Growing nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
Martin Davis
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:19 pm
Location: South Wales, UK

Growing nails

Post by Martin Davis » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:12 pm

Hi folks

As you have seen in a few of my other posts, I'm new to classical guitar and recently bought a guitar and had my first lesson which was great and really enjoying the journey so far.

I've decided I want to grow my nails and learn to play using this technique opposed to no nails. I've never ever had long nails, certainly not in my adult years anyway as I've been terrible for biting them!

Anyway, I'm just looking for some help with a couple of things which I'm sure I could find out on YouTube or Google, but it would be good to get some mixed opinions, hence why I'm posting here.

1. How long should I grow my nails - what length is too short/too long?

2. My nails look pretty strong, although it's in the early days, but is there anything form of solution or similar which can be used to keep them strong and healthy?

3. What should I use to maintain them? Nail file? Emery board? Sand paper?

Think that's it for now, but if anybody feels they can add to this, then feel free to mention it.

Thanks in advance.

Martin
2010 Yamaha GC-31C Made in Japan

User avatar
joachim33
Posts: 791
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:21 pm
Location: Scania

Re: Growing nails

Post by joachim33 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:23 pm

You should discuss this with your tutor.

Martin Davis
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:19 pm
Location: South Wales, UK

Re: Growing nails

Post by Martin Davis » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:55 am

joachim33 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:23 pm
You should discuss this with your tutor.
Good point and I will be on Sunday which is when my next lesson is scheduled for. It would still be good to get other people's tips, advice, opinions etc.

Martin
2010 Yamaha GC-31C Made in Japan

Andrew Pohlman
Posts: 1443
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Growing nails

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:06 pm

My wife thinks I'm nutz, but here is what I use:
GNC Women's Hair, Skin, Nails pills
MSM powder
Barielle Nail Cream
Any Good glass nail file
Oasis Fingernail Shaper

A side effect of the MSM and pills :: the thinning spots on my scalp actually filled in. I still don't have the hair of a 16 year old, but it is better than it was! :D

I file to about 1mm above the flesh. This affords tactile sense on the strings just prior to striking the notes. I tried longer nails but I don't get that tactile connection to the strings. My instructor states my tone "is as good as it gets". But whatever works dude! If you get excellent tone with longer nails, go for it! I also find that shorter nails translates to less breakage or splitting. It works for me.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

User avatar
Randy Johnson
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:45 am
Location: US

Re: Growing nails

Post by Randy Johnson » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:45 am

There are several online lesson sites that can give you ideas, two site I know that have good information are "this is classical guitar" and "the classical guitar shed". I don't use any chemicals. as far as files I use your avarge Nail file and a four sided polishing block.

Martin Davis
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:19 pm
Location: South Wales, UK

Re: Growing nails

Post by Martin Davis » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:32 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:06 pm
My wife thinks I'm nutz, but here is what I use:
[url=https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/gp/product/B0798SM12X/ref=pd_rhf_ee_s_rp_0_2?ie=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0798SM12X&pd_rd_r=X6DK4PNA3V1JDF4D745G&pd_rd_w=kocg3&pd_rd_wg=8JZPg&pf_rd_i=desktop-rhf&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=8c53caca-4ad2-4f2b-968f-c0f705c1ecc5&pf_rd_r=X6DK4PNA3V1JDF4D745G&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhf&pf_rd_t=40701&refRID=X6DK4PNA3V1JDF4D745G&th=1]GNC Women's Hair, Skin, Nails pills[/url]
[url=https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/gp/product/B013MS44QC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1]MSM powder[/url]
[url=https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/gp/product/B00007KQF3/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1]Barielle Nail Cream[/url]
[url=https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/gp/product/B00ZPELRW6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1]Any Good glass nail file[/url]
[url=https://www.*** Commercial link removed ***/gp/product/B005F58BT2/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1]Oasis Fingernail Shaper[/url]

A side effect of the MSM and pills :: the thinning spots on my scalp actually filled in. I still don't have the hair of a 16 year old, but it is better than it was! :D

I file to about 1mm above the flesh. This affords tactile sense on the strings just prior to striking the notes. I tried longer nails but I don't get that tactile connection to the strings. My instructor states my tone "is as good as it gets". But whatever works dude! If you get excellent tone with longer nails, go for it! I also find that shorter nails translates to less breakage or splitting. It works for me.
Thanks for sharing this very helpful. I'm wanting to keep the nail length of mine as short as possible. How often do you file them to keep them at that length?

I suppose it will all come down to what feels right for me I suppose, but good to get views from others.
2010 Yamaha GC-31C Made in Japan

Martin Davis
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:19 pm
Location: South Wales, UK

Re: Growing nails

Post by Martin Davis » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Randy Johnson wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:45 am
There are several online lesson sites that can give you ideas, two site I know that have good information are "this is classical guitar" and "the classical guitar shed". I don't use any chemicals. as far as files I use your avarge Nail file and a four sided polishing block.
Will check those websites out, thanks.

I have a lesson tomorrow with my tutor so will ask for some advice from him also.

Thanks for the help.
2010 Yamaha GC-31C Made in Japan

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