|‘Classical guitar’ refers both to a type of instrument, and its associated playing styles. The classical teaching tradition has always insisted on strict left and right hand technique, and serious players spend a lot of time filing and shaping their right hand nails in search of perfect tone. Pure classical playing therefore has less in common with other guitar styles than they have with each other – in fact the term ‘plectrum guitar’ is often used to group together just about every type of non-classical playing. |
The instrument itself (also often called the Spanish guitar) nonetheless frequently appears in other styles, and has become an established feature of pop/rock production. A certain breed of jazz player also tends to favour the instrument, particularly when a Latin flavour is required. Though something approaching correct classical right hand technique is required to produce an identifiably classical tone, plectrum technique can also be used to good effect.
The modern classical guitar has evolved over several centuries. In most respects, the instrument reached its present form before its 20th Century cousins the steel-strung acoustic and the electric guitar were developed.