Learn to Play Classical Guitar
The Classical Guitar is a friendly and approachable instrument to learn.
However, some guidance is important right from the very beginning in order to avoid developing bad habits.
Online tuition is an option, on Skype for example, because if you have a teacher who can listen and watch you play and make suggestions about how to improve, you are less likely to develop bad habits.
This is a video lesson from Jamplay on how to play Greensleeves on the classical guitar. For more lessons from Jamplay Click Here.
Start with easy pieces and develop a good technique, then progress will be quick. There are many pieces of music that sound very good and can be played within a few weeks or months of starting the classical guitar.
Technique and Teacher
Because developing a good technique is essential, a private teacher is highly recommended. If you can’t afford private lessons on a regular basis, just have a few to get you started … picking-up bad habits at the early stage will cause a lot of frustration later.
Which finger is which?
The plucking hand (usually the right) has fingers lettered as follows:
P = Thumb, i = Index, m = middle, a = ring finger
The left hand fingers are numbered 1 through 4.
Many students of the classical guitar decide to take examination grades to give themselves something to work towards and a goal to achieve. Music exam grades give you confidence and a feeling of achievement and your progress can be seen in black and white as you work up the grades.
If this is for you, it is definately advisable to get a teacher who knows the graded system Exam music, including scales and arpeggios, need to be interpreted correctly and this can only be done with experience.
The Classical Guitar for Children
This is an ideal instrument for children, not least because classical guitars come in different sizes. 1/2 size, 3/4 size and full size are the most popular – the first two being suitable for children. There is also a 1/4 size for children around the age of 5 years. however, this is more of a toy than a musical instrument.
Children who are sensible can learn from the age of six or seven years with a 1/2 or 3/4 size instrument.
The classical guitar is often referred to as the nylon string guitar and is different in its construction than the electric or folk guitar.
Beginners find the strings easier to press down than the steel strings because nylon strings have a softer feel and they won’t make fingers as sore as all metal strings.
It is definately an instrument that won’t upset the neighbors as it is much softer in volume compared to the electric guitar – and most other instuments for that matter!
Styles Of Music
The term “classical guitar” implies that this instrument is only for classical music, but this is far from true.
Segovia played and encouraged a huge amount of Spanish music to be composed for the instrument. Jazz can also be played on the classical guitar – Earl Klugh is a fine example. Music of most genres often use a nylon string guitar from time to time. You can even learn to play blues guitar on the classical!
Playing and Singing
The nylon string guitar is a favorite of guitar vocalists, especially when it comes to folk, ballad and country music. It is ideal if you would like to learn to sing songs and strum chords or play fingerstyle as an accompaniment. The strings are slightly farther apart than other types of guitar, so if you have big fingers, the classical guitar is probably the best instrument to learn for adults.
The classical guitar is often used instead of the steel string folk guitar for playing and singing because of its warm tone and the nylon strings make it easier on the fingers!