Different strings

LesterLester Posts: 1,704Member, Moderator
Today I feel like I have been "doing a Jocko" in that I came home yesterday with a 7 year old's new guitar, which is an Ashton 3/4 size mini guitar, steel-string, dreadnought style, and today I filed down the sharp fret ends (a first for me), put a new nut on, changed the steel strings to nylon strings (because his teacher insists he has a nylon-strung guitar) and put some washers under the strap buttons, sort of home-made straplocks that were free because I had two spare washers.

The challenge for me was that his guitar teacher at school (where, sadly, they only teach classical guitar) said that it would not be possible to put nylon strings on a streel-stringed guitar because the tailpiece is different, while his parents are saddened as their son was given the guitar by a family friend and they don't really want to have to return it and buy a classical guitar, especially as the little lad's aim is to learn chords and songs.

To make classical strings workable on this guitar, I tied a figure of 8 knot in the end of each string and used the little ball-ends from the old strings. The trick works and, as you can see, it looks good. Another satisfied customer, so to speak!


  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 962Member
    Nicely done.
    The old nylon string tie method is because the technology for anything much else didn't exist in string making back in the day. Guitarists as a breed tend to be conservative and backward looking in the main.
    I can't imagine the 7 year old is anything but delighted.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,704Member, Moderator
    He is indeed delighted. He quickly set to on learning the chords E and A while I was at his place, talking it through with his parents.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Great job. I ended up using these strings: D'Addario EJ32 Folk Nylon Normal (.028-.045) Ball End Folk Guitar Strings.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,704Member, Moderator
    Thanks, Jocko. You were, after all, my inspiration for these kind of mods after your many, many modifications I have read about here.

    Thanks also for the mention of nylon strings will ball ends; I didn't know they existed.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Neither did I, until I stumbled across them.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    edited February 2019
    I'd have thought nylon strings on a steel string guitar would sound a bit quiet. Am I right ?

    I hope laddo isn't put off by the classical training but the teacher is right. If he is doing that sort of syllabus then nylon strings are a must.

    Digressing here.

    Strings make a heck of a difference. I now have a Vintage mahogany guitar and a Sigma J45 copy (spruce top) and have recently changed strings. I used D'addario phosphor bronze on the Vintage and Martin 12s on the Sigma. The Vintage now sounds a different league to the Sigma. I will have to do the same for the Sigma but am so tight that It'll be a few years before I do.

    I'm really enjoying sitting down and noodling, switching guitar to guitar. The Sigma is now my second. £460 (Sigma) vs £160 (Vintage.) the difference a tenner can make. Wow !

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,704Member, Moderator
    Yes, you are right, Kevin, the nylon strings make the guitar quieter than it was with steel strings. For a young starter I don't see that it should be a problem. In fact, it will probably be preferred at home by the rest of his family.

    I agree with you: strings make a heck of a difference.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    I played a D35 Martin in Mansons today. An utter joy but returned to my two babies and my GAS waned within minutes.

    (Play your acoustics facing a corner in the room. You get great feedback from it.)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 989Member

    Good for you Lester - helping the next generation in their pursuit of music is a wonderful thing. The world is a slightly better place now.
  • martinsmith99martinsmith99 Posts: 375Member
    Something about nylon strings puts me off play/owning/looking at such `guitars'.

    It's completely irrational, but that's just how it is :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 989Member
    I’ve found nylons to be very comfortable and easy to play, and quite like the mellow sound
    . But ’ve never found a need for one, which doesn’t usually stop me buying gear!
  • Pete_BPete_B Posts: 563Member
    I was put off nylon strings by by first guitar, cost £12
    The action at the 12th fret was around 6 inches and the neck was 12 inches wide.
    The little ladybird size book I got said "Put your fingers here and strum" 3 weeks later the strings didn't buzz, then it said "Now put your fingers here" Another 3 weeks and no buzz. then it says "Now you can play Skip to my loo". WTF is that? Never heard of that song!
    Tied a string around it's neck and hung it on the wall as a decoration for 20 years.
    There is no Mojo!
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