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.
Interviews & Articles
I started playing guitar when I was pretty young and bought my first guitar when I was 10 or 11. Like a lot of people of my genera… [more]
I grew up in upstate New York in Rochester, and started playing guitar when I was about 10 years old. We had this place in Rochest… [more]
I started out primarily as a collector and the business aspect of it evolved over time, almost by accident. I didn’t start out wit… [more]
I first started coming across Howe-Orme instruments when I was an apprentice guitar repairman in Boston in 1963. Their guitars hav… [more]
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Classical Guitar Weekend set for 13th annual festival at Cleveland Institute ...Plain Dealer (blog), May 14th
Guitarist Jason Vieaux, head of the guitar department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, will open the 13th annual Classical Guitar Weekend at the institute Thursday, May 23. Jason Boyle and Robin Holland. For three days next week, Cleveland will be...Read more
Classical guitar magic at Square ChapelHuddersfield Examiner, May 3rd
Hardly surprising then that classical guitarist Jonathan Prag has been delighting audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe for 20 years. Now there's a chance to hear him much closer to home as this much applauded musician plays at the Square Chapel in Halifax...Read more
Genre-Defying Classical Guitarist Jason Vieaux, In The StudioWNYC, May 2nd
But Vieaux also strives to expand the definition of the classical guitar repertoire. In 2005, he released Images Of Metheny, a recording that featured arrangements of compositions from celebrated jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny. And his latest album, 2011...Read more
REDLANDS: Classical guitar concert set for Edwards MansionPress-Enterprise, April 30th
Weston, a classical guitarist, performs Spanish Impressionist showpieces by Francisco Tarrega, who lived from 1852 to 1909 and was considered the patriarch of modern-era classical guitar. Weston also performs works by Tarrega's contemporaries, Enrique...Read more
Locally produced classical guitar show to air on Radio Arts FoundationSTLtoday.com, April 29th
The first of a number of promised locally produced programs will air on the Radio Arts Foundation beginning Monday, May 6. "Inside Classical Guitar" will be heard 7 to 8 p.m. Mondays, and is to air weekly. The host is St. Louis Classical Guitar Society...Read more
Free Classical Guitar Concert Todayhays Post, April 28th
Peter Fletcher will be on the First Floor of the Hays Public Library in the Schmidt Gallery to perform classical guitar today at 2 p.m. It's a free concert. Peter Fletcher. Fletcher has received nation-wide coverage for his classical work, on both...Read more
Emmaus Student Prevails at Classical Guitar CompetitionPatch.com, April 26th
Peter Zarrillo, 16, of Emmaus took first place in the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition, high school division, which was held April 14 at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. The competition is sponsored by the Philadelphia Classical...Read more
Students perform classical guitar recitalThe Eastern Progress Online (subscription), April 18th
Hunter Wingate performed his junior classical guitar recital April 10 at the Pearl-Buchannan Theater in the Keen Johnson building. Wingate's performance included six classical pieces ranging from the years 1526 to 1935 including “Fantasia X” by Luis de...Read more