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View Full Version : Modifying my cheapie student guitar...



bigploch
03-30-2010, 01:50 AM
Hey all! I have been in the uke game for a few months and am playing mine as much as I can. I took acoustic guitar lesson for a few months when I was 13 and didn't enjoy the metal strings. Back then my parents bought me a Gremlin.

http://images.craigslist.org/3nf3k33me5W05R05S2a3q0283fec4d95f16df.jpg http://images.craigslist.org/3n03m43l15W45U15R5a3q2ce5ae51b4de1ff8.jpg

It is a real POS which probably had something to do with why I quit playing.

I want to make some mods to it. Use it like a practice tool. I want to put nylon strings on it to make it more like a uke in feel. I know it won't feel like a uke, I just want to make it a little closer. I know I will need to modify or even replace the nut. I can figure that out. I am also thinking of installing a pickup.

What type of strings do you recommend for this application? I have read online about nylon strings and folk strings. I even thought about baritone uke strings but I wasn't sure if they would be long enough. This guitar is only worth about $20 so I am not to worried about ruining it. I just want to play. Any suggestions?

ricdoug
03-30-2010, 07:23 AM
You can add a pickup for under $10 bucks:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?8560-Electrify-your-uke-for-under-10-bucks

Changing to nylon strings if your guitar does not have an adjustable truss rod.
Nylon strings don't provide as much tension on the neck as steel strings do.
What will happen is the strings will buzz and rest on the frets, making it unplayable.
The neck needs a slight amount of bowing, or relief, to function properly. If you put
thick enough nylon strings on it to prevent the neck from "humping", it will be just
as hard to play as it would with the steel strings. If the neck does have an
adjustible truss rod, you might be able to adjust it for lighter strings. Ric

bigploch
03-30-2010, 08:13 AM
You can add a pickup for under $10 bucks:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?8560-Electrify-your-uke-for-under-10-bucks

Changing to nylon strings if your guitar does not have an adjustable truss rod.
Nylon strings don't provide as much tension on the neck as steel strings do.
What will happen is the strings will buzz and rest on the frets, making it unplayable.
The neck needs a slight amount of bowing, or relief, to function properly. If you put
thick enough nylon strings on it to prevent the neck from "humping", it will be just
as hard to play as it would with the steel strings. If the neck does have an
adjustible truss rod, you might be able to adjust it for lighter strings. Ric

If the metal strings are off and the neck does not hump or bend, than I should be ok right?

It is a 3/4 or half size guitar so the neck isn't all that long. I do see what you are saying though. Are there softer metal strings anyone can reccommend?

ricdoug
03-30-2010, 09:57 AM
Ernie Ball Super Slinky electric guitar strings:

http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ernie-Ball-2223-Nickel-Super-Slinky-Custom-Gauge-Electric-Guitar-Strings?sku=100621

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/regular/2/6/7/633267.jpg

They won't be as loud, but they'll be much easier on your fingers. Ric

NukeDOC
04-06-2010, 08:28 AM
i would take ric's advice and put on some electric guitar strings. the guitar is not nutted and bridged for nylon strings. you will be quickly disappointed with all the buzzing and utter unplayability by trying to put nylons on that guitar. they will just vibrate too widely and contact everything. the electric strings will do better for you and wont hurt... as much.

the pain also comes from technique. you dont have to have rock hard calloused fingertips to play steel string guitar. try experimenting with how hard you have to actually press down to fret a string adequately. this will also help with the pain once you figure out that it doesnt take a vice grip to play guitar.

bigploch
04-07-2010, 01:11 AM
Cool. Thanks guys. I will give that a try.