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Classical guitar strings

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Title: Classical guitar strings  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Classical guitar, Classical guitar making, Classical guitar/Topics in Classical guitar, Guitar parts and accessories, Gergely Sárközy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Classical guitar strings


  • String construction 1
    • Traditional 1.1
    • Modern 1.2
  • History 2
  • Notes 3
  • List of classical guitar strings makers 4
  • External links 5

String construction

Partial view of nylon strings on a classical guitar with tuning pegs


The three treble guitar strings are made from sheep or cow intestine, referred to as plain gut, while the three bass strings are made of a silk thread core wound with gut.


Since the development of nylon guitar strings by Albert Augustine Ltd., the three treble strings are a single nylon filament, while the three bass strings are made of a core of fine nylon threadlike filaments wound with silver-plated bronze or copper wire.


Up until the Second World War animal gut and silk were the materials from which guitar strings were manufactured. Albert Augustine, an instrument maker from New York, USA, was the first to produce guitar strings with nylon. According to Rose Augustine,[1] his wife, he was unable to secure source materials due to the war restrictions and happened upon nylon line in an army surplus store in Greenwich Village. When initially approached by him the DuPont company, who manufactured the material, were unconvinced that guitarists would accept nylon's sonic characteristics. Augustine staged a blind test with company representatives from DuPont, they happened to choose nylon over gut as having the best "guitar sound". The DuPont company then supported Augustine's initiative. Augustine classical guitar strings were first commercially manufactured in 1948, in conjunction with Olinto Mari, President of E.& O. Mari/La Bella Strings at their factory in Long Island City New York. When Andrés Segovia, the great Spanish guitar virtuoso, discovered Augustine's strings he was an immediate convert.

Fluorocarbon polymers have recently become an alternative to nylon treble strings. The sound is preferred by some luthiers and players, especially for the smooth transition provided by the G string from treble to bass.[2]


  1. ^ Palmer, Tony (1982). Julian Bream: A Life on the Road. Macdonald & Co.  
  2. ^ General remarks on strings for the classical guitar, Sebastian Stenzel

List of classical guitar strings makers

External links

  • [3] Tilman Hoppstock - 2006 Interview with lacg (Los Angeles Classical Guitar)
  • How to Select the Best Classical Guitar Strings by Tom Prisloe
  • The Guitar String Jungle. Are You Judging A Book By The Cover? Article about how guitar strings are marketed, written by Professor String
  • Guitar string research
  • Changing Classical Guitar Strings By Peter Kun Frary, Professor of Music • University of Hawaii, Leeward
  • Restring Your Guitar By Frank Ford.
  • Safety First! when re-stringing your guitar
  • [4] A quick look at the composition of Strings, Frank Ford, 5/18/00.

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