increasing the size of the soundbox. Francisco Tarrega (1852 -1909) pioneered the new techniques employed by concert guitarists, including the positioning of the guitar on the player’s left knee, correct placement of hands, and methods for plucking the guitar (usually with the back of one’s fingernails).
Andres Segovia (1893-1987) took up the cause of the classical, or concert, guitar and established groundbreaking new methods to make the guitar’s sound carry in large areas such as concert halls. His techniques so beautifully demonstrated the guitar's astonishing flexibility and its outstanding spectrum of timbre and tone that many composers who previously had ignored the classical guitar began writing music specifically for it. Far from being possessive of his innovations, Segovia welcomed whatever improvements fellow luthiers could come up with to make the classical guitar a more consistent and more influential instrument.
The tone of classical guitars embodies romance and profound emotion. The nylon strings produce sounds that are warm and mature in expression. For example, flamenco, a style of classical guitar playing, is beautifully expressive with its lively rhythms and colorful melodies. Classical guitar arrangements are often technically complicated but extraordinarily expressive and soulful as a result.
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About the Author

Miles Roberts is a passionate classical guitar enthusiast who deals rare classical guitars across the world.