Looking for Classical Guitar Lessons?
Classical guitar lessons teach you to play legendary compositions and create a full, polyphonic sound with a single guitar. The style is hugely influential and provides a wealth of lessons for students. It isn’t easy, though, so beginners should focus on the basics before they take it up. Technically speaking, you’d need a classical guitar (a nylon-strung acoustic, often with a wider fretboard), but realistically you can play any type of guitar and still learn the style and the techniques it encompasses.
Online subscription-based streaming services and DVD courses significantly reduce the cost of lessons (compared to private teachers) and provide high-quality instruction from professionals. To save you time and money we’ve scoured the net looking for courses offering classic gutiar lessons. We then rated, reviewed, and compared the top lessons available.
Check out the comparison chart below to see the results of our research and help you decide which classical guitar course is right for you.
Classical Guitar Lessons: Buying Guide
The main difficulty in choosing classical guitar lessons is that the techniques aren’t the same as in most other genres of guitar. You will never hear of a rest stroke or a free stroke, for example, outside of classical guitar. This makes it extremely hard to know if something is missing from a particular series of lessons, unless you’ve done a bit of reading around the topic beforehand. A general look at the number of classical lessons offered by each series can give you a good idea of how well the topic is covered, though. More lessons probably means more detail.
If you’re considering classical guitar lessons, you should already have a grasp of the basics, but you might feel like you’re starting all over again. You don’t hold the guitar in the ordinary way in classical guitar, so good lessons will show you the classical way of holding the instrument. There should also be lessons in how to use each hand in classical style. This isn’t some bizarre way of holding you back; you are just starting to learn a very unique style.
Playing two things at the same time is a central skill in classical guitar. You don’t have to play two completely autonomous melodies simultaneously, but you need to support your melody with bass notes. This places strains on both your fretting hand and picking hand, and can be difficult to get your head around. Good series of lessons will lead you into this by starting with simple lessons on dual voicing, before moving on to more complex compositions.
You need to master several different techniques to become an expert in classical guitar. The techniques aren’t specific to classical guitar, but some – like the aforementioned rest and free strokes – you won’t often encounter otherwise. Other techniques important to classical guitar are arpeggios, hammer-ons and pull-offs. Free strokes, rest strokes and arpeggios will ordinarily have specific lessons dedicated to them because of their importance.
Mastering the Classics
There should be several lessons which teach classical songs in the series. Classical music has a rich, diverse history, and there are many great songs that make fantastic guitar pieces. Only choose a series of lessons that has a good selection of classical songs, and preferably one which teaches you about the different periods in the genre. This will give you an opportunity to practice the techniques you’ve learnt on the course and a deeper understanding of the genre. You learn more about the composition of classical music, which can help you build some classical elements into your playing.
All series of online guitar lessons and DVD courses teach primarily through video. The quality of the videos and how well you can see what the instructor is doing is therefore extremely important. Most series will offer a free sample lesson you can watch to get an idea of how well the series is made. If not, you should be able to find screenshots. Look for multiple camera angles, a clear view of both the instructor’s hands and close-ups. In video notation is also helpful, but there should at least be accompanying text on the same page as the video (if you’re using online lessons) or in a supplied workbook (DVD lessons).
Classical Guitar Lessons: Conclusion
Out of the variety of options for classical guitar lessons, JamPlay comes out on top. It offers superior, HD-quality video and a variety of professional instructors. They have two series of classical guitar lessons, which teach everything you need to know to master the genre, along with plenty of pieces to learn and even lessons on classical periods. They also have lessons on most other genres and plenty for absolute beginners. If you want to learn classical style, regardless of your level, JamPlay is the best option.