Willie Nelson's guitar for article about things steel-string guitar players should know about nylon string guitars

10 Things Steel-String Players Should Know About Nylon-String Classical Guitars

guitarists Marc Ribot and Frantz Casseus in 1987
Learn the Masterpiece “Dance of the Hounsies”
Johann Pachelbel
Play "Pachelbel’s Canon" on Guitar

What is classical guitar? A classical guitar is one made to accommodate nylon strings, with a wider neck than a steel-string flattop. The name classical is somewhat misleading, as many different genres are played on the nylon-string guitar: folk, bossa nova, jazz, and beyond. And while players like Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, Sharon Isbin, and Jason Vieaux might be considered classical guitarists, the music composed and arranged for their instrument in fact spans many different eras and styles. Whether you are a dedicated nylon-string player or a steel-string guitarist curious about the instrument, the lesssons here offer both technical study and repertoire.

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Play the Spanish Classical Miniature “Lágrima”

Play the Spanish Classical Miniature “Lágrima”

One of the world’s best-known composers of classical guitar music, Francisco Tárrega lived in the late 19th century, a time during which Spanish music—flamenco and classical—rose to prominence. The perennial guitar favorites “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” and the short gem “Lágrima” were penned by Tárrega and remain staples of the…

Play the Catalan Folk Song “El Testament d’Amelia”

Spanish composer and arranger Miguel Llobet is regarded as one of Francisco Tárrega’s finest pupils. He is perhaps best known for his sophisticated arrangements of Catalan folk music. Like many of the notable Spanish composers of his day, Llobet was greatly inspired by flamenco music and the folksongs of Spain.…

Play the Spanish Classical Song “Bolero”

Andalusian-born Julian Arcas (1832–82) was perhaps the greatest Spanish classical guitarist of his time. A composer and performer, he is best known for teaching the legendary guitarist/composer Francisco Tárrega. Arcas’s friendship with guitar builder and fellow Almerían Antonio Torres contributed to the birth of the Torres classical guitar design, a…