Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards… Many stars have made playing the guitar an art form, some would even say a religion!

As a result, many young musicians start learning how to play the guitar to garner attention or from having a real passion for the string instrument.

Is this the case for you too?

Before beginning to play and learning music theory, tablatures and scores, you have to start off by buying a guitar! An acoustic guitar or electric guitar? Fender, Gibson or rather Cordoba? Dreadnought, Sunburst, or how about the banjo? Choosing your guitar is not exactly easy…

The Classical Guitar.

The classical guitar is usually the first choice when you want to start learning how to play the guitar. And for this you are going to have to leave aside your rock 'n' roll references. Instead, we are talking virtuoso classical guitarists like Andres Segovia, Ana Vidovic, and Paco Pena. You'll be playing a repertoire of Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach, from the baroque to the Spanish guitar. Get excited!

With the nylon string instrument, if you want to take classical guitar lessons, you'll be a guitar player with great musicianship, an appreciation of classical music, and a fantastic fingerstyle technique played with your fingernails. The people with the best guitar technique in guitar music are all classical guitar players.

However, before you're at a soloist recital, music conservatory, or headlining a guitar festival, let's turn to practical matters. Like any beginner musician, you’re probably not quite sure where to go to buy a guitar, and above all, how not to exceed your budget. You might be wondering how much a nylon string guitar is going to set you back.

Don’t worry! Many possibilities exist that allow you to choose the guitar of your dreams without hurting your bank account… 

And just remember, now you can say with pride that you are a classical guitarist!

Practicalities: The Average Price of a Classical Guitar, and Where (and Where Not) to Buy One. 

The beginner guitar industry can be a bit of a scam, taking advantage of people that want to play guitar but that don't necessarily have the solid foundation of knowledge to know what they are looking for. So, don't let your desire to get your fingers on the fretboard push you into buying something crappy just because it has nylon strings.

The Internet: A Warning.

In this day and age, your first reflex will be to look on the Internet to give you an idea of the price of a classical guitar

Big mistake!

On the Internet, you can find anything and everything. Therefore, the canvas is too big to give you an idea of the real price of a guitar.

To avoid spending hours on the Internet, know that by typing “classical guitar” on Google, you will see that the cheapest price is around $40 and can go up to $5000.

Relax. You will also find many models of guitars at low prices, around $130, which is quite good for a classical guitar. But don’t get too caught up on inexpensive guitars, especially on the Internet. You won’t be able to check out the quality of the guitar before you buy it.

Search for guitar lessons for beginners here.

A woman buying a guitar in a music shop
It’s recommended that you try out a guitar before buying it.

This is good advice for anyone planning on buying a guitar. Unless you already know what model of guitar you want and what it sounds like, it’s generally not recommended that you buy your first instrument on the Internet. The product that you will receive doesn’t always match what you’re expecting.

Old Fashioned? The Music Store.

To avoid this misunderstanding, go to a specialized store.

Music stores are present in all major cities and are run by enthusiasts. You can ask them advice about buying your first guitar and starting to play the string instrument. In addition, the seller will be able to offer you several choices of guitars according to your budget. The majority of staff in music shops have the knowledge of a good guitar magazine - but they are there in human form. And they'll talk you through everything you might want to know about the cutaway, rosewood tonewoods, or the construction of the fingerboard.

Store prices do not really differ from the Internet. You will find guitars for beginners between $100 and $150, along with guitars that are $500 or more.

A Used Guitar?

For those with a tighter budget, there’s always the option of buying a used guitar. On sites like Craigslist.org, you can easily find classical guitars at a lower price point. You can buy them on average for $50.

You still need to pay attention to the quality and condition of the guitar. If you don’t know what to look for, ask a friend that’s knowledgeable about guitars to go with you to get their opinion on the instrument. That will help you make the right decision.

If you’re planning to make a big investment in your next classical guitar, why not visit a luthier?

Luthiers make instruments with care and can even custom-make and personalize your classical guitar. But this is reserved for those who are willing to spend a lot of money…

Conversely, how much does an electric guitar cost?

Why Buy a Classical Guitar?

There are many reasons to want to buy a classical guitar…

Whether it’s for a beginner guitarist or to play onstage, the classical guitar has a lot of advantages. Playing this instrument could even be considered as art therapy for people with trauma issues.

Are you a beginner guitarist?

The classical guitar is a very good choice.

Although many people would prefer to start playing the electric guitar or folk guitar, knowing how to play a classical guitar is basically mandatory.

The space between the strings and the neck on classical guitars is often larger than on other guitars. This allows beginners to correctly get used to their fingers strumming the strings. In addition, the frets are well marked and the strings are spaced apart. This is the best way to learn how to position your fingers for guitar playing.

This first guitar will also allow you to get used to the sounds of the instrument without any other added effect.

Moreover, its price is on the lower end of the guitar market and classical guitars are easily found. You don’t need to buy an amplifier, which is an important advantage, unlike electric and acoustic-electric guitars.

Playing cheap acoustic guitar on the beach
Without an amplifier, it is easier to move around with your guitar.

But what about the professionals and experienced players who continue to use the classical guitar?

Because no, the use of a classical guitar does not always mean that you are a beginner. Many professional musicians use this guitar on a daily basis. This is particularly the case for musicians who play flamenco or a variety of styles. They then add a microphone near the bridge, on the sound board, to amplify the sound of their guitar.

And don’t forget that if you travel a lot, a classical guitar will be your best friend.

It’s one of the lightest guitars and is therefore favored by travelers. There are also small guitars that are very similar to the Ukulele, but with the characteristics of a classical guitar.

Why not opt for another model and buy a folk guitar?

Prices Vary According to Usage

Have you recently put yourself in the guitar world and have decided to buy your first instrument?

Would you like to quickly learn how to play all styles of music: gypsy jazz, fingerpicking, arpeggio, chords and more?

Note that the price of a guitar can vary according to its use, but also whether it’s meant to be played right-handed or left-handed. Left-handed guitars are rarer and therefore more expensive…

Your teacher, whether at home or at a music school, can advise you on the right guitar to buy. Because it’s important to pay attention to the size of the guitar, and also its neck. It’s also necessary to look at the manufacturer and the wood used (cedar, maple, mahogany, spruce…)

To get an idea, here’s a list of the most common guitars for beginners.

  • Yamaha C40 – $160

This guitar is the most common classical guitar. It’s also one of the cheapest of the Yamaha range, but is recognized for its good sound quality.

  • Stagg C546 – $125

Often sold in a set, this guitar is ideal for those with a small budget and who want to begin with a classical guitar.

  • Admira Malaga – $153

Coming from Spain, this guitar has very good finishes. It’s a great guitar for a beginner wishing to quickly move on to the next level.

Once you have a bit of experience in music, and especially playing the guitar, you can then change to a different type of guitar if you wish… You can switch to the folk guitar without any problem. However, if your style of music is classical and you like variety, feel free to stick with the classical guitar. Some musicians have achieved great careers thanks to the classical guitar.

Many guitars can put you in a good mood.

Look at Alhambra guitars, for example. They are known for their flamenco-playing quality. Here are some models that should help you in your decision-making:

  • Alhambra 3F Flamenco Guitar - $700

Made out of solid cedar, this guitar is made especially for playing Flamenco music with great sound output.

  • Alhambra 1C Classical Guitar – $500

With a mahogany neck and a sapelli case, this guitar is an excellent choice for a beginner who is ready to take guitar playing seriously.

Another thing that can happen on the path to becoming a musician is playing onstage.

Whether you’re with a group or playing the guitar alone in front of an audience, you want to be heard by those who have come to watch you.

Only classical guitars do not need to be amplified internally. But to play in front of a crowd with a classical guitar, you would have to buy an external microphone that attaches to your soundboard.

And don’t forget the accessories that accompany the guitar. Although an amp is not necessary, many small objects like the capo, strap, guitar strings, tuning fork, cover, tuner or pick will come in handy.

Not sure what you want? A guitar teacher can help, and if there is no-one near you, you can always try online guitar lessons.

Buying a Used Guitar

Are you a fan of Internet listings and flea markets?

This is for you!

It’s quite possible to find the perfect guitar for you at a second-hand shop. Or you can turn to Internet sites like craigslist.org to look for pre-owned instruments. Focus on sites where it’s possible to meet the seller in person and see the object before buying it. That will save you from buying a guitar that’s in bad shape.

Some music stores offer a lot of used guitars. These have been checked and/or refurbished by the store. That’s reassuring!

A hand plays strings of a classical guitar
Used guitars are checked before being sold in stores.

But why buy a used guitar?

Of course, above all, there’s the advantageous price of a used guitar, which can be half of the regular price. Buying a second-hand guitar allows you to obtain guitar models that you could never afford to buy new.

But that’s not all. A used guitar will be easier to play, having already been played by someone else. But don’t forget to test its parts. While the strings can be changed, the neck must not be twisted! Also, inspect the entire body of the instrument to make sure there are no cracks or shocks.

In this regard, how much do guitar strings cost?

Buying a New Guitar

At a time when recycling and other ecologic and economic initiates are in style, why choose to buy a new guitar?

Some may ask this question.

However, looking for your guitar in a store will allow you to get useful advice and choose the right guitar for your level and needs. Advice that certainly won’t come from a particular seller who wants to get rid of his guitar…

Although most individual sellers are honest, going to a store can save you from unpleasant surprises. Indeed, an owner selling their used guitar may not even know himself the exact state the guitar is in. The opinion of an expert is essential if you are not very knowledgeable about guitars.

Classical guitars for sale in music shop
By purchasing a new guitar, it is possible to ask the salesperson for advice.

By buying a new guitar, you can make sure that it’s not damaged cosmetically, nor does it have any major faults. You will also have a guarantee that will allow you to bring your instrument back for repair if necessary.

But where should you buy your new guitar?

Whether it’s a small store or a big chain, like Guitar Center, you’ll always find the right advice for your purchase.

You also have the Internet to choose from. It’s a reasonable option, but only if you already know the guitar model that you want to get.

Why not buy a used guitar too?

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.