#1
So I got my 9 year old son interested in electic guitar. He has been taking lessons for almost 6 months. He become interested in acoustic guitar lately pretty much based on music he likes... So his friend was moving and my son offered him $10 for his guitar. It is a cheap, junkie guitar (prob from walmart or toys r us or something). I am not upset because it was only 10 and he spent his money he earned with great grades last year in school on something he really wanted....

So here is the problem... IT HAS NO STRINGS!!!

I basically know nothing about acoustics... I have to assume I have to buy nylon strings for it???

I need help with the strings cause I don't know what to get him. I know either way it is gonna be a cheap toy bascially, but he is really excited about it and I want to get it playable for him.... what strings can I get for it. (IT has no pegs, just holes on the bridge for strings to go through.
Last edited by jsspang at Aug 22, 2010,
#2
depends on the guitar. i've seen crappy toy guitars that took steel strings. what brand does it say it is on the headstock or in the soundhole?

chances are good it will sound very bad, feel bad and won't stay in tune. you might want to offer him something small but decent when this piece of junk causes him to lose his motivation.
#3
OH it is a cheapie, I really do not think he will be upset about the sound at all right now. I told him it wasn't a nice one and it wasn't really a good idea but it's a done deal. He will just play around with it and it is what it is.... We are not trying to pass it off as a martin or a seagull or anything.. its not like he spent 50 or 100. IT doesn't have a name. In the sound hole it just says In god we trust clsassic guitar. U.S.A. and has that pyramid with the eye on top. Look I know its a piece of junk. I just want it to be playable.

Does it matter if its steel or nylon strings??
Last edited by jsspang at Aug 22, 2010,
#5
I will do that... Thanks for the advice. But just for my knowledge in the future how did you come up with that??? Do all classicals have nylon? What can you tell me about nylon strings?? I always thought of them as pieces of junk. Are there nice nylon string guitars??
#6
all classical guitars use nylon strings, from the cheapest to those costing tens of thousands of dollars. my first guitar many years ago was an all-solid martin classical, definitely not a piece of junk

i usually buy my strings at musiciansfriend, amazon or this place http://www.stringsandbeyond.com/clasguitstri.html
which i was really happy with.

here are some classicals in the $2500 to $3000 range that i assure you are definitely not junk
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Acoustic-Classical---Nylon-Guitars-Nylon-String---Classical-Guitar,2500-3000.gc

and here's some of the really good stuff - many of these are hand made, all cost over $3500, most over $5000, and each has a sound file so you can get an idea of what a good nylon guitar sounds like. some are amazing.
http://www.dreamguitars.com/search.php?q=classical&Submit=Search

btw, amazing world-class classical guitarists who played nylon string guitars include julian bream, andre segovia and christopher parkening, to name a few. many guitar players and builders consider hauser to have been the best guitar maker who ever lived. he built classicals that now sell for up to a quarter of a million.

isn't guitar trivia fun?
Last edited by patticake at Aug 22, 2010,
#7
To answer your question you can get some VERY nice nylon string guitars. You'll be surprised how much the sound changes when you get around the $1000 level. Very crisp and beautiful. Obviously there are the nylon string guitars that flamenco and classical guitarists use, which are also very nice.

Anyway, different guitars are used to different tensions of strings. Steel strings generally cause more tension than nylon strings. Therefore if you put steel strings on a guitar which is designed for nylon strings, this can damage the guitar as too much tension is placed on it.

Here's an easy way to tell whether a guitar is supposed to take nylon or steel strings.

First, look at the headstock;

Nylon String



Steel String



Now arguably, there are some cases where the headstock of a steel string guitar is the same as a nylon (yes annoying I know). The other way to tell is to look at the bridge (the other end of the strings).


Nylon Strings




Steel String


You can see in the nylon string guitar, usually you have to tie it around the bridge, whilst with the steel string, the strings are held in place by pins.

Hope that helps, sorry about the size of the images, I don't really know how to resize them
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#8
thanks, AlanB. string tension is a good point. while low tension will feel mushier when you play them - which btw never bothers me - they won't damage the guitar, either. if this is a real cheap guitar, that could be worth considering.
#9
ohh there it is, I had a strong feeling from the bridge that it was nylon string. But your pic of the headstock seals the deal. IT IS a nylon string guitar. Thanks for pointing out the differences and educating me some... Both AlanHB and Patticake. It is truely appriciated.