Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
guit-box
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by guit-box » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:22 am

Tom Poore wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:16 pm
glassynails wrote: Should may nails only go to the end of my fingertips and not over? I also think that Scott Tenant also says something similar in his series.
Tennant indeed says this in “Pumping Nylon.” (At least in the 1995 edition—maybe newer editions have changed.) But in this specific case, he’s flat wrong. In fact, in the same book he elsewhere illustrates correct nail shapes in which the nail clearly extends beyond the fingertip. I’ve never understood why this obvious contradiction was allowed into print.

You can see this for yourself in the following video. Skip ahead to the 2:04 mark.


Youtube


Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA
Haha, yeah good call, if the nail is ramped like the pictures then part of the nail IS going to extend past the flesh and part will be below the flesh. There are lots of contradictions in Pumping Nylon.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:37 pm

I also basically play with the nails to the tip of the fingers. They may go over a bit sometimes, but usually I find I like the sound when I play with a little more finger flesh.

A.Arcese
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by A.Arcese » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:47 am

I'm not sure this was clarified in the discussion. My understanding of what Segovia told Virginia Luque, the guitarist quoted in the OP, was specifically for her because she was a "flesh" player. He told her to grow enough nail to support the tip of the finger, but not so much that it would contact the string as it would for a nail player. He was not saying that all players should have nails that don't extend past the fingertips.

Rognvald
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by Rognvald » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:15 pm

Luis_Br wrote:
Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:29 pm
Your sound taste defines a lot the nails you want. Talking about mechanics, I think it varies with your nail curvature, tip flesh consistency and curvature, and specially how far from fingertip nail start detaching from finger and generates space between finger and the nail (the size of nails white part out of flesh). Several methods do not talk about this last point, which makes a lot of difference in my humble experience. Nail thickness and flexibility also has a lot of influence on size choice.
Well said, Luis. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

guit-box
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by guit-box » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:34 am

Another thing to factor into Segovia's rounded fingernail shape that followed the contour of his fingertip is the fact that he played off the right side of the nail (ramping from right to left). I just studied several of his youtube videos and slowed down closeups and it's true, most people insist that Segovia played off the left side of the nail like most modern players do. He did that too, but his default technique seems to be off the right side and that affects how and why he shaped the nails how he did and/or why they are so short.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

doebringer
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by doebringer » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:34 pm

For the Scott Tennant thing about nails extending past the tip of the finger, I always interpreted it to mean that the nail at it's longest is or should be as long as the flesh at it's longest, but since the nail's longest point is towards one side (so it's ramped instead of rounded), and the finger's longest point is in the center, then obviously the nail will extend past the flesh on the one side.

The illustrations seem drawn with a slight exaggeration.

It would be informative to see pictures of Scott Tennant's hands.

BellyDoc
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by BellyDoc » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:20 pm

I think the reason that Tennant's comments appear potentially contradictory is that the appearance of the length of the nail at rest is not the same at rest as when striking a note. Although the free margin of the nail may appear to extend beyond the tip at rest, it turns out that when the soft tissue is compressed against the nail as it is when the finger crosses a string to strike a note, the end of the flesh and the edge of the nail line up. I don't think there's any contradiction in that at all.

The FEELING of a non-overhanging nail is what to strive for. It will FEEL like there's no overhang to the nail while playing (no "catch" or delay in the note, warmer rather than brighter tone) while at rest there will be a small visible amount of nail extension. The "ramp" shape is useful because the string compresses the flesh in a straight line or plane and the flat ramp supports all of it across the contact patch. The unfortunate problem is that not all the fingers contact the strings at the same angles, and the same finger will be at different angles at different times.
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Sir Isaac Newton

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slidika
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Re: Segovia said the nails should only come to the ends of the fingers, never over?

Post by slidika » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:49 pm

My nails are rounded and to the edge of my fingertips. I have tried longer nails, but they did not 'work' for me. However, I have seen some flamenco players with quite long nails. So, IMHO, to each his/her own.
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

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