Nail Thickness

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

Post by Tubbers » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:19 am

I was just curious if anyone has ever measured the thickness of their nails. Here is mine taken with a dial caliper:

Thumb: .025
Index: .022
Middle: .015
Ring: .013

Strange how they get thinner along the way. Just wondering if thickness makes a difference in sound production?

:discussion:
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Steven Morgan
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Steven Morgan » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:32 am

I think thickness can make a difference in sound. I use a spongy file after shaping to blunt the edges of my nails. I've found that doing that immediately gives me a fuller sound. Even though it isn't changing the overall thickness of my nail, it does seem to provide a "thicker" edge than my regular files.

Tubbers
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Tubbers » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:10 am

Steven Morgan wrote:I think thickness can make a difference in sound. I use a spongy file after shaping to blunt the edges of my nails. I've found that doing that immediately gives me a fuller sound. Even though it isn't changing the overall thickness of my nail, it does seem to provide a "thicker" edge than my regular files.
Thanks, Steven. I will give that a try. :)
Help!

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markodarko
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by markodarko » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:26 am

Tubbers wrote:Just wondering if thickness makes a difference in sound production?
Absolutely! Go to the local music store and buy a handful of plectrums ranging from "paper thin" to 2mm in thickness and strum the nearest guitar.

Thin nails = thin sound
Thick nails = thick sound

Providing of course all other things such as technique, the angle of the nail and the "smoothness" are equal.
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:13 pm

markodarko +1.

In fact I did once buy a bag of picks of assorted thicknesses and found that the thicker they are the better I liked the sound. Otoh, my ring finger gives me the best tone (after the index), when I rely on rest strokes, so it's more about technique and angle of attack and stuff, I guess. The thumb may be thickest, but it seems to me to have fewer opportunities to produce a rich sound than the other nails.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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R_Pegio
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by R_Pegio » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:22 pm

My nails are eggshell thin, but I'm such a poor guitarist it doesn't seem to matter too much! I've tried allsorts to improve things but nothing seems to work.
It doesn't take any brains to listen to music.

Luciano Pavarotti

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:47 pm

I have a friend whose nails are thin, and playing the uke has no effect on them - they just bend like proverbial straws in the wind.
Whereas mine are a halfway house - if I whack a uke, they rip!
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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R_Pegio
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by R_Pegio » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:32 pm

I was afflicted with deafness much worse than I'd imagined, thought my guitars were in audible; then I got hearing aids - much better. Then I suffered with pain in my left shoulder - later established that this was due to using two pillows, so I've barely touched my guitars for a few years. But now I'm back plucking as vigorously as before, regrettably no more melodically than before though.

I reached a plateau years ago and can't progress no matter what I do. I know how the music should be played but am unable to achieve it. My music teacher indicated her tacit agreement when I communicated my decision to discontinue lessons. It's a source of regret to me but I was wasting her and my time, and money.
It doesn't take any brains to listen to music.

Luciano Pavarotti

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markodarko
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by markodarko » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:40 pm

R_Pegio wrote:I've tried allsorts to improve things but nothing seems to work.
Liquorice didn't work for me either. :mrgreen:
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:54 pm

R_Pegio wrote:I suffered with pain in my left shoulder - later established that this was due to using two pillows
That's interesting. I've never felt comfortable with two pillows, and 4 years ago when I pinched something in my spine, my physio asked me how many pillows I used and when I said one he said good.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

Tubbers
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Tubbers » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:53 pm

R_Pegio wrote:My nails are eggshell thin, but I'm such a poor guitarist it doesn't seem to matter too much! I've tried allsorts to improve things but nothing seems to work.
Did you ever measure the thickness?
You could try false nails. I did for a while and found that the only problem was when one would pop off suddenly.
Help!

Tubbers
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by Tubbers » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:55 pm

R_Pegio wrote:I was afflicted with deafness much worse than I'd imagined, thought my guitars were in audible; then I got hearing aids - much better. Then I suffered with pain in my left shoulder - later established that this was due to using two pillows, so I've barely touched my guitars for a few years. But now I'm back plucking as vigorously as before, regrettably no more melodically than before though.

I reached a plateau years ago and can't progress no matter what I do. I know how the music should be played but am unable to achieve it. My music teacher indicated her tacit agreement when I communicated my decision to discontinue lessons. It's a source of regret to me but I was wasting her and my time, and money.
You've never considered a different teacher?
Help!

montana
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by montana » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:39 am

markodarko wrote:
R_Pegio wrote:I've tried allsorts to improve things but nothing seems to work.
Liquorice didn't work for me either. :mrgreen:
Again marko....master of confectionery comedy :merci:

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markodarko
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by markodarko » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:40 am

montana wrote:Again marko....master of confectionery comedy
:P I couldn't resist.
Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

dory
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Re: Nail Thickness

Post by dory » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:58 am

My nails are normally almost unbelievable thin and fragile.i made them giid for a while by using a Canadian product called Veralac which helped a lot, but has gotten djfficukt to get here in the US.My nails are now ripping as soon as they get much beyond the tips of my fingers.This is the strange thing, tbough. I have discovered that as long as I can get my nails to just peek over the tip of my finger (which is about as far as they will go without Veralac) it seems to be enough to catch the strings. I may not need super long nails. I am still going to try to move heaven and earth to get more Veralac.
Dory

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