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Nylon strings

#1 User is offline   bluefoxicy 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:35 AM

Anyone got suggestions for Nylon strings for classical? I'm selling off my guitars and buying a Cordoba C9 for $800. I went looking for a $100 nylon string and found that I really, REALLY like the classicals <_<;

LaBella makes expensive ones, including a $20 set of flat wound strings (no noise from sliding), and some "high-tension" ones (denser nylon?). Martin makes $3 sets. And so it goes. That's great but I'm not paying $20 for strings. I may initially keep the ones that come on the Cordoba.

(Meanwhile every "musician" I know is telling me to leave the nylon string garbage alone and buy a Taylor steel string classical or a Martin because nobody else makes guitars that are any good... yeah finding advice is hard, I'm surrounded by idiots.)
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#2 User is offline   ksdaddy 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:53 AM

I've got a few classicals here. My favorite is a '58 Gibson C-6 that is not a great 'classical' guitar but sounds just like Willie's Trigger and is a great 'grab & go' guitar. My 'good' classical is a '97 La Patrie Collection. I also have a couple clunkers. One is a plywood Brazilian junker that has had the same strings since at least 2003, maybe longer. D'Addarios by the way (see next paragraph).

I haven't tried a whole bunch of classical strings but Martins are okay. I cut the ball ends off and wrap them the old school way. I've tried Savarez and La Bella and I wasn't crazy about either. I've consistently used D'Addario Pro Arte EJ45 normal tension strings. I tried high tension once and didn't like them. Maybe if I gave them a chance I would feel differently. Which brings me to my next statement.

Classical strings take a long time to break in and reach their full tone potential. Most classical strings sound like s___ when you first put them on. It literally takes a month or so to know what they sound like. Keep that in mind when trying new strings. Give them time.

I preach D'Addario all the time I know, and I'm not on their payroll, but they just plain put out a good string at a good price. There are better strings out there I'm sure, but D'Addarios are cheap, plentiful, good quality, and are available anywhere.

#3 User is offline   bluzcatz 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:02 AM

View Postbluefoxicy, on 29 December 2010 - 10:35 AM, said:

Anyone got suggestions for Nylon strings for classical? I'm selling off my guitars and buying a Cordoba C9 for $800. I went looking for a $100 nylon string and found that I really, REALLY like the classicals <_<;

LaBella makes expensive ones, including a $20 set of flat wound strings (no noise from sliding), and some "high-tension" ones (denser nylon?). Martin makes $3 sets. And so it goes. That's great but I'm not paying $20 for strings. I may initially keep the ones that come on the Cordoba.

(Meanwhile every "musician" I know is telling me to leave the nylon string garbage alone and buy a Taylor steel string classical or a Martin because nobody else makes guitars that are any good... yeah finding advice is hard, I'm surrounded by idiots.)

If you plan on just playing the classical guitar, then pay $20 for the strings that make the guitar sound the best. I would think that, in my experience only, that the wide neck and the short scale of the classical guitar would get in the way of your electric or maybe a flat-top in playing or learning to play a select song. I learn on an accoustic sitting on my couch to get all the phrasing right, then play live on an electric with the rest of the band. So you see if I learned the tune on a different scale guitar and then played on a different scale guitar, I'd have to re-learn how to play the tune. Now if you don't have to worry about playing two different guitars, then forget what I said and buy the LaBella stings and enjoy your new guitar.

#4 User is offline   bluefoxicy 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:09 AM

View Postbluzcatz, on 29 December 2010 - 11:02 AM, said:

I would think that, in my experience only, that the wide neck and the short scale of the classical guitar would get in the way of your electric or maybe a flat-top in playing or learning to play a select song.


I played some rock and power metal on the full blown Spanish classical in Guitar center. :) Chords, some melody. It's not really hard... punch "Fire Cadenza" into YouTube for an idea what you can do on a classical if you're good.

I've seen people play clawhammer style, so they pick up a guitar and play banjo. I've seen people do that with a bass.. Back in the Saddle was recorded on a Fender 6 string bass guitar, actually. Joe Perry wanted the grunt.

View Postbluzcatz, on 29 December 2010 - 11:02 AM, said:

I learn on an accoustic sitting on my couch to get all the phrasing right, then play live on an electric with the rest of the band. So you see if I learned the tune on a different scale guitar and then played on a different scale guitar, I'd have to re-learn how to play the tune. Now if you don't have to worry about playing two different guitars, then forget what I said and buy the LaBella stings and enjoy your new guitar.


I've had that happen, always thought it was weird. Odd now I can pick up any guitar and play, even though I'm not Eddie van Halen. If I can play it, I can play it.
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#5 User is offline   bigneil 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:33 PM

The main thing to remember about nylon strings is that they come in Soft, Medium, and hard instead of a range of accurately machined gauges. You won't need $20 strings unless you are playing a hand made classical created by master luthier Manuel Contreras himself in a proper concert hall. .. I would go for medium feel, mid price nylons and then decide from there whether you want to change brand, feel or price range.
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#6 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:09 PM

View Postksdaddy, on 29 December 2010 - 10:53 AM, said:

I preach D'Addario all the time I know, and I'm not on their payroll, but they just plain put out a good string at a good price. There are better strings out there I'm sure, but D'Addarios are cheap, plentiful, good quality, and are available anywhere.


I'll have to agree with this statement, D'Addario makes fine strings at a reasonable cost. It is certainly a name you can trust.

That said...... I use LaBella strings on my classical and on my archtops. B)

#7 User is offline   brianh 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:16 PM

D'Addario. Made in the US of A (New York State to be exact).

Just make sure to get the real thing, not the Chinese nylon forgeries. [rolleyes]
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#8 User is offline   midiman56 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:29 PM

Another vote for D'Addario. Ernie Ball makes a nylon set as part of their Earthwood line. They ain't bad at all for a couple of bucks less.

The cool thing about stuff like strings and picks is that, while nobody is GIVING them away, they aren't a complete bank-buster either. You get to experiment a little until you eventually find "THE" one that you'll stick with.

Jim
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#9 User is offline   bluefoxicy 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:18 PM

View Postmidiman56, on 29 December 2010 - 07:29 PM, said:

The cool thing about stuff like strings and picks is that, while nobody is GIVING them away, they aren't a complete bank-buster either. You get to experiment a little until you eventually find "THE" one that you'll stick with.

Jim


You mean I'm not supposed to keep the ones I steal from Guitar Center? They hand them to me every time I walk near a guitar...

http://www.zzounds.com/item--DADEJ4

Got these btw, along with...

http://guitars.music...ELAID=419454711

http://www.zzounds.c...m--GATGCCLASSIC

http://books-videos-...-DVD?sku=H65400 ($23 at Amazon btw)

Free shipping :)

I backed off on the piano. I played some, $2500 Yamahas and $5000 Rolands and a $4000 Kawai CA series and the CE200 $1700. The Rolands are nice above $5000, Yamahas less so but they're less horrible when you break $2500 (Yamaha around $2000 is so bad). Kawai CN series feels like cheap Yamaha. The Kawai CE200 and CA have the same action, but the CA is weighted much better and the CE feels soft and really bad to me; the CA feels better than the RX-6 (a REAL concert grand), same feel but better weighting, and even sounds better than the RX-6. So... forget the piano, I'll save up $4000 and buy one.

In the mean time I went with a nice permanent guitar (i.e. I'm selling mine off and buying ones I like). This seems like a good decision.
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#10 User is offline   midiman56 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:37 PM

View Postbluefoxicy, on 29 December 2010 - 08:18 PM, said:

You mean I'm not supposed to keep the ones I steal from Guitar Center? They hand them to me every time I walk near a guitar...


Are you talking about these?

Posted Image

If you like those picks, then I say, "Go for it!". However, my opinion of you as a player with discriminating tastes has been permanently damaged.

Jim
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#11 User is offline   bluefoxicy 

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 08:56 PM

View Postmidiman56, on 29 December 2010 - 08:37 PM, said:


If you like those picks, then I say, "Go for it!". However, my opinion of you as a player with discriminating tastes has been permanently damaged.



Well they seem to be giving them away :)

Tortex 0.60 on acoustic, 1.0 on electric. I want to learn to fingerpick so I am learning classical style (this has little to do with buying a classical guitar; I like the profile, I'm entitled to play rock on a classical).
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#12 User is offline   bluefoxicy 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 10:34 AM

http://accessories.m...ings?sku=102100

THIS is apparently what the Cordoba ships with. I'll keep 'em for a little while before trying the D'Addarios I got.
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#13 User is offline   rdsmith3 

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 10:44 AM

Many classical guitar players like D'Addario, including me. They include a composite G string, which is interesting. I also like Augustine.

Here is a poll of classical players.

Classical Guitar Blog string survey

The Lord will save me,
and we will play my music on stringed instruments
all the days of our lives,
at the house of the Lord.
Isaiah 38:20

Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
Psalm 33:3

#14 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:08 PM

Augustine strings were the only ones used and endorsed by the late Andres Segovia. When I can't get them, I've found D'Addario's to be perfectly fine too.

#15 User is offline   Gunner 

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 06:38 PM

bluefoxicy, how well does that case fit the guitar? I have a Cordoba C7 and was thinking of buying the same case, but different websites show different body depths for the case.

#16 User is offline   CodeMonk 

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 07:42 PM

View Postmidiman56, on 29 December 2010 - 08:37 PM, said:

Are you talking about these?

Posted Image

If you like those picks, then I say, "Go for it!". However, my opinion of you as a player with discriminating tastes has been permanently damaged.

Jim


Oh no...another Nevadan? ewww.
Actually, I'm from Carson City, but have been in So. Cal. (about 30 miles south of Palmdale/Lancaster) for the last 2 years.
My sister lives in Vegas.

On topic...
I have one nylon string guitar. Its a small 3/4 sized one. Had it for about 30 years and always use Martin strings on it.
Any string takes time to stretch out before it holds its tuning. Nylon strings are no exception except they take A LONG TIME to fully
stretch. A few weeks at least.

#17 User is offline   milod 

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 07:40 PM

I started on a classical guitar but doing folkie stuff - anything from Celtic to smokie mountain ballads to 20s blues and even rock. I've had low end through medium quality instruments and finally "settled" for what I do with a 14-fret Ovation "Country Artist" that I think was at least one of the first A-E nylon string guitars. I bought it new in the 1970s and still play it.

This will sound a bit odd to some, but frankly I'm much less picky on classical strngs than steels. I just get a brand name that's available and/or inexpensive and keep a backup set.

As far as fingerpicking goes, there's a wide range of folks who fingerpick in different ways, from Dave van Ronk to Segovia, Joe Pass to Mark Knopfler.

For what my opinion's worth, I think you can play any guitar in ways that would suit almost any style of music. It may not sound like what everybody else in that style is doing, but... Okay, I guess I've always been a little bit of a musical rebel too.

m

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