Experience with Tone Tips

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
davekear
Posts: 260
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Location: California

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by davekear » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:10 pm

guit-box wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:05 pm
don't glue any artificial nails to your natural nail, just find someone who knows how to use a nail form and can build the gel or acrylic right on top of your nail and extend it a little if needed.
guit-box, it's OK to glue material directly to the nail. It actually has more benefits than using acrylics. We've had thousands of guitarists over the last 25 years or so using good material and fingernail glue, gluing directly to the nail plate with no problems. You have to know what you're doing, which isn't difficult, and you have to have the right material. One of the most important aspects of using artificial nails is the correct angle at which they are initially applied.This is very difficult with acrylics, and is critical for diversity of tone and feel. Also standard thickness is important, which is almost impossible to achieve with acrylics. Acrylics are actually a monomer liquid and powder that quickly hardens. In essence it's also gluing an artificial nail directly to your natural nail, just starts out as a viscous material for a few seconds. Acrylic nails are like rocks. Hard to achieve standard, repeatable results, have no flexibility, and are messy. There are better ways. And you are right about Tone Tips, they are a waste of money.

celestemcc
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by celestemcc » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:38 pm

so has anyone received the tone tips yet? thoughts?
Still waiting on mine. Hurricane Irma affected power at the facility where they're made. I'm expecting mine to ship any day now.

FWIW, the way the nails are sized to fit is very impressive. Hoping I'll be able to report soon.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

guit-box
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by guit-box » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:28 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:10 pm
guit-box wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:05 pm
don't glue any artificial nails to your natural nail, just find someone who knows how to use a nail form and can build the gel or acrylic right on top of your nail and extend it a little if needed.
guit-box, it's OK to glue material directly to the nail. It actually has more benefits than using acrylics. We've had thousands of guitarists over the last 25 years or so using good material and fingernail glue, gluing directly to the nail plate with no problems. You have to know what you're doing, which isn't difficult, and you have to have the right material. One of the most important aspects of using artificial nails is the correct angle at which they are initially applied.This is very difficult with acrylics, and is critical for diversity of tone and feel. Also standard thickness is important, which is almost impossible to achieve with acrylics. Acrylics are actually a monomer liquid and powder that quickly hardens. In essence it's also gluing an artificial nail directly to your natural nail, just starts out as a viscous material for a few seconds. Acrylic nails are like rocks. Hard to achieve standard, repeatable results, have no flexibility, and are messy. There are better ways. And you are right about Tone Tips, they are a waste of money.
Oh I know, nothing wrong from a medical standpoint. Of course you're biased because you're selling this method, which is fine, but I'm not sure if the forum moderators would be okay with you selling your product on a discussion forum. People can use what they want, I'm just giving my opinion based on my experience. I'm doubtful about anything that's a pick like these Tone Tips and that price is highway robbery. The acrylic is hard, but that's part of its advantage because it's very strong and it holds better than any glue joint. Nothing messy about it for me since I go to a pro salon and have them done for $10. The UV gels are softer than the acrylics and more nail-like. I'll never go back to gluing anything like nail tips or ping pongs or any material like the stuff you sell (I have some of that too).
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

davekear
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by davekear » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:51 pm

That's OK man. No bias other than a workability bias. And I'm not selling anything at all here, just giving some advice. We could easily sell acrylic nails if we wanted to, but we don't because they are a poor material for use as classical guitar nails. The whole idea is to have an artificial nail that can be applied very easily by the guitarist, (shouldn't be dependent on nail salons) and sound as good or better than natural nails. That can be done, but not with acrylics. And actually ping pong balls work pretty well. Jason Vieaux, David Russell, and many other great guitarists have used, and continue to use ping pong balls. And there are better ways than ping pong balls, but they work much better than acrylics.

dtoh
Posts: 232
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by dtoh » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:03 pm

guit-box wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:28 pm
People can use what they want, I'm just giving my opinion based on my experience. I'm doubtful about anything that's a pick like these Tone Tips and that price is highway robbery. The acrylic is hard, but that's part of its advantage because it's very strong and it holds better than any glue joint. Nothing messy about it for me since I go to a pro salon and have them done for $10. The UV gels are softer than the acrylics and more nail-like. I'll never go back to gluing anything like nail tips or ping pongs or any material like the stuff you sell (I have some of that too).
FWIW - Here is my experience.

Natural Nails - Always worried about my nails. Constantly breaking and cracking. Many weeks practicing i and a while I waited for m to regrow, etc. Had to limit non-guitar activities using my hands. Many hours spent with glue, silk, etc. trying to repair or prevent damage. Permanent vertical crack in p, which always impacted playing and couldn't be fixed. Complete and constant headache, which almost made me quit CG.

Acryllics - Totally indestructible. Could use my nails to extract screws. Hard as rock. No feel whatsoever. Poor tone and little control of tone.

Soft UV Gel - Almost indestructible. Extremely flexible and natural feel. Good tone and control. Need to spend $30 every 3 weeks which entails drinking a cappucino, reading emails or chatting with my nailist while she does my nails. Matte finish so except for the length you can hardly tell the difference in appearance between LH and RH. I never even think about my nails anymore. Total life changer.

guit-box
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:58 pm

davekear wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:51 pm
That's OK man. No bias other than a workability bias. And I'm not selling anything at all here, just giving some advice. We could easily sell acrylic nails if we wanted to, but we don't because they are a poor material for use as classical guitar nails. The whole idea is to have an artificial nail that can be applied very easily by the guitarist, (shouldn't be dependent on nail salons) and sound as good or better than natural nails. That can be done, but not with acrylics. And actually ping pong balls work pretty well. Jason Vieaux, David Russell, and many other great guitarists have used, and continue to use ping pong balls. And there are better ways than ping pong balls, but they work much better than acrylics.
Yeah, well you always bring it back to the fact that you're selling some nail products and everything else other than what you sell is junk. If you're not selling anything here, as you claim, then you'd only mention your opinion and never mention the fact that you profit from selling the materials you're advocating. I'm not sure if this violates the forum policy, but if it doesn't, it should.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

guit-box
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by guit-box » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:12 pm

dtoh wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:03 pm
guit-box wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:28 pm
People can use what they want, I'm just giving my opinion based on my experience. I'm doubtful about anything that's a pick like these Tone Tips and that price is highway robbery. The acrylic is hard, but that's part of its advantage because it's very strong and it holds better than any glue joint. Nothing messy about it for me since I go to a pro salon and have them done for $10. The UV gels are softer than the acrylics and more nail-like. I'll never go back to gluing anything like nail tips or ping pongs or any material like the stuff you sell (I have some of that too).
FWIW - Here is my experience.

Natural Nails - Always worried about my nails. Constantly breaking and cracking. Many weeks practicing i and a while I waited for m to regrow, etc. Had to limit non-guitar activities using my hands. Many hours spent with glue, silk, etc. trying to repair or prevent damage. Permanent vertical crack in p, which always impacted playing and couldn't be fixed. Complete and constant headache, which almost made me quit CG.

Acryllics - Totally indestructible. Could use my nails to extract screws. Hard as rock. No feel whatsoever. Poor tone and little control of tone.

Soft UV Gel - Almost indestructible. Extremely flexible and natural feel. Good tone and control. Need to spend $30 every 3 weeks which entails drinking a cappucino, reading emails or chatting with my nailist while she does my nails. Matte finish so except for the length you can hardly tell the difference in appearance between LH and RH. I never even think about my nails anymore. Total life changer.
Getting good tone is dependent on technique and a lot of things. I can get a very good sound that is loud, round, robust with acrylics and my salon can put them on fairly thin. I have yet to try the gels but I'm planning to do that next. I'm getting good reports about them from several professional level guitarists. One who has used acrylics for years said he likes the gel better too so I'm excited to give them a try. If you have nail beds like I do that are no longer smooth, but have ridges, there's no better solution than the gel or acrylic because it fills the voids and makes a very good bond. To get a good bond gluing tips or ping pong to a nail like this would require building up the nail with glue and evening out the ridges, so at that point you're already surfacing the nail with something to make a smooth glue surface. Avoiding the glue altogether makes more sense at that point, and even if you have a smooth glue surface, the glue joint will never be as strong.

As far as the Tone Tips go, if they fit under the existing nail, that might make them a little better than the nail tips that people are just temporarily bonding to the nail bed with glue dots, but still, that feeling of a fake nail that isn't fused with the whole nail bed feels horrible imo. The fact that people are saying they cost over $100 when they should cost $30 means I won't be trying them. I am interested in hearing what people think about them but I know they will not work for me.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

davekear
Posts: 260
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Location: California

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by davekear » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:12 pm

guit-box wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:58 pm
davekear wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:51 pm
That's OK man. No bias other than a workability bias. And I'm not selling anything at all here, just giving some advice. We could easily sell acrylic nails if we wanted to, but we don't because they are a poor material for use as classical guitar nails. The whole idea is to have an artificial nail that can be applied very easily by the guitarist, (shouldn't be dependent on nail salons) and sound as good or better than natural nails. That can be done, but not with acrylics. And actually ping pong balls work pretty well. Jason Vieaux, David Russell, and many other great guitarists have used, and continue to use ping pong balls. And there are better ways than ping pong balls, but they work much better than acrylics.
Yeah, well you always bring it back to the fact that you're selling some nail products and everything else other than what you sell is junk. If you're not selling anything here, as you claim, then you'd only mention your opinion and never mention the fact that you profit from selling the materials you're advocating. I'm not sure if this violates the forum policy, but if it doesn't, it should.
I can't help the fact that we own a store that specializes in fingernails for guitarists when I post here. I didn't say everything else is junk. As a matter of fact there are many solutions out there. Some better than others. But perhaps Instead of getting mad at us for doing what we do, take advantage of our knowledge and experience in this subject. We've been doing it for over 25 years now, and are very successful at it. The reason for that is because of the results we get. It's not as easy thing, there really is a lot involved. And we're just trying to help.

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:40 pm

davekear wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:12 pm

I can't help the fact that we own a store that specializes in fingernails for guitarists when I post here. I didn't say everything else is junk. As a matter of fact there are many solutions out there. Some better than others. But perhaps Instead of getting mad at us for doing what we do, take advantage of our knowledge and experience in this subject. We've been doing it for over 25 years now, and are very successful at it. The reason for that is because of the results we get. It's not as easy thing, there really is a lot involved. And we're just trying to help.
Yes, I have found the information on your web site very helpful. To learn about these things is why I subscribe to this forum. I would not want you to be silenced!

I'm gluing on pre-formed nails, not perfect solution, (is anything?) but very pleased with the tone, convenience and low cost. I may agree with you on the Tone Tips being problematic, primarily if these nails are relatively thick. The tone will not be so nuanced, but hopefully, someone will report back on this product soon.

I have some issue with glue on practice, but that would apply to any bonded artificial nail solution. My natural nail, evident nearer the tip only, will thin out over time of many applications and removal (usually the bond will weaken on its own and the nail will start to detach. I re-glue, but eventually, it is futile, and a new nail needs to be applied.) I surmise that a skin thin layer of nail stays embedded in the glue, (acrylic, gel?) and will be lost until replaced by new nail moving up. Observing this, I'm sure there is decreased likelihood of ever going back to natural nails. Certainly, bad nails is why one uses artificial nails in the first place, so I face up to the fact that I will never more have natural nails suitable for guitar playing.

I do wish I could manage a nail-less playing technique. Unfortunately, my hands are old and pained with arthritis, consequently I find each attempt to re-position my right hand for nail-less playing to be un-acceptably strained. I would need a good, patient teacher, (patient pupil also!) if ever to succeed in this endeavour.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

davekear
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Location: California

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by davekear » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:01 pm

Eberhard Mueller wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:40 pm
davekear wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:12 pm

I can't help the fact that we own a store that specializes in fingernails for guitarists when I post here. I didn't say everything else is junk. As a matter of fact there are many solutions out there. Some better than others. But perhaps Instead of getting mad at us for doing what we do, take advantage of our knowledge and experience in this subject. We've been doing it for over 25 years now, and are very successful at it. The reason for that is because of the results we get. It's not as easy thing, there really is a lot involved. And we're just trying to help.
Yes, I have found the information on your web site very helpful. To learn about these things is why I subscribe to this forum. I would not want you to be silenced!

I'm gluing on pre-formed nails, not perfect solution, (is anything?) but very pleased with the tone, convenience and low cost. I may agree with you on the Tone Tips being problematic, primarily if these nails are relatively thick. The tone will not be so nuanced, but hopefully, someone will report back on this product soon.

I have some issue with glue on practice, but that would apply to any bonded artificial nail solution. My natural nail, evident nearer the tip only, will thin out over time of many applications and removal (usually the bond will weaken on its own and the nail will start to detach. I re-glue, but eventually, it is futile, and a new nail needs to be applied.) I surmise that a skin thin layer of nail stays embedded in the glue, (acrylic, gel?) and will be lost until replaced by new nail moving up. Observing this, I'm sure there is decreased likelihood of ever going back to natural nails. Certainly, bad nails is why one uses artificial nails in the first place, so I face up to the fact that I will never more have natural nails suitable for guitar playing.

I do wish I could manage a nail-less playing technique. Unfortunately, my hands are old and pained with arthritis, consequently I find each attempt to re-position my right hand for nail-less playing to be un-acceptably strained. I would need a good, patient teacher, (patient pupil also!) if ever to succeed in this endeavour.
Thanks Eberhard Mueller.
This is for anyone using any type of artificial nail.
If your natural nail becomes thin and sensitive because of using acrylics, ping pong balls etc., then you should always build up your natural nail before applying a new nail. This is easily done by using some brush-on nail glue, or glue and wrap. Build up the nail until it is no longer sensitive, then apply a new nail. One of the nice things about fingernails is that they are always growing, and will grow out. You always want to make sure all artificial nails are sealed so that water can't get in between the natural and artificial nail. Very easy to do, it's actually hard not to keep them sealed. Get some thin nail glue if any separation is occurring, and dispense some behind the nail. The glue will "wick" into the areas that need it. When removing artificial nails, I highly recommend using a rotary electric nail file, or a Dremel tool. It takes only seconds to remove an old nail, no chemicals and very accurate. With an electric nail file you can monitor the nail as you're filing. Use a medium flat barrel carbide bit. Only apply any artificial nail to no more than 3/4 of the nail plate. (taper the back). Always leave the back of the nail free.

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:42 pm

davekear wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:01 pm
Thanks Eberhard Mueller.
This is for anyone using any type of artificial nail.
If your natural nail becomes thin and sensitive because of using acrylics, ping pong balls etc., then you should always build up your natural nail before applying a new nail. This is easily done by using some brush-on nail glue, or glue and wrap. Build up the nail until it is no longer sensitive, then apply a new nail. One of the nice things about fingernails is that they are always growing, and will grow out. You always want to make sure all artificial nails are sealed so that water can't get in between the natural and artificial nail. Very easy to do, it's actually hard not to keep them sealed. Get some thin nail glue if any separation is occurring, and dispense some behind the nail. The glue will "wick" into the areas that need it. When removing artificial nails, I highly recommend using a rotary electric nail file, or a Dremel tool. It takes only seconds to remove an old nail, no chemicals and very accurate. With an electric nail file you can monitor the nail as you're filing. Use a medium flat barrel carbide bit. Only apply any artificial nail to no more than 3/4 of the nail plate. (taper the back). Always leave the back of the nail free.
Thank you, Dave, that is sensible advice, - which I have been following after reading on your site. BTW, the nail tip gets thin but that does not seem to create any sensitivity for me. I surmise the nail is not thinning that much further down to the base - which is reassuring.
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

Chris
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:46 am

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Chris » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:49 pm

I don't have problems with my nails, yet I want to try artificial nails one day. Does that make me weird?? :)

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Eberhard Mueller
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Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:14 pm

Chris wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:49 pm
I don't have problems with my nails, yet I want to try artificial nails one day. Does that make me weird?? :)
Weird, no, not at all! Sooner than later one of those healthy nails will suffer sufficient damage that you may want to try gluing on an artificial nail. I think this starts as a temporary measure only. In time, the deteriorating state of one's nails may require a permanent resort to artificiality. BTW, it is possible for artificial nails to sound better than one's healthy natural nails. It all depends!
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

davekear
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by davekear » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:47 am

Eberhard Mueller wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:14 pm
Weird, no, not at all! Sooner than later one of those healthy nails will suffer sufficient damage that you may want to try gluing on an artificial nail. I think this starts as a temporary measure only. In time, the deteriorating state of one's nails may require a permanent resort to artificiality. BTW, it is possible for artificial nails to sound better than one's healthy natural nails. It all depends!
[/quote]

Absolutely. Good idea to have a fix before you need it. Not good to wait for a nail emergency to then learn how to do this.
Find a method you think will work best, and get it down. Best to practice on your "a" finger or little finger.

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Eberhard Mueller
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Experience with Tone Tips

Post by Eberhard Mueller » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:53 am

davekear wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:47 am
Absolutely. Good idea to have a fix before you need it. Not good to wait for a nail emergency to then learn how to do this.
Find a method you think will work best, and get it down. Best to practice on your "a" finger or little finger.
Yes, that's a good idea.

Until a few months ago, I still had a small white boxed kit of "Guitar Player Nails" for emergency use. It was a hold over from the early 1980's. These were pre-cut crescents of plastic that were designed to be glued underneath the damaged nail. I didn't have any nail pieces left that fit me, but, there always was the option of cutting up ping pong balls. For some reason I did keep the box and odds and sots therein for over 30 years.

Did you own this company (but different method) at that time?
Neil Douglas 2001 (German Spruce / German Maple)
Neil Douglas 1992 (Engelmann Spruce / Brazilian Rosewood)
La Patrie Motif
Cordoba Mini M

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