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What’s the difference: Acoustic & Classical

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Many guitarists have different preferences and opinions on guitars. Some prefer the more mellow and deep sound of nylon. But others prefer the bright and loud sound of Acoustic. But some people who are getting their guitar, what’s the difference?


This type of guitar is probably what most people think, when thinking about a guitar. It’s simply a popular instrument around the world. It’s strings bring that loud and vibrant tone that many recognize. But one unique thing about it, is that in comes in a variety of shapes. 

Body Shapes

For example Dreadnaught’s and parlor guitars. Each are different sizes and shapes but produce a unique and powerful sound.

Dreadnoughts are the most common, it’s iconic shape produces a recognizable sound for many. Parlor guitars are smaller then most classical guitars, but still makes a versatile and unique sound. 


The biggest difference between them is the strings. The acoustic guitar has 6 steel strings. Due to it being it steel, it produces a lighter crisp sound for the guitar.  

Neck & Bridge

Acoustic guitar has a smaller neck compared to the nylon, which as a wider neck. Acoustics are generally designed to be strummed and fingerpicked. The bridge is also different to the classical. Acoustic has these pegs that tightly holds on the strings in place. 


This was traditionally the guitar for several hundred years, still used by many today for classical, flamenco, or other genres.

Though many claim that Classical is better for beginners because it’s made from nylon and it’ll hurt less, it really doesn’t matter because your fingers will still hurt and will form calluses to the player. So it’s up to the preference of the guitarist. 

Body Shape & Size 

The shape haven’t changed that much since it’s inception in the 18th century. Some might have cutaway, or might be acoustic electric. But overall it’s been the same. But sizes and different material impact the sound and tone you want the classical to have. 

Most used sizes are 4/4 or full size classical guitars. But someone who has a smaller body or for better portable for traveling might choose 1/4 size. 

Material & Tone

Tone and sound is also important for a classical guitar. Cedar and spruce are 2 materials usually used while making a classical guitar. Cedar is generally regarded as darker, more fuller and warm. While spruce, tends to have a brighter and light sound. So the decision in which is better up to the guitarist. 


Like mentioned earlier, the strings are arguably the biggest difference between. Both produce different sound and made of different materials for strings. 

Nylon is thicker than steel, because of that it produces a softer sound than the acoustic. Nylon strings are softer when playing. 

Neck & Bridge

As I mentioned earlier, the neck on both are different. The Classical has a wider neck than acoustic. Another detail is that classical don’t have fret markers. Some might have no issue, but some might. 

Final Thoughts

As we seen, they’re are some major differences between both guitars. That both produce a unique and different sound. But ultimately, it’s up to the player.

If you want to have a brighter and crisper sound, then go with the acoustic. If you want the mellow, darker, and softer sound of nylon, then go on ahead. They’re both amazing guitars and deserved to be loved and appreciated for generations. 

Check out another article in which is the best guitar for you to try! 

As a Bonus, here’s some guitar recommendations for the player who is avid about trying both.

Classical Guitar:

#1 Córdoba C5 Nylon String Classical Guitar

Price: $370

Available on: 

#2 Yamaha CG172F Nylon String Flamenco Guitar

Available on: $400

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