Every time, I receive dozens of questions about which is the best classical guitar for beginners, so I’ve decided to write an article regarding this topic.
As you may all know, every beginning is hard, and you have to put a lot of effort in order to become better in everything in life, not only with guitars. So, at this point, guitars aren’t different at all, they are available in multiple types, and numerous designs, although they have one specific purpose – to produce quality and entertaining sound.
After a detailed research and reading a wide variety of customer reviews, I’ve decided to bring you the best 5 classical guitars, so, I’d suggest you get ready, because if you’ve been searching for a long time and you still didn’t get the guitar you want, one of the following ones will surely suit your preferences! Let’s go!
The Top 5 Best Classical Guitars For Beginners
5. Hola! Music 39GLS
The Hola! Music 39GLS is one of the most affordable yet quality classical guitars that you can encounter on the market, and although the manufacturer isn’t a big name like you would expect, still, this guitar offers excellent features for a beginner who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money for a while!
Design-wise, this model is basically a full-size nylon-stringed guitar that employs a handsome glossy finish that consists of multiple woods including spruce, which is set on the top, and mahogany that stretches from the back, sides and all the way up to the neck. If you take a look at the fretboard, you will notice that it is made of a rosewood, and when you see this guitar as a whole, I think that you will find it visually pleasing, and comfortable to play with because it is lightweight.
Now, let’s take a look at the hardware. Since this is a classical guitar, you won’t find electronics, just a few tuners which will do their job completely fine, and what’s also interesting is that inside the neck, there is a two-way truss rod that will drastically ease your tuning, and for now, I don’t have remarks at all!
Speaking of the sound, keep in mind that we are talking about budget-friendly, beginner-oriented guitar, so the sound may not compete with high-end classical guitars. However, the tone is rich and you will unlikely be disappointed since in the end, you’re still a student and even if you’re given a premium guitar, you may not reach the guitar’s full potential.
Finally, the soft nylon strings will undoubtedly let you have play easily and comfortably, and since you will be practicing for a longer period of time, you will unlikely feel tired at all!
Overall, for a start, the Hola! Music 39GLS can help you a lot in shaping your skills and overall potential, so give it a try because it is affordable and it is worth it!
4. Cordoba Mini II MH
The Cordoba Mini II MH can be considered as a small package that consists of superb things, and since its release date, it has quickly established itself among the best classical guitars whose purpose is to satisfy the needs of the young students thanks to its compactness!
When it comes to the design, the Mini II MH is available in three styles, such as the Ebony, Flamed Mahogany and Mahogany, however, keep in mind that the one I’m currently reviewing is the Mahogany style because it is the most affordable and it performs absolutely great!
This particular model packs a satin polyurethane body that is built with all-mahogany woods, and as we are going deeper, you will find out how do mahogany woods affect the tone!
Furthermore, the hardware is composed of a single action truss rod that is located inside the neck, a bridge and two-strap buttons that are set on the body. Honestly, I don’t think that you will have difficulties in terms of adjusting.
Also, I really like the fretboard even though it looks and feels a bit cramped if you compare it with full-sized guitar, but I really doubt that you will have difficulties in terms of playability, or feel uncomfortable while playing.
In terms of the sound, I have good news for you! The sound is deeper, well-balanced and very warm thanks to the wood material, and I really think that you will love it. There are online videos as well of which you can take advantage and hear it, so that you will now what I’m talking about.
To conclude, if you’re keen on investing in a compact, and portable classical guitar that feels comfortable to play with and produces quality tones, then the Cordoba Mini II MH would be a very good option for you!
3. Yamaha CG122MSH
Yamaha is a well-known brand, especially when it comes to guitars! This model is just yet another example which proves that you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars to feel comfortable to play guitar and to be able to listen to an indeed warm sound!
Speaking of the design, the Yamaha CG122MSH sports a solid spruce, nato wood that is present on the side, back, and neck, and a rosewood bridge along with matte-finish, and to be honest, I can’t stop admiring to its beauty!
But, aside from being classy, this unit is exceptionally durable as well, due to the fact that it employs a 3-ply neck construction that protects the guitar from neck warp, and this by default means that you can use this guitar for years without feeling a significant decrease in terms of its look and performance!
On the guitar’s neck, there are 3 tuners that will help you tune the strings according to your desires, and what’s also cool is that you will not feel difficulties at all while doing that! Good job, Yamaha!
Moreover, the CG122MSH is also very easy to play with, and you, as an aspiring classical guitarist will love it, especially when it comes to its lower string action, and the smoothness of the strings themselves. Those who have already purchased this product, or had an option to play do understand what I’m talking about.
From the moment you begin your sessions, you will instantly feel that this guitar is different a lot from most of the classical ones which are meant for beginners. To be more precise, the sound is loud and clear, and you can experiment with different styles, aside from playing classical music.
Finally, I strongly recommend you consider the Yamaha CG122MSH, because it offers a great value for its cost, and it is highly suitable for intermediate and beginner guitarists who want to constantly upgrade their skills before they move to a more expensive guitar!
2. Cordoba C7 CD
The Cordoba C7 CD is an amazing, entry-level acoustic nylon string classical guitar that combines an attractive design, price and exceptionally powerful performance, so, if you’ve been looking for something similar, then you have found it!
Aesthetically speaking, this guitar looks fascinating because the combination of tonewood, European spruce top, combined with Indian rosewood that comprises the back and sides as well as a mahogany neck is an unbelievably good combination that makes this guitar look expensive and premium!
Moving on, Cordoba’s hardware consists of an Indian rosewood bridge and bone saddle, and what’s cool here is that they will ensure consistent tones so that you will never have to spend even a minute worrying regarding the intonation, even if you have a bad day!
Another great thing about this guitar is the string set. The strings are nylon, and therefore, this means that they will feel smooth even if you’ve been playing for a prolonged period of time, and so far, I don’t have any remarks regarding this guitar.
Last but not least, the sound quality is very strong that has well-defined trebles and a decent amount of aggression. But, what will surely grab your attention would be the sound produces as your fingerpicking on this guitar, due to the fact that the Indian rosewood does an amazing job here!
In conclusion, the Cordoba C7 CD is a must-have option for both, beginners and intermediates who always strive to get better and to reach their full potential, so maybe one day, you will become one of the most famous classical guitarists!
The Yamaha NTX700 is one of the best, if not the best acoustic-electric classical guitars for beginners, and I’m sure that you’ve seen this name popping up multiple times on the Internet, and this is nothing less but a strong indicator that says a lot about the quality of this guitar!
From a design perspective, the NTX700 is available in two styles, and three colors, however, the one I’m currently reviewing is composed of a rosewood fretboard, solid spruce top, and nato back, sides and neck.
If you ask me, I really like the style, and what specifically grabs my attention is its refined finish and its black binding that is spread around the top of the guitar.
Speaking of the hardware, the NTX700 is armed with a rosewood bridge that has a compensated saddle, and what’s also cool is that the included tuners do their job perfectly fine, and you can always tailor the performance of the guitar easily and effectively, for your ultimate user experience!
But that’s not all! Since this is an acoustic-electric classical guitar, the Yamaha’s A.R.T system will be there to you to help you have a truly authentic tone reproduction, whereas, the three-band EQ will help you a lot in terms of shaping the amount of tone you’d expect from this guitar.
Before we end, I have yet another thing that has to be said – sound. Yamaha guitars aren’t popular because of nothing, since the manufacturer is known for producing guitars that produce absolutely overwhelming sound. This guitar isn’t different at all, because it has nicely defined trebles, well-balanced audio and what makes this guitar stand from the crowd is its ability to produce fairly natural sound with no piezo quack!
To summarize, I would strongly recommend you consider the Yamaha NTX700 as your next purchase, and the reason is pretty simple – this guitar can do what others can’t, and therefore, beginners will benefit a lot from having such a quality guitar!
Classical Guitar Buying Guide
As a beginner, you may likely have a lot of questions regarding everything that connects with guitars, and this is completely normal since it is just a phase that has to be passed.
Living in the 21st century has many advantages, and one of them is the Internet, in which you can inform yourself literally about everything. However, a great amount of information may sometimes cause even more confusion. That’s why I will keep everything simple and list you the things on which you should pay attention prior to making an actual purchase!
This essential, once you understand the wood types and design, you may combine it with the style you’re currently shaping, and therefore, would easily choose which type and design your next guitar should have!
Namely, the most common wood types are:
Spruce – also known as Sitka spruce is widely used for classical guitar tops, and you can easily detect it since it has a yellowish or slightly reddish tint. What’s cool about this material is that they are strong and elastic at the same time, which basically means that the sound will have a dynamic range and is going to be bright!
Rosewood – this wood is used for the sides and back on classical guitars, and its color is a combination of reddish-brown wood with wild chocolate brown grain. Once you see a guitar with such attributes, you will know that it is a Rosewood. In addition, this material produces rich mid along with extra-deep bass and incredibly articulated trebles.
Cedar – the cedar wood has a grey-brown look with a red tint, and in comparison to the spruce, it is less dense and lighter, so the sound is more warmer. The biggest highlight regarding this material is that even if you make a mistake, it won’t be as pronounced as it would be by playing on a spruce-made guitar.
Mahagony – Mahagony is a kind of reddish-brown wood type that outputs bright tones filled with punchy mid-range, and in comparison to the Spruce, it sounds deeper.
Maple – this wood is available in two designs, whether as a light-yellow or pinkish tint, and for your information, maple is widely used for the bridge and fretboard on most of the entry-level guitars.
Basswood – Basswood is mostly used in laminated designs, and it is always used for the top, sides, and back of the guitars. The sound isn’t deep, but instead, it is rounded without sharp edges.
Brand name is what makes a certain product stand from the other, regardless if we view it from the aspect of quality, durability, etc. The same stands for classical guitars. Always prioritize purchasing a classical guitar from a famous brand, even though you’re a beginner. Some of the most reputable brand names are creators of some of the guitars I’ve listed in this article.
Classical guitar for beginners isn’t as expensive at all if you compare them with those whose purpose is to serve professionals. However, although you will want to stick on budget, sometimes it is advisable that you spend a bit more, because a good start has to have concrete foundations! You can take a look at our article about the best classical guitars under $1000 to see some great models.
They help you get better. By better, I want to say that you will learn basic chord positions, and gain better insight regarding the way you should change chords. Also, nylon strings will prevent your fingers from suffering trauma, and this allows you to play for hours while feeling very comfortable.
Classical guitars have an ergonomic design which allows you to snug fit between the so-called supporting points of the person because you can play while seating easily.
Last but not least, they will help you shape your pizzicato (fingerpicking) and rasqueado (finger strumming).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Is it advisable for beginners to start playing with a classical guitar?
A: Every beginning is hard, regardless if it comes to guitars or not, since the learning phase requires much effort, so that results would be great. Hence, a vast majority of people think that it is easier to start with a classical guitar, while on the other hand, some people claim that it isn’t. That’s why, I can’t get a precise answer to this question, but what I can say is that you will have difficulties to start playing with this instrument, and no matter what people say, you will have to try it by yourself to see whether you can or you can’t. Personally, I think that you can!
Q: Are classical guitars expensive?
A: Once again, it depends. It depends mostly on the brand and on the quality of the guitar itself, some classical guitars are expensive, others are set in the middle, whereas, you can also find affordable ones. The choice is yours.
Q: What types of music I can play with a classical guitar?
A: Well, you will be able to play Latin, Classical, Fingerstyle, Jazz, or Flamenco!
Q: Which are the best classical guitars for beginners?
A: In short, the ones that I’ve included in this article, because I’ve analyzed each of them, heard the opinions of my audience, so, chances that one of them will suit your style is high!
Q: What’s the difference between classical and acoustic guitar?
A: Classical and acoustic guitars differ a lot in terms of the fretboard, shape, price, strings, and sound.
For instance, classical guitars are wider than the one of an acoustic guitar, whereas, acoustic guitars mostly have a dreadnought shape which is far larger than the shape of a classical guitar.
Also, classical guitars are in general, cheaper than acoustic guitars, and this is one of the reasons why many beginners opt to start with a classical guitar first prior to changing with electric/acoustic, etc. Last but not least, the strings. Classical guitars use nylon strings, whereas, most of the acoustic ones employ steel strings.
Finally, classical guitars tend to have a softer sound mainly because of their nylon strings, however, both of them have a soundhole and are completely acoustic.
I hope that you’ve found this article very useful and informative, and that by now, you’ve recognized the potential of these guitars. Just keep in mind one thing – if you ever decide to purchase one of the listed classical guitars, be prepared to understand that all of them are durable, quality and will serve you incredibly well for the start, and as long as you don’t get more skills and opt to get more expensive guitars! I would also like to mention that if you’re a left-handed player, you should check out our picks for the best left-handed classical guitars.