I hope this is allowed as I'm not asking for a specific product recommendation, but generically what I should be looking for.

I'm intending to restring my nylon guitar and would like to make an informed decision about what strings to buy. Durability is probably the main consideration, but of course tone is an important factor too.I play mostly rock/pop finger-style but want something that can handle light pick strumming, so I guess I would be looking for a brighter(but not too bright tone). This is just for playing at home, unamplified at volumes that don't upset my neighbours. Wound strings always seem to be the first to go with the outer winding deteriorating at the fret wire. I see that silver windings and bronze windings are available, but I've no idea what effect this has or if it is just aesthetic.

Thanks for reading


The most durable are coated strings. The coating prevents impurities from getting in between the wounds, which is the main cause of the bass string loosing brightness. If you aim not to change the strings often, they are certainly worth their price.

The second consideration should be string thickness or tension. Thinner and lighter strings sound brighter and respond more dynamically (though in general more quietly), but are more prone to fret buzz. Thicker strings make playing fast more easy.

Some producers offer composite strings, which sound slightly different and react differently to dynamics – some love them, some hate them.

I don't have much to say about silver vs bronze plating. But again, all these parameters are matter of taste, and the best you can do is to try them by yourself.

  • Not at all sure about thick strings + playing fast more easily. They're generally tighter, for the same pitch, as thinner strings, so are harder to fret. – Tim Sep 29 '20 at 14:22
  • @Tim - yep, it's a straightforward linear relationship. Double the cross sectional area of the string, double the tension for the same pitch. – Scott Wallace Sep 29 '20 at 14:28
  • @Tim Yes, higher tension helps to play fast. This primary concerns the plucking hand. A higher tension string vibrates with smaller amplitude and bends less under the finger. You shouldn't need to use much force in the fretting hand, especially since higher tension allows to set the action lower. The only exception are perhaps static barré chords played for longer time – yes, these are harder with thicker strings. As with everything, you need to find a compromise suitable for you and your playing style. – user1079505 Sep 29 '20 at 14:44
  • @TIm perhaps this also depends on what do we mean by "fast". Playing fast melodies or arpeggios in general will be easier on higher tension strings, while changing chords quickly might be indeed faster on lighter ones. Complex polyphonic structures might be easier on lighter strings. Playing technique has also lot's of to do... – user1079505 Sep 29 '20 at 14:53

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