Best Classical Guitar


Are you on the quest to find the classical guitar that resonates with your soul? The classical guitar, with its nylon strings, warm tones, and rich history, has captivated musicians and audiences for centuries. Whether you are a novice drawn to its gentle sound or a seasoned professional looking for a fine instrument, the right guitar can elevate your playing to new heights.

Our Top Picks

Our #1 Top Pick: Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar

For many aspiring classical guitar players, affordability and quality are top considerations, and the Yamaha C40II offers both. Known for its remarkable value, the C40II comes from a trusted brand and provides a balance of playability and poised sound that’s difficult to find in its price range. Crafted with a spruce top and meranti back and sides, this guitar projects a clear and robust tone. The rosewood fretboard and bridge add to the guitar’s durability and aesthetic appeal. Ideal for beginners, the Yamaha C40II is forgiving to the touch and allows for graceful learning.

Pick #2: Cordoba C5 Classical Guitar

Stepping up in craftsmanship and sound quality, the Cordoba C5 is a splendid choice for both new players and seasoned guitarists wanting a reliable practice instrument. Handmade with traditional Spanish fan bracing, a solid cedar top, and mahogany back and sides, it offers a warm and vibrant sound. Its build quality guarantees a beautiful, resonant tone that improves with age. A slim neck profile with a rosewood fretboard also ensures comfortable playability, which can be particularly encouraging for extended practice sessions.

Pick #3: La Patrie Guitar, Etude

The La Patrie Etude is the epitome of understated elegance, and its craftsmanship is evident in its tone and playability. This instrument boasts a solid cedar top, which contributes to a lush, full-bodied sound that classical guitarists seek. The mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard provides a silky play experience, while the double-function truss rod offers excellent neck stability and adjustability. Ideal for intermediate players, the La Patrie Etude is a workhorse that performs consistently during practice and performance.

Pick #4: Takamine GC5CE-NAT Acoustic-Electric Classical Cutaway Guitar

For the gigging musician, the Takamine GC5CE-NAT offers the best of both worlds: acoustic purity and amplified capability. The solid spruce top combined with the walnut back and sides yields a sound that’s bright and lively, ready to fill any room. What’s more, its Venetian-style cutaway provides easy access to the higher frets, and the onboard preamp system with a built-in tuner makes it ready for onstage performance. The rosewood fretboard and mosaic rosette add a touch of class to an already premium-feeling instrument.

Pick #5: Alhambra 4P Classical Guitar

When you’re ready to step into the realm of professional instruments, the Alhambra 4P is where you should look. Made in Spain, where classical guitars have deep historical roots, this guitar features a solid cedar top and laminated Indian rosewood back and sides, which together produce a robust and articulate sound. The ebony-reinforced neck and hard case are bonuses for the touring musician. Its appeal to professionals lies in its consistent playability and tone, making it a reliable partner for performance and recording sessions alike.

What to Know Before You Buy

  • Understand the size and shape requirements that suit your playing style; full-size guitars may be cumbersome for younger or smaller players.
  • Recognize that wood type significantly influences sound; cedar tops often yield a warmer tone, while spruce tops are known for brightness and clarity.
  • Be aware that a classical guitar’s neck is wider than that of an acoustic guitar to accommodate fingerstyle playing.
  • Consider whether you want additional features like a cutaway for upper fret access or electronics for amplification.
  • Keep in mind that price often correlates with craftsmanship and material quality; however, there are excellent value options that balance cost and quality.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

  • Sound Quality: Richness, clarity, and sustain are attributes you should listen for when testing classical guitars.
  • Playability: The action (string height), neck width, and fretboard feel should be comfortable for your hands.
  • Materials and Construction: Seek solid tops for better sound projection and tone woods known for their acoustic properties.
  • Brand Reputation: Established brands often have a track record for consistent manufacturing and quality control.
  • Price Range: Determine your budget and find the best instrument within it, keeping in mind that more expensive doesn’t always mean better for your specific needs.

Why Trust ChooseRight?

At ChooseRight, we’re committed to providing you with well-researched and objective reviews. Our team has poured over details, scrutinized features, and evaluated the opinions of professionals. We’ve read thousands of reviews, weighed the pros and cons, and extracted valuable insights from actual users to ensure that our top picks stand up to the expectations of different players. We’ve done the groundwork, so you don’t have to guess which classical guitar will make your musical journey a rewarding one.

Finishing Thoughts

Choosing the best classical guitar is a personal journey that should be navigated with care and passion. Each of the guitars highlighted in this review brings something unique to the table, and it’s up to you to determine which one aligns with your musical ambitions and preferences. Remember that the instrument you choose becomes an extension of your creative expression — so consider the factors, trust your instincts, and let the strings sing your story.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a classical guitar?

A classical guitar is a type of acoustic guitar with nylon strings, as opposed to the steel strings used on electric and other acoustic guitars like folk or country guitars. It is used in classical music and has a wider neck to facilitate fingerpicking techniques.

What are some reputable brands of classical guitars?

Some of the most reputable brands include Yamaha, Cordoba, Alhambra, Ramirez, and Takamine. These brands are known for their quality construction and the great sound of their instruments.

What should I look for when buying a classical guitar?

When buying a classical guitar, consider the sound quality, the material and build of the guitar, the size and playability, and the price range. Additionally, think about whether you want a guitar with electronics for amplification purposes.

Can I use steel strings on a classical guitar?

No, you should not use steel strings on a classical guitar. Classical guitars are designed for nylon strings, and putting steel strings on one can damage the guitar due to the higher tension of steel strings.

What is the difference between a classical guitar and an acoustic guitar?

A classical guitar typically has nylon strings that produce a softer, mellower tone compared to the brighter sound of the steel-string acoustic guitar. It also has a wider neck to facilitate classical fingerstyle playing, and it lacks the truss rod that steel-string guitars have to counter the tension of steel strings.

Is a classical guitar suitable for beginners?

Yes, a classical guitar can be very suitable for beginners. The nylon strings are easier on the fingers than steel strings, and the wide neck can make learning chords and fingerpicking techniques more comfortable.

How much does a good classical guitar cost?

The price of a good classical guitar can vary widely. Beginner models might range from $100 to $300, while mid-range models can cost between $300 to $800. Professional-level concert guitars can exceed $1,000, with some high-quality, handcrafted models costing several thousand dollars.

Can classical guitars be used for other genres of music?

While classical guitars are designed for classical music, they can be used for a variety of genres including Latin, jazz, flamenco, and folk. The softer tone of the nylon strings can lend a unique sound to various musical styles.

Do classical guitars need regular maintenance?

Yes, like all musical instruments, classical guitars require regular maintenance. This includes tuning the strings, cleaning the body and fretboard, changing strings as needed, and storing the guitar properly to prevent damage from humidity and temperature changes.

What accessories do I need for a classical guitar?

Common accessories for a classical guitar include a case or gig bag for transportation, a tuner, a footstool or ergonomic support for playing posture, a metronome for practicing rhythm, and a stand. Sheet music and instructional books can also be helpful.

Joseph graduated from Cornell University in 2013 with a degree in civil engineering. Since then he's worked as a content writer and expert reviewer. For the past year and a half, he's been working as the head writer for ChooseRight and is excited to continue growing with the company.

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