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Classical Guitar Playing - What Exactly Is It?

Jul 27, 2008
Classical guitar playing is what is participated in when using a classical guitar. This kind of guitar has no electronics and no pick-ups. In general it has six strings although there are some classical guitars which have twelve strings. The thinner strings known as the trebles are made from nylon and the bass strings are nylon with brass wire wrapped around them.

As far as construction is concerned the classical guitar is hollow and shaped like a pear. Its is made from wood, usually two or three different types, the cheap and nasty varieties being built with a plywood top, whilst those worth buying are made from woods such as rosewood.

The resonance produced by the classical guitar does not rely on an amplifier or any other sound effects. It comes direct from the hollow part of the instrument through the sound hole as the strings resound over it.

Most players of classical guitars remain seated whilst playing. The other main difference which sets this type of guitar apart from others is the kind of playing involved. Classical guitar playing can be characterized by the style of music played which is usually considered to be of value due to the length of time it has been around, compared to the many pop tunes which come and go in the blink of an eye.

The strings are usually plucked using the thumb and fingers of the right hand when learning to play this kind of instrument. This means you will have no use for a pick. Strumming of the classical guitar is only used as a special effect.

When learning to play a classical guitar you will probably practice sight reading sheet music along with discovering technical concepts and how they should be applied. Rather than trying to learn on your own, it's best to have a classical guitar teacher and although it may take you quite some time to become skillful, you are sure to enjoy the learning process. It is important that you choose a teacher whose style suits your personality as many of them teach in different ways, some formal and some informal. Whatever style you choose to learn to play the classical guitar, you are certain to find this a worthwhile pastime until you have developed your talents to the full.

Classical guitar playing - what exactly is it?

Well one thing is for sure. It's not about jumping around on a stage screaming out to your audience whilst thrashing away at your guitar. That's electric guitar playing and brilliantly talented as it is, it's a whole different story.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of MusicianHome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.
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