Classical Guitar: The Instrument

Updated: Jul 28, 2019

Today's classical guitar is descended from the Baroque guitar. This was a small acoustic guitar with 5 pairs of gut strings called "courses", somewhat similar to today's 12 string acoustic guitar. It was a softer sounding instrument, and used for improvised accompaniment rather than as a solo instrument.

The gut strings have now been replaced by nylon and there are 6 individual strings. The lowest (bass) string can be wrapped with copper for added resonance.

The body of the modern classical guitar is larger than its Baroque predecessor and made entirely of wood. The interior bracing is somewhat different from other acoustic guitars to support the unique style of playing required. The wood used in the construction is carefully chosen by the luthier (guitar maker) for its sound capabilities just as it is for all acoustic stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass).

The neck of the guitar is wide, allowing for more space between the strings and reducing sympathetic vibrations from neighbouring, unplayed strings. The wider spacing also helps facilitate the playing of runs and arpeggios that are essential for performance.


The following video explains the differences between the 3 major types of guitars: classical, steel-stringed acoustic and electric.





Nathan Bredeson: Classical Guitar

Join Nathan and Michael at Hazzards Corners, Madoc Township on Sept. 27 for an evening of Canadian Music for Classical Guitar. Tickets for the QSCM installment of Bredeson and Ibsen's "Made in Canada" Tour are available now at https://www.qscmusic.com/buy-tickets-discount-details . Free parking, and post-concert cookies! You don't want to miss it!


Michael Ibsen: Classical Guitar


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