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The Difference Between The Classical Aand The Steel String Guitar

Aug 17, 2007
The guitar has been around for quite some time. Varied versions of the stringed instrument exist in some parts of the world. The guitar can be classified as electric or acoustic. The acoustic can then be classified into a sub category as classical or steel string guitars. The question therefore is what is the difference between the two?

Let us start with the structure; the body of the classical guitar is fashioned in such a way that it will be played by the guitarist in a sitting position. All the strings are made of nylon which produces a low sound. The fret board is larger and the distances between the frets are larger, these give way to the fingers of the classical guitarist since the mode of playing the instrument is plucking rather than strumming. The tuning keys face inwards or at the guitarist when held in the playing position. The fingerboard is made flat and without inlays. The classical guitar does not have a pick guard because classical guitarists do not use guitar picks to strum but they use their fingers to pluck the nylon strings.

The steel stringed guitar on the other hand is strung with metal strings. It is made in such a way that the guitar can withstand the high tension of steel over wooden parts. The fret boards are smaller in width to give way to the formation of guitar chord patterns, the sound from this type of guitar is louder and higher in terms of pitch and the fret board is not as flat as that of the classical guitar for it has a slight radius to give way to the maneuverability of the hand. The tuning keys face the side to cope with the pulling of the strings when tightened. This type of guitar almost always has a pick guard just below the sound hole. This plastic or fiber finish protects the wooden body from the downward strokes of the pick preventing scratches to the wooden finish. Most guitarists using this type of guitar uses a pick not only to produce a richer sound but also to protect the hand from damage due to the constant contact with the metal string.

When playing the guitar there is also a big difference among the two. The classical guitar is usually incorporated with the classical music which involves plucking. The metal string on the other hand is more into strumming. The sound is also different. When the classical guitar is strummed it will have a lower sound compared to the metal string.

Both guitars serve the same purpose in the rhythm section of music but individual differences make them different from sound to structure.
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