another nail problem: short nailbed

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.

another nail problem: short nailbed

Post by habbash » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:29 pm

Hello everybody,

I have a problem with the fingernails of my right hand:
The nails of the index and middlefinger are OK, but the nailbed of my ring finger is much shorter than the others.
Although I have 4mm of white nail, it isn't even longer than my fintertip.
I tried to let the white part grow to about 6mm, but that gives a very strange feeling when you pluck the string.
That is really annoying because I make much progress in producing a good tone with the other fingers but I cannot even play the strings with my ringfinger nail.

Does anybody have a tip for me how I can increase the length of the nailbed?
2mm would be enough.
Maybe some kind of salve or something?

Thanks for the information!
Greetings, Stefan


Re: another nail problem: short nailbed

Post by Kraeg » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:12 am


I have a similar problem. It takes about 4 or 5mm of white nail to reach the end of my fingers on thumb, i, m & a.
At that length my nails break very easily.

I'm only a beginner player and don't have a solution for you - just wanted you to know you're not alone...
I currently keep the whites at about 2 or 3mm and curl my fingers a little more than what is considered good technique.


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Re: another nail problem: short nailbed

Post by jcandidel » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:00 pm

sorry for the late addition. typical issue of former nail biters. doubt that there is any medical solution. this would require cell proloferation, migration and differentiation or transplants via surgery. stem cell therapy isn't that advanced yet and is still focussed in life threating condititions if undertaken by responsible doctors...

so the only way out seems to be adoption pf your technique. i am also still screening past posts for hints about how to play with short nailbeds and diverging nails.


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Re: another nail problem: short nailbed

Post by DaveLeeNC » Mon May 01, 2017 12:15 pm

FWIW, I have that problem on all my fingers. But it had never occurred to me to think of if as being short nailbeds. To me it is simply nailbeds too far from the tips of all my fingers. So the 'only nails that I know' are either long ones or nails that basically aren't there (WRT guitar strings).

To me the issue is keeping long nails from breaking and I pretty much live with either ping pong ball pieces under my nails or multiple layers of super glue and tissue on top (or both).

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