How to Choose a Classical Guitar

The guitar you play is one of the most important choices you make.  A good guitar is your constant guide, and a loyal ally in all your guitar adventures.  An inferior guitar will only create misery, cause self doubt, and limit you in more ways than you can imagine.  For the same amount of money, there are some guitars that are much better than the average of their class.  How to find and evaluate guitars is a lifelong science and art. In this video, Jeffrey Goodman explores a few of the basic things to consider when choosing a classical guitar, with such topics as how to to evaluate materials, construction, and sound quality. 

 Subjects covered, and where they are within the video, are indicated in the index below:

  • Manuel Rodriguez Ebony body, Canadian Cedar top guitar: (1:18)
  • Manuel Rodriguez Brazilian Rosewood body, Canadian Cedar top guitar
  • Kinds of woods: (2:27)
  • Hannabach 815 Low Tension Strings  (3:50)
  • Demo of E major chord and arpeggios Ebony, Canadian Cedar top:(4:20)
  • Brazilian Rosewood, Canadian Cedar top (5:15)
  • Grain and smoothness of the top (5:50)
  • Details of finish, rosette and wood inlays (6:30)
  • Brazilian guitar – E major chord and arpeggios (7:15)
  • Qualities of sustain and elongation
  • Two coupled acoustic systems (7:53)
  • Importance of the physical condition of the neck (12:08)
  • Checking tuning and intonation (13:09)
  • Ninth position chromatic scales (14:55)
  • Exploring timbre, or tone color (17:25)
  • Measuring amplitude or loudness (20:28)
  • Amplitude and timbre on the bass strings (22:47)
  • The “feel” of the neck, and intuitive sense vs. objective analysis (24:00)
  • How the strings sound together in short musical phrases (24:56)
  • Romance d’Amour melody on the first string (27:54)
  • DeVisee Prelude in D minor for study of 2nd and 3rd string quality (31:00)
  • Fernando Sor Etude in B minor for checking Classical era counterpoint in 3 parts (33:17)
  • Taking your time, finding several guitars, being both objective and intuitive (36:00)