A classical guitar is a wonderful instrument. They are also acoustic guitars, but the strings are nylon. Nylon strings produce soft and mellow sounds, ideally for jazz and Latin music. Compared to steel strings, they are softer to the fingers. However, classical guitars usually have a wider fretboard, so your fingers must be stretched.
Studying how to play this instrument smoothly isn’t simple. So many people check reliable sources to help them prepare to learn to play the classical guitar. And once they have read basic information about it, they start to wonder where to start.
This guide will help you in your journey in learning to play the classical guitar smoothly.
Buying The Guitar And Its Accessories
Of course, before you can start playing, you need the ideal classical guitar. You don’t need to buy the most expensive one since you are still a beginner.
The price could cost you $150-$200 for an entry-level. But the main thing you need to check is the size. Make sure that the body isn’t too big or too small for you.
And when you buy your guitar, consider including your accessories. The top in our list is the tuner.
You need to make sure that your instrument is always tuned to produce quality sounds.
You’ll also need a footstool to raise your right leg. This will help your playing become more efficient.
However, if you are uncomfortable with it because of the size of your guitar, you can skip this accessory.
Although your guitar already has strings, be sure to buy extra ones if it breaks. Also, buy a case for your guitar for protection, especially when you bring your guitar outside to practice.
Unlike typical acoustic guitars, musicians play the classical guitar in a sitting position. But in rare cases, you’ll find some musicians playing it while standing. They have to attach a strap to their guitar to secure it.
When you play the classical guitar, you should sit straight up on the chair and place the guitar’s body on your left leg (if you are left-handed, put it on your right leg).
Then hold your guitar at an angle. The neck should be higher than the body. This will give you better precision when hitting the strings at an angle.
When you do this position, you’ll be more comfortable playing it. And to add more comfort, using a footstool is effective.
It can make your right leg rest, and it won’t give you any pressure as you play. This will give you more control over the instrument, allowing you to play hard pieces.
Proper posture is also a key element in playing efficiently. Infact, a good posture can allow you to have a better lifestyle.
And one of the best ways to achieve it is by sitting properly while playing your classical guitar.
Preparing Your Nails
Your fingers are vital in producing clean sound. If you have long fingernails, it would be challenging to create beautiful music.
Your nails will hit the fretboard, and in most cases, they will hit other strings that shouldn’t be. If you’re right-handed, keep your fingernails on your left hand short. This will allow you to press the strings more efficiently without your nails hitting other things.
Also, it will keep your fretboard clean from scratches. However, it is a different case on your right hand. Your fingernails should be longer than usual, but not to be an exaggeration.
You just have to make sure that it is long enough to use for picking the strings. We recommend keeping them long, including your pinky finger.
Even though most classical guitar players don’t use it often, that doesn’t mean you can’t. You can utilize it as well, adding it to your foundations. And for sure, it will come in handy as you progress.
Practicing Guitar Picking
Playing a classical guitar would require more picking than strumming. So it is best to master it early.
The usual fingers used are your thumb, index, middle, ring, and on rare occasions, pinky. Keep in mind that they are named differently as they used Spanish terms.
- p (pulgar) = thumb
- i (indice) = index
- m (medio) = middle
- a (anular) = ring
The usual playing style is your thumb will play the bass, and the rest will play the higher notes. Although it isn’t a strict rule, it is best to practice using your thumb for more efficient playing, especially for harder pieces in the future.
It might take a little time to get used to practicing your picking skills. But with daily exercises, you’ll master it in no time.
And once you can use your fingers efficiently, you might be the next one to go on a tour like the ones in The New York Times publication.
Just Go For It
The road to becoming an excellent classical guitar player has a lot of ups and downs. You’ll feel pain along the way.
And if you have a tutor, you’ll probably get criticized. But all of these things are part of the learning process.
So if you’re having second thoughts about your skills, you shouldn’t. With proper training and mindset, you’ll be one of the best guitarists for classical guitar.