If you love playing older guitars, the Martin HD28 and HD28v could be one of your next favorite instruments. Although the brand reimagined the HD28 to include many of the unique features from the vintage version, it also decided to retire the previous model.
Both guitars deliver a booming result when you want to have chords ring out through the room.
The vintage design puts a twist on the classical guitar, using the classic combination of rosewood and spruce to create the dreadnought sound you love. The ebony fretboard provides consistent finger movement and placement, while the rest of the instrument delivers excellent reverberation.
You’ll get similar results from the HD28. Aside from minor changes, the only primary difference between the two Martin guitars is the neck shape.
Martin HD28 vs. HD28v Neck
Although many musicians swear that there is a significant difference between the Martin HD28 vs. the HD28v neck, the guitars are built the same way. The only change is in the vintage toner used to blend into the soundboard finish, which is why you get the (v) designation.
Some minor structural changes are also included in the two guitars. When playing an HD28 guitar, you’ll have a low oval neck that supports the overall sound profile. The vintage model has something closer to a modified “V” shape, which some musicians find to be a little more comfortable.
Other musicians say that the V-style neck feels bulky, making the guitar clumsy when attempting to play.
You’ll also notice the HD28v guitar has more of a forward bracing, shifted by 5/16 inches with a long-bone saddle and a different set of tuners.
What’s remarkable about the HD28v is that individual guitars in that series can have remarkably different sounds from each other. If you want something more consistent in tone and quality, you’ll want to go after the Martin HD28 instead.
The only thing you’ll find that comes close to these Martin guitars for tone quality is the 1960s vintage Gibson guitars.
Why You Should Learn How to Play the Classical Guitar
When you learn how to play the Martin HD28 or Martin HD28v, you’re taking on the challenge of managing a classical guitar. This instrument is one of those that efforts endless growth opportunities!
While other instruments, including some guitar designs, end up coming and going over the years, the classical option continues standing strong. It encompasses numerous musical periods, dating to the Renaissance, while providing modern takes on melody, rhythm, and theory.
You can choose to strum or fingerpick the classical guitar, allowing for two styles to be learned for the same instrument instead of one. Some additional benefits come from that process for musicians to consider, including what you can discover below.
1. It is an opportunity to help you enhance your technique.
When you start learning how to play the classical guitar, the technique required for this style forces musicians to improve their style continuously. If you aren’t flawless with your performance, it’s much easier for the listener to tell – even if that person isn’t a trained musician.
You’re working on your technique non-stop when you are playing the classical guitar because the work is never done. There are always places where you can improve, especially when you’re working on the little things.
2. Playing the classical guitar offers social benefits.
Although the guitar has a reputation for bringing people to musicians for social relationships, it also provides the reverse outcome. It might seem that the classical style is somewhat rigid, but this genre is open to several personal interpretations.
If you can play at a party, by a campfire, or even for spiritual gatherings, the skills you develop can help you make friends, meet people and have plenty of laughs.
Performances don’t need to be special to draw people together. You can play a few absent-minded chords or hum a melody you’ve been thinking about, and people will come.
3. The classical guitar delivers more diversity for your playing style.
You could say that the standard acoustic guitar and the classical style are relatively similar, but there are a few key differences to consider. The primary issue is the instrument’s construction, built to serve more of a robust strumming or fingerpicking style than accompaniment chords or background melodies.
It’s not unusual to see classical guitarists working in musical genres like folk, jazz, and other cultural styles because it has more expressionism and individualism. Those traits can deliver significant benefits to your overall playing style.
4. Learning how to play the classical guitar helps your coordination.
When you choose to play the Martin HD28 or Martin HD28v, you’re learning how to improve your coordination as a musician.
The requirements for guitarists to excel with this instrument involve a range of tasks that encourage the brain to think about juggling multiple thoughts at once. During the average performance, even if you’re only practicing, you are coordinating these skills simultaneously.
- You’re creating the correct chord shapes with your hands.
- Each note and chord require a specific focus to ensure they’re played correctly.
- You are reading sheet music, guitar scores, tabs, chord arrangements, or other forms of written music.
- The strumming pattern must remain consistent with the expected song and melody.
- You’re keeping time with other musicians or the song’s desired pattern while engaging the audience, managing a recording, or building a specific skill.
If you can learn to multitask successfully while playing something fun, like the classical guitar, you’ll notice this skill translates to other areas of your life. It will be much harder to get distracted by everything around you with consistent practice.
5. Understanding how to play the classical guitar can boost your confidence.
Anyone who has picked up an acoustic guitar understands that nailing the proper technique for chords, strumming, or fingerpicking isn’t easy. This process can even worsen if you haven’t developed the calluses on your fingertips for your playing style.
When you stick it out with the classical guitar, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment that feels quite gratifying as a musician. Not only can you transition your practicing to other acoustic styles, but you can also explore different genres and mediums whenever inspiration strikes.
The classical guitar is an excellent instrument to build self-confidence. Even if you only take it up as a hobby, each song or composition you play successfully will provide fuel to the other activities your creative side enjoys.
6. Learning the classical guitar can help you build a musical career.
We live in a different era of human history than past civilizations. Instead of spending years as an apprenticeship in the creative arts, we’re all funneled toward specific career options out of necessity. Authors become bloggers, counselors become teachers, and the same is true for many other professions.
Instead of doing one task, we’re asked to perform many. That’s what enables us to find employment, pursue hobbies, and connect with others.
When you learn how to play the classical guitar, you’ll experience the same benefits as a musician. Adding this instrument to your portfolio can expand the gig opportunities that become available. You’ll eventually get to field more job offers, earn some cash, and potentially make a living out of what you love to do.
7. You can play several different styles with the classical guitar.
When you start playing the classical guitar, the instrument can let you play solo or with a group. Most artists with this instrument, including those with the Martin HD28 or HD28v, typically perform alone because of the melodic complexities that the strings can produce.
The classical guitar has enough flexibility to let you work in a band, ensemble, chorus, and other musical groups. That versatility makes your work an attractive choice for other musicians because your instrument’s sounds are complementary to the other voices in the room.
8. The sound of a high-quality classical guitar is unbeatable.
You will not find a more lovely instrument to play than the classical guitar. Although everyone has their own preferences to consider, ranging from the violin to the trumpet, the soft acoustics you’ll get from this instrument are soothing and pleasant. There’s a particular delicacy to each melody and rhythm that you don’t find anywhere else.
Part of the reason for this benefit of playing the classical guitar is due to the instrument’s strings. Once you start playing, you’ll discover that some products work better than others to deliver that gentle performance.
■ What Are the Best Strings for Classical Guitars?
If you want to improve your classical guitar’s sound, it helps to swap out the old strings for new ones about once every other month. When you only play the instrument a few times, the casual player can switch them twice per year.
Here are the options to consider when you want the best classical guitar strings to play with your Martin HD28 or HD28v.
|D’Addario EJ45TT ProArte Nylon DynaCore Strings||• These fantastic guitar strings are built with a composite core to ensure that you receive a round tone and excellent brightness with each note. |
• It uses normal tension, although hard and extra-hard choices are also available.
• Instead of using steel for the trebles, the titanium design works exceptionally well to produce a consistently excellent sound.
|Savarez 540ARJ Alliance HT Classic Strings||• When you use these classical guitar strings, you’ll notice a robust tone come from the instrument. |
• They provide excellent projection and clarity, although chord dynamics can be somewhat challenging.
• They come at a higher tension, so you’ll want to think about your playing style before equipping these.
|D’Addario EJ27N Nylon Classical Guitar Strings||• These strings are an excellent choice for those who are just starting to learn how to play the classical guitar. |
• You’ll receive a normal tension with silver plating on clear nylon.
• Although the projection is below average, the warmth of each note and chord is perfect for those practice sessions you’ll be doing.
|Hannabach 815-HT Silver Special Guitar Strings||• These pro-quality strings for the classical guitar come with five different tension styles for you to consider. |
• The bass strings come silver plated, while the trebles have precision rounding to ensure even tones.
• The outer surface has an additional protective coat to prevent tarnishing.
• You’ll notice less string noise, but they’ll need some extra tuning.
|D’Addario Pro Arte EJ453D Guitar Strings||• You’ll experience one of the warmest full-bodied tones ever when you equip these strings to a classical guitar. |
• Each nylon treble is laser-measured to ensure the tension and diameter measurements remain consistent.
• You’ll get the typical string gauge with unparalleled quality for these silver-plated wound beauties.
9. Playing the classical guitar will help your hands and fingers.
When you play the classical guitar, you can control how much tension is part of the playing process. You’re not using steel, which means your hands and fingers won’t hurt as much when you first start playing.
The nylon strings don’t need a pick to sound great, which reduces hand cramping and similar issues during extended playing sessions.
If one of the strings snap, there is less risk to you as a performer because the nylon doesn’t ricochet upward in the same way steel does with its higher tension.
Martin HD28 vs. HD28v Neck: Does It Matter?
When you want to learn how to play the classical guitar, the Martin HD28 vs. HD28v beck debate could impact how you approach this genre.
For me, I’ve found that the standard Martin HD28 with the dreadnought body delivers the tone and quality I want with the classical sound.
What I love about these guitars are the authentic sounds that come from the Sitka spruce, mahogany, and other woods that go into its construction. Each instrument is handmade from the finest materials to ensure it can stand up to any playing style or environment.
You’ll receive an iconic sound from the first strum when making this investment. If you equip the guitar with the best strings for your preferred sound, you’ll discover the magic that comes from your creative energy.
Martin guitars have a reputation for unrivaled quality. If you ever want to learn how to play the classical style, this brand is the real deal.