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Thread: Returning to guitar - steel or nylon?

  1. #11
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    Takamine Japan has many amazing models and even does custom orders. Too bad many of these models and custom orders aren't available outside Japan. Now I admit I own more than a few of their higher models. Wonderful gigging instruments: tough, great pickup and sounds good.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pirate Jim View Post
    Hi guitar playing UUers,

    I'm currently making a return to guitar after a long hiatus, it just suddenly began calling to me again. I've picked up a beaten up old steel string for cheap to get going again and am having fun (it doesn't look great, but the neck is true and the action nice).

    I'm finding that I miss the nylon-style sound which I've become so used to over the last however many years of uking. I feel like a lot of my techniques aren't translating all that well at the moment - I don't want to return to flatpicking, love to fingerpick. I've been considering making my first proper guitar purchase of my phase 2 guitar playing a nylon stringer rather than steel as I'm so much more comfortable with that now. So, in my shoes, would you do that or persevere with steel as I'll get used to it again? I used to only play steel before but I've learnt a lot more since then, for example I never used to fingerpick.

    Factors in play:

    - I'm a lefty and my local guitar shop only has lefty steel strung guitars so I can't try a nylon strung instrument
    - I do not have room for multiple guitars knocking around - I need to pick one or the other
    - The only lefty crossover guitar I've found is the Taylor Academy 12N which looks pretty good to be honest, it's on my shortlist

    Any advice or experience to share would be appreciated!
    Different strokes for different folks. Transitioning from Ukulele (nylon) to steel isn't that big of deal, just takes time getting used to it. However, if your ear prefers the sound of nylon then get that.

    But like you said there is limitations on the stock of lefty guitars so whatever you buy you want to make sure that is the one. I am a Taylor lover myself, and for that reason I say you can't go wrong with a Taylor. Also one of my favorite bands lead singer Zac Brown from the Zac Brown Band prefers nylon, and in interviews says he loves the sound (not sure if he commented on the feel). Now if you listen to them what they play, how he plays, there is nothing holding you back if you were to go nylon.

    So in the end stick to what you love, and make the investment in something that is good versus something that is affordable. For there is truth when they say you get what you pay for. Also while I am a huge fan of Taylors I would also look at other nylon brands before making an informed decision.

    As for getting your hands on it, well you don't have to play a song, just strum it once before even picking it up and listen, then take it and bar frets and play single notes and listen to it. That will tell you more than enough if that is the guitar for you, then have it strung for a lefty.

  3. #13
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    Can’t add much, lots of good recommendations. I have played the Taylor nylon and although plain looking sounded and played very nice. For well under $700 both Taylor and Córdoba have good instruments. If you buy used and have the nut and saddle changed you can pay less.

    I played a bit of steel string 15 years ago then 4 years ago found the ukulele. The love for the guitar never died so I started up with guitar about one year ago. I have added two nylon string guitars, both Córdoba and love it. I really enjoy strumming and singing with the steel string and fingerpicking with the nylon. Both scratch a different itch.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 08-17-2019 at 02:04 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  4. #14

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    Thanks for This thread, it has inspired me to reconsider my options as I look at upgrading from my starter steel string guitar. Although I hav stood callouses I still get some pinpoint tenderness if I play several days in a row (is practice properly!!!) so I am looking at a hybrid.

    Although I finger strum and finger pick I would still like to learn to use a pick, have any of you tried putting a pick guard on a nylon string guitar? Does it deaden the top?

  5. #15
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    Davoravo, I haven't had occasion to put a pick guard on a nylon string guitar, but I have heard that doing so does not significantly impair the tone or projection, so hopefully you'd be okay if you tried it!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davoravo View Post
    Thanks for This thread, it has inspired me to reconsider my options as I look at upgrading from my starter steel string guitar. Although I hav stood callouses I still get some pinpoint tenderness if I play several days in a row (is practice properly!!!) so I am looking at a hybrid.

    Although I finger strum and finger pick I would still like to learn to use a pick, have any of you tried putting a pick guard on a nylon string guitar? Does it deaden the top?
    Apply a clear Mylar pick guard. They are very thin and light and will not effect the tone. Unless you are a concert virtuoso with a $10,000 guitar and have perfect pitch
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  7. #17

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    Thanks for the replies and sorry about the terrible typos in my post (darn phone autocorrect).

  8. #18
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    Hi, Davoravo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Davoravo View Post
    Although I finger strum and finger pick I would still like to learn to use a pick, have any of you tried putting a pick guard on a nylon string guitar? Does it deaden the top?
    Felt pick might help you before pick guard. Felt pick is safe for tone board. It is far better to hold than plastic pick. It avoids string noise. We can use felt pick on our ukulele too.

    Last edited by yahalele; 08-30-2019 at 10:13 AM.

  9. #19

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    I had some felt picks for my ukulele (ugly grey things, not nice ones like yours) but my dog ate them. Might buy some more and make more of an effort to keep them off the floor.

  10. #20
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    Both!!!!!!!

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