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Nylon Strings on a steel strung guitar


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#1 OFFLINE   MichaelinSJ

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:13 AM

After 35 years of inactivity I pulled my Kiso Suzuki W300 (Martin D-35 clone) out of the case and tried a couple of chords. I have played the couple of chords almost daily over the last three months, but at 65. I just can't build the callus and can't get past the discomfort to get to a build up.

I was thinking about maybe stringing with nylon to let me build up the calluses. I realize this may be a heresy AND impractical, but is there any reason not to do it? The W300 is still a sweet sounding box and I would like to get back to it.

#2 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:58 AM

Go to extra light strings first. See how that works for you. You will get a better sound and you can always try the nylon.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#3 OFFLINE   MichaelinSJ

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:11 AM

Any brand recommendations? I restrung two months ago with what I thought were extra-light strings.

#4 OFFLINE   eddiez152

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:21 AM

I like D'Addario personally. Well I guess you may have to try the nylon after all.

You know, I found that although the 4,5,6 th strings are pleasant to the fingers, I think that the 1,2,and 3rd on nylon are not due to their thickness alone. Just my opinion perhaps.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#5 OFFLINE   karcey

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:34 AM

The nylon strings won't damage your guitar, but they have such a light tension it mightn't be enough to make a pleasant sound.
What about picking up an inexpensive classical guitar, like one of the Chinese ones that seem to pop up in every discount store for about the price of a carton of beer. I've tried a few of these and some of them are quite playable, even if the sound is a bit flat. Or a second hand student guitar, like a Yamaha, generally can be found hardly used because the kid who had it didn't stay interested for long.
Then you'll still have your good guitar and one to exercise your fingers. Just a thought.
Let us know how you go.
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#6 OFFLINE   mset3

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:12 AM

MichaelinSJ,

Karcey's suggestion is a good one. Sorry, but I think you will have to bite the bullet and stick it out to build up your calluses. It doesn't really take that long.

Mike

#7 OFFLINE   gasbag

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:14 AM

I am about your age and have a bit of trouble due to arthritis.
To help me I use light strings and tune the guitar down one full step.
It really does make it easier for me.
If I have to play along with a tune I just capo it on the 2nd fret.
It may not be correct to do so but it has helped me a lot.
Blessed are the Flexible, for They shall not be bent out of shape.

#8 OFFLINE   MichaelinSJ

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for the help and really quick responses.

I think I'll try gasbag's suggestion and get a set of the lightest strings I can find in town and "down" tune the strings.

Gasbag, fortunately (guitar wise) my fingers/wrists are still flexible. It's my damn neck that has the arthritus. (Oh, well!)

This looks like a good place to visit for advice.





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