Nylon vs Steel Strings
For those who are interested in learning how to play guitar, choosing the right instrument is critical. If you have a basic knowledge of the instrument and buy wisely, you can enjoy the instrument for years to come. There is confusion in the minds of budding guitarists about nylon and steel strings as they do not know the differences between the two. This article will highlight these differences to enable such people to make an informed decision that suits their requirements.
There are basically two types of acoustic guitars, the classic or nylon string guitar and steel string guitar. Both strings have their own pros and cons. Nylon strings are better suited for beginners as they are easier to grasp and they do not hurt fingers as much as steel strings do. Thus for kids and people below the age of 15, nylon strings are better than steel strings. One thing to note is that there are small sized guitars in the market that people tend to buy for their children. These guitars have nylon strings but kids learning to play these guitars are never able to master steel string full size guitars. Even if buying nylon string guitar, it is better to buy full size guitars only.
Another difference between these two strings is the quality of sound. The sound produced by nylon strings is mellow, peaceful and cool in nature. Nylon strings are gentle on fingers and do not produce sore fingers after hours of practice. Since these strings are stretchable, people who are fond of playing folk music and country music prefer nylon over steel strings.
On the other hand, steel strings are hard and thus better for advanced players. These strings also produce sharper sound. No doubt it is hard to learn to play guitar with steel strings, but gradually it becomes easier and you can play guitar seamlessly. Steel strings, in sharp contrast to nylon strings, produce a bright and metallic sound which is what Hawaiian music famous for.
While nylon string guitar has a string tension of 75-90 pounds, string tension in steel string guitar is 150-200 pounds. This means that nylon string guitar is easier to fret than a steel string guitar. Finger pricking is easier with nylon strings. On the other hand, narrow fingerboard of a steel string guitar means that it is better suited for playing with a prick. As far as size is concerned, classic guitar is smaller and thus easier to hold than steel string guitar which is larger in size. Thus those who are short in height find it easier to play a classic guitar than tall guitarists who are comfortable with steel guitars.
• Nylon string and steel string are two main types of guitars
• Nylon strings are more suitable for beginners being softer in nature
• Steel strings produce bright, metallic sound whereas nylon strings produce cool sound.