Nylon or steel?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Jen Hapke Jen Hapke 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #10046
    Cedric L
    Cedric L
    Participant

    I want to buy my first acoustic guitar and can’t decide which one is better.
    I was in a music store and tested both. For finger picking the nylon guitar was better (because of the strings and wider neck). But in almost every forum I read the people say that steel guitars are better for finger picking. And if I watch the acoustic video of Roman Sky I think “maybe a steel guitar is better” (because of the sound and for little solos). Which guitar do you have and what do you prefer?

    #10061
    Tory Capman
    Tory Capman
    Participant

    I have an acoustic with steel strings. While I enjoy playing it, I find myself wishing I had one with nylon strings because of the mellow sound and feel.

    #10100
    Vasrely Derian
    Vasrely Derian
    Participant

    I own a steel. In my opinion, it all depends on the person who’s playing it. If they can make it sound good and if they know the sound that they are looking for specifically. I’ve never really tried nylon before but I heard it has a more warmer or more soothing sound compared to steel. I’d be happy to try it out one day!

    #10118
    Ids Schiere
    Ids Schiere
    Participant

    It really depends on what you want to play on it. I own both and basically on my nylon string I instanty start finger picking as to on my gitane(which I’m counting as a steel string even though technically it might not be true) i prefer to strum chords and don’t finger pick as much. If you like playing campfire songs and stuff I would say get a steel string. If you like to play classical/spanish stuff get a nylon string. Also Tommy Emanuel does a lot of finger picking and he playes on a steel string I think

    #10124
    Richard O'connor
    Richard O’connor
    Participant

    As everyone has said it depends. Are you a complete beginner? If you are I’d buy a nylon. I did this when k was a beginner and it helped ease my fingers into playing. Your fingers will be painful if you go straight onto a steel string.
    It also depends on what you want to play on it. If you want to play flamenco then buy a good quality nylon string. But if not I’d buy a steel string guitar.
    Personally I prefer steel string. They are better for picking, have a cleaner brighter sound and can get away with playing pretty much anything on them.

    #10143
    Cedric L
    Cedric L
    Participant

    Thank you guys! 🙂
    I’m not a beginner in playing guitar. I’m a beginner in playing finger picking. Maybe it’s easier at the beginning to learn finger picking on a nylon (and it could me more comfortable) but I think if I’m better in it (in some months) I could regret buying a nylon.
    I think steel is better for songs like Roman Sky, Pieces (sum 41), etc.
    Thank you guys for helping me 🙂

     0 likes
    #10154
    Calvin Phillips
    Calvin Phillips
    Participant

    I feel finger picking would sound better with nylon

    #10157
    Cedric L
    Cedric L
    Participant

    Nylon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aisDZECxuU8
    Steel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njyo_Vg5awk

    That’s the point. Both have different pros and cons.
    I mean these two players have a different style of playing but you can hear that nylon is more soft and good for “chill songs”. But the steel sounds “happier” and I don’t know… For finger picking I think nylon is better. Can’t decide… The struggle is real…

     0 likes
    #10168
    Calvin Phillips
    Calvin Phillips
    Participant

    im sure there are situations where one is better. It changes from person to person too. lol

    I’ve never had nylon.. always steel. Maybe I should get one..

    #10175
    Jen Hapke
    Jen Hapke
    Participant

    I started with nylon (my dads guitar) but I mostly play songs where fingerpicking and strumming is mixed up. The first guitar I bought is a steel string acoustic guitar. I have no problems with the smaller neck because I have small hands.

    So I suggest to go by what sound do you prefer and I mean the sound of all things you want to play on it. I don’t like the sound of strumming on nylon guitars and I prefer the “steel sound”. But there are huge differences from acoustic guitar to acoustic guitar. As I bought my acoustic I tried the same guitar with pickup and without pickup and there was a huge difference.

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