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Posted: 3/23/2006 6:24:34 AM EDT
I'm a novice guitar player and own a steel string accoustic guitar. I'm learning to read music and learning to play Christmas music as well. I would also like to learn classical guitar, but how important is it to play on a "classical" style guitar. Do any of you play classical on a steel string?


...since the steel string is louder and sounds nicer, wouldn't it be better?

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 6:30:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 6:31:34 AM EDT by SubnetMask]
I don't play classical guitar, but it seems to me that longer scale on a classical style guitar would make playing this type of music a bit easier. Whether one type of guitar sounds better than another is a matter of personal preference, as far as I'm concerened.

"Blackbird" sounds pretty cool on an SG if you're careful.


ETA: And I could be completely full of shit. Ask me a Clapton question next time.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 6:53:01 AM EDT
When I was learning guitar, I put some classical guitar strings on my guitar. They had a different feel/tone and I enjoyed it for a while but then went back to the regular strings.
For the price of a set of strings you can see if you like it or not.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:18:09 AM EDT
Classical guitars typically have a wider fretboard and nylon strings. Classical style is typically fingerpicking, although strumming flamenco-style may be done.

I fingerpick all the time on my steel string acoustic. IMO, you can play any style on any guitar, to a point.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:08:28 AM EDT
Just out of curiousity how do you put nylon strings on the steel string acoustic? Typically they tie on the classical and the acoustic have a barrel at the end. Do they make nylong with a barrel?
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:10:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 8:12:21 AM EDT by MBWendel]
I have played guitar for 20 years and I do not use a pick. Assumably, I am the antithesis of SubNetMask - don't bother asking me a Clapton Question...Ha! Anyway, I play mostly traditional fingerstyle music on Dobro, Guitar, Banjo, Lap Steel, etc. Yet, I had the great honor of studying with Jack Cecchini for a bit about ten years ago when I was on a classic guitar kick.

I would tell you this. Essentially, you cannot serve two masters simultaneously. Can you play classical songs on a Martin? Yes. However, it is important to note that the manner in which one approaches the instrument when playing the classic guitar is wholly dissimilar to the approach applied by one interested in playing a Celtic solo on a steel string. It is simply not possible to obtain the delicate touch and tone one needs for the classic guitar on a steel string. Further, there are technical aspects such as the extensive use of rest strokes, Thumb and Hand position, etc. that differ from the techniques employed on a steel string.

So, if you are interested in playing beginner level classic guitar songs, there is no need to make the switch. However, more advanced material will be very difficult to accomplish and will sound terrible on the steel string. Basically, it's about your level of committment to the music.

If you find yourself interested in studying this type of music, go look at www.zavaletas-guitarras.com, and look for the Huipe guitars. They are an incredible value in student instruments and are available in Hauser and Friederich style builds.

Good luck, and good pickin'!

P.S. You can purchase strings with the ball end, however, some frown upon it.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:16:57 AM EDT
Buy a Les Paul or PRS and plug it into a Boogie and wail away!


Seriously, what he said above. I would decide what yoiu want to study as advanced classical won't work with a drednougt Martin..

But the PRS and MB is hard to resist!
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 8:32:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nightstalker:
Just out of curiousity how do you put nylon strings on the steel string acoustic? Typically they tie on the classical and the acoustic have a barrel at the end. Do they make nylong with a barrel?



It wouldn't be hard to tie something on the end of a classical string to enable it to be strung on a standard acoustic.

Larry
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 10:09:58 AM EDT
Looking around I see few guitar makers that advise nylon on a steel string acoustic. The string does not create enough tension to sound good and the intonation may not be correct.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 10:14:13 AM EDT
You can play 'classical' style on any guitar. I started learning on a cheap classical guitar... I ended up practically destroying it because I put steel strings on it! Warped the neck and the bridge. Oh well, it was a cheap ass guitar.

Fingerpicking is easy to do on a steel string acoustic. The tone won't be the same as a classical/nylon string guitar. If you're really serious, you could probably find a decent classical guitar for a couple hundred bucks. The feel will be different, as the fretboard/neck is wider on a classical. Sometimes that helps if you have fat fingers (or play like you do!).
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