Best Classical Guitars for Beginner
When you think of a guitar, the instrument you have in mind is likely a six-string acoustic guitar. But there are many other types of guitars out there – each with its unique tone and purpose. One such type is the classical guitar, which has been used for centuries by musicians around the world to create beautiful instrumental pieces. As a beginner guitarist, this guide will give you all the information you need to know about choosing and using your first classical guitar! We have reviewed and listed the best classical guitars for beginners from top leading brands, including Ibanez, Cordoba, Yamaha and Washburn etc.
In this blog post, we’re going to cover: How to choose your first classical guitar? What should I look for when buying my first classical guitar? And the list of guitars that we think are good classical guitars for beginners is under 1000$.
Why classical guitar for beginners?
Classical guitars have many benefits for beginner players. For one, they are typically easier to play than other types of acoustic guitars, such as steel-string acoustics or electrics. This is because classical guitars have nylon strings, which are much softer and less taut than the metal strings on other types of acoustic guitars. Additionally, classical guitars typically have a smaller body size and thinner neck profile than other acoustic guitars, which can make them more comfortable for beginner players to hold and fret.
Another reason why classical guitars are popular among beginner players is that they offer a wide range of tonal colors and sounds. Because classical guitar music has been around for centuries, there is a large repertoire of classical pieces that can be played on the classical guitar. This means that classical guitars can be used for a variety of genres, from classical and flamenco music to jazz and blues.
How to choose your first classical guitar?
When choosing your first classical guitar, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Classical guitars can range in price from around $100 to several thousand dollars. However, as a beginner player, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on an expensive instrument – there are many great quality classical guitars available for under $200.
Size of the guitar:
Classical guitars come in different sizes, ranging from small “parlor” or “travel” guitars to full-size classical guitars. Most beginner classical players start out with a small guitar, which can be easier to play and more comfortable for smaller hands than bigger classical.
Classical guitars typically have spruce or cedar tops and rosewood or mahogany backs and sides. Spruce is generally considered the best wood for classical guitar tops because of its tonal qualities; however, some manufacturers use other types of wood such as red cedar (which has similar tonal properties to spruce) in their cheaper models instead of spruce due to costs.
Other important things you should consider when choosing your first classical guitar are:
Soundboard & Bracing
The soundboard is what determines how well a classical guitar will sound. When you play classical guitar, the strings vibrate through the body of the instrument and are amplified by the soundboard; therefore, your classical guitar must have a well-balanced & resonant sound to give you great tone quality when playing.
The bracing system is an integral part of this process because it helps distribute vibrations evenly across all parts of the top (soundboard), ensuring balanced tonal qualities. The different types of bracing systems used in classical guitars include fan-braced, X-braced, and ladder-braced designs – each with their own tonal properties which can affect how your classical sounds depending on what style of music you’re interested in playing.
Classical guitars have different neck profiles, which is the shape of the neck. A classical guitar’s neck can be either “C-shaped” or “U-shaped”, with each having its own benefits and drawbacks.
Another important aspect of classical guitars is the fretboard. The fretboard is where you place your fingers to play the notes on the guitar. Different classical guitars have different fretboard inlays (e.g. dots, lines, etc.), which can affect the way classical guitars look, but generally have no effect on a guitar’s sound.
Classical Guitar Sizes:
Most classical brands offer different size classics for beginner players depending on your preference and hand size. Usually, you can choose between small, medium & large classical guitars which will impact the overall tonal qualities of your instrument as well as its playability.
When it comes to classical guitar sizes, there are two main factors:
- Overall body size (the scale length and width of the classical)
- Fretboard dimensions (length & width)
Overall Body Size:
The overall classical guitar body is generally measured in inches from the top of the soundboard (where the bridge is located) to the bottom of the classical guitar body. The most common classical guitar sizes for beginners are:
- “Concert” size classical guitars, which have a scale length of around 650mm and an overall width & height of about 1140mm;
- “Soprano” or mini classical, with scales that range from 430 – 530 mm in length and heights ranging between 560 – 580mm;
- “Tenor” classical guitars are bigger than concert models but they still provide enough room for smaller hands to play comfortably compared to full-sized classics due to their shorter necks. Generally speaking, you can choose any type of classical model when learning how to play as long as it’s not too big for you to maneuver around.
Classical guitars come in different neck widths (this is the distance between each string), which can affect how your classical guitar feels and plays as well as its overall tone quality, depending on what style of music you’re interested in playing. If you like classical, folk or flamenco styles of music then thicker necks & wider fretboards will be more suitable because they provide a warmer tone; if rock or metal are among your preferred genres then thinner necks with narrower fretboards tend to give off brighter tones when played cleanly without any effects/distortion pedals. Again, there’s no right answer here – it all comes down to personal preference!
Our top 8 Classical Guitars
(1) Yamaha CG122MCH
If you’re a professional musician in need of a quality acoustic guitar, the Yamaha CG122MCH is perfect for you. With its solid cedar top and low string action, this guitar provides a smooth, mellow tone that’s perfect for any setting. Plus, the rosewood fingerboard and bridge add durability and beauty to the instrument.
- Low string action for easy playability
- Smooth, mellow tone perfect for any setting
- Durable rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Quite expensive for a beginner’s guitar
- Higher string action might be difficult for some beginners to handle
(2) Cordoba C3M
Looking for a quality classical guitar that’s easy on the hands and sounds great? The Cordoba C3M is just what you need. Featuring a solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides, this guitar has a warm, mellow sound perfect for beginners or experienced players alike. And with traditional Spanish fan bracing, the C3M provides superior resonance and projection. Plus, it’s lightweight and comfortable to play, making it a great choice for hours of musical enjoyment.
- Warm, mellow tone perfect for any setting
- Traditional Spanish fan bracing provides superior resonance and projection
- Lightweight design is easy to hold for hours of play
- Comfortable to hold/play
- Strings are slightly offset/uneven
- Edges can be less smooth than other models
(3) Ibanez GA5TCE:
We all know that feeling, sitting in the practice room or on a stage, struggling to make our guitar sound good. The Ibanez GA5TCE Thin Line Acoustic-Electric Guitar is here to change that. With its spruce top and mahogany back and sides, this guitar gives you the rich, warm tones you need to sound your best. And when it’s time for larger performance, the onboard pickup system ensures your sound will reach the back of the room.
- Spruce top and mahogany back and sides give a rich, warm tone
- Thin line body makes it easier to hold
- Pickup system ensures your sound reaches the back of the room
- High gloss finish brings out this guitar’s full appearance
- Pickup system can sometimes cause a buzz or hum
- Electronics are relatively new, so there’s a risk of receiving a faulty unit
(4) Washburn C5CE:
The Washburn C5CE is a professional-grade acoustic guitar that features a spruce top, catalpa sides and back, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and a natural finish. This instrument produces stunning sound with amazing clarity and projection, making it perfect for live performances or studio recordings.
- Made of high-quality parts with a great design
- Great for many styles, particularly live performances and studio recordings
- Beautiful appearance
- A little more expensive than similar guitars
- Not as durable as some other guitars
(5) Cordoba C5:
Looking for a great first guitar? The Cordoba C5 is perfect for aspiring classical guitarists, as well as anyone looking for the warm sound of nylon strings and comfortable playability. One of Córdoba’s flagship models, the C5 features a solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides to produce a clear, powerful tone with beautiful sustain. Plus, its lightweight construction makes it comfortable to play for hours on end. And with 52mm nut width, the C5 is also great for beginners just starting out on nylon strings. So if you’re looking for an amazing all-around guitar that’s perfect for any style, the Cordoba C5 is worth checking out. Lets start…
- Cedar is a great wood for classical guitars as it produces a nice, warm tone with plenty of basses.
- The C5 has a beautiful overall sound, with great volume and clarity.
- Great for any style of playing, not just classical.
- Its lightweight body makes it comfortable to hold at all angles for extended periods.
- The neck is very comfortable and easy to play, making this guitar great for beginners.
- The guitar’s sound can be overly bright at times, although this is subjective depending on the player’s preferences.
- The built-in tuner is pretty cheap and doesn’t work very well.
- Not good for Flatpicking.
(6) Yamaha C40II:
If you’re looking for an affordable acoustic guitar that sounds professional, the Yamaha C40II is perfect for you. With a spruce top and meranti back and sides, this guitar offers a rich tone with plenty of projection. The rosewood fingerboard and bridge provide lasting durability, while the gloss finish ensures your guitar looks great for years to come.
- Affordable price tag
- Great tone
- May need to be restrung often
- A little more difficult to play compared to other beginner guitars
(7) Ortega Guitars R121-7/8WR:
A smaller-sized nylon string classical guitar that’s perfect for children ages 10 to 14. With a Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, gloss finish, Mahogany neck, gloss finish, Walnut fretboard and bridge, Maple binding and ABS purfling, 2-Way truss rod, chrome-plated tuning machines with pearl buttons, fan bracing, a 12-hole bridge for greater break angle and cleaner sound – this guitar sounds incredible! Plus it comes with a free deluxe gig bag. Don’t let your child miss out on this fantastic opportunity to learn how to play the guitar the right way.
- Comes with a gig bag
- Sounds great for its price point
- Easy to tune (and stays in tune)
- Easy to play (easy action)
- Perfect for children
- Nylon strings require special finger calluses
- Headstock has a downward angle
- No strap buttons
- The included strings are of poor quality
(8) Takamine GC1 NAT:
When you want the perfect tone for professional gigs, there’s only one choice: Takamine GC1 NAT. This top-of-the-line acoustic features a spruce top and mahogany back and sides for amazing sound projection. The mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard is comfortable to play, while the inlaid mosaic rosette looks stunning on stage. Plus, the gloss natural finish adds an extra touch of elegance.
- The guitar is beautiful and very well made.
- The tone is bright and clear, with a deep bass.
- This guitar sounds good unplugged or amplified.
- Very nice action out of the box, easy to play.
- Could have a better tone when plugged in.
- Might need to be adjusted for professional use.
If you are a newbie musician, classical guitars may be the perfect choice for you. They have nylon strings which are much easier on your fingers than steel-string acoustics or electrics. Additionally, they typically have less tautness to them due to their smaller body size and thinner neck profile. Whether you’re just getting started or want an instrument with easy tuning capabilities that won’t break the bank, this type of guitar is worth checking out!
Check which is better & easy to learn? Then here you go Classical vs Acoustic Guitar