Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by Rasputin » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:48 pm

I've never tried doing strums or rasgueados TBH. Do you feel that nail shape makes a big difference there? I just do a mix of rest and free strokes at different points on different strings at different volumes (not that the string actually sounds, but you know what I mean). You could probably get more sophisticated with it. If you did just one type of stroke in a very consistent way, I expect you would end up with the perfect shape for that exact stroke - but as you say we use a range of strokes in real playing, and the shape you ended up with might not be very good for some of them. Doing a few different ones seems to give you the right compromise.

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David Gutowski
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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by David Gutowski » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:59 am

I think the main idea is contact with the string and your hand/finger positioning...playing a lot of technique can be difficult with sandpaper.
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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by dfl3tch3r » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:11 pm

I don't shape using rest stroke but to be honest I don't see that it should be a problem in doing so. I just use free stroke chords and arpeggios.

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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by dfl3tch3r » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:45 am

I wouldn't shape with rasgueados nor possibly rest stroke!
Simply play free stroke chords and arpeggios. I shape my 'p' nail this way too! why not!
You're only using this method in doing the crude initial shaping. You can then refine, fine sand, buff and polish thereafter in any way which you normally do.

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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by amezcua » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:22 pm

The simulated playing with wet and dry paper or sandpaper is a useful way to learn where the nail contact is best . I start with lining up the 3 fingers as if playing a tremolo (on a single string ) .
So firstly arrange your 3 fingers along the string with the guitar at "your" normal playing angle . Keep the finger group together in a straight line and turn your hand to look at that . Viewed from the side with forefinger nearest you see what shape the 3 fingers make. My middle finger is longest and bends more to keep in line with the others. That tilts the back of the nail about 10 degrees more than the other two .
Next look at the group of three nails from the top/back of the fingers. My forefinger curves in towards the middle finger and the ring finger curves the opposite way .
I used a Japanese saw file with diamond particles to file all three nails together as a group . (My) Forefinger nail ends up with the playing part on the Left side slanting down towards the thumb side. The ring finger plays with the Right side slanting down towards the small finger . Most unusual is the Middle finger which gets a dip in the centre of the nail .That is the lowest part of the nail The back of my nails naturally curve in only one plane from side to side like a piece of copper tube (15mm approx).
This allows me to have shorter flatter nails without so much chance of catching on various everyday items . (Brass trouser zips are a particular nuisance ).

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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by dfl3tch3r » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:56 pm

prawnheed wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:23 pm
dfl3tch3r wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:58 pm
Kaori Muraji nail shape ....

Whilst I am not much of a stickler for nail shape, it would seem to me that this method is likely to produce the only nail shape which could be described as "wrong". All the bits of nail that would contact the string are removed, all the bits that never contact the string remain.
Yes...Correct!...In as much as the bit which initially contacts the string is removed.

Think about it like this: The angle of the finger/attack and the area of the nail which first plays the string (remember flesh then nail) is not only peculiar to each individual but it’s also different for each finger on the same hand. What you are looking for is a larger playing surface area for a full and powerful tone.
What actually happens during the filing process is (grow out your nails first!) as you file away you increase the distance between the contact and release points. What you end up with is a nice full tone as opposed to a weak twang. As your ramped nail contacts the string it then begins to push the string into the soundboard until eventually the string pops back up at the release point giving the player a nice full tone.

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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by guit-box » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:43 am

An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

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Re: Kaori Muraji's nail shape

Post by DCGillrich » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:44 am

Bradford Werner has a very useful and details discussion on nail shape on his "This is Classical Guitar" website: https://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/f ... al-guitar/. You will see appropriate nail shape varies according to hand shape and finger orientation, and is very much "horses for courses". He also refers to three other videos on shaping the nail by Matthew McAllister, Thomas Viloteau, and Tatyana Ryzhkova. The first two advocate using sand paper over strings to get the initial ramp shape. The resulting shape between McAllister and Viloteau are quite different. I personally find using a medium grade sand paper over the strings is a good guide to getting the initial angle from which I can file the shape and polish the edges to get a good sound. David Jaggs also has useful guidance on nail shape and tone production (http://www.davidjaggs.com/digital-download.html). You will find an introductory video on tone production by David Jaggs on YouTube, but you will have to pay for and download his video for the full details.
Cheers... Richard

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