10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (2023)

Size - If you're purchasing a guitar for your child, you'll want to decide whether the best fit will be a 1/4 sized, 1/2 sized, or 3/4 sized. These will be best for 5 years old, 8 years old, and 12 years old respectively, though these are of course just estimates, and specific measurements should be taken before purchase.

10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (1)

Scott Etan Feiner

Scott Etan Feiner FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Budget Classical Guitar Buyers Guide

What to look for when buying a Classical Guitar Under $500

It might seem overwhelming when confronted with so many classical guitars under $500 to choose from, but it isn't a difficult process to pick the right one. You firstly need to establish your skill level, so that you can pick one that's going to perform well enough for your abilities. You'll also want to establish your budget. Of course, you know your top limits, but if you only want to spend a few hundred bucks, then make sure to only look at guitars that cost this amount. Above all else, the two most important features of this instrument are how it sounds and how well it has been built. Good craftsmanship can mean that the guitar will be in your arms for years to come.

Guitar Bundles

If you're a beginner, then you'll want to look out for a guitar bundle. This is a much better value-for-money option than simply buying a guitar on its own. Many of the top manufacturers offer these bundles, and it's a fantastic way to save money. It will also get you ready to start playing right from unboxing. Some of the most common accessories that you'll find in a bundler are tuners, capos, and extra string sets.

It's important to note that while bundles can save you money, there is always the risk that the accessories they come with aren't of the highest quality. You're better off choosing a reputable brand, such as Yamaha, as you're then more likely to receive high-grade accessories, which is what you want. There's no point getting a bundle if the accessories are useless and you need to buy replacements. Check the reviews from other customers to ensure you're buying the best guitar bundle.

Nylon Strings

10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (2)Usually, guitars come with a default set of electric or acoustic guitar strings. It’s important to check the brand and quality of the strings in the description of the product or the bullet-point section.

This will help you determine what strings you will be using and upon a bit of research, you will be quickly able to decide if they are any good.

A common problem with buying nylon string guitars from internet retailers is that the product may be well made but the strings that are initially provided with the guitar may make the instrument sound worse than it is. If it doesn’t have good quality classical guitar strings, it won’t sound the best it can!

Types ofWood

There are at least a dozen types of wood to choose from when buying a classical guitar, from spruce to cedar. It’s important to know what kind of wood gives you what kind of sound. The type of guitar wood you end up choosing will also help determine how durable and solid your guitar is. Some solid woods are more hollow sounding, like spruce and maple tonewoods, while some are thicker and have a distinct low, rich sound, like mahogany and rosewood.

What Classical guitar is best on a Budget?

There are plenty of fantastic choices when it comes to buying quality classical guitars under $500, and one of such choices is the Yamaha CG182C. If you are looking for a quality instrument that delivers exceptional value-for-money, then the Yamaha CG is a great option.

Not only does it have two wood tops to choose from, both cedar and spruce, but it’s also a beautiful looking guitar that features an understated design. Finding an authentic classical guitar that offers quality sound and affordable pricing can be difficult, but Yamaha has made it possible with this guitar, which is why it's so popular not just with us but with countless satisfied customers around the world.

What Classical Guitar For Beginners Is The Best Value?

The Best Value guitar, in our opinion, has to be the Ibanez GA5TCE. Not only is it affordable for anyone who is on a tight budget, but also it doesn’t sacrifice quality to deliver that stunningly low price. Equipped with 14 frets, a narrow neck, and tuner (for your tuning pegs), this classical acoustic-electric guitar is a solid investment, not just for beginners but also intermediate guitarists.

10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (3)The spruce top helps this guitar achieve a clear and crisp tone that few other guitars in the same price range are capable of providing.

Ibanez is one of the most respected guitar brands when it comes to guitar making, and the Ibanez GA5TCE is no exception.

There is little to fault it. It’s a fantastic instrument that has a high-gloss finish and beautiful colors both on the back and sides and it's all available for a very reasonable price, which is why we've chosen it as our best value pick.

Can You Get Classical Guitars For Small Hands?

Of course! If you are looking for a guitar for small hands it is recommended to look for guitars that have the keywords “slim” or “narrow” neck listed in the description. Slim necks are generally much easier to play for people with smaller hands since they allow you to fully wrap your hands around the rosewood fretboard.

You may also want to choose a guitar that is 3/4 size, which is particularly useful if you don't just have small hands but also a petite frame. A 3/4 guitar will still provide you with the same volume and tone as a larger version, it will just be a lot easier for you to handle.

If it's possible to borrow a guitar of this size to experiment with it, then it's recommended, as we think you'll then see just how good the quality is when compared with a larger version. One thing that's also important to remember, is that you should always be comfortable when playing the guitar, as this is the best way to make the most of it, so if you do have small hands, don't settle for a guitar that's too large for you. Instead, simply purchase one that has a slim or narrow neck and perhaps a 3/4 body too.

Editors Choice

10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (4)Our Editors Choice has to be this La Patrie guitar!

The pressure-tested cedar top is solid and can endure a lot of wear and tear. The intonation that this guitar delivers is also fantastic thanks to the tusq nut width and compensated saddle.

If you have been looking for a guitar to grow with while you improve your skills, all for a budget price, then La Patrie is a fantastic choice.

The radiused fingerboard is designed to help you play with ease and comfort. La Patrie knows how frustrating it can be to have a fully straight rosewood fretboard that can cut and gnaw at your fingers in an uncomfortable manner. A curved fretboard helps support your fingers in a way that a straight rosewood fretboard cannot. When you curve your fingers around a radiused neck the joints follow suit and wrap around the neck easily, in turn helping the guitarist press down chords, which all makes for an easier playing experience.

Our Top Choice product has to be this La Patrie guitar thanks to its quality sound, well-designed fretboard, and durable craftsmanship!

Premium Choice

10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (5)Our Premium Choice has to be the Cordoba C7 guitar thanks to its solid craftsmanship and rich, mellow sound.

Cordoba knows how important it is to keep your guitar safe and sound, and many guitars don’t come with gig bags or cases, and that’s why Cordoba includes a free gig bag with the instrument.

Not only does it have solid rosewood back and sides, but it also has a set of Savarez strings that resonate extremely well and stay tuned for days.

This guitar delivers great volume and clarity and is the perfect product for anyone looking for a budget purchase that delivers quality sound. The rich and crisp tone will help any budding guitarist fall in love with this instrument and inspire them to practice as often as possible.

Our Premium Choice has to be Cordoba’s guitar thanks to its fantastic, mellow sound and solid, natural cedar wood top.

Great Value

10 Best Classical Guitars Under $500 in 2022 [Buying Guide] - Music Critic (6)This Yamaha guitar has to be our Great Value pick thanks to the appealing design and the superb value-for-money that the product delivers. It’s designed as a beginner's guitar but can also be used by experienced players who want a quality budget guitar to practice on.

The Javanese rosewood fingerboard contrasts exceptionally well with the spruce top and dark, mahogany back and sides. This gives the guitar a unique 'dark and light' effect that we think looks gorgeous.

The melamine gloss finish also enhances the looks and gives the instrument a shimmer when it catches the light.

As ever with Yamaha, it has produced an instrument that delivers quality that far outperforms the budget price tag. It's built to last, looks good, and the sound quality is very impressive too. It offers powerful projection, and we think that it could even be used for small gigs. It's a deserved pick as our 'Great Value' choice. A very good purchase, in our opinion.

Conclusion

Now that you've read this guide, you'll see just how many fantastic classical guitars for under $500 that there are on the market. For anyone who wants to learn guitar then you've got so many choices. All you need to do is read our reviews, choose which ones appeal to you, then do a little extra research. You may even want to see if you can find a video of the classical guitar (click here for the study on classical guitar methodology) being played so that you can hear it in action. It's important just to make sure that you focus on three main areas. Sound quality is the first. The build quality is the second key feature to look out for. And the third is the price. You always want to get good value for money, in our opinion, regardless of the product. If you focus on these three key areas then you'll be assured an instrument that will last you years.

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