Classical and nylon string guitars have a rich history and are known for their warm and melodic sound. Naturally, these guitars are often associated with classical music, but they are commonly used in various genres, including jazz, flamenco, and folk.
When searching for a classical guitar, it’s essential to find one that suits your style and budget, and in this article, I will share with you the best classical guitars available for under $1,000, allowing you to sound great without breaking the bank.
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The Benefits Of Playing Classical Guitar
Playing a classical guitar offers numerous benefits for musicians of all levels. One of the main notable advantages is the ease of playing.
Compared to regular acoustic guitar strings, the nylon strings on classical guitars are softer on the fingers, making it more comfortable for beginners to start learning right away. Additionally, the wider neck and wider string spacing allow for precise finger placement, which can enhance technique and overall playing experience.
Another advantage of classical guitars is their versatility. As mentioned in the introduction, while they excel in classical music, they can also be used in other genres, as the warm and mellow tone produced by nylon strings is ideal for creating beautiful melodies, whether you want to play a Bach piece or strum some Latin-inspired chords.
With the right classical guitar, you can achieve a professional sound without spending a fortune, and here, you’ll find some excellent choices.
The Top Classical Guitars For Under $1000
Below are some of the best classical and nylon string guitars you can find between $500 to $1000. Each one of these has an excellent brand reputation, is durable, and will produce a rich and balanced tone that you need to sound great!
Cordoba C7 CD
Cordoba is a fantastic brand known for producing very good classical guitars at even better prices. Those looking for a reliable instrument that’s at an affordable cost will surely enjoy their C7 CD models.
These feature a gorgeous cedar top and rosewood for the back and sides, fingerboard, and bridge, which all contribute to this guitar’s warm tones. However, it’s also worth noting that there is a Cordoba C7 version that has a spruce top if you’re seeking a brighter sound from your instrument.
Made with great attention to detail, the Cordoba C7 boasts excellent craftsmanship and great value for the money. Typically available for around $600, this guitar is not only aesthetically and sonically- pleasing, but it’s also durable, ensuring that the instrument will withstand the test of time.
- Traditional fan bracing
- Rosewood back and sides
- Full size
- Full gloss
- Savarez strings
Next up, we have the Yamaha CG192S, a classical guitar that features a spruce top, which is the most popular acoustic guitar tonewood known for its light natural color and bright clear tone that really sings.
The ebony fretboard on this guitar also contributes to this tonal quality, while the rosewood back and sides give this guitar an excellent bass response and projection to give you a full sound.
These are also quite competitive with the Cordoba C7 in that they’re similarly priced, and Yamaha also has a CG192 model with a cedar top if you prefer a classical guitar with its qualities. Cedar is the second most popular wood used for tops, so you can’t go wrong with either choice!
- Solid Engelmann Spruce Top
- Rosewood Back and Sides
- Mahogany Neck
- Ebony Fingerboard
- Rosewood Bridge
I love Yamaha guitars, so they are worth a second mention because they offer excellent guitars at different price points, and their CG-TA, which stands for TransAcoustic, is one of many of those.
The Yamaha CG-TA is a nylon string guitar that combines tradition with modern features by having an authentic classical guitar-style body while also including built-in reverbs and chorus effects without needing an amp.
So, in addition to its great warm tone and projection due to its solid spruce top, ovangkol back and sides, and rosewood fingerboard, you can get a more immersive sound from its effects. This can be very appealing to those who like a traditional feel while embracing innovation.
- Yamaha Prorpietary Trans Acoustic technology with built-in Hall Reverb, Room Reverb and Chorus
- Solid Engleman spruce top with Ovankol back and sides
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
Ortega Traditional Series R200
A handcrafted classical guitar made in Spain, the Ortega R200 is designed to provide exceptional playability and tone for all guitarists who play it.
It features a solid North American cedar top, which contributes to its warm and rich sound, and the palo-rojo back and sides further enhance the guitar’s projection. With a mahogany neck and a rosewood fretboard and bridge, the R200 offers comfortable playability and excellent sustain.
Meanwhile, the guitar’s maple binding adds a touch of stylishness to its appearance and is equipped with chrome-plated tuning machines, providing stable and precise tuning. However, you can count on any of the guitars listed here to stay in tune nicely!
- Made in Spain with Solid North American Cedar Top, Gloss Finish
- Palo-rojo back & sides with Maple Binding, Gloss Finish
- Spanish Heel Mahogany Neck, Gloss Finish, Rosewood Fret board & Bridge
- 12-Hole Bridge
- Includes Free Deluxe gig bag
The Alhambra 4P classical guitar is a remarkable instrument that offers a superb playing experience for guitarists of all levels but is mainly priced for intermediate to advanced players.
One of the first standout features of this classical guitar is its beautifully exceptional tone because of its chosen woods. The solid red cedar top helps create a warm, rich, expressive, and balanced sound; meanwhile, the solid Indian rosewood back and sides and ebony fingerboard further enhance the guitar’s clarity and resonance, resulting in a full-bodied and sonorous tone that is highly sought after in classical guitars.
In terms of craftsmanship, this guitar boasts a flawless finish, with smooth edges and a carefully constructed body and neck that provides optimal playability. The attention to detail is evident in the intricate rosette design, which adds an elegant touch to the guitar’s overall aesthetic.
- Solid Canadian Cedar top with rosewood Binding, high gloss natural finish
- Rosewood back & sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard, Mahogany neck, 650mm radius
- Gold Plated machine heads & D ‘Addario strings
- Gig Bag included
Cordoba C9 CD/MH
The Cordoba C9 CD/MH is a stunning hand-made classical guitar that embodies the rich tradition of Spanish craftsmanship – this guitar is a true testament to Cordoba’s commitment to quality and attention to detail.
The C9 features a solid Canadian cedar top and mahogany back and sides, which produces a warm, rich, and balanced tone with excellent depth, which is also supported by this guitar’s traditional fan bracing, allowing players to express their musicality fully.
The C9 CD/MH also boasts a Spanish cedar neck with an ebony fingerboard, providing a smooth and comfortable playing experience. With its exceptional playability and traditional aesthetics, the Cordoba C9 CD/MH is a perfect choice for classical guitar enthusiasts and professionals alike.
- Solid Canadian cedar top
- Solid mahogany back and sides
- Hand inlaid Mother-of-Pearl “Esteso” Rosette
- Rosewood fingerboard and Indian rosewood bridge
- Includes Cordoba Polyfoam case
Maintaining & Caring For Your Classical Guitar
While these classical guitars can be pretty affordable, they’re certainly not cheap either, and to preserve the condition of your classical guitar, proper maintenance and care are essential. Here are some tips to keep your instrument in top condition:
Whether it’s in a classical guitar case or on a stand, always store your guitar in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment since extreme temperatures and humidity can damage the wood and affect the sound quality, so keep an eye on these levels with a hygrometer and respond accordingly with a humidifier or dehumidifier.
I highly recommend The Humitar ONE by Music Nomad because it is a humidifier with a hygrometer built-in and can fit into a guitar case or fasten onto your strings near the soundhole, whichever you prefer.
Wipe down your guitar to remove dirt, sweat, and oils after each use with a soft microfiber cloth and a guitar-specific cleaner to avoid damaging the finish. Click here for additional tips on how to clean your guitar safely.
While nylon strings don’t degrade as quickly as electric or regular acoustic guitar strings, you should change your strings as needed to maintain a fresh and vibrant tone. Be sure to also clean your fretboard and strings with your cloth after each use to remove sweat and grime and preserve their lifespan.
Professional Setup & Adjustments
Visit a professional luthier for a guitar setup and adjustments since they’re not always perfect right out of the box. They can make sure that your guitar is properly intonated and the action is set to your preference. If you’re unsure how to change nylon strings, they can also do this for you as well.
Resources For Learning Classical Guitar
Learning to play the classical guitar requires dedication and practice, and whether you’ve been playing for a while or this is your first one, you’ll want to get the most out of your purchase.
Luckily, numerous resources are available to help you on your musical journey. Here are some recommendations.
Local Music Schools & Teachers
Playing classical guitar requires excellent technique to sound your best, so consider enrolling in classes or hiring a private teacher for lessons and personalized guidance and feedback. They can provide valuable insights and help you progress faster.
Many websites offer online video lessons specifically tailored for classical guitarists. These lessons cover various techniques, repertoire, and music theory, allowing you to learn at your own pace. These can also be excellent for supplementing your private lessons!
Sheet Music & Books
Invest in a collection of sheet music and instructional books for classical guitar. These resources provide a wealth of musical pieces and exercises to help you improve your skills as you keep practicing with them.
Classical Guitar Communities
Join online forums, social media groups, and local classical guitar communities to connect with fellow musicians. These communities often share valuable advice, resources, and even performance opportunities.
Choosing the best classical guitar under $1000 doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You can narrow your search and find an instrument that suits your needs and budget by considering various factors such as sound quality, playability, build quality, and brand reputation.
The top classical guitars mentioned in this article offer exceptional quality and value for their price range. However, if you’re looking for even more affordable options, I have also selected some of the best classical guitars under $500 in my guide here.
Remember to properly maintain and care for your classical guitar to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Regular cleaning, proper storage, and professional adjustments will keep your instrument in top condition.
With the right classical guitar and dedication to practice, you can embark on a musical journey filled with beautiful melodies and timeless compositions. Explore all of the resources available for learning classical guitar and find your musical potential with your new classical guitar by your side.
In addition to having a great classical guitar, you’ll need some other tools to go along with it that will make a difference in your enjoyment of the instrument. Check out my article on the accessories all classical guitarists need to learn and play most effectively. Many of these are quite affordable, so you don’t want to miss out on adding these to your toolkit!