I felt like I wanted something different, and so the other day I changed strings on Sparrow. My GHS silk & bronze lights were about shot after all the performing I’ve done, so it was time, anyway.

Bear doesn't care what strings I use, so long as I let him sleep in Sparrow's case for more than 30 minutes at a time.

Now, I’ve always been fascinated with nylon strings. Perhaps it has something to do with my predilection for antiquated music. So this time, instead of replacing Sparrow’s strings with another set of steels, I decided to try a set of “folk” nylons.

There was a little bit of work to be had before I could even tune up. I had to take some fine sandpaper to her nut to widen the string slots, especially the three highest strings (nylon strings have a heavier gauge than steels).

And the verdict is still out, although I am finding they are growing on me:

  • They aren’t so hard to tune — when I’d tune before, it always felt like I might break a string because the tuning pegs turned so hard. Now they tune nice and light.
  • They sound great for mellow strumming on medieval and early Celtic music.
  • They seem to tune up nicely with a capo.
  • I reeeeelly like that I can play with my bare fingers and not tear the ends of my fingers off doing it.

I’m not entirely sure, however, if they fit *my* music. And they buzz a little bit if I get too exuberant in my strumming (nylon strings vibrate in a wider arc than steel strings do, due to the nature of the materials).

If I decide to keep them, at a later date I may have to have some fret/nut/neck work done on Sparrow to make them play even better. For now, though, I’m going to leave them on (yes, I’m cheap). Maybe by the time the next string change comes around, I’ll have made up my mind. đŸ˜›

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2 thoughts on “The Wonderful World of Strings

    1. Yes, classical guitars use nylon strings. The “folk nylon” are pretty much classical strings except they still have a ball end (instead of having to be tied). So far, I have no issues with playability (I played ukulele a lot, and the nylon strings feel very similar), I’m just… still making up my mind on the tonal quality. lol. So, we’ll see.

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