So if I hold the strings down with my left hand (I'm right handed), shouldn't they resonate more? It feels like it goes away so quickly.

I am using a classical guitar (3 metal strings, 3 nylon), and I am pushing down the strings, as far as I can, till they touch the neck.

  • 1
    I don't think i understand what you are asking. How much do you have to push down to make the string touch the fret? This could be a setup problem, or not knowing basic mechanics of the guitar.
    – user43681
    Jan 9 '18 at 22:11
  • The amount of time they resonate is called the sustain. It’s not affected by how you play as much as it is a property of your guitar. Other guitars may have more sustain than yours. Note that even the metal wound strings on your guitar have a nylon core. Usually we just call them all nylon strings. Jan 10 '18 at 5:10
  • 1
    'Resonate more' than what?
    – Tim
    Jan 10 '18 at 11:34

No. As long as you're already fretting the strings firmly enough that the contact with the frets is good, holding them down more firmly won't make a significant difference to the sustain. The most audible result of pushing them all the way down to the fingerboard will be to push the note slightly sharp due to the increased string tension.


@topo morto gave a great technical explanation.

I would like to add:

I highly recommend that you go visit your nearest guitar store and try a variety of guitars. You might find that either your strings are old, guitar body is damaged, your neck needs a setup, or you simply don't like the way classical guitar sounds. You'll find out by trying out what resonates more for you.

My very first guitar was a $12 classical guitar from a yard sale that I received as a gift. I do remember asking myself why the guitar wasn't resonant enough, but I think that was because I was influenced by electric guitars and acoustic guitars on youtube and on albums, I expected the same sound on this guitar. Nowadays, I go back to this guitar appreciating the way it sounds.

Also remember that a lot of guitars you hear in the media are mic'd, so they will sound different than how you hear it against your body.

I hope that helps!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.