Not to be confused with the nylon-string “folk” guitar, the classical guitar, while sharing the same type of strings, offers the player a much more sophisticated instrument, in build quality and tone. The beautiful classical guitar has a wide repertoire that, in the right hands, can evoke every shifting emotion, from romantic and enchanting to dramatic and dynamic moods. This review will explain everything you need to know about handmade classical guitars.
The classical guitar we know today is the result of hundreds of years of design progress. An early form of the guitar dates back to the 15th century, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the blueprint for today’s best classical guitars was set.
Today’s guitar has its roots in humble beginnings and was originally the domain of field workers rather than the highest levels of society. For this reason, the best luthiers were slow to take up the mantle of guitar making and continued to focus their efforts on the most popular concert instruments of the day, such as cellos or violins.
The guitars’ ability to express the musician’s emotion won the hearts of some socialite listeners. Louis XIV of France and Charles II of England were great admirers of the guitar, but it would still be many years before the guitar was elevated to the performance stage and taken seriously by guitar makers.
The design template for today’s classical guitar was established by Spanish builders in the 19th century, who standardized the guitar’s size and scale length and developed the internal bracing and bracing mechanism. His ingenuity set the standard for great guitar building that continues to this day.
The four main parts of the construction are as follows:
1. A top (or “table”) made of spruce that is strong enough to withstand the string tension of a full-scale neck, while being light and thin enough to be musically responsive.
2. Rosewood back and sides to give a rigid structure but light enough to resonate with a melodious sound.
3. A cedar neck that has the perfect balance of strength and weight to withstand string tension without affecting sound quality.
4. A wide, flat ebony fingerboard for easy fingering when played with the thumb behind the neck.
The evolution of the classical guitar continues today with top craftsmen exploring new and innovative design techniques and modern materials. Ultra-thin tops and carbon fiber are just some of the new products being used in the quest for perfect sound and playability. This passion for perfection will ensure that the classical guitar continues to grow and evolve and remains one of the most popular musical instruments in the world.
In addition to this review, you can discover the secrets to playing great classical guitar in just a few weeks with my FREE beginner’s guide to learning to play the guitar.
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