Best Classical Guitar Lessons – 2021 Complete Review

Craig
| Last Updated: March 20, 2021

If you’re just starting out, perhaps you’ve been advised to start with classical guitar.

We can understand such advice and if you have one in your collection already, the good thing to know is that regardless of your personal preference the basics that you will learn can be applied to all guitar instruments and all genres as well.

Why Did These Classical Guitar Lessons Make Our List? 

These classical guitar lessons excels in several aspects:

Vast Content

YouTube guitar lessons might be free, but they usually don’t get very detailed about it. Plus, you will probably have to browse various users to find the next topic that may or may not match your current knowledge ideally, and eventually, it will lead you to spend more time on googling around instead of playing your instrument.

These lessons are something completely different. They have a certain central topic that they cover profoundly and all lessons are organized in a linear way so that your current knowledge won’t make any problem in acquiring new skills. 

Great Video Quality

Guitar lessons from these websites are mostly recorded in full HD and there are some in 4K video quality. In both cases, these online platforms try to provide you with various cameras so that you can check all the motion and hand positions just like you are next to your online teacher - this way you can check both strum hand and fretboard movements.

Handy Tools for Setting Up Your Instrument

Many free tools are available on these websites starting from tuners and metronomes up to some interactive games that may teach you a thing or two about music theory in a very beginner-friendly way.

Review of the Best Classical Guitar Lessons

Here’s a curated list of the lessons dedicated to the classical guitar only.

PROS

  • Suitable for all styles
  • Bunch of classical music included
  • Send up to 5 video submissions
  • 100 lessons dedicated to 3 various playing level skills
  • Detailed and resourceful course with many classical methods included

CONS

  • Might be a bit expensive to others
  • Can be too much theory-oriented for casual players

Teacher Bio

Jason Vieaux quickly became a recognized name in the classical guitar world. He was one of the youngest stars of the classical guitar world that won the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Competition. Meanwhile, he has recorded 13 albums and won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo in 2015.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

It’s simply amazing how resourceful and truly knowledgeable Vieaux is. It’s like having a real music school teacher. You will learn a lot of music theory such as the Carcassi Method, Segovia scales, and have a bunch of exercises for both left and right hand. 

Apart from theory, you will also get tips about phrasing, how to accompany other players, and even get some tips on what classical guitar could be the best choice for you.

Who Are These Best For?

This course can suit so many players. Because it is organized into three different skill levels it can match both newbies and advanced players respectively. And the best of all, once you master beginner's lessons you can advance into the next level without any trouble.

Bottom Line

If you don’t want to jump from course to course trying to find all the necessary lessons, check this course first. It’s probably one of the most resourceful classical guitar courses you will find online these days.

PROS

  • Enhance overall technique
  • Various etudes demonstrated
  • Extensive course with 37 lessons
  • Building up and stretching fret hand
  • Picking and slurring technique explained

CONS

  • Not designed for complete beginners
  • Wish Carasci method was covered a bit better

Teacher Bio

Pamela has a Master's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance and Bachelor's Degree in classical guitar studies and also performs solo concerts in the Northwest. 

She has served as an assistant teacher at Portland State University and as an adjunct faculty member at Linfield College. She also works as a private guitar instructor.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love how Pamela combines lessons dedicated to music theory, exercises, and playing real etudes all together in a very coherent way. Picking technique is explained in detail while slurring, stroke and Carasci studies are also being covered along with ornaments, chords, and scales.

And just to make the course complete in general, there are specific lessons dedicated to building up your hand development further.

Who Are These Best For?

This course will come great for semi-pro players most. The lesson content is optimized for players who know how to play but want to progress further while we feel that beginners would struggle with the content in general.

Bottom Line

This course might be an interesting substitute for Jason’s course, especially as Jamplay allows you to watch all courses at the same membership. If the Artist Works course is a bit too technical for your taste, Pamela might be a better option for you.

Best Classical Guitar Lessons for Beginners:
JamPlay Classical Guitar with Danny Voris

PROS

  • Tips on how to set up an instrument
  • 3 hour long course with 15 basic lessons
  • Detailed explanation of left-hand fingering
  • Different historical era playing styles covered
  • Scales and arpeggios explained clearly and slowly

CONS

  • Course could be a bit longer
  • Exercises are missing from the course

Teacher Bio

Danny Voris is an American classical guitarist who has a Master’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance and truly excels with his unique compositional skills. 

After graduation in Akron, he moved back to teach at Jim McCutcheon Music Studios and The Miami Valley School in Kettering, Ohio

Why It Stands Out to Us

All Danny’s lessons are oriented towards setting the basics right. You will learn a bit about scale importance or how to organize your arpeggio exercises but instead of going in-depth about it as others do, he decided to explain to you playing technique in a very unique way.

He based his lessons on pieces from a different major historical period - Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic, and even 20th Century.

Who Are These Best For?

This course is the best for true classical guitar players who don’t have any intention of going into the modern type of playing. Also, it is oriented towards beginners while better players can find those historical lessons interesting to hear about it and learn something new.

Bottom Line

If you prefer slow and clear explanations, Danny Vorris will probably be the best teacher for you. You may probably need another course to master everything out, but this course will be a great way to start.

PROS

  • Bunch of useful etudes
  • Contemporary approach to the music theory
  • Basic coverage of various playing techniques and terms
  • Practical advice about overcoming the fear and other issues
  • 30 classical guitar lessons with more than 8 hours of video material

CONS

  • His approach may not suit everyone
  • We would prefer more exercise lessons

Teacher Bio

Evan Taucher is an American classical guitarist that has been chosen as the 2019 Magellan Scholar to study in Spain. He has also studied for two years with Rene Izquierdo and won 3 Grand Prizes in the USA, and currently runs the non-profit classical guitar community Ex-Aequo.

Why It Stands Out to Us

We like the fact that Evan decided to teach you classical guitar in a more contemporary way. It’s not something you can find so easy and we salute his efforts to try something new. 

We like how he goes detailed into technique lessons, explaining slurs and string changing and stretching a bit further and explaining to you some flamenco techniques such as rasgueados or advanced Ami scales.

Who Are These Best For?

While it was mostly intended for beginners, the last couple of lessons may come interesting to semi-pro players as well. Those who plan to play live may get some good practical advice on how to overcome certain problems every performer encounters sooner or later.

Bottom Line

If you would like to learn a classical guitar instrument in a bit different and more friendly approach than a regular theory-based, check Evan’s course. It might not be resourceful as our top pick, but it may have the right way to keep you motivated.

How Do Online Guitar Lessons Work? 

All online Classical Guitar lessons are organized in specific courses dedicated to this instrument precisely and cover either all-around courses or certain playing techniques.

The best part is that several websites allow you to access all lessons at once instead of buying one specific course. This way you don’t have to worry if you pick the wrong course as your first.

And speaking about lessons, the experience varies based on a website you have chosen, so for example, Jamplay allows you to put some bookmarks on videos and also track your progress while others such as GuitarTricks provide you much more comprehensive tabs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classical Guitar Lessons

Here are some most used pros and cons of this learning system:

Pros

Here are some pros:

In-depth Lessons

These lessons are usually quite detailed. For a beginner, they may look overkill sometimes, but rest assured that everything is prepared in a manner so that you can take on it step by step.

Reliable Source

These websites have some of the best available teachers. They have a certain music degree or teaching experience so you can rely on their knowledge. Some platforms even provide you with a single fee for all courses so you can learn from it as long as your membership lasts.

Extra Features Included

These websites will give you useful info for improving your playing. For example, you will learn a bit more about various music theory terms including scales. Also, some lessons come with tabs or audio tracks you can jam along.

Cons

Here are some drawbacks:

Procrastinators - Watch Out

Online lessons are not ideal for people who have a problem with procrastinating. For them, taking real classes seems to be a must-have as no one will monitor your progress there are not that many check-ups. 

Pre-recorded Content

What you see is what you get. No matter how much you struggle with a lesson, it will be hard to make teachers record another lesson and this is probably the biggest flaw of the whole system.

Classical vs Acoustic Guitar

While they may look pretty much the same as they are tuned in the same intonation and have the same number of strings and quite similar headstock, body shape, and tonewood material, here are some of the most obvious differences between classical and acoustic guitar:

String Type

The strings used on a classical guitar are nylon, while acoustic guitars usually come with steel strings. This choice results in many differences, so for example, the classical guitar will have a more mellow sound, lower string tension but because of it, it will also be a bit more prone to going out of tune.

Neck Width

Classical guitars have a more wide neck when compared to the regular acoustic guitar so it may require some time to make a transition especially from acoustic to classical guitar as it generates a much sharper sound.

Photo credit: guitarniche.com

Playing Style

While you can play acoustic guitar with both pick and fingers, a guitar pick is considered today as almost mandatory for any kind of modern music.

Price

Classical guitars are a bit cheaper than acoustic guitars and this makes them an even better choice for beginners as you will get a better instrument for the same money.

Can You Really Learn to Play Classical Guitar Online? 

Learning how to play any instrument mostly depends on your determination and consistency. 

With online learning, you’re setting your own pace and if you get the appropriate guitar course we can’t see any particular reason why it wouldn’t be possible to learn everything you need. This especially goes for complete beginners. It’s possible to learn to play a classical guitar from scratch.

And the best part is that many online courses offer both live sessions or various video submission systems so you can get some real and precise feedback about your progress or ask a question if you struggle with pulling any particular technique.

How to Hold a Classical Guitar 

Unlike acoustic guitar, classical guitar is played in a sitting position. That’s why you will need a footstool to raise your left leg so that the neck is tilted upwards as high as possible. Place the guitar on your front (left) leg and make it rest a little bit on the right thigh while the upper part should make contact with your chest.

Right hand should feel loose and balanced over the guitar body, so find the most comfortable position for your hand.

If you want, you can check out the video tutorial that will show you what we have just described above:

How to String a Classical Guitar

Stringing a classical guitar isn’t so different from a ukulele or acoustic guitar. You can also do it with bare hands, but it will go much faster if you have any kind of automatic or manual winding tool and a wire cutter.

First, make strings loose and then cut them so you can remove the old strings.

Next, run the new strings through the bridge holes by placing the thinnest string on the bottom. Strings gauges are usually labeled so you should be able to align them easily.

When you set all the strings through the bridge, you will need to wrap them around the bridge. The fastest way to do it is to wrap it around the outside, underneath, loop it over the top, and through the loop twice. Move the rest to the next string hole on the bridge, secure that position with the finger and pull the other side of the string tight. We advise you to tie down those two strings in the middle last.

Now, you will need to apply the strings to the headstock and the best way is to place barrels to follow the break angle of the headstock so you can put the finger beneath and push the strings to the top in an easier way. 

Once you pull it through, wrap it around, the inside and underneath, and pull through the loop. Repeat the whole process and please remember that the outer strings should be tied to the barrels closest to the string neck and the part of the string that is extra.

If you want, you can check out the video tutorial that will show you what we have just described above:

Final Word 

Whether you’re interested in becoming a classical guitarist or it’s just a phase before you go out and grab that electric guitar, these lessons will be a great foundation for your instrument learning and you would be surprised how much of it you can apply to any other string instrument.

Recap: 
Top 3 Picks

People Also Ask

People are not quite certain what’s so special about classical guitars, as they look pretty much the same as an acoustic guitar. That’s why we will explain a bit more about the classical guitar here and also provide you with what membership options online guitar lesson platforms provide you with.

What is an Arpeggio?

When you play several notes together you form a chord. But if you decide to play them one by another, you’re playing an arpeggio. It usually refers to fast playing, but actually, any melody that plays the usual minor or major chord notes individually could be considered as an arpeggio.

Is Classical Guitar Better Than Acoustic?

It depends a lot on your intentions. For learning, the classical guitar might be easier to learn on as the nylon strings create much less tension when compared to steel strings. But if you’re into any kind of popular music, while you can play it on a classical guitar, the acoustic guitar might be your favorite. 

Who Invented The Classical Guitar?

Classical guitar existed in forms of various smaller instruments such as lutes from both Europe and Asia, Spanish vihuela, and Greek kithara, but the real classical guitar as we know it today was invented back in the 19th century by Antonio de Torres.

Do Online Guitar Companies Offer a Free Trial?

Online guitar companies aren’t too keen on giving free trials, except for the Artist Works website, they tend to offer 30 or 60 days of no-questions-asked refund options in case you’re not making the progress that you wanted.

Can You Use a Pick on a Classical Guitar?

Sure thing. Classical guitar isn’t any different from other acoustic so all the usual playing techniques can be performed. But, please bear in mind that classical music was intended to be played with fingers only.

How Old Do You Need to Be To Take Online Classical Guitar Lessons?

Classical guitars might be more appealing to younger kids because of softer nylon strings and the best part is that there are usually three different types of classical guitars - 1/2 size, ideal for kids up to 3’3” height, 3/4 size for those up to 4’1” height and the rest can use full-size models.

What is a Classical Guitar?

Classical guitar is an acoustic guitar that uses nylon strings. These strings give the instrument a different feel and might be more appealing to beginners because of less string tension. This makes the overall tone more mellow and sweet when compared to the typical acoustic guitar.

How Much Are Classical Guitar Lessons?

Based on the website you’re about to opt-in, guitar lessons can cost you from $9.99 on Fender Play up to $29.95 on Artist Works. Some websites such as GuitarTricks provide you with different quarterly or annual subscriptions while Jamplay offers you three different annual membership plans starting from $99.95 up to $299.95.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.