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“Hi Bobby, this may be a stupid question, but can I use nylon strings (for classical guitar) on an acoustic (normally fitted with steel strings)?”
This isn’t a stupid question at all! There are a lot of guitarists out there that’ll be glad you asked it.
In fact, yes, you can… but you can’t use “traditional” Classical/nylon guitar strings if your steel-string acoustic is like most–where your ball-end acoustic strings are held in place with bridge pins. I’ll assume that this is why you’re asking: Classical guitar strings don’t have these ball ends, and have to be tied onto the bridge:
So, what can you do?
Some may think their only choice is to affix some sort of object to the end of the string–something that can be held in place by the bridge pin. Or, some might even attempt to remove the ball-ends from steel strings and tie them onto the ends of nylon strings.
None of that is necessary.
Nylon Ball End Strings to the Rescue
There are actually ball end Classical guitar strings available. They’re popular with a lot of Folk guitarists, or anyone simply wanting to get the the smooth, mellow sound of nylon strings on their steel-string acoustic guitar. And yes, they are used by some Classical guitarists too, who like the fact that they’re so quick and easy to install.
Below, I’ve gathered together a partial listing of nylon ball end guitar strings to get you started, but if you just search google with phrases like “ball end Classical guitar strings” you’ll probably find many more.
Ball-End Classical (Nylon) Guitar Strings
A Quick Note for Classical Guitarists
For any Classical guitarists out there who might be reading this post:
You too can use ball-end nylon strings on your Classical guitar. There’s no law that says you have to use traditional tie-on nylon strings, even if you play an expensive, high-end Classical guitar. Some Classical guitarists prefer the ease-of-use of ball-end strings, so if you’re not a purist and are open to ball end strings, give ’em a try.
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