To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
guit-box
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by guit-box » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:14 am

Hmm that's too bad. I don't love the acrylic but I have no reactions to it and it's so durable.
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Adam
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by Adam » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:22 am

Tomzooki, have you tried MSM supplements? Not only are my nails thick and strong, they grow really fast.

RobMacKillop
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by RobMacKillop » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:41 am

Tomzooki - when I was a nail player, about 30 years ago, I had similar problems to those you are experiencing. I made a nice sound with my soft nails, so went to extraordinary lengths to maintain them. Then I took up the lute, cut off my nails, and learned the joy of flesh playing. When I came back to the classical guitar, I was determined to not go through all that trouble again, so found a way of producing my sound without nails.

If you are so close to no-nails playing, why not give it a proper try? Get a set of Savarez White Card - I use them on my latest video of Endecha and Oremus by Tárrega. They have a slightly rough feel, which gives the flesh more security, and they sound similar to gut, and are inexpensive. Try it for at least a month, preferably six months, and if you are happy with the result you need never go back to nasty chemicals! If you are not happy, it will only take you a week for your nails to return to where they are now.

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tateharmann
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by tateharmann » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:24 pm

Here's how I have mine. Just barely fills out the tip of the finger. The M finger appears longish but I played last night just fine without any nail hitting the strings. The nice thing about this, like Rob mentioned, I'm less than a week away from nail playing if I want (but I don't haha). It may be all in my head but the 1mm or so of white on the nail definitely seems to improve the tone.
0717180758b.jpg
I'm basically doing here what Piccinini (lutenist) describes:
..the index, medium, and ring finger, must surely have their
nails so long that they supports the flesh, and no longer, and that they are eggshaped,
that is, that they are higher in the middle[. W]hen used in this way, that
is; when plucking is made, a single course will sound
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SteveL123
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:31 pm

guit-box wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:03 pm
Tomzooki wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:27 pm
Thank you Rob for your answear
RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:45 pm
With the latter technique (which I use) the finger makes contact, pushes the string down and in a little, then releases it up and out, a bit like a rest stroke. Does this make sense to you?
That is exactly the technique I use. But I think you are right concerning the shape of the tip and the thickness of the flesh:

Image

Image
I think you won the fingernail lottery. Your nails can reach the end of the flesh without being very long and catching on stuff and breaking all the time. That's the ideal nail type in my opinion.
Very interesting discussion. My nails and fingertip's shape are almost exactly like Tomzooki's. They grow right up to the flesh, except mine are thick and strong and never breaks but they are more hooked than hers. I can't have nails longer than approx 1 mm otherwise they catch on the strings. I always thought I was cursed with bad nails because they are hooked but per what you said, I am blessed?

KestrelPi
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by KestrelPi » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:28 pm

I mentioned this in another post but I wonder about this a lot considering what others have recommended about nail length. Currently I'm growing nails out a little for the first time after never having done so, and I am getting some nail contact on release even though my i nail is still not yet to the tip of my finger (by about 1mm at this point).

At first I was concerned as someone suggested earlier in the thread that this was to do with how I was playing the strings and that I might be digging in too much but having examined my technique I don't find that to be true at all. When I view from side on in a playing position I can see what is happening and it all looks very natural that my finger flesh is stopping the string and then it is being released off the nail.

I don't know what I would do with nails longer than the tip, they would feel entirely superfluous to me and probably get in the way, so I would definitely say that as long as the nail is being used in some way in producing the tone, that's playing with nails. Even if they only go to the tip, or in my case at the moment a little less.

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Tomzooki
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by Tomzooki » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:51 am

Adam wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:22 am
Tomzooki, have you tried MSM supplements? Not only are my nails thick and strong, they grow really fast.
I tried biotin, but not MSM. Thanks for the tip, I will try it
Miodrag Zerdoner 8 string Stauffer-Legnani
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

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Tomzooki
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by Tomzooki » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:00 am

RobMacKillop wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:41 am
Tomzooki - when I was a nail player, about 30 years ago, I had similar problems to those you are experiencing. I made a nice sound with my soft nails, so went to extraordinary lengths to maintain them. Then I took up the lute, cut off my nails, and learned the joy of flesh playing. When I came back to the classical guitar, I was determined to not go through all that trouble again, so found a way of producing my sound without nails.

If you are so close to no-nails playing, why not give it a proper try? Get a set of Savarez White Card - I use them on my latest video of Endecha and Oremus by Tárrega. They have a slightly rough feel, which gives the flesh more security, and they sound similar to gut, and are inexpensive. Try it for at least a month, preferably six months, and if you are happy with the result you need never go back to nasty chemicals! If you are not happy, it will only take you a week for your nails to return to where they are now.
I may try one day. Anyway right now I am playing mostly 19th music on a 8 string Stauffer copy. But it is going well with my very short nails, as long as i keep them short - if I neglect them, when I work too much and have no time to play the guitar (It happens much too often) they grow a litte bit longer and I have "accidents"....
Miodrag Zerdoner 8 string Stauffer-Legnani
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

goldenoldie
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by goldenoldie » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:45 pm

After months of playing, I'm still torn between short nails and no nails (which actually sound with the nail anyway... it's virtually impossible for the nail not to touch the string, at least for me). The longer the nail, the more my harpsichord playing is impeded.
It seems that even among lutenists, the issue isn't a settled one:
http://g.rebours.free.fr/6E/6.With_or_w ... nails.html

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tateharmann
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by tateharmann » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:44 pm

Oh yea - that debate has been raging for hundreds of years...I don't think it will be settled any time soon haha. We just have to do what works for us. With my hand's anatomy I can have my nails even with 1 or 2mm of white grown on them and they still don't hit the strings when I play. We are all unique :)
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davekear
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Re: To what extend « no nails » is « no nails »?

Post by davekear » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:15 am

Tomzooki wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:16 pm

Glue doesn't work, with or without silk. The glue cracks and crumble as soon as I play, probably I think because my nails underneath are so soft and pliable. I used for almost two years acrylic nails but got severily allergic to it. To methacrylate more precisely. So now I am also allergic to UV gel, and a lot of nail glue brands, I have to be extra cautious about their ingredients.
Moderators may take this down, but if not, this could solve your problem. Maybe they'll feel this info is valuable enough to leave up. GuitarPlayerNails.com carries a glue called n-Butyl cyanoacrylate. This is different from all other nail glues. This is the same stuff that Dr's and veterinarians use for sutures, (stitches). You can buy it in the form of "Vet Bond", but they'll sell you 1/10 of one oz for about $20.00. We found a great source for the same stuff, only we have 1/2 oz bottles (5 times as much) for less than $12.00, and we include silk wrap and pipettes with it. It has no irritating smell, (almost no smell at all) and is much less brittle than regular super glues. Correctly used with wrap makes a really strong nail that lasts. And is much less likely to crack and crumble. I've had some on my little finger now for almost 6 months as an experiment. Hasn't even begun to crack, nail sounds great and is very strong. Great stuff.

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