Who tapes their nails for practice?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Charles Mokotoff
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Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:30 am

I've been doing this for years. 90% of the time its just for my thumb nail which wears down from practicing. I tend to use shiny brown packing tape and just cover the playing edge. One of my friends, who is a concert guitarist, uses painters masking tape and covers his whole nail and pad. Its dramatically different than my simple solution which is similar to what David Russell describes as to the way he does it

Anyone else doing this?

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souldier
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by souldier » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:24 pm

Never heard of this before. What is the purpose and how does it effect technique and tone?
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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:13 pm

Well, if you practice a lot and your practice includes scales on the wound strings, your nails will wear down. Unless you are super lucky to have a rock hard set. On the thumb, it may be peculiar to me, but mine wears down sometimes, not sure why. So I tend to practice with tape on it which alleviates the need to sand and smooth it, letting it actually grow out.

My friend who covers his whole finger tip is a scale monster, so he is always practicing across all six strings. It definitely saves your nails for performing while giving you freedom to practice as much as possible.

i've noticed when i did tape i, m and a, that it can rough up the treble strings, so some die hard players use a second guitar for this type of practice.

http://www.davidrussellguitar.com/index ... -the-nails

SteveL123
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:49 pm

Curious how many hours of practice are you talking about to wear down the nails or the strings?

To prevent string wear, have you tried teflon tape? http://www.e - b a y.com/itm/Teflon-Tape-PTF ... 3d20feea74

It is great stuff for reducing friction. I use it for all sorts of different things. The latest use was on the feet of the rubber bumpers on my guitar case so I can slide it smoothly on a wooden floor, under a bed.

Image

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:35 pm

That tape looks a bit thick for this purpose, but its worth a try.

Its not really hours, but what you are doing. If i, m and a are on the wound strings a lot (scale practice) they will most likely wear.

My thumbnail issue may be something unique to me, not sure why it happens. I rarely play more than 3 hours a day.

But I've been taping my nails for a long time, definitely not the only person who does it (see DRs article above).

BTW: my top string, if nylon, eventually gets rough just from playing. Some players just don't realize it. If you run your finger pad under your top string you may notice this. Certain strings (e.g.Augustine Regal and Savarez New Cristal) are more prone to this. Using tape on your nails exacerbates this for sure.

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Tim522
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Tim522 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:51 pm

I have strong nails and never worry too much about nail wear, however, i have to massage my nails regularly to keep them flexible and during the winter i run my nails under warm water to soften them up. Maintenance none the less...

SteveL123
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:24 pm

I measured my roll of teflon tape, it is 0.14 mm thick. In the pic I posted of what I bought, it says 180 um thicker, that implies there are teflon tapes out there that are 180 um thinner, which does not make sense since 180 um is 0.18 mm. Unless they meant it is 180 um thick, not thicker, which means I got cheated, getting a thinner tape than advertised.

The adhesive on this teflon tape is very tenacious. I don't have any brown tape to compare the thickness to. I tried wrapping some of the teflon tape on my thumbnail and plucked the base strings a few times. It did not change the feel much but sounded a little less loud. My thumbnail as well as my other nails are kept very short so there is not much surface area under the nail for the adhesive to stick to, as a result part of the tape peeled off pretty quickly.

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:37 pm

The trick is to cut a small rectangle and get it wedged into the space between your nail and tip. For sure its easier on longer nails.
It does make a difference in tone for sure, but you get used to it. Most subtle with thumb on basses.

SteveL123
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:33 pm

Charles Mokotoff wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:37 pm
The trick is to cut a small rectangle and get it wedged into the space between your nail and tip. For sure its easier on longer nails.
It does make a difference in tone for sure, but you get used to it. Most subtle with thumb on basses.
That does not sound very comfortable! I wonder if there are finger tip health consequences long term. I do not practice that much to need to tape my nails so my questions are strictly out of curiosity.

Sean Shibe
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Sean Shibe » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:41 pm

yep do this about 1/3 of the year probably. Sellotape I ended up finding the least breakable (I think because it's so slidey)
what kind of strings do you use though

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Charles Mokotoff
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Re: Who tapes their nails for practice?

Post by Charles Mokotoff » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:40 pm

Nothing at all uncomfortable. When I say "wedged between" I just mean you have to get the tape on the nail, not on the pad. It does take some practice. It does absolutely nothing except protect the nail.

I have noticed if I have a rough spot that I am afraid to file down because the nail is just so short, I can tape it for a week or so (assuming no gigs) and it allows the nail to grow out enough to then sand the spot. No kidding.

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