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.
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Location: State College, Pennsylvania

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

Post by msa3psu » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:41 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:28 pm
msa3psu wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:43 pm
My nails do strike the strings as I shoot the fingers but if I try to strike all six or even five strings, then as the shooting finger straightens the flesh behind the nail begins to contact the second or first string after the nail strikes because the finger position is more at a right angle to the plane of the strings at that point.
Right, so try to strike a bit more downward into the soundboard so that the striking angle for the last string you strike does not quite reach the right angle you talk about. Also don't try to strike all 6 strings with a rasgueado especially if you are still learning the technique - the rasgueado notation is a bit misleading that way. You might end up sounding all six as a consequence from time to time, but don't aim to strike all six (or five) - and in many cases you are not supposed to despite how it is notated. Instead, practice aiming at the middle 2-3 strings, then the base strings only, then the trebles only. You will still get some of the neighbouring ones, some or most of the time, but this will focus your rasgueado and hopefully correct the angle a bit.
Makes sense because I'm happy with my sound on four strings but when I try for more especially in three and four finger avinico it really gets mushy so I think my angles gets too closed as I try to get the pinky and ring finger to cross more strings. I don't play much of the late romantic and contemporary Spanish repertoire but I would like to expand into it. Thanks.

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

Post by ashepps » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:10 am

glassynails wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:45 pm
Hi I was just reading on Rob MacKillop's site in an interview with a classical guitarist that plays with no nails that she said Segovia said “When you play with flesh only, the flesh doesn’t bring a robust sound, that is why you need to have nails to support the flesh as long as the tip of the flesh, never over. For that reason we can dig into the string and boost the sound with power and good color. “This is playing without nails. Segovia taught me this nail’s-length technique. Then, I incorporated it to my tip shape to maximize the sound quality.” 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.
I am not a great guitar player, far from it, but I feel the same way and really I do not feel comfortable any other way. I have two nails that slightly curve down so I have to keep them short, but I have played with them a bit longer. I would shape those two problem nails so I could play, but it felt crazy for me to use my now "long nails".

When I look at some guitarists and their really long nails I wonder why so long and how can they do it. But, I can't argue with their success, these guitarists are spectacular.

With me, from what I read now, I am now much more comfortable with what I am doing.

Just on or slightly over the flesh then I take the file and sandpaper to them! My thumb is just a little longer though, I am not sure why!

Alan Sheppard
1986 630mm Asturias JM-15 Spruce
1955 650mm Framus SL-32R
2015 650mm Yamaha SLG110N

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