Yesterday the A string of my classical guitar was broken. I have an extra D string and an E string, unfortunately my other A string was broken too.

Is it ok to use the D string as the A string temporarily? Does it sound ok and does it have any bad effect on the guitar?

Thanks in advance.


It'll be fine. It may feel loose, but it won't harm the guitar, and as a temporary measure, means you continue playing. Next time, make sure you have a full set as spares!

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I would just add a particular bit to Tim's answer: The looser the string, the easier it is to bend it (i. e. to raise the tone by pulling at it). Downtuning the string by a fourth makes the string bending way too easy — any little displacement of the string will have a hearable effect on the tone, so you will need to finger the string with extra precision (making sure you do not pull at it at all) to stay in tune.

But, as Tim says, you can't damage the instrument by this. You could damage it only by applying more tension than usual, but here you would apply less, so no problem.

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  • Nylon strings are much less "bendy" than steel. For what I do, I prefer the sound of an unwound fourth string, so I use an extra-tension "g" string as my "d". Even when I used a normal-tension "g", pitch bending was never a problem, but using a higher-tension string made the instrument nicer to play. – supercat Mar 2 at 21:26

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