Issue about nails, options?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Re: Issue about nails, options?

Postby dtoh » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:05 am

Honestly. Get a soft gel treatment from a manicurist.

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Location: North Carolina

Re: Issue about nails, options?

Postby fletch944t » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:02 pm

While I'm a newbie, I feel mildly qualified to speak to this topic. The reason I'm new here is that I'm expanding my horizons into classical music. However, I'm not a newbie to playing guitar (about 50 years now).

Anyway, some time ago when I decided to start playing more in fingerstyle (as opposed to primarily flat picking), I decided to try some alternatives to naturally growing out my fingernails. I've tried many time, unsuccessfully, to grow my own nails long.

As many have already stated, you don't necessarily need long nails when playing in fingerstyle. However, many folks, myself included, find fingerpicking much easier and much more enjoyable with longer nails.

I did a lot of research on line and decided that glue on nails was NOT for me. Too many bad stories about folks getting a fungus under the glue on nails that nearly caused them to lose their own fingernails. What I landed on was UV cured gel fingernails. There are many tutorials that will explain in detail how to create your own nails. Just do a web search for guitar fingernails or guitar nails. However, here's a link to where I started:

Understand that you don't have to buy the exact products shown in the video. The only one that I did adhere to was the IDB Builder Gel. The reason for that is that it seems to be a common theme in all of the videos dealing with guitar nails. Apparently, the IDB Builder Gel is one of the few products that has sufficient strength for guitar players.

Most of the videos will tell you that you can get the nails to last about a month. What they don't tell you is that it will take you a number of attempts to get them right to the point that you will be able to make them last a month. Your first few attempts may only last a few days. As your own nails grow out, there will be an area at the back of the nail that will not be covered with gel. If you are diligent about backfilling those areas you can get the gel nails to last even longer that a month. You can even try backfilling those areas with several coats of gel polish instead of builder gel and you may reach a point when your nails grow out sufficiently that you may be able to grow out your own natural nails with only several coats of gel polish on them for strength.

I work with my hands a lot - woodworking, yard work, chopping wood, working with all kinds of hand tools. And the gel nails have held up to all this punishment without breakage. Realize that you may have to adjust the thickness of the nails based on the activities that you do with your hands. I generally build my nails to about 1/16" thick (that's extremely thick, BTW). However, I have gone as thick as 3/32" thick.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Issue about nails, options?

Postby davekear » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:34 am

Tim522 wrote:Riconails!

Rico nails are just over priced artificial nails that are applied with glue dots. He sells them for $1.75 each!

You can get glue dots at any hardware store or online.
Just remember, if you are applying nails with glue dots, you won't get the dexterity, feel, or good tone as you will
if they are applied correctly with fingernail glue. If you are using glue dots, your playing will suffer during
the time you use them.

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Re: Issue about nails, options?

Postby Salvador » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:10 am

I just broke my index fingernails. When i was in my 20s, it's rare for me to break a nail. I grew them long like Edgar Cruz, and i don't really take care of them. Now that i'm older, my nails are shorter, but they break easily if i'm not careful.

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Re: Issue about nails, options?

Postby Luis_Br » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:07 am

I would try to solve work/life problem with gloves or something else, we can solve almost anything like that.
Otherwise I would play with no nails like Rob.

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