#1
Hi!

I have a question. I'm playing guitar for about 4 years now (private lessons), and am playing an acoustic (also electro-acoustic) steel string guitar, and electric guitar. I'm used to playing both with a pick and my fingers (steel-string fingerstyle playing). Quite good with both soloing, chords, scales, and knowing tones on the fingerboard. I usually read tabs, although I also know notes in both bass and treble cleff (have played violin, cello, and some piano in music school when younger), just never used them for the guitar, but I'd be okay with spending time (as much as needed) to learn that.

Now I'm interested in broadening my knowledge about guitars. As I'm used to playing on steel-string acoustic and electric, I'm now thinking about trying out some classical guitar techniques. I love its sound and love them in both Latin and Classical music.

I know the basic differences between steel-stringed and classical guitars, such as strings, neck, shape, but know nearly nothing about classical guitar playing techniques. In past I tried out a classical guitar, just to see how it feels, but played it like my acoustic.

I'm now really in need of some advice. I'm quite seriously thinking about starting to learn. Now... would it be okay for me to try out with classical guitar? How difficult is usually the transition from other types of guitars (acoustic, electric) to this one? What's different with classical guitar playing, technically speaking? Would I have much trouble with reading sheet music for a guitar?
What should I be aware of? What kind of classical guitars would be a good starter guitar? Also, can you recommend any good book for starting out? Does anybody have some knowledge or experience on that matter and any advice for me about how to proceed?

Thank you very much!
#2
Well it depends, if you actually want to play proper classical guitar the best advice anyone's going to be able to give you is "find a good teacher"; it's very different from everything else you will have done so far. If you just want to play a nylon strung guitar as a different tone to your other instruments then there's nothing much to say at all.
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#3
If you've played steel-string guitars ( which is a lot harder for fingering ) than you won't have a problem with playing a classical guitar in terms of strength and pressing acquired for a good and smooth tone. Personally, i made a transition from classical to acoustic/electric, but that didn't hit me really hard because i was already hammering classical pretty hard . If you go from acoustic to classical the only problem might be the frets are wider as well as the neck.

Concidering reading the sheet music...it is a bit harder when learning to read sheet music opposed to tabs. But it is also easier to get a feel off rhythm and timing. However, in a few months of practicing you will be able to read and play slowly. I advise you to read and play only sheet music from that moment because it's common that classical music is written in that way.

I had a great guitar teacher so it went easy for me...I learned from a series of books called "the guitarist's way" by Holley music. There are 5 books i think. It has some great beginner pieces. Also there is a lot of great material online. So that's where you should start. After 3-4 books you should be able to play romance d'amour which is in the book, but an easier adaptation. That piece is also a common, "rookie" starting point. Later on you could replace the e string melody with tremolo. That's a more challenging technique... you should learn it if you are into spanish/flamenco. If you are not acquainted with hammer on's and pull off's you should definitely learn them.

The things that were easy for me to play...you could try a contemporary writer...jubing kristianto's amelia is a beautiful and easy piece. Agustin barrios- julia florida is kinda easy, you play it with E tuned step down. Those are pieces you could try later on....

If you are considering some serious playing...you should practice playing without a pick and you should grow your picking hand's finger nails ( yeah! ). There are a few good ways to shape your nails to give you a good and clean tone...so you should check it out.

Yamaha guitars are a good place to start. They offer a good quality/price ratio. You should take someone with you that knows guitars but it the end make sure it just feels good for you. One thing you should watch out....that a guitar doesn't feel "plastic"...that's how i would put it. Quality of production and choice of wood are very important...you should look for cedar and rosewood...also "wooden rings" on the back of the guitar are a sign of quality. You shouldn't look benath the price of let's say $400...However, you shouldn't be oriented by it! It can still suck...but not that much as a $100 guitar.... Bought guitars, if not custom crafted usually come with money for nothing strings so you should change them....i use d'addario pro arte strings.

Whatever you do...don't give it up because it's too hard, play slowly but accurately until you get it right, than speed up. AND don't play wrong because it's easier...those mistakes stay with you for a long time...such as playing melody on e for example with only one finger....it took me a long time to get rid of it . You should practice alternating... That's that laddy...hope i helped
Last edited by vedranivanusi at Jul 19, 2013,