Anyone not use nails?

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

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:03 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:42 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:19 pm
ddray wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:07 pm
Genuine question: how many players these days make their names via the "concert stage" as opposed to YouTube videos?
I think we sort of agree on this.

To answer the question about Youtube stars, then certainly, it is a factor - and there lies the possibility that a Youtuber who does not use nails could become very popular, because take away the need to project, then there is nothing inherently worse about not using nails - it is just better suited to playing in a more intimate setting.
But surely the people who are out there making their names on YT are doing it because they dream of performing on the great stages of the world, in which case they're bound to be very aware of the need to project. If it's true that nails help projection (sounds plausible to me) then this is going to be a reason to prefer nails.

Also the needs of a concert guitarist are not the same as the needs of a home guitarist who may have no desire to play for a large audience, and probably wouldn't get the chance anyway. Not everyone who plays does so because they dream of being on the stage. Those people are free to choose on purely aesthetic grounds without worrying about what works or doesn't work in a concert setting.
I think I mainly agree with you - but in the vast world of Youtube (through which more people consume classical guitar than going to recitals) there is the possibility that somebody may make a name for themselves as being a satisfied non-nails Youtube performer who does not necessarily dream of playing on the world's concert stages. What I am saying is that with the internet, a no-nails approach could possibly thrive again - but then again, it would be somebody going against a very strong current of playing with nails.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:20 pm

As a p.s. to my last comment I'll give you a personal example. I've really come to admire the work of John Feeley. Did I learn about him by seeing him in concert? Nope. Did I buy a CD of his? Nope. I saw his YT videos. Before that I had honestly never heard of him.

Rasputin
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:27 pm

Well in lots of ways I hope you are both right. I am much more interested in listening to a really great recording than going to a concert, so if the up and coming players really are more interested in recording, that suits me just fine. I think the guitar is at its best in an intimate setting, and while the whole Segovia thing has done a lot for the status and popularity of the instrument, it has not been without its disadvantages. One is the Smallman. This is not a thread about Smallmans, but let me say that they are evil mutants AFAIC and that I blame their existence on the new-found status of the guitar as a concert instrument. I would rather see it go back to doing what it does best.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:32 pm

ddray wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:20 pm
As a p.s. to my last comment I'll give you a personal example. I've really come to admire the work of John Feeley. Did I learn about him by seeing him in concert? Nope. Did I buy a CD of his? Nope. I saw his YT videos.
Good point - in fact I saw John Feeley play a few times about 20 years ago.

However, even though I am sure than John is justly proud of his Chaconne video, which is one of the very best out there, I think he would still think, like me, that live playing is the ultimate test of a guitarist and the ultimate thrill etc.

Youtube may be the new medium, but it is a bit of a compromise, really - it can never compare to watching somebody play live a few feet away

As as to a recording contract - forget it - I read an interview in which Marcin Dylla (surely one of the best players in the world today) said that he hasn't yet been offered a recording contract. It's a dead business, killed by instant downloads and Spotify, etc.

It is an interesting time - thousands of brilliant players (nearly all playing the same basic repertoire), little in the way of concerts and no hope of a recording contract. So the default position is to go it alone and find a corner on Youtube and your own little fan-base.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:36 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:27 pm
Well in lots of ways I hope you are both right. I am much more interested in listening to a really great recording than going to a concert, so if the up and coming players really are more interested in recording, that suits me just fine. I think the guitar is at its best in an intimate setting, and while the whole Segovia thing has done a lot for the status and popularity of the instrument, it has not been without its disadvantages. One is the Smallman. This is not a thread about Smallmans, but let me say that they are evil mutants AFAIC and that I blame their existence on the new-found status of the guitar as a concert instrument. I would rather see it go back to doing what it does best.
Well I'm not going to condemn live performances. Many if not most musicians want to play for a live audience and many people love to hear live performances. I'm not sure though I'd want to attend a CG concert in a large hall unless I was right up near the stage :D

Rasputin
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:37 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:32 pm
As as to a recording contract - forget it - I read an interview in which Marcin Dylla (surely one of the best players in the world today) said that he hasn't yet been offered a recording contract.
Maybe he should try cutting his nails to set himself apart from the herd...

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:38 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:32 pm
ddray wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:20 pm
As a p.s. to my last comment I'll give you a personal example. I've really come to admire the work of John Feeley. Did I learn about him by seeing him in concert? Nope. Did I buy a CD of his? Nope. I saw his YT videos.
Good point - in fact I saw John Feeley play a few times about 20 years ago.

However, even though I am sure than John is justly proud of his Chaconne video, which is one of the very best out there, I think he would still think, like me, that live playing is the ultimate test of a guitarist and the ultimate thrill etc.

Youtube may be the new medium, but it is a bit of a compromise, really - it can never compare to watching somebody play live a few feet away

As as to a recording contract - forget it - I read an interview in which Marcin Dylla (surely one of the best players in the world today) said that he hasn't yet been offered a recording contract. It's a dead business, killed by instant downloads and Spotify, etc.
...
Yeah good points. Recording is also outmoded. :D I guess it all comes together. I don't want to live in a YT-only universe either.

Rasputin
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Rasputin » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:41 pm

ddray wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:36 pm
Rasputin wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:27 pm
Well in lots of ways I hope you are both right. I am much more interested in listening to a really great recording than going to a concert, so if the up and coming players really are more interested in recording, that suits me just fine. I think the guitar is at its best in an intimate setting, and while the whole Segovia thing has done a lot for the status and popularity of the instrument, it has not been without its disadvantages. One is the Smallman. This is not a thread about Smallmans, but let me say that they are evil mutants AFAIC and that I blame their existence on the new-found status of the guitar as a concert instrument. I would rather see it go back to doing what it does best.
Well I'm not going to condemn live performances. Many if not most musicians want to play for a live audience and many people love to hear live performances. I'm not sure though I'd want to attend a CG concert in a large hall unless I was right up near the stage :D
Sure, I wasn't judging anyone. I'd be much more interested in going to a guitar recital in a smaller venue, but I don't see how they can make that pay. There are really only a couple of guitarists I would want to see in concert anyway. I do go to other classical concerts from time to time, although I think I appreciate the music more deeply when I listen to it at home - I go because the process of actually making the music fascinates me and I like to see it in action.

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:49 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:32 pm

However, even though I am sure than John is justly proud of his Chaconne video, which is one of the very best out there, I think he would still think, like me, that live playing is the ultimate test of a guitarist and the ultimate thrill etc.
The video that got me hooked was his arrangement of Bach's first cello suite...which I think was a live performance. :D And Feeley's a nail guy...so here we are full-circle :lol: I'm going to end up talking myself into nails and large halls...

davekear
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by davekear » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:18 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Out of interest, does anybody know of a player who has recently won an international guitar competition without using nails?
The biggest competition that I'm aware of is the GFA competition (Guitar Foundation of America). http://www.guitarfoundation.org/
I know many of the past winners. All great guitarists. All of them use their fingernails. There may have been a winner that has won without nails, but it's extremely unlikely. Almost all professional guitarists and their students use nails.

Philosopherguy
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Philosopherguy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:47 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:18 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Out of interest, does anybody know of a player who has recently won an international guitar competition without using nails?
The biggest competition that I'm aware of is the GFA competition (Guitar Foundation of America). http://www.guitarfoundation.org/
I know many of the past winners. All great guitarists. All of them use their fingernails. There may have been a winner that has won without nails, but it's extremely unlikely. Almost all professional guitarists and their students use nails.
Just in case you didn't read my post about 5 pages or so ago. I don't think anyone fundamentally disagrees with your main points that playing with nails can make a great sound. I think most people don't like the dogmatic approach that you take in trying to "school" everyone to your point of view. We get your point. Some like nails; some don't. Some like D'Addario strings; some don't. Some people like to play the guitar naked; some don't. We don't all have to be complete copies of each other.

I came to read this thread for a laugh and it keeps getting more and more ridiculous, as it was long long ago.

Martin
*************************************************************
2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
2013 Ramirez 4NE - Cedar
1998 Dean Harrington - Spruce
1977 Kuniharu Nobe - Spruce
1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:49 pm


Youtube


This kid is playing without nails in a competition, no? He's a talented player...but there are others out there that sound even bettter (imho) playing without nails.
"When I eat, it is the food that is scared." - Ron Swanson

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:01 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:18 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Out of interest, does anybody know of a player who has recently won an international guitar competition without using nails?
The biggest competition that I'm aware of is the GFA competition (Guitar Foundation of America). http://www.guitarfoundation.org/
I know many of the past winners. All great guitarists. All of them use their fingernails. There may have been a winner that has won without nails, but it's extremely unlikely. Almost all professional guitarists and their students use nails.
I tried to reach a fair balance in this heated debate. In doing so, I have suggested that the modern conservatory classical guitar playing style, involving to projection in medium to large hall and competing with other nail players, involves a standard set by the use of nails. In this playing circuit, having no nails could be a real disadvantage.

However, I would also conclude that it is possible to be an excellent no-nails player, if your audience is perhaps youtube, or much smaller recitals where a more intimate and often softer sound can suffice; nails bring out the upper partials and add higher frequencies to flesh alone, so no nails is better suited to smaller venues.You also might play on a different style of guitar if you play without nails, a more lightly built instrument, probably not a heavy duty lattice. In addition, let's not forget those who want to play Sor etc, on period or reproduction instruments, with the same technique and sound that Sor intended. If your specialism is period performance, then no nails can be a distinct advantage.

Do you think that what I have said is a fair and sensible conclusion?
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

davekear
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by davekear » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:20 pm

Philosopherguy wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:47 pm
davekear wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:18 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:39 pm

Out of interest, does anybody know of a player who has recently won an international guitar competition without using nails?
The biggest competition that I'm aware of is the GFA competition (Guitar Foundation of America). http://www.guitarfoundation.org/
I know many of the past winners. All great guitarists. All of them use their fingernails. There may have been a winner that has won without nails, but it's extremely unlikely. Almost all professional guitarists and their students use nails.
I think most people don't like the dogmatic approach that you take in trying to "school" everyone to your point of view. We get your point. Some like nails; some don't. Some like D'Addario strings; some don't. Some people like to play the guitar naked; some don't. We don't all have to be complete copies of each other.


Martin
It's not "my point of view". And it's not dogmatic. It's the point of view of almost every serious player and teacher that plays. So you, like some others, still haven't got the point. But most people get it. that's what's important.

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:20 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:51 pm
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.
Sorry buddy...wrong again - I'll address the teachers first: Rob MacKillop and David van Ooijen are two wonderful players AND teachers that are happy to teach flesh technique. I'm certain there are others.

Instruction books - Emilio Pujol's guitar school comes to mind (written in the 1930's, no?) - and again, there are others.
"When I eat, it is the food that is scared." - Ron Swanson

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