Acoustic Guitar Buyers Guide

One of the most common questions we are asked is the about the difference between acoustic and classical guitars.

Classical Guitars, also known as Spanish guitars, have 6 nylon strings stretched over an acoustic box with a sound hole to amplify the vibrations, these are often used for children to learn on, they rarely come in left handed, so we normally recommend younger children learn to play right handed.

Acoustic Guitars are similar in construction to classical guitars but are strung with steel strings and are therefore much louder and brighter, with a bulkier build to accommodate the extra tension.

The amplification of string vibrations by the hollow wooden body mean that these guitars make enough sound that they do not need to be amplified electronically.

Electro acoustic guitars do have microphones or magnetic pickups in the sound hole which makes them useful for recording or playing via an amplifier for a louder sound for performance reasons.

If you are interested in acquiring either of these styles of guitars then it would be a good idea to study the differences between them and decide which would be best for you. Have a look at the table below to weigh up the advantages /disadvantages

  Strings Weight/size Sound Playability Range
Classical Nylon - the 3 lower strings are wound with  Nickel/Silver. Lower tension and much easier on the fingers but harder to tune up as they are more elastic and take more stretching. Light weight and a wider neck - good for exact finger styles, but not really designed for chord strumming. Complex but subtle tones through lighter construction of body. Less treble twang with a more soft and mellow sound. Easier for finger picking and classical style playing. Lower volume and sustain than steel strings make them unsuitable for strumming or rock riffs! Popular with Primary School children as they come in 1/2 and 3/4 sizes, very cheap models are common, but we'd recommend spending a little extra to get a good quality musical instrument, not a toy.
Acoustic Steel - higher tension, louder and a more full bodied tone. The strings can be sore for untrained fingers but this will get easier with practice! Slightly heavier weight to the instrument, generally bigger bodied, but the neck is slimmer and easier for strumming. Steel strings give a more rocky twang and large body gives a booming, full bodied volume with heavy strumming. Harder for finger picking due to tough steel strings but with practice this can be overcome. Better for strumming and lower string height can make it easier for beginners to play chords. Huge variation in styles and colours. There is a great deal of quality even in the sub £100 market, so you don't need to spend very much to get a very nice guitar!



classical guitarClassical Guitars

If you're after a budget classical guitar for a child, the Valencia Classical Guitar Kits are our best for quality and value, including a bag, foot stool, pitch pipes and string winder. They come in 3 sizes, 1/2 size would be suitable for children up to 6-8, 3/4 up to 9-11, and a 4/4 sized guitar for older children or adults.

We also have a good range of Ashton Classical Guitars. The come in a choice of sizes and, most importantly, colours, so if you're after a purple, blue or black guitar, take a look at these.

We also have a range of full sized classical guitars by Yamaha and Valencia, including some popular electro versions.





dreadnought guitarDreadnoughts

For a traditional acoustic guitar, the 'Dreadnought' shape are commonly found. With a deep body, square shoulders and fat hips, they can be quite a big guitar for beginners to get to grips with.

We have a large range here starting from just from well under £100 for our hugely popular Falcon, available in 4 bright colours and a left handed version as well!

For beginners, the Fender CD60 is a great choice, a massive brand, in 3 colours with some excelent accessories.  The Yamaha F310 is of excellent quality and comes with a strap, strings and DVD. The Ashton D25 also comes with a range of acccessories and is one of the UK's fastest growing brands, while the Washburn WD10S is the worlds best selling dreadnaught!

If you can stretch the budget, view the Yamaha FG720, available in a range of finishes, the Tanglewood TW15, one of the longest serving guitars in their catalog, or if you fancy some real class, take a look at our range of Martin acoustic guitars, they sound amazing.

Folk Guitar

Folk Guitars

A smaller bodied acoustic guitar is the Folk, and they are very popular, easier to manage, especially for smaller people, and they generally give a nice
bright sound.

Our most popular folk guitar is the award winning Vintage V300, always a great buy.

Check out also the Tanglewood TPE, or the stunning Martin OM1-GT, both lovely guitars that are a joy to play.




electro acoustic guitarElectro Acoustic Guitars

Fundamentally the same construction, an Electro Acoustic lets you plug your instrument into an amplifier, effects pedal or recording equipment.

These have really come into fashion over the last 10 years, you see people playing them everywhere, coffee shops, busking, on telly, wherever, they are so easy to pick up, carry around and just sit and strum!

Tanglewood Guitars are the masters of these instruments, the Tanglewood TW45 from their Sundance Pro range is their biggest selling guitar worldwide. For a more affordable version, take a look at their Premier Range TW145, a really good choice.

We also have a very good choice of Yamaha electro's, the APX500 is a very well known guitar, and the CPX700 is similar but has a slightly larger body.

Washburns Festival Series is another good value Electro, and of course, the ever popular WD10SCE also come in an electro version.


guitar accessory packThe Acoustic Kit

If you are looking to invest in a quality classical or acoustic guitar then our Acoustic Kit is the perfect accompaniment to your instrument.

Offering all the accessories you need to enjoy your guitar at its best and leaving you free to pick an instrument that really suits you, the kit includes an electronic Qwik Tune tuner, padded gig bag, 'A' frame guitar stand, a set of Martin Acoustic guitar
strings as well as plectrums and strap!


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