For those just getting into the guitar, a nylon string is a wise choice. This guide to the 5 best nylon string guitars will help you pick the ideal instrument whether you’re a beginner or an advanced student.

Nylon string guitars are popular for students since the nylon materials won’t hurt your fingers as much as steel strings do. This is the main reason why they’re recommended for beginners who want to play guitar.

See Also: Best Acoustic Guitars 2022 Buyer’s Guide

My experience as a guitar teacher and working in several music stores will help guide you to picking the best nylon string guitar to suit your needs.

What Is a Nylon String Guitar?

A nylon string guitar or classical guitar is an acoustic guitar with smaller body size and nylon strings instead of steel strings. These instruments are often used in classical music as well as given to students at school.

The strings are easier on the fingers, so the student can press down to form notes without the pain that comes with steel strings. The instrument is also ideal for kids since they’re smaller than a regular dreadnought acoustic guitar.

best nylon string acoustic guitar

The strings are tied down at the bridge and the neck is wider than a regular acoustic guitar. Some players may have trouble with full chords on a nylon string due to this wider neck. It’s not the ideal guitar for heavily strummed chords.

My Experience with Nylon String Acoustic Guitars

I’ve played guitar for many years and have had my fair share of experience with nylon string guitars. The first guitar I played was a nylon string guitar, and when I took the guitar in high school I was issued a nylon string.

As a guitar teacher, I tuned and played many of the classical guitars that my students brought to lessons. I’ve played plenty of them in music stores and as a quality control technician in a music warehouse.

Nylon string guitars have a mellow and even tone, and the lighter strings which don’t dig into the fingers are ideal for kids and students. My 5 best nylon string guitars guide will help you find a great instrument.

Top 5 Best Nylon String Acoustic Guitars Overall

There are a lot of options when you’re looking for the best nylon string guitars. You’ll find a great guitar in this guide for all players no matter your needs or playing abilities.

Nylon String Guitar1. Epiphone Classical E1

  • Scale length: 25.6″
  • Pickup type: None
  • Body shape: Classical dreadnought
  • Case: No
  • Best for: Those on a low budget

The Epiphone E1 is the perfect first guitar for those on a budget. The cedar and mahogany tonewoods provide more clarity. The shorter than normal nut makes it easier to fret chords on this model.

The easy profile neck makes the guitar comfortable in your hand as you’re playing this instrument. Use the included lessons to get started right away with your new guitar.

Why I Recommend It

You’re not going to get much better on a limited budget than the Classical E1. This guitar is way better than typical budget classical guitar packages. It’s got a nice tone and it’s easy to play.

One of my students had this guitar, and while it may need more tuning than expensive guitars, it’s a nice guitar for not a whole lot of money. Pick one up if you’re on a low budget and want to play some guitar.



Nylon String Guitars2. Yamaha C40II Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.56″
  • Pickup type: None
  • Body shape: Classical dreadnought
  • Case: No
  • Best for: Guitar students

The Yamaha C40II Classical Guitar is one of the top 5 best nylon string guitars for today’s player. It’s made with solid wood and has a great tone. It’s ready for you to learn your first notes and chords on.

Use the Player Port app to watch instructional videos and read articles, and use the built-in tuner to keep your new guitar in perfect tune. This is an excellent guitar to take to music lessons with as you learn how to play.

✅ Easy to play
✅ Spruce top
✅ Rosewood bridge
✅ Player Port app
❌ No case
❌ May need setup

Why I Recommend It

I’m a big fan of Yamaha products like the C40II. This guitar is the right choice for the student and it’s easy to play. I got my hands on one of these at a local music store and it’s well worth the modest price tag.

For less than $200, you get a guitar that’ll help you learn how to play. Chords and single notes sound clean on the guitar and it keeps its tune reasonably well. Get it set up by a pro and it’ll play well for years to come.



best nylon string guitar3. Cordoba C5 Nylon-String Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.6″
  • Pickup type: None
  • Body shape: Classical dreadnought
  • Case: No
  • Best for: Beginner players that want a great nylon string

The Cordoba C5 Nylon String Guitar is the perfect guitar for the beginner guitar player looking to spend a bit extra on that first guitar. The solid wood construction produces an excellent tone, making the guitar a pleasure to play.

It’s got nice extras such as gold tuning pegs that give the guitar an attractive look. The solid cedar tone gives the guitar good projection, so it has a rich and full sound whether you’re playing single notes or strumming chords.

✅ Spanish fan bracing
✅ Low price
✅ Solid wood
✅ Bone nut
❌ No case
❌ No extras

Why I Recommend It

The Cordoba C5 is a pleasure to play. I found the guitar to be nice for fingerpicking as well as strumming. The wood is good sounding with an even tone. This is a steal at under $400. Beginners will love playing this classical guitar.

Far too many beginner guitars are a struggle to play and don’t sound that great. This Cordoba will instill the passion to play in the player. The fan bracing further enhances the guitar’s tone and sound quality.



taylor nylon guitar4. Taylor Academy 12-N Nylon String Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Pickup type: No
  • Body shape: Classical dreadnought
  • Case: Gig bag
  • Best for: Intermediate players that want great nylon string

The Taylor 12-N is a superior nylon string guitar made with choice tonewood for an excellent tone and reliability. The tuning is kept stable with a Tusq nut and saddle.

The spruce top gives the guitar excellent sound projection, so notes ring nice and clear whether you’re playing chords, fingerpicking, or soloing on the instrument. This is the perfect intermediate guitar for today’s player.

✅ Low cost
✅ Gig bag
✅ Tusq nut/saddle
✅ Easy playing
❌ No extras
❌ No cutaway

Why I Recommend It

Taylor makes excellent guitars, and the 12-N has a great tone. I played this guitar at a local music store and was impressed by the tone. I had no problems with fingerpicking or playing chords on this excellent instrument.

There’s a nice armrest on this model that cradles your arm to reduce fatigue when playing. I like this addition to the guitar, which makes playing for a longer duration a lot easier. This is a clear winner for any intermediate player.



Nylon-string Acoustic-electric MIDI Guitar5. Godin ACS Nylon String Acoustic Guitar

  • Scale length: 25.5″
  • Pickup type: RMC preamp
  • Body shape: Dreadnought/cutaway
  • Case: Gigbag
  • Best for: Professional players that need a superior nylon-string guitar

For players looking to perform on stage or record, the Godin ACS Nylon String is a superior guitar. It’s made with top-quality tonewoods, and the hexaphonic pickup system allows you to plug this guitar into your gear for recording.

The D shape neck provides easy playability with a smooth tone. The cutaway body makes this the perfect choice for soloists who need higher fret access. This guitar has everything that the professional guitar player needs.

✅ Huge tone
✅Bone nut/saddle
✅Excellent electronics
✅ Superior tonewoods
❌ Expensive
❌ Controls a bit complex

Why I Recommend It

The Godin ACS is an impressive guitar. I’ve been a fan of Godin for many years and own one of their acoustic guitars myself. If you want a superior tone as a professional player, this guitar is what you’re looking for.

It’s hard to find a good classical guitar with electronics, but this one has a nice system. You’re set if you have a studio or need to play live. It’s also got a nice EQ system to further enhance the tone.


What to Look for When Buying a Nylon String Guitar

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new 12-string acoustic guitar. Your budget and needs will play a large role in what you end up with.

Best Student Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar


There are several different tonewoods used to make acoustic-electric guitars. Here are the basic wood choices:

  • Cedar: This is often used for nylon string guitar tops, as it has a warm and balanced tone
  • Mahogany: Another rich tonewood often found on the backs and sides of guitars
  • Spruce: Another top tonewood for the tops of acoustic guitars
  • Koa: This wood provides excellent tone and is sometimes found on top-tier guitars
  • Rosewood: Often used for bridges and the fingerboard
  • Nato: Used on lower-cost guitars


There are various finishes used on acoustic guitars. Here are the most common ones:

  • Nitrocellulose lacquer: This lacquer provides a long life and has a great shine
  • Matte: A flat finish that’s smooth without much shine
  • Gloss: A common finish used on acoustic guitars with good shine and durability
  • Polyester: Another finish that’s durable and long-lasting


Nylon string guitars often don’t come with electronics, especially beginner models. You can find some top-tier guitars that have electronic systems, though. If you plan to record and play live, you’ll want a guitar with a pickup.

The Overall Tone & Sound

Nylon string guitars have a rich and full sound. They’re best for single-note lines and fingerpicking. Strumming chords is a bit harder on a classical guitar and you don’t get the volume that you do with a regular acoustic guitar.

The tone is softer and not as vibrant when compared to a steel-string acoustic guitar. Folk styles and classical music work best on a nylon string guitar.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are a few FAQs often asked about classical style or nylon string guitars.

How Much Do Nylon String Acoustic Guitars Cost?

Classical guitars vary in price, but there’s an instrument available for all playing levels. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to pay for one of these guitars.

  • Beginner: $100-$400
  • Intermediate: $400-$1000
  • Professional: $1000+

Are Nylon Strings Hard to Play?

Nylon string guitars are the easiest guitar to learn on thanks to the softer nylon used in string construction. They’re perfect for younger students and children, as the strings won’t dig into their hands.

Best Beginner Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar

Where to Buy Nylon String Acoustic Guitars

There are a few places you might consider when looking for a good nylon string guitar. Here are my recommendations.


I’ve always had a good experience buying guitars from Amazon. They have a huge selection, excellent prices, and a review system that makes it easier to pick out a quality guitar. This is my first stop when buying guitars.

Guitar Center/Sweetwater

Guitar Center and Sweetwater are two alternatives to Amazon. Both have a wide selection of nylon string guitars to choose from. You get fast shipping times and customer service that you can rely on.

Your Local Music Store

You may also want to shop at your local music store for a nylon string guitar. You may find that your local store doesn’t quite have the stock selection yon want, so you might have to special order something.

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In Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this top 5 nylon string guitars guide. There’s a great guitar out there with your name on it. All of the guitars listed here would make excellent choices.

Please like, share, and comment on this article. We look forward to speaking to you about nylon string guitars and musical instruments in general.