Guitar Player Nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
dtoh
Posts: 305
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Post by dtoh » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:01 am

Dave Stott wrote:just a piece of public service / advice.

If your preferred location for getting nails applied is using UV lamps to cure your nails... Please ask them to use LED lamps for curing the nails. UV is the primary cause of Melanoma cancer. Bob Marley died from complications of a melanoma under a toenail that he ignored.
FWIW, the LED lamps used for curing nails emit light in the UV spectrum.

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caneti3
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:04 am
Location: REUS (Catalonia)

Re: Guitar Player Nails Beware

Post by caneti3 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:41 am

davekear wrote:
Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:47 am
I own guitarplayernails, and have for about 15 years now. Using artificial nails on a regular basis is totally safe and will not hurt your nails if you know what you're doing. I haven't used my real nails in over twenty years now. My natural nails are perfectly healthy. Keep in mind that your nails are always growing, and that there will always be new nail. So in actual fact, I've really only had artificial nails on "these" natural nails for about 6 weeks. There is a learning curve to using artificial nails correctly, but it's not rocket science. The advantages of being able to have great nails that feel and sound like great natural nails whenever you want are many. There are many benefits to learning how to use good artificial nails. It's a science and an art, and you can get pretty good at it. You can actually get to the point where you can adjust the tone of each individual nail to your exact preference if you have the right nail material. Anyway, we've had many great guitarists succeed with our nails including Eliot Fisk, Grisha Goryachev, and many other professional guitarists who use our nails regularly. I'm not trying to sell anybody anything here, I'm only pointing out that artificial nails can be used with great success if you know how. Here's a couple of important tips that you may find helpful. If by using any artificial nail, your natural nail becomes thin, you should always build up the nail first with nail glue or nail glue and silk wrap before applying a new nail or using your natural nail. Takes less that a minute. Using more viscous nail glue for this purpose is recommended, as it builds up quicker, and also generates less heat if you're going to be using nail glue dryer. Thinner nail glues are stronger, but for this purpose, thicker glues like brush on nail glue are better. No matter what nail you're using ALWAYS keep the nail sealed at the border so that you don't get water in between the natural and artificial nail. It's actually hard not to keep them sealed, but be aware of this, and never let a nail fall off on its own. Either keep them on; sealed, or remove them. Always best to file them off then to use chemicals. With a rotary nail file, or Dremel tool you can remove an old nail in less than a minute. Always make sure that the nails you are using are clear or translucent so that you can see what's going on underneath. If they start to lift, glue em back down. Another critical thing for good tone is the angle at which you apply the nail. Your natural nail has a tendency to curve down a bit. This will give you that bite you need. Rule of thumb, just make sure to apply any artificial nail so that there is no gap at the FRONT of the nail. And if using good material, you can even adjust this (and your tone) after the nail is applied and set. When you get good at this, you can remove an old nail, and put on a new nail and be done in less than 5 minutes, ready to play. And as always, at guitarplayernails we're more than happy to help with any questions or problems, and to get you through any learning curve you may encounter whether you use our nails or not. It's a compulsion with us.
Tired of broken nails, I decided to change my technique to no nails (or almost no nails). So I put my new (not use at all) nail kid from guitarplayernails on sale (if someone is interested on EU only)
Contact me by PM
Thanks

Stan
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:53 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by Stan » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:01 am

I'm new to classical guitar and I am trying to grow my fingernails out and they are brittle and seem dry so I am trying a balm on them. The index and middle fingers are doing OK but my ring fingernail breaks, seems to grow slower and is farther back from my fingertip. My fingernails are kind of like a very thin guitar pick so I am trying to keep them flexible with the balm. This seems to help with the breaking. Am I on the right track or should I try something to make them less flexible? I fingerpicked my steel string guitars with just my fingertips but I really like the tone much better with fingernails on the nylon strings.
The steam that blows the whistle never turns the wheel.

rpavich
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:23 pm
Location: West Virginia, USA

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by rpavich » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:08 am

Stan wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:01 am
I'm new to classical guitar and I am trying to grow my fingernails out and they are brittle and seem dry so I am trying a balm on them. The index and middle fingers are doing OK but my ring fingernail breaks, seems to grow slower and is farther back from my fingertip. My fingernails are kind of like a very thin guitar pick so I am trying to keep them flexible with the balm. This seems to help with the breaking. Am I on the right track or should I try something to make them less flexible? I fingerpicked my steel string guitars with just my fingertips but I really like the tone much better with fingernails on the nylon strings.
You can do what I did...buy a set of guitar player nails, the premade ones. Use them while your own nails grow out and then you can decide what you want to do. (or if your nails are worth trying to use at all)

I've been playing for about 2 months now and I just discovered that my own nails are 95% as long as my guitar player nails are! (except for my thumb) and so I see that having the GPN's on protects your own nails from damage too.

Anyway...that's my take on it. It gives you options if you want them. Otherwise your nails are never "right" and you will obsess over them instead of playing :)
Asturias AST-100-heavily modified by Robert England.

davekear
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by davekear » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:30 pm

You can do what I did...buy a set of guitar player nails, the premade ones. Use them while your own nails grow out and then you can decide what you want to do. (or if your nails are worth trying to use at all)

I've been playing for about 2 months now and I just discovered that my own nails are 95% as long as my guitar player nails are! (except for my thumb) and so I see that having the GPN's on protects your own nails from damage too.

Anyway...that's my take on it. It gives you options if you want them. Otherwise your nails are never "right" and you will obsess over them instead of playing :)



We have a lot of folks who use our pre-made nails as a temporary nail until their natural nail grows out. Little bit of a learning curve involved there. It also really helps to have a rotary nail file or Dremel tool to taper under the nail. But once you get it down, it really is pretty easy.
Using pre-formed nails is very easy thing to do. Even beginners usually get it down the first time. Here's our video instruction. Goes over much of what we're chatting about:


raven
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:37 pm
Location: Columbia, Missouri

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by raven » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:13 pm

There are a few older threads from several years ago mentioning the use of glue dots or similar products along with GPN (similar to how Rico nails are used?). It seems some people had good results and the benefit of being able to remove them easily if needed. Will this work as well as the adhesive materials provided with GPN, once the GPNs are formed to fit the nails? Or would tone quality be sacrificed doing that?

celestemcc
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by celestemcc » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:26 pm

glue dots or similar products along with GPN
Your mileage may vary... there are the one-use dots that Rico sells, which are also simple craft glue dots. You take them off at the end of the day, remove them from the nail, and you can reuse the nail with new dots the next day. Not perfect for GPNs because of the curve at the base of the nail bed, but they work with Ricos and drugstore nails. They'd probably work for larger nail beds.

Then there's the glue dots that come with the drugstore "press on" nails. Much more adhesive. Same applies as above but have lasted me up to 5 or 6 days. Be very, very careful removing these, as if you're too quick it can take off some nail with it. But a decent temporary solution. Remove these slowly with oil or even butter!

Best option for GPNs is nail glue, as sold by Dave or whatever you prefer. I have also used Dave's method for drugstore nails (but leaving space at the cuticle uncovered by the fake). His method really works and will keep nails on for a long time. I've found they'll fall off easily eventually, if I'm just growing out a natural nail.The downside for me is if I use them too often my natural nail is affected somewhat. But the method is very secure if you need a very reliable nail that will stay put for a performance.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

davekear
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by davekear » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:33 pm

raven wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:13 pm
There are a few older threads from several years ago mentioning the use of glue dots or similar products along with GPN (similar to how Rico nails are used?). It seems some people had good results and the benefit of being able to remove them easily if needed. Will this work as well as the adhesive materials provided with GPN, once the GPNs are formed to fit the nails? Or would tone quality be sacrificed doing that?
You can use them, but you won't get the same response and feel as you do if applied with nail glue. Applied correctly with fingernail glue, they feel and sound like natural nails. They become part of your nail. With a little practice, you'll be able to remove an old nail, apply a new nail, and be ready to play in less than 5 minutes. Used correctly, artificial nails will not damage your natural nails. Just make sure to keep them sealed. Remember, your natural nails are always growing, there will always be new nail. You can use glue dots if you wish, but it will be a compromise.

benbass
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:30 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by benbass » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:30 pm

I was the original poster of this thread. I have changed my min on GP nails. My nails were in awful shape after the cold winter in NH. I took Dave's advice and went back to the website to view the videos. I took my time and followed the video and now have good nails that sound great. I use the pre-made nails as I don't have time yet to get into the making nails product. If you are struggling with nails and want them these do work. As far as the thinning nail I only do the very tip and build up the thinned nail with the glue as Dave suggested. Good product if you need it.

Ben

Tremeggio
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by Tremeggio » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:40 pm

I use a pharmacy bought brand of nails that come with tabs(sticky dots) on a permenant basis because I can shape them in a way that my natural nails won’t do and they don’t harm my natural nails. They fall off after a few days and if i’m not performing i’ll leave them off and practise without them although my tremolo and arpeggios are very uneven without them. I perform most weeks but I can just put them on before hand.

On my thumb I use an Alaska Pik which I file into shape

davekear
Posts: 408
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Location: California

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by davekear » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:09 am

benbass wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:30 pm
I was the original poster of this thread. I have changed my min on GP nails. My nails were in awful shape after the cold winter in NH. I took Dave's advice and went back to the website to view the videos. I took my time and followed the video and now have good nails that sound great. I use the pre-made nails as I don't have time yet to get into the making nails product. If you are struggling with nails and want them these do work. As far as the thinning nail I only do the very tip and build up the thinned nail with the glue as Dave suggested. Good product if you need it.

Ben
Glad they'e working for you Ben. Yea, It is a relatively simple process, but there are aspects of applying artificial nails that if you don't understand and apply, you won't be as successful than if you did. There is a bit of a learning curve involved. It's not that we're so smart, it's just that we've been doing this for a long time. We've had GuitarPlayerNails.com for over 25 years now; we've learned a lot.
End result of using artificial nails should be nails that feel and sound as good as your best natural nails, that are fast and easy to apply, and are perfectly safe to use every day. And as it turns out, with the right tools and methods of application, this is not too difficult to achieve.

lux
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:33 am
Location: Medford, Oregon USA

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by lux » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:41 am

Lots of players with weak nails find that artificial nails invariably come off after a few days and the surface of the nail bed looks a bit rough. If you look at the back of the failed artificial nail under magnification, you'll see that it wasn't the glue bond itself that failed: the very top layer of nail cells separated from the rest of the nail. It's a bit like the bridge that keeps coming of that cheap off-shore guitar you bought on e - b a y...but leaves a thin layer of pseudo-rosewood behind on the soundboard when it does so. No matter how good that artificial nail product itself might be, if the micro-layers of your fingernail won't hold together under the stress of playing, your high-dollar artificial nails will fly off in the middle of your tremolo.

Nails are a study in weakest-link theory. If the weakest link in your nail story is damaged cuticles, dryness or inadequate nutrition, then there are remedies in the cosmetics business that may improve things for you. If your weakest link is age or genetics, you can gulp biotin by the handful and massage olive oil into your cuticles until you smell like a walking salad and it won't make any difference. Nails, like skin and hair, are part of the integumentary system. When you look at how many people have thin skin or thin hair in the human gene pool, it isn't surprising that many individuals have also inherited the genes for weak, thin nails.

davekear
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by davekear » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:22 am

Some good points lux. There are many problems you can run into using artificial nails. There are however remedies for pretty much any problems one may encounter using artificial nails. Short of valid medical issues, there is no reason why anyone, no matter what the shape their natural nails are in, can't use artificial nails successfully. But you have to know how. You have to know what problems can arise, and how to remedy them. As far as thin, dry nails with a weak top layer, (acrylic nails are famous for pulling off the top layer of your real nails) this is easily fixed by simply building up the nail first with some good nail glue so that there is no more sensitivity. THEN apply the artificial nail on top of that. Always apply artificial nails to no more than 2/3 of the nail plate. That way you'll always have untouched nail growing forward. That's an important thing to remember... that your nails are always growing; there will always be new nail. I personally haven't used my natural nails in almost 30 years now, and my natural nails are fine and healthy.
Couple of things to remember...... always make sure the artificial nail is sealed at all times (if it starts to lift anywhere, glue it back down), don't cover the full nail plate, (2/3rds is fine), and build up your natural nail first with some nail glue if it's at all thin or sensitive. These are just a few things that can be helpful, there are many more. We've had GuitarPlayerNails.com for over 25 years now, we've run across many situations. But, so far anyway, all can be remedied. There are many professional guitarists who use artificial nails all of the time, and never use their natural nails. If you learn how to use artificial nails correctly, there can be many advantages, and it won't harm your natural nails. That's why we do it.

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Christopher Freitag
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Location: New York, USA

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by Christopher Freitag » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:43 pm

I just want to share my impressions of these nails based on my experience so far. Over the years I have tried various nail strengthening or repair kits and techniques. Most recently the Rico Nail/Glue Dot solution has worked OK for me. But I found it a disincentive to practice for short periods of time (those 15 minute sessions are sometimes all that I can manage)—it took too much time to apply them each time.

So a few months back I bought the Guitar Player Nails kit. But I was a little intimidated by the seeming complexity of using it and my nails were holding up well, so it sat in my cabinet. Before Thanksgiving I broke both my m and a nail, so I took that as a sign and tried out the nails.

Applying for the first time was a little challenging. Getting the nail shape just right to fit on the bed took me a couple of tries. And my glue job was a little messy. But, all in all, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The sound of the nails is excellent, and it didn’t take long to get used to the feeling of them The nails lasted a long time, but one finally popped off while I was playing with in-laws on Christmas Eve. I removed the other one this morning. I also cut my index finger nail short and put new nails on i, m, and a. It was much easier this time...the whole application process took me under 30 minutes for 3 nails and it is a much neater job this time.

I’m not ready to say I am a complete convert to these, but as my index finger nail is naturally very flat and prone to hooking the artificial nail offers an advantage there. And the consistency of the tone is nice.

I will say I also bought the little power grinder and it is indispensable in my opinion. It really make is easier to clean up the nails, especially underneath the tips.
Chris Freitag

2013 German Vasquez Rubio Concert Special "Bernardi"; German spruce/Brazilian rosewood
2014 Garrett (Gary) Lee spruce/cedar double top; Brazilian rosewood

davekear
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:12 am
Location: California

Re: Guitar Player Nails

Post by davekear » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:29 am

Thanks for the review Christopher. One thing that's really important to do with any type of artificial nail is to make sure the natural nail is really clean (rub with alcohol and let dry) and also clean the artificial nail itself. Clean the side with alcohol that will be applied against the nail before application. It's pretty rare for our nails to fly off. Also make sure to back fill after application, (step 14 on our instructions page). You should be able to beat these things up as much as you want without them flying off. Also, if you ever run into any problems with our nails, we're more than happy to help. Call, e-mail or Skype us. Our goal is to get you to be an expert at this so that at any time you can apply a durable, great sounding nail and be ready to play in 5 minutes or less. There can be a bit of a learning curve, but it's really a very simple thing once the methods of application are understood and done a few times. And it's our job to make sure you're successful. So you can bug us any time you want. We encourage it.

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