In everyday life as a musician who plays a lot of cover songs you often hear and read acoustic guitar – often referring to the western guitar. This is not completely wrong, but linguistically imprecise, since a concert guitar can also be meant.
Because western and concert guitars belong to the same type of guitar, it is difficult for amateurs to distinguish between them. Therefore we have summarized the typical characteristics of both guitars for you.
Difference Concert and Western Guitars
Characteristics Classical Guitar
- Nylon strings (or carbon) (considered more pleasant to play than the steel strings of the Western guitar)
- Perforated head plate
- wider fretboard
- The strings are knotted at the bridge
Features Western Guitar
- steel strings
- Closed head plate
- The strings are fixed to the bridge with pins
- Frequently cutaway (that’s how you call the “indentation” on the body)
- Often built-in cartridge
- Better asserts itself in the volume
But watch out: These characteristics are not laws. Often there are western guitars that take up the characteristics of concert guitars – and vice versa. There are classical guitars with cutaway or western guitars with openwork head plates.
Difference in strings
I’ve already listed it upstairs: A classical guitar has nylon strings, a western guitar has steel strings. This is especially important for beginners. Steel strings are much more unpleasant for the fingertips, especially for beginners. The softer nylon strings are the better alternative for beginners, because the cornea is not really pronounced yet.
Difference in sound
The difference in the sound of these two guitar types is mainly influenced by the strings. While the nylon strings sound rather warm, the steel strings provide a brighter, more brilliant sound.
Classical guitars are more often used in classical music. Hence the name classical guitar. But the classical guitar is also the guitar of choice for flamenco.
The Western guitar is at home in many modern styles. For example pop, rock, blues, folk or even western music.
Which guitar should I play?
Now you know the differences between the two guitars, but you certainly don’t know which guitar is the right one for you. Whether you personally should go for the concert guitar or rather for the western guitar, we’ll deal with that in another article: Which guitar is right for me?