Someone plays CG without nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
Paul Wegmann

Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Paul Wegmann » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:01 pm

Hi, I would like to know if somebody try to play without nails, or actually play steel strings without nails. Thanks!

Bob
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:20 pm

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Bob » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:28 pm

I've tried to play CG with no nails as I like to also play a little steel string with, and as soon as my nails grew back even a little I knew they were going to stay. I was really hoping to like playing with no nails as it's a lot less hassle.
Before I started CG I would play without nails no problem but I don't think I'd go back to that

User avatar
mc1
Posts: 1139
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:16 pm
Location: nova scotia

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by mc1 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:40 pm

there are classical guitar players who play with flesh only, but they are in the minority. for steel string players it is much more common.

User avatar
Erik Zurcher
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 14866
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:49 pm

Scottish guitarist Rob McKillop is an amazing musician and plays without nails.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

gilles T
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by gilles T » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:54 pm

Hello,

I'm lucky to have very strong nails and yet I decided to play with the flesh few years ago, when I switched to the lute. I'm very happy to play this way now, mostly baroque and renaissance music. I can figure out that playing without nails would surely be much more difficult for great spanish music. Playing with the flesh allows a great deal of nuances, but you can hardly get any loud volume.

Regards,

GT

User avatar
Stephen Kenyon
Teacher
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am
Location: Dorchester, Dorset, England

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:19 pm

Playing with nails is the standard for serious players of modern classical guitar; those who specialise in early music (like Rob McKillop) and play baroque guitars and lutes etc,usually have no nails, as per the broad understanding of the most common historical practice.

I once attended a recital - as invited reviewer - by a noted early music specialist (who had better remain nameless), of mostly early 20th century Spanish repertoire (and the Torroba Sonatina, which is later), who was aiming to resurrect the no-nails approach, which at the time of the start of Segovia's career was still considered an option. Let's just say, it was not a success - especially the Torroba. Whether that was entirely the question of no-nails, or whether this particular person simply lacked the necessary powers of musical persuasion was hardly a relevant question considering the audience consisted of the player's wife, a stray Japanese tourist, and me.
Simon Ambridge Series 40 (2005)
Trevor Semple Series 88 (1992)
Louis Panormo (1838)
Alexander Batov Baroque Guitar (2013)

User avatar
Michael.N.
Posts: 6347
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:54 pm

gilles T wrote:Hello,

I'm lucky to have very strong nails and yet I decided to play with the flesh few years ago, when I switched to the lute. I'm very happy to play this way now, mostly baroque and renaissance music. I can figure out that playing without nails would surely be much more difficult for great spanish music. Playing with the flesh allows a great deal of nuances, but you can hardly get any loud volume.

Regards,

GT
Try dropping the string tension a little, seems to work a little better for no nails. Seems counter intuitive but you might get a touch more volume.
Historicalguitars.

Paul Wegmann

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Paul Wegmann » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:29 pm

Thank you everybody!
I'd like to know how improve the attack... I'm electric guitarrist, and I have the following routine:
Villa-Lobos etude I
Brouwer's Etude VI
Own etudes I and II (I wrote my self)
Bach prelude Prelude (from Lute Suite No. 2, BWV 997)

I know this is and exclusively acoustic guitar focused forum, I accepted the rules... but I would like to receive some guidelines, etudes or simple pieces (bwv is not simple at all, I develope an alternative fingering, and I'm writing a Paper about it to present in a Guitar Symposium, here in Curitiba, Brazil.)
that could help me on right hand technique. Thank you All!

User avatar
AndreiKrylov
Posts: 1690
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:22 pm
Location: Canada, USA, Mexico, Portugal, Spain

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:47 pm

I keep my nails very short, almost nonexistent in comparison with most classical guitar players.
But steel strings with no nails? No thanks...
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

User avatar
Tonyyyyy
Posts: 2286
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Tonyyyyy » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:19 am

Paul Wegmann wrote:Thank you everybody!
I'd like to know how improve the attack... I'm electric guitarrist, and I have the following routine:
Villa-Lobos etude I
Brouwer's Etude VI
Own etudes I and II (I wrote my self)
Bach prelude Prelude (from Lute Suite No. 2, BWV 997)

I know this is and exclusively acoustic guitar focused forum, I accepted the rules... but I would like to receive some guidelines, etudes or simple pieces (bwv is not simple at all, I develope an alternative fingering, and I'm writing a Paper about it to present in a Guitar Symposium, here in Curitiba, Brazil.)
that could help me on right hand technique. Thank you All!


Hello Paul There has been some discussion in other threads . I will try to find them

Someone mentioned Mackillop - in fact he has a video explaining some of his personal ideas on playing with no nails https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MThIhW1a94 It may be worth experimenting with his suggestions


Lower tension strings like Aquila seem well suited for no-nails.

I can only say that it was ok for me, but it really took some time to adjust. I was playing mainly lute, so it was necessary. It was a quieter and less dramatic instrument without nails, but many had a new kind of warmth and beauty.

At the moment I am having a rest from lute and I am back with nails, and I like my guitar's new personality

You might be interested in hearing no-nail masters playing earlier types of guitars. Xavier Díaz-Latorre uploaded a video of himself improvising on a Sanz theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsuAZ69UfbA
Last edited by Tonyyyyy on Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Paul Wegmann

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Paul Wegmann » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:06 am

Thank you very much!!

eduardodiazlopez
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:50 am

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by eduardodiazlopez » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:19 am

i know some people that play without nails there is a guitarist in youtube anne mari hagen, and she plays beautiful.

User avatar
Tonyyyyy
Posts: 2286
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Tonyyyyy » Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:15 pm

Paul Wegmann wrote:Hi, I would like to know if somebody try to play without nails, or actually play steel strings without nails. Thanks!


Saudações, Paul

I was curious about the reason for your question. So in a Sherlock Holmes moment . I looked further.... In a thread about one of your compositions there was a link to a jazz forum where you had posted it, played on an electric 7 string guitar (What a strange and hypnotic piece, I think a duende da floresta was there at its birth.)
The guitar sounds fairly low tension? And I guess you prefer the gentle l sound you get on it with finger tips, rather than plectrum or fingernails.

Are you playing the classical pieces - Bach, Villa Lobos etc on this instrument. And if so, what right hand observations have you made? Any te chnical or expressive difficulties

For myself, I might have problems for right hand on most of the acoustic or electric I have played. Probably because the strings are usually close together. So V-L 1 could be a nightmare for my right hand :lol: But your playing history experience is very different to mine
but I would like to receive some guidelines, etudes or simple pieces (bwv is not simple at all, I developed an alternative fingering,
So have a slight rest from Bach and discover a treasure trove of pieces.
Delcamp has a huge library of music of different levels and many styles viewforum.php?f=57

Paul Wegmann

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Paul Wegmann » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:39 pm

Hi Tony! thanks for your attention!
My guitar has, actually, .013 - .017 - .024, the following 4 low strings are from a .011 set, so I made an hybrid set in order to increase body on the treble strings, and keep a healthy tension in my guitar (with floyd rose). So is not exactly a low tension guitar, an not too high, is pretty balanced.
I prefer finger sound on electric guitar, yes... we haven't volume problems, because we control that on amplifier. So the main technical problem I feel, is the Attack and dynamic balance. Agility is also a problem, because fingers have a really slow attack, that's make difficult fast passages.
Regardless of this problems, I love the sound. I don't like nails sound on electric instrument because the pickup show every dirt, and amplifier, obviously amplifies this dirt.
Other difficulty is we have to stifle the strings we are not playing, in order to avoid harmonic vibration, and dirt the sound, as consequence.

User avatar
Tonyyyyy
Posts: 2286
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:20 am
Location: Sussex, UK

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Tonyyyyy » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:21 pm

Paul Wegmann wrote: ....Agility is also a problem, because fingers have a really slow attack, that's make difficult fast passages.
......

This is often said ...that no-nails technique is much slower

But this surprises me we because can hear lute players who have shockingly fast right-hand technique. The first who comes to mind is Paul O'Dette , but there are others. A typical renaissance fast run would use thumb- index alternation using lower arm movement from elbow as a driving force ; think plectrum style more than CG style - the early finger lute players had within living memory changed over from using a feather or wooden pick.
I think that using this techniqueis where they get the speed I am not at all advanced at lute, so cant do this very well.And I do not know if many have successfully used this technique on a modern guitar

Return to “Use of nails in playing the classical guitar”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 4 guests