Best Classical Guitar Under 500

Whether getting one for the first time or looking for something for practice or your next performance, buying a new instrument is a mix of engaging, fascinating, and frustrating feelings all at the same time. Choosing the right one for you may be daunting, especially when it comes to classical guitars.

best classical guitar under 500

When in search for a classical guitar, it may take some time as the options and choices can be overwhelming. Sounds, looks, and performance are factors for making a selection, but, cheesy as it may sound, it also needs to feel right for you. Even when running under a budget, committing to one product can be very intimidating for beginners and experienced players alike. This is a guide for the best classical guitars under $500.

La Patrie Guitar, Etude QI

La Patrie Etude QI

Simplicity is the name of La Patrie’s Etude QI. While the guitar looks simple in design, its combination of a solid cedar top with laminated mahogany on its sides and back gives off a satisfying resonant clear tone. Its fuss-free design makes it a guitar that’s easy to pick up and play.

Once you start playing, you can really feel that the guitar has a premium feel to it due to the materials La Patrie used. This goes to show their dedication to the craft of guitar making, which made them stay in the market for a decade now.

The subtle design of its fingerboard having a reduced neck makes curving your finger and gripping the guitar strings comfortable, making it easier to play. The Etude QI hardware has a Tusq nut and a compensated saddle to allow the guitar to achieve a smooth intonation, making it a great guitar for beginners and intermediate players. If you’re looking for a simple, well-built, and amazing sound, then this guitar may certainly be for you.

Cordoba C7

Cordoba C7

Popular among musicians, the Cordoba C7 is a nylon-string acoustic guitar that offers quality that does not compromise despite its price. The well-built handmade design and rich warm tone it brings are some of the strengths that this guitar offers.

The top is made from solid European spruce top, which provides its warm tone while the sides and the back are made from Indian Rosewood. The guitar also offers a mahogany and rosewood neck that gives an elegant look and solid durable feel. With an all-around solid feel, you can feel confident picking up this guitar.

Thanks to its traditional body shape, the Cordoba C7 gives off a lot of volume, which gives it a strong and expressive resonance. The combination of the material components chosen for this guitar complements well with each other, giving great playability and warmth of the classical guitar sound. The hand in-laid tuners are easy for beginners but hold out on their own so dropping out of tune isn’t as frequent than other guitars.

Getting one of this as a beginner would be a solid choice as it is finely crafted and could provide more than its worth. Intermediate and advanced players may find themselves enjoying playing with this guitar as it still keeps up with different skill levels.

Yamaha C40

Yamaha C40

Being one of the most popular guitar brands in the music industry, Yamaha Guitars are well known for producing high-end high quality acoustic guitars. Not known to many, but Yamaha also offers guitars that are of good quality, affordable and beginner friendly. Yamaha always keeps their customers in mind and knows the importance of creating products for users with different needs and different skill levels.

Made from Indian Mahogany with sides and back from a spruce top, this helps give the C40 a warm mellow sound. It’s equipped with Yamaha quality tuners that many find durable and stable. Also, thanks to its precise bridge intonation, it provides an excellent range that many beginner guitar players may come to appreciate. You can also make some changes to its string action, so it can suit your playing needs.

Being a classical guitar, you may experience some difficulty if your hands are on the smaller side as the neck is traditionally designed with a wide fingerboard. If you are a beginner and would like to start with a good guitar and a brand that’s tried and tested for its quality, the Yamaha C40 provides all the qualities you are looking for.

Ibanez GA5TCE

Ibanez GA5TCE

Ibanez, being a very popular brand, has a reputation to live up to. One would ask if the brand has any affordable classical guitars, given that most guitars on their lineup are known to have a high-quality build. Ibanez does offer guitars that are affordable yet durable and reliable.

The Ibanez GA5TCE is a product sought-after by many as it offers a fantastic blend of function and style. Good for beginners and experienced players alike, this guitar is a good budget nylon-stringed classical guitar that looks, feels, and sounds like quality.

The gold spruce top body compliments very well with its dark mahogany sides and back. The cutaway model offers and extended reach that feels like an electric guitar. The best feature that this guitar offers is its narrow neck.

You may often mistake this as an acoustic guitar but it’s an addition that many users welcome as it is doesn’t feel bulky and instead has a very comfortable feel. Additionally, it’s equipped with the signature Ibanez Piezo pickup system that helps amplify nylon strings and provide the best performance you can get.

Quality craftsmanship and quality sound with an affordable price point, the Ibanez GA5TCE is no exception and lives up to the quality the brand provides.


Choosing the right guitar for you can be a daunting journey in itself, and making the choice of committing to a guitar is an act of investment itself. There are tons of brands out there that offer a budget option but not all brands offer quality in craftsmanship and sound like these guitars.

Performance and sound-wise, both the Ibanez GA5TCE and the La Patrie Etude QI offer that clear, crisp, classical sound that even experienced players would look for. However, the Ibanez GA5TCE takes the cake for balancing its form and function to meet most beginning or experienced guitar player would look for while working under a budget.

How to Choose a Classical Guitar

In choosing classical guitars, you need to determine the following factors:


How does the guitar sound when you play it? Are the lower notes (basses) balanced out with the higher notes? Are the tones well-defined and full, or does it feel abrasive to the ears? What type of wood is it made of? The wood actually affects the kind of sound that it makes, and it’s something worth considering.

Best Value for Your Buck

Are you looking for something cheap? Or are you willing to spend a little extra? It’s best to shop around and look for what fits your budget and what you need. You can even browse for online reviews on amazon or look up someone’s firsthand experience of guitars on YouTube. You can also visit online forums like Reddit, and ask consumers like yourself about their recommendations and their experiences with certain choices or brands.

If nothing else, you can always consider buying a used guitar. Although it might be harder to look for one that’s in mint condition, it’s still an available option.

How Long Do Classical Guitars Last?

Classical guitars are quite hardy. One can easily last for 30 years or more if properly maintained. But a classical guitar’s lifespan depends on several factors.

You have to take into account certain things like humidity, constant use, and maintenance.

The ideal humidity for guitars would be somewhere around 40-70%. Anywhere below that and the wood would start to crack, and if it goes beyond it, the wood would start to swell, causing distortions in several parts.

If you’re someone who will be using the guitar constantly, say practicing 6-8 hours a day, all days of the week, then your guitar would most likely be worn out earlier than those that are only used occasionally. As the guitar ages, its sound changes with it, and soon it wouldn’t sound as ‘rich’ as it used to. With the scenario I mentioned above, its original sound could probably last for a decade or more.

How to Maintain Your Classical Guitar

Like everything else that we treasure in life, classical guitars need constant upkeep too. First, it would be best to store it in a place within the recommended humidity levels. You might consider purchasing a humidifier if the relative humidity drops too low, or a digital hygrometer, as it allows you to accurately gauge the humidity levels surrounding your guitar at all times.

Second, consider purchasing a string bib. It protects the guitar’s finish when you change your strings and also prevents damage from string dings on the soundboard.

Third, you can choose to maintain the tuning pegs by applying lubrication either with clock oil or something heavier like Tri-Flow. You can do this once every one or two years.