Confused between CLassical vs Steel strung acoustic guitar

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by sammywammy, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. sammywammy

    sammywammy New Member


    Originally from Bombay/Mumbai, now I live in England.
    I finally decided to learn guitar and bought a Washburn 6 Steel string dreadnaught acoustic.

    I am not taking any tutions but trying to learn it myself from books, DVDs.

    One day I would like to play Indian/Western classical, Bluegrass solos as well as English/Indian pop songs. I am not at all into rock or metal etc.

    Where I am getting confused about is whether I'll be able to play classical Indian Ragas on Steel string acoustic instead of Classical guitar?

    The Steel string guitar that I have is 43mm at Nut width as against general 50mm width of classical nylonn string guitar.

    If I choose to buy classical guitar with nylon strings, will I then be able to play chords in English/Indian pop/bollywood songs sounding like steel strings?
    Will I be able to play bluegrass on nylon strings?

    Also does nylon string provide better ability to play finger style than steel strings? Will I be able to play fingerstyle on steel strings?

    Ideally I would like to learn/master just one guitar and be able to play all I like, instead of having 2 guitars.

    So I want to know, if there are people here who play Indian Classical ragas and fingerstyle on Steel string and what's their opinion.

    Also being in England it's impossible to get any ionformation on Indian Classical guitar. Do you know any good guitar books that you get in India that I could buy? or any Indian online guitar training website?


  2. zing

    zing Machine Head

  3. aishes

    aishes New Member

    Musical Styles Vs Guitars!

    Hi There,
    My name is Hersh, I am frm Ghaziabad but presently live in Liverpool, UK. Liverpool is by far one of the most musically vibrant city in Europe. You can hardly go around around withut meeting a talented musician. I have been exploring various musical styles with guys here. I have come to some conclusions. Lemme first tell te guitars I presently have(nothing impressive):-
    One steel string Acoustic, One 12 String Fender, One Fender Strat, One cheap nylon string acoustic.

    One time I was exactly in same dilemma as you are. As the previous post wrote Nylon string guitar apart from sound is built for fingerpicking and so is wider. BUt that doesn't mean you can't fingerpick on a steel string. Check out Al De Meola on YouTube.He plays Flamenco, Jazz N Spanish Classical, all nylon string classical guitar styles, on a steel string.

    Right, Bluegrass is essentially a Banjo music. But steel string acoustic sounds great as well. Good players use lighter strings to play easy n fingers. My 12 string Fender is my Bluegrass and slide guitar. Check out John Butler on You Tube.
    Talking abt John Butler, he played one song on a guitar modified by Pt Vishnu Mohan Bhatt, the guitar is called Mohan Vina. Its been modified to play Indian Classical. I am not a classical expert but Indian classical is a melodious form of music that means notes are played closely together as opposed to Harmonic where they are played simutansously. So Mohan Veena is the closest you can get to an 'Indian lassical Guitar'.

    Now my advice regarding learning on guitar: Start with basics, theory is all the same, diffrent guitars are just convenient way of playing a particular style. As I said there are guys(Al de Meola) playing classical on a steel string and guys(John Butler) mastering Slide n Bluegrass on 12 string steel.

    Where abt in UK are you? Wana exchange email?

    Al De Meola Video from

    JOHN BUTLER's Great SOLO on a 12 String--

    Pt Vishnu Mohan Bhatt:-

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