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STRING INSTRUMENTS

What is the best Spanish guitar for beginners

When acquiring your first Spanish guitar you should check the size, design, price, accessories that the package brings, among other things. Above all, this instrument requires a pleasant and tuned sound, so that your ear becomes familiar with each musical note. This way you can learn the strumming, arpeggio or plucking techniques well.

 

Choosing a good and cheap Spanish guitar

It is important to buy a good quality guitar whose price is not too high, because it will be the instrument with which you will learn. Later, you can buy a mid-range or professional guitar, but it all depends on your intention, since, if you want to play easy popular songs, a good and cheap guitar would be good for you. On the other hand, if you want to study Spanish guitar professionally , it is best to acquire a medium or high-end instrument. By this we mean the study of the guitar in a music conservatory, school or university.

And not only that, you can also choose a good and cheap guitar if you want to learn to play in a self-taught way, by watching tutorials or using Spanish guitar manuals. Also, if you are going to play in concerts or in front of many people, perhaps you will need a handmade Spanish guitar, made with the best woods on the market, spruce, pine, palo santo, etc.

 

Plywood guitars

Normally, inexpensive guitars are made of plywood, which is very strong and offers optimal sounds in the soundboard. With this type of material, several companies manufacture the sides, the front cover and the back of Spanish guitars.

In terms of economy, this is one of the best options for plucked acoustic instruments, ukulele, mandolin, guitar, etc. It should be noted that manufacturers sometimes use natural woods for the external part of the plywood. For this reason, we can see plywood guitars that appear to be made of palo santo, mahogany, spruce or pine.

Next, we present several models of acoustic and Spanish guitars with plywood, whose prices are not very high. Also, some of them bring accessories, so pay attention to each of their characteristics.

 

Gear4music Cutaway

This guitar model is Cutaway type, so it has a wider space to reach the last frets, 13, 14, 15, etc. with the fingers of the left hand. That way, playing guitar solos will be an easier task.

In addition to this, we mention that it is an electroacoustic guitar with accessories included. For example, the set comes with a 15 W amplifier, enough power to make the guitar sound louder in various environments at home or outdoors. It also has a set of spare strings, picks, shoulder strap and a protective case with which you can transport the instrument anywhere.

Another important accessory in the set is a Gear4music brand digital clamp tuner, a tool that will help you a lot if you are a beginner and still do not know how to tune the instrument with your ear.

 

Rocket XF201CN

We present this model of plywood guitar for children from 7 to 11 years old, which has a size of 3/4. In addition, its strings are made of nylon, so they are softer for your children’s fingers.

The wood color and maple bridge finishes give it elegance and quality, so it will withstand string tension very well. And as for the headstock, its design is traditional and made of nickel, so it will last a long time and will serve to tension the strings with precision. The soundhole of the guitar has a rather striking rosette around it, respecting the classic design of this type of instrument.

On the other hand, the package includes what is necessary for the child’s first classes, carrying case, picks and nut. This last accessory will help you when you have to make bar chords.

 

Ts Music Fidelity Set 4/4

This is a complete 4/4 size guitar set, designed especially for beginners. The guitar comes with its six nylon strings, Mi, Si, Sol, Re, A and Mi. It also features a classic black and basswood design on the soundboard, so the sound it emits is warm and pleasant. Also, the fingerboard and bridge have a rosewood look, a very striking wood for its dark brown color and natural grain.

Set includes digital clip-on tuner with LED display, padded gig bag, black strap, folding stand, 3 picks or straws and a set of 6 spare strings. With all these accessories you can start guitar studies, without having to invest a lot of money.

 

Yamaha C40 II

If you want a mid-range guitar, you can opt for this model, since its front top is made of spruce, the back and sides of meranti, as well as rosewood fingerboard. These materials make it a light, but resistant guitar, so you can take it anywhere.

If you are looking for the best Spanish guitar to teach music, perhaps this is the most appropriate, because it sounds very clear and, although it is of great quality, its price is not high. Even students 12 years and older can use it, since it is 4/4 in size.

To show off an instrument in concerts you need a guitar with good finishes on the body and neck. In this case, the Yamaha C40 II has a glossy finish on the body and a matte black neck.

 

Classic Cantabile AS-851

This is another great quality guitar, but for the exclusive use of children, as it is 3/4 size. Your child’s first guitar lessons will be more enjoyable with a wooden guitar, for that reason, this model offers basswood neck and tops, as well as blackwood fingerboard, a modified wood whose design and acoustic properties are similar to ebony.

Another quality that makes this guitar stand out is its natural tonality, light brown on the top and the rest of the instrument mahogany. It may be the guitar you need for your child to learn to play.

 

 

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STRING INSTRUMENTS

The evolution of the guitar through history

Although we do not know the exact origins of the guitar, we can say that countries like Greece, India and Egypt were some of the most influential in its evolution. Likewise, Spain helped a lot with respect to the final finishes of the instrument, providing it with the design that we now know internationally as a Spanish guitar.

 

An ancient instrument

According to historians, in 1500 BC there was already a stringed instrument called a lyre. This was used in ancient Greece, although it is also believed that it came from the Hittite empire. Perhaps it is one of the most important theories regarding the origin of the guitar.

The lyre originally had 3 strings, but over time it evolved, until it had 12 strings. Her musicality led her to form an important part of Greek culture. In that nation they created different types of lyres, some were made of wood, others were made of tortoise shells. The 3 strings of the ancient lyre had their respective names, Nete, Mese and Hípate. It is about the 3 muses of Delphi, the place of the omphalos or center of the universe.

In terms of aesthetics, this instrument had gold and white decorations, as well as luxurious finishes, since the lyre was very important in Greek mythology and culture.

Similarly, in India there was the Sitara, which means musical chord. This instrument is from 4 millennia ago and did not have a neck either. In its evolution it passed through Persia until it reached Greece, where it obtained the name of Khitara.

This other instrument is similar to a lyre, but the soundboard is much larger. Due to its good sound properties, it spread throughout Greece and was even played in ancient Rome and Corsica. Limenio and Terpandro were one of the most outstanding professional interpreters of this instrument.

 

Theories about the guitar neck

At first, plucked string instruments lacked necks. It was probably the Arabs who created the first neck instrument, since they made the Avalanche. This one had a soundboard and neck, but it had no frets.

Over the centuries, musicians and manufacturers from various parts of the world influenced its design, thus creating the famous Lute that still exists today. Of course, some countries have made changes to it, so there are many types of Lutes.

The neck of the Lute was not flat, however, it was straightened through time, giving rise to the Vihuela, an instrument that was used in sacred and pagan music.

On the other hand, according to the Spanish luthier Manuel Rodríguez, the shape of the guitar comes from an Egyptian instrument dating from 300 BC. It is the Cotic Lute, a flat instrument with a sound box and neck.

 

Medieval guitars

In the Middle Ages there were various instruments similar to the guitar that we know today. Among them, we highlight the Latin guitar, which had a flat front top, dropped shoulders and a long neck with a headstock. It was composed of 5 strings and was played with a plectrum or fingers.

Similarly, we mention the mandra, whose origin we find in the pantur, a Sumerian instrument. In the 14th century it was also called the Moorish guitar. It has an oval resonance box, as well as a sickle-shaped neck and headstock.

It should be noted that during the 13th and 15th centuries, guitars were carved from a single piece of wood, that is, neck, box and pegbox together. They also looked a lot like a compact lute.

Subsequently, two plucked string instruments were born from the Latin guitar, the double-stringed vihuela and the 4-string guitar. The latter was more popular, but the nomadic character of many medieval musicians made both instruments famous throughout Europe.

 

The main Spanish guitars

In Spain the design that we currently know of this instrument was created. It was specifically in the city of Seville, in 1874. This happened in the workshop of the famous artisan Antonio Torres, as this character made them respecting the standard design canons. And we cannot forget the main types of guitar that are manufactured in this nation. With this we are basically talking about two models, the Spanish and the flamenco guitar.

The first of them is also known as classical guitar internationally and is used to play almost any musical genre. In contrast, the flamenco guitar usually has a smaller body and a thin neck, so that the plucking is easy to perform and produces very bright sounds.

 

The most prominent types of guitar

Before making a comparison of Spanish guitars , you should bear in mind that we have at our disposal various types of guitars, each one with a unique purpose. For example, there are acoustic guitars with metal strings. These models almost always have a reinforced neck on the inside, thanks to a rod called the soul. This way, the neck will withstand the tension of the metal strings and will not break.

Also, there are the electro-acoustic guitars, which have the same design as the previous ones, but have a built-in preamplifier with a sound sensor under the bone. In other words, you can connect this guitar to a mixer or external sound equipment. This is an advantage for people who are going to perform in huge auditoriums and need to be heard by the entire audience.

Similarly, there is the electric guitar, which normally does not have a soundboard. The only way to make it sound is by connecting it to an amplifier or some active speaker.

The Spanish guitar has continued to be taught professionally in conservatories, universities and art academies around the world. Likewise, guitar learning continues to advance empirically, thanks to web pages, online tutorials, self-taught books, etc. As if that were not enough, guitar manufacturing continues to evolve, with new designs and materials.

 

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STRING INSTRUMENTS

Antonio Vivaldi and the first mandolin concertos

The mandolin is an instrument that has accompanied humanity since the Middle Ages. His incorporation into music was not so prominent until Vivaldi, after studying the metrics of its sounds, decided to write a couple of mandolin concertos, giving him the role of soloist in his most famous symphony “Concerto for two mandolins in G major” .

 

The mandolin is an instrument that is characterized by having four double orders, that is, it incorporates four even strings for a total of eight. Its box is round and the shape of its body resembles the shape of a pear. The sound generated during its performance is enveloping due to its softness, but at the same time metallic.

The presence of the mandolin in musical history dates back to the Middle Ages. However, it is not until the 17th century that it officially begins to be manufactured in Italy and, later, to be used by great composers such as Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven and Paganini.

Currently, the mandolin is used in musical genres such as folk, country, bluegrass, and in folkloric performances from Latin American countries. Similarly, the mandolin has given its rhythmic contribution to various experimental ensembles, academic music and rock.

This renaissance of the instrument has increased its demand in the music market, so that more and more manufacturers are dedicated to its construction. In this sense, we will be able to find instruments for children, beginners or professionals, which leads many potential buyers to wonder which is the best mandolin .

 

Vivaldi and the mandolin

Vivaldi was the first composer to write a mandolin concerto, which was certainly quite risky. Let us remember that with the oboe and the violin there was a reference given by other composers. In other words, these instruments had a musical history to study, analyze and create new music from it, which was not the case with the mandolin.

While some musicians of the time had composed popular music for mandolin, it is also true that none of them had experienced writing a concert exclusively for her. However, this was not an obstacle for Vivaldi. The musician carefully examined the sound generated by the instrument, which was completely new to him. It was a fragile and metallic tune, in which a series of harmonics and high tones of great delicacy stood out.

It is from this study that the artist begins to compose the “Concerto C major for a mandolin and orchestra” and then the “Concerto in G major for two mandolins and orchestra”.

 

Concerto for Two Mandolins in G major

Among the most emblematic works of Vivaldi, we find “Concerto for two mandolins in G major”. It is a baroque concert made up of three movements, which begins with an agile refrain that infects the listener with an air of energy and vitality. Right at the end of the orchestra, the tunes of the mandolins appear, creating a kind of dialogue between them.

Thus, the second mandolin is an echo of the first that manages to be conjugated each time a verse is finished before the chorus. Both mandolins become soloists and absolute protagonists of the musical piece, thanks to their refined tunes.

For this concert, Vivaldi leaves aside the harpsichord, since it has a sound very similar to that of the mandolin. Instead, it makes use of the round and soft tunes of the organ, which achieve a perfect musical balance with respect to the sounds given by the jabs of the mandolin strings.

For the second movement of this concert, Vivaldi decides to continue with the dialogue between the pair of mandolins in an ephemeral but quite contiguous way, thanks to the “pinched movement” carried out by means of their strings. In fact, for this part, the orchestra performs an accompaniment in pizzicati, a technique applied only to plucked string instruments. Thus, the soloists have a harmonious background that complements them.

We come to the third and last movement, which leaves behind the calm and its rhythmic avidity to dazzle the audience again with a series of energetic tunes, quite similar to those present in the first movement. The rhythms are enlivened and give way to a true dance of colors and totally enveloping tones.

 

Harpsichord vs Mandolin

The harpsichord is an instrument with a keyboard, whose internal structure incorporates a plucked string system like the mandolin. When depressing the key automatically, the strings are pinched by a pick, while in the mandolin the work is done directly with the fingertips. 

This characteristic means that both instruments have a great rhythmic similarity, offering metallic sounds of great delicacy, which we could hardly differentiate one from the other. 

However, Vivaldi decided to dispense with the harpsichord in the concerts he wrote for mandolin, since at that time it was not allowed to integrate two instruments with such similar sound in the same piece. For this reason, instead of the harpsichord he placed an organ, whose round sounds contrasted with the meter of the mandolin.

 

About the composer and his works

On March 4, 1678, a musical prodigy was born in Venice, who throughout his life would become an entrepreneur, composer and violinist. It is about Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.

Due to his reddish hair and performance as a Venetian Catholic priest of the baroque period, his close friends called him “Il prete rosso” or in Spanish “El cura rojo”. Among his legacy we can mention having structured the genre of the concert, which was one of the most significant contributions of the time. In addition, he composed an average of 46 operas and 400 concerts.

We find under his authorship the series of concerts for violin and orchestra “The four seasons”. “The Concerto in G major for 2 mandolins and string orchestra RV 532”, “Concerto in C major for mandolin and string orchestra RV 425” and the “Concerto in C major for multiple instruments RV 558”.

Until the day of his death in 1741, Vivaldi had composed a total of 770 works, a series of musical pieces that transcended through the centuries, becoming a cult opus.

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STRING INSTRUMENTS

guitar festivals that you can’t miss

 

guitar festivals that you can’t miss

 

In Spain there are various music festivals that make classical guitar stand out. Ponferrada, Córdoba and Seville are some of the host cities. Guitarists from different parts of the world participate in them, who not only play, but also give lectures and master classes to people of different ages.

 

The need for international meetings

The experiences and years of study of some guitarists can help improve the technique and performance of others. In addition, the way to learn to play guitar varies according to the context of the country. It may be that a musician from Spain has different knowledge compared to another from Mexico, even guitars sound different depending on who plays them.

Therefore, it is important to hold international guitar encounters where different cultures mix and share knowledge. This is where the festivals in Spain come into the picture, which are some of the best in terms of classical guitar, both in manufacturing and execution. Meetings of this magnitude become a great opportunity to share musical genres, compositions, arrangements and much more. Likewise, all participating countries gain new knowledge to evolve in the area of ​​guitar teaching and learning.

 

30 years doing the Ponferrada festival

At the end of 2019 the city of Ponferrada celebrated its 30 years by organizing guitar festivals. There are many anecdotes that those who have attended this international festival could tell, because since its creation, each meeting of guitarists has had the participation of high-level international artists.

Currently, the Ponferrada International Guitar Festival is directed by María José Cordero, but it was the Cuban Flores Chaviano who helped create it 30 years ago.

In November 2019, the 3 decades of this meeting were celebrated. Perhaps it was the best opportunity to perform the Aranjuez Concert by Joaquín Rodrigo, which was played by José Manuel de la Fuente and accompanied by the Ponferrada Camerata Clásica.

Another main concert was a tribute to the poet Antonio Gamoneda, who received the 2006 Cervantes Prize. In it the Spanish guitar picks were fused very well with various poems by the artist.

Also, being the 30-year anniversary, the event organizers decided to emphasize classical guitar works. It was like going back to the origins of the festival, when it was still part of the Ponferrada Conservatory. And apart from the classical songs, other musical genres such as folk, country and jazz entered the scene, giving this festival a different touch.

Famous musicians and groups such as David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and Tomatito have participated in this event. José Miguel Moreno, a virtuoso vihuela player, has even played at the festival. In short, the Mousike association, which has carried out the events during all this time, surprises each year with different international guests.

In addition to this, the association has performed concerts in other places such as Bembibre, Astorga and Villafranca del Bierzo, so it has not only contributed culturally to Ponferrada.

 

Cordoba Guitar Festival

Córdoba is called the city of the guitar, because every year in July it offers a festival of up to 10 continuous days. Different artists or national and international groups have performed in it, such as Orquesta de Córdoba, Iván Ferreiro, David Russell, Miguel Ríos, Manuel Barrueco, etc. Therefore, many people from all over the world attend to enjoy the festival, which increases the tourism of the city.

This is a festival that is divided in two ways, the educational part and the concerts. Therefore, the craftsman who wants to make the best Spanish guitar should go to this event, since the educational area provides courses on the construction of flamenco, classical, antique, modern and contemporary guitars. Likewise, as part of the training, the festival offers composition courses for flamenco guitar, dance and singing. The latter serves as a reinforcement of the cultural values ​​of Córdoba and other cities in the country, in addition to cultivating a taste for flamenco in the music students who attend the activities.

On the other hand, in the concert area the guest musicians play a very important role, who play various genres in which the guitar is the main instrument. In this sense, every year artists of jazz, old, classical, modern guitar and, above all, flamenco, which is a musical genre of Spanish origin, perform at the festival. Also, this meeting has different complementary activities, that is, the history of the guitar, publications, presentations and exhibitions. Thanks to them, the participants will be able to receive a more complete guitar training.

 

The Seville festival

Although it is the last festival we mentioned, it is of great importance for Spain and the world, since from 2010 to this day it has brought together more than 80 professional musicians from the country and abroad.

In the same way, more than 170 concerts have been held at the festival from its first edition to the present. Not only are there activities for the enjoyment of adults, but it also holds educational concerts in which more than 1800 children from the city have benefited.

And, if someone goes to the festival in search of master classes, they will find them, since it is one of their main objectives, teaching at a high musical level.

Another activity that you can enjoy if you go to this festival is the Seville International Classical Guitar Competition, in which more than 260 guitarists have participated and the number continues to increase every year. Also, for those who like Spanish music there is the Seville International Flamenco Guitar Competition.

Finally, we mention the Manuel de Falla Composition Contest; there guitarists will be able to show their own songs and meet other people’s songs. 

 

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Fernando Barroso: a musician who with determination achieved his dream

Determination and perseverance are two words that perfectly describe Fernando Barroso, who preferred to abandon a promising career in the world of physics and chemistry to dedicate himself completely to music. Thus, his almost 10-year career and two solo albums position him as a prestigious musician.

 

In the chordophone family you will find the mandolin, which is an instrument with a shape similar to that of a guitar, but in a small format and with the particularity of incorporating four double metal strings.

This instrument has had a great evolution from its predecessor: the mandolin and there are several types of mandolins, three of them being the most used in country and popular – folk music. In any case, if any of them attract your attention, you should know that there are manufacturers that currently compete to offer the best mandolin ( if you click here, you have several purchase options ) on the market and use very interesting techniques to give it that particular shine to its sound .

On the other hand, the instrument was also incorporated into the world of rock, so it can be heard in the songs of the British hard rock group Led Zeppelin, as well as in the performances of the British rock musician, producer and composer Rod Stewart, although the truth is that we rarely find it as a main sound in compositions. However, this may change in the future, since although we are not talking about an instrument of great popularity in the musical arena such as the guitar, the mandolin has achieved a certain prominence in academic music, due to its unique and tuned sound. .

Today, many are the players who keep the mandolin tunes alive. Fernando Barroso is one of those who with effort and perseverance has managed to forge a solid musical career playing this instrument. His latest production was released on the market during the month of January of last year, but the interpreter of “Intropía”, “Silence Lovers Club – Mandolin Pieces” and other great hits, continues to work.

 

The beginning of a dream

Fernando Barroso was born in the late 1970s in the city of Ferrol, in a Spanish municipality north of La Coruña. He studied at the “University of Vigo”, obtaining in 2010 a doctorate in Physics – Chemistry. However, during 2011 he decided to turn his life around and dedicate himself fully to music. For many, this was a madness that predicted failure, but Barroso continued to pursue his cherished dream, which was nothing more than playing the mandolin at a professional level.

 

Determination and perseverance were the keys to his success

At the beginning it was a bit difficult for the interpreter to make himself known, but little by little he managed to stand out in the world of music. Thus, his eternal passion became his new livelihood.

Barroso was the founder of Assembly and TRIM Point. He worked with long-standing musicians such as Julio Pereira, Anxo Lorenzo and Xabier Díaz. In addition, he was a member of the bands “Os Cempés”, “Riobó”, “Budiño” and “Paratraditional”, as well as being part of “NEXO”, a musical laboratory that was under the direction of Donald Shaw and great European musicians. as Americans. During these almost 10 years of experience, Barroso has taken his music to national and international places, accompanying important bands and musicians.

 

A new solo stage

2016 marked a before and after in Barroso’s musical career, who after five years of abandoning his activity in the world of science to pursue his dream with the mandolin, decides to launch his first solo album. The name of the production is “Intropia”. It is an album conceived in the studio, with the collaboration of prominent international musicians. In addition, Barroso appears in this record production as a multi-instrumentalist, playing not only the mandolin.

Two years passed so that his followers could enjoy a new work: “Silence Lovers Club – Mandolin Pieces”. In this project, the interpreter puts the tunes emitted with the mandolin as the absolute protagonist, in a production that demonstrates his evolution as a musician. It is about 12 original pieces, created to be played live. In them you will find the accompaniment of the cellist Margarida Mariño, who is the head of the “Vigo 43 Symphony Orchestra”, “Duo Treme” and the “Ensamble Galería”.

Also, it is important to mention that the composer of “Silence Lovers Club – Mandolin Pieces”, has been inspired by classical and modern composers. In this way, he obtained pieces that mix the rhythms and nuances of popular, Persian, baroque and jazz music.

 

Absence

In his 2018 record production, “Silence Lovers Club – Mandolin Pieces”, the song “Ausencia” appears. This piece is one of the main ones on the album, which has managed to capture the attention of those who listen to it due to its peculiar lyrics. It is an adaptation made to a popular song, in which homage is paid to the Villa de Marín. 

The composer and producer decided to make some modifications and dedicate the song to the city of Ferrol, the land where it was born. For this song, he had the collaboration of the well-known Portuguese interpreter Celina de Piedade, who lent her voice and played the accordion.

In some interviews Barroso has been asked why he created this popular song. To this, the artist responds that it is a way of expressing dependence and the so-called “attachment” that the vast majority of people experience when they are far from the place where they were born.

 

Sound diversity

If something characterizes Fernando Barroso is the fact of taking risks, creating tunes full of nuances that make his audience fall in love, in order to forge a personal style, which after listening to just a couple of chords people can identify that it is a song by its authorship.

This is one of the reasons why, in his second solo production, he decided to incorporate fewer collaborations and instead merged the music of the mandolin with that of the cello, which this time is played by the young prodigy Margarida Mariño. Like Barroso, the cellist enjoys sonic fusion. In fact, in his recitals he uses loops and pedals for voice effects, evoking genres such as triphop and postrock.

 

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Opinions about Yamaha C40 II

Main Advantage:

This classical guitar is a traditional professional-style model, with which you can obtain quality sounds because its tuning responds to an instrument built to combine comfort and a defined tone, with reduction in musical distortions.

 

Main disadvantage:

The packaging of this Yamaha guitar is poor because it does not meet the protection standards that help prevent the instrument from being struck.

 

Verdict: 9.8 / 10

It is among the best Spanish guitars for its quality construction and attention to detail, making it an instrument that can be used by teachers and students to provide defined sounds.

Buy on Amazon – Price (€ 149)

 

 

Main Features Explained

 

Materials and construction 

Spanish guitars are a classic of music because they emit harmonious sounds that can be included in different musical rhythms to create combinations with rich nuances in the tones. However, for them to be of quality, they must be built with high standards and attention to detail, as well as finishes. These characteristics will make the instrument a solid and resistant product that will emit better sounds. In this sense, Yamaha is a manufacturer with years in the music industry, perfecting its techniques for better constructions. Hence, the opinions of users agree that their instruments are among the best on the market. 

With the C40 II, the manufacturer presents a quality Spanish guitar that has been built with a spruce top, while the sides and back are made of meranti and the fingerboard of rosewood, quality woods, with touches of sapwood and that , when worked and joined with the rest of the elements, they provide high precision sounds. It also includes nylon strings.

This combination of the C40 II is not random, it is the product of years of effort to create a balance between traditional craftsmanship and digital technology, resulting in balanced sounds in a state-of-the-art construction.

The price of a Spanish guitar could well be estimated by the design and finishes that have been included in the structure and that, directly, have decisive weight in the quality of the sound, so that in the Yamaha C40 II model the details and aesthetics are much more than a superficial aspect. This guitar has been built in wood and its design is classic.

It has dimensions with a scale of 65 cm in length by 25 cm in width, with a body length of 49 cm, a body width of 37 cm and a total length of 99.5 cm, with a 4/4 size range and six strings nylon. Its color is natural, since it has been manufactured from wood from different trees. However, this Indonesian-made Yamaha guitar has a glossy body finish, which contrasts with the matte tone neck finish. 

Its weight is relatively light, since it does not reach two kilos. Therefore, it is comfortable to play and can be easily transported to take to music school, events, parties or even vacation outings. It is only recommended to place it inside a cover to avoid scratches.

 

Sound and uses

Due to its design, construction and material properties, this classic Yamaha instrument is considered quality. However, its sound and precise tone are the elements that make it one of the best Spanish guitars on the market. This is because the brand has worked incessantly on the precision of the sounds, clarity in the tones and tuning that make it stand out among its most direct competitors, to generate unmatched rhythms that can be part of any musical genre, from flamenco. even pop, among many other melodies and styles.

The C40 II is distinguished by its balance in sounds, making it a high-end guitar for various uses. Due to the characteristics that converge in this instrument, this guitar is recommended both for music teachers and for adults, youth and children who are in the initial stage of musical learning. In addition, the instrument’s sonic performance is considered top-of-the-line due to its ideal string setting and neck angle. It also includes chrome tuning pegs so precision is always present in every tune.

 

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STRING INSTRUMENTS

Opinions about Rocket XF201AN XF Series

Main Advantage:
This Spanish guitar from the manufacturer Rocket has a high-end construction, made with suitable wood and suitable for beginning musicians, since its finishes denote quality and delicate works that make it look professional.

Main disadvantage:
Despite indicating that it includes a strap, this model does not have in its structure the hooks to add it, which is a point against when playing.

Verdict: 9.7 / 10
Sound quality, aesthetics and robust construction come together in this Rocket instrument that turns out to be one of the most convenient on the market, coupled with its affordable price.
Buy on Amazon – Price (€ 57.97)

Main Features Explained

Design and portability
Music lovers have endless instruments to get started in this art. However, it is the Spanish guitars that win the prize for the most sought after and popular, be it for their price, their style, their design or their ability to adapt to almost any genre. These musical instruments are a benchmark that stands out for their portability and comfort when playing.
Todas estas características están presentes en el modelo Rocket XF201AN XF Series, una guitarra de estilo clásico y diseño tradicional, que puede servir para distintos fines y que tiene una estética de alta gama, porque sus detalles y acabados han sido trabajados con sumo cuidado, con la finalidad de brindar al usuario un producto idóneo para músicos.
Estéticamente, esta guitarra de Rocket se ve bien lograda, con acabados que complementan el diseño clásico y un tamaño completo para adultos 4/4, por lo que es apta para ser utilizada por niños a partir de 11 años.
In addition, this Spanish guitar has a natural wood color, with a gloss and darker tone coating on the sides, as well as on the neck. Although it is not one of the lightest alternatives on the market, since its weight is almost three kilos, its portability is not affected. The Rocket XF201AN XF Series guitar can be comfortably carried around and played without causing any discomfort.
Tuning and sound
If you want to get the best Spanish guitar on the market, it is important to analyze the tuning and sound properties, since an aesthetically striking instrument will be useless, but one that, when producing sound, is not very pleasant. For this reason, the Rocket XF201AN XF Series model complies with the standards of musical chords and tuning, which allow the instrument to generate melodies that can be integrated into different rhythms and musical styles, both indigenous and traditional as well as foreign and avant-garde.
The harmony and precision of the sounds of this Rocket Spanish guitar model is due to its integral tonality and, although it looks traditional and simple, it is the most efficient companion to start in the musical world. This prototype is tuned at the factory. However, the user will be able to make the necessary adjustments according to their musical ear.
Due to its tuning and precision characteristics, the XF201AN XF Series model is suitable for use by music teachers as well as by young people and adults who are starting as beginners with the Spanish guitar because, although this alternative meets the standards of high range, it is not professional, so its use is suggested for the initiation stage.

Construction and accessories
According to the opinions of users, the construction of this Spanish guitar known as Rocket XF201AN XF Series has resistant and solid properties, making it a durable and quality alternative that is positioned among the best, since, if it is Put it to good use, its service life will be extended for years.
This guitar with a natural finish is made of high-quality materials, which gives it solidity and a robust appearance, but delicate in relation to the details. It is built with a solid maple bridge, while part of its structure is made of pine wood. On the other hand, it includes nylon strings that allow contact with the fingers to be more efficient and simple. In turn, it has standard tuners made of nickel, which are responsible for maintaining the tuning for longer.
The Rocket XF201AN XF Series alternative is one of the most convenient and complete on the market, because it is integrated by a starter kit, with practical accessories for novice musicians. For this reason, the model includes a carrying bag or case with straps that allow it to be carried on the shoulder, as well as pockets. In addition, it has a bonnet and lock picks.

 

Categories
STRING INSTRUMENTS

Opinions about Yamaha TRBX304

Main Advantage:

This bass stands out for having a 34-inch scale length and a very nice polished mahogany maple neck. Plus, it features a rosewood fingerboard and a 10-inch radius. Likewise, it has a 38 mm wide nut.

 

Main disadvantage:

If you are a bass expert, you may want to purchase an instrument more suited to your level of playing. However, this bass is ideal for beginner users.

 

Verdict: 9.8 / 10

If you are looking for a low-priced bass to get started with this instrument, this is a great alternative for you, as it stands out for its manufacture, its die-cast style headstock and elegant red design.

Buy from Amazon – Price (€ 394.84)

 

 

Main Features Explained

 

Type and material

The opinions of the most experienced users make it clear that there are several very important technical aspects that you should look at when choosing a bass. These instruments are present in almost all musical groups and songs of an infinity of genres, making it one of the most important instruments. To choose one correctly, it is important that you take into account, first, your level of interpretation, so that you do not buy a model that is too expensive or advanced for your level. Also, if you are starting out with this instrument, we recommend choosing one that is not too heavy.

For this reason, it is important to bear in mind that, regarding the type of body of the instrument, we can find two main ones, hollow body basses and solid body basses, depending on whether the instrument is acoustic or electric. Remember that vibrations are very important for bass, so the stronger the instrument, the better the vibrations will be perceived. 

This electric bass is made with an alder wood body and its neck is designed with 5 pieces of mahogany and maple, which give it a beautiful appearance and great rigidity. This model has a weight of 4.2 kilograms and approximate dimensions of 121.5 x 45.5 x 9.5 centimeters.

Pickups and location

In any comparison of the best basses , the choice of the type of the pickups and their location will largely determine the quality of the sound that the instrument generates. Therefore, if you are looking for a bass that sounds great for your performances and gigs, it is vital to look at this aspect before making your choice. 

Regarding the pickups, you have to learn that there are both passive and active and refers to the clarity of the signal, so if you are looking for a bass that gives you a high sound clarity and that it is not affected by noise from bottom, you should opt for a bass with active pickups. However, passive pickups often offer a greater range of sounds for playing your songs.

Also, keep in mind that the location of the pickups in the bass is very decisive, since it will influence which area of ​​the instrument you will play the strings, if closer to the bridge or closer to the arm. We can say that this aspect is quite subjective and will depend on your personal preferences when playing this instrument, so if your bass uses several pickups, it is important that you look at this aspect carefully. This bass model uses two high-quality, responsive ceramic MHB3n pickups, balanced between the bridge and the neck.

 

Scales and their length

In addition to the above, there is one last important technical feature that you should look at carefully before making the choice of one bass or another. These are the scales of the instrument. Basically, most basses retain the shape they had when they began to become popular and their 4 strings were widely used in practically all songs composed in the 80s, however, as the years passed and in a little more recent times, the musical compositions were asking for a greater variety in sounds, so the basses began to expand their initial scales. This electric bass still retains the traditional 4-string design which, together with its scales, allows you to play a wide variety of songs.

If your concern revolves around playing comfort, then you need to look at the length of the scales. In this sense, the basses that are comfortable to use have the scales of 81 centimeters in length, however, this precisely causes the frets to be further away from each other, representing a higher level of difficulty for those users who have shorter arms. . In this case, the Yamaha brand has manufactured an ideal bass for new players with scales of 83.6 cm in length, comfortable enough to get the best note from each scale.

 

Categories
STRING INSTRUMENTS

Opinions about Yamaha F370

Main Advantage:

This guitar has a standard Folk design, which has a 63.4 cm scale scale, so it is large and generally produces a louder sound volume than the Cutaway model.

 

Main disadvantage:

It would be nice if the package included a digital tuner for beginning guitarists, so that they can adjust the tension of each string precisely every time they play.

 

Verdict: 9.8 / 10

It is one of the most resistant and durable guitars, since it has a pickguard on the front cover, which will help protect the soundboard from possible scratches with the straws.

Buy on Amazon – Price (€ 205)

 

 

Main Features Explained

 

Woods

The price of this instrument is not very high, since most of the woods used in its elaboration are cheap. However, they have good sound quality and are sturdy. For example, the fingerboard was made with rosewood, a wood that is still attractive to the naked eye, thanks to its reddish-brown color or elegant grain. In the same way, it is a material that tends to offer a darker and warmer sound to the instrument.

Not only does it have a quality fingerboard, but it also features a spruce top, which is a semi-hard wood that is easy to use. Thanks to this material, the guitar will emit bright sounds that will stand out when doing solos.

As for the back and sides, they were made of nato, a wood that is aesthetically similar to mahogany, due to its reddish-brown color. This wood is widely used by instrument makers for its ease of shaping and finishing, as well as providing a good balance to sounds on the soundboard.   

On the other hand, it should be noted that these materials provide lightness to the instrument, so you will not get too tired if you play it standing up during a concert. Added to this, the guitar’s gloss black finish on the top and sides along with the natural spruce back provide a classic Folk look.

Musical education

If you review the opinions of this guitar on the Internet you will realize that it is recommended for musical teaching in schools, conservatories or universities, as it has an optimal size for beginners, whether they are children, youth or adults. Of course, it is not a good option for children under 12 years old, as it would be too big and heavy for them.

We can say all this because it is a 4/4 inch guitar and is made with high quality materials, which emit a pleasant sound to the ear, useful in educational institutes. In the same way, it is a well-tuned guitar, so beginners will be able to play chords and melodies without problems. It even comes with its 6 metal strings, so the student will only have to acquire a straw to start using it. These strings are mounted on the instrument in the classical way, MI, SI, SOL, RE, LA, MI.

Furthermore, there are 20 frets on the fretboard, so the student can learn to make melodies in low and high notes with ease. Also, the fretboard has inlays on the 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th and 15th frets, in order for the guitarist to find the notes faster. In other words, this could be the best acoustic guitar for beginners.

 

Adaptability and practicality

The acoustic guitars must be adapted to almost any musical genre, for that reason, the Yamaha F370 offers the possibility of playing rock, jazz, blues, country, etc., so you can be entertained and learn many things with it.

Likewise, although it is a guitar that is used to play seated, it also has a button on which a strap can be hung, so that it will be possible to play the guitar standing up, being adaptable to the different musical activities you want to do. 

Also, it is important to know that this instrument comes with a good quality chrome tuning machine, to fine tune the strings at any time. This means that the strings do not lose tension with the first song, something that does happen with other poor quality instruments. Of course, as with any guitar, you have to check the tuning before using it, especially when it has been stored for a long time.

On the other hand, due to its western design, this guitar adapts to outdoor activities, around a campfire with your friends. In addition, as it offers acoustic sound, you will not have to connect it to amplifiers, so it will be comfortable to use in meetings with your family, birthdays, parties, etc.

 

Categories
ACCESSORIES

Tuners of 2021

Tuner – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis

 

Tuners are indispensable tools for all stringed instrument lovers, allowing them to enhance tunes so that their performances have a more harmonious rhythmic quality. In this sense, it will not matter if you are a beginner or a professional, since you will always require a tuner to start your practices. A great positioning model that will give you six tuning modes with great precision is the Rayzm ETT-2 , which has a small module with an easy-to-read LED display and adjustment clip. Similarly, Cahaya CY0005 offers you intuitive operation with five tuning modes controllable by means of a button.

 

Shopping guide

 

Those who play instruments know the importance of their tuning prior to any practice or presentation, since the sound quality of each performance will depend on it. In this sense, acquiring a tuner, more than an expense, is a true investment that every musician should make. Therefore, we present you a guide to buying the best tuner, in which you will find the main quality indicators to verify.

 

screen

If the product we are planning to purchase incorporates a screen, no matter how small it may be, you will have to verify certain aspects regarding its operation and manufacture. In this way, you will get a better user experience when manipulating it and reading the data expressed in it. In this sense, instrument tuners could not be the exception, so you should stay tuned and inquire about this important component. Thus, you will not have future problems when carrying out the calibration.

If you review the tuner comparison lists, you will find that most designs incorporate LCD-type screens with a good level of resolution, which allow you to give a quick read with just a glance. Also, such equipment is usually provided by a backlighting system, which is quite convenient at times when ambient light or from stage reflectors is limited. It is also important that you check that the screen has a preferential rotation of 360 °, so that you can vary its angle and adjust it as best as possible for your comfort.

 

Drums

All instrument tuners require a certain level of energy to start up, so they usually incorporate lithium-ion or alkaline batteries, as provided by the manufacturer. In this sense, prior to purchase, the important thing is to check the autonomy offered by the energy accumulator. Remember that it will be useless to buy an inexpensive tuner, but whose batteries run out quickly, since you will have to constantly invest in spare parts.

Although the lithium batteries integrated into the tuners usually offer a longer useful life than that of the AA or AAA alkaline batteries, it is also true that they tend to be more expensive and may even require the help of an expert to be inserted. However, manufacturers have dedicated themselves to providing their devices with special systems, which, after five minutes of inactivity, automatically turn off the tuner. In this way, the energy saving is remarkable.

 

Gripper

The tuner models are usually varied and among them stand out those that incorporate a convenient clamp, arranged to fix the screen safely on the instrument’s headstock.

It is a very popular type of tuner among users, which, if you do not know how to select, could cause inconvenience or offer a short useful life. Therefore, when thinking about acquiring it, you should review some details such as the manufacturing material, which should be a polymer with a resistant and light body. Also, do not forget to check the opening level of the clamp, trying, as far as possible, that it is not less than two or three centimeters. Remember that the correct placement on the headstock will depend on this specification, whose thickness will inevitably vary depending on the model and type of instrument.

 

accessories

In any product, the accessories incorporated by the manufacturer into the purchase package are a very flattering aspect, which generally help us to improve the experience of using the equipment and even to take care of it. In this sense, the tuners could not be the exception. Perhaps this can influence a bit how much the device costs, but ultimately we will end up saving money, by not purchasing the built-in items separately.

The main complement attached to this type of device is the batteries, which is quite convenient so that we can start using the tuner from day one, without any delay. Similarly, the models are provided with a microfiber cloth to properly clean the screen, eliminating dust and fingerprints left when handling it. In addition, other brands offer with the purchase a small case, so you can store the tuner and protect it from deterioration.

 

 

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Q1: How to use a tuner?

El uso del afinador dependerá del modelo, ya que, si se trata de uno de pinza, deberás colocarlo en el clavijero, mientras que los de pedal requieren de la conexión de algunos cables entre el dispositivo y el instrumento. Por su parte, si planeas usar un afinador digital, deberás acercar el micrófono de tu smartphone u ordenador al área de las cuerdas.

Después, procede a encender el dispositivo y, seguidamente, selecciona el respectivo modo de afinación a emplear. De esta manera, podrás comenzar a pulsar una a una las cuerdas que quieres afinar.

 

Q2: ¿Cómo afinar una guitarra sin afinador?

Si no dispones de ningún tipo de afinador físico o digital para tu guitarra, no tendrás que preocuparte, ya que puedes emplear el sistema de armónicos, que, aunque puede requerir de más tiempo, suele ser bastante preciso. Claro está, deberás  ser cuidadoso y paciente para obtener los resultados de afinación deseados.

Lo primero que debes hacer es cuadrar los armónicos correspondientes al 5.° traste con respecto al 7.° traste, para lo que deberás iniciar en la sexta cuerda hasta llegar a la tercera. Después, procede a combinar el sonido emitido por la segunda cuerda con el armónico del 7.° traste perteneciente a la sexta cuerda, mientras que la primera cuerda en Mi agudo, deberá coincidir con el armónico correspondiente al 7.° traste de la quinta cuerda.

 

Q3: ¿Qué es mejor, afinador tradicional o afinador para el móvil?

Currently you can access several tuners through mobile applications, which are a little more advantageous than traditional equipment, because some of them are free. In this sense, you will only need your smartphone and a stable internet connection.

Regarding its effectiveness, this digital medium could have a slightly wider margin of error compared to traditional tuners, but if you are careful in selecting the app, you will be able to get one that is really accurate according to the type of instrument to interpret. In any case, both traditional and mobile tuners are good options, so we could not consider one better than the other. 

 

Q4: What does a chromatic tuner provide?

The chromatic tuner has the particularity of allowing us to know the type of note we are working on and the tuning of the string, which is quite convenient to obtain greater precision in the tuning process. For example, if we are tuning string D and want to jump to E, the equipment will not allow it until we have fully tuned string D.

 

Q5: Can I use a classical guitar tuner to tune an electric guitar?

In general, this type of device incorporates several tuning modes, including the chromatic mode and a few others for electric or classical guitar, ukulele, violin and bass. If this is the case with your tuner, then you will not have to worry, since it is a suitable equipment to be used equally in both classical and electric guitars.