How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

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

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guitarrista
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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
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

twistedblues
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Re: How do Flamenco players not destroy their nails?

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

Makes sense! Thank you

johnd
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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
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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.

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Blondie
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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.

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Cloth Ears
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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
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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
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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.

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Cloth Ears
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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
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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.

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