Five Simple Things You Need to Get Started on Classical Guitar

Perhaps you’ve been toying around with the idea of playing classical guitar, but don’t quite know where to start.

Maybe you think getting started is daunting, or that playing guitar is simply “something other people do.”

That other person could be you.

This beginner classical guitar guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to jump-start your classical guitar journey.

By the end of this article, you’ll realize getting started really isn’t that difficult!

1 – Classical guitar

First things first (and this is quite obvious) – you can’t play classical guitar if you don’t have one. Even if you have a steel-string acoustic, that doesn’t count because you need a nylon-string guitar to truly play classical. To get started, you don’t need anything fancy. There are great entry-level options for classical guitarists, such as the Yamaha C40 classical guitar, designed with the beginner in mind. It’s a minimal investment and a smart purchase to determine if it’s something you really want to stick to.

2 – Foot stool

A foot stool (or foot rest) is essential for proper posture. If you don’t use one, not only will your technique be affected, but you could also end up having back or neck pain. Foot stools are adjustable and serve to elevate your leg so that you don’t have to bend over or twist while playing guitar. There are many different models out there, but most don’t exceed $15 bucks. This video explains how a foot stool works:

3 – Long nails

Wait – this is not a deal breaker. While you can certainly play with your fingertips alone, the tonal qualities of your guitar will be grossly underutilized if you don’t grow out your nails (and when I say long, I don’t mean Guinness World Record long). Basically, long nails produce a crisp, bright tone, and playing only with the flesh gives you a dull sound (there’s a lot more to it). You have several options, and a lot of it depends on personal preference. Here’s a good video explaining your options:

4 – A comfy chair with no arms

Yup, it doesn’t get more simple than a chair with no arms. You need a chair with no arms because as you saw in the videos above, the arms would interfere with your posture and your ability to hold the guitar properly. Make sure you’re not using a bar stool, though, as that would not allow for proper posture either.

5 – A good teacher or support system

A good teacher is of the essence, and nowadays even if you live in a remote village, you can find a teacher online! But let’s say you don’t have access to one – you can still find several communities or discussion forums online to help as a support system when you’re ready to throw in the towel. If you are really serious, though, it is worthwhile investing in lessons, even if you meet once a month – the key is to practice.

So there you go! Getting started isn’t too hard, is it?

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Pauline France

A classically trained guitarist with a soft spot for metal, Pauline France is synonymous with all things writing, guitar and public relations – she is Guitar & PR. Her career in M.I. spans more than 15 years, working in Fender Musical Instruments Corporation’s communications departments, as well as being a Fender Play Instructor and on-camera personality for Fender Premium Audio.