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lets talk about nails

Lemoncobbler

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Location: SoCal

Joined: Dec 22 2010

I've recently stopped chewing my right hand nails for guitar, and I've been messing around with different ramp shapes that videos were recommending. I file my nails with a sapphire nail file and some micro mesh sanding pads. My tone got way better once I started taking care of my nails like this, but now I never know when they're too long or the ramp shape is too dramatic. I filed them shorter because it felt like they were getting snagged on the strings and it would make it difficult to play, but now the shape I have is making the middle finger make a weird clicky sound when it strikes the string sometimes. I think I filed them at too harsh of an angle. I dont know, maybe i'm not even striking the strings at the right angle.
Couple of questions
Should I look into getting finger picks?
How essential is a thumbnail?
What length do you all keep your nails at? Does it vary from person to person?

the nails in question.

i like my nails really long

Clanver

Pixelfingers cant play

Location: Germany, Kiel

Joined: Jan 03 2009

i like my nails really long when recording . . but theres something called work and interaction with other people . .

huh~

Coke Zero is disgusting. I

karathrow

Joined: Oct 26 2010

Coke Zero is disgusting. I am appalled.

I'm terrible at nails, I

Rook

Location: US

Joined: Jun 21 2011

I'm terrible at nails, I always break them or chew them and I'm terrible at fingerpicks because they feel weird

i have a splinter stuck under

Jacob31593

Location: Tampa, FL

Joined: Jan 04 2009

i have a splinter stuck under one of my fingernails but i dont feel it anymore
that is all

Re: i have a splinter stuck under

karathrow

Joined: Oct 26 2010

Jacob31593 said

i have a splinter stuck under one of my fingernails but i dont feel it anymore
that is all

Eugh, those are the worst.

Fuck Coke zero.

Giogiogio4

For all the dreamers: Our planet's dream is not over yet...

Joined: Jun 10 2010

Fuck Coke zero.

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My Art for sale! : Here

Latest Recording:Man of the World

I've been practicing

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

I've been practicing fingerstyle with nails for a few months now. I'm pretty new to using nails, because I'd always cut them short for bass, but I finally convinced myself that bass sounds okay this way xD

Over the last few months, I've had a little trouble keeping them at the ideal length, partially because I didn't know what length I wanted them at. My personal conclusions are:

  1. If I turn my hand over, I shouldn't be able to see any nail past the finger (except maybe a tiny bit on my index finger)
  2. Thumb picks are awesome.

I would take a picture of my hand if I weren't so lazy. My ruler says my index and middle fingernails are about 1.5mm, and my ring fingernail is about 2mm. That's what feels best to me, but I can't speak for anyone else, obviously.

What I read a long time ago is that the angle you file them at should be based on the angle your hand is on when you play, so it would be different for e.g. classical position versus casual. I don't have enough experience with that to comment, myself.

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Auriplane!!

P.S. I thought this thread

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

P.S. I thought this thread was titled "lets talk about snails"

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Auriplane!!

I agree with auri from

surreal

Eric: tank,godlike

Location: Arizona

Joined: Jan 04 2009

I agree with auri from personal experience. listen to her.

As for finding the right

TrangOul

Insomaniac

Location: Germany

Joined: Feb 24 2008

As for finding the right shape:

1. Put a piece of sanding paper across your strings.
2. Move your finger across the paper as if you were actually playing the string underneath. Repeat until you can see a ramp taking shape.
3. Work on the ramp a little more with a file (better: sanding paper) and smoothen the edges.
4. Finish with micro mesh.

5. Form a painful blister on

musenji

Joined: Feb 02 2010

Trangoul said:

3. Form a painful blister on the tip of your finger which also swipes repeatedly over the sandpaper.
4. Don't play for weeks.

Ftfy ;-) Actually if that doesn't cause blisters I should try it too.

More seriously, I do let the nails peek out from behind, but my fingernails do not have the normal "classical guitarist"s shape.

Yes, when you catch the nails, they're too long. I have had the clicking noise from time to time as well. I believe that what causes that directly, is the nail hitting the string without any flesh hitting at the same time to dampen the blow. As to how to fix that, it could be the cut of the nail, or the playing method, I dunno which it is for you.

Ever check out the delcamp forums? You'll get lots of information by doing forum searches there. Yes, there's a stupid rule that you have to average one post a month to be able to stay there, but that's really not a lot.

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And then I realized that the chord progression from Chrono Cross's Another World is the same progression as the chorus from Peace of Mind by Boston, and life was never quite the same.

It's taken me 2-3 years to

What if bears could

Location: Florida

Joined: Jun 29 2010

It's taken me 2-3 years to finally decide on how I should shape my nails. I like to compromise between tone and ease of maintenance.

Using PIMA: "I" and "M" are sanded across into a shallow curve, but I do not round the edges. For some reason, whether it be the anatomy of my finger or just how the nail grows, "A" must be rounded. IMA are altogether kept between long and short. Honestly, unless they are either extremely long or extremely short, what matters to me most is their shape. If I'm feeling particularly indulgent, I'll take some micro mesh to them.

Regarding "P", that one I keep at a moderate length and just round the whole thing.

So it's not exactly the usual technique of ramping. I did try that a few times (along with many, many other things; playing without nails was a dream, but after ~5 tries I've given up. I'm content now), but didn't enjoy the results.

I feel like I can dress nails like a pro. I.. guess that's a nice perk from playing classical guitar.

Finger picks feel weird to

Yogurt

Joined: May 23 2011

Finger picks feel weird to me.

I've been experimenting a lot with different shapes/lengths and unfortunately haven't had much success. Theres always SOME kind of problem that creates a less than ideal sound. I really wonder how players like Per-Olov Kindgren get their tone to sound so good (and how long it took).

Theres also the problem with showing your nails as a guy in public, I have to keep them shortish.

The biggest problem for me is the "a" finger because this strikes the low e string and is so difficult to create a smooth bell like sound instead of some clangy crap.

Finger picks feel weird to

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

Finger picks feel weird to everyone. You have to spend time with them to get over that, if that's something you want to do.

(Using ones like the finger-tones where you can feel the string is better, at least.)

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Auriplane!!

I keep mine at about 5-6mm,

zen03y

CATFOOD

Location: Lynn, MA

Joined: Jun 20 2009

I keep mine at about 5-6mm, but thumb is usually about 8mm
I'm still trying to find a shape for my ring finger...my tremolos sound fine, but it's just that finger which could use improvement

At that length, do you manage

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

At that length, do you manage to hit the string with any of the flesh of your fingers at all?

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Auriplane!!

I do, I sort of angle my

zen03y

CATFOOD

Location: Lynn, MA

Joined: Jun 20 2009

I do, I sort of angle my hand/fingers

I can't seem to grow my nails

scowly

Location: Canada

Joined: Feb 13 2013

I can't seem to grow my nails out very well, but in the past I have had fake nails applied to my right hand for playing. Gel nails like the ones some women get only without the white tips/colour.

They sounded WAY better than anything I could do with my own. Held up better too. I'd post a picture but I'm currently "doing without" them right now (they do cost money).

With my hand in playing position (looking from the top) and finger tips just touching the bass string, I'd file them so an even amount is just showing on the other side of the bass string.