The guitar is one of the most popular music instruments in the United States with a history which spans over four centuries. Throughout this time span the classical guitar has evolved from three sources, namely; the Lute, the Vihuela and the Baroque guitar. The popularity of this classical guitar which evolved from these three sources has been sustained by many well known players and composers such as John Williams and Christopher Parkening.

 

The classical guitar is a six stringed instrument which has excelled in popularity among common music lovers. The rising popularity of the guitar is proved by the accelerated levels of sales of the instrument. The term classical does not denote that only classical repertoires are performed; instead all kinds of music such as folk, jazz etc. are performed on it.

 

A key feature of characterizing the classical guitar is its specific instrumental technique, i.e. to use the right hand to pluck or pick the strings while the left to be used to grip notes. In order to ease this general technique of playing the instrument a guitar cutaway is created. A guitar cutaway is an indentation in the body of the guitar adjoining the neck of the instrument. In addition to this ease in playing the instrument through the cutaway, it has also been identified that these subtle features can have a huge impact on the function of the instrument. For instance the classical guitar cutaway exposes the fretboard of the guitar making it easier to reach and play higher notes.

 

The guitar cutaway has become so important that some manufacturers denote the model of the guitar by its cutaway. Classical guitar cutaway are of two types; Venetian and Florentine. These names of the two types are used to describe the actual shape of the classical guitar cutaway.

 

The Venetian style of classical guitar cutaway is one which owns a shape of a rounder edge while the Florentine style of classical guitar cutaway represents a sharper bout in a pointed form. The very first Venetian classical guitar cutaway was used in reference to an acoustic archtop in 1939 named The Super 400P. The initial Florentine classical guitar cutaway was used to describe a series of mandolins and the Gibson's 'O' style guitars in 1902. However it has been identified that the Florentine style of classical guitar cutaway was also evident in the 19th century in a book named 'The Steve Howe guitar collection'. This book contained an instrument of a French guitar maker named Georges Warnecke with the Florentine cutaway.

 

Despite the pros of a classical guitar cutaway, the cons are also being debated. One such disadvantage is the unattractiveness of the cutaway which ruins the total appearance of the guitar. But this is a subjective argument based on personal preferences. Therefore it becomes vital to select the right guitar in terms of its cutaway based on personal requirements, capabilities as well as budget.

 

A classical guitar capo is a clamp like device that guitar players use for the purpose of shortening the strings on a guitar or any other similar stringed instrument for that matter. The classical guitar capo will is attached to the neck of the guitar and thereby it shortens the strings on the guitar. This creates a different sound than that of the unaltered guitar. The sounds made when you use a classical guitar capo will be much higher in pitch than the normal sounds. These items are extensively used on guitars, mandolins and banjos, much more than other string instruments.

 

What a classical guitar capo will do is it will change the key of the guitar and the pitch of the guitar by essentially changing the length of the neck. It will limit the length of the vibrating portion of the strings and thereby change the properties of the sounds that are made. This way the tuning keys don't need to be used either and the sound adjustments can be done much easier. When using a classical guitar capo the pitch of the fretted strings does not change at all. However it is the open unfretted strings that the classical guitar capo will affect. The classical guitar capo is placed as near as possible to the guitar fret. There are occasionally guitar players that recommend placing the classical guitar capo on the fret itself.

 

A classical guitar capo is very much needed when a twelve string guitar is used. The classical guitar capo is used to keep the twelve string guitar in tune with a six string guitar. Guitar manufacturers do not recommend that a twelve string guitar be tuned very much higher. They recommend that the tuning be done to a tone below standard guitar tuning. Otherwise the stress might overwhelm the guitar. While ultra light strings have solved this problem to a great deal, the classical guitar capo is still the choice method for many classical guitar players. Because you have many different variations in keys and voicing you can have a markedly different sound when using a classical guitar capo. Also it should be noted that when a classical guitar capo is used it changes the timbre of the strings. THIs allows much longer stringed instruments like guitars to even mimic shorter stringed instruments like mandolins. This proves that the classical guitar capo is not just for expediency and ease of use. It is also a key component for artistic expressions. In fact some styles of music such as flamenco or Irish traditional music make very heavy usage of the capo. The classical guitar capo has a rich history in Folk and Blues music and musicians that started out in these genres took the classical guitar capo with them as they migrated to new avenues of music as well.