Left hand care

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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joachim33
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Left hand care

Post by joachim33 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:39 pm

To prevent my left hand finger tips from cracking (I play right hand) I have started to use my nail file (made from glass) on the callused skin. Is that a common thing to do or is it a bad idea and I should stop this?

:merci: Joachim

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guitarrista
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Re: Left hand care

Post by guitarrista » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:27 pm

I think it is fine. If I understand you correctly, you are referring to excessive calluses on the fretboard hand. Filing the rough/cracked edges or excessive layer is a great idea. You might also check if you are applying way too much pressure when fretting - if so, learning to apply just as much as you need, but not a lot more, is likely to decrease the need for filing calluses - in my experience.
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lagartija
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Re: Left hand care

Post by lagartija » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:32 pm

I use a file on any callus that isn't smooth, then polish with a buffer. Then use moisturizer. I do this more often on my pinky because it seems to suffer from roughness the most. Probably due to pull offs and having a larger angle of contact.
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joachim33
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Re: Left hand care

Post by joachim33 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:01 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the input on this. With me it is mostly the 1 and 2 fingers, but then I am just learning slurs.

I think I am currently fine (or at least better) with my pressure. Sting sets no longer destroy in 2 weeks - I run them for 2 to 3 month (about 100h - 150h) and get told of by my tutor for changing strings to often. Also I recently had issues with buzzing until I realised that I had to little pressure on my 1-finger in a straight A-major cord. But I will keep an eye on this.

Lagartija, can you elaborate on the polishing? So far it didn't cross my mind to polish the finger tips on the fretting hand. What is the benefit?

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Tomzooki
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Re: Left hand care

Post by Tomzooki » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:43 pm

A cream with 20% urea would be great
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lagartija
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Re: Left hand care

Post by lagartija » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:29 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:01 pm
Hi,

Thanks for the input on this. With me it is mostly the 1 and 2 fingers, but then I am just learning slurs.

I think I am currently fine (or at least better) with my pressure. Sting sets no longer destroy in 2 weeks - I run them for 2 to 3 month (about 100h - 150h) and get told of by my tutor for changing strings to often. Also I recently had issues with buzzing until I realised that I had to little pressure on my 1-finger in a straight A-major cord. But I will keep an eye on this.

Lagartija, can you elaborate on the polishing? So far it didn't cross my mind to polish the finger tips on the fretting hand. What is the benefit?
I use a four way buffer stick (most beauty supply stores have them) for the nails on my right hand (for me, the plucking hand). I use the same buffer on any of the calluses of the left fretting hand that get too dry in winter, followed by moisturizer. The buffing smooths out any rough spots, just as it does on your nails. This results in less string noise. The place where my little finger gets a rough spot is the spot right at the junction of the finger tip skin and the outer hand edge of the nail. I have small hands and sometimes the pinky cannot be held perpendicular to the fretboard for an extended reach....it is angled slightly to the outside so that I can keep a bend in the middle joint of that finger, or it could suffer collapse due to very loose joints. I must always keep a bend, no matter how small in that joint. That means that the finger tip is slightly angled. In dry weather, I sometimes get a piece of skin that is pushed against the nail and becomes sharp and that can cause excess noise or catch on a string, so I file it smooth and then polish it using the buffer. Then...no extra sound and it is smooth and does not catch on anything. The callus on my little finger is not centered on the tip of the finger, but is offset toward the outside edge. The middle finger tip of my left hand has a slight indentation from a cut injury from many years ago. Sometimes I will get a rough spot on one side of that site, so again, I use the buffer to smooth it out. Everyone's hand is different and some people have moist skin and some don't. I tend to have dry hands (my hands do not sweat), so I always make sure that both hands are soft and supple to get the best sound. :-)
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

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