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-   -   Classical guitar - is it a good idea to have one around for steel string players? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=602663)

imc2111 01-01-2021 06:35 AM

Classical guitar - is it a good idea to have one around for steel string players?
 
I like the way classical guitars sound, and the idea of having a guitar with a very different tonal palette to steel string is quite alluring.

However, I find that it takes a bigger effort to switch from metal strings to nylon, as the attack and feel is very different. Going from an electric guitar to steel string acoustic is a very easy transition, but nylon strings are different.

Iíve been interested in having a nylon string for a while, but I sometimes think it wouldnít be a good investment of my practice time to be switching between two very different feeling instruments.

As a most here are steel string players, what do you think about nylon string guitars?

Emil 01-01-2021 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by imc2111 (Post 6591918)
I like the way classical guitars sound, and the idea of having a guitar with a very different tonal palette to steel string is quite alluring.

However, I find that it takes a bigger effort to switch from metal strings to nylon, as the attack and feel is very different. Going from an electric guitar to steel string acoustic is a very easy transition, but nylon strings are different.

Iíve been interested in having a nylon string for a while, but I sometimes think it wouldnít be a good investment of my practice time to be switching between two very different feeling instruments.

As a most here are steel string players, what do you think about nylon string guitars?

It does not interest me at all.
I dont care for how they sound, how the play and i dont listen to any music that involves classical/Spanish guitars so it does not trigger me to play or learn tunes on them either.
But they look nice :)

cmac 01-01-2021 06:46 AM

I had one for a number of years but recently sold it due to lack of use. You could always buy a used one and if it doesn't work out then you won't lose much.

GTRGUY005 01-01-2021 06:51 AM

I just bought a nylon for the reasons you are thinking about it. Itís a whole new world of sound, feel, technique and material to play. I didnít spend much on it so if it doesnít stick....oh well.

So far I am enjoying feeling like a beginner again.

The Bard Rocks 01-01-2021 06:54 AM

For my first 16-17 years I had a classical one for most all the time. I played it less than 30-some years later, I was given a very high quality one - and found I had difficulty playing it. I loved the sound but found little use for it with what I was playing, so a few years later sold it. I think I am cured... but still like the sound.

Kerbie 01-01-2021 06:56 AM

I love classical... guitars and music. I started on a classical a hundred years ago, so the change isn't much of a leap. I love the tone. I find it easy to listen to and easy to play. I see no downside. I think playing a classical can make a steel-string player better at drawing out the desired tone.

pieterh 01-01-2021 07:42 AM

I have an old beginner Landola classical that I rescued from a container. It needed a new saddle and new tuners.

As you and others have said, itís a different tonal palette and a different feel. That said, classical technique is always worth working on as it will cross over and benefit steel string playing. I go back every now and then and work through some Carcassi ťtudes - the wider string spacing becomes obvious when doing some of the exercises!

Iíd say go for it and see how it goes. If your budget stretches to it go for one of the modern takes on the nylon, like Taylor or Furch, where the difference in fingerboard width isnít as extreme as a ďregularĒ classical. At some point I want to get one of these to add to my collection. The Landola is ok to practice on but not much else.

AndreF 01-01-2021 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by imc2111 (Post 6591918)
I like the way classical guitars sound, and the idea of having a guitar with a very different tonal palette to steel string is quite alluring.

However, I find that it takes a bigger effort to switch from metal strings to nylon, as the attack and feel is very different. Going from an electric guitar to steel string acoustic is a very easy transition, but nylon strings are different.

Iíve been interested in having a nylon string for a while, but I sometimes think it wouldnít be a good investment of my practice time to be switching between two very different feeling instruments.

As a most here are steel string players, what do you think about nylon string guitars?

You make some very insightful points imo.
I think thatís the basic reason steel stringers will get a nylon string guitar, i.e. they like the sound of it, but then give up on it because they wonít commit the time and effort it takes to reproduce the sound which attracted them to it in the first place.
This applies mostly to fingerstyle players.
Itís not a knock. To produce good, pleasing tone out of a nylon string guitar requires a different technique, or at least a modified one, which anyone can learn. But you have to commit to it.
If you just go from steel to nylon without that change, chances are good it will not sound nearly as good as what you liked about it in the first place. And then the interest fades.

Ironically, I think youíd be better off not being a finger style player and thinking about it so much, and just play the thing with picks or electrically, or whatever. Because they do sound different and can be a lot of fun. Just get Segovia out of your mind and go for your own unique nylon sound. Then chances are the guitar will get a lot more play.:)

Ozarkpicker 01-01-2021 08:49 AM

Iíve heard several great players say they took lessons from classical teachers to develop proper chord fingering & keep a classical guitar around to keep their fingers trained.

rllink 01-01-2021 09:18 AM

I bought one in Spain in the seventies. I played it two years and didn't know it was a classical guitar. I thought it was just a cool guitar with a slotted head and nylon strings.

TBman 01-01-2021 09:42 AM

I got bit by the classical bug last year. I always wanted a halfway decent one so my wife got me a Cordoba. The problem for me was that I don't like having nails so I play with flesh only and that just doesn't really cut it for the classical tone.

Dak 01-01-2021 10:23 AM

If your interest is not in the results of playing the nylon string guitar but in cross-training to improve your skill and understanding of music, I don't think you are going nearly far enough.

A nylon string guitar isn't that different from a steel string. I suggest you take up the piano. The piano allows you to play 2 independent voices with ease, one or both of them can be full chords. The layout aids with understanding theory. It's easier to learn/improve reading skills on it. Probably almost every person in the last 300 years who composed any kind of music for other people to play did it on a keyboard.

I bought a digital piano less than 2 yrs ago and am already amazed with what I can do, and how much I learned beyond where I would be if I had just continued only playing guitar.

Probably the most signficant cross-training effect I've noticed on guitar is time compression. On piano, I have learned to pay attention to melody on one hand, chords on the other, making decisions about what to do with both at the same time. When I go back to guitar, doing basically only one thing at a time with both hands, it seems like time is slowed, and I have plenty of time to look ahead, focus on sound and technique details, etc...

FrankHS 01-01-2021 12:57 PM

It depends...
 
An oft-quoted reference in (sometimes inaccurrate) American pop-culture is, "If you have to inquire the price, then (maybe)
"You cannot afford it."

PS, I added word "maybe," because throughout life, we often change our minds about what a reasonable price ought to be.

BoneDigger 01-01-2021 02:11 PM

I have found that classical guitar is quite useful for me in many ways. I record my own music and sometimes a classical guitar can give you a tone that you simply cannot get anywhere else. My nylon/classical is more of a folk classical and is built a bit more sturdy and robust than a typical classical guitar.

Villamarzia 01-01-2021 04:06 PM

If you are currently playing fingerstyle on steel, a classical is a very nice addition to your palette and will push your technique into new territories. I am daily switching between steel and nylon. I own 3 guitars: a steel which I keep in dadgad, a classical in drop D and a flamenco in standard tuning. I think classical technique helped me to achieve a bigger tone also on steel, better finger articulation and posture (which is fundamental for good tone and good technique).


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