Aside from the types of wood, classical guitars also have thicker wood and larger bodies compared to their flamenco relatives.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'guitaraffinity_com-leader-1','ezslot_6',109,'0','0'])); On average, a classical guitar will have between ⅛” to ¼” more depth on the sides compared to a flamenco guitar. He works as the content manager for a financial education software firm and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin. Note that in some countries outside the USA, the term “guitar” refers to THIS variant of the instrument, NOT the steel string “acoustic” one. Guitars are usually played by strumming or plucking. The main difference that most guitarists will notice immediately is that the material of the strings is completely different on classical vs acoustic guitar. Rosewood, being a denser wood than cypress, encourages a richer sustain on the instrument at the sacrifice of a slightly duller attack. In a way, the flamenco negra guitar can be considered a halfway point between flamenco blanca guitars and classical guitars, due to the fuller sound. Flamenco guitars and classical guitars are not held and played the same way traditionally. For one, classical guitars soundboards are typically made of cedar or spruce wood. However, classical guitars of the time were rife with problems. Granted, free stroke and rest stroke are by no means exclusive to one guitar or the other, but the instruments prefer their respective styles based on the playing techniques commonly used. Once again, this supports each instrument’s own stylistic capabilities. These changes are accomplished in several ways. Similar to how a pickguard protects a steel-string or electric guitar’s body from damage from guitar pick, a golpeador is to protect a flamenco guitar from damage when employing the percussive golpe technique. The root of the development of the flamenco guitar is founded in necessity. Modifications were required. Although the terms “classical guitar” and “Spanish guitar” are often interchanged, the traditional Spanish guitar was a different instrument that sounded different than the classical guitar and was more complicated to play. In an effort to combat some of the guitar’s shortcomings at the time, Torres focused on making a larger, more resonant instrument that was accomplished by a thin spruce-top soundboard supported by a symmetric fan brace on the inside of the guitar. Because a Spanish guitar is strung with nylon, rather than metal strings, its neck is under considerably less tension than that of an acoustic guitar. The first treatise to the ‘Spanish guitar’ appeared in 1596 with the publication of Guitarra Española de cinco órdenes (Five-Course Spanish Guitar), written by Juan Carlos Amat. Today the classical guitar and Spanish guitar are often incorrectly referred to as being the same instrument. Once again, this supports the instrument’s own stylistic capabilities. A flamenco guitar with a low action and higher tension strings can help produce the characteristic flamenco attack. Luthiers needed to keep costs low, so this was the best option. This technique is commonly used for “speed bursts” in flamenco, and can cross strings to arpeggiate a chord. This variation is known as flamenco negra, popularized by guitarist Paco de Lucia. In the hands of a competent player, either style of guitar can be a tool for incredible music making. Without a golpeador, an over-enthusiastic player could potentially punch a hole right through the instrument! These closely-related guitars may be more different than a cursory glance can tell, and their primary differences boil down to what each one is trying to accomplish musically. These are the precursors to today’s steel-string acoustic guitar and electric guitar. The early Spanish guitar was called the “vihuela.” The guitar made its way to Mexico with the first Spanish settlers or conquistadors. This raises the action the strings ever so slightly to prevent fret buzzing and give more room for the string to waver. Traditional Spanish vihuelas were made with six double strings, or twelve strings. This extra depth allows more sustain and gives a little bit more lower register and fullness to the sound. If you like Spanish, Flamenco, or classical music, this type of sound can be achieved with a classical guitar. Here are some photos for comparison. Cante refers to the human voice, singing and storytelling to evoke emotion with words and as melody.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'guitaraffinity_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_7',110,'0','0'])); Baile is the dancing element, an intense physical movement that employs rhythmic stepping for a percussive sound. Flamenco guitars are built for speed, even at the risk of some fret buzzing. Cedar wood is warm, dark wood that promotes a fuller, richer sound that almost feels like it is surrounding the player. Both classical and flamenco guitar necks are typically mahogany, cedar, and/or ebony, as these are light, strong woods that hold their shape well under changing pressures. Today, we’re taking a look at the best classical guitars. However, a variation has emerged among modern flamenco luthiers, where instead of cyprus (or even sycamore) on the backs and sides, rosewood is substituted instead. The percussive sound of rasgueado can mimic the sound of castanets, which are sometimes played by dancers. Assuming a right-handed player and instrument, classical guitars are played resting on the left leg of the performer, at an elevated angle of roughly 45 degrees (by way of a footstool, cushion, or other means of support). The percussive tapping on the instrument requires a snappy, bright top such as spruce, as well as the addition of “golpeadores” (clear, sometimes colored tap plates) to protect the top from the player’s fingernails. A vihuela is often seen as being the same thing as a lute. The main differences are in their construction and sound, the first and most important differentiator bieng volume. Flamenco dancers and music are popular today in Mexico and Spain. Although the terms “classical guitar” and “Spanish guitar” are often interchanged, the traditional Spanish guitar was a different instrument that sounded different than the classical guitar and was more complicated to play. They were simply too quiet, too unresponsive to the technical demands that flooded the music. The growth of the modern nylon-string guitar has become an ever-evolving movement which has produced two different prime categories: classical guitars vs spanish guitars (or flamenco guitars). The soundboards are braced identically with a geometric fan bracing that allows a thinner soundboard to remain secure. Regarding neck relief, a flamenco guitar practically has none at all. The thumb is usually playing a bass note on tremolo. While their necks are designed differently, the wood composition is usually the same. Classical guitars are derived from the Spanish vihuela and gittern in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, which later evolved into the seventeenth and eighteenth century Baroque guitarand later the modern cla… The qualities of the classical guitar support the polyphonic repertoire that is so popular with the instrument. Ironically, Spanish cypress wood today has risen considerably in cost, so the difference in manufacturing price between flamenco blanca and flamenco negra is more negligible, so their differences are more a matter of personal taste in tone color. Spanish/classical guitars are used for many forms of music, but most notably classical music. In a neutral position, the right hand is held with a mostly straight wrist, slightly angled over the strings, primarily in a free stroke, or tirando position, with the fingers floating over the strings close to the soundhole. An incredibly large difference is in the player’s posture and way the guitars are held. Etymologically derivative of the word golpe, a golpeador is a mounted sheet of plastic that sits on top of the soundboard, near the strings. The backs and sides of flamenco guitars are comprised of cypress or sycamore, which enhance the attack of the instrument and, therefore, its volume. Through the ages the guitar has been one of the most popular and commonly used musical instruments. The growth of the modern nylon-string guitar has become an ever-evolving movement which has produced two different prime categories: classical guitars vs spanish guitars (or flamenco guitars). Flamenco guitar playing is unique.Unlike classical guitar, it’s much flashier, faster and more explosive. Nylon stringed guitars come in many shapes and sizes. The sound quality of these guitars is soft and warm. The tuning on a vihuela is the same as on a classical guitar, except for the third string, which is tuned half a step below the note of the third string on a classical six-string guitar. His clients have included the Educated Investor, the University of Wisconsin, New York Life, the "Encyclopedia of Personal Finance," "Your Retirement Watch" and "The Internet Review of Books." Classical tremolo is performed with the pattern p-a-m-i. I have summarized four of its most important elements. Let’s start with some background information. Spanish Guitar vs. The Cordoba C3M classical guitar is a full size, nylon stringed classical guitar from the esteemed Cordoba Iberia series modeled on traditional Spanish classical guitars. Classical Vs Acoustic Guitar – String Type. Guitar from Spain is the best online store to buy the best spanish guitars online: Classical guitars, Flamenco Guitars, Acoustic Guitars and electro acoustic guitars made in Spain from the best Spanish guitar makers at local prices. Knowing different frets helps a guitar player find the correct pitch, note and tone for playing music. Players use different posture, strumming patterns, and techniques. These closely-related guitars may be more different than a cursory glance can tell, and their primary differences boil down to what each one is trying to accomplish musically. Each step in this evolution would lead closer to the development of what is now referred to as the modern classical guitar.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'guitaraffinity_com-box-4','ezslot_1',106,'0','0'])); Today’s acoustic guitars are all derived from the modern classical guitar design. Most spanish guitar makers know that and that’s why they store a large amount of quality wood seasoned at the mediterranean climate for years. Spanish Guitar Barcelona. Keeping the right hand in a default rest position encourages the use of extended techniques commonly used in flamenco music compared to the classical idiom. Mike Marcoe is a writer/editor with more than 19 years of experience. To prevent damage to the body of the guitar from golpe, a golpeador is affixed to the instrument. Toque encompasses the guitar playing, used as harmonic accompaniment and backing up the singers and dancers. The right hand is held perpendicular the strings in a rest stroke, or apoyando position, with the fingers resting on the strings and following through to adjacent strings when striking contact. Steel string guitars generally use an X-bracing to withstand the tension of the steel string which are 2-1/2 to 3 times higher tension than the nylon strings used on a classical guitar. The neck build of flamenco negra maintains the same low action of the flamenco blanca, allowing the same speed and playability required to perform flamenco music. A lower action. One could easily make a case of them being more similar than different, but the variations in materials and construction are conducive to how approachable they are to a player. The Spanish Method uses fan bracing as opposed to X-bracing or ladder bracing. Tremolo is a similar idea, but is used to play a single note multiple times. Although people who specialize in making musical instruments could make vihuelas, playing one would require learning distinctly different fingering on the fret board and music. Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images, Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved. This design was pioneered by 19th century Spanish guitarist and luthier Antonio de Torres Jurado. Truly a genre of lively spectacle, the modest classical guitars were no longer able to be utilized appropriately in the flamenco setting. Guitars are musical family members of the stringed instrument group. A Spanish guitar. Cordoba pride themselves on producing valuable nylon string guitars. Flamenco music grew in popularity through the late-19th century, and guitars were already seeing more involvement in the genre. Classical Guitar. The pharaohs of Egypt originally played guitars. The relationship between all three forms are essential in traditional flamenco, and blending must remain optimal in order to fit. The definition of what is considered “traditional Spanish guitar construction” is a complex topic. When striking a string in free stroke, the fingers follow through into the palm of the hand after making contact. Guitar music is usually written to be read in chords or tablature one octave above other sounds. The wound E string might be extremely low at just 1.6 mm (1/16″) at the twelfth fret compared to a classical guitar at around 3.2 mm (1/8″). The steel strings on an acoustic guitar produce a bright, crisp, even twangy sound that resonates more than a classical guitar. The vihuela was called “viola” in other countries, but it is not the same instrument as that larger violin-type of stringed instrument with the same name. While his innovations were pinnacle in the development of flamenco guitars, Torres never actually specified a clear difference between classical and flamenco guitars. I know what a Spanish guitar is: it is similar to the classical guitar, but the body is different.However, I've never heard of an English guitar in my entire life. To accommodate their own stylistic purposes, classical and flamenco guitars vary in terms of of construction in order to appropriately enhance the sound to compliment their genres. Classical Vs Flamenco Guitar. In a classical guitar, some slight neck relief is applied to give a very slight concave bend. Although both guitars are a similar shape, there are many differences between a Spanish guitar and an acoustic guitar. Spanish and Classical guitars are ALMOST the same but there are differences. There is also a Mexican vihuela that has five strings and is used by mariachi bands to play the special style of mariachi music. The key difference is in the tone of the instrument, bridging the gap between the sharp attack of flamenco blanca and the rich fullness of the classical guitar. Hernando Cortez was known to teach guitar in Mexico around 1526. And it has guitar strings made of nylon. This lack of string action, which is maybe 1/32” lower than a classical guitar, can also give flamenco guitars their distinctive growly tone that is distorted ever so slightly by buzzing fret noise. In comparison, the classical guitar and the lute are two distinctly different instruments. The guitar itself has a long and rich history, with the earliest lutes dating as far back as 3000 BC in ancient Mesopotamia. Flamenco guitars, on the other hand, are typically played resting on the right leg, almost parallel to the floor. An acoustic wooden string instrument with strings made of gut or nylon, it is a precursor of the modern acoustic and electric guitars, both of which use metal strings. The soundboards of flamenco guitars are almost always spruce, not cedar. The classical or Spanish guitar is an acoustic instrument made of wood. Luthiers have been building instruments especially suited to flamenco music for a long time, and you’re probably reading this article because the music is exciting, and you want to purchase a flamenco guitar.. How guitars are made, their components, the shape of the body and string type can affect how an instrument sounds. In order to achieve that raspy, growling sound, the back and sides are often made of cypress, a light and resonant wood. The Spanish vihuela is also a larger instrument, and therefore sounds somewhat different. Flamenco guitars often bear a “golpeador”, which is a sheet of plastic mounted to the face of the guitar to protect its finish. There are distinct differences between a traditional Spanish guitar and a classical guitar. The general standard for a guitar is that it has six strings and a fret board, which is a finger board composed of wood and metal strips that designate half steps for the guitar strings. The neck design of classical and flamenco guitars vary as well. A doctor by trade, Amat was also a guitar aficionado, and his book, described in nine chapters how to string, tune and strum the chords of a five-course guitar. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Classical guitars and flamenco guitars are ultimately close cousins under the umbrella of the nylon-string guitar. Flamenco is played somewhat differently from classical guitar. Cordoba C10 Acoustic Nylon String Classical Guitar, Types of Guitars – All Sizes and Shapes Explained. Guitars have been around for over 5,000 years. Flamenco became known as a particular style of playing the guitar rather than a distinctly different kind of guitar. What makes a flamenco guitar different from a classical nylon-strung guitar? This guitar uses nylon strings as opposed to the steel strings used on electric and other acoustic guitars and is a smaller size. The classical guitar (also known as the classic guitar, nylon-string guitar or Spanish guitar) is a member of the guitar family used in classical music. Classical and flamenco guitars each maintain six strings affixed to the headstock and bridge, adjusted with tuning machines at the headstock as opposed to tuning pegs. But most modern rock, folk, blues, and country performers use an acoustic guitar. There are two types, blanca (the cypress) and negra (palosanto aka rosewood) with a fuller sound. The strings were made of gut or genuine sinew. With all of that said, innovation and experimentation between the two is always creating new designs, new setups, new approaches to each instrument that can produce exciting new sounds and qualities that overlap each other. what they are made of and how they are made. Differences In Spanish Guitar Vs Acoustic Guitar. The Spanish Method is characterized by an integrated neck-body construction. Guitar Affinity's Top 5 Guitars of the Month: Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. By this design, flamenco tremolo is played as a quintuplet tremolo, five notes in a single beat, while classical tremolo is usually a straight sixteenth note pattern. Beyond Flamenco guitars, while similar in looks to standard classical guitars, are built for a specific style of music. Meanwhile, the backs and sides of flamenco guitars are comprised of cypress or sycamore, which enhance the attack of the instrument and, therefore, its volume. Rasgueado refers to the rhythmic rolling chord strumming achieved by quick flicks of anywhere between three to five fingers on the right hand. That gives them a good source of quality material for they guitars. SPRUCE. 1. Traditional Spanish vihuelas were made with six double strings, or twelve strings. The Spanish (flamenco) guitar is typically made of cypress and spruce and has a bright tone. The classical guitar, also known as the Spanish guitar, is a member of the guitar family used in classical music.It is an acoustic wooden guitar … A high-attack instrument that favors single lines is necessary to cut through the sound and remain distinguishable. There are only three surviving vihuelas known in the world today. In flamenco music, there are three primary forms of expression: cante, baile, and toque. The Romans brought the guitar to Spain around 1500, and it was so popular that it became Spain's national instrument. Vihuelas are rare. It is focused on activities related to the Spanish guitar music and formed by a team of professionals with over ten years of experience in organizing musical events. The backs and sides of classical guitar are usually made from rosewood or mahogany; warm woods that help support sustain. The result was a louder, fuller sounding instrument that is widely accepted to be the basis for acoustic guitars manufactured to this day.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'guitaraffinity_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',107,'0','0'])); Torres spent about 40 years building and refining his craft all the way to his death in 1892. The classical guitar is not electric and has a standard fitted body shape like a violin, with a flat back and six strings. There are many different Classical and Spanish guitars made for different skill levels. Whereas on an acoustic guitar, steel strings are used. Spruce wood, when applied to a guitar soundboard, creates a more projected, unidirectional sound that cuts through when compared to the warmer, omnidirectional sound of cedar. Andalucians in southern Spain and later in Mexico began playing a modified type of guitar that they called the “Flamenco guitar.” Along with the Flamenco guitar, popular dances for celebrations were developed, along with colorful outfits to match. The distinction of classical and flamenco guitars being considered two different instruments arose closer to the mid-20th century, with famous guitarists such as Andrés Segovia bringing guitar out of obscurity and into the spotlight. Traditionally, these strings were made of gut (animal intestine). Traditionally, flamenco guitars that are built using the usual spruce top with cyprus back and sides are known as flamenco blanca guitars. Golpe is a percussive right-hand technique, designed to emulate dancers’ foot stomping. My tuner won’t register the notes and I’ve tried tuning it by ear using my electric (which I play regularly and is in tune) but I can’t get the Spanish guitar to match.

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