Best Classical (Nylon) Guitar Strings in India 2021

Have you started your first lessons in Western Classical? Or do you simply love the natural timbre of Nylon Strings?

We have listed some of the best choices of Classical Guitar Strings that you can find online in India.

best-classical-nylon-guitar-strings-in-india

Modern classical guitars are strung with 6 nylon strings. These strings have a unique tonal characteristic that is suitable for playing western classical pieces.

Most of the classical pieces throughout the “Classical Period”, and even after, were influenced by the Greco-Roman culture.

As these were the times of musical stalwarts like Mozart and Beethoven, most of these pieces were composed on a piano. Therefore, the classical guitar playing evolved into a piano-like style where melody, harmony, and bass are played on one guitar.

Classical nylon string guitar is not just for playing classical music. It is extensively used in playing Flamenco – Spanish folk music.

Our Top Choices

Classical Guitar (Nylon String) vs Steel-String Guitar

Classical Guitar (Nylon String) vs Steel-String Guitar

A classical guitar is similar yet different from a regular steel-string acoustic guitar. To start off, both instruments can be acoustic (produce sound without any electrical circuits).

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Both guitars, in their normal forms, have six strings. The shape and size are quite similar with a few differences. The strings are also tuned in the same way.

Key differences between them lie in the following:

Better Suited for Fingerstyle (Finger-Picking)

As nylon strings have lower tension than steel strings, lighter woods can be used to make a classical guitar. This makes the classical guitar responsive to even the lightest of touches, and hence, suitable for fingerpicking.

Warmer, Clearer and Natural Sounding Tone

Normally, in most classical guitars, the first three strings are made of nylon, and the three bass strings have metal windings over a nylon core wire. Nylon strings do not sound as bright as steel-strings. They also have less sustain.

However, their tone is warm and clear. This helps each note stand out in a harmony.

Lower Maintenance Cost

Lesser tension across the guitar neck means that these guitars do not require a truss rod for neck adjustment.

Nylon strings cause little to no fret wear in comparison to steel strings. This means that the frets do not have to be replaced at all or at least not as often as for steel string guitars.

Nylon strings are less impacted by weather changes and corrosion. Also, nylon strings do not break as often as steel strings.

Hence, their usable life cycle is much greater than that of steel strings.

Wider Neck and Flatter Fretboard Radius

Classical guitar necks are much wider. A wider neck allows for greater string-spacing (space between adjacent strings). This makes it easier to pick the strings with fingers.

Steel stringed guitars have a fretboard whose convex curvature is visible with the naked eye. This makes string bending much easier on steel string guitars.The fretboard radius, for nylon string guitars, is usually 16inches or more.

This makes the fretboard very flat. Since, nylon strings are not meant to be bent anyway, this does not cause a problem.

Rather, it is easier to hold barre chords (where one finger presses down on all the strings) on a flatter fretboard.

Greater Tuning Stability

All kinds of strings, steel, nylon or otherwise, takes time to settle down to a tuning for the first time. However, when a fresh set of nylon strings is put on a classical guitar, it takes much longer for the tuning to settle down.

Once the tuning settles down (usually a few days’ time), nylon strings hold their tuning much better than steel strings. This is because nylon is less affected by ambient conditions, like temperature and humidity than steel.

Playability

Last, but not the least, playability of a nylon string guitar is, obviously, different from that of a steel-string guitar. Nylon strings are much softer under the fingers. Techniques like hammer-on, sliding, pull-offs etc. hurt much less than they would have on steel strings.

Vibrato is added to a note by rocking the finger horizontally. However, as mentioned before, nylon strings are not meant for bending strings as the tension across any string is very low.

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The action of a nylon string guitar is usually higher than a steel guitar to provide the strings with sufficient space to oscillate (vibrate). This does not affect playability to a considerable level because the tension across the strings is already low.

Comparison of Nylon Guitar Strings for Classical Guitar

Classical Guitar Nylon StringsTensionToneLifeBall-ended
D’Addario EJ27Student
Classical Guitar Strings
HardWarm & Clear~1 monthNo
D’Addario EJ46 Pro Arte
Classical Guitar Strings
HardWarm & Projecting~3 monthsNo
Ernie Ball Earthwood2069NormalRich Treble~1 monthYes
Alice AC-130H
Classical Nylon Strings
HardMellow~3 weeksNo

Best Nylon Guitar Strings for Classical Guitar 2021

In India, Nylon string classical guitars are not yet as popular as normal steel–string acoustics. Hence, there are not many good brands available except a few. Here are some of the best nylon strings for classical guitar that are available online in India:

D’Addario EJ27Student Classical Guitar Strings

These are the cheapest Nylon strings from D’Addario. The tone is warm and clear. The strings do not last as long as some of the others on this list but, nevertheless, it is a good deal for the price.

These Nylon guitar strings are best for beginners and students who are just starting out. These strings do not come with a ball-end and, therefore, have to be tied in a knot at the bridge. This particular variant is Hard Tension.

Other Tension Variants:

TensionIt is available as normal tension, hard tension,
and normal tension
for ½ and 3/4th sized classical guitars
ToneWarm and Clear
Ball-endedNo
WindingSilver plated copper winding
Life Expectancy
(Daily playing of 1hr)
1 month

D’Addario EJ46 Pro Arte Classical Guitar Strings

These are the best Nylon strings provided by D’addario. They have a very warm but projecting tone. They also last much longer before developing cracks or losing tone.

These Classical guitar strings are ideal for beginners and professionals alike. Pro-Arte strings are open-end and have to be tied in a knot at the bridge.

This particular variant has Hard Tension and most players prefer it because of its fuller tone. Other tension variants:

TensionIt is available as light tension,
normal tension, hard tension
and extra hard tension
ToneWarm and projecting
Ball-endedNo
WindingSilver plated copper winding
Life Expectancy
(Daily playing of 1hr)
3 months

Ernie Ball Earthwood2069

These strings have a very percussive attack during picking. The tone is also very bright relative to other nylon strings. It has a ball-end and, therefore, easier to put on a guitar.

These strings are ideal for beginners. However, many professionals also prefer them because of the bright texture in the sound. These strings are easy to put on the guitar because they have ball ends and do not have to be tied in a knot.

TensionNormal tension
ToneRich treble and percussive attack
Ball-endedYes
WindingBronze winding
Life Expectancy
(Daily playing of 1hr)
1 month

Alice AC-130H Classical Nylon Strings

Alice is known for making excellent quality strings at very low prices. They also make acoustic steel and electric guitar strings.

You can expect an average life span of 3 weeks with an hour of daily playing with proper care.

TensionHard tension
ToneMellow tone
Ball-endedNo
WindingSilver plated copper winding
Life Expectancy
(Daily playing of 1hr)
3 weeks with proper care

What to Look For

Tension

Nylon string sets are usually available as light, normal or hard tension. The harder the tension across the strings, the brighter and louder the sound produced.

However, it takes more finger strength in the fingers of the picking hand. Therefore, a compromise has to be made between tone and playability. Light or normal-tension is recommended for beginners.

Tone

A nylon string guitar usually sounds mellow and warm. However, the tone across all six strings should be well balanced.

Also, if the sound is too mellow, it starts to sound muddy. Thus, there should be an ideal amount of brightness in the tone. Tone is greatly affected by tension and the material used in the windings.

Ball end

Some nylon strings have a ball end just like steel strings. This makes restringing the guitar much easier.

If a ball end is not present, then the string has to be tied in a knot over the bridge. For non-ball ended strings, the bridge end of the string is usually marked with a different texture.

Life cycle

Nylon strings last much more than steel strings as they are less affected by the weather and temperature changes. However, poor quality strings can start to show too many cracks after some use.

Good quality nylon strings can go for months without losing tone or developing cracks.

Some Words of Advice

Nylon string and steel-strings guitars are not the same. Therefore, steel strings cannot be put on a nylon string guitar. It can severely damage the neck and body due to the high tension of steel strings.

A classical guitar is simply not built to withstand this tension. Similarly, nylon strings should not be put on a regular steel-string acoustic guitar. This is because steel string guitar necks are designed to be under constant tension. If this tension is removed, the neck might bend backwards and get damaged irreversibly.

There is no winner between nylon and steel string guitars. Both are suitable for different styles of music.

The techniques and playing style of a classical guitar is so different from a steel-stringed guitar that they are considered two completely different instruments by most guitarists.

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