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Anybody into classical guitar at all?

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  • Anybody into classical guitar at all?

    I have one that I get out every now and then. I like the sound, but I can't keep it in tune. I don't know how to tie the strings onto the tuners properly.
    I have moderate bilateral hearing loss in the upper midrange and lower treble. I tend to think sounds are quieter, darker, and bassier than they probably really are.

  • #2
    I am very much into it. Have a Nylon String Yamaha CGX-171. Played classical for a couple of years, built up a little 30+ tune repertoire. Started with Dee and the Intro to Blackstar, and went from there...

    Nylon strings stretch forever. Just have to keep tuning up.
    Originally posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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    • #3
      Yup, have two.
      But I don't play classical, I use them for all the variations of Spanish-influenced music.
      Think Los Lobos and you're in the right general neighborhood.
      Structurally, they're nearly the same thing, with a few differences.

      My go-to's are LaPatries, I have a Collection and a Presentation.
      I did a distressed re-spray/refin to one of them, I call it the 'Willie and Waylon South-of-the-Border' treatment .
      Plays like a dream, I love that guitar.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Drak; 08-01-2021, 11:48 AM.

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      • #4
        I love my Yamaha! It is made for steel string players, with a thin body, a cutaway, easy action, and narrow neck. I play all my pieces hybrid style with a pick.
        Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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        • #5
          I played classical foe years when I was starting out and recently got into it again.

          Quality, fresh strings really help tuning stability, though it still tends to shift over time.
          Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Benjy_26 View Post
            I played classical foe years when I was starting out and recently got into it again.

            Quality, fresh strings really help tuning stability, though it still tends to shift over time.
            In this case, fresh strings were kinda the problem. The guitar always stayed in tune until the A string broke on its own while the guitar was in the case for an extended period. The new strings just never stopped stretching.
            I have moderate bilateral hearing loss in the upper midrange and lower treble. I tend to think sounds are quieter, darker, and bassier than they probably really are.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Benjy_26 View Post
              Quality, fresh strings really help tuning stability, though it still tends to shift over time.
              I don't really understand that.
              It's like Ace said, nylon strings stretch forever.
              Just the nature of the beast.
              I have to retune it (nearly) every time I pick it up.
              I never looked at that as a bothersome issue.

              I have so many guitars that I can never take for granted ANY of them will be in tune when I pick one up.
              So re-tuning is just a natural, every day part of life for all my guitars.

              I keep clip-on tuners on nearly every guitar I own now, including the nylon.
              Takes maybe a minute, and its up and running.
              The tuner never leaves the guitar, its parked there permanently, tuning is a breeze.
              Last edited by Drak; 08-01-2021, 07:32 PM.

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              • #8
                Been at it for a long time, had formal training too. It is maybe the ultimate practice tool - massive neck, high action, wide string spacing.

                Good quality strings help (don't use crappy strings!), though yes, they do stretch a lot compared to metal ones. Regarding stringing, there various ways of doing it, and plenty of information online nowadays. You don't need that many wraps on the post, maybe 2-3 max. I always rub a little graphite at the nut and saddle for the bass strings.

                Different brand string also make a substantial difference in tone and feel of the instrument. Lots of professional players mix and match - they might have bass strings from brand X, and trebles from another. Sometimes it takes a particular brand to bring out the best in a particular instrument. Most of the time I've used D'Addario Pro Arté, they're good, no nonsense strings, imo. Some folk prefer carbon/polymer types, particularly for the G, which can sound a bit tubby sometimes. Fishing line that's close to a conventional string gauge is also possible.

                For electric players, much talk is about pickups, for classical folks, it's strings and action.
                Originally posted by dominus
                Your rant would sound better with an A8 magnet, it'll beef it up some without sacrificing some of the whine.

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                • #9
                  I have an older Harmony and I use the D'Addario Pro Arté also, while they may stretch forever, I don't think they retain the same sound quality.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Drak View Post
                    I don't really understand that.
                    It's like Ace said, nylon strings stretch forever.
                    Just the nature of the beast.
                    I have to retune it (nearly) every time I pick it up.
                    I never looked at that as a bothersome issue.

                    I have so many guitars that I can never take for granted ANY of them will be in tune when I pick one up.
                    So re-tuning is just a natural, every day part of life for all my guitars.

                    I keep clip-on tuners on nearly every guitar I own now, including the nylon.
                    Takes maybe a minute, and its up and running.
                    The tuner never leaves the guitar, its parked there permanently, tuning is a breeze.
                    Some strings hold tune better than others. I use either Agustin high tensions or D'Addario high tensions. They tend to be more stable than pretty much everything else I've tried, including LaBella and all the other usual suspects.
                    Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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                    • #11
                      I've never had an issue with this, but I wonder to what extent stringing methods at the tuner affect string slippage between playing sessions. I've always double wrapped the bass strings through the roller hole, and with the trebles too, plus passing the string under itself so it kind of 'locks' as I'm tuning up.

                      Sometimes, cheaper tuners can also be a culprit in the struggle to maintain tuning (another element classical players are particuar about re. their instruments). If the tolerance between the worm shaft and the little tabs holding it is poor, this can lead to instability; likewise, the coupling between the roller and cog ought to be checked every so often via the hex or slot screw which usually holds them together. Most cheaper tuners use a brass worm and cog, which wears after a time, and you lose responsiveness when tuning. It's something I need to look into more – guitar needs a new set –, then you look at some of these guitars built by the big deal guys like Torres, and many still have their original tuners which work great, back when mechanical tuners were less common and handmade .
                      Originally posted by dominus
                      Your rant would sound better with an A8 magnet, it'll beef it up some without sacrificing some of the whine.

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                      • #12
                        I've got formal training, aka Ye Olde Master's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance.
                        Haven't been active playing the classical in quite some time (since the first of the shoulder replacement surgeries).
                        I have a '93 Sakurai from the Kohno workshop, extraordinary instrument. It is as good as anything Master Kohno makes in his shop. I hear that is no longer the case so I am very happy to have aquired it when I did.

                        Besides private lessons where I taught whatever, Classical was a big part of my 14 yr run of putting food on the table through music: Classical Guitar lessons for College Credit mixed in with Music Appreciation and Music History courses at various small colleges in the area.

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                        • #13
                          Here's my contribution to tuning in new classical strings:

                          After putting new strings on (usually in the early to mid evening) tune all the bass strings to where they are more or less holding tune a half step sharp F, A# and D# instread of E A and D

                          Then on the treble strings tune them to a whole step sharp: A, C# and F# instead of G, B and E.

                          As mentioned before they stretch and stretch and stretch!!!
                          When they say nylon strings think of the same nylon that pantyhose are made of for reference.

                          Using the above method, when getting the guitar out of the case the next day it is always very close to being in tune.

                          FWIW $.02

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                          • #14
                            my experience is about the same, i tune up high then let the guitar sit over night and it usually is mostly settled by morning.

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                            • #15
                              I cut my teeth on nylon strings. I play some faux-classical stuff most of it stuff I have written. My classical guitar is beat to hell so I do all of my acoustic playing on my steel string Ibanez.


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