Classical Guitar vs Acoustic Guitar: Which Is The Right One For You?

If you are reading this right now, congratulations! You have finally made up your mind to learn how to play the guitar. 

And we are sure that every great guitarist begins their journey by deciding what type of guitar they want to start with, and yes I know it is a really really tough decision to make. The tip is, any type of guitar is fine, whether it’s electric, acoustic, classical, jazz or bass, the most important thing is that you need to learn the basics before you can play all of them at your own pace. 

The most common question we always get from our students is what are the differences between acoustic and classical guitars? So today we are going share 6 main differences between these two types of guitars and which one is more suitable for you.

Table of Contents

How Do Both Guitars Look Like?

learn classical guitar in klang

Acoustic Guitar

learn acoustic guitar botanic

Classical Guitar

Confusing isn’t it? Both guitars do look the same, however, they have distinct differences. Let us break them down for you. 

Key Differences Between Acoustic Guitar & Classical Guitar


acoustic guitar steel strings

Steel Strings

classical guitar nylon strings

Nylon Strings

The main and most significant difference is that acoustic guitars use steel strings while classical guitars use nylon strings. There is a very noticeable difference in how those strings sound, where nylon strings have a mellow sound and steel strings sound brighter in nature. 

Both of types of strings can leave callouses on your fingers after long periods of playing, but of course steel strings will certainly be harsher on your fingers because steel is a harder material (which gives out more tension) compared to nylon strings.

Can I put steel strings on a classical guitar or vice versa?

No! You should not put steel strings on a classical guitar as it will damage your classical guitar due to its tension. 

You should not put nylon strings on an acoustic guitar as well, as you may experience some weirdness including strings are too thick for the nut slots and excessive buzzing. 


Acoustic Guitar:
Thinner fretboards

Classical Guitar:
Wider fretboards

Classical guitars have wider & flatter fretboards when compared to acoustic guitars. The gaps between each string is wider than a normal acoustic guitar, making it difficult to play larger chords. People with smaller hands will find it struggling to play the classical guitar at first. 

On the other hand, acoustic guitars have thinner fretboards and strings are nearer to each other, which means lesser space for your fingers to play around. Because of that, you will easily get a buzzing sound when playing acoustic guitar if your fingers are not placed properly. 

Neck Size

acoustic guitar neck vs classical guitar neck

Acoustic guitars have narrower necks compared to classical guitars. The neck size matters as different neck sizes account for different functions. Classical guitars’ wide neck profile allows for accurate placement of all four fingers on the fretboard at once, while the narrower acoustic neck is easier for moving chord shapes. 

Body Size & Shape

Acoustic guitars are available in small sizes too, such as travel size guitars, but in general acoustic guitars are bigger than classical guitars. 

The sides of the acoustic guitar is much thicker, the back is rounded and the waist of the guitar is usually wider. These differences are usually the reason why acoustic guitars are a bit heavier than classical guitars. 

Speaking of the body shape, acoustic guitars generally have a “cutaway” curve down below that gives guitarist easier access to upper frets (high pitch notes) while classical guitars don’t have curves like this.

cutaway acoustic guitar

Playing Techniques

Fingerstyle and plucking work beautifully on the classical guitar. The nylon string allows this technique to flourish on the instrument. Strumming is not frequently used on classical guitars as it will sound pretty dull when done so.


Acoustic guitars are more versatile when it comes to playing techniques. This is because acoustic guitars have huge dynamic sound range. You can either strum the guitar or fingerpick or combine both playing techniques to achieve a great effect. Acoustic guitars are perfect for strumming and chordal work. 


Music Genre

The classical guitar can be used in a few different music genres, but it is mainly heard in classical genre. 

However, nowadays the classical guitar is no more restricted in playing classical music only, you can even play pop music with the classical guitar too. Let’s take a look at the top 10 songs for classical guitar you should know by Paul Davids.

Acoustic guitars, on the other hand are widely used in these 3 types of music genres:

Pop Music

Folk Music

Country Music

Acoustic guitars are also used in other music genres as well such as blues, rock, jazz, etc. 

Which Guitar Is The Correct Guitar For Me?

The truth is, it ultimately comes down to what kind of music you want to play and what sort of sound or feeling you would prefer. We would advise you to try as many guitars as possible before making up your mind. 

However, if you really can’t make up your mind, we would recommend you to get yourself an acoustic guitar. This is because acoustic guitars are somehow more flexible and you can play many types of music genres and styles to fit your own needs. 

Still not sure which one to choose? Why not come down to Funtasy Music Academy and try out our guitars? Our guitars are sold at a very affordable range and good in quality. Come visit us and try them out as much as you like!

Funtasy Music Academy

016-208 3316 (Shawn)

No. 42-1, Jalan Kasuarina 6, Bandar Botanic, 41200 Klang

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