Hi all

Nice to be here.

I've been looking around the threads for info appropriate to my skill level (which is zero) and my knowledge of guitars and music in general (which is also a big fat zero), but not had much luck in finding hat I think i might need to get started.

Let me tell you what I DO know. I have a rough idea of what I would like to play - classical guitar. I can name a few parts of a guitar, so that should help in knowing how to hold that thing.

But aside from the guides on the various makes of guitar, I'm a bit stuck as to what to choose. I understand that buying a guitar is a personal thing, and can't necessarily be guided by a third party. So, I need to be looking for an acoustic classical guitar, yes? Why do some guitars have some sort of cut away in their body?

Also, should I be looking for a full size guitar? I'm over six feet tall, with big hands. Why are some guitars 3/4 size etc.? I don't understand that.

Just a few questions for ya. Please...
i'd suggest a full sized classical, yes. while my 6'7" husband plays my 3/4 classical sometimes, i'm only 5'3" and even i prefer a larger guitar because of wider string spacing. i'd suggest getting a solid top or even all laminate guitar, then learning a bit and seeing if classical guitar is for you. that being said, if you can either take a guitar-playing friend to a local store or have a sales person play each guitar in your price range for you, you may find one sounds better to you.

are you planning to take in-person lessons? if so, perhaps your instructor could help you choose a guitar. also, you may have a local store that does rentals. we live in los angeles, and mccabe's guitars rents any guitar up to $500 for 3 months, so one doesn't have to commit to a guitar without trying it for a while.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Ah, ok, thanks for replying.

I wasn't planning on taking person-to-person lessons from the off, no - more like follow some tutorials online and see where we go from there.

I just googled 'anatomy of a classical guitar' and found a useful site with all kinds of info on that subject, so I'm quite a bit better informed now.

I also just saw that I could spend anything from £50 to £2500 on a guitar! I'll probably have a stab in between the two figures...

I do ave a guitar-playing friend - he's been learning steel stringed instruments for about two years I think, and so he would be of help in a shop.

Thank you.

(ps, I tried to put my location as UK but it's not showing up...) I've added a union jack flag!
classical guitar is very different from acoustic guitar. i just wanna be sure what kind of advice to give you. of classical, i know next to nothing. Patti's your fountain of knowledge there( she's good) for the commonly accepted acoustic guitar( playing/strumming music you hear on most radio stations- except country, i'm allergic to country music) i can help.
3/4(aka parlor) guitars travel better than a full size for one. they also tend to have a more pronounced tone for individual notes. kinda boxy sounding when strummed... great for blues type guitar. cutaways on some guitars make it easier to reach notes higher up on the fretboard( yes, guitars are backwards. top string is the bottom, high notes are lower on the fret board...you'll understand)
a good salesperson at your local shop should be able to point you in the right direction as Patti already said.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
So I'm wrong to think of classical guitar as acoustic? Sorry for my ignorance...

ok, read around a bit about this... so is 'Spanish' guitar more classical or acoustic?

Another edit: from further reading, I have now that 'classical' is more 'Spanish" than acoustic. I was confusing the general physical characteristics of classical and acoustic. I hadn't appreciated the subtle or not so subtle differences between them.
Last edited by Pimmy Jage at Feb 14, 2014,
first off, in almost all cases, acoustics and nylon string guitars have a very different tone. a few differences that come to mind:

acoustic guitar - has steel strings, comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, usually has wider nut and string spacing than classicals. modern models have truss rod to adjust neck, much stronger string tension than classicals. often played with a variety of types of picks, sometimes played with fingernails or even fingertips.

classical (or related) guitar - has nylon strings, usually wider nut - sometimes much wider. in general, these are similar shapes, much lower string tension than steel string guitars. many don't have truss rods to help adjust neck relief during changes of humidity. usually played with fingernails.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Feb 14, 2014,
It's been a bit confusing, as the classical guitars I saw on eBay (just as an example) had half steel and half nylon strings.

I believe I need to be looking for a classical guitar, all nylon strings, hard top, with cut out to allow access to more of the fret board.

Thanks are a bit clearer now, anyway.
what kind of music are you planning on learning ?
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
What I'm currently tuned into is 'Spanish' music. It's pleasing to my ear, and it appears that the easy-going tunes can be identified quite well. In other words, you can detect individual notes - nothing is so crazily fast that it all just melds into one noise.

At least, this is my plan!
the strings are not half steel - the thicker strings (for the lower notes) are nylon that is wrapped with wire.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Well I never knew that! So where I've been looking I thought I saw metal - so sort of was, but not quite. I also saw some strings for sale that said they had silver around them.

Thanks for the heads up on this.