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The classical guitar (also known as concert guitar, classical acoustic, nylon-string guitar, or Spanish guitar) is the member of the guitar family used in classical music. It is an acoustical wooden guitar with strings made of nylon, rather than the metal strings used in acoustic and electric guitars. The traditional classical guitar has twelve frets clear of the body and is held on the left leg, so that the hand that plucks or strums the strings does so near the back of the soundhole (this is called the classical position). The modern steel string guitar, on the other hand, usually has fourteen frets clear of the body (see Dreadnought) and is commonly played off the hip.
The phrase “classical guitar” may refer to either of two concepts other than the instrument itself:
the instrumental finger technique common to classical guitar—individual strings plucked with the fingernails or, rarely, fingertips.
the instrument’s classical music repertoire
The term modern classical guitar is sometimes used to distinguish the classical guitar from older forms of guitar, which are in their broadest sense also called classical, or more specifically, early guitars.