800-ZZOUNDS (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 1557-3HS3
close [x]
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri 8AM - 10PM (EST)
  • Sat 9AM - 6PM (EST)
  • Sun 1PM - 7PM (EST)
Sign up to receive our All Access Pass newsletter!
 
Guitars, Amps, and Effects Bass Guitars, Amps, and Effects Keyboards and MIDI Recording Computer Audio and Software Live Sound/PA Drums DJ Accessories Downloadable Sheet Music Reed Instruments Other Musical Instruments and Equipment
Customer Kudos "I found exactly what I was looking for on zZounds.com with no problems and the checkout process was straight forward and easy!" - customer on July 10, 2014
Classical Guitars Buying Guide

Classical Guitar Buying Guide: A Crash Course on Woods, Electronics, Shapes and Strings

With their wide fretboards, greater string spacing, and the warm tonality of their nylon strings, classical guitars are ideal instruments for fingerstyle playing. But these guitars aren't exclusively for the concert hall set: classical (or nylon-string) guitars can be heard across many genres, including jazz, pop, and folk. And modern classical guitars are anything but old-fashioned -- onboard electronics and new body styles have propelled these instruments to the forefront of guitar design.

When shopping for a classical guitar, a few key factors like tonewoods, body shape, and electronic features will have a big impact on your sound and playing comfort. So, whether you're a beginner studying your first etude or a gypsy guitar master with rasgueados rolling in your blood, the guide below covers some of the finer points of classical guitars to help you find an instrument that inspires you.
Classical Guitar Body Shapes:
Classical: Made for the solo performer, classical guitars are built to clearly articulate a range of frequencies, projecting a balanced spectrum of lows, mids, and highs. Fretboards on classical guitars are generally wider than those on steel-string acoustics. This provides room to stretch your hand across the fretboard and gives your other hand extra space to pick individual strings.
Flamenco: As their name implies, flamenco guitars are for flamenco guitarists. Compared to the classical variety, flamenco guitars have smaller bodies and thinner tops. This gives them a percussive sound with a very sharp response and plenty of volume -- especially important when trying to be heard over stomping dancers and other performers.

Depending on your playing style, you may want to try a guitar with a...
- Cutaway: Provides easier access to the upper frets
- Thinner Body: Some players find this shape more comfortable when seated
- Wider Lower Bout: Enhances low-end projection
- Thinner Neck: Made to feel more like a steel-string acoustic guitar's neck
Guitar Top Tonewoods:
If choosing a classical guitar with the right tonal character is important to you, then head straight to its top. A guitar's top resonates when strings are plucked, providing amplification through its soundhole. Classical guitar tops are made with a variety of tonewoods.

These popular top tonewoods each deliver a unique sound:
- Spruce: If you're seeking a bright sound with notes that bloom as they ring out, consider a spruce-top classical guitar. This tonewood makes for a stiff and very resonant top.
- Cedar: Rich in overtones, with a darker sonic demeanor, cedar-top guitars have a quick note decay. This makes them a popular choice among guitarists whose playing features fluid single-note runs.
- Koa: Pronounced midrange and a clear sound that's not hampered by overtones make koa-top guitars ideal for rhythm playing.
Find a Guitar on Your Level:
Beginner:
With their soft nylon strings, classical guitars are a great choice for beginners. Here are a few of our favorites for around $200:
  Takamine GC1 Classical Acoustic Guitar
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
  Ibanez G10 Classical Acoustic Guitar
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
  Yamaha CG102 Classical Acoustic Guitar
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
  Fender CN-90 Classical Acoustic Guitar
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping

Intermediate:
For the more experienced guitarist, a comfortable cutaway and narrower hybrid-style neck will make for an easy transition to classical playing. At this price point -- between $300 and $700 -- you'll start to see classical guitars with acoustic-electric pickups.

Professional:
Whether you go for a nylon-stringed version of a Taylor Grand Auditorium, or a hybrid-electric Godin classical, these boutique-quality guitars would be at home on any stage or studio. At zZounds, you can even choose your instrument by serial number!
  Taylor 214ce-N Classical Nylon Acoustic-Electric Guitar (with ...
Like New
$809.95
Save 39%
or 8 payments of $124.88
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
  Kremona Romida Classical Guitar (with Case)
or 8 payments of $137.38
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
  Cordoba C12 CD Classical Acoustic Guitar, with Case
Like New
$1,159.00
Save 44%
or 8 payments of $206.25
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
Shop all Classical Guitars »
Electronic Options:
The classical guitar's 19th-century originators never dreamed of a guitar with LED-display tuners, but modern technology has made these instruments well-equipped for gigging musicians of all stripes. When shopping for an acoustic-electric classical guitar, consider its tonewoods and shape, but don't overlook its electronic features.

Electronic options to look for on a nylon-string guitar:
- Discreet Preamp System: Allows you to dial in your preferred sound and project it through an amp or live sound system.
- Onboard Tuner: Keeps you in tune with no extra equipment needed.
- MIDI Functionality: Gives you access to an entire symphony of MIDI synth sounds.

If you choose a classical guitar that's strictly acoustic, fear not -- you can still plug it in and get great amplified sound with an external pickup. Tuning is easy with a clip-on tuner. No strap pins on your classical guitar? Just loop the Levy's M20 strap around your neck and hook its hook in the sound-hole. Add a capo sized to fit your classical guitar's wider fretboard, and you'll have everything you need for the gig.
  Kremona NG-1 Classical Guitar Piezo Pickup
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
Nylon Strings for Classical Guitars:
Even before being wound on a guitar, strings have an inherent tension level that affects their sound and feel. This tension is determined by the string materials and the ratio between the string's core and wrap wire.

String tension is a matter of personal preference:
- Harder tension strings tend to feel stiffer in your hand, though many players prefer the added resistance they provide.
- Lighter tension strings will have more slack, which other players find more comfortable.
- Medium tension strings fall in between. Try these popular brands to find the right strings for you:
Shop All Classical Guitar Strings »
BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site
Questions? Our gear experts can help!
800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 1557-3HS3. Llame Gratis en Español: 800-460-7976
Lunes-Viernes de 9AM a 5PM EST
Customize Search Results for Your Location
Shop with those who respect your privacy — we do. Copyright © 1996-2014, zZounds Music, LLC. Terms of use apply.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
 
close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
on most orders $29+

Just $1.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]

1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

zZounds payment plans details »

2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

zZounds.com price match details »

3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey and Nevada, nearly 75 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

zZounds.com shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

zZounds.com return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
on most orders $29+

Just $1.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]

A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!