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Author Topic: Steel Or Nylon  (Read 2960 times)

Offline sad_fingers

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Steel Or Nylon
« on: August 18, 2007, 05:33:31 PM »
Ok was just nosing through threads and began to wonder what do people think?

I have played about with Nylon stringed classical guitars in the past but can't seem to warm to them. Even listening to Nylon string guitars does nothing for me and flamenco YUCK ( thats just me. )

I find i really like the sound of the steel string acoustic they have a warmth I feel is lost with Nylon.

Have you or do you play Nylon? If so what are the pros to you???????

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Offline luvzmocha

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2007, 06:35:47 PM »
If you like Nylon covers, here is a pro:

http://youtube.com/user/NAUDOPRD



Practice more...Forum less!!

Offline skip77

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2007, 08:11:43 PM »
I'm a beginner sad_fingers but as you know, I have an opinion and don't hesitate to share it. My first guitar was a Yamaha classical. That thing sounded great. Since that first guitar, I've owned and played 2 Alvarez dreadnoughts, an OS11CE classical, an Ovation Balladeer deep bowl steel string, the Carlo Robelli mini-6 string that came with steel strings but had intonation problems that I solved by switching to heavy gauge nylons, one Harmony mini-guitar w/steel strings and more recently, a vintage Silvertone steel string and a Washburn House of Blues steel string.

You are asking what people think or prefer between steel and nylon string guitars. Advantages for nylon strings are that you can play long sessions with less stress on finger tips at both ends because the strings are softer and lower tension than steel strings. The sound is different but for me, all musical sounds and tones have value and so I love the sound of nylon string guitars. However, to qualify that statement, I must add that obviously, poorly made classical guitars may not sound good. Also, I tend to prefer heavy or hard tension nylons - these heavier strings move the tone more in the direction of steel strings. As some in the forum know, I recently sold most of my guitars and bought others. Interestingly, I sold all my steel string guitars because I thought I could live with classical only - I love my classical guitar - it sounds awesome and the wide nut is really preferable for me. I found quickly that I missed the deep, rich tones of steel strings and that is put me back on the path to collecting a couple steel string guitars so that I could enjoy both sounds.

Where I am right now is owning and playing both nylon and steel string guitars because both sounds are unique and good. I think my taste in guitar tones is beginning to mature in some ways because I am finding myself enjoying the sound of steel strings most. I find the generally more narrow nut width for steel string guitars a little too close for me - wish more steel string acoustics had 1 3/4 nuts or even 1 7/8.

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Offline Lunaray

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2007, 11:53:35 PM »
Sad,

Maybe it's because I learned and developed my style on nylon strings? I love their cozy, warm & friendly feel, and I find steel strings to be a bit intimidating (maybe I'm just a wimp :-), but I do love the sound of steel strings and I'm trying to wean myself off of nylon strings.  It's not easy though, I have to keep my classical in its' case and lock the closet door!  :-)  My logic tells me that if I can make a total transition to steel strings, playing my nylons will be a piece of cake.

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Offline skip77

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 05:48:40 PM »
Lunaray, I think you are right. I have been migrating through the same transition with the exception that I started on classical but soon switched to steel and stayed with that exclusively a year or so (had given my classical away) before getting classical again. When I got the OS11CE by Washburn, I loved the sound and playability of that thing so much that I found myself picking it up almost exclusively, and turning myself into a 2 nut, smooth and comfortable nylon string junky! Yeah, it's hard to pass up - you can bend notes so easily etc with nylon and the sound is up close and personal. In more recent months, like you, I have determined to move back to steel strings and have gotten quite busy, hardly playing my nylons at all. The fast return of serious calouses has produced exactly the thing you suggested - ease of playing either kind of strings. I still love classical but steel string tones are so deep and solid that they are hard to pass up as well? Thus the dicotomy - steel and nylons both produce beautiful music and I think that most of our good buddies here in the forum, own and play both?

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Offline Fretless Johnny

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 02:13:54 PM »
I've been playing a lot of finger style lately and wasn't crazy about the sound of steel string or the feel of nylon.  Then I found D'Addario Silk and Steels. They are lightweight gypsy jazz strings, the round wound feeling of steel strings, but over silk cores, very warm and mellow sounding, no steel string bite.  They sound and feel great and have a really distinctive sound you will probably either love or hate.

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Offline skip77

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 04:32:11 PM »
Good tip Fretless - I'll try some of them next time.

OS11CE Classical(Sweet)
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Carlo Robelli Mini-6 (Tons of Fun)
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Offline YerDugliness

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2007, 04:50:29 PM »
Having played exclusively classical/nylon strings for my first 30 years of guitar playing, they tend to be my gold standard.  I find that there is a greater range of tones available from the classical guitars than from the steel string guitars.  If I'm working on a technical piece, it's always the classical guitar.  If I'm playing an old friend, likewise it's always the classical guitar.  

Having said that, though, I' don't like to abuse my classical strings with a pick, so a few years ago I bought my Washburn WD32S.  I bought it to barter for some help with a home improvement project, but the guy moved out of state before we could get to the project, so I started fooling around with it and found that I really enjoy it for rhythm work.  It's a totally different genre' than classical guitar and I find myself playing it more and more, particularly when I'm learning a new song.  Once I have the chord progression down, I can switch to the classical for the fingering.

Then, about 6 months ago, a friend sold me an electric guitar (Epiphone Dot ES335 repop) for next to nothing.  I put another $200 into it for new electronics, a bone nut and a setup and now have a very playable electric, which is yet another totally different genre'.  I'm enjoying it, too, but not playing it as much as I do the two acoustics.

I guess if I had to choose one and burn the rest, I'd keep the classical.  It's comfortable like an old flannel shirt--fits just right and feels very sensual.

It's all good, though, and I play all 3 of them every day.

Fretless--thanks for the heads up on the D'Addarios.  Right now I have Dean Markley Alchemy Gold Bronzes on my Washburn, and they really made the thing come alive compared to the wimpy strings that were on it when I bought it, but I've been looking for a more copacetic feel.  I may try the S&S's.

Dugly

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Offline skip77

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Steel Or Nylon
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2007, 03:30:17 PM »
Dugly - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand your classical preference - 30yrs! Awesome!

OS11CE Classical(Sweet)
Vintage Silvertone Dreadnought(Sweet)
Carlo Robelli Mini-6 (Tons of Fun)
Washburn House of Blues (Nice Surprise)
All Beaters - All Awesome!

Accoustic is Pure - Electric is 4 Sissies
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