Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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boooom
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Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by boooom » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:00 am

Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?.. While There Are Other Techniques in The piece as well. 8)
i myself have tested and i believe a bit of shortness more than usual makes it easier and makes a better sound .
whats your idea?
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TsarL
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by TsarL » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:56 am

Hello! I'm for shorter nails when it comes to playing tremolo.

Yair Elhanan

Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by Yair Elhanan » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:45 pm

In general I like short nails but for tremolo I fill the perfect thing is slightly longer. So I need to compermise

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Tomzooki
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by Tomzooki » Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:39 am

Short, barely longer than the tip of the flesh of the finger. That length is also great for anything else :D
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by Luis_Br » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:37 pm

I think a good nail for tremolo is the same as a good nail for anything else, like playing scales, arpegios and so on. If it is not ok for tremolo, it means it is also not the best for other things.

About the length, I like short nails, but there is no exact answer. It varies with your style of playing like angle of attack and the way you move fingers. It is also very important the natural shape of your nails, if they are flat or curved, the way they are curved and so on.
I also like to vary a little bit the style and length according to the guitar or strings tension. When I play my Cedar guitar I file the nails a little bit different than when I play the Spruce one, since I think they recquire different sound approaches.

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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by HrothgarZachachaeus » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:43 pm

I kept my nails fairly long until I started to seriously study tremolo. I found that shorter nails definitely help, and now that's my preference in general. I have found, however, that I was inadvertently shortening my thumbnail while filing the others, and am now finally beginning the sheepish process of waiting for it to grow back, as I have found by experience that there is little to no benefit from a shortened thumbnail.
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terpfan

Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by terpfan » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:42 am

For me, ideal shape nail for tremelo is very different from regular playing. I like longer nail and less round shape to get that liquid tremolo sound. However it's not that practical to have different nails for different technique.

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andi33x
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by andi33x » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:24 am

My own experience is that tremolo simply does not pardon nail errors and the impulse to shorten the nail for tremolo is - at least in my case - well known but not the right handling for the problem.
The good thing is: Each time I had a good tremolo nail all other techniques were better also.

E.g. it is important to
- touch the string with the flesh first and not directly with the nail,
- not to have a crash between string and nail on each tone,
- to have the right flesh/nail ratio etc.
If one of such properties is out (but these are examples only) tremolo gets difficult and simply shows it to me in a rigid way.
When all properties are fulfilled everything is good, also for tremolo.

Just my experience.
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by ronjazz » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:02 am

I have found that the nail needs to be long enough to reach the string.

(Apologies to Abe Lincoln, who thought that legs need to be long enough to reach the ground).
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terpfan

Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by terpfan » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:22 pm

Aside from nail length, slight deviation of the wrist (like Segovia style) can help tremolo in the inner string.

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David.Smyth
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by David.Smyth » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:20 am

I don't find nail length needs to be shorter than normal or different for tremolo than for "non-tremolo". However, I find that execution of tremolo is hampered if I allow my nails to grow longer than their normally ideal length. In other words, I don't believe that nails should be shorter for tremolo than for "non-tremolo" pieces but, while "non-tremolo" pieces might forgive slightly too long nails, tremolo tends to be unforgiving. Of course, what this probably means is that non-tremolo suffers from too long nails in terms of loss of tone quality but I can get away with it but there is no getting away with it with tremolo - the nails tend to "get in the way".
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boooom
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by boooom » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:28 pm

David.Smyth wrote:non-tremolo suffers from too long nails in terms of loss of tone quality but I can get away with it but there is no getting away with it with tremolo - the nails tend to "get in the way".
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Larry30102

Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by Larry30102 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:56 pm

I'm not a great tremolo player, but I'd agree with the folks here regarding a shorter nail. However, (and the only reason why I'm posting not really qualified in tremolo) is that I would consider the drag across the string as well. This then I would think is a personal thing considering various hand positions, shape of nails etc. Imo, the nail stroke should be quite free from drag while yet maintaining distinct tone. So study your nail stroke and find the right length for your technique.

Just my 2c worth (or maybe 1c !)

Larry

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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by elindley » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:20 am

It seems that mechanically, the longer nails will accentuate the problem of making the tremolo on the 1st 2nd and 3rd strings have a consistent sound. Of course, we try to make the fingers work consistently no matter what string is involved, but the finger must arch more for the 3rd string than the 1st, which means it automatically "wants" to hit the 3rd string with more nail.

Geewhiz! Maybe that's why I don't like tremolo! :)
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Re: Exactly How Long Should Our Nails Be For Good Tremolo?

Post by Giomhurtbees » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:48 pm

I find it more difficult to get a nice round sound with short nails somehow (in general, not only for tremolo).

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