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You are watching: Can you put nylon strings on a regular acoustic guitar

Massimo Asks:

“Hi Bobby, this might be a stupid question, yet can I usage nylon strings (for classical guitar) on one acoustic (normally fitted v steel strings)?”

Hi Massimo:

This isn’t a stupid concern at all! There space a most guitarists the end there that’ll be glad friend asked it.

In fact, yes, friend can… yet you can’t use “traditional” Classical/nylon guitar strings if your steel-string acoustic is prefer most–where your ball-end acoustic strings are organized in ar with bridge pins. I’ll assume the this is why you’re asking: timeless guitar strings don’t have actually these sphere ends, and also have to be tied onto the bridge:


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A quick Note for classical Guitarists

For any kind of Classical guitarists out there who can be reading this post:

You too can use ball-end nylon strings top top your classical guitar. There’s no legislation that states you need to use timeless tie-on nylon strings, also if friend play one expensive, high-end classic guitar. Some classical guitarists choose the ease-of-use of ball-end strings, so if you’re not a purist and are open up to ball end strings, offer ’em a try.

Just be sure there’s enough clearance behind the bridge for the ball-end, and that that doesn’t dig right into your guitar’s soundboard earlier there.

How Nylon Strings Will effect Your Guitar’s Setup

I should point out to everyone that nylon strings act differently and exert various forces top top a guitar 보다 steel strings. Also, the trebles (the 3 highest strings) space thicker 보다 their steel-string counterparts. This means:

If you put nylon strings on your steel wire acoustic guitar, you’ll probably need to make adjustments or also do a complete setup.

When you put nylon strings ~ above a stole string acoustic guitar you might experience part weirdness including:

The high G, B, and E strings might be also thick for the seed slots.The strings may buzz excessively.The action may feel as well low (usually goes hand-in-hand with buzzing).The external E strings might occasionally slip turn off the edge of the fretboard when you’re fretting notes or chords.Related to #1, few of the strings might bind (stick) in the seed slots, because nylon treble strings thicker than steel trebles.You’re walking to have to tolerate some intonation issues, which can’t be corrected.

If you’re lucky, merely loosening her truss pole a little may be every that’s needed to solve #2 and also #3 above. However, it’s much more likely the you’ll require to have a full setup performed come truly get rid of them. If you’re experiencing #4 or #5, girlfriend will most definitely need your guitar set up (modified, in fact) come play properly with nylon strings.

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If this foray right into nylon strings is simply a momentary thing (say, come record only a song or two) and you arrangement to switch ago to steel strings, then you might be willing to tolerate these things and also leave your guitar’s setup alone. ~ above the other hand, if this is a much more long-term (or permanent) switch, then you may need to have actually your guitar set up or modified to accommodate the nylon strings. This can mean having actually the nut and also bridge modified especially for nylon strings. If girlfriend do, ask her guitar tech to save your old nut and bridge saddle, so the you can easily switch back one day.