I listened to your 2 recordings - & I can hear a pleasant & positive difference between them as you say. There's an undeniable delicateness about good nailess playing. Rob MacKillop's playing is clearly a great example of this style.tateharmann wrote: ↑Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:09 amYou've definitely alluded to it here but the key and the nail on the head (like you said) is to take the time to develop these 4 points with the new technique.Conall wrote: ↑Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:53 am
While I know I would really need months to get used to no nails so far I've come to the conclusions below:
- less "attack" / clarity / volume,
- less precise / more prone to missing or fluffing the strings,
- a smaller range of dynamics possible. With nails I can play loudly - plucking into the palm with the knuckle & 2nd joint (never tensing fingertips) but I just get a more "twangy" tone if I do that with no nails,
- less "Hispanic" tone - unfortunate considering I'm playing Libertango, Boccherini Fandango, Requiebros, (Cassado) & other Spanish & Latin pieces.
I did an experiment wherein I played the same little prelude on the same guitar right after cutting my nails off...and then again after working on the technique for 2 years. I feel like the results speak for themselves but here's a link so you can hear for yourself: viewtopic.php?f=83&t=115189
I experienced those same 4 points on your negative list there and feel like I have been able to either completely overcome them or get very close. I'm only on the 3rd year, though, so I hope it keeps getting better!
But I'm not convinced it will suit my style in the long term, despite the above positive points. I also find the nailess sound I produce more staccato, presumably because the fingertip is a larger surface spending more time on the string than a well filed nail. The upper partials (or whatever the technical term is) produced are very different from those I hear when I play with nails and having got used to decades of one type of guitar sound I really can't see myself changing now.
The feel of no nails is a complete contrast too. At first it was painful - until the pads got harder & my hands seem to sweat more (though the current heatwave may have something to do with that!). I'm certainly more used to it now after even just a week & it feels ok now.
I have a few days until Thursday & my nails might grow a mm or 2 which may be just about enough (I normally play with short nails & I have a little length presently but not quite enough to clear the tips). Otherwise I might just file them down until I finish the last 2 concerts.
I wish all nailess players the best though. There is definitely a place for the style & I do love my recordings of the great (& nailess) lutenists!