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

A tale of true pluck
Yorkshire Post, December 20th

This will be the ninth classical guitar concert featuring world-class performers that Brett has organised. More interesting still is that all the artists who have performed at Brett's concerts have become close personal friends of his, artists like the...Read more

Talent Education Suzuki School Announces Dates for Classical Guitar Concert ...
HamletHub, December 16th

TESS is a place of music study designed to bring out the best in your child. It is our mission to provide the highest level of music education for all children in a nurturing and positive environment. As part of a comprehensive musical experience we...Read more

Classical guitar star up for Lucky date
Hebdenbridge Today, December 11th

Featuring solo classical guitarist Tom McKinney, it starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8/£6 on the door and you can find out more details on www.luckydogmusic.org. Tom has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at Aldeburgh Festival, Brighton Festival...Read more

When a love of classical guitar and travelling combines
ABC Local, December 4th

He admits he was once a mad fan of heavy metal music and thrash, and enjoyed playing in a metal band, but the lure of the sensual classical guitar drew him back. "I came more into it because I felt it was more challenging, there's never an end to your ...Read more

Dublin Guitar Quartet
NPR, December 4th

Don't ask the members of the Dublin Guitar Quartet to play the time-honored classics of the Spanish repertoire. They might play traditional Spanish style classical guitars, but they're not your standard guitar ensemble. The Dubliners are strictly...Read more

Sharon Isbin: Notes From a Classical Guitarist
Wall Street Journal, November 26th

Classical guitar was not on the radar of most kids in the U.S.,” she says. “Had we not gone to Italy, I would've become a brain surgeon or a scientist, no question about it.” She took to the guitar in part because of its range. “The guitar can capture...Read more

Miloš Karadagli?, 'the guitar player of the people'
The Arts Desk, November 24th

Compared to grand divas, virtuoso pianists or stupendous fiddlers, legends of the classical guitar have been few in number. Once you've ticked off Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams you're pretty much done with the household names. This isn't to ...Read more

Elena Fomenko wins prestigious Andres Segovia 30th International Classical ...
Olive Press, November 24th

A RUSSIAN woman scooped up first prize at the Andres Segovia 30th International Classical Guitar Competition, the world's most prestigious contest of the sort. Elena Fomenko (1991) was awarded €10,000 and a superior guitar model by respected luthier ...Read more