Yes, nylon strings can be installed on acoustic guitars that mainly use steel strings. Using nylon strings on acoustic guitars may yield certain complications with their lack of tension and not having a ball end. If you can work around these issues, you can enjoy producing a classical sound on your acoustic guitar.
In fact, this is a popular option for many musicians. Nylon strings are less likely to buzz and create unwanted noise, making them ideal for recording studios and live performances. Plus, they offer a mellower sound that some players prefer.
- Can You Use Nylon Strings On Any Acoustic Guitar?
- What Happens If You Put Them On An Acoustic Guitar?
- Will They Go Out Of Tune Easier?
- Can They Damage Your Guitar?
- Using A Pick On Nylon Strings
- Attaching Them To Tuning Posts
- Why Should I Use Nylon Strings?
- Are They Harder To Play Than Steel Strings?
Can You Use Nylon Strings On Any Acoustic Guitar?
Nylon strings will work on any acoustic guitar, but not all nylon strings will be compatible. Nylon strings sometimes require the musician to tie the ends around the bridge, securing them in place.
Not every acoustic guitar will have the space needed to tie the string ends. In most cases, you will need specific nylon acoustic guitar strings with a ball end to secure the strings to the bridge.
These specific strings may also have steel ends to create enough tension to install these nylon strings. Nylon strings require less tension than their steel counterparts. Acoustic guitars need strings to be under more tension to create a louder sound because their bodies resonate internally. This more audible sound is about to resonate in the hollow body amplifying it across the room.
What Happens If You Put Them On An Acoustic Guitar?
In order to create a great classical sound, you will need to work through a few issues when installing nylon strings on an acoustic guitar. First, certain nylon strings may be too thick for holes in the nut slots. They make it difficult to slide them into place properly so that they will stay put while playing your instrument.
When playing, the strings may emit a high amount of buzzing sound and be a bit more uncomfortable as they sit lower on the fretboard. This could be because of a few different reasons: Your fingers are sitting in an unnatural position or there’s not enough tension on the strings.
Another common issue is you might sometimes find that your outer strings slip off of your fretboard when playing certain notes. This too may be a result of the tension in the string being too long to coincide with the guitar.
Will They Go Out Of Tune Easier?
Nylon string guitars tend to go out of tune faster than steel strings. Nylon’s softness makes it very easy for humidity and temperature changes to cause out-of-tune situations that will happen sooner with this type since they’re so pliable, even after settling into place properly on your instrument.
Can They Damage Your Guitar?
The biggest drawback of using nylon strings on a steel-string guitar is the fact they can cause damage to your neck because there’s not enough tension. Even mixing nylon strings and steel strings will create unevenness in the tension that, over time, will damage the neck of your guitar.
Make sure to use nylon strings that are made explicitly for acoustic guitars. These will have special ball ends that allow them to maintain enough tension to keep your guitar stable.
Using A Pick On Nylon Strings
Nylon strings were intended for finger strumming or nail plucking. Classical guitars that are designed for nylon strings don’t feature pick-guards because of the lack of pick play used by the musicians who play them.
Using picks with nylon strings may also wear them out much faster than if you were using a finger strumming technique. If you don’t mind changing your strings out more often, you can create an exciting sound using a pick with nylon strings.
Attaching Them To Tuning Posts
Once you have tied a length of string to each end, pass it through the hole in one tuning post and out from its opposite side.
Pass the end of the string over your roller toward you and then underneath itself in the front hole.
Make sure you pass the short end under and over itself, creating two or three wraps.
Now, wind the peg so that you can see strings wrapped all around this simple little loop.
- With one hand on the string and another reaching up to turn a tuning peg, you should feel the tension as we pull our length taut.
Why Should I Use Nylon Strings?
If you’re a beginner, nylon strings are softer and do not require you to form calluses on your fingers. This will help you play chords and notes easier in the early stages of learning without large amounts of buzz and feedback.
Nylon strings sound better when you use your fingers to pluck instead of a pick. This will inspire you to learn to play with all five fingers. Guitarists who are competent with finger strumming can achieve more range of sounds and techniques than pick users.
Nylon strings are softer than steel strings. This allows them to create a softer, more mellow sound. If you’re looking to play more classical-style music, nylon strings will be best for your guitar. Acoustic guitars have wide necks, allowing you space and freedom to play chords and experiment with the unique sound.
Are They Harder To Play Than Steel Strings?
Steel strings are under more pressure than nylon, so they sit higher off the fretboard. This means you will have to press down on the strings more to play a chord or note properly. Nylon strings are under less pressure, which will sit lower to the fretboard.
When the strings are higher off the fretboard, there’s more room for error as you move your finger across the strings and press down. If you don’t press down completely straight, you will create a buzzing of feedback like down as you play a chord.
Because nylon strings sit closer to the fretboard, you will be able to slide your fingers easier between chord patterns. Not having to press down as much will allow you to play notes easier and have a smoother transition between notes.