Spanish or Classical Guitar vs Acoustic Guitar – What Are The Differences? – Part I

acoustic guitar vs spanish guitar (classical guitar)

The main difference between the classical guitar (or Spanish guitar) and the acoustic guitar is the material the strings are made of: nylon, in the case of the classical guitar, and metal, in the case of the acoustic guitar. Many musicians have a more pleasant experience while playing the Spanish guitar -also known as classical guitar- than playing the acoustic guitar, which is more difficult to master and, because of its tighter and tougher strings, more painful. (read more: Acoustic Guitar vs. Classical Guitar – Which One You Should Buy? if you want to buy your first guitar.

The classical guitar is often confused with  the acoustic guitar. In fact, the acoustic guitar is the American version of the classical guitar, which explains their shared basic elements. For example, they can both be considered acoustic guitars because neither of them required any electrical power.

However, there is an important difference in the strings. The Spanish guitars (classical guitar) have nylon strings, while the acoustic guitars have metal strings. This has an impact on the sound. The classical guitar produces a softer sound than the acoustic guitar, which produces a stronger sound. Because of its softer strings, many musicians prefer the classical guitar over the acoustic guitar, which is harder to master and tend to cause more pain to the player’s fingers.

The guitar size is another critical difference: the acoustic guitar is usually bigger. Also, there are many acoustic guitar designs and shapes. Usually, the resonance chamber of the acoustic guitar is wider than the classical guitar, especially in the upper part. This creates a rounder shape. In contrast, its neck is slimmer, which increases the difficulty level of this instrument.

Because of these two facts, the classical guitar player makes music with chords, and the acoustic guitar players use single notes. Of course, this is trend, because they can both be perfectly used for both playing forms.

Additionally, there’s a remarkable price difference between these two guitars. The classical one is usually a lot cheaper than the acoustic one, especially in the most basic models. This makes the classical guitar a desirable option for beginners of all ages.

It is important to notice that both acoustic and classical guitar have the same learning process. Thus, it is only matter of small adaption in case you want to experiment with the other model.

It is now clear that the classical (or Spanish guitar) and the acoustic guitar are not the same, even if they have an unquestionable relation. Style and personality will determine which model is chosen by the guitarist.

And you? How about your opinions? Share with me!

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