Classical Guitar Facts
10 Interesting Facts About The Classical Guitar
The phrase ‘Classical’ can be used to unhelpfully describe a huge range of music throughout the last 500 years. Perhaps we should begin this section and honestly say; it would be hard to adequately describe this museum of wonderful relics in this way. In other words, the phrase ‘classical guitar’ does not quite do justice to this expansive and wondrous category.
Classical guitar is still full of young and modern performers such as Thibaut Garcia and Andrea González Caballero. Let’s get some facts for this amazing instrument.
1. Where Do You Come From My Lovely?
Images of instruments similar to guitar can be seen in the artistry of ancient cultures. Places like Babylon (now Iraq) give examples of this, showing the uncertainty of the classical guitar’s natural origin. To be scientific and historical, we should admit that we don’t really know where the guitar first appeared, be it Asia, Europe or a mixture of both.
2. De Donde Eres?
Classic guitars go back as far as the 14th century, from their so-called Spanish birthplace. Examples from the Baroque period of the early 17th and 18th centuries include a range of string combinations, shapes and sizes; for example a small bodied model with five sets of double strings.
3. Haribo Harmony
Tales of classic technology can be truly outlandish and amazing. For the classical guitar things get a little gross. In the early years, strings were produced using conglomerations of animal guts. Nice.
4. You Nailed It
The modern classical guitar style came about in the mid-nineteenth century and is predominantly played with finger nails. It’s hard to experience the tragedy of broken nails amongst classical players.
5. Son Francisco
Francisco Tárrega is seen as the father of classical guitar, born in Spain in the 1850’s. As a small child Francisco fell into a ditch, permanently damaging his vision. Following this disaster, his father came up with a great strategy to insure his son’s future career. As it happens, the family moved to be near a source of prevalent musical learning and Francisco began his wonderful journey with guitar.
6. That Was Hardly Soft
Classical guitars are played with nylon strings which can give a soft and mellowing sound. However, listen to Sabicas the master of Flamenco and hear his incredible dynamic performances, with sweet and gentle gestures followed by tremendous power.
7. Did He Write the Star Wars Theme?
While sharing the name of famous film composer John Williams, the influential classical guitarist of the same name needs to be mentioned. He is described as one of the most talented classical guitarists of all time. Just to add another layer of confusion, John was also famed for his performance in the soundtrack of the classic film ‘The Deer Hunter’.
8. Simple Pleasures
When recording any type of acoustic guitar you should use condenser microphones. Condensers are powered for use at distance but crucially can take in a large range of frequencies. Listen to any beautifully recorded classical guitar track and hear natural qualities of the instrument, backed by the recording space. If you have the right room and mics, you don’t need much more. Obviously, a good performance would help…wink.
9. Lend Us A Hand
We feel that in this section, finger pain should be discussed. While all guitarists suffer from cramp, soreness and cuts caused by repetitive and devoted classical guitar practice, the classical guitar should be highlighted. Finger-distance, speed and repetitive playing are very common in this field. One easy piece of advice is to let your fingers recover by playing something easier in the meantime. This is hard to imagine right before a crucial performance. Well done for trying so hard though!
10. Let’s Take The Quick Way Home
Check out one of the fastest classical guitar performances with Vahid Iran Shahi. He performed at the Persian Rock and Metal Festival in 2013. Speed-ripping metalheads can be heard crying in the background at their comparative lack of talent. This guy is quick!
That's the end of our Classical Guitar Facts... So what now?
About the Author
How Can You Determine What's Right Or Wrong?
Your search is over! The Founder of Ted’s List, Robert Emery, has a hectic career as an international conductor, record producer and pianist. Our objective isn’t to sell you pricey training courses that you’ll never use. Our aim is to assist you. Just like Robert wanted to guide his son, Teddy, by obtaining trustworthy advice from friends who are actually world-class professional musicians.
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