Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
DrChickenpotpie
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Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by DrChickenpotpie » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:02 am

I’ve played guitar for many years, but recently decided to study classical guitar. The benefits of a cutaway guitar are obvious, but I’m hoping to get some wisdom from y’all experienced players-is it just personal preference?

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Julian Ward
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Julian Ward » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:27 am

Hi there are no benefits for a cutaway guitar for a beginner to be honest. If you are cross-over player, maybe blues, jazz, rock, or even play some latin duo work (as I do sometimes) then the cutaway makes reaching the high frets easier (as is obvious). I think a cutaway guitar for classical purists will always be considered a no-no but at the end of the day it is for you, to suit what you do.
Classical guitar teacher

dtoh
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by dtoh » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:12 pm

If you are buying the classical guitar to play classical guitar music, there is no benefit since as a beginner you won't be playing anything on that part of the fretboard.

If you plan to play other music on the guitar, go for it.

mvp019a
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by mvp019a » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:00 pm

What dtoh said...
Mark

2007 Ignacio Rozas 1A, 2016 Mark Usherovich Traditional Classical, Prudencio Saez Model 34

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dta721
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by dta721 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:54 pm

Not my personal experience but my observation from one person like you, played guitar for many years, but recently decided to study classical guitar, he dropped out after 6 months! Not to be negative but the first noticeable differences that may become an issue: 52mm neck width at 1st fret and higher action (at 12th fret). I'd say this is the "acid test" that you would either get used to and loving it, or not. So, a standard (used) classical guitar is a better choice!

Seter
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Seter » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:10 pm

I would get one without a cutaway for your first one, to my ears they sound noticeably better when compared with the cutaway version of the same guitar (the Cordoba C5 and C5CE for instance). Later on it may be nice to get an acoustic-electric classical with a cutaway to add to the collection as they do have their niche, that is what I have done.

riffmeister
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by riffmeister » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:30 pm

DrChickenpotpie wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:02 am
I’ve played guitar for many years, but recently decided to study classical guitar. The benefits of a cutaway guitar are obvious, but I’m hoping to get some wisdom from y’all experienced players-is it just personal preference?
Yes, personal preference.

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Christopher Langley
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Christopher Langley » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:40 pm

Well..

You can get a better guitar at a lower price without the cutaway.

But, they are very nice. Especially if you are playing lead. And they don't affect the sound much at all

Get the guitar you want to play. Try and get one of each eventually. Haha. Wait til you see spruce vs cedar. Hehe.
Let there be songs to fill the air.

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Mollbarre
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Mollbarre » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:14 pm

Well - again, FWIW, since I wanted to learn a little guitar (I have no high standing aspirations :mrgreen: ) and classical is a part of what I wanted to discover - I also wanted to be able to indulge in a guitar with aesthetics that especially appeal to me.

I love the look of the cutaway. :guitare:

I was rather disappointed to discover that "real" classical guitars don't come with a cutaway - and the ones that are available have all been electrified. Well - didn't want that either.

You can get a non-electrified flamenco guitar - but that's a different animal yet again, and more expensive.

Anyway...my recent purchase of a less expensive guitar (to use as a travel guitar) is a thin body cutaway with electronics...lol...got my cutaway! :lol:
2016 Fender CN320AS
2018 Cordoba C10 crossover
2018 Ibanez GA5TCE
...and miscellaneous bits and pieces.

celestemcc
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by celestemcc » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:03 pm

classical guitars don't come with a cutaway
Some luthier-made ones do... an alternative is an elevated fingerboard, which makes for easier access to frets above the 12th. (I have one and like it -- but they are controversial and do have their downsides, not to mention usually only found on pricey, luthier-made guitars.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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souldier
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by souldier » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:26 pm

Really just a matter of preference. They are not as popular/fashionable in the classical guitar community, but who cares? If you think you will benefit, go for it! There are definitely times I wish my guitar had a cutaway!
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
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Peter Frary
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Peter Frary » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:38 am

If you need better upper fret access but scorn a cutaway, there are a few stock classical guitar designs where the necks joins at the 14th rather than 12th fret. For example, the Romero Creations Parlor Guitar. While not cheap, it's under $900 and has a shockingly big sound and nice tone. 50mm nut and 630mm scale so it's easy to play too.
I play a Tiny Tenor 6 so I look taller on stage!

DrChickenpotpie
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by DrChickenpotpie » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:26 am

dta721 wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:54 pm
Not my personal experience but my observation from one person like you, played guitar for many years, but recently decided to study classical guitar, he dropped out after 6 months! Not to be negative but the first noticeable differences that may become an issue: 52mm neck width at 1st fret and higher action (at 12th fret). I'd say this is the "acid test" that you would either get used to and loving it, or not. So, a standard (used) classical guitar is a better choice!
Thank you very much for your honest input!

Grasshopper
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Grasshopper » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:47 pm

I've never understood why the cutaway hasn't been adopted for the standard acoustic classical guitar. I don't see that it has any effect on the sound or volume and it makes access to the higher frets much easier. However it seems that this tradition is now so engrained that it won't be accepted. The modern trend now is to offer the raised fingerboard (where the body is shallower near the neck joint and the fingerboard is much higher). It does allow more access to the higher frets but it's still harder than using a cutaway. And it's expensive.

You can of course still get nylon strung guitars with a cutaway but most of them - maybe all - are so-called "fusion" guitars which tend to have shallower bodies (which does affect sound) and narrower necks. You won't find one with a standard 52mm nut and they're usually narrower at the bridge too. They also have electrics on board which makes them heavier and more expensive. You may like that - I don't. I have an ancient Takamine classical with a cutaway which has standard classical guitar measurements and I will never sell it.

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Tony Hyman
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Re: Recommendation for beginner looking for first classical guitar: Cutaway, no cutaway, does it matter?

Post by Tony Hyman » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:56 pm

Somehow I find that the Cut- Away does not have as much natural body as the Torres.I notice this when recording.I suppose the make of the guitar makes a big difference.I find that some classical pieces are just not suited for the Cut- Away .If its volume that is needed for certain purposes, then a compromise has to be made where the Cut-Away will have to do if the Torres is unable to be amplified suitably for that specific purpose.

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