The majority of beginners, especially younger beginners, will start out on classical guitars. This is due to the lighter tension of the strings which makes them a bit more comfortable on the fingers.
But there are many to choose from, going from around £30 up to models that will cost thousands. So it can be hard to decide which is the most suitable option.
In order of least expensive to most expensive, here is a list of what I consider to be the top 5 Classical Guitars for beginners.
The guitars offered from 3rd Avenue are good quality guitars at a price that is hard to beat. Sitting at just over £30 they are great for anyone who might not want to drop near to £100 on a guitar until they are more confident that they will stick with the instrument.
Another reason to opt for the 3rd Avenue guitars is that a gigbag is included in the price. Along with this they come with a strap-button attached to the bottom. Classical guitars commonly don’t have any standard method of attaching a strap due to companies adhering to the traditional design. With this guitar you can play standing up without having to drill into the guitar yourself!
Another very affordable option, the Rocket CG Series of guitars are very popular with schools. Their low price point mixed with the use of good quality materials ensures a high quality guitar for the money. The Rocket CG series come supplied as just a guitar with no other accessories, but for just a few extra pounds, the same guitars are available in one of the XF Guitar packages which come with a gigbag, some guitar picks, and a capo. Which is everything that you’ll need to get started with learning the guitar!
The Estudiante range from Jose Ferrer lie between £50 and £70 in price, great options for a mid-range beginner guitar. The back and sides are made of Sapele, where the top is Cedar. These are common tone-woods on guitars of this price range and ensure solid construction as well as good consistent tone. Visibly, due to the woods used, the Jose Ferrer guitars have a lighter aesthetic, rather than the slightly “orange” hue traditionally found on Classical Guitars.
Valencia make very popular beginners guitars, though they are slightly more expensive than other options. The extra money paid for a Valencia guitar is apparent in the quality of the guitar and the specifications. These guitars use tonewoods that are traditionally used in classical guitars. The guitar has a Sitka Spruce top and Nato back and sides (Nato is a wood with properties very similar to mahogany). With this you know you are getting a guitar that is worth the extra money.
The Admira Alba is a very high quality guitar that, while being aimed at beginners, is probably better suited to someone who may be planning on sticking with a nylon stringed guitar for a long time. So if you are going in wanting to play classical guitar, or some more latin-based music such as bossa nova, then something like this will last you for a good while. Though if you’re planning on moving to a steel stringed guitar once your fingers toughen up a bit, it might not be worth the extra money if you plan to move on to a different type of guitar. Similarly to the previously mentioned Valencia guitar, the Admira Alba is made of higher quality materials and tonewoods. This model has a mahogany neck, Sapele back and sides, rosewood fingerboard and an Oregon pine top.
Definitely a great choice for the beginner wanting a more high-end classical guitar.