OK, first the background story..... one of our church members recently donated a guitar to me. It used to belong to her husband, who (very sadly) died of cancer a few years back - it has been in her house since then. I think she intended to "do something" with it, but she's just moved house, and realised she just wanted to see the guitar played. It was a touching gift to receive.
The guitar itself is a nylon strung, classical "semi-acoustic" guitar. By "semi-acoustic" I mean that it makes almost no sound at all, unless plugged in; it has a very thin (I think pretty well solid) body, and the sound-hole, such as it is, is blocked off. But it is really nice to play, and has a beautiful warm tone which is a pleasant contrast to the metal-strung folk guitar I usually play.
I fully intend to use this guitar in leading worship - and have actually used it for a few songs already (a couple of carols, and "We bow down" by Viola Grafstrom). It certainly works with quiet, laid back, intimate, worshipful songs. Having said that, one of the carols was "The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy" which is more of a Calypso style. But I'm not sure I could see me using it for everything (e.g. it might not work with the standard four chord soft rock stuff we all do....).
Couple of questions:
1) The guitar model is a Segovia, Session Series SAC-20. I can't find this at all online and I've no idea how old it is. Anyone ever heard of these?
2) Does anyone else out there use a classical guitar for worship leading some, or all, of the time? What sort of songs do you use it for?
Wow, I have not heard of that particular guitar, but that was a beautiful gift. I personally have been playing accoustic classicals more than my old steel string. I love the sound, and how 'soft' and gentle it is to play. It seems that I can do 'prettier' instrumentals with a classical. I like it especially in the morning if I want to sing praise and pray, just thanking God. And, as you mentioned...a classical really lends itself to a sweet calypso sound, of which 'flavor' I am very fond. (:
Hmmmm, I think possibly you have a 'custom' guitar. It could 'possibly' be made by Artista, but the Artista Segovia's listed are not solid body.
From what I can see on Google and Yahoo, this guitar does not exist. I would keep it very safe. (:
It's a nice guitar, but I suspect not 'custom'. I found this from Googling "Segovia SAC-20":
... a very imperfect translation of the post, using Yahoo Babel fish (assuming original language is Dutch) is:
Thats funny, that is the only hit I got also...
I think it is basically a "pre-internet" guitar, perfectly good, but not sufficiently distinguished to make it into the history books.....
I've seen them, but never noticed the model. They were never very expensive - $200 or so.
I play my classical(s) on a few occasions during the year depending on the song. Christmas is a definite as well as a few other times in the year including specials. A classical, even if higher end and loud, doesn't fit in all that often. They are never loud enough, nor do they push through the mix all that well. Every time I think of a great way to use one, it gets swamped.
I have a Kohno and an Alhambra.
We rarely have what people would call a "full" band, so there's not so much sound in the mix to push through, especially on the quieter songs. So, I'm hopeful it won't get completely swamped..... nevertheless, I'll ask the folks on sound how it is coming though, next time I try it.
At least I don't have any issues with needing to mic it up....
I'm also inclined to think it is probably not so expensive. There's something about the sound of classical guitar, though - I find even the cheap ones you can pick up for £40 here in the UK sound pleasant - though the tuning usually goes off higher up the fretboard on the really cheap ones.
Yea, I would be more inclined to use mine if I didn't have a full ensemble most of the time. It tends to fit well if you're looking for a Renaissance, Baroque or Spanish type flavor. I like it on the song "Praise Adonai" by Paul Baloche. He has a version that's very syncopated and exotic sounding and a good classical guitar makes it sound even better.
Have fun with that!
And it doesn't have to only be used with soft or quite passages. You just have to make sure it doesn't turn to mush as you turn it up - your sound crew should pay attention to controlling the bass frequencies and enhancing the trebles and upper mids so that it retains articulation as you turn it up.
Oh, yes -- it's so nice when someone plays an acoustic or classical guitar after these decades of twang-a-whang electric.
About all I would say is, if you use both classical and electric, let the electric lead on loud, thick songs and the classical and delicate. The model you have is a Segovia. The name says it.
When I was a teenager, thinking I could "win" the new generation with guitar playing, I bought a Garcia classical, having no idea that there even were "classical" and "pop" guitars. I could never get my fingers wrapped around the thing (when you're a keyboardist, you're trying to play upside down on guitar), and finally sold it a last year to someone who could make music with it. Tried turning it over like a cello, tried inventing a new tuning system so my fingers could reach the chords, anything to play it, but... some just know have what it takes to play a guitar...
Having a real classical is a blessing. I've tried "guitar" as a patch on keyboards; even the finest keyboards seem to have guitars that the other musicians call "that banjo thing."
All you need is three chords and the truth, Greg....
As an update for classical - I played mine for two songs on Christmas day. In my opinion, it didn't work well - we had too many instruments being played with it. Afterword, I and the other guitar player decided it would have worked well with just the classical and an acoustic.