Skip to content
Clear all

Classical steel?

20 Posts
10 Users
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2241

I play jazz on an acoustic guitar. I also 'play' classical music on my acoustic (if you can call sight reading it playing my level, I really don't). That said, I use my Ibanez for jazzing, which has a really dark woody tone to it, and I do a fair bit of left hand muting of strings. I am also looking to get a mid-range jazzbox as soon as I can save some cash for it. So, even going down the acoustic route (which I'm finding works great for some stuff), I still hanker for that classic jazz staccato tone.

Fwiw, Ralph Towner, the awesome jazz improviser, uses a classical guitar for most of his playing, though he sometimes does use an acoustic.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8184

flamenco guitars are supposed to be designed differently than classical guitars, although it doesn't change the point, but i meant strummed with a pick, as opposed to with the fingers. one other thing: steel strings are much tougher on fingernails than nylon.

Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3995

I didn't say flamenco guitars. Those guitars are not usual here (by the way, here is Spain). People plays Spanish guitars mainly (if they don't play a style that requires an electric, steel string acoustic, flamenco, etc.). They use mainly the fingers for strumming but sometimes they also use picks. There are not rules. You can not generalize. Each part of the world is different. It depends what you are used to hear and the tone you want to get (or the tone that audience waits to hear).


(I love that expression!)

Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 646

Not to be nitpicky or anything, but what does any of this have to do with music theory?

Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com

Alan Green
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5342

Absolutely nothing, mate, and I don't really think it ever could have.

There are certain pieces of music that sound fine played on a steel strung guitar - Classical Gas is one from my own setlist - but for the most part, I find steel strings are completely devoid of character, tone, expression, colour and volume when playing a "regular" classical piece using your fingers.

That's not to say it can't be done of course.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at:

Page 2 / 2