Classical Guitar Strings – Strings By Mail

Classical guitar strings, which are primarily used for the classical and flamenco repertoire, are constructed from materials such as nylon or fluorocarbon, and are then covered with windings of various metals or nylon. The traditional classical guitar strings made from gut and silk materials, such as the Pyramid Gut and Gut/Nylon , are still available and highly sought after by musicians trying to achieve a historically correct “old world” sound from their classical guitars.
Classical Guitar Strings

Classical Guitar Strings – Strings By Mail

Nylon Strings, Fluorocarbon Strings, and Titanium Strings – Their Effect On The Sound

The sound produced from classical guitar strings can vary extensively, depending upon the manufacturing techniques and materials used in the process. For warmer sonic color and greater sustain, classical guitar players often use nylon based strings, such as the Augustine Regal Series. Fluorocarbon based strings, such as the Savarez 540 HT Classic Series, generally provide a brighter sonic color and offer a more powerful and projecting sound with less sustain. Another type of classical guitar strings are the Titanium strings, like the Galli Titanio for example, which are a variation of nylon strings with a more powerful high end and less mid range.

Describing the Sound of Classical Guitar Strings

When choosing from the vast assortment of classical guitar strings available, the overall goal of many classical guitar players is to find a very particular sound and a playability that matches their style and preferences. To help narrow down the field, some common descriptions used to describe the sound of classical guitar strings are dark, warm, fat, muddy, bright, cool, focused, thin, and harsh.

The dark, warm, rich, fat, and muddy sounds are most often associated with softer material strings that can be more expressive with longer sustains and easy vibratos. On the other side, the bright, cool, focused, thin, and harsh sounds are often associated with harder materials strings that can be more powerful sounding and are generally louder, have more punch and projection, and provide a faster right hand response while playing.

Sustain, Projection, and Vibrato

For more melodic pieces such as ballads and simple melodies, more expressive strings with greater sustain, projection, and easier vibrato are ideal classical guitar string choices. For more rhythmic pieces like flamenco, classical guitar strings with more punch, a short duration, and a harder vibrato are a good fit. Some sets are designed specifically for flamenco use.

Harder classical guitar string materials help contribute to a brighter sound, and the strings made from pure metals help to provide a more “pure” fundamental and clear sound. Treatments of classical guitar strings, such as coatings, polishing, or platings, lead to changing the nature of the sound.

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