Short nails.

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
REHII
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:11 am
Location: Memphis Tn

Short nails.

Post by REHII » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:10 pm

Any suggestions for someone that has short nails from thin nails that peel and break?

RobMacKillop
Posts: 3512
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Short nails.

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:27 am

Seriously, try playing without them, as I and many others do. Please see my website, half of which is devoted to those who play without them - amateurs as well as many professionals: http://rmClassicalGuitar.com

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Christopher Langley
Student of the online lessons
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Location: Missouri

Re: Short nails.

Post by Christopher Langley » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:51 pm

Yup. I agree with Rob.

Nails are a tonal choice and not a necessity.

If you can't grow good ones your options are no nails or fake ones. If you wanna try fakes look into guitar player nails.
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Mollbarre
Posts: 182
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Location: Canada

Re: Short nails.

Post by Mollbarre » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:09 pm

I'm just learning too - but I have no interest in maintaining nails. Not to mention, my lifestyle doesn't lend itself to having nails either.

So, if you can be a top CG player without nails, why even worry about it?
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a human
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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Re: Short nails.

Post by a human » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:17 pm

I keep mine just a bit over the tips of my fingers. In winter, I protect them by using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails. It is clear and minimal effort. They are much more likely to tear, split or snap off as they get longer or are shaped in a ramp. Don't let your nails be a distraction. They are a component that are easy to obsess over.
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Chuah Hui Hsien
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:27 am
Location: Penang, Malaysia

Re: Short nails.

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:07 am

I don't have strong nails either,I keep them very short as I want to gain more volume and some tone varieties.My nail lengths are not even visible if view from the palm.They shape of my nails follow the contour of my tips,I maintain the nails with glass file,sapphire file, polish the edge with fine grit abrasive paper starts from 800grit to 1200grit then 2000grit.

I also use Mane 'n Tail Hoofmaker "Hand & Nail Therapy" to strengthen my nails as recommended by forum members here,it's a great not so pricey product.
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REHII
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:11 am
Location: Memphis Tn

Re: Short nails.

Post by REHII » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:30 am

I do like the sound of nails, but as I don’t have strong enough ones I play with the pads of my fingers.
I think that’s how early music for guitar was written and played.
Any one have confirmation of this?

paskin
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:10 am
Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Short nails.

Post by paskin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:45 am

My nails used to break all the time, and now it happens rarely. The three changes I made were:

1. Keep nails shorter. Like others have said, I keep mine long enough to reach the end of my fingertips and no further. (Thumb is about 1/8 inch longer.) Getting the most out of short nails may require changing your right hand pose, but for me that change was healthy, keeping my first knuckles over the strings, and improved tone.

2. Being much more careful with them. I wear gloves when doing dishes, open my pants zipper with my left hand, etc. After a while, being defensive like this becomes second nature.

3. I started taking 500 mcg of Biotin daily. I think it makes my nails thicker and stronger.

Hope this helps.

Mark

RobMacKillop
Posts: 3512
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Short nails.

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:38 am

REHII wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:30 am
I do like the sound of nails, but as I don’t have strong enough ones I play with the pads of my fingers.
I think that’s how early music for guitar was written and played.
Any one have confirmation of this?
You are right. Early guitar and lute players mostly used just the flesh, no nail contact. But not just hundreds of years ago. All the way through the 19th, 20th and so far the 21st centuries many guitarists have played without nails - as do I. I urge you to read my website, half of which is given over to no-nails players since Tárrega's day through to the present: http://rmClassicalGuitar.com

Some people have physical reasons for not using nails, but for many it is an aesthetic choice.

Bill-stl
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:33 pm
Location: St Louis, MO USA

Re: Short nails.

Post by Bill-stl » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:17 pm

I will second what Paskin said. Biotin does help. That and nightly application of ohnamyr oil. I still have a problem with maintaining my thumb nail. It is ok right now, growing out nicely, so it will probably tear soon! The thumbnail seems to need to be much longer to be effective. I find myself playing with nails on ima and a flesh p a lot. I don't know if it sounds ok to others, but it sounds ok to me. Not quite as bright.
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JRomano
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:35 pm
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Re: Short nails.

Post by JRomano » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:12 pm

Short works best for me, and they're less prone to breaking and just seem stronger overall.

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