A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Classical Guitar

Two classical guitars on a wooden block against a black background

As a beginner guitar player, buying your first guitar can be daunting. You don’t know which guitar is suitable for you. You can’t distinguish between a highly quality guitar and a poorly made product. In this blog, we provide you with a comprehensive guide to buying a classical guitar so that when you purchase your first one, you’re sure you’re making the right decision. 

Decide on The Budget

A good range for a beginner classical guitar is between $100-200. Anything below this range is probably made of plywood. It would pull apart after a few months and won’t deliver the resonance that’s needed for a classical guitar. It’ll be discouraging to see that despite your best efforts, you won’t be able to produce the soft sound that you had intended to.

Ensure That It’s a Nylon String Guitar

If you’re planning to play classical music, don’t opt for a steel-string guitar. It may look beautiful and appealing enough to put your hands on it, but many classical techniques don’t work on those guitars. For playing a classical guitar, you need the round and tranquil sound of the gut string. It can only be found in nylon strings. It’s also a viable option for you because, unlike steel strings, nylon strings don’t cut your fingers. 

Buy a Solid Top Guitar

The best top for a classical guitar is made of either spruce or cedarwood. Amongst these, cedar is considered more high end as it provides the best sound. Since you’re a beginner setting out to learn and play a classical guitar, we recommend you go for spruce. It’s priced reasonably and provides a cleaner and brighter sound. Ensure that the fretboards are made of wood and avoid the stained ones. 

Check Out the Guitar

Checking out a guitar in the store requires confidence. As a beginner, you probably won’t have enough of it. Furthermore, the salespeople at the store can coerce you into buying a guitar that’s on promotion rather than the one that’s suitable for you. It’s also difficult to test the guitar if you don’t know how to play it. If you’re not confident enough to do that, buy your classical guitar from a trusted online store.

man trying out a guitar by playing it

Things to Ensure When You Check Out the Guitar


The classical guitar is essentially an intimate instrument when compared to a violin or a piano. However, when you’re in a store to find the perfect guitar, most guitars would be louder than others. Being loud doesn’t mean it’s good. Instead, it’s constructed that way – compromising other tonal aspects of the instrument.


Ensure that your classical guitar has a warm, sweet, full, and defined sound. Avoid buying guitars that sound harsh, twangy, and sharp. 


Tuning lies at the forefront of any good classical guitar. To ensure that the guitar is tuned, download a tuning app on your phone. Play a note on the 12th fret (where guitar meets the neck) in the app and the string by itself. Compare the sound. If both the sounds are the same, you’ve got a perfectly tuned guitar. If not, then the guitar has intonation issues.

Check the Guitar’s Action

The action is the distance between the fretboard and the guitar strings. If the strings are too far apart, you’ll have to put a lot of effort into sounding each note. On the other hand, if the strings are too close, you won’t be able to avoid string buzzing. 

closeup image of guitar’s action

Check the Guitar Tuning Nuts

Ensure that each of the guitar tuning nuts is working fine. If there’s a slipping nut, you’ll need a luthier to fix it to avoid continually going out of tune.

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