What is Classical Guitar? You can generally tell a classical guitar by its strings,
primarily nylon. It has six strings and the base is acoustic. Tones
resonate from a soundboard. Typically the modern classical guitar is
larger than an electric guitar design.
How to Play a Classical Guitar Strings are plucked by the fingernails or the fingertips. The
thumb traditionally plucks the base or root notes where as the
fingers ring the melody and its accompanying parts. Classical guitar
performers do not usually use their pinkies because of it being too
small and a pick is never used. Performing a classical guitar
composition requires knowledge of the historical and social
influences of the time period it was written in to give it the
Time Periods • Baroque guitar – 17th to mid 18th Century. Derived from the
15th Century 4-double-string guitar called the vihuela de mano and
the Renaissance 5-string.
• Early Romantic guitar – 19th Century music from the Classical and
Romantic periods. One of the first 5-string guitars was built in
1779 by Gaetano Cinaccia in Naples, Italy. Some of the most famous
classical guitarists, like Fernando Sor (1778-1847) lived in 19th
Century, considered the golden age of the guitar.
• Modern Classical guitar – 20th Century through present day. Also
known as the Spanish Guitar, these guitars have a thinner sound
board giving it more amplification and tone. During this time,
composers who did not play guitar began to write music for classical