What is a classical guitarist?
A classical guitarist is a solo musician, who plays the classical acoustic guitar. The classical guitar uses nylon strings rather than steel, which give a warm, mellow sound.
Classical guitarists can play a wide range of musical styles, from early lute music, to Spanish and flamenco, as well as arrangements of classical and contemporary pop tunes, to create a uniquely informal ambiance, perfectly suited to a range of occasions, from wedding ceremonies to drinks receptions or private parties.
What music will a classical guitarist play?
A classical guitarist will play a variety of genres of music, including rock and popular tunes, soul, film themes and classical, performing music which most of your guests will know and love! A typical repertoire might feature artists such as:
- Taylor Swift
- The Killers
- Bruno Mars
- Ed Sheeran
- Robbie Williams
- Simon & Garfunkel
- The Beatles
- Carole King
- The Beach Boys
- Bill Withers
- Etta James
- Aretha Franklin
- Ritchie Valens
- Frank Sinatra
- John Williams
- Buena Vista Social Club
A set list for each artist is featured on their individual profile page.
Need some inspiration for song ideas? Check out our 'Top 20 Guitar Songs for Weddings' article here
Popular types of classical guitarists
Alive Network’s classical guitar players can perform a range of musical genres, with many offering several styles in one performance. Our most popular types of classical guitar styles include:
1. Popular covers
Nearly all of our classical guitarist will perform music from classic and contemporary popular artists, including Ellie Goulding, Adele, Elton John, Abba, Leonard Cohen and Ed Sheeran.
Arranged and played on guitar, classical music takes on a lovely warmth that is both sophisticated and non-stuffy! You can expect guitar arrangements from the greats of the classical world, such as Bach, Pachelbel and Mendelssohn.
3. Spanish (Flamenco)
Spanish and Latin American guitar music offers a fiery slice of the traditional culture, often with intricate and impressive finger-picking and incorporating toe-tapping passionate Flamenco music, along with more contemporary melodies from artists like Manu Chao and the Buena Vista Social Club.
Classical guitarists playing in a jazz or lounge style cover finger-clicking music from the Rat Pack era to cool old school jazz classics and Charleston music, to melodic tunes from the Great American Songbook. Often featuring artists like Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, and Nina Simone, to name a few.
Where in the UK do Alive classical guitarists perform?
Our classical guitarists entertain at a range of events across the UK and internationally – at weddings, corporate events, private parties, venues, and festivals. The locations where our classical guitarists are most frequently booked include:
Most popular counties:
Most popular cities:
Is a classical guitarist suitable for my event?
Usually the headline daytime or afternoon entertainment, classical guitar music is versatile and sophisticated, ideal for occasions such as:
Because of the romantic nature of the instrument and the warm sound, classical guitar music is perfect for wedding ceremonies and receptions, Guitarists can play as your guests arrive, during the wedding ceremony and the signing of the registers.
Our guitarists can tailor their performance to your individual needs – from romantic, and relaxing background tunes to well-known classic popular melodies and lively Latin and Spanish guitar music – creating the perfect atmosphere and bringing your party to life.
Classical guitarists are also a great option for corporate events and drinks receptions.
If you have your heart set on a classical guitarist at your event, but would like something a bit different, many of our classical guitarists can perform alongside other musicians for a larger sound.
Space considerations at your event
A seated solo classical guitar player is fairly compact, needing around 2 square metres to perform comfortably. This allows space for a seat, music stand, microphone and stand, and their PA system.
For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a classical guitarist need?’, below.
Volume – how loud is a classical guitar?
A guitarist will match his style of playing to your event, so a live guitarist’s volume can vary between chilled background music to flamboyant flamenco. This can be anywhere between 65 – 85dB (decibels), which in real terms is the volume of a busy restaurant or the sound of audience applause.
Since acoustic guitars can be relatively quiet, classical guitarists will generally use an amplifier, particularly if they’re playing at a function with more than about 50 guests or at larger venues. Many have access to battery-powered amps, which are ideal for outdoor performances where there may not be access to a plug socket.
How much does a classical guitarist cost?
In 2017, the average price of a classical guitar player is around £350.
This table below outlines the range of fees for different types of classical guitar artists:
|Type of Artist
|Solo classical guitarist
||£150 - £375
||£280 - £375
|Classical guitar duo
||£270 - £600
Booking a musician who lives near your venue is one way to keep costs down, since their travel time will be minimal. The home town location of all our classical guitarists can be found on their profile pages, and your Entertainment Coordinator can recommend the best musicians close to your event.
Who are the top 10 best classical guitarists in the UK right now?
The artists below are our current leading classical guitar players, based on a range of popularity, performance quality and innovation:
For a list of Alive's most booked classical guitarists right now, see our 'Top 10 Classical Guitarists For Hire in 2017' article
How long will a classical guitarist play for?
Most classical guitarists will perform two 45-minute sets, with a break of around 15 minutes’ in-between. In many cases, they will be willing to play for longer – often up to 3 hours. You can find the booking options on each classical guitarist’s profile page.
How much space will a classical guitarist need?
A classical guitarist only needs a small space to perform. They usually perform while seated, and also need space for a music stand, microphone stand and PA system.
This guide shows approximately how much space a classical guitarist will need:
|Solo Classical Guitarist
||2 metres × 2 metres
More accurate measurements for your chosen guitarist can be provided by your dedicated Event Coordinator.
How long will it take for a classical guitarist to set up?
It takes a classical guitarist around 30- to 45-minutes to prepare for a performance, depending how close they can park in relation to the performance area. This often involves the setting up of the amplifier, to increase the sound of their acoustic guitar.
Many busy hotels ask artists to load in via a shared supplier’s entrance, which can extend set up times.
Following the final set, it can take about 15–20 minutes to pack down and load out.
What equipment will a classical guitarist need?
Most classical guitarists will need:
- parking provision, preferably with easy access to the venue
- a named venue contact for the guitarist to ask for when they arrive
- a suitably-sized, safe, dry, flat performance area. If performing outside, they will need cover from the elements
- an armless chair
- (if using a non-battery powered amp or a PA system) one or two 13 amp power sockets in close proximity
- refreshments such as soft drinks and sometimes food, depending on how long you have booked them for.
Most of Alive Network’s classical guitarists will provide their own microphones, and amp or PA system.
For a more comprehensive classical guitarist booking guide please read ‘Booking a classical guitarist – Everything you’ll ever need to know’.
If you have any other queries, simply visit our FAQ page.
Alternatively, our dedicated expert entertainment coordinators are on-hand to help. Simply call 0845 108 5500 or email email@example.com.