Someone plays CG without nails?

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:46 pm

We got a convoy! :-)

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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by jcandidel » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:40 pm

if you google tommy emmanuel and nails you find tons of discussions about nail free finger picking including a very nice interview with tommy himself. he argues that he ended up playing with the finger tips because he didn't like the sound of his nails. only downside i recall from this interview: he mention that one day at home doing dish washing instead of hours of practicing softens hos finger tips such that he can no longer play adequately... :wink:

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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by danius » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:02 pm

I will probably be forced to play without nails, as I’ve done with steel-string. I haven’t used a pick in ages and I haven’t had a problem thus far. I’ve been biting ‘em since my teeth came in. I hope it isn’t a must, although it would be a good incentive to stop biting!

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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by stratlanta » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:48 pm

I suppose I'm not alone in this but nails are a constant source of frustration for me. I kind have a "worst case scenario" when it comes to my nails. They are soft and tear easily and all but one of them curls over very quickly. I've tried a lot of options and I'm just not interested in fake nails. So... I've decided just to make the best of it and play with just a bit of nail. It is what it is and it won't stop me from playing.
Stephan Connor SP/MP
Kenneth Brogger SP/AR
Masaki Sakurai "Special" SP/CSAR
Sergio Perez "Segovia" CD/AR

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Re: Someone plays CG without nails?

Post by jhapgood » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:25 pm

I have played without nails for 41 years, and am pleased with the sound I can get using flesh only. It took a long time to develop technique that I was satisfied with, and there wasn't much advice for me early on when I was figuring things out on my own. It's nice that Rob has devoted a web site to this now, and it would have helped me progress more rapidly if I would have had that encouragement and explanation.

The tone I can get is pretty nice, and even with just flesh, you can produce everything from warm to bright once you have developed the technique. I play with a straight wrist, allowed to arch down towards the strings, and angle the arm to play off the left side of the fingers. For a brighter tone, I reduce the arm angle so the attack is more from the center of the finger pads. Either way, it is kind of a "ballistic" attack where the finger makes contact with the string, pushing down and through to produce the tone. Maybe unconventional, I don't know, but it works for me.

I just never had the ability to develop or keep good nails, and I sure didn't want to stop playing the CG, so as they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention."

Happy playing to all, nails or not!

Kind Regards,

2008 Jose Ramirez 2NE
"So Much Music, So Little Time."

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