Should I learn guitar on Nylon strings then go onto Steel?

I want to start to learn guitar, but my family had an old (about 20 year old) spanish classical guitar lying around and gave me that. Is that a good idea? Because I wanted to learn on steel because I’m not interested in classical music.Also, is the playing technique the same?

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7 Responses to “Should I learn guitar on Nylon strings then go onto Steel?”

  1. Matthew said:

    no itz better to start on steel but that is only my personal preference if ur realy not sure try them both but i prefer steel and i hate nylon i just like the feel of the steel string better on my fingers and i think steel string guitars have a better tone hope i helped

  2. Veekil said:

    ….

  3. Rae said:

    Besides the nylon strings, the classical guitar body is shaped differently and the playing technique is different. You hold it at a different angle and typically don’t use a pick to strum. My advice would be to use the classical guitar (since it’s available) while you save up for a nice dreadnought. On the classical guitar, just learn chords and finger positions and don’t worry too much about the tone or the strumming hand. Since you don’t want to do classical style picking with your fingers, buy some picks and just strum the classical for now. Once you get a dreadnought with nickel (for acoustic/electric) or brass-wound strings, you might have to adjust the pressure you put on the neck, but at least you’ll know the position your fingers need to be in. I believe a dreadnought guitar has a narrower neck as well, so that might make a difference.

    I’ve been playing guitar for almost 8 or 9 years (self-taught), and I can say learning on a dreadnought with steel strings was the best thing I ever did. However, since you have a guitar available, don’t let the type of strings prevent you from learning. Good luck and have fun, and when you’re famous, I’ll say I knew you when… 😀

    BTW: My name’s Rachel, too!

  4. RachelS165 said:

    Nylon string guitars and steel string guitars are both tuned the same and played the same (same chord fingerings, etc), so if you have a classical guitar lying around, you can use it to get started and learn the basics on, while you save up to get a good steel string guitar.

    Classical guitars are intended to be fingerpicked, while steel string guitars can be fingerpicked or played with a guitar pick. However, while you’re getting started you *can* practice using a pick if you want.

    Mostly the difference between nylon string classical guitars and steel string guitars is in the sound — nylon strings give a softer, mellower sound that works great for classical or some kinds of mellow jazz or folk, while steel strings are better for most rock, country, pop, and bluegrass (although Willie Nelson does a great job playing country music on a nylon string guitar, which just proves that there is an exception to every rule).

    A classical guitar does have a wider neck than a steel string guitar, but when you switch to a steel string instrument, you shouldn’t have any problems

  5. h-townguy said:

    YES.

    Unless you have tiny hands, Nylon string guitars are perfect to start on with. The neck is wider so you learn to place your thumb at the middle of the neck so you can reach over the fretboard easily. The strings are not as harsh as steel-strings, so you wont get severe peeling on the tip of your fingers. And it helps your hands gain strength so that when you make the switch to steel-string, you’ll be set to play for hours.

    You don’t have to be interested in classical music in order to play in a classical guitar. It’s a great and very technical style of music which can help you in the long run, but a classical guitar is just another guitar.

    The technique is exactly the same, with the only difference that on a steel-string, the neck is narrower. Other than that, the transition from nylon to steel helps you out.

    Happy Playing.

  6. Left-T said:

    Just play any guitar, nylon or steel-stringed, as they are all the same as far as fingering, techniques, and tuning. Use a guitar pick instead of your fingers. The difference lies in the fact that the nylong classical guitar has a much wider neck than any acoustics or electric guitars. But, if you practice and yuo are clean on the nylong string, it will help you once you switch to a steel or electric guitar.

    The reason is simple. Nylon string demand more pressure of the finger to produce a cleaner sound especially when playing fast. That will build good finger and wrist muscles which will pay off in the end when you switch.

    Other than that, the notes, chords, and techniques of the left hand are the same. Just keep your palm parallel to the fingerboard for ease of playing and make sure you bend the thumb at the first joint to give you added strength to squeeze.

  7. guitarpicker56 said:

    Don’t delay learning how to play the guitar because you have a nylon-string guitar, yet you prefer learning on a steel-stringed instrument. The neck is wider, giving width between the strings, but you can adapt to the steel-stringed guitar once you get it. You can adapt to the changes quickly.

    I much prefer playing the steel-string guitars so I can keep my calluses thickened, but I have nylon-string guitars at home to play too.

    The replies given by the two Rachels, H-townguy, and Left-T are correct. Get started on the nylon strings because the chord formations are the same. You will simply adjust to a smaller neck once you get your dreadnought.

    Furthermore, that first nylon-stringed guitar will become your very first one to play and will, therefore, become a keeper.




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