no thumb nail

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
piposjlb

no thumb nail

Post by piposjlb » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:45 am

I know there's a lot of threads here on finger nails and apologies if i'm asking something that has already been discussed, although i havent found my particular issue just yet.

I'm happy with my finger nails but i just cannot play with a nail on my thumb, it feels unbelievably awkward. So i use the fleshy part of my thumb. I suspect this may create less than ideal tonal and volume variation but i'm so used to it and i generally just play on my own so i think i'm accustomed to the sound.

My questions are does anyone else play with finger nails but no thumb nail? Is it something i should work on, ie, just grow the nail and get past the awkward stage? Thing is, i dont remember having any issues transitioning into playing with my finger nails, but my thumb...jeeesh

Any feedback would mean a lot, thanks

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George Crocket
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by George Crocket » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:32 am

Hi piposjlb. Welcome to the forum. Your post has been moved to our dedicated "nails" section where I guess it will get more reaction. While you are waiting, please introduce yourself here.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
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HNLim
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by HNLim » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:08 am

Screenshot_2016-03-27-17-04-57_1.jpg
This might solve your problem.
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twang
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by twang » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:11 pm

I play without a thumbnail since it allows me to create a bolder contrast with my bass lines.
"An amateur is he who takes up the study of an instrument as a relaxation from his serious occupations." -- Sor

uptempo
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by uptempo » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:51 pm

I play mainly without nails but every so often, for the sheer hell of it, I grow them and see what happens for a change. In actual fact I can't really play nail - less because my nails won't go short enough.

With the thumb I found that in order to engage the nail it has to be sufficiently long enough on the left edge of the nail otherwise even if you have some nail it somehow does not engage the string. So perhaps try and grow out the nail so that it really has no option but to engage.

I tend not to worry too much about this whole nail thing though.
"Never believe what an artist says, only what they do" - Walter Sickert

piposjlb

Re: no thumb nail

Post by piposjlb » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:30 pm

Thanks, one thing i've taken from reading this forum over the last year or so is the support for idiosyncrasies - by that i mean if it works, dont fix it. I've read a lot about posture and sitting position to that affect. Anyway, i might have one more crack at growing out the thumb nail and if i still can't play with it i'll chop it off and not worry about again!

Thanks for the imput

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Re: no thumb nail

Post by uptempo » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:21 am

piposjlb wrote:Thanks, one thing i've taken from reading this forum over the last year or so is the support for idiosyncrasies - by that i mean if it works, dont fix it. I've read a lot about posture and sitting position to that affect. Anyway, i might have one more crack at growing out the thumb nail and if i still can't play with it i'll chop it off and not worry about again!

Thanks for the imput
Yes that's what I would do because the frustration actually gets in th way of playing. I think you will find though that if the left striking edge of the thumbnail grows out a bit you will feel it engage the string.

I am very impressed with Rob MacKillop's playing, not least because he has shown that nails are not required. In fact, my view is that his nail-less playing affords a very distinctive tone and that sets him apart. a

As mentioned I actually struggle to get my nails so short that they don't hit the strings so in effect I have nails but do not consider myself a nails player. I would say that they kind of support the flesh - if that makes sense.
"Never believe what an artist says, only what they do" - Walter Sickert

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Mykart
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by Mykart » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:49 am

piposjlb wrote:My questions are does anyone else play with finger nails but no thumb nail? Is it something i should work on, ie, just grow the nail and get past the awkward stage? Thing is, i dont remember having any issues transitioning into playing with my finger nails, but my thumb...jeeesh
I'm right with you on this, glad I'm not the only one. I never felt the need to grow out the thumb nail and have never used it unlike the other RH fingers.
"There's nothing worse than an undetermined person" - Robert Pollard

celestemcc
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by celestemcc » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:52 pm

HNLim wrote:Screenshot_2016-03-27-17-04-57_1.jpg
This might solve your problem.


Where/how can we find these? I have trouble keeping a thumb nail, and they look to be a goos solution!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

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HNLim
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by HNLim » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:37 pm

celestemcc wrote:
HNLim wrote:Screenshot_2016-03-27-17-04-57_1.jpg
This might solve your problem.


Where/how can we find these? I have trouble keeping a thumb nail, and they look to be a goos solution!
Just type in "butterfly finger pick" at that famous auction site.
1978 Yamaha GC30A-S/BRW
2012 Esteve Adalid-S/BRW
2014 Sen #5-S/BRW
2016 HNLim-S/BRW
1974 S.Yairi 950-S/BRW-0-string-convert 2015
2017 HN Lim-14-string-S/BRW
HN Lim 13-string-S/NEW-WIP
1974 S.Yairi 800-Retired

ALL ARE FOR SALE IF PRICE IS RIGHT

celestemcc
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by celestemcc » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:10 pm

Thanks, HNLim; I bought a couple of thumb picks from Butterfly Picks' website, they arrived today.

I ordered a couple of small thumb picks. They're a bit small, to my surprise (I figured the regular size would be much too large), but easy to adjust. Tried one already, and unlike most thumbpick, this allows a nice natural angle for the thumb to strike the string. The tone isn't as good as natural nail, but it feels (and sounds) balanced. Great to use while letting a natural thumbnail grow back (which in fact I do, after this fake one falls off...).
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Luis_Br
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Re: no thumb nail

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:55 pm

I agree playing with no nail on the thumb has a nice effect and it is very useful. On the other hand, I think it is better to learn playing with thumb nail, so you have the option to play with nail or without it, according to specific musical necessity. I think it is a pitty modern players don't use as much a good variety of tonal colors, so you hardly see them playing thumb with no nail. But some great players still use varied thumb attacks, including no nail.
If you are used to playing with thumbflesh only, playing with nail recquire a different hand angle which interferes with the other fingers and it is certainly not an easy task to find a good position for all the fingers together. A good teacher would be the best shortcut.
With all that said, the great Abreu duo didn't have thumbnail in their first recording, and it is great, I didn't notice until someone told me that:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpDN0zLHtxA
But Sergio said it was a mistake not to have it, he admited it was a waste of time.

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