So, you’ve made up your mind on getting yourself a good guitar but differences between them can be little confusing. You have a choice of either nylon and steel string guitars, and the ultimate choice depends on the kind of sound you’d like to produce and the style of music you’d like to play. Nylon strings are mostly used on classical acoustic guitars. These strings are not conductive with a magnetic pickup, so you won’t be able to use them on electric guitars.
These strings do not generate as much volume as their steel string counterparts do. Classical type acoustic guitars can be amplified using external or internal microphones. Nylon strings produce distinct but soft tones. If you’ve heard the soft sounds of flamenco music, it’s the nylon string sound that is causing it. These strings work best on classical guitars and they’re also very easy on the fingers!
Best Affordable Nylon String Guitars!
Traditionally, affordable nylon string guitars are used for flamenco and classical music and steel string guitars are used for pop, rock, and folk. But you can use either, so don’t’ be afraid to be rebel. Most beginners prefer to go with nylon string guitars over the steel due to their softer feel. This should definitely be weighed against the tone these strings generate and how they fit the style of music you want to play.
What To Look For When Getting The Right Nylon String Guitar When You Are On A Budget.
These guitars possess enigmatic simplicity. With variations in size, shape, design, and materials, it’s been adapted to a wide range of music styles. This can make it cumbersome to know exactly what to look for in an instrument. You can find lots of varieties in nylon string guitars, some are dark, some are light. Some come with machine tuners, but some still use wooden pegs like violins.
Most guitars have necks that firmly join the boy at 12th fret, while others may have a cutaway. Which of these differences are merely decorative and which are meaningful? For all those who’re buying it for the first time, it’s sheer simplicity makes this instrument appealing. Although it]s softer strings and wider neck are much gentler to novice fingertips than hard steel strings, the best guide for you is to decide on the kind of music you want to play.
If you’re interested in one of the “steel string” styles such as fingerpicking or blues, then some aspects of nylon string guitar are surely going to hold you back a bit. If you want to play flamenco, classical, or maybe Latin American styles, then you should start with a nylon string guitar.
Just about any affordable nylon string guitar is best if you’re just starting out on one of these styles of music. If you want to pursue one of these music styles seriously, then you should go for an instrument that is best suited for that kind of music. However, have a close look at some of their features.
The soundboard (the top of the guitar) is the most important factor that shapes the tone of classical guitar. Avoid guitars with laminate tops and choose only solid top guitars. Classical guitar soundboards are made using cedar or spruce.
Spruce Top And Cedar Top
The spruce top guitar tones changes dramatically during first two years of construction, improving and “gradually” opening up. A well-built spruce top guitar will never deteriorate in terms of sound quality during this time. You won’t know how this guitar will sound until it’s broken in. A cedar top, on the other hand, may open up right from the beginning, changing very little over time.
Beyond these two basics, these two versions have their own subtle qualities that enhance this instrument’s qualities that contributes to it’s musicality. The spruce top guitar’s clarity is well-suited for contrapuntal music like Bach. Many flamenco guitars come with spruce tops for crisp, clear sound. A nice cedar top guitar comes with darker, warmer tone that some prefer for playing Spanish classical music.
In clarity, cedar may have reddish brown color. On the other hand, spruce is just white. Although a colored finish may mask the underlying color of the wood, you will be able to find it by looking inside the instrument right around the soundhole.
Traditionally, the sides and back of the classical guitar are made using either Indian or Brazilian rosewood. Both versions are beautiful and best. A flamenco guitar traditionally possesses cypress back and sides. Recent development “flamenco negra”, has a rosewood back and sides that give warmer tone.
Many builders now offer both flamenco and classical instruments with maple sides and back. They tend to sound brighter than rosewood instruments.
Most affordable nylon string guitars are made using either mahogany or cedar. Either of them is fine. What’s more important is the size and shape of the neck. The back of the neck is founded, flat, or C shaped. Which of them is best depends on the proportion or shape of your hand. Playability also depends on the length of the neck. These days, 650mm scale length is okay, but some instruments may have up to 640mm to 675 mm scale length.
Difference In Construction
Flamenco and classical guitars can be made of the same materials and size. The difference lies in the way these two instruments are constructed. A flamenco guitar, is a percussion instrument. It’s much lighter than a classical instrument, and has a better response, bright timbre, and a low action. It will also have plastic tap, golpeadors, plates on either string sides for percussive glope technique flamenco players use. On the other hand, a classical guitar is built to carry different melodic lines. This guitar will give you a wide range of tonal colors to choose from in any possible position and allow for longer notes and a better singing tone.
For other types of music, such as Brazilian, Jazz, and other Latin American Styles, it’s just a matter of personal taste. There are no design style specifics to these types of music, although some players like a cutaway for better access past the twelfth fret. Many manufacturers including Yamaha, Gibson, Ovation, Takamine and others offer electric and acoustic instruments that work nicely in these music styles. These instruments play little more like electric or string guitar with narrow neck and lower action than a classical instrument. They also offer less tonal variation than the instrument design for playing the classical music.
Is it Actually Possible To Find An Affordable Nylon String Guitar That Is Of Good Quality?
Usually prices of cheap, economic nylon string guitars are under $100, but you will find quality, usable instruments in the range of $100 – $200. Anything less won’t get you the tonal variations out of the instrument. You can also find hand-made instruments under $1000, but mostly they are factory made instruments from Spain or Japan, including labels such as Raimundo, Alhambra, Vicente Torres, Manuel Rodriguez, Alvarz, Esteve, and Takamine.
Also, there can be wide variations even in similarly priced guitars. Between $1200 and $2200 you will find a mixture of high end guitars such as the Antonio Sanchez (Spain) or Hirade (Japan), and hand made types such as from Paracho, Mexico.