For many, the modern classical guitar started with the work of Antonio de Torres, sometimes referred to as the Stradivari of the classical guitar. He made guitars for Tárrega, Llobet, and many others who came to define the late 19th and early 20th-century guitar.

Buying an original Torres is almost impossible – they rarely come up for sale, and when the do they cost a fortune. What to do?

There are many modern-day luthiers who will make you a copy, or something Torres-inspired. In my experience, many of these instruments are too heavy, and just don’t sound like a genuine Torres – I have had the fortune to play an original Torres belonging to James Westbrook.

Here’s my solution:

Buy a light flamenco guitar, raise the action a little,

and string it with gut and silk strings.

That’s what I did. It doesn’t have to be an expensive flamenco guitar, but the better the quality, the better the result. – but you can get decent results from inexpensive instruments.

My wife bought me a Camps Concierto Negra Amazon for my 60th birthday – an unbelievable gesture, although it has created me the problem of how to reciprocate on HER 60th!

I put two thin pieces of card under the bridge saddle, raising the action to an acceptable height. And then I found a set of Aquila gut and silk strings in a drawer – they must have been about four years old.


What do you think? Make your comments below…