Introduction: Make Nylon Strings Sound Like Gut Strings / Baroque Hack
Hello fellow traversers of the earthly plane!
This time I have a musical instructable, changing things up a bit. So, for those that don't know, before Classical Guitars started coming with Nylon strings they used to use Gut for string, stranding it out, twisting and drying it with other steps involved. These strings are usually tied to the Baroque period of music and some guitars aren't even called classical, you might hear as the instrument, "the baroque guitar." These strings are expensive and must be kept moist to work properly, which is why with the coming of Nylon strings the classical guitar world could open up to the poorer individuals (I think metal violin strings existed for a while, but classical guitars cannot handle that tension). This is great, and makes these instruments accessible. Now you might ask, "If it ain't baroque, why fix it?" Well, these strings have a tinny/plasticy sound that many might not like. Also, the newer carbon fiber strings still don't quite sound baroque; in my opinion, they have a kind of high tech sound.
So, I found a way to get cheapo nylon strings to sound like a kind of gut string, as this isn't expensive at all, try it out and if ya want let me know if you like it! Also, this might work for other instruments, if you play those and try it out on them, you can let me know in the comment section bellow how that goes! :)
All you'll need is your Nylon strings and the finest grade steel wool (0000 grade).
Step 1: Loosen Your Strings
Now you can probably take them off, or use new strings that aren't installed yet, but when I did this, I just used the strings I was still playing with without taking them off. I didn't take them off because I find that strings that have been fitted and snipped are harder to remove and put on again as you don't have a any leeway to work with at the end.
Step 2: Sand the Three High Strings
These are the only strings that need to be modified, the other strings can't be modified in this way so you're basically going to have to accept some nylon sound, but in my opinion with just the high strings changed it makes a great difference.
IMPORTANT: WHEN YOU DO THIS MAKE SURE YOUR GUITAR IS UPSIDE DOWN; DO NOT GET ANY STEEL WOOL SHAVINGS ON YOUR GUITAR OR HIT YOUR GUITAR WITH THE STEEL WOOL.
The above picture is only a reenactment, I had already finished when taking my pictures.
Take a small piece of steel wool in your hand and wrap it around a string. Next, pinch it and run it up and down the string, rotating the steel wool as you go and get all sides of the string evenly. Make sure you get behind the nut and under the bridge if you can, but be careful.
When to stop? Well this is basically experimental, so I stopped when I heard a squeaking sound as a poorly played violin sounds and I was left with the light milky colored strings you can see in the pictures above.
Step 3: Finished!
Now just tune your guitar up like usual and start playing. I want this to add something to your life to have another sound to play with.
As this was given to me, I give it to you. God bless you and keep working for the good of others :)