classical guitar misconceptions

11 Misconceptions About Classical Guitar You Should Know About

The classical guitar can be an instrument as versatile as it is beautiful, with a sound all its own. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world and has remained so for centuries. Its popularity derives not only from its versatility (the guitar can imitate a large variety of sounds) but also from the fact that it’s easy to learn how to play; classical guitar has been called “the instrument without pretension” because its slower tempo requires less effort on the part of the player, which makes it accessible to players at any level.

Now, with anything, there are some misconceptions about classical guitar and the guitarists that play them.

1. Classical Guitar is for Old People

Not true! Classical guitar is an instrument that can be played by anyone, of any age. While it may be true that the classical guitar has been seen as an instrument for older people in the past, there are plenty of younger players who have been taking up the guitar for many years now. That said, it is true that with so many young folks interested in playing music today (which is great!), classical guitar has become a popular choice for them to start with.

2. Classical Guitarists are Boring

Not true! While one could argue that some classical guitarists may be a bit on the ‘stuffy’ side, most of us who play classical guitar are actually quite fun, laid back folks. We love to have fun and make music!

3. Classical Guitarists Don’t know how to Rock Out.

Not true! In fact, one could argue that if done right… a good rock solo on the classical guitar can be all sorts of awesome. It’s not just about technical ability either.

4. Classical Guitarists have Extraordinarily Sensitive Fingers.

When I was a kid, my little brother used to tease me and ask me if I was an alien because he’d never heard anyone else talk about their calluses. Sure, we tend to have callouses on our fingers, but they’re really not that bad. Our fingertips are shaped differently than other instruments and that’s why you won’t see many classical guitarists sporting band aid on their fingertips or complaining about how sore they are.

5. Learning classical guitar takes a lot of money.

Learning classical guitar is something that can be done easily with inexpensive, readily available materials. Whether you’re interested in taking lessons, or learning on your own (which is probably more cost effective), all it takes is the desire to learn and some basic tools and/or a good teacher. For the guitars themselves, you really don’t have to spend tons of money on one if you don’t want to. There are plenty of great beginner models that do not break the bank!

6. Classical Guitars are Expensive

On average, the cost of a classical guitar can range from about $400 to over $20,000… and that’s not even including the case! Truthfully, the price you pay for a guitar isn’t necessarily going to reflect its quality. So, yes, technically they can get expensive but if you shop around, you can find options at all different price ranges.

7. Classical Guitarists can’t play any other music besides classical music

There are plenty of players who can play more than just classical guitar. The only one that comes to mind is John Williams, who has been known to play metal on his classical guitar. It’s not as uncommon as you’d think!

8. Classical Guitar is not a good choice for entry level / beginner players.

Not true! Classical guitar has been called “the instrument without pretension” because its slower tempo requires less effort on the part of the player, which makes it accessible to players at any level. Of course, there are harder entries for those who have some prior playing experience but playing classical guitar is most certainly not out of the question for beginners.

9. Classical Guitarists don’t have any personal lives

To be fair, the fact that classical guitar is such a slow paced instrument lends itself to players with a love of deep study and can become very introverted. It’s not uncommon to see classical guitarists at home with a book in front of themselves when they’re not playing.

10. Classical Guitarists are old-fashioned

Nope! Not true at all! In fact, since the revival of the classical guitar around 100 years ago, it has made quite a name for itself as being very modern and forward thinking.

11. Classical Guitarists cannot play other instruments.

Again, not true! Many classical guitarists have taken up other instruments, and vice versa. In fact, many classical guitarists learn to play another instrument while they’re at it, due to the fact that learning a second instrument will keep your hands (and brain) busy enough that you won’t get bored of playing one for too long.

So there you go! 11 misconceptions about classical guitarists and our beloved instrument about which I hope you’ll think again…