Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by znerken » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:18 pm

When you have found that beautiful nail shape you are so happy about, what do you do to save the shape, so when you need to trim, you get the perfect shape yet again? Do you place cardboard under the nail and draw the shape, then cut out a performed cardboard?

Scott Phillips
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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by Scott Phillips » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:13 am

I don’t cut them, unless they get really long. I just use emery boards and sandpaper, once or twice a week, and don’t take off very much. As far as shape goes, I just sand them naturally to the curve of my finger tips.

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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by Philosopherguy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:47 am

This is an interesting thread. It just got me thinking: has anyone ever taken a clay mould of their nails when they are just right and fit your fingers into the mould when you want to adjust? hahaha.. Sounds extreme, but might be worth it.

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Steven Morgan
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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by Steven Morgan » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:32 am

I know parkening did that once. I've taken pictures when my nails are perfect.
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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by daverkb » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:03 am

Segovia probably gave the best advice on nails. This had to do with the nail not extending much beyond the round fleshy tip of the finger. And so if there is a trick, for me it is the fleshy contour at the end of my fingers, and that this be the guide to the shaping of my nails.

But then again, once upon a time there was a certain Mr. No Nails Sor.

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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by Contreras » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:24 am

My 'trick' is to attend to them pretty much on a daily basis, giving the edges a little buff before I play. That way they're always perfect 😂 - but seriously keeping them the right length and shape reduces the incidence of chipping, and improves consistency when playing.
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Cloth Ears
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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by Cloth Ears » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:37 pm

yes, a daily filing of both fretting and plucking nails is a good idea.

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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by rojarosguitar » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:37 pm

Interesting idea to store the shape ... I sometimes already wished I had!
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Tricks for saving your nail shape?

Post by Jack Douglas » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:04 pm

Hi Znerken,
I have nails that crook downwardas they grow and I use a fairly common hot spoon method to straighten them every other day. The downward crook makes it difficult to get a correct shape, but also required a change in right hand string attack. I paid a well know teacher/player/performer to help me get both a correct nail shape and change my angle of attack. After an hour plus of minute adjustments the snagging of my nails against the strings stopped and my tone improved a lot. I had the teacher photograph my hand position and close-ups of the nail shapes from the top and the bottom. I can’t say that I repeat the shape exactly, but when I combine the hand position with nail shaping the results are consistently good.
I use two products for my right hand nail care that I bought at SBM. First, a Ruby Red Crystal File to shape and shorten and a micro mesh nail care kit. I never, ever, ever trim or cut a right hand nail. Even when I break a nail I use the file to remove the broken part.
I bought two spoons, one very small to insulate the flesh of my finger and one that is larger that I heat with a lighter and it’s that part I use to ‘iron’ my crooked nail. Not for the faint of heart, but it works.
Make nail care a daily habit. Your guitar tone will be happy.
Best of luck.
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

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