Introduction to Classical Guitar
What is a classical guitar?
If someone say that he is playing classical guitar. In a broad sense, it can mean that he is playing a nylon string guitar, but the music he plays is not limited to classical music.
In a narrow sense, he is indeed playing traditional Western art music and using nylon strings classical guitar.
The history of classical guitar
Classical guitars have a history of about four centuries. Different periods have different appearances, structures, different tunings, and different numbers of strings. After the efforts of many great performers, arrangers and composers, the classical guitar continued.
Nowadays, the most common ones are modern classical guitars, which have evolved from a variety of appearances. Of course, some people make guitars in past shapes.
The appearance of modern classical guitars was influenced by some early instruments such as Renaissance guitars, Vihuela and Baroque guitars.
The word “guitar” originated in southern Spain in the 15th century. The guitar at that time was very small, with only these 4 strings, a bit like Ukulele today.
Since then, the guitar has continued to develop and evolve. From the Renaissance guitar to the Baroque guitar, it was not until the end of the 18th century that a six-string guitar finally appeared in Italy.
Today this kind of 6-string guitar is called classical guitar, it just appeared in the classical period in the history of western music, this kind of guitar gradually developed into the classical guitar we are familiar with today.
Differences from general guitars
What is the difference between a classical guitar and the well-known acoustic guitar or electric guitar?
Generally speaking, classical guitars have smaller body. Unlike acoustic and electric guitars that use steel strings, classical guitars use nylon strings. Although the sound of steel strings is crisper than nylon strings, nylon strings can make timbre changes and are more suitable for classical music that emphasizes timbre and part processing.
Classical guitar Practical Performance
Most classical guitars do not use PICK, but instead use fingers and manicured nails.
From a technical point of view, the classical guitar and the fingerstyle guitar are the same, except that the classical guitar uses nylon strings.
The difference between classical guitar and fingerstyle guitar is mainly in the style of music played. Fingerstyle guitar techniques are used in some modern classical guitar works, such as tapping the strings, tuning while playing, and hitting the board.
Classical guitars generally use the sitting style to perform, which is to maintain the most comfortable playing posture. The player sits on a chair with his left foot slightly extended forward, placed on the footstool, left and right legs are slightly separated, and the right leg is retracted slightly, and the recess of the guitar is placed horizontally on the left thigh. The piano should be close in front of you, and the surface board should only be slightly tilted upwards. Lean your upper body slightly forward, with your left shoulder tilted slightly to the left. In principle, the height of the guitar's head should be between the shoulder and the neck of the player.
In classical guitar performance, the thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger and tail finger of the right hand are called p, i, m, a and ch respectively.
The left index finger, middle finger, ring finger and tail finger are called 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
The hand type of the left hand is based on the principle that it is convenient to press the strings and save effort. The fingers of the string should be parallel to the fret as much as possible, and the palm of the hand should be bent into an arc. When pressing the string, press the fingertips in a vertical position on the fingerboard. The position of pressing the strings should be close to the top of the fret, that is, beside the horizontal grid.
Right hand and right arm
The elbow of the right arm should rest on the most protruding part of the lower abdomen of the guitar. The right-hand plucked string is generally 1/3 below the sound hole. At this time, the sound is moderately soft and hard, and the most pleasant to hear. You can also pluck the strings at other positions and get different timbres. Generally, the closer the bridge is, the more magnificent the sound will be.
There are two main types of right-hand plucking methods, namely, Free-stroke/Tirando and Rest-stroke/Apoyando.
Reasons/Benefits of Playing Classical Guitar
1. Nylon strings are less painful
A common problem for beginners is that after playing a steel-string guitar or electric guitar, the fingers will ache. The tension of a steel string may be twice that of a nylon string, which means that you have to press the string harder, but the nylon string has a lower tension, so you don't have to use force or worry about fingertip pain.
2. It helps to coordinate
When playing, classical guitarists not only improve their musical literacy, but also improve their coordination skills, making them excellent multitaskers. They need to focus on multiple things at the same time, such as:
3. Opportunities to improve in technique
One of the best things about learning to play classical guitar is that it helps to gradually improve your playing level so that you can eventually develop the perfect technique. Playing classical guitar at the best and highest level means constantly practicing your technique, which ultimately makes the process of learning and growing more interesting.
The following video introduces the 8 most famous pieces of classical guitar