Firstly, What Are Nylon Strings?
Nylon strings are famously used on classical and flamenco guitars, known for their mellow and warm tone - unlike steel strings that are commonly found on acoustic and electric guitars, that are much brighter. Nylon strings are made from a synthetic material, giving them a distinct sound and feel.
Nylon strings also have a much lower tension compared to steel strings, making them easier on the fingers, especially for beginners or players who prefer a lighter touch. These guitar strings are also known for producing a more balanced sound with rich bass tones and smooth treble notes.
Theoretically, you can put nylon strings on a "steel string acoustic guitar", you might just not get much sound projection and you may even get fret buzz as the tension from Nylon strings is soo much lower than steel strings.
But what about Nylon strings on an electric guitar?
Can You Put Nylon Strings On an Electric Guitar?
Well you can put them on there - but they 100% won't work with your amp: )
Due to an electric guitars pickups, you'll actually need a "Piezo pickup" to get any sound out of an amp if you do put Nylon strings on your electric guitar.
The reason is, that electric guitar pickups are magnets, so they need steel strings to pickup the magnetic pull and vibrations properly. A piezo pickup that you find on a Nylon string guitar is actually a Microphone (like a vocal mic), and a Piezo pickup doesn't need a magnetic field (i.e. steel strings).
So if you string you electric guitar up with Nylon strings and plug it into an amp, you'll hear absolutely nothing. Your electric guitar's pickups simply won't pickup the Nylon strings.
But what if you add a Piezo pickup to your electric guitar?
Then yes absolutely, you'll be able to plug your electric into an amp, but it still may not "feel" or sound so great - a Piezo pickup is a microphone, it relies on a big sound like an acoustic guitar to mic up. An electric guitar will sound super weak and quiet in comparison.
Nylon strings will likely cause fret rattles too, requiring your guitar to be setup differently. Nylon strings are also not designed for bending - so even a whole step bend could be impossible.
Then ...nylon strings a wider, so you might not even get them through your guitar's nut properly, or they'll pop out, or go out of tune. All-in-all, it's probably not the most fun experiment you could do : )
In conclusion, only try out Nylon strings on your electric guitar if you have a Piezo pickup!
If you want to play around, be sure to checkout our Nylon guitar strings here: https://www.colemansmusic.com.au/collections/buy-strings-for-guitar-bass-uke-australia - along with a huge range of electric guitar strings, uke strings, bass strings and more!!
We also have Piezo pickups! Just get in touch with the Coleman's Music stores in Melbourne CBD and Lynbrook, with an online store and shipping all over Australia, or give us a call on (03) 9799 5400 with any questions, we’re always happy to help!