Classical guitars are great instruments for young children or beginners to start to learn guitar basics on. The appeal of low cost, a variety of sizes and the nylon strings which help make the players fingers ready for the sharper, thinner steel strings on Acoustic or Electric guitars.
As a standalone instrument they can also be great to continue to learn on - as evidenced here by duo Rodrigo y Gabriela -
However from time to time, as with all stringed instruments, you will notice the strings sound dull and tired. That means it's time to change!
Changing the strings isn't as scary as it looks, so we've compiled the helpful guide below to show you step by step. I recommend the Rocket Angel Lopez Nylon Strings - great value and a great sound!
Step 1 - Remove the Old String
On a classical it's far easier to remove the strings one at a time. This is because you can copy the knot of the other strings where they tie onto the bridge. Unwind the string at the tuning peg until it's loose enough to be removed. Then untie the knot at the bridge and remove the string.
Step 2 - Replace the String
Thread the string through the bridge where you've just untied the old string.
Begin to copy the knot of the other strings -
Pull the knot tight as in the picture above. Pull the string tight over where it will lie on the fretboard up to the neck, which is the next step -
Loop the string over as above and push it through the hole in the middle of the peg.
In the last step, you passed the string through the hole and pulled it tight (the red arrow). Now take the free end over the string (green arrow) and back through the hole (blue arrow). It's as if you've stapled the string down!
Lastly, tune the string. Nylon strings are famous for stretching so don't worry that the guitar won't hold tune for at least a day after you change them. The more often you can re-tune it, the sooner it will settle the strings.
The finished product!
Step 3 - Trim the Loose Ends
Cut any waste string from both ends of the guitar - excess string can alter the tuning considerably and can also cause buzzing if it comes in contact with the body.
It's a good idea to clean your guitar while you're removing the strings. It's not as easy on a classical as I do recommend one string at a time so you can copy the shape of the string knots, but don't let it stop you dusting and polishing the body to make it look smart. I'd also recommend a dab of Lemon Oil on the fretboard to help keep it supple and clean.