The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Classical

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-25-2018, 06:18 AM
cyclistbrian cyclistbrian is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 379
Default The nylon string as a folk instrument

I guess you could say I'm a grandchild of the fifties sixties folk boom. Music was important in the home I grew up in and a lot of it stemmed from the folk era. My grandparents especially were Quakers and hard core lefties and a part of that scene. Think Oak Publishing, Sing Out, The Weavers, Pete and Woody, and you'll have an idea of what I'm writing about. And it seems to me that while the steel string was and remains vastly more popular for American (as in USA, not the continent) the classical guitar had its place back then.

I myself having recently turned fifty am solidly in the steel string camp. I've tried nylon string guitars a few times. I love the sound others can get from them. As for me a wide classical neck hurts like heck to play and even the mid priced cross overs have been overbuilt and sounded dull. So no real personal success. Its a kind of a shame and Im inclined to give it one more go.

Who here is using a nylon string for folk? Do you use it for ballads? To acompany singing? If you play steel string as well what determines what you prefer for which songs?
__________________
Music, to do it well, is a hard and worthy endeavor.Make music you believe in. Play to please yourself. Make art and if you are sincere others may follow.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-25-2018, 06:52 AM
Bikewer Bikewer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,228
Default

My wife and I both come from about that era.... The tail end of the “folk revival”. My wife played semi-professionally for years using nylon string guitars exclusively.
Folk, blues, popular tunes. The instrument works quite well for this...Consider Willie Nelson.

I use mine exclusively for jazz chord-melody.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-25-2018, 10:13 AM
janepaints janepaints is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 312
Default

count me in....a year or two ago i sold my last steel string guitar....the nylon-string guitars i own are capable of anything i want to play and (IMO) have many advantages over steel-string guitars---or perhaps it's that they just suit my ears/tastes/needs better.

two are actually from the 'folk boom' era--a 1962 Goya G-10 and an 1964 Espana SL-1....both were built in sweden....both have 24.75" scales and spruce tops...the goya has birch b/s, the espana has mahogany.

both were marketed in the US as 'folk guitars' and they're wonderful for that purpose, tho fab for classical (or for ANY kinda music) as well....all-in-all, very sweet guitars.

this month another guitar was added--a cordoba coco mini-mahogany...this little thing became instantly addictive....all-mahogany, 20.8"scale, 1.75" neck, and a 14 FRET neck...i liked it enough to buy it but didn't expect to fall madly in love with...i cant put it down

then i realized: the very first martin i ever played was an old 0-size,
all-mahogany, strung with silk n steel strings...it was 1966, i was 15 years old and got jaw-dropped....and a friend owns a size 1 all-hog martin from the 30's which is among my all-time faves....plus i always loved silk-n-steel strings--as close to gut/nylon as steel strings can get...and ADORED the few ancient gut-string martins i've played.....SO, the coco mini, within my low-budget constraints, provides much of the tingle/vibe such guitars provide.

so, ask yourself: what kinda guitars did ordinary FOLK play before 1910 or so?

the answer is dang obvious

plus, as another player mentioned: WILLIE NELSON....who can argue with him?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-25-2018, 11:12 AM
Pitar Pitar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,773
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclistbrian View Post
I guess you could say I'm a grandchild of the fifties sixties folk boom. Music was important in the home I grew up in and a lot of it stemmed from the folk era. My grandparents especially were Quakers and hard core lefties and a part of that scene. Think Oak Publishing, Sing Out, The Weavers, Pete and Woody, and you'll have an idea of what I'm writing about. And it seems to me that while the steel string was and remains vastly more popular for American (as in USA, not the continent) the classical guitar had its place back then.

I myself having recently turned fifty am solidly in the steel string camp. I've tried nylon string guitars a few times. I love the sound others can get from them. As for me a wide classical neck hurts like heck to play and even the mid priced cross overs have been overbuilt and sounded dull. So no real personal success. Its a kind of a shame and Im inclined to give it one more go.

Who here is using a nylon string for folk? Do you use it for ballads? To acompany singing? If you play steel string as well what determines what you prefer for which songs?
https://app.box.com/s/2mw9tt3qttknuj1rmksw5aj2ym5xqee9

A 1996 Yamaha CG110CE with a Nady wireless transmitter to a Fishman SA220 amp, recorded with a Zoom H4 and uploaded. Reverb was added on the amp. I left steel strings about 2 years ago after a lifetime of preferring their unplugged sound to the classical sound. Then, one day I plugged in the Yamaha to the amp and was instantly a nylon string convert. I'm 63. I divested myself of the 2 remaining steel string guitars I had (Breedlove and Goodall) and haven't looked back. I've also become more adept at acquiring a decent unplugged sound from the Yamaha since then but play mostly plugged and dial in the sound(s) I want.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-25-2018, 01:52 PM
janepaints janepaints is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 312
Default

this is pretty much folk style guitaring...flatpicked on the cordoba coco mini mahogany...i hear echoes of a bert jansch album ('lucky 13') i loved as a youngster.

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-25-2018, 02:18 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,860
Default

When I was a kid, I borrowed a nylon string guitar from my teacher when I first got in to classical...when I brought it home, I remember my dad saying "oh cool, a folk guitar."

Flash forward 25 years, my wife's uncle is getting reinterested in playing after 20-30 years away from the guitar...at a family party, he asks me "do they still sell folk guitar strings?" Confused, I ask to see his guitar, and yep--a nylon string.

So I'd say in some people''s minds, nylon strings have a VERY big place in folk music. I think they sound great for almost anything.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-25-2018, 04:04 PM
bluesfreek bluesfreek is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,251
Default

Oh yes I play folk and jazz on my fairly inexpensive but nice sounding Samick nylon string guitar. I strum it with a pick and play to fingerstyle on it too. I play acoustic to accompany my singing and have always had a classical guitar around for fun. I have used my nylon string guitar for busking as well. I too am in my mid 50's and started out as a traditional folk and blues player.

Here's a very famous photo of Woody. What's he holding?

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2018, 04:45 PM
LadysSolo LadysSolo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 443
Default

I use my nylon string (Gibson C-0, if I date it correctly by the # it's a 1965,) for classical, and folk/rock. I love the sound, but for more 70s/80s rock I use a steel string. But I'm all about parlor-size now that I have tried them.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-25-2018, 05:08 PM
janepaints janepaints is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 312
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadysSolo View Post
I use my nylon string (Gibson C-0, if I date it correctly by the # it's a 1965,) for classical, and folk/rock. I love the sound, but for more 70s/80s rock I use a steel string. But I'm all about parlor-size now that I have tried them.

once upon a time LOTS of great parlor guitars were made/available--and most were smaller than what is now called 'parlor'...(this is another reason i like the cordoba coco mini--an affordable way to get that size/sound)...

...if you can find one of the older ones, they're SO NICE....here's dave raphaelson playing his vintage bay state nylon-strung parlor--about the size of martin's 'size 2' guitars:

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-25-2018, 05:44 PM
fazool's Avatar
fazool fazool is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 14,460
Default

Not folk, but AGF's own Chris Crouch has a lot of videos on nylson strings. I was toying with a nylon string crossover and found his channel. This song, in particular, made me fall in love with this Taylor crossover tone.

__________________
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC7 | Taylor GA3-12 | Taylor SB2-S | Ibanez AC240
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:02 PM
bluesfreek bluesfreek is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,251
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by janepaints View Post
once upon a time LOTS of great parlor guitars were made/available--and most were smaller than what is now called 'parlor'...(this is another reason i like the cordoba coco mini--an affordable way to get that size/sound)...

...if you can find one of the older ones, they're SO NICE....here's dave raphaelson playing his vintage bay state nylon-strung parlor--about the size of martin's 'size 2' guitars:

Now that sounds wonderful!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:12 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 11,830
Default

Thomastik-Infeld make these strings for nylon string guitars from an original concept by John Pearse.
Called 'Folk', all 6 strings are wound - no plains - and they play and sound great.

__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2012 - Huss & Dalton MJ Custom
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:14 PM
bluesfreek bluesfreek is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,251
Default

This was done on a Yamaha classical guitar.


Last edited by bluesfreek; 03-25-2018 at 08:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:23 PM
Brucebubs's Avatar
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 11,830
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesfreek View Post
This was done on a Yamaha classical guitar.
Jose Gonzalez is another modern folk singer/songwriter who performs all his material on a nylon string guitar.
__________________
Brucebubs

1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2012 - Huss & Dalton MJ Custom
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo

Last edited by Kerbie; 03-25-2018 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-27-2018, 08:48 AM
BoneDigger's Avatar
BoneDigger BoneDigger is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Tyler, TX
Posts: 5,052
Default

I just picked up a 1968 Guild Mark I, solid mahogany nylon string guitar. From what I have read, these were more common in the folk crowd than in the classical players. I use mine with a flat pick and sing Americana/folk, though I also have plenty of steel string guitars (and banjos, and mandolins).
20180307_150352.jpg
__________________


www.mcmakinmusic.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Classical

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=