Anyone not use nails?

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

Post by eno » Tue May 09, 2017 9:38 pm

Virginia is a fantastic talent, not only technically brilliant but also very musical, which is a rare combination.

And, as opposed to us here, she does not argue for or against no-nail playing, she just plays... :D
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ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue May 09, 2017 9:57 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 9:33 pm
Yes and she has a recent recording of Concierto de Aranjuez with the London symph. That too would seem impossible to play without nails. . . . but I guess the people at the London symph. weren't too bothered! I think the point is that nail players do outnumber no nail players by an enormous amount. If it was more evenly split you'd probably find that there would be a lot more no nail players figuring in the top ten charts. Luque has probably played without nails ever since she picked up a guitar, that must be part of the secret. It's obviously never hindered her. I still think she sounds closer to a nail player though. I prefer Rob's tone. There ya go.
Renata Tarragó's recording of that was the first by a female guitarist and it's still one of the best; and I would say that if Dave here listened to that out of the blue he wouldn't be able to tell she was playing without nails. If she felt that it was "limiting" her I'm sure she could've let her nails grow.

Re eno's comment: "It may be true that the tonal colour palette of no-nails playing is more limited but that does not mean that it is worse because it has its own merits like the beauty of the sound and unique way of musical expression. Neither Leyenda or Bach sound better or worse with or without nails."
I'm no guitar expert by any means and I'm not going to pretend to be one. But I don't know if the "palette" is more limited without nails, or if it just takes a different method to bring out those colors. But you're right, a lot is subjective and I love the work of those great claw-handed artists too :)

Smudger5150
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by Smudger5150 » Tue May 09, 2017 10:40 pm

twistedblues wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:33 pm
Anyone not grow their nails? And just use mainly the flesh of the fingertips?

Anyone have a list of players who don't or didn't use nails?

Sor?

Hope I posted this in the correct area!
:lol: I'm just wondering if you knew, twistedblues, what metaphorical bomb you were throwing into the Delcamp forum?

I wonder what other topics like this can potentially divide opinion. And (newer?) people come along and innocently(?) stir things up again.

And after all that, I'm standing here with nail scissors in one hand and a nail file in the other and I'm not sure which one to use :?

ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue May 09, 2017 10:57 pm

Smudger5150 wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 10:40 pm
twistedblues wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:33 pm
Anyone not grow their nails? And just use mainly the flesh of the fingertips?

Anyone have a list of players who don't or didn't use nails?

Sor?

Hope I posted this in the correct area!
:lol: I'm just wondering if you knew, twistedblues, what metaphorical bomb you were throwing into the Delcamp forum?

I wonder what other topics like this can potentially divide opinion. And (newer?) people come along and innocently(?) stir things up again.

And after all that, I'm standing here with nail scissors in one hand and a nail file in the other and I'm not sure which one to use :?
Is your nail file sapphire, crystal or diamond? :lol:

davekear
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by davekear » Tue May 09, 2017 11:12 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 9:33 pm
I think the point is that nail players do outnumber no nail players by an enormous amount. If it was more evenly split you'd probably find that there would be a lot more no nail players figuring in the top ten charts.
The reason why nail players outnumber non nail players by an enormous amount is because it's a much better playing technique, that results in much better playing, tone color, and response. I too can play pretty good without nails. But why when it's not that hard to learn to use nails and then play much better. And the reason why you don't find hardly any non nail players in the "top ten", is because they don't play as well as guitarists who use their nails.
And those who understand this, which is most classical guitarists, would be fools to play without nails. And obviously they realize this.

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Tue May 09, 2017 11:13 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 9:33 pm
Luque has probably played without nails ever since she picked up a guitar, that must be part of the secret. It's obviously never hindered her. I still think she sounds closer to a nail player though. I prefer Rob's tone. There ya go.
You bring some good points to the table here: 1. Luque sounds different that Rob who sounds different than Tarrago. Just like nail players, not all flesh players sound the same. 2. It takes time to develop the sound. Pujol even said you can't just whack your nails off and expect that beautiful fleshy sound immediately. You have to work at crafting the sound :)
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ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Tue May 09, 2017 11:33 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 11:12 pm
Michael.N. wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 9:33 pm
I think the point is that nail players do outnumber no nail players by an enormous amount. If it was more evenly split you'd probably find that there would be a lot more no nail players figuring in the top ten charts.
The reason why nail players outnumber non nail players by an enormous amount is because it's a much better playing technique, that results in much better playing, tone color, and response. I too can play pretty good without nails. But why when it's not that hard to learn to use nails and then play much better. And the reason why you don't find hardly any non nail players in the "top ten", is because they don't play as well as guitarists who use their nails.
And those who understand this, which is most classical guitarists, would be fools to play without nails. And obviously they realize this.
Well we aren't going to agree entirely on the nails thing, but I watched some of your videos and really enjoyed your playing :) Respect and best wishes.

davekear
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by davekear » Tue May 09, 2017 11:37 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Tue May 09, 2017 9:33 pm

Well we aren't going to agree entirely on the nails thing, but I watched some of your videos and really enjoyed your playing :) Respect and best wishes.
Well thank you, glad you enjoyed the videos. Respect and best wishes to you too.

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Wed May 10, 2017 12:33 am

Just curious do you really think the "top 10" are there because they're the best?

Could you measure in some kind of talent 'unit' that Elliot Fisk is better than, say, Renata Tarrago? Or is it purely subjective?

I can agree to disagree ..I do actually love hearing nail playing (I did it for double digit years)...but I love flesh playing too. Can't we agree that there's more than one right way to do something!? :)

Probably not. Lol
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James Stephens
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by James Stephens » Wed May 10, 2017 12:36 am

As a student I had read about not using nails but I've never had a teacher say it was ok to not use nails. Nails were just always assumed. If I had someone like Rob to demonstrate how good it can sound and how effective a technique it is I might have changed course or least have been more interested in it. I think it's just an issue of lack of real life exposure. I have had so many students that have had trouble with nails because of piano, baseball, ect., that it would be a good and perhaps necessary option.

I like nails and will likely always play with nails because I think it's a good compromise between clarity, volume, and overall sound quality (plus I have good nails) but even the best nail payers can't get that super warm sound Rob gets. I think, from what I've observed, clarity is a little bit compromised without nails in very fast passages but each technique has its own issues and it's own beauty.

I've just revisited Rob's site and went over his videos where he describes his technique and found them quite thorough and helpful. Hopefully other accomplished flesh only players will follow suit describing and demonstrating their own technique and then maybe in time we'll see more flesh only players rise to prominence.
James

davekear
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by davekear » Wed May 10, 2017 12:56 am

tateharmann wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 12:33 am
Just curious do you really think the "top 10" are there because they're the best?

Could you measure in some kind of talent 'unit' that Elliot Fisk is better than, say, Renata Tarrago? Or is it purely subjective?

I can agree to disagree ..I do actually love hearing nail playing (I did it for double digit years)...but I love flesh playing too. Can't we agree that there's more than one right way to do something!? :)

Probably not. Lol
Of course there can be more than one "right way" to do something. But there is also better ways of doing things. I've played without nails before, and I play pretty well, but I can tell you, having a choice between the two, I'll take playing with nails any day. Why? Much wider diversity of tone. Clarity of tone. Much better dynamics. Brightness. (And by the way, I can get just as mellow of a "dolce" with nails as anyone without). Speed of scales is much easier and quicker with nails. Timbre is much better and with nails you have a full color palette. Without nails it really is quite a muffled sound. I'm not saying that there aren't those who can use no nails and play pretty music. But they really are limiting their potential. Fingernails are a great tool to have. Again, this is why almost all of the great guitarists out there today use their nails. And as a teacher, I will always extol the benefits of using fingernails.

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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Wed May 10, 2017 2:01 am

Yes, I do see what your saying there...so you've tried both and prefer nails, there's nothing wrong with that. You can teach that technique to your students and they, in turn, will learn to play well...again, nothing wrong with that!

However, it's quite another thing to claim that it's the BEST or even BETTER way to play. You say flesh playing is "muffled"...is that what you get out of Luque's recordings? Dynamics, brightness, scale speed, you-name-it-here can all be achieved without nails. Have a listen here:


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ddray
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by ddray » Wed May 10, 2017 2:22 am

tateharmann wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 2:01 am

However, it's quite another thing to claim that it's the BEST or even BETTER way to play. You say flesh playing is "muffled"...is that what you get out of Luque's recordings? Dynamics, brightness, scale speed, you-name-it-here can all be achieved without nails. Have a listen here:
That sounds beautiful, in many ways harp-like here and there. And if a virtuoso plays the same piece with nails it would be beautiful too, but only in a different way. It's playing as individuals. Neither way is intrinsically "better" if the playing is with skill and a knowledge of the music.

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eno
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by eno » Wed May 10, 2017 2:31 am

davekear wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 12:56 am
Without nails it really is quite a muffled sound.
Something that sounds "muffled" to one person may sound "smooth", "silky", "soft", "delicate", "gentle" and so on to another person. It's totally a matter of personal taste. There is a difference between objective quialities and subjective quialities.
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tateharmann
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Re: Anyone not use nails?

Post by tateharmann » Wed May 10, 2017 2:44 am

Exactly! You hit the nail on the head there...that's all I'm trying to say. It's not better, just different.

Here's an example: many studies show that blue is picked more often than not for one's favorite color. Does that make blue "better" than green? Does that mean that blue is the "best" color? Hardly.

What a teacher could say when asked if one could play without nails a nice response would be: "Yes.. and some great players have played that way through the years. But I don't teach that technique, sorry." That's ok right? Or maybe, "Yes, and I can help you learn the nail-less technique. But because of my personal preferences I will keep playing with nails."

Cheers
2013 Joseph Redman Lutz/Wenge
Antonio Aparicio AA70 Spruce
"I am not fast." - Baymax

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