Classical guitars are known for their clear, soft sound and nylon strings that emulate the original catgut strings of pre-20th century instruments. They're a staple on the music scene to this day since they can faithfully reproduce the guitar sounds for music from that era—and like any instrument that's around in this modern age, it's cropped up in several specialty varieties designed to suit specific situations.
A great example of this is the silent guitar from Yamaha, which comes in two styles: classical, and a nylon-stringed standard guitar. Designed for airports, backstage, or anywhere you'll want to play silently, these instruments feature built-in pickups and preamp that deliver rich, natural tones to your headphones. They're great for apartment dwellers, not to mention being perfect travel companions since they can collapse to fit into an airplane's overhead bin. And, of course, you can always put aside the headphones in favor of an amp when you're finished being silent.
Another carry-on size option is the Traveler Guitar Escape Classical, which has a cool design that packs the tuning keys into the body—this not only shrinks the size of the guitar, it also helps to prevent it from being bumped out of tune. This guitar is an acoustic-electric model, so it's also got onboard pickups and electronics to connect to an amp, mixer or headphones. There's even an aux-in jack so you can jam along with tunes from your mp3 player.
For younger musicians, there's a whole range of reduced-scale guitars from Kremona. Sized in one-quarter increments (1/4, 1/2 and 3/4), they allow the instrument to grow along with the developing guitarist over time. Given the size of classical guitars, a scaled version makes learning dramatically easier for smaller arms and hands. The best thing about Kremona's guitars is that you don't have to make any sacrifices or compromises—they're made with solid red cedar tops, African mahogany necks and Indian rosewood fingerboards. These are great quality woods even for full-size guitars.
Whether you're shopping for a growing player, for your travel needs or for a quiet instrument to play discreetly, these specialized classical and nylon guitars have you covered. They're great solutions for those situations where a full-sized, traditional guitar might be just a bit less convenient.