The guitar, although defined as a plucked string instrument, is a broad family of instruments that continues to develop and grow in the 21st century. Unlike other instruments that were anchored in terms of design and construction method centuries ago, the current guitar is an instrument that has its roots centuries ago with predecessors such as the lute, the vihuela and many others, and from which new types of instruments continue to appear.  These news creations continue to be called “guitar”, leading to some confusion.



The two main types of guitar are the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar.

In the case of the guitar that we know as typical of Spain, however, there is a specific confusion that instrument sellers, builders and guitarists do not usually agree on. The guitar that uses nylon strings and that has been built almost without variations since Antonio de Torres is the SPANISH guitar and it is an acoustic instrument, that is to say, it does not need electric connection or external amplification. Calling it classical or flamenco confuses people in general, especially when they want to decide to buy or learn to play the instrument, because it confuses the type of instrument with the style that is played and the guitar has more than demonstrated that it can play any style being perhaps the most versatile instrument that exists. 

Although there may have been some differences in materials or measurements in the past, the classical and flamenco guitar are two musical styles that use the same instrument: the Spanish guitar. Nowadays more and more flamenco guitarists are using rosewood guitars, traditionally called classical guitars, replacing the traditional cypress flamenco guitars. We do not call it acoustic guitar because it gives rise to another confusion in Spanish with the acoustic guitar of North American origin, also known as western guitar or western guitar. 

When learning to play the guitar in general, one should first understand what types of guitars there are and which musical styles they are typically used for, and then decide on the style/instrument that appeals most. It is clear that there is not one guitar for every musical style, and that that damned phrase that says “if you play classical (or Spanish) you play them all” is a complete lie.

If you are determined to learn to play the guitar, whatever it is, and you want to learn your favorite popular songs in an easy and fun way I recommend you take a look at our courses. In our online guitar school we have one designed uniquely and exclusively for you.

If you have any burning question or comment please let them in the comments,