#1
So I only have a classical guitar, but I have tried to learn some songs on it. I know a few chords (5-10), and whenever I play something it doesn't sound that good. Something like Wonderwall. Before I go and buy an electric or acoustic, I want to know if it's the guitar or me that makes it not sound too good? I'm assuming it's because it's a classical guitar it isn't meant to play modern music with a pick, but I would hate it to actually be my fault it doesn't sound too good, when it seems like I am playing the songs right and it is in tune. Thanks
#2
learn the song Benighted by Opeth. I am pretty sure it's on a classical guitar, or at least most of the covers on youtube are.
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#3
Aka nylon strung?

I like the sound of playing modern stuff on it, it's fun - but the g string in nylon strung terms is always a bit dodgy so it has to be 100% tuned to sound even remotely good.

I've got a cheap classical guitar and i've played drop D riffs on it and i liked it

For say actual acoustic songs (Steel string) like say that god awful song called wonderwall *spits to clean mouth of filth* it probably won't sound as good - purely because you're used to the sound of steel strings.

Essentially:

Steel Strung (Modern) - Is that American Sound.
Nylon Strung (Classic) - Is that spanish sound which owns the floor against American sound.
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#4
a lot of people like the sound of modern music played on classical guitar. i'm not one of them most of the time, and you may not be, either. on the other hand, it could be your strings or the guitar itself. is it a quality instrument?
#5
Quote by patticake
a lot of people like the sound of modern music played on classical guitar. i'm not one of them most of the time, and you may not be, either. on the other hand, it could be your strings or the guitar itself. is it a quality instrument?


I don't think so, it's some crappy guitar worth under $100AUD
#6
Nylon and steel guitars produce totally different sounds. Steel strings are more fitting for pop / rock sounds. Probably because nylon sounds a bit darker and muddier when played together with other pop instruments.
#7
a crappy guitar - probably with crappy strings - are going to sound... well... crappy. perhaps the problem isn't the nylon strings or classical guitar so much as the low quality. you might improve the sound to your own ears by getting good quality strings. for that matter, sometimes a change in strings, even if the ones you're using are good, can make a huge difference in sound. after using augustine strings for years, i changed to d'addario pro arte strings, and they sounded much better - silvery - to me on the same guitar.

Quote by G3ck0
I don't think so, it's some crappy guitar worth under $100AUD
#8
Well I just wanted to make sure it wasn't me that was making it not sound good, would have hated to have bought an electric guitar and realised I just plain suck at it, though of course I could practice and get better but yeah.
#9
Ask Willie Nelson. He gets an awful lot of mileage from a nylon-stringed guitar, even if he doesn't play it "right".
Many jazz fingerstyle players prefer classic guitars for the wide necks and easy fingering that facilitate that style.
#10
Quote by Rebi83
Nylon and steel guitars produce totally different sounds. Steel strings are more fitting for pop / rock sounds. Probably because nylon sounds a bit darker and muddier when played together with other pop instruments.


What? Nylon strings aren't muddy at all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-qgum7hFXk

Look at that, that > steel string
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#11
Flight Of The Conchords. Nuff said.
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#12
Nylon strings offer a different kind of "warm" tone than a steel-string can. Also, the higher strings on a nylon don't have the volume or the snap of a steel string, and a lot of modern music relies on that high-pitched volume and snap.
For example, when you listen to the latin style bossa nova rhythm guitars, there's a definite emphasis on the bassier notes (sounds awesome on a nylon). More modern stuff like... "Wonderwall," with a steel-string, places more emphasis on the higher notes in the rhythm than a nylon-string would be able to.
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#13
Quote by BlueGreen
Nylon strings offer a different kind of "warm" tone than a steel-string can. Also, the higher strings on a nylon don't have the volume or the snap of a steel string, and a lot of modern music relies on that high-pitched volume and snap.
For example, when you listen to the latin style bossa nova rhythm guitars, there's a definite emphasis on the bassier notes (sounds awesome on a nylon). More modern stuff like... "Wonderwall," with a steel-string, places more emphasis on the higher notes in the rhythm than a nylon-string would be able to.



Low end classical guitars lack that snap.

A high end classical guitar will beat a steel string in volume and clarity in most cases.

Getting a good sound out of a classical guitar is much more difficult than from a steel string guitar. It sounds bad/muddy because of your guitar, strings or technique.

Quote by Rebi83
Probably because nylon sounds a bit darker and muddier when played together with other pop instruments.


The possibilities in tone colour on a nylon string are so much wider than a steel string, I don't know what you're talking about "muddy" or "dark" because nylon strings are way more versatile in sound than a steel string. If you take a look at the high end classical guitars, they can project over a full orchestra without a problem so volume's not quite an issue there.
#14

> A high end classical guitar will beat a steel string in volume and clarity in most cases.

I used to say this too, but now consider that it's not quite so black and white. It ignores the amount of force you can you can play each with. Play both a steel string and classical fingerstyle with a vigor that would produce maximum volume from the classical and the classical will easily out perform the steel. But you can "belt" a steelstring with a plectrum (or fingerpicks) with a force that will just distort on a nylon and in doing so many steel strings will not only play louder but still have power in reserve. But certainly, when I pick up a steel string and play a Bach fugue it using classical technique it usually just sounds tinny, weak and totally unconvincing.

I also think steel strings do cut through an ensemble mix better than classicals do, not due to volume but because of the higher harmonics inherent in their signature spectrum. I think some people mistakenly interpret that ability as being due to higher volume.


> Getting a good sound out of a classical guitar is much more difficult than from a steel string guitar.

That would be moot too. Apologies for sidetrack.


But to OP. What is "modern music" ? Most replies, probably correctly, assume you mean contemporary pop music. IMO most of that music uses a musical language that is 300 years old, - hardly modern. However, nylon guitar does in fact lay claim to a far greater amount of real "modern music" than steel does. Just saying.
#15
Quote by R.Christie

> A high end classical guitar will beat a steel string in volume and clarity in most cases.

I used to say this too, but now consider that it's not quite so black and white. It ignores the amount of force you can you can play each with. Play both a steel string and classical fingerstyle with a vigor that would produce maximum volume from the classical and the classical will easily out perform the steel. But you can "belt" a steelstring with a plectrum (or fingerpicks) with a force that will just distort on a nylon and in doing so many steel strings will not only play louder but still have power in reserve. But certainly, when I pick up a steel string and play a Bach fugue it using classical technique it usually just sounds tinny, weak and totally unconvincing.

I also think steel strings do cut through an ensemble mix better than classicals do, not due to volume but because of the higher harmonics inherent in their signature spectrum. I think some people mistakenly interpret that ability as being due to higher volume.


> Getting a good sound out of a classical guitar is much more difficult than from a steel string guitar.

That would be moot too. Apologies for sidetrack.


But to OP. What is "modern music" ? Most replies, probably correctly, assume you mean contemporary pop music. IMO most of that music uses a musical language that is 300 years old, - hardly modern. However, nylon guitar does in fact lay claim to a far greater amount of real "modern music" than steel does. Just saying.


It all really depends on the quality of both the classical guitar and player when it comes to out doing a steel string in volume but my teacher can easily beat a steel string player in sound because of both his technique and guitar.

Steel strings do cut through an ensemble much better too, I must agree but you can get enough of the harmonic resonance in a good guitar to do the same job better
#16
If it comes down to the quality of the instrument, a high quality steel-string is much, much more affordable than a high quality classical. An amazing steel string will run you over $2,000. An equally amazing classical will set you back at the very least, $5,000 (probably more).
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