Smudger5150 wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:46 pm
And does anyone remember what the original post was?
That's a good question. So in a nutshell, should you, or should you not use your fingernails when playing the classical guitar?
Let me put in a disclaimer here: When I say "all" or "every" I mean at least 999 out of 1000.
There always will be exceptions here and there. Just ask the flat earth society. First I'll just list some facts, no opinion here, just the way it is:
All classical guitar teachers teach the use of fingernails when playing the classical guitar.
All classical guitar instruction books instruct on the use of fingernails when playing the classical guitar.
All classical guitarists who play in classical guitar societies all over the world use their fingernails when playing the guitar.
All professional classical guitar players and professional classical guitar teachers use their fingernails when playing the guitar.
All of the great classical guitarists of today who are considered the best in their field use their fingernails when playing the guitar.
There is a reason for this, and that is:
You get much better diversity if tone.
You get much better clarity of tone.
You get much better dynamics. (Volume control)
You get much better dexterity in your fingers.
Those are some of the main reasons classical guitarists use their nails.
Now some will argue, and they have, that is just subjective opinion. And yes, it is. It is the subjective opinion of every professional classical guitarist that plays on planet earth today. And with that much agreement, it of course then becomes widespread objective opinion. And it's a valid opinion. One thing you have to be aware of, is that when beginning classical students have trouble with their nails, they come up with all sorts of excuses. I know this first hand, as I've been teaching for over 45 years now. And if one is learning on their own, and they can justify not having to learn to use their nails, then I'm sure many will. And they will have a very hard time of it. If you're having trouble using your nails, get a good teacher to help you. And as I mentioned before, there are a few exceptions. Very few. I personally can play pretty good without nails. I've done it both ways. And I can tell you, I play much better with nails than without. So, you know there's no fingernail police. You can do what you want. But sometimes it's not bad to take the advice of those majority of professionals that are all in agreement about what works best.
Everything I've mentioned here also goes for using your "a" finger too. Don't let anyone tell you it's OK not to learn to use that finger!