Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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mverive
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby mverive » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:14 am

HNLim wrote:Have you tried this viewtopic.php?f=87&t=68564&hilit=+butterfly ?


Interesting - never saw these before. I tried Alaska Picks, but didn't get a feel for them. These look like they're worth getting, so I just ordered some. Hopefully they will help!

Mike
"(P)Lay on, MacDuff, And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"

MAK
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby MAK » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:21 am

For the better part of 5 years, I played without a thumbnail. I actually tried an artificial nail and I liked the tone it produced. I had to really work with filing it into the right shape and length to ensure it was not a thin sound. In the past couple of months I let my thumbnail grow out and I have a nicely shaped and strong nail to work with. To practice my tone I play scales and chromatic scales with only my thumb. I am getting to the point where I am creating a better tone with my thumb.

So even though I was satisfied with my playing without a thumbnail, I am enjoying the sound I can produce with it. Either way is ok with me.

MAK
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby MAK » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:35 am

After looking at the butterfly finger picks, they may be worth a try.

graceman
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby graceman » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:41 pm

Personally I think that playing without nail/s remove some of the overtone spectrum from the sound - It may be, that a P without nail gives a more mellow/soft Bas tone - but it also reduces the richness in sound and sustain of the guitar you are playing.
"..don't be afraid to miss a note. Being afraid is the only way you are sure to miss it.."

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Moje
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby Moje » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:06 pm

For many years I was largely out of the CG game and it wasn't worth the headache of maintaining nails. Lately I've gotten serious again and noticed a curious thing: I used to keep my nails ultra-short to avoid having them snag the string, but one day I noticed that an aggressive trimming actually made the sound and feel worse. When they're a little longer, the pad will compress against the nail and provide a firmer texture against the string, giving a more penetrating sound and better control (at least in my experience.)

Nowadays like you I use nails on i, m, and a, (they're very short, very much a flesh-and-nail combo) but for the thumb it's all flesh, but with the nail just long enough to support the pad, I'm fairly happy with the overall balance.
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bmc

Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby bmc » Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:36 pm

As I spoke of in another post, as a teenager I took cg lessons from a UNM student of Hector Garcia. He emphasized some nail on ima, though not long - and a lot of rest stokes. On p there was not to be any nail, and I was to try to play p rest strokes whenever possible (never could get comfortable with it).

Now since taking up the cg again I've been practicing with nails. It's amazing that I don't need to use as many rest strokes with that technique. Chris Parkening even suggests having good nail on the pinky for good rasq technique. Not quite comfortable there.

Don't know if anyone here has ever had this silly problem, but sometimes I wake up in the AM with part of one of my nails chopped off. I must chew on my nails in my sleep.

Luis_Br
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby Luis_Br » Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:40 pm

The best approach, IMO, is to have a nail and then you can use both attacks, with nail or no nail, depending on your decisions according to the music.
I was once in a masterclass with Barbosa-Lima and he demonstrated different thumb techniques, including attack using nail or no nail. His "no nail" sound was certainly different than those with nail, but it had a great sound and he could fill the room with it. According to the music, it was perfectly appropriate and better then the nail style. Its different character may generate better voice detachment. Despite the bass may sound less when you are near the guitar, the low frequencies are those that go further and the final mix has certain character that is very useful sometimes.

CelsoCanoguitar
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby CelsoCanoguitar » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:26 pm

Sometimes playing with flesh on the thumb can give some separation in the quality of tone. This can be a great resource in playing baroque music for instance (when separation of voices can help polyphony) or just for a different color in the bass, but you don't necessarily need to have no thumb nail, just a nail shape on the thumb that enables you to play when flesh when desired (both free and rest-stroke). If you don't have a thumb nail you loose that color but if you desire to have that sound or you prefer that sound it's a matter of personal preference. Best wishes.

CC

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muirtan
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby muirtan » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:31 pm

bmc wrote:Don't know if anyone here has ever had this silly problem, but sometimes I wake up in the AM with part of one of my nails chopped off. I must chew on my nails in my sleep.



I used to. I tend to break my nails quite easily especially with housework.

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mverive
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby mverive » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:24 am

Well, I got the butterfly picks, and hate to say that I don't really care for them. Despite the fact that they can be shaped to fit the fingers, I find that they hit each other too often, which is too distracting.

However, I have found that using the thumb pick alone when my thumb nail breaks is bearable, so I can't say that they're a total loss.

I still have my aLaska piks, and try them from time to time, but, like the butterfly picks, they bump into each other too much for my sanity...

Mike
"(P)Lay on, MacDuff, And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"

Mayes
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby Mayes » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:59 pm

I shape my thumbnail to drastically slope away from the string. I find I can play with flesh only - and I agree with most of you in that I really like the tone - or, with a modest change in position, play with the nail.

dhaj1964

Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby dhaj1964 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:12 am

i too prefer a deeper and warmer bass tones, i keep my nails on my i m a at about 3 to 4 mm rounded and about 2 to 3 mm on my thumb nail also rounded...

FHC
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby FHC » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:24 pm

I tried no nails. Did not work for me.

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby Lovemyguitar » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:29 pm

Like others, I have a thumbnail shape and length that allows me to play with nail or with flesh or with a bit of both. I wouldn't want to do without it: I did break it once, all the way down, and was stuck with flesh playing for a week or so until it grew back. I was, at the time, working on a piece in which the melody was played primarily on the bass strings with the thumb, and I simply could not play it without my nail, since I could not bring out the sound or vary the tone enough (it was Villa Lobos Prelude No 1. Must have thumb nail for that.).

For those who play with no thumbnail, but nails on the other fingers, don't the trebles overwhelm? How do you bring out the basses and really get them to ring clear and bell-like (when needed) with only flesh?

Early Batt

Re: Anyone else prefer i, m, a, with nails, p, without nails

Postby Early Batt » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:03 am

:twisted: I injured my medio finger RH and lost half the nail. So I was playing with no nail and discover that there was greater tonality ability. You get this warmer tone like some of the guys mention with no or small thumb nail. So I experimented and cut the nails to the rest of the RH fingers but kept the thumb nail to see how I would do. I got a greater feel for the strings, learned new finger angle attacks for tone qualities, forced me to have stronger and faster plucking attacks and smaller muting and picking finger movements.


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