Someone plays CG without nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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rojarosguitar
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:57 pm

Thanks for thelink to your web site... it's very promising. And Emilio Pujol is really marvelous ...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:21 pm

Thanks. It's early days, but I have hope it will develop into something useful for people.

uptempo
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by uptempo » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:05 pm

Great to see Rob back here. And a great idea to make the site for players without nails.

I play without nails and have done for a while now. I really love the feel that this gives and it actually didn't take me long to get used to it but I am not an advanced player. No nails are much more easier to maintain and the worry of nails breaking or just not being right is a relief. I just make sure that they are as short as I can get them and just play.

The biggest bonus is consistency - every day they are the same :lol: :lol:
Last edited by uptempo on Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Never believe what an artist says, only what they do" - Walter Sickert

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:08 pm

uptempo - I love the way you cut through the bull: "I just make sure that they are as short as I can get them and just play."

Perfect!

uptempo
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by uptempo » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:13 pm

LOL Rob. It's true - best move I ever made. Plus I don't have to enter into all that discussion about ramps, ping pong balls; glue and secret trips to nail salons.
"Never believe what an artist says, only what they do" - Walter Sickert

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:32 pm

I hear you, brother! LOL.

uptempo
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by uptempo » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:56 pm

Don't tell too many people how good it feels to have no nails - we might end up not being so unique anymore !!!
"Never believe what an artist says, only what they do" - Walter Sickert

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LarryShone
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by LarryShone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:34 am

There was a contestant in Guitar Star who played CG with no nails. He did really well too and his mentor said he was surprised he played so well but didn't have nails. I believe he decided to grow them after the contest. Im in a bit of a dilemma because I also play piano, and I'm not sure that long nails would work too well on a keyboard.
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Tonyyyyy
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Tonyyyyy » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:10 am

LarryShone wrote:There was a contestant in Guitar Star who played CG with no nails. He did really well too and his mentor said he was surprised he played so well but didn't have nails. I believe he decided to grow them after the contest. Im in a bit of a dilemma because I also play piano, and I'm not sure that long nails would work too well on a keyboard.
I think we hear the slight clatter of nails on keyboard but the listener doesnt.
I do fine with medium nails on piano. With no-nails its possible to curve more (but arguably ultra curved fingers might be slightly tenser?)

I go between none and short-medium nails, and it works ok on both instruments

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LarryShone
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by LarryShone » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:13 am

Thanks for that Tony
You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing!
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Fender DG 5
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Slowburner

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Slowburner » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:24 pm

As a relative beginner who plays with flesh rather than nails, I came across his thread recently and have found it both interesting and helpful.

Five years ago I began playing the CG seriously (after a false start fifty years ago when I gave up after a year or so when my teacher wanted me to play in a school concert). For two years I attempted to teach myself using Noad as a primer but making very slow progress I followed the advice given regularly on this forum to find a teacher. I didn’t gel with my first teacher and progressed very little. I changed teachers, and found somebody who was genuinely interested in helping me progress. With his encouragement, I’ve made some real progress at last, slow but sure.

One of his first suggestions was to improve my sound by playing with fingertips rather than nails. Whilst I initially felt I was beginning all over again and it took me many months to play the pieces I had been playing previously, the sound I produced improved beyond comparison and became considerably warmer and less metallic.

Recently though, I’ve been concerned that I was struggling to produce enough volume, about the weak treble sound I was producing and wondering if I would play more accurately and with better speed with nails. I began thinking – against my teacher’s advice – that I should grow them again.

I then came across this thread, which lead me to Rob MacKillop’s site http://rmclassicalguitar.com .

Rob is a fan of playing with flesh rather than nails as an end rather than part of the learning process. On his site there’s much to encourage others to go down this route including historical information on Sor, Tarrega and Pujol, three players who promoted playing without nails and interviews with leading current players and ‘no-nail’ protagonists, Virginia Luque and Hector Garcia.

One particular quote from Pujol, Tarrega’s pupil and biographer, that really struck a chord with me was, “In order to obtain the tone with the fingertips that Tárrega did, it does not suffice to cut one’s nails short; the tone has to be formed: i.e., a certain balance between touch, resiliency and resistance must be developed in the flesh of the fingertips, which can only be acquired by constant practice and care”.

Rob’s site has given me newfound confidence to continue with and really master this method of playing. I’ve also found invaluable advice on the strings which are best for this method of playing and it turns out that whilst gut strings may be the very best, low tension strings are a real advantage. A move to Savarez Low Tension (“White Card”), one of the more mainstream recommendations on strings by Rob, rather than High Tension Savarez on my Amalio Burguet has brought real dividends in terms of improved treble sound.

In summary, for me, this has proved to be a gem of a thread and this is a method of playing that is just as relevant for experienced players as beginners like me.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:44 pm

Amen, brother! Good luck with it. Any questions, just ask.

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Tonyyyyy
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Tonyyyyy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:27 am

Slowburner wrote:As a relative beginner who plays with flesh rather than nails, I came across his thread recently and have found it both interesting and helpful. .
Its nice to know there are positive results to us us yattering ...

I confess I am happily nail playing at the moment. next month might see a change .. I am a little random in my choices.
Guitars sound beautiful with or without.

I have a theory based on the people i know who play classical(ish) guitar, that maybe the majority dont use nails. They have non-guitarristic lives and nails can be an issue( or more likely a perceived issue). Ive got no real evidence besides my knowing quite a few guitarists. I would imagine in a conservatoire the pressure to play with nails would be high (nails being thought to help project sound in a concert situation) Exposure to no-nail players who project clearly would help counter this prejudice.

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RobMacKillop
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:12 pm

Tonyyyyy wrote: Guitars sound beautiful with or without.
Well said!

Cao Nguyen

Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by Cao Nguyen » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:28 pm

I'm joining the bandwagon after gradually shortening my nails when practicing tremolo. So far, positive results.

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