Published on : 18 June 20204 min reading time

Before making the decision to buy your guitar or the one you want to give as a gift to your loved ones, it is strongly recommended that you have a clear idea of what you want. Do you know the differences between classical and folk guitars? These two models of guitars have very different characteristics. In this document, you will discover the elements you need to know to better distinguish them.

The peculiarities of the classical guitar

The classical guitar is sometimes called Spanish guitar, because it is especially present in Hispanic folk music. Obviously, musicians use it with pleasure in pop music, as it is a fundamental tool that cannot be ignored. This model has the advantage of having a sufficiently compact size, making it more accessible. Its particularity lies mainly in the selection of the equipment for the strings. The strings are made of nylon, which generates a sound that is said to be quite “round”.

In practice, the classical guitar is considered essential for familiarizing oneself with the tool. It will undoubtedly be difficult to master at first, since its neck is quite large, compared to that of a folk guitar. However, if you can position your fingers correctly on the neck of the Spanish guitar, you can then easily adapt to all models of guitars.

What about the folk guitar?

The strings are the main elements that differentiate the classical guitar from the folk guitar. The latter works with steel. The steel strings produce a very clear sound, which is especially enjoyable in rock music.

But beware, it is not advisable to transform a classical guitar into a folk guitar by assembling nylon strings (and vice versa). Indeed, in the design of the body and all the parts of the tool, other distinctions can be found.

The folk guitar is ideal for a beginner guitarist, because it is a all-purpose guitar with a shorter neck. This guitar model is part of the family of acoustic guitars with steel strings.

This specificity makes it a versatile guitar, suitable for many different musical styles. It is very popular in jazz, blues, rock, pop, international and French variety.

Marked differences

Whether it’s aesthetics, playing style, neck comfort, strings or even the tone you want, the distinctions between classical and folk guitar will help you choose the guitar that suits your taste.

The neck of a classical guitar generally has 19 slots per string and is narrower than that of a folk guitar. This neck makes it easy to position the fingers. On the other hand, it is not totally pleasant for beginners with small hands.

The folk guitar has a 21 fret neck, which is thinner, narrower and has more notes, which is in line with that of a complex instrument such as the electric guitar and has more notes. The latter are accessible for beginners.

For the strings, guitar teachers sometimes give advice to individuals who are new to the guitar to start with a classical guitar. The latter has more elastic strings. In addition, nylon offers more tone in the playing, such as the ability to play to your liking and switch between plucked strings and stop strings.

As far as tone is concerned, the classical guitar and folk guitar are all-purpose, in the sense that it is possible to play this instrument in all musical styles with these two models of guitars. So everything will be played to the desired sound: the folk guitar with a louder and more precise sound and the classical guitar with a crystalline and soft sound.