Best Classical Guitars for Beginners – 2020 Round-up

If you are looking to tap into the guitar world, a classical guitar might be just the right starting point. Picking the right one for you might be much harder than you think.

Although they are not so rich in features as electric guitars, for instance, you still need to consider numerous subtleties.

Check out our complete round-up of the best classical guitars for beginners!

Comparison of the Best Classical Guitars for Beginners

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Yamaha CG182S Spruce Top Classical Guitar

  • Best classical guitar for beginners overall
  • Full-size classical body with bold, balanced tones
  • High-quality guitar with an enhanced sound response
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Cordoba C4-CE Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar

  • Solid African Mahogany top
  • Highly versatile with a comfortable shape
  • Easy upper-register reach
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Epiphone PRO-1

  • Best for the money
  • Professional quality with enhanced comfort and playability
  • Full, vibrant sounds of Epiphone
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Alhambra 1O P

  • Open-pore natural finish
  • Nickel-plated machine heads and great D’Addario strings
  • Comes with a gig bag
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Lucero LC230S Exotic wood Classical Guitar

  • Exotic design with classical design features
  • Beautiful warm tones
  • Rosewood binding and high-end feel
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Are All Classical Guitars The Same?

Not all classical guitars are all the same but, compared to acoustic or electric guitars, they have more subtle differences between them. The price range is often lower for classical guitars than other types, and they contain slight design differences. 

They are quite simple and easy to understand by beginners. They have different construction materials, known as tonewoods, that can slightly influence the sounds they produce. Additionally, you might find a classical guitar or a classical acoustic-electric guitar that can be easily plugged in. 

Some classical guitars are more ‘beginner-friendly’ than others. This means that they have smaller builds, larger frets, and more convenient shapes that help you play with ease. They also have different actions, although most of them are considered as ‘low action’, others might require you to lower the action before you play it the first time. 

On a similar note, some classical guitars can be played right out of the box, and others should have a professional set them up before the first use. 

Therefore, there are quite a few variations in classical guitars, apart from the obvious price range. This is why it is essential to know exactly what you need and what you should buy before you make your purchase. 

How Do I Choose a Classical Guitar?

Here are a few pointers on what you need to know when selecting a classical guitar.

Size

One of the main considerations should be the size, especially if you are a beginner. If you are a ‘normal-sized’ individual, you should get a regular guitar size. If, however, you have smaller hands, you might find it difficult to play a ‘regular’ guitar when you first start. In that case, a smaller size (3/4, for instance) would suit you better and give you effortless access to the upper register. 

Craftsmanship

This is another key factor in choosing the best classical guitar or any instrument. The type and quality of the components will affect the sounds and the performance of the instrument. Fortunately, our list contains only great quality guitars. Some of them are made of wood that only sound better as they age, so make sure you check them out. 

Design

Lastly, do not overlook the design and beauty of your new instrument. The more you like it, the more you will play it, and we all know that practice makes perfect. Whether you want a matte or glossy finish, natural color, or any other variation, the design and the style are subject to your preferences. There is no right and wrong – buy the one that catches your eye!

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Classical Guitars for Beginners

Now that you know what to look for, take a look at some of the best models on the market below.

PROS

  • Highly affordable price range
  • Durable and high-quality performance
  • Classical deep sounds of nylon strings
  • Glass finish with a mosaic design rosette
  • Extremely playable and beginner-friendly
  • Plenty of projection, playability, and comfort

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This product is a surprising discovery. It sounds great, the materials and workmanship are excellent, and it is beautiful to look at. The sounds are full, rich, and it offers the best value available on the market. The fit and finish are flawless, with excellent intonation and sound quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Yamaha CG182S embodies master knowledge and professional-quality components to provide beginners with one of the best instruments on the market. It has a full-size classical body with a surprisingly low price. It has balanced tones, with a slight emphasis on the mids that brings out the intimate sound quality of a classical guitar.

Who Will Use This Most

This classical guitar is a must-try for any beginner. It is highly recommended for rhythmic chording and fingerpicking, delivering full and balanced tones throughout. What is more, it emphasizes the deep classical tones of nylon strings, and it is priced for any budget. If you want a touch of crisp to sustain with high chords’ clarity, this is the one for you.

Bottom Line

The Yamaha CG182S is the perfect embodiment of a classical guitar. It is easy to play, durable, and playable. This instrument is ideal for beginners, but you will soon discover that it is made to grow with you as you develop your skills. The craftsmanship of Yamaha products is undoubtedly one of a kind.

PROS

  • Dual-action truss rod
  • Premium components
  • Exquisite edge burst finish
  • Great for gigging and recording
  • Highly versatile classical acoustic-electric instrument

CONS

  • Stock strings are not so great
  • Needs setup before first use, especially to lower the action

What Recent Buyers Report

This is the type of instrument that plays great in the beginning, but the more you play it, the more you love it. It comes with great built-in electronics if you want to plug it in, but the acoustic sounds are great, rich, and full of Spanish flavors. You might want to have a professional set up before you start plucking your first notes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Cordoba C4-CE is a great quality classical acoustic-electric guitar with crisp and articulated tones, balanced volume, and sustain. The construction follows the traditional Spanish guitar, with a highly comfortable soft cutaway and thinner neck. It is an instrument that easily stands out from the crowd.

Who Will Use This Most

Whether you are in love with the Spanish classical guitars or simply want a high-quality classical guitar that is beginner-friendly, you will find that Cordoba C4-CE packs in all the features you need. When amplified, the active pickup system delivers rich and natural sounds, but it performs just as great acoustically.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Cordoba C4-CE comes with all the features you need and adds a touch of versatility due to the acoustic-electric design. It is great for gigging and recording, playable and comfortable. This is the guitar for you if you want great tones at your fingertips.

Best for the Money:
Epiphone PRO-1

PROS

  • Designed especially for beginners
  • Jumbo frets that are taller and wider
  • Shorter scale, closer frets for easy playability
  • Ultra-light strings for painless performances
  • EZ-profile neck for ultimate comfort and easy action
  • Includes a humidifier, eMedia online lessons, and beginner booklet

CONS

  • Not for players with large hands

What Recent Buyers Report

Epiphone Pro-1 is created by professionals for beginners. It has numerous comfortable features, but the most important one would be the coated fingerboard that provides sleek and smooth action, reducing the string noise considerably. The dual-action truss rod is yet another great feature to stabilize the neck and have an easier setup.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The PRO-1 Classic is a replica of the world’s best guitars, and it has the same tonewoods that are used in the best classical guitars. Pro-1 has balanced sounds and a special design aimed to improve the experience for beginners. Some of its best features include the EZ-profile neck, jumbo frets placed closer together, and a shorter scale.

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is ideal for any beginner but highly recommended for players with smaller hands. The frets are larger and closer together, the scale length shorter than usual, with lighter gauge strings. These features are great to minimize distress while learning to play guitar, but players with larger hands will find them an inconvenience.

Bottom Line

Epiphone put in considerable knowledge and skill and rethought the classical guitar design to make it as beginner-friendly as possible. And they passed the exams with flying colors! Pro-1 is a high-quality instrument with optimized features that ease the performance, diminishing player’s fatigue and effort.

PROS

  • Performs better with age
  • Lively sounds with balanced tones
  • Can be played right out of the box
  • Beautiful tonewoods and very lightweight
  • Open-pore flat finish that enhances the output

CONS

  • The open-pore design is not for everyone’s taste

What Recent Buyers Report

Alhambra 1OP is a good quality instrument. Out of the package, it has a delicious fresh smell; it is lightweight and incredibly soft to the touch. The solid, thick top makes beautiful sounds and the flat finish might not be for everyone, but if you like flat finishes, you will find the perfect match between sound and design in this product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Alhambra 1OP is a great instrument with lively tonalities and beautiful open-pore flat finish. This enhances the guitar’s ability to vibrate, allowing the sounds to be louder. It is balanced across the frequency spectrum, allowing the player to enjoy the beauty of classical guitar performance. It is well-made and offers great value for the money.

Who Will Use This Most

This is recommended as a student-friendly guitar, but you can look at it like wine: the older it gets, the better it sounds. Pair it with a great-quality hard case and a humidifier, and you will enjoy Alhambra 1OP for many years to come, as it grows and improves with you.

Bottom Line

Alhambra 1OP combines magnificent sounds with high-quality components and great aesthetics. Indeed, the flat finish look is not for everyone, but if you enjoy it, here is your new instrument for years to come. It has great quality, with no lower fret buzz and improves with age – what else can you wish for?

PROS

  • Classic, high-end design
  • One-piece mahogany neck
  • Exotic Bubinga back and sides
  • Optimal playability and comfort
  • Solid red cedar top enhances the warm tones

CONS

  • Quite heavy
  • Oxidizing Bubinga over time will change the color of the guitar from pinkish to brownish red

What Recent Buyers Report 

Lucero LC230S is a great beginner instrument, although it does feel a bit heavier than most beginner guitars. This is the result of the exotic tonewood, Bubinga, which also offers a unique design that changes with time. It has random swirls that give it a beautiful, dramatic look.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The Lucero LC2305 is an affordable classical guitar with nylon strings and an exotic built from Bubinga tonewood. It has enhanced sustain and note separation, with warm even tones, a bright midrange. It has a sparkle across the entire tone spectrum. Bubinga has a unique look that changes color with age.

Who Will Use This Most

The LC2305 is the ideal choice for people who want to stand out from the crowd. The sounds, the feel, and the design of Lucero are what make it a great option for this audience. It has improved sustain, clarity, and note separation, offering great performance with consistent output.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Lucero LC2305 combines optimal playability with an exotic touch. It has a classic, high-end look with a one-piece mahogany neck that feels comfortable in anyone’s hands. It is carefully crafted, and it delivers a unique experience for those who dare to try it out.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Classical Guitar

Here are some benefits of investing in a high-quality classical guitar:

Outstanding Performance

First of all, a quality classical guitar will also have high-quality performance, with beautiful sounds. This is vital if you are serious about your skill, and you cannot allow any fret buzz to mess up your performances. A high-quality instrument will have clear tones and great sounds. 

Durability and Reliability

Secondly, a guitar is not something you will buy very often. It is required to spend time to consider this decision carefully. Since it is not the cheapest product you can buy either, you will definitely want your new guitar durable and reliable. 

A quality classical guitar will remain in your collection long after you’ve started playing. It will grow with you, and you will always enjoy playing your first instrument. 

Ease of Playing and Comfort

Lastly, a quality classical guitar is easy to play and offers a high level of comfort. Everything from the shape to the action is optimized to minimize fatigue and distress on your fingertips. 

This is important as you will practice more and more, have gigs and potentially even record your songs in a studio in the near future. 

Conclusion

All in all, the main aspects you should consider when you buy the best classical guitar for a beginner is craftsmanship, design, ease of playing, and your comfort. There are other subtle differences to these products, but we are confident that you now possess all the information you need to make the best decision. 

People Also Ask

If you have reached this point and still have a few questions, take a look at these frequently asked questions below.

Can I Learn Classical Guitar on My Own?

It is not impossible to learn classical guitar on your own, but it will take a lot of hard work and self-discipline to do so. If you attend lessons with a professional, they will have a more structured way of teaching you, and you will probably learn much faster than on your own. That being said, there are great materials and lessons online that can help you with self-learning. 

Are All Strings on a Classical Guitar Nylon?

All classical guitars have nylon strings. There are strings with highest pitches that are all-nylon, but some classical guitars will have a nylon core that is wrapped in metal, bronze, or silver-plated copper. This is one of the main differences between classical guitars and other types that have steel strings. 

Is Classical Guitar Better Than Acoustic?

This will most likely depend on your tastes and purposes. Classical guitars are great for beginners, but there are not so many players who choose this type. The main reason is that there are not many popular music genres that can be played on a classical guitar, such as pop, rock, or blues. 

How Many Hours Per Day Should I Practice Guitar?

If you are serious about a music career, you can practice the whole day. If it is a hobby, there is no rule. You can play as much or as little as you prefer. If you are performing, you should play for longer hours; if not, play for as long as you enjoy it. 

How Often Should You Change Classical Guitar Strings?

Most players change their strings every three months or every 100 hours of practice. You can keep using them as they wear out, but at some point, they might break, and they will not sound the same. It also depends on how often you play your guitar. If you practice only as a hobby or you have live performances, a case in which you should change them more often.