How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
twistedblues
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:48 pm

How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by twistedblues » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:25 pm

How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 935
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by guitarrista » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:43 pm

Because of the rasgueados through the base strings? A lot of flamencos use varnish/polish or generally some coat on top of their nails. Others have pretty tough nails. Also they don't really "bang" with force at the strings the way it may seem on videos - it is more about the suddenness of the strike (with fairly light touch) rather than overall power-through.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

twistedblues
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:48 pm

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by twistedblues » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:07 pm

Makes sense! Thank you

johnd
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:50 pm

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by johnd » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:39 pm

Being mostly Spanish, they drink a lot of goats milk!!!! :lol:

RichardUno
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by RichardUno » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:16 pm

Many flamenco players apply superglue to their nails.

User avatar
Blondie
Posts: 1248
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by Blondie » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:47 am

Yep Richard is right, glue is the main solution, cyanoacrylate products being the best option. Its actually sold as nail glue in chemists in the UK in little bottles with a brush to apply.

User avatar
Cloth Ears
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 9:37 am

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by Cloth Ears » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:06 pm

If you have weak nails, then superglue is a must. Personally I also use china silk. Unfortunately, I have to repeat this process as the artificial coverings can lift, particularly after a more percussive palo such as Bulerias. Really annoying if this happens mid- piece!

Some people use acrylic nails: my advice is avoid them.

Beyond that, lots of studious practice will minimise risks. Also not attempting some rasgueados with cold hands: I have torn thumb nails off from inaccurate planting due to cold, insensitive hands before. I think 'guitarrista' has a very good point about the lightness of touch. So true. When you are learning to do it though, and building muscle strength, it is likely that this is not yet possible. You need the strength first to be able to a apply a light touch!

Keep an eye out for any dinks in the nail edge. They can quickly develop into a more serious issue if you don't file them back.

Brynmor
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: United Kindom

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by Brynmor » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:44 pm

Paco Pena once said that he uses Araldite. He may have been joking, though.

dtoh
Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by dtoh » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:30 pm

Not a flamenco player, but I would think soft gel treatments would be a good solution for flamenco also. They preserve the feel and flexibility of the natural nail but are very durable.

I would agree that acrylic nails would be a bad choice.

User avatar
Cloth Ears
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 9:37 am

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by Cloth Ears » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:33 pm

Brynmor wrote:Paco Pena once said that he uses Araldite. He may have been joking, though.
I can't say I haven't thought about it!

The issue is: does it stay stuck to the nail under hard erosive conditions? My nails are porous and sweat comes through from underneath which will cause the superglue to become unstuck, though that is usually an overnight process.

Anyone else out there tried Araldite? If not I might just report back ;-)

CactusWren
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:50 pm

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by CactusWren » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:53 pm

Here in Arizona, most of the players use acrylics. I used them for years, but I don't play much flamenco now, so I'm all natural.

jnbrown
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:14 am

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by jnbrown » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:50 pm

I play only Flamenco and it does not hurt my nails much. Rasgueado is only a small part of flamenco and currently I am not playing it much. I spend more time on tremolo, arpeggio, ligado and other things. I do know Paco Pena has said he puts glue on his nails. I have not found a need to do this yet.

davekear
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by davekear » Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:34 am

If you have trouble with artificial nails or silk wrap lifting, always apply some nail primer to the nail first. That's what that stuff is for, to increase adherence, and to keep nail products from lifting.

ArjenBoersma
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:49 am

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by ArjenBoersma » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:46 pm

I think that most important of all, people start to glue without a plan and follow up.
More specific:
-- always clean the nail befor applying any glue
-- after polishing/ cleaning, apply a thin layer of instant glue to maximize the bonding

More advanced:
-- use also some reinforcement like silk or (better) fiber glass.
-- do 3 layers of this re-inforcement for 2/3 of the nail surface, leave 0.3 mm at the sides
-- manage the later "lifting" of the nail that will surely happen ( i.e. prevent and repair)
-- prevent lifting by making smooth -no ridge- transitions to the natural nail (i.e. filing).
-- if lifting should occur - it will- , file the area, clean and fill with glue a.s.a.p.
-- finally: never tear apart the artificial nail, use soda or oil very to gently loosen up.

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1736
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:20 pm

twistedblues wrote:
Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:25 pm
How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?
easy -
because they have damn good nails!! :D
or use artificial nails...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

Return to “Use of nails in playing the classical guitar”