Rounded fingertips

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
The Finger

Rounded fingertips

Post by The Finger » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:25 pm

I have very round fingertips, especially on my a finger. This is particularly annoying when it comes to shaping and filing nails, as it seems like what ever I do, there is a big gap between flesh and nail, thus creating a smacking sound instead of a blend of sounds between nail and flesh. The nail hooks downward as well, making the smack sound more present. This finger sounds noticeably thinner than my other 4.

What can I do to prevent or counteract this? Any specific filing techniques?

Thank you in advance :)

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Yogi Ponappa
Posts: 65
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Location: Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Re: Rounded fingertips

Post by Yogi Ponappa » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:43 am

I have a similar a-finger shape/structure and 'hooked' nail, and would suggest the following approach:

1. Overall approach - the appropriate shape for this shape of nail (or perhaps for any sort) is best determined when looking at your right hand from the 'underside'. Hold your hand with your palm up, and your fingers straight. It's best if you do this with some light behind your hand, so the nails are clearly visible. Your nails should appear to just peek over the tops of your fingers. If your rounded finger tip were the top of a clock dial, your nail should just about start to be visible as it rises out of 2 o'clock. Any longer than that and the hooked shape becomes more of a problem to deal with - this is, after all, an exercise in 3-D design. :)

2. Fine tuning your 'ramp' - given that most hooked nails hook in the centre, you're going to have to have a shorter ramp than you would with a straight nail, if you're looking for that clean flesh + nail release. So once you've got your overall length sorted out (and shortened, I suspect), shorten your ramp so that it gives out just past the middle of your nail - the greater the curvature of the nail, the closer to the middle your release point should be. With a very curly nail, I find just past the centre is perfect for me (so the string travels over just a little beyond half of my fingertip. Less than halfway = too much flesh, more than halfway = too much nail). In shortening the length of the nail ramp, you may find it useful to also flatten the angle of the ramp - I find that especially useful in eliminating the tip of the hook, that otherwise snags on the string.

Good luck!

Yogi
'haatha' yoga

The Finger

Re: Rounded fingertips

Post by The Finger » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:44 pm

I have currently shaped the nail with the "ramp" building up towards the outside of the hand, towards the pinky. I will try shaping it the other way as soon as it has grown enough. I just figured this would be the right way, since all my other nails are shaped this way and sound (relatively) great. Will filing more from underneath prevent the "hook"?

As far as length goes, I believe I have found a decent length. It is as you describes just peeking over the top, by 2 mm (ish) at the top of the ramp.

Thank you very much for your response. It is much appreciated :)

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Yogi Ponappa
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:25 am
Location: Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Re: Rounded fingertips

Post by Yogi Ponappa » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:53 am

You're very welcome - I hope you find a set up that works. :) Also, I did mean a tiny bit past halfway in the direction that you're already filing (towards the pinky). The ultimate fine-tuning of the length of the ramp will of course determine which half is the 'bigger half', so which way it seems your ramp is slanted. And yes, filing more from underneath, especially with fine mesh or emory paper (grit somewhere between 3000 and 12000) will most certainly help to prevent the hook.

Yogi
'haatha' yoga

minorkey
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:51 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Rounded fingertips

Post by minorkey » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:28 pm

I know what you mean about the rounded fingertips. My fourth finger has a very rounded tip so that the nail needs to be much longer than i and m. It also produces a different tone. I'll have to keep experimenting with different nail shape to try to produce a more consistent tone with the rest.

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