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Nylon Guitar Strings vs Steel
Guitar strings are made of many different substances. Most modern “rock” guitarists tend to use hardy strings made of metal, but many other guitarists make use of a nylon-based string.
These strings are softer and easier on the hands, and produce a muted sound that is sometimes out of place in popular modern music. If you are a new guitarist or plan on playing classical compositions, nylon strings may well be your best choice.
Choosing a guitar with nylon strings is often a smart move for new guitarists, as nylon strings tend to be a bit more forgiving than their metal counterparts are. Many do consider the sound produced by the strings to be inferior to that provided by nickel or copper, but nylon strings are significantly gentler on the hands of a new guitarist.
If you have not yet built up calluses on your fingertips, you may wish to spend some time playing with the softer nylon strings. Fortunately, most “learner” acoustic guitars come pre-equipped with these strings, making your early playing days significantly less painful than would otherwise be possible. Note that as time goes on, you will develop calluses even with these strings. You will experience some initial discomfort even with nylon, but the development of calluses should quickly ease your pain.
A Classical Choice
The primary purpose of nylon guitar strings is for use with classical guitars. Designed for more efficient finger-play than strumming, these guitars benefit greatly from the softer composition provided by nylon.
The sound quality of nylon, which is more muted than metal, also provides a signature sound that is much more in line with classical composition than most standard strings.
If you plan to use your guitar for classical composition pieces, nylon is simply the only way to go. Make sure that your guitar is designed to use the strings, though, as nylon can become improperly seated on guitars designed for steel strings.
Nylon strings can provide an advantage for newer guitarists and for classical guitarists. Though there is some argument as to the effectiveness of the string composition itself, there is doubt that certain types of music benefit from the use of these strings.
As you spend more time learning to play, you may decide that you prefer different strings for different guitars.
If this is the case, make sure to string the guitar that you use for classical pieces with nylon.
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