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Old 03-01-2024, 08:41 AM
Cecil6243 Cecil6243 is offline
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Default Classical Gas on a Classical Guitar

I want to add a Classical Guitar to my ensemble, but unfortunately as far as now, the siding on the house takes precedence.

I'm presently learning and memorizing the song on a steel string acoustic. It's sounds great, but I can't help wondering what it would be like playing it on a Classical nylon string guitar as Mason Williams did. Not so much the sound, which would be obviously a little different, but are there any advantages to the wider fretboard of classical guitar, or would it actually be a little more difficult if one is not used to playing a classical guitar.

I suppose I can go to my local Sweetwater and find out, but before then was curious to hear what others here think. (I'm actually not comfortable playing guitars if I am not in the market.)

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by Cecil6243; 03-17-2024 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 03-01-2024, 12:40 PM
Gitfiddlemann Gitfiddlemann is offline
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Originally Posted by Cecil6243 View Post
I want to add a Classical Guitar to ensemble, but unfortunately as far as now, the siding on the house takes precedence.

I'm presently learning and memorizing the song on a steel string acoustic. It's sounds great, but I can't help wondering what it would be like playing it on a Classical nylon string guitar as Mason Williams did. Not so much the sound, which would be obviously a little different, but are there any advantages to the wider fretboard of classical guitar, or would it actually be a little more difficult if one is not used to playing a classical guitar.

I suppose I can go to my local Sweetwater and find out, but before then was curious to hear what others here think. (I'm actually not comfortable playing guitars if I am not in the market.)

Thanks in advance!
It's a great tune to learn. I did many years ago and still play it on a regular basis.
You can certainly play it on either type, but the signature opening is so idiomatic to a classical guitar, and so etched in everyone's mind that way, that it's hard to beat nylon for a straight cover of that particular tune.
I think so anyway.
Personally I also think it's easier to play on nylon, but that's what I'm used to. You may have a different take.
I'll say this though: If you memorize it on steel, and go to the store to play it on nylon, you'll be taking that guitar home!
Have fun with it!
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Old 03-01-2024, 12:44 PM
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Look into the Cordoba cross overs.
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Old 03-01-2024, 01:10 PM
Gitfiddlemann Gitfiddlemann is offline
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Look into the Cordoba cross overs.
Yes! Excellent suggestion for the OP. Especially for steel string players who are used to narrower necks.
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Old 03-01-2024, 04:55 PM
Cecil6243 Cecil6243 is offline
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Thank you for all the comments.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:29 PM
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Somewhere in my photos I have pics of Mason's Oscar Teller classical guitar. He was referred to me in advance of a trip he made to Nashville back in 03. He shipped his guitar prior to arrival.

He came to see me after I had completely reworked the fret board and installed new frets. The fret board was not in a good way.

He asked me to lower the action a bit. I casually asked him how long he had the guitar, he responded that it was his only guitar. I said, this is the only guitar you've ever used. He said Yes, and continued that he recorded all 27 version of Classical Gas on that guitar.

That was a moment,

I spent a bit of time with Mason. He had some fun and revealing stories.

I will try to locate the pics of the Classical Gas guitar and post it.

Its sitting on a computer I can not access from here.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:34 PM
Cecil6243 Cecil6243 is offline
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Somewhere in my photos I have pics of Mason's Oscar Teller classical guitar. He was referred to me in advance of a trip he made to Nashville back in 03. He shipped his guitar prior to arrival.

He came to see me after I had completely reworked the fret board and installed new frets. The fret board was not in a good way.

He asked me to lower the action a bit. I casually asked him how long he had the guitar, he responded that it was his only guitar. I said, this is the only guitar you've ever used. He said Yes, and continued that he recorded all 27 version of Classical Gas on that guitar.

That was a moment,

I spent a bit of time with Mason. He had some fun and revealing stories.

I will try to locate the pics of the Classical Gas guitar and post it.

Its sitting on a computer I can not access from here.
27 versions! No wonder I keep seeing different versions!

I'd be very interested in the pics as I'm sure others here would be!
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Last edited by Cecil6243; 03-16-2024 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:52 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cecil6243 View Post
I want to add a Classical Guitar to ensemble, but unfortunately as far as now, the siding on the house takes precedence.

I'm presently learning and memorizing the song on a steel string acoustic. It's sounds great, but I can't help wondering what it would be like playing it on a Classical nylon string guitar as Mason Williams did. Not so much the sound, which would be obviously a little different, but are there any advantages to the wider fretboard of classical guitar, or would it actually be a little more difficult if one is not used to playing a classical guitar.

I suppose I can go to my local Sweetwater and find out, but before then was curious to hear what others here think. (I'm actually not comfortable playing guitars if I am not in the market.)

Thanks in advance!
After you get your siding on, do make a trip to Sweetwater and try out a Cordoba Cadete. It has a 1-7/8" flat board, a bit shorter scale length, 3/4 body size, and sounds very nice considering it's low price.

I have several much more expensive steel strings and it's still one of my most often played guitars. (I have a Cordoba Orchestra Fusion that is basically unplayed.)

You won't have to feel guilty for "trying one out" because you'll probably take it home with you.

Classical Gas is a great tune, but a simple nylon strung guitar can be used for so much more. I'm currently working on Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street in drop D if you need an example of what a crazed nylon lover might do with one...

Last edited by Rudy4; 03-01-2024 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 03-02-2024, 08:22 AM
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27 versions! No wonder I keep seeing different versions!

I'd be very interested the pics as I'm sure others here would be!
I will dig into it and find the pics.
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Old 03-02-2024, 05:19 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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...but are there any advantages to the wider fretboard of classical guitar...
There are many shapes in classical guitar repertoire that I find almost impossible (if not actually impossible) on thinner necks, as there's simply not enough space for my fingers. On a steel string (or even worse, an electric) my fingers can start running into each other or start muting adjacent strings. So wider necks usually mean cleaner notes for the average player.

On the flip side, wider necks means your fingers have to stretch further between strings, so that's going to clearly take more effort, and slightly more time for a finger to switch from one string to another (which can matter if you're trying to be the next Tim Henson). So thinner necks usually means easier and faster playing. On my steel string, switching between cowboy chords is comparably easier.

Also, steel string necks usually have a radius to them (classicals are flat), which appears to make barre chords much easier for some. Personally the added tension of the steel strings not only negates this, but yields a net increase in difficulty, but I digress. If you play better with a radius, then the flat neck of a classical might be hard.

A cross over is probably the way to go. It'll still be tight for some of the more complex classical shapes, but not as tight as a steel string will be. A very good middle ground.
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Old 03-03-2024, 12:45 AM
NormanKliman NormanKliman is offline
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...or would it actually be a little more difficult if one is not used to playing a classical guitar.
Yes, most of the difficulty comes from keeping your fretting-hand thumb behind the neck at all times, which is the right way to play nylon. Once you get used to it, your fretting hand will be much stronger and youíll develop a sense of where to plant that thumb, which is about as important to guitarists as planting feet is to boxers. Youíll be surprised how easy it is to fret most chords and how small and narrow steet-string necks are.

Theyíre different instruments for different kinds of music. In the case of Classical Gas, thereís no reason to play it on anything but nylon.
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Old 03-03-2024, 04:15 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is offline
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Theyíre different instruments for different kinds of music. In the case of Classical Gas, thereís no reason to play it on anything but nylon.

Here's a reason:

Last edited by Aspiring; 03-05-2024 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-04-2024, 10:31 AM
NormanKliman NormanKliman is offline
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A dead link?
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Old 03-04-2024, 05:02 PM
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Here's a reason:

Fixed link..........
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2024, 08:33 PM
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Fixed link..........
Thanks. My version is working in my browser. What did you see different?
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