First of all, what exactly is a classical guitar? You have to bear in mind that there are several kinds of guitar in the market today and differentiating a classical guitar might be a little difficult. Classical guitar is also known as either concert guitar, classical acoustic, nylon-string guitar, or Spanish guitar.
A classical guitar is different from other kinds of guitar in many ways. It is different in the playing technique, its music and the instrument itself. Any guitarist that plays on classical guitars is a classical guitarist. Starting with its differences as an instrument, there is a wide variety of guitars available in the market today.
They come in different sizes, guitar pedal and shapes. In fact, there are jazz guitars, slide guitars, electric guitars, acoustic guitars and flamenco guitars to mention a few. Despite the wide variety, a classical guitarist mostly plays a classical guitar.
A classical guitar should have some similarities with other kinds of guitars like 6 strings, sound hole, several frets and a few other features that other guitars possess. However, it has the following unique features and it is these features that differentiate it from others.
While the strings of other guitars are made of steel, those of a classical guitar are mostly made of nylon. This is why a classical guitar produces a very unique sound. The fretboard of a classical guitar is slightly wider than the fretboard of other kinds of guitar. This makes playing easier.
The neck of a classical guitar is also slightly shorter than the neck of other guitars. Apart from being a tradition, this feature also makes playing much easier. Unlike many other guitars, its body is hollow. This makes for the production of a very rich resonant sound. It is noteworthy that it is not only a classical guitar that has a hollow body. Some other guitars do too. This clarification is necessary so that you won’t call all hollow bodied guitars a classical guitar.
There is usually a decorative and artistic design around the sound hole of a classical guitar. This artistic design is known as the rosette. Up till today, nobody has been able to figure out the function of the rosette. Some claimed that it was designed to strengthen the area from cracking, either from an accidental hit or varying grain alignment in the wood. So, is it just a decorative piece to beautify the guitar?
While there are thousands of playing styles, many classical guitarists adopt the similar playing style for their classical guitar since it is the style that will usually bring out the best of the guitar. A classical guitarist plucks the strings with ring finger, mid finger, index and the thumb. Classical guitarists seldom use a guitar pick. To produce a very loud and clean resonant sound, a classical guitarist uses his fingernails to play.
There is a particular genre of music that supports classical guitar. It ranges from renaissance to contemporary music. That genre of music is collectively called classical music.