The guitar is one of the most popular instruments of all time. It makes a very pleasing sound. It is small and light enough to carry around and it has a romantic appeal.
The guitar is very versatile. It can be played on it’s own or within a band. It’s tone complements the voice and it gives a good full backing to singing. It has a wide range of notes and makes a good solo instrument as well. It is extremely satisfying and entertaining to play for musicians of all levels of skill.
Classical guitars generally have nylon strings, whereas acoustic and electric guitars usually have steel strings. Each type of string has it’s own character which suits different kinds of music and playing styles.
Nylon strings give a much mellower tone and are easier on the fingers then steel strings. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings (the thinner strings) are usually a single strand of nylon. The thicker 4th, 5th and 6th strings are nylon strands wound with silver or bronze plated copper wire.
Steel strings give a brighter, louder sound. Although they are a little harder on the fingers then nylon strings, you soon become used to them. The thinner 1st and 2nd strings are usually plain nickel-plated steel as well as sometimes the 3rd. The other thicker ones are tightly wound with wire.
Guitars come in many shapes and sizes and although they may all appear similar must of them are made very differently. Steel string guitars are built much more strongly because the strings have alot more tension and force on the wood. You should never put steel strings on a classical or nylon string guitar because the instrument will be easily damaged.
Nor is it a good idea to put nylon strings on a steel string guitar because the guitar will sound dead and the strings will buzz. If you have any doubt whatsoever ask your local musical instrument retailer.
Your choice of a nylon or steel strung guitar should depend on the sound you prefer and the types of music you want to play.