How Do I Choose the Best Classical Guitar Strings?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann
Most classical guitar strings are made of nylon.
Most classical guitar strings are made of nylon.

Choosing the best classical guitar strings is somewhat different than choosing the best strings for other types of guitars. While the end result — a great-sounding guitar — is the same for any guitar string choice, the classical guitar strings are a much different type of string to compare and contrast. You will need to examine three basic areas of the classical guitar strings in order to select you personal favorite: tension, string material and quality. This search for the best string type for your guitar will usually require time, patience and the purchase of several different sets of guitar strings.

String tension can be the most important factor in the choice of classical guitar strings, next to the overall sound produced by the guitar. The pressure you feel when pressing on the strings will often make you like or dislike a particular string after a short time playing the instrument. You may wish to choose a light string to alleviate the soreness felt from pressing a heavy string for extended periods. It is important for you to remember that not all manufacturers' strings are the same diameter and a light string from one manufacturer may not feel the same as a light string from another manufacturer. This is why it is crucial that you sample several manufacturers in your search for the best classical guitar strings for your guitar.

The next feature to check on the set of strings you are examining is the material the strings are made from. The most common type of materials used in the production of classical guitar strings are clear and rectified nylon. Clear strings are extruded and then calibrated to the proper size while the rectified nylon strings are extruded and then finally ground to create a string that will play in tune. The ground finish produces a rough feeling that you may like or dislike, depending on your own personal preference. Once you have decided on a specific manufacturing process of a given set of classical guitar strings, you will want to choose from the materials used, such as carbon fiber that is used in some types of strings to produce a greater degree of treble in the string's sound.

The final step in your process to find the best classical guitar strings lies in the quality of the strings. Most guitar string manufacturers will produce a quality set of strings, however, simple processing steps can separate one string manufacturer from the rest. Only by sampling several sets of classical guitar strings from different manufacturers will you be able to compare and contrast the strings against each other. Once you settle on a favorite, you will enjoy playing your guitar even more.

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    • Most classical guitar strings are made of nylon.
      By: Brian Jackson
      Most classical guitar strings are made of nylon.