The Versatile Classical Guitar

I’m often asked what attracts me to the classical guitar?

First, let me say I love guitars of all shapes and sizes. I’m fascinated by the different sounds they produce, and respect and admire people who can make well crafted instruments. I have a number of guitars -some are nylon stringed “classical” instruments others are not.

If someone asks me do I prefer nylon or steel stringed instruments, I reply it depends on what I’m attempting to play, the sound I want to produce…and some friends say whether the moon is waxing or waning but I’ve never been aware of that myself.

My earliest recollection of the classical guitar was a film clip of Segovia which was shown one night on BBC2 when I was a relatively small child. I was fascinated that one man on one instrument could produce such an array of sound. I found it hard to believe there were no other guitars in the room, and the way his hands moved was hypnotic.

The range of sounds which can be produced upon a classical guitar is extensive, for example a sweeter more mellow sound can be produced by plucking the strings near the neck, whereas a more metallic perhaps percussive sound is produced when you pluck the strings near the bridge. Segovia put it best when he described the classical guitar as “an orchestra in miniature”.

The range of music which is played on the classical guitar is vast. You can find examples of many styles of music arranged for the instrument, and also drawn from many time periods and countries. So the choice of what you want to play is almost unlimited. If you take up the classical guitar you may find yourself studying and playing music drawn from medieval times, the Renaissance, the Baroque period, the 18th 19th 20th and 21st centuries.

There are simple pieces for beginners and works of such complexity only virtuosos would attempt them. There are arrangements of folk tunes, jazz standards and arrangements of pop tunes. So whatever you feel drawn towards there is probably something to suit you.


About jghzap

I teach classical guitar. I perform acoustic music, I compose music and songs and live on the coast.
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