#1
i have a steel string acoustic guitar and i was wondering if it was possible for me to change the strings to nylon so i could play it with greater ease. Does this make sense?
#2
You could technically do it, but its not good for the guitar.

Buy a classical guitar, even when your fingers get used to steel its nice to play a classical occasionly.
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Last edited by nebno6 at Dec 16, 2008,
#3
no it does not make sense.
nylon strings exert far less tension than steel strings and so steel string guitars have a lot more top bracing.
if you were to put nylons on your steel string you would hardly get any sound and that sound would be muffled and horrible.
put some electric strings on it (10's at the lightest though because 9's will give you tuning problems unless you like fiddling with your tuning heads for half an hour)

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#4
It's not exactly easier with nylon strings. They're a whole different ballgame. Every little thing you do comes out in the sound, every subtle movement of your fingers. Basically, you have to be pretty good to sound decent.

So no, you shouldn't change them to nylon for greater ease. However, I recommend buying a cheap Spanish guitar, just cause they're fun as hell.
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#5
Yes you can do it with no adverse affects to the guitar. You may need to widen your treble string nut slots a bit. I strung up my old Walden D550 with ball-end nylons and it was a very different sound. Contrary to retarded opinion usually voiced here, it will drive the top and it will produce a pleasing tone. Now whether it pleases you is entirely up to you.

tl/dr: it won't hurt your guitar, it will make sound, go for it.
"There but for fortune go you or I"- Phil Ochs
#6
If you were to attempt to make a permanent switch over to nylons from steels, then the nut slots would need to be widened. Then the truss rod would need to be adjusted to compensate for the decrease in tension from the nylons. Typically a steel string guitar has somewhere in the neighborhood of 160-200 pounds of pull on the neck from the strings. Nylons will generate something like 60-90 pounds. This is the primary reason that it's not suggested to put nylons onto a steel string acoustic. The lowered tension can have adverse effects on the guitar should you ever want to change it back to steels. You would have to change out the nut for one. Not such a big deal. Readjusting the truss rod? Could be problematic depending on how the neck adapted to the previous change. Might take to it like a duck to water and have no lasting effects.
It's usually better to just stick with what the guitar was designed to handle and practice on it that way. You'll gain the necessary skills to play it eventually.
#7
Quote by LeftyDave
If you were to attempt to make a permanent switch over to nylons from steels, then the nut slots would need to be widened. Then the truss rod would need to be adjusted to compensate for the decrease in tension from the nylons. Typically a steel string guitar has somewhere in the neighborhood of 160-200 pounds of pull on the neck from the strings. Nylons will generate something like 60-90 pounds. This is the primary reason that it's not suggested to put nylons onto a steel string acoustic. The lowered tension can have adverse effects on the guitar should you ever want to change it back to steels. You would have to change out the nut for one. Not such a big deal. Readjusting the truss rod? Could be problematic depending on how the neck adapted to the previous change. Might take to it like a duck to water and have no lasting effects.
It's usually better to just stick with what the guitar was designed to handle and practice on it that way. You'll gain the necessary skills to play it eventually.


Maybe you're under the influence that the truss rod is exerting tension on the neck. Let me assure you, it does no such thing. It counters the pull of the strings. Less tension on the neck will not cause any damage. The only reason you may need to adjust the truss rod is that, depending the depth of your nut slots, you may need to add or remove some relief because the nylon strings will be a little floppier than their steel counterparts.
"There but for fortune go you or I"- Phil Ochs
#8
dont do it its dum
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#9
Quote by Made Of Metal
Maybe you're under the influence that the truss rod is exerting tension on the neck. Let me assure you, it does no such thing. It counters the pull of the strings. Less tension on the neck will not cause any damage. The only reason you may need to adjust the truss rod is that, depending the depth of your nut slots, you may need to add or remove some relief because the nylon strings will be a little floppier than their steel counterparts.


Yes, the truss rod does indeed exert a tension on the neck of the guitar, else how would it be able to perform it's task? Example: guitar A without strings has the neck in a back bow state. Why? The truss rod, with no counteracting force exerted on the neck, has pulled the neck into this position. Example: guitar B originally equipped with light gauge strings, now has heavy gauge on it, and the neck is in a forward bow state. The truss was not sufficiently adjusted to compensate for the added tension placed on the neck from the high tensile pull of the larger strings. More pull from the truss rod(more force) is required to maintain proper neck geometry. To say that the truss rod does not place a force on the neck of the guitar is pure rubbish.
The truss rod counters the pull of the strings by creating a pull in the precise opposite direction to that of the strings. Think of it as a very very fat string, hidden inside the neck of the guitar, which is constantly tuned to pitch and is pulling on the neck in the opposite direction to that of the normal, playable strings.
When adjusting the truss rod, you may(or may not) have noticed that they can sometimes be a bit difficult to turn. While lubrication is a part of this, the main reason is that it is under stress, performing it's job as intended.
#10
Yes, you can get the best of both worlds...sorta.

Try LaBella Folk Guitar strings. The nylons are black, with ball ends, and a little more skinny than standard nylon strings. They will fit better into the nut. So, you can try them, and if you like them, then you can fine tune the nut.

The set is higher tension than standard classical strings.

Also, remember that the bracing is typically different on a classical guitar, then on a steel string acoustic.

The strings will be lighter tension, which means less energy transmitted into the face of the guitar.

The reduced energy won't get the top to vibrate as much as steel strings. So, the LaBella won't be as energetic as steel strings, but will be more energetic than standard nylons.

Give it a go. It might be a sound you like.

Had one more thought...have you considered silken steels?
Last edited by fyrefly at Dec 18, 2008,
#11
Quote by LeftyDave
Yes, the truss rod does indeed exert a tension on the neck of the guitar, else how would it be able to perform it's task? Example: guitar A without strings has the neck in a back bow state. Why? The truss rod, with no counteracting force exerted on the neck, has pulled the neck into this position. Example: guitar B originally equipped with light gauge strings, now has heavy gauge on it, and the neck is in a forward bow state. The truss was not sufficiently adjusted to compensate for the added tension placed on the neck from the high tensile pull of the larger strings. More pull from the truss rod(more force) is required to maintain proper neck geometry. To say that the truss rod does not place a force on the neck of the guitar is pure rubbish.
The truss rod counters the pull of the strings by creating a pull in the precise opposite direction to that of the strings. Think of it as a very very fat string, hidden inside the neck of the guitar, which is constantly tuned to pitch and is pulling on the neck in the opposite direction to that of the normal, playable strings.
When adjusting the truss rod, you may(or may not) have noticed that they can sometimes be a bit difficult to turn. While lubrication is a part of this, the main reason is that it is under stress, performing it's job as intended.


http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/General/Glossary/TrussRod/trussrod.html
"There but for fortune go you or I"- Phil Ochs
#12
I've been to this site many, many times, and I also frequently recommend it to posters in these forums. What's your point? Nowhere in the page you linked to does it say that the truss rod does not exert a force on the neck of the guitar. As a matter of fact, and I quote:
" When tightened the rod compresses the back of the neck which is very narrow and soft compared to the front of the neck (ebony fingerboard.) When the back of the neck compresses, the neck bends backward in a smooth curve, against the pull of the strings."

Note the highlighted bold words "When tightened". This alone should tell you that the truss rod is acting directly on the neck.
I'm going to leave it at that, and suggest that you do the same. This isn't helping the ts and isn't really pertinent to his original question, which has been answered.
#13
Quote by LeftyDave
I've been to this site many, many times, and I also frequently recommend it to posters in these forums. What's your point? Nowhere in the page you linked to does it say that the truss rod does not exert a force on the neck of the guitar. As a matter of fact, and I quote:
" When tightened the rod compresses the back of the neck which is very narrow and soft compared to the front of the neck (ebony fingerboard.) When the back of the neck compresses, the neck bends backward in a smooth curve, against the pull of the strings."

Note the highlighted bold words "When tightened". This alone should tell you that the truss rod is acting directly on the neck.
I'm going to leave it at that, and suggest that you do the same. This isn't helping the ts and isn't really pertinent to his original question, which has been answered.


I feel like a colossal idiot. I guess I don't habla English as well as I thought.
"There but for fortune go you or I"- Phil Ochs