Nylon Strings.

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by BMFan30, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    So I was gifted a classical Yamaha guitar with nylon strings on them. My D'addario Folk Nylon strings came in today, put them on. Then I tried to tune it... for a whole hour!

    Then I went outside to clear my head because the tuning wouldn't sit for more than mere minutes. So I was very frustrated having to retune it dozens of times. While outside I decided to look up a youtube tutorial because maybe there is something I missed.

    There was... You're supposed to stretch the strings over and over again by pressing down with 4 fingers over each string then stretching it with your right hand and repeating that until it does stay in tune.

    Now I'm happy camper, I just wish I didn't assume I know what to do but looked it up first. :facepalm:

     
  2. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    On a related note, if you have an extended-range classical guitar with thick low strings (like a Savarez 13th string designed for E1), you need to make sure you twist the string in the right direction before putting it through the tuning head. Otherwise, the windings may be loose on such a thick string. Twisting it makes the windings tighter, and putting it through the tuning head locks it in place.

    I wondered for the longest time why it would sometimes buzz until I discovered that trick. It wasn't fret buzz: the string itself was vibrating from loose windings.
     
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  3. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    Damn no shit? Never thought this could be the problem but now that you mention it, I think might have had this very problem in the past but blamed it on low string action. Although the thicker E string next to it didn't have fret buzz which made no sense.
     
  4. Dayn

    Dayn SS.org Regular

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    Yes, unfortunately. Have you tried to figure out where exactly the string would buzz? It turned out that my string would buzz whether it was open, fretted anywhere from fret 1 to 19, or even harmonics, and the buzz would sound at the bridge, too. Twisting it to tighten it before tuning it was the only thing that eliminated it.
     
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  5. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    This was years ago now but I could never figure it out, what you mention could be it though. Same thing, no matter what I did, I still got string buzz. Can't remember if it was at the bridge, I just remembered being very annoyed.
     
  6. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    Even with stretching it takes mine a good week or so to start to hold tune.
     
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  7. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    Basically the same story here.
     
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  8. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    Yeah. And that’s only to start to stay in tune. To actually stay in tune properly it’s more like 3 weeks.
    Best thing I find is to constantly tune it. Even if not playing and I walk past it on the stand I’ll give it a quick stretch and tune.
     
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  9. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    Great advice, going to do this as well.
     
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  10. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula A series of interconnected fortune cookies.

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    There's a saying among classical guitarists that once the tuning is 100% settled, the strings are dead. It's meant to be humorous but if you're playing several hours a day, it can actually be true. It's common for high-level players to retune at the start of every piece in concert, and plenty of them will make intermittent adjustments on the fly. Changing strings the night before a performance is generally not advised, though.

    When I put first new strings on I often tune a half step sharp to help the strings stretch faster, then back it off to concert pitch as they start to hold tune for more than a few seconds.
     
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  11. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    It's definitely been my experience so far haha
    That's a phenomenal idea, beating it to it's punch.
     
  12. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    I actually always tune my classical up at least a half step to F standard, then leave it for a day, re-tune, leave it again. Once the strings are properly stretched they generally hold pretty well. Also, I'm a fan of ball end nylon strings, I hate having to look up how to properly knot regular ones at the bridge every time, because I always forget lol.

    edit: woops already beaten to the punch. but yes, never expect classicals to hold their tune immediately after restringing!
     
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  13. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    I got these that had ball end. I was not going to mess around with all of that when the guitar could barely hold tune already.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Those are good, I don't find them everywhere but I've tried them before. I suppose in theory, that ball end strings should also stretch and reach tuning stability faster than hand tied knots, where slippage at the knot (especially because I suck at getting pretty, consistent knots) adds another variable to inconsistent tuning. Just speculating, but either way, ball ends are excellent for people who aren't strictly nylon/classical players!
     
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  15. BMFan30

    BMFan30 SS.org Regular

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    Got my pair at Amazon but I saw them at Guitar Center when I was picking up a set of NYXL's.

    That's great to hear because I got them purely because of simplicity. I figured I'm too noob to bother tying the end knots because all I'd get is detuned Slipknots :D

    All the tips on tuning up higher to help nylon strings settle more consistently was a brilliant tip! I felt kind of stupid like why haven't I thought of that on my own?! lol
     
  16. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula A series of interconnected fortune cookies.

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    There are other solutions like diamond string ties that will work with normal sets of strings: https://www.rosetteguitarproducts.com/new-page

    You can also get a guitar with a 12-hole tie block, or get your existing tie block drilled for the additional holes. Then when you install the strings, they're routed through two holes in such a way that their own tension locks them in place.

    [​IMG]

    The most secure way of using them ends up basically having a knot on the trebles, but as it's just one loop it's easier to tie securely. I've gotten away with not tying any knots plenty of times, but I wouldn't recommend it with carbon trebles.

    Ball ends are still the easiest but they limit your options and I think they can enlarge the openings to the holes in the bridge over time.
     
  17. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Woah, very cool. Thanks for the information. Certainly interested in those diamond string ties, and even their zero-fret nut. I guess it's easy to underestimate simple innovations still happening in nylon string guitars!
     
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  18. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula A series of interconnected fortune cookies.

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    Yeah, there have been quite a few in fact. Lattice bracing, super loud Nomex double tops, sound ports, raised fretboards, 12/14/16 hole tie blocks, fretboard extensions behind the nut, integrated armrest bevels, etc...

    A really tricked out modern classical shows quite a bit of evolution from even the guitars played by Segovia in the 20th century. They do tend to maintain a traditional aesthetic though. Also, most of the features I mentioned aren't commonly seen on mass-produced instruments you'll find in stores at affordable price points.
     
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  19. sighval

    sighval SS.org Regular

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    I've played nylons for around 7 years before picking up an electric, so I know your pain quite well. The only trick I found was... patience.

    Tune the guitar as often as possible (at least for the first few days), tuning it slightly sharp doesn't hurt either. The importance of stretching strings can't be overstated as well. My experience was not AS bad tho, I could usually get my guitar to hold tune really well (for a classical, that is) within 3-4 days.

    As for strings themselves, I've had best results with Savarez.
     
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  20. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    every classical ball end I tried, probably 4 sets over the years, broke at the high e while tuning

    have no idea why. I wasn't past high e
     
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