" -Hooked" - nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
John O

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by John O » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:54 pm

I'm trying some Nutra Nail Power Growth that seems to be helping. I gather that one cause of "hooked" nails is lack of hydration, which is one benefit this product offers. It hasn't completely straightened them out, but they are better.

Sean

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Sean » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:49 pm

Fugue, I've not heard about hydration with regard to hooked nails. I'm going to have to try something with mine. I'm having a time keeping my nails in order anymore.

steve_c

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by steve_c » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:32 am

Sean, I generally coat about 2/3rds of the nail with superglue, then place a nail shaped piece of tissue onto this. I put on enough pieces to soak up the glue. Our tissues are two ply so I would put on two pieces (= 4 plys). I'm a bit lazy and just tear the tissue off which means a longer tidy up when the glue is dry. Properly shaped pieces would be better. The tissue should hang over the edge of the nail. When all is dry it's a straightforward shaping job. My nails are a bit too thin to get good tone and this helps a lot in that area, especially with the steel strung. When my nails are hooked I can file the hook away and still have a good 'nail' shape. I do find that I can get about a weeks worth of use before they start to separate (or I fiddle with them and pull them off0.

Sean

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Sean » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:47 pm

Where in the world did you learn this trick?

steve_c

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by steve_c » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:34 am

I'm not quite sure. It was several years ago and probably from someone on the folk circuit. i remember John Renbourne telling of using cut up ping pong balls glued under the nails. My nails are a bit thin and I wanted something to thicken them up to get better tone, irrespective of whether I had hooked nails. Or it could have come from an online forum like this one.

Sean

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Sean » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:54 am

I've used the ping pong ball trick before; it works best, in my opinion, for replacing the thumbnail.

rsfx

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by rsfx » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:47 pm

I echo one of the earlier posts where Scott Tennant is namechecked. I, too, have a fairly pronounced hook on my RH fingers, which has caused me some problems with free stroke in the past, but now I have filed my nails to a ramp, this has made a great improvement to my tone and velocity. I am also going to drink more water as anything that further reduces the hooks can only be a good thing!

Mousey

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Mousey » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:03 pm

Stephen Adams wrote:I haven't tried these but they look like they could work. Or develop a ramp that works well for your style.

Are they to fix flat nails or hooked over nails? A similar idea with a paperclip which claims to fix hooks is mentioned on another site which I'm not able to link to.

For those of you who like a good laugh... here are mine...

right hand i side on
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right hand m side on
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If anyone knows of any books or websites with information on this subject I'd be hugely grateful.

John O

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by John O » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:31 pm

Well, my Nutra Nail potion isn't helping as much as I had hoped. I think I'll try ramping again, and if that doesn't work, then artificial nails here I come!. For those of you who ramp your nails, how do you avoid a "clicky" tone with such pointed corners? The last time I tried ramping, I had to round the corners so much that I was right back where I began! (Overly rounded nails tend to hook more readily.) It's a tricky balance!

Marc Pilon

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Marc Pilon » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:45 pm

Keeping your nails short mitigates a fair amount of "clicking" but not completely. It's a tradeoff.

I still prefer to ramp my nails (especially the index nail, which is the real culprit) and deal with the residual clicking because, at least this way, I can play comfortably.

I personally would never use artificial nails, acrylic nails or whatever: the glues used to affix them weaken the nail and may cause fungus.

Marc

John O

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by John O » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:55 pm

Marc Pilon wrote:Keeping your nails short mitigates a fair amount of "clicking" but not completely. It's a tradeoff.

I still prefer to ramp my nails (especially the index nail, which is the real culprit) and deal with the residual clicking because, at least this way, I can play comfortably.

I personally would never use artificial nails, acrylic nails or whatever: the glues used to affix them weaken the nail and may cause fungus.

Marc
I use adhesive "glue dots," not actual glue--doesn't seem to harm my nails.

Marc Pilon

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Marc Pilon » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:38 am

:desole: Fugue,

I thought you were referring to acrylic nails and the Cyanoacrylate glue used to attach them.

Marc

Mousey

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Mousey » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:30 pm

Oddly my hearing and sense of feel don't agree with each other.
If I ramp my nails, reinforce them with wraps and play almost sideways I get quite a nice, full tone (though the attack isn't wonderful).
If I keep them a millimetre past my fingertips and curved I get a thinner sound but feel much more comfortable and fluid.

I'd love to be able to angle my wrist less with ramps but the highest part of the ramp just catches the string too often.

I'd kill to find a teacher who's had, and found a way to work around, the same problem.

GRob50

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by GRob50 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:50 am

I've played classical guitar on and off for a number of years and have also had problems with hooked nails. I too find that the best solution is to keep them fairly short and to "ramp them" as described in "Pumping Nylon."

Rob

Larry30102

Re: " -Hooked" - nails

Post by Larry30102 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:40 am

Howdy,

Someone asked about a book reference. I didn't see this posted: The Guitarist's Guide to Fingernails by Rico Stover (MelBay pub).

I've never heard of the heated spoon under the nail. Sound potentially uncomfortable :) For me a few minutes under warm water after the shower, I can shape them. Doesn't last all day, but it helps. Also have the added benefit of increased blood flow to the hand. Be careful though to let the nails dry thoroughly, or run the risk of tearing.

Larry30102

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