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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Classical review: In Celino Romero's hands, complex guitar pieces seem simpleMiamiHerald.com, July 20th
In the realm of the classical guitar, the Romeros are the instrument's first family and among its most prominent standard bearers. Playing as a quartet (and sometimes quintet), the group's members often also take the solo spotlight. A full house...Read more
A Guitar Hero Draws His Own Sketches Of SpainNPR (blog), July 20th
"While it is a classical guitar piece and the most iconic of classical guitar pieces, it has inspired so many other musicians to play it." Milos' latest album is called Aranjuez, but as he explained to NPR's Arun Rath, it isn't just a tribute to...Read more
Adelaide International Guitar Festival Presents Three New Classical Shows and ...Broadway World, July 16th
Born in Moscow and raised in Adelaide, Lebedev was the winner of the Festival's 2012 Adelaide International Classical Guitar Competition and returns home for this very special recital performance. Now studying in London at the Royal Academy of Music on ...Read more
Maestro of Classical Guitar at The DockLeitrim Observer, July 12th
A maestro of the Classical Guitar Pat Coldrick, will take the stage in The Dock on Friday, July 18 as part the 10th Anniversary 2014 Carrick Water Music Festival and will be ably supported by the very talented Gavin Sweeney. Pat Coldrick live is a...Read more
John Kerry Plays Guitar For Chinese LeadersInternational Business Times, July 10th
It's Kerry's first-known recording with a classical guitar; he played bass with the Electras, his prep school band, which pressed 500 copies of its record, said a fellow band member. (The group's sax player, reached years later, didn't even realize...Read more
Classical Guitar Lesson at Wilson Elementary Summer Latchkey ProgramKIII TV3, July 8th
It was all part of the summer latchkey program. 20 students got a lesson on classical guitar from Paul Fuentes, a music teacher at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Tuesday's lesson was all about learning basic rhythm and strumming techniques...Read more
Thai wins prestigious classical guitar contestBangkok Post, June 27th
Ekachai Jearakul stamped his authority on a place as a most promising classical guitarist by winning the GFA International Competition in Los Angeles on Thursday. Ekachai Jearakul wins the GFA International Competition in Los Angeles on Thursday...Read more
Lehigh Valley Classical Guitar Festival returns to Moravian CollegeAllentown Morning Call, June 25th
The Lehigh Valley Classical Guitar festival returns to Peter Hall on the Moravian College campus in Bethlehem June 28 for a day of recitals, workshops, master classes and concerts. This will be the second year the festival is under the direction of...Read more