Classical and Nylon Stringed Guitars

Nylon-stringed guitars have always been poor cousins to the steel-stringed instruments favored by contemporary musicians, but classical and Flamenco guitars produce some of the most beautiful sounds to emanate from an acoustic instrument.

Historically, Spain has been a center for classical guitar makers, as has Italy. In the United States, some of the biggest guitar makers began by making nylon-stringed instruments. Gibson started with nylon, as did Martin.

In particular, Martin has been enormously influential. In the 1950s, its OO-18G, with a spruce body, mahogany back, and rosewood fingerboard, set the standard, and collectors covet such gorgeous examples today.

But Martin’s most famous nylon-string guitar is arguably one of the worst looking instruments on the planet. It’s a Martin N-20, which was purchased in 1969 by Willie Nelson. Nelson plays with a pick, even though the N-20 was designed to be played by finger-style player, hence the lack of a pick guard. Nelson calls his beloved Martin Trigger, and he’s rode his axe hard, so much so that he’s carved a deep, ever-widening hole in the front of the guitar between the bridge and the sound hole.


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Recent News: Classical Guitars

Source: Google News

All-Filipina classical guitar trio Triple Fret wins big at the 27th Japan ...
Coconuts Manila, June 29th

Anyway, here they are again, wowing Japan this time around. Triple Fret, won the first prize at the 26th Japan guitar ensemble festival on June 28 at the Kyurian Hall in Shinagawa, Tokyo. But that's not all. The ladies also won — take a deep breath...Read more

Classical guitarist Yang Xuefei returning to Hong Kong for concert
South China Morning Post (subscription), June 29th

EMI also put together a 2013 compilation of her recordings for them, called Sojourn, which included popular classical guitar favourites such as Stanley Myers' Cavatina and the Adagio from Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, as well as her ...Read more

Coldplay Frontman Chris Martin's Tatay Classical Guitar Sells for Nearly ...
Guitar World Magazine, June 25th

A Tatay classical guitar played by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin during the band's formative days in London sold for £18,750, or $29,500, at Bonhams in London. Martin bought the guitar at a shop in Exter, his hometown, and brought it with him to...Read more

Gray Scott to perform classical guitar and piano June 26 in Bridgeville
Cape Gazette, June 17th

Gray Scott, 16, of Bridgeville, has been designated a Rising Star by the Music School of Delaware. He is accomplished on piano and classical guitar, having won many awards and competitions. Scott will give a concert at 7 p.m., Friday, June 26, at Union ...Read more

New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival features Andrew York
Albuquerque Journal, June 13th

The New Mexico Classical Guitar Festival will showcase York's grown-up fretboard wizardry in Keller Hall at the University of New Mexico next weekend. York is part of a lineup featuring the Brazilian-born Santa Fe guitarist Roberto Capocchi and Cuban ...Read more

Escape the ordinary, enjoy the classical guitar
Camp Verde Bugle, June 6th

Shrader, author, classical guitarist, and Music Director at the Orme School of Arizona, received a Bachelor's degree in Music from Indiana University in 1996 where he studied the classical guitar with the renowned guitarist Ernesto Bitetti. Shrader...Read more

Mark Topchii of Kyiv wins classical guitar competition in Madrid
The Ukrainian Weekly (press release) (subscription), June 5th

Marko Topchii receives the first-place award at the International Gredos San Diego Classical Guitar Competition in Madrid. PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Classical guitarist Marko Topchii, 24, won the International Gredos San Diego Classical Guitar Competition on ...Read more

Southern Guitar Festival features instrument's classical side
The State, June 3rd

Classical guitarist Marina Alexandra has participated in competitions and festivals for the instrument around the world. In 2012, she brought her own classical guitar festival to Columbia to bring the little-known instrument out of the shadow of its...Read more