I have been playing some classical guitar for almost a year now, and up until now I have simply used my fingers, flesh only. I have never used any kind of fake nails in the past, or even nail polish, and have always kept all of my nails trimmed off, but now I am wanting to experiment with using nails. I play classical and also steel string so I need to find something that will work for both. With bare nails, it hurts a little (and the fingernails lift or bend slightly) when I do a free stroke on the steel string and it's affecting how I play.
So I have grown my nails a little bit past the tips of my fingers, and this weekend I tried doing silk wraps. I mainly used the James Taylor video for instructions, as well as reading quite a bit here and on youtube. They don't look good, but for my first try I'm pretty happy so far. I made them the same length as my natural nails. I like that they are so thin and don't feel bulky on my fingers. However, I'm not sure if they will hold up with the steel strings. They just don't feel hard enough, and I find myself not plucking as hard as I want to. It feels like it's only a slight improvement in strength.
The material I used is silk, and I'm not sure but it's my undertanding that fiberglass wraps are stronger? Wondering if anyone has experience with that.
Do those of you that use acrylic nails (self-applied) cover the entire nail bed with them? And do you extend them out so they're longer than your natural nails, or do you trim them to just cover your nail? It's all rather mysterious for this nail newbie!