Guitar Player Nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
Butch Alan
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:45 pm
Location: Phila. Pa.

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Butch Alan » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:01 pm

I guess I'll be trying Alaska Piks.

john_nicholas
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:45 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby john_nicholas » Sat Nov 01, 2014 3:10 pm

If one is working on being a pro I think you have to work out how to deal with poor nails. If you are just playing for fun and you can't grow nails (maybe not because of problems but because it isn't compatible with your job or other hobbies) it seems like you can play a lot of music without nails. It was good enough for Sor! Play a bit closer to the bridge and maybe find some brighter strings?

Of course this is just me theorizing, I don't have nail problems but I keep them on the short side anyway. Does anyone here just play with their fingers and minimal/ no nails?

celestemcc
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby celestemcc » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:38 pm

I think I've stumbled on a solution... recommended by Dory on another thread. My nails are smaller than GPNs, so I tried a drugstore brand that came with tabs of adhesive that are very similar to craft-store glue dots. The "dots" are shaped to fit the nailbed and very easy to install, they hold the fake nail really well, and stay on for several days. The glue just rolls off the nail with no apparent damage. You can buy just these adhesive dots (without the nails) on Amazon; look for "nailene ultra adhesive tabs". They cost more than the craft dots, but if you only need a fake occasionally they might do the trick.

I broke off my entire "m" nail and am trying these while the nail grows back: so far, very impressed with the wear!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

davekear
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby davekear » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:47 am

I own guitarplayernails, and have for about 15 years now. Using artificial nails on a regular basis is totally safe and will not hurt your nails if you know what you're doing. I haven't used my real nails in over twenty years now. My natural nails are perfectly healthy. Keep in mind that your nails are always growing, and that there will always be new nail. So in actual fact, I've really only had artificial nails on "these" natural nails for about 6 weeks. There is a learning curve to using artificial nails correctly, but it's not rocket science. The advantages of being able to have great nails that feel and sound like great natural nails whenever you want are many. There are many benefits to learning how to use good artificial nails. It's a science and an art, and you can get pretty good at it. You can actually get to the point where you can adjust the tone of each individual nail to your exact preference if you have the right nail material. Anyway, we've had many great guitarists succeed with our nails including Eliot Fisk, Grisha Goryachev, and many other professional guitarists who use our nails regularly. I'm not trying to sell anybody anything here, I'm only pointing out that artificial nails can be used with great success if you know how. Here's a couple of important tips that you may find helpful. If by using any artificial nail, your natural nail becomes thin, you should always build up the nail first with nail glue or nail glue and silk wrap before applying a new nail or using your natural nail. Takes less that a minute. Using more viscous nail glue for this purpose is recommended, as it builds up quicker, and also generates less heat if you're going to be using nail glue dryer. Thinner nail glues are stronger, but for this purpose, thicker glues like brush on nail glue are better. No matter what nail you're using ALWAYS keep the nail sealed at the border so that you don't get water in between the natural and artificial nail. It's actually hard not to keep them sealed, but be aware of this, and never let a nail fall off on its own. Either keep them on; sealed, or remove them. Always best to file them off then to use chemicals. With a rotary nail file, or Dremel tool you can remove an old nail in less than a minute. Always make sure that the nails you are using are clear or translucent so that you can see what's going on underneath. If they start to lift, glue em back down. Another critical thing for good tone is the angle at which you apply the nail. Your natural nail has a tendency to curve down a bit. This will give you that bite you need. Rule of thumb, just make sure to apply any artificial nail so that there is no gap at the FRONT of the nail. And if using good material, you can even adjust this (and your tone) after the nail is applied and set. When you get good at this, you can remove an old nail, and put on a new nail and be done in less than 5 minutes, ready to play. And as always, at guitarplayernails we're more than happy to help with any questions or problems, and to get you through any learning curve you may encounter whether you use our nails or not. It's a compulsion with us.

Perseus
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:28 am
Location: Athens, Hellas

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Perseus » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:23 pm

Dave, I greatly appreciate your post and I just purchased 2 sets of guitar player nails for myself and my teacher (Christmas gift). They seem to be the best solution in my opinion, I have broken 4 nails the last 3 weeks and I was confused from the sound I was producing. What impressed me more is how elaborate instructions you provide and the different tones one can produce with the various materials you offer, I can't wait to use them :)

guit-box
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby guit-box » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:32 am

I like acrylic nails better than glue-on nails. If you use a nail form to extend the acrylic beyond the length of the natural nail (instead of a nail tip) then no super glue is needed. The bond between the acrylic and the natural nail is so much better than any nail glue will create -- the acrylic fills all the gaps and makes a perfect bond. Then all you need to do is go back to the salon and get fill-ins every couple months. I agree with the player nails poster about not removing the nails with chemicals or pulling them off, that is what tends to damage the natural nail. If you have a pro do the acrylics, keep them clean and do the fill-ins, your natural nail just keeps growing out and you have a completely new nail (with an acrylic on top) every 3-4 months.
It's all true, except for the stuff that's not.

celestemcc
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby celestemcc » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:36 pm

Thanks for the tips, Dave! I actually like GPNs, but find them too large for my hands. My nails are not tiny, but the smallest preformed size available fits only my thumb, and I find them difficult to cut to fit, width- and length-wise. If you have any suggestions, that'd be great!
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

User avatar
Tomzooki
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Quebec city, Canada

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Tomzooki » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:46 pm

guit-box wrote:I like acrylic nails better than glue-on nails. If you use a nail form to extend the acrylic beyond the length of the natural nail (instead of a nail tip) then no super glue is needed. The bond between the acrylic and the natural nail is so much better than any nail glue will create -- the acrylic fills all the gaps and makes a perfect bond. Then all you need to do is go back to the salon and get fill-ins every couple months. I agree with the player nails poster about not removing the nails with chemicals or pulling them off, that is what tends to damage the natural nail. If you have a pro do the acrylics, keep them clean and do the fill-ins, your natural nail just keeps growing out and you have a completely new nail (with an acrylic on top) every 3-4 months.


Beware of acrylic nails!! From my experience there is a couple of dangers. Of course it will damage your natural nail - here I understand that if you use them it is because your natural nail is probably thin as paper and useless ;-). But 2 dangers you must be aware:

1) methacrylate monomer is allergenic. I used acrylic nails in the past. After 2 years I became suddenly allergic to it. I am not talking about mild eczema-like reaction; I am talking about blisters all around the nails, the skin becoming blue-black, onycholysis (the nail detaches from the nail bed... and do not stick back; you have to wait the regrowth...). Those allergies are quite common with people that use those nails all year around

2) acrylic nails are hard as steel, and sticks very strongly to the nail. So when somebody hits its nail hardly or has another similar accident, where the natural nail would simply break or tear, the acrylic nail stays intact but tear off the natural nail from the nail bed. I am a pharmacist, I have seen it two times just in the past year. From the faces of the victims I can say that it is very painful, and you can understand that it will take MONTHS before you could have a nail there to play the guitar, because of course there is no way one can glue a false nail on a naked nail bed....

I would suggest simple pharmacy false nails glued with CrazyGlue Advanced (methacrylate-free, tested by myself lol!! Beware, a lot of nail glues contains methacrylate). So no methacrylate, and if you have a little accident the false nail will come off, but the natural nail will stay were it belongs :wink:
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

Perseus
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:28 am
Location: Athens, Hellas

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Perseus » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:35 pm

Tomzooki wrote:
guit-box wrote:I like acrylic nails better than glue-on nails. If you use a nail form to extend the acrylic beyond the length of the natural nail (instead of a nail tip) then no super glue is needed. The bond between the acrylic and the natural nail is so much better than any nail glue will create -- the acrylic fills all the gaps and makes a perfect bond. Then all you need to do is go back to the salon and get fill-ins every couple months. I agree with the player nails poster about not removing the nails with chemicals or pulling them off, that is what tends to damage the natural nail. If you have a pro do the acrylics, keep them clean and do the fill-ins, your natural nail just keeps growing out and you have a completely new nail (with an acrylic on top) every 3-4 months.


Beware of acrylic nails!! From my experience there is a couple of dangers. Of course it will damage your natural nail - here I understand that if you use them it is because your natural nail is probably thin as paper and useless ;-). But 2 dangers you must be aware:

1) methacrylate monomer is allergenic. I used acrylic nails in the past. After 2 years I became suddenly allergic to it. I am not talking about mild eczema-like reaction; I am talking about blisters all around the nails, the skin becoming blue-black, onycholysis (the nail detaches from the nail bed... and do not stick back; you have to wait the regrowth...). Those allergies are quite common with people that use those nails all year around

2) acrylic nails are hard as steel, and sticks very strongly to the nail. So when somebody hits its nail hardly or has another similar accident, where the natural nail would simply break or tear, the acrylic nail stays intact but tear off the natural nail from the nail bed. I am a pharmacist, I have seen it two times just in the past year. From the faces of the victims I can say that it is very painful, and you can understand that it will take MONTHS before you could have a nail there to play the guitar, because of course there is no way one can glue a false nail on a naked nail bed....

I would suggest simple pharmacy false nails glued with CrazyGlue Advanced (methacrylate-free, tested by myself lol!! Beware, a lot of nail glues contains methacrylate). So no methacrylate, and if you have a little accident the false nail will come off, but the natural nail will stay were it belongs :wink:


Thank you very much for the clarification! Do you mean Instant Crazy Glue Advanced Formula Gel? I can find in Europe this one.
Do you know any other brand of adhesive for nails which is methacrylate-free?

celestemcc
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby celestemcc » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:59 pm

The glue-tabs I mentioned above are not methacrylate, I believe, but they do have staying power, and are best removed with any kind of oil -- even just olive oil.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Perseus
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:28 am
Location: Athens, Hellas

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Perseus » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:13 pm

I didn't express myself well, by saying adhesive I meant monomer adhesive - technically speaking, glues are adhesives made from animal protein, hide, bones and hooves, but nail adhesives cannot be made from such materials. If anyone knows of other less toxic monomer adhesives, I would be eager to try them.

guit-box
Posts: 691
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby guit-box » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:44 pm

Everyone is different and so obviously if you've had an allergic reaction to something in the acrylic nails, then you shouldn't use it. I've used acrylic nails off and on for 25 years and the only problems I've had is when I try to take them off with chemicals or force. Tens of Thousands of people all over the world are using this stuff for cosmetic reasons safely, so one single negative review is irrelevant as a general recommendation, it's been proven safe for most people. Of course I'd prefer to use natural nails but as I age, my nails have become more ridged so if I wanted to use a glue dot or other temp nail, I'd still need to build the nail up so it's flat. Everyone has their nail issues, but I can safely say this stuff works perfectly well for me, but only if I insist the salon pro not use a nail tip, the tips are brittle and when it grows out the nail tip makes for an undesirable tone. I like the nail form method so it's only my natural nail + acrylic. NOT an acrylic + nail tip + natural nail. I don't like temporary glue dots and fake nails because there's always a slight give at the glue joint. I play with too much force for this to work for me. I can see it working better for persons with a light touch. I like the natural nail to be bonded well to the top nail so they can be filed together and the ramp makes a smooth transition at the joint between nail/acrylic.
It's all true, except for the stuff that's not.

dtoh
Posts: 140
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby dtoh » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:48 pm

I would suggest the use of soft gel treatment for anyone who has nail issues. I've been doing this for over a year. You get good natural tone, minimal nail damage, your nails almost never break or crack, and you can apply in different thicknesses depending on how much nail flexibility you want and what kind of tone you want.

You can do the gel treatment yourself with kits sold at the pharmacy, but I would recommend using a professional nailist/manicurist.

Note also that modern soft gels are different than acrylic ("hard") gels. Hard gels justifiably have a bad reputation. They're not good for the nails, and they are very inflexible after setting so you have much less feel for the strings and less control over tone.

User avatar
Tomzooki
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Quebec city, Canada

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Tomzooki » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:07 pm

Perseus wrote:Thank you very much for the clarification! Do you mean Instant Crazy Glue Advanced Formula Gel? I can find in Europe this one.
Do you know any other brand of adhesive for nails which is methacrylate-free?


No, not the formula gel, the non-gel one. The glue must be fluid to do a good job. There must be other brands methacrylate-free, but I don't know which one. Once I found a glue I did not react to I did not take the chance to try another one :wink:
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

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Tomzooki
Posts: 1413
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:12 am
Location: Quebec city, Canada

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Postby Tomzooki » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:10 pm

dtoh wrote:I would suggest the use of soft gel treatment for anyone who has nail issues. I've been doing this for over a year. You get good natural tone, minimal nail damage, your nails almost never break or crack, and you can apply in different thicknesses depending on how much nail flexibility you want and what kind of tone you want.

You can do the gel treatment yourself with kits sold at the pharmacy, but I would recommend using a professional nailist/manicurist.

Note also that modern soft gels are different than acrylic ("hard") gels. Hard gels justifiably have a bad reputation. They're not good for the nails, and they are very inflexible after setting so you have much less feel for the strings and less control over tone.


If you are talking about the UV-cured gel, I can assure you there is lot of methacrylate in it. My fingers told me so....
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW


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