Oh well, I'm going to fail to resist temptation ...
I choose to play with nails myself James - but I've taught many to play without.James Stephens wrote:That's good to know Mark.
I've always been a nail player and have always insisted my students use nails since that's currently the more common technique.
Not especially - I don't consider the two methods to be particularly different. I teach an oblique, deep, pushing tirando as the primary stroke, to be followed by apoyando once I judge the correct mechanics to have been acquired.James Stephens wrote:I want to be able to teach students without nails even though I'm a nail player. It looks like the right strings and perhaps coming up under the string a bit more is necessary? Any other tips?
S. Alfonso in Sanz’s Introducción de Musica 1674 wrote:There are some who play with the nails, who ravish the senses, and others who grate the nerves.
Thomas Mace in Musicke's Monument 1676 wrote:take notice, that you Strike not your Strings with your Nails, as some do, who maintain it the Best way of Play, but I do not, and for this reason ; because the Nail cannot draw so sweet a sound from a Lute, as the nibble end of the Flesh can do.
There have been dozens of opinions over the last 400 years - some are unequivocal like Mace and Carcassi. Others take a more open view e.g. Emilio Pujol in his "Metodo Razionale" where he describes both approaches.Mateo Carcassi in Méthode complète 1835 wrote:To obtain a full and soft sound one should pluck firmly, but without rigidity using the tips of the fingers whilst avoiding contact with the nails against the strings which should be plucked a little obliquely. (My translation)
I agree and thanks for the rest of your thoughtful reply. I appreciate it.Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote: ↑Wed May 10, 2017 10:34 am.....
I have no view on which is "better", but to suggest that one cannot become a professional without nails is demonstrably false. The lack of nail can easily be seen as advantageous in the pursuit of one range of timbre whilst not another - vive la difference.
That's another potentially contentious subject. According to Scott Tennant my nails (which I haven't trimmed in a while and are as long as my fingertip) are at optimum length right now. Parkening has very long nails. Which authority is correct?
I believe that's true. I have a lot of respect for the learning and skill of Eliot Fisk and Andrew York. I believe both have nice long nails and the posture etc seems to be kosher...but yet I find their interpretations of Bach to be horrendous. Nails-on-blackboard horrendous.
Well you have to go off on a tangent to defend your "freakishness" or "heresy". It's not possible to say "I play primarily without nails" and let it go at that.tateharmann wrote: ↑Wed May 10, 2017 5:26 pmIt's kind of comical that the O.P. didn't even ask whether or not it's generally acceptable to play without nails. He asked if anyone else played without nails...and we took him away on a debate/tangent.
Short and simple - yes, others play without nails.
Right here on the forum:
myself (since half-way through 2015)
And many, many more throughout history. Some at a very competent professional level
Yes! And there's nothing wrong with that I don't file mine down every day so sometimes they do get longish enough to get a more brilliant nail-like sound. I actually use a more Luque-esque approach by allowing the white part of the nail to grow out and conform to the tip shape.
Neither authority is correct. Again, differnt lengths produce different sounds and it's entirely a matter of taste and personal preference.ddray wrote: ↑Wed May 10, 2017 12:07 pmThat's another potentially contentious subject. According to Scott Tennant my nails (which I haven't trimmed in a while and are as long as my fingertip) are at optimum length right now. Parkening has very long nails. Which authority is correct?
I get the suspicion sometimes that a lot of this is over-analysis and making non-essentials essential, which can happen in the arts.
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