Anyone not use nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Mon May 15, 2017 3:20 am

Another by a different biographer (Pola Baytelman)...she's discussing characteristics of Albeniz' "middle" period of composing:
1. The dance rhythms of Spain, of which there are a wide variety. 2. The use of cante jondo, which means deep or profound singing. It is the most serious and moving variety of flamenco or Spanish gypsy song, often dealing with themes of death, anguish, or religion. 3. The use of exotic scales also associated with flamenco music. The Phrygian mode is the most prominent in Albéniz's music, although he also used the Aeolian and Mixolydian modes as well as the whole-tone scale. 4. The transfer of guitar idioms into piano writing.
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Mon May 15, 2017 4:06 am

tateharmann wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 3:07 am
Perhaps she's saying that the 'themes' of pieces like Asturias and Sevilla were born in the hands of Spanish guitarists in general? They (Albeniz and Granados) then borrowed the theme and wrote music for the piano...and that's why they sound so good played on guitar?

As for ol' Isaac and Enrique playing guitar...I'd never heard that. But I suppose it wouldn't surprise me if they noodled around a bit on them..
Yes, I think it was just a misunderstanding. I believe she was saying that Albeniz and Granados composed piano music while having the characteristics of guitar music in mind. I meant no disrespect to Prof. Frizac and ultimately I'll defer to the teachers and professional musicians present :) ...well, unless they tell me I have to grow long nails :D

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Mon May 15, 2017 1:29 pm

Haha - Isabelle definitely won't tell you that - others might though!
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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Isabelle Frizac
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Isabelle Frizac » Mon May 15, 2017 2:24 pm

tateharmann wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 1:29 pm
Haha - Isabelle definitely won't tell you that - others might though!
Nails ? I am neither for nor against, on the contrary!

:lol:

Sentence often heard in politics in France.
keep hope !
Bastien Burlot 2014" special anniversary" n°1, Pappalardo 1982, Antonio Ruiz Lopez 1974, and other instruments ...;-)

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Mon May 15, 2017 3:17 pm

Hehe, yea sounds very political...like this one: "I can neither deny nor confirm.." hahaha
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Mon May 15, 2017 8:38 pm

For the benefit of the folks on this thread I thought a quick playlist of some pieces played without nails by forum members would be appropriate:

1.) El testament d'Amèlia (arr. Miguel Llobet) - viewtopic.php?f=102&t=99674
2.) F. Tárrega, Pavana - https://soundcloud.com/robmackillop/pavana
3.) J. Sagreras, Maria Luisa - viewtopic.php?f=102&t=74706

Enjoy!
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

MAK
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by MAK » Mon May 15, 2017 11:37 pm

Well, while I was on vacation and knew I wouldn't have a lesson for two weeks, I filed my right hand nails down. I couldn't get them as short as my left hand fretting fingernails, because I have higher callouses on my fretting fingers. I consider this an experiment.

I was surprised at how much smoother my playing was with very short nails. I can't say that I am playing completely without nails, but very close. I'll probably keep them this way and I'm pretty happy that I won't have to deal with trying to keep longer nails at a perfect length, which is so difficult. Three out of four fingernails were growing back in weird shapes, so this is my solution to that issue.

By the way, I'm not a performer and I play the piano and uke, which are easier without nails. My current guitar teacher has played both with and without nails, but has no preference when it comes to his students, as long as we produce a good tone. Eventually, I'll record myself to compare my current sound to that when I had longer nails. They'll always grow back if I should decide to play with longer nails again.

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Wed May 17, 2017 6:49 pm

MAK wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 11:37 pm
Well, while I was on vacation and knew I wouldn't have a lesson for two weeks, I filed my right hand nails down. I couldn't get them as short as my left hand fretting fingernails, because I have higher callouses on my fretting fingers. I consider this an experiment.

I was surprised at how much smoother my playing was with very short nails. I can't say that I am playing completely without nails, but very close. I'll probably keep them this way and I'm pretty happy that I won't have to deal with trying to keep longer nails at a perfect length, which is so difficult. Three out of four fingernails were growing back in weird shapes, so this is my solution to that issue.

By the way, I'm not a performer and I play the piano and uke, which are easier without nails. My current guitar teacher has played both with and without nails, but has no preference when it comes to his students, as long as we produce a good tone. Eventually, I'll record myself to compare my current sound to that when I had longer nails. They'll always grow back if I should decide to play with longer nails again.
Well for several days I've let my nails grow out a little and then filing them back. But you know, I'm getting weary of the process and I'm wondering if any improvement in tone or volume is worth the bother. My nails grow very quickly and they're hard as iron, which means that I've been going around with a nail file for the past week or so and frankly they're still longer than I'm comfortable with. I think this evening when I get home they're going to be shortened back to the length they were. I'm not a pro either. So if I like the tone produced by my short nails, .... :smorfia:

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Fri May 19, 2017 1:49 pm

Many folks think that modern guitars aren't suitable for nail-less technique, myself included, (until yesterday) but that doesn't seem to make sense either. Here's a quick recording I made in a local music store yesterday playing a Cordoba C12 (lattice braced, raised fingerboard, ultra high-tension strings): viewtopic.php?f=90&t=112814

It responded very well to the no-nails technique - at least, IMHO.
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Fri May 19, 2017 5:45 pm

tateharmann wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 1:49 pm
Many folks think that modern guitars aren't suitable for nail-less technique, myself included, (until yesterday) but that doesn't seem to make sense either. Here's a quick recording I made in a local music store yesterday playing a Cordoba C12 (lattice braced, raised fingerboard, ultra high-tension strings): viewtopic.php?f=90&t=112814

It responded very well to the no-nails technique - at least, IMHO.
Well that sounded fine, but how much finer and more legit it would be on a $23k Ramirez played with Nosferatu fingernails! :lol: Kidding of course, it sounded great.
Last edited by ddray on Fri May 19, 2017 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MAK
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by MAK » Fri May 19, 2017 7:42 pm

ddray wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 6:49 pm
Well for several days I've let my nails grow out a little and then filing them back. But you know, I'm getting weary of the process and I'm wondering if any improvement in tone or volume is worth the bother. My nails grow very quickly and they're hard as iron, which means that I've been going around with a nail file for the past week or so and frankly they're still longer than I'm comfortable with. I think this evening when I get home they're going to be shortened back to the length they were. I'm not a pro either. So if I like the tone produced by my short nails, .... :smorfia:
[/quote]


I tried for a week, which, I know, is hardly enough time for an experiment, to play with really short nails. I believe I sound better with nails that are even with the ends of my fingers. It is a pain, as ddray states, to keep filing longer nails to attain that ideal length for playing with longer nails. I think I'll keep them short, but rounded enough to reach the strings.

My other problem is the hardened skin on my fingers around my nails that keeps my fingers from gliding off the strings smoothly. I continually use skin softeners and smooth the skin with fine sand paper. This happens with longer and shorter nails.

MAK
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by MAK » Fri May 19, 2017 7:45 pm

tateharmann wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 1:49 pm
Many folks think that modern guitars aren't suitable for nail-less technique, myself included, (until yesterday) but that doesn't seem to make sense either. Here's a quick recording I made in a local music store yesterday playing a Cordoba C12 (lattice braced, raised fingerboard, ultra high-tension strings): viewtopic.php?f=90&t=112814

It responded very well to the no-nails technique - at least, IMHO.
I though you sounded very nice playing the Sor without nails. Although I may have been able to tell the difference if someone else played it with nails in another recording, I couldn't tell you played without them.

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Fri May 19, 2017 7:48 pm

MAK wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 7:42 pm



I tried for a week, which, I know, is hardly enough time for an experiment, to play with really short nails. I believe I sound better with nails that are even with the ends of my fingers. It is a pain, as ddray states, to keep filing longer nails to attain that ideal length for playing with longer nails. I think I'll keep them short, but rounded enough to reach the strings. ...
Sounds like a plan. That's pretty much the way mine are now. I don't cut my nails down to the quick and I've never been a nail biter. When I play I use a combination anyway.

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Sat May 20, 2017 1:18 am

ddray wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 5:45 pm
Well that sounded fine, but how much finer and more legit it would be on a $23k Ramirez played with Nosferatu fingernails! :lol: Kidding of course, it sounded great.
I've played some of the lower end Ramirez (the ones around $2500) and have been mostly underwhelmed. I'm dying to try a 1A someday, though ;)

Thx for the comment btw!
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Sat May 20, 2017 1:24 am

MAK wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 7:45 pm
I though you sounded very nice playing the Sor without nails. Although I may have been able to tell the difference if someone else played it with nails in another recording, I couldn't tell you played without them.
Thanks! Perhaps it's somewhat of paradox, but I prefer nail players that sound like they are playing without and nail-less like they are playing with. For me the best sound is right in between the characteristics of each approach. For nail players it's trying to eliminate that metallic, tinny, fingernaily sound. And for flesh players its trying to eliminate the weak, whispery, breathy sound. Maybe after all we are trying for the same sound with a different approach?

But when done right (imho) it's tough for a listener to tell if you are playing with nails or not.
"Speed is the enemy of emotion." - Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi

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