Filing under nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
Charles Baldour
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:51 pm

Filing under nails

Post by Charles Baldour » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:58 pm

Hi all,

Since growing my nails a little longer than I have in the past, I have a new dilemma, I am unable to get the underside of my nails glassy smooth like the edges. I have not been able to get the nail file far enough under to file them smooth.

Also, I am running into the problem of my A finger forming a slight upside down "v" shape causing a brighter sound that does not match the sound of my other fingers. Should I just keep filing it until it is flatter?

Any recommendations?

Thank you! :merci:

User avatar
Stephen Taylor
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:27 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Filing under nails

Post by Stephen Taylor » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:20 pm

Hi Charles!
I have two recommendations.
First recommendation - pick up a single sheet of 1500 grit wet / dry sandpaper. That one sheet will last you many, many years. Cut off a small rectangle about 3" x 2". This small rectangle will last a very long time. The sand paper is very flexible- so you will be able to smooth the underside of your nails. I was taught this technique at the University many years ago (1978).
Second recommendation - pick up a copy of "Pumping Nylon" by Scott Tennant. He describes how everybody has unique nail shapes, etc. He lists the several common nail shapes, and his recommendations on how to shape your nails- ( based on how your nails naturally grow). His description is by far the most educational I've come across. (my opinion). He includes drawings which help the reader understand exactly what's being discussed.
Developing your "perfect--ish" nail shape is a trial by error method. And-your nails are constantly changing - so be prepared to experiment a little.
As you know, an improper nail shape may cause your nail to "snag" or cause extra resistance on the string. (Never a good thing).
Good luck, Stephen
Doesn't everybody want to play guitar?

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