About Guitars

  • Binding, Purfling, and Kerfing
    The top, back and rim of a classical guitar body are very thin (1-2 mm), so a flexible piece of wood called kerfing (because it is often scored, or kerfed to allow it to bend with the shape of the …
  • Break Angle
    The break angle is the angle a string on a classical or flamenco guitar makes as it passes over the saddle. The saddle is the route through which the vibrations of the string are transferred to the …
  • Can I Play Classical / Classical Style Music on a Flamenco Guitar?
    I have been asked this question several times and so thought I would publish a summary of my answer here. My simple answer is “yes – if you are happy with the sound then go ahead”. …
  • Classical guitar strings – Warnings and Tips
    In my experience, classical guitar strings have a life expectancy of between 1 second and 100 years. They can snap for no apparent reason; they can fray at the saddle or nut; they can come unwound. …
  • Classical Guitars and Flamenco Guitars
    Classical guitars and flamenco guitars are different instruments both in terms of construction and materials. These differences lead to the differences in sound quality and playing characteristics of …
  • Does Drilling and Cutting a Classical Guitar to fit Electronics Spoil its Sound?
    A customer of ours wanted a particular Alhambra 9P that he had played here but he also wanted a model with high quality fitted electronics. Now the 9P does not come as standard with electronics …
  • Fixing brittle fingernails
    This is a completely mad tip that comes with a government health warning. I picked this one up from an American guitar site – I mislaid my notes as to which one so cannot give a credit. …
  • I Play Steel String Guitar and Want to Take Up the Classical Guitar…
    I often have conversations about what is involved in making the transition from playing a steel string guitar to playing a classical guitar. So I thought I would summarise some of the issues here. …
  • Intonation on the Classical Guitar
    Intonation basically means playing in tune. (It should not be confused with the quality of the guitar’s sound – its “tone”). Intonation is a very complex subject and I am only …
  • Low Action – It’s not all benefits
    We all want low action. Don’t we?? If you play both classical and electric guitars then you get used to the fact that the action on most electrics is far lower and easier than it is on even the …
  • Making Your Strings Last
    Every Guitarist knows that their instrument sounds great with new strings but quickly loses its sparkle. There are four main factors that influence string life: string quality personal hygiene …
  • Milestones of Music
    Guitars made as a tribute to master luthiers of the last 250 years Milestones of Music is an inspired project!! “Inspired” in the colloquial sense that it was a great idea which has …
  • My Nut Falls Out when I Restring my Guitar…
    The nut on most quality classical guitars is NOT glued into place. It should be very slightly narrower than the nut slot and so should be a good but not too tight or too loose a fit. It is quite …
  • Nickel and the Classical Guitar
    There has been renewed concern about problems of exposure of the skin to Nickel. Nickel is used in guitar frets and also in some guitar strings. There are warnings that prolonged contact with nickel …
  • Relative Humidity
    – and what it means for guitars Relative humidity is the ratio of the amount of water vapour in air to the maximum amount of water vapour that could be in the air if the vapour were at its …
  • Replacing the tailpiece on a Maccaferri guitar
    The tailpieces on Maccaferri guitars can snap. Why? I cannot pretend I have the definitive answer. Here are some guesses – they are made with weak alloys the metal is stressed when they are …
  • Setting Up your Flamenco or Classical Guitar
    I planned to write an article on basic guitar set up but Charles Tauber has said so much about it already that his article is probably the best place to start. Have a look at Basic Guitar Set-up 101 …
  • Smaller-Sized Classical Guitars for Adults and Children
    The most important tip for anyone considering buying a smaller-sized guitar is to talk to other players / a teacher / a shop like Classical Guitars PLUS before deciding what size suits you best. A …
  • String Buzz on Nylon String Classical Guitars
    I planned to write an article on string buzzing but Paul McGill has said so much about it already that his article is probably the best place to start. Have a look at The Buzz on the Buzz By Paul …
  • String Spacing on Hanika Guitars
    These are the string spacings on Hanika guitars of varying nut width. The measurements are in mm and are taken from string centre to string centre, +/- 0.5mm. Nut width String spacing at nut String …
  • Tone Woods
    The influence of the woods used in your guitar upon its sound The woods used in the construction of musical instruments are called tone woods. The guitar’s value and quality are strongly …
  • What is string tension?
    Tension is the amount of force that must be put onto the string to bring it up to pitch. Generally speaking: The tension rating on a string is based on a scale length decided upon by the …
  • What Makes a Guitar Left-Handed?
    We were asked whether any of the travel guitars we sell could be supplied in left handed versions. The unfortunate answer is “no”. The bigger question is what has to be changed from the …
  • Where ‘Catgut’ Strings Really Come From
    Catgut is the name applied to cord of great toughness and tenacity prepared from the intestines of sheep/goat, or occasionally from those of the hog, horse, mule, and donkey. Those of the cat are not …
  • Yamaha Atmosfeel Pickup and Preamp System
    yamaha-atmosfeel-pickup-and-preamp-system The Yamaha Atmosfeel pickup system provides high quality, low feedback amplified sound even at performance-level volumes. An undersaddle piezo pickup with …
  • Yamaha Electronics Guide
    This article was written in 2016 and needs updating! Electronic systems in Yamaha guitars The source for this material has come from the online manuals Yamaha have placed on their website. To go …
  • Yamaha NTX and NCX ranges of guitar – Neck widths and String Spacing
    This article was written in 2016 and needs updating. Many people ask about changing the string spacing on these guitars, particularly on NTX models. To begin, here are the facts:   NTX NCX …
  • Yamaha’s Classical Guitar Range
    This article was written in 2016 and needs updating. The CG Series – Standard Models The CG series features 10 different models and has been designed with a focus on improving resonance and …