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Brave Toaster

Joined: Nov 08 2009

Good evening, my honored music companions!

I haven't seen any thread around about this subject. And, let's face it, nails are the soul of a fingerstyle guitar player. ...Or something like that.

The thing is, I have always had problems with my soul/nails. THEY ALWAYS BREAK. And, like, they have turns to break. At this moment, my Ring-finger-nail is broken, and the songs I play sound lame without it's fine sound. When it grows back, I know that another one will break, and I will never reach happiness.

What do you do to keep your nails intact?
How do you cut/shape your nails?
What's the best size for the nails?

*you should barely see your

SalemJeanette

Save Your Tears.

Location: Popular Land.

Joined: Jul 03 2009

*you should barely see your nail over your fingertip if looking from the back of your fingers.
*Shape: rounded to your right side if your are right handed
*keep your nails intact: i dont know i've never broke a nail and i dont use any products to make them stronger, just eat your vegetables :/

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23:33 Vic9mm said: its ture ida benn gone she took out like 3 kids before had what was that fat ass asian kid gonna do

Little J.

as for length this is what

Vic9mm

The Fingerstyle Mechanic

Location: Dallas Texas

Joined: Aug 27 2008

as for length this is what they should look like
Photobucket

For keeping them healthy you can rub vitamin E lotion into each nail or use vegetable oil do this regularly and in 1-2 weeks they should show significant signs of improvements (won't break as easy).

If you break a nail buff it out the best you can and it probably best to trim the rest and start them all over again. Use a real fine grit file around 600+. I use this http://www.cripedistributing.com/carborundum-sanding-discs-p600-grit-196... This works wonders on my nails is gets them really smooth.

Once your nails get use this they will start growing like crazy.

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Watch me: http://www.youtube.com/user/Vic9mm

I have 2000 grit

auriplane

Joined: Sep 06 2008

I have 2000 grit

(just pointing out you can get finer, I'm no guitar nails expert)

Though for nails in general I'd suggest a glass nail file.

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Auriplane!!

Vic's picture is right on the

flukeh

Joined: Nov 16 2009

Vic's picture is right on the money imo, although mine are sometimes a little bit longer.

I file my nails so they form a ramp, not so they are rounded. It depends on the angle that your hand is when you are playing.

***This information is relevant if you're holding your guitar in (I don't know what the positions called) normal position, not classical. Just holding the guitar horizontally.****

I'm right handed and if i hold my finger up towards my face the 'gay' way (fingers curled around) then my nails form a slight ramp to the left side. This ramp is not very angled and is almost straight. The aim is to get as much push INTO the string (downwards into the guitar, not sideways), so it vibrates towards the soundboard and creates a fuller sound.

As for nail care, i just file them regularly, I don't strengthen them with anything. Keep checking up on them, and if you notice a bit that looks like it's about to rip, file it down a bit.

OH also, the angle you file on, get under the nail when you file. Don't just file perpendicular...ly.

By the way, your thumb nail

SalemJeanette

Save Your Tears.

Location: Popular Land.

Joined: Jul 03 2009

By the way, your thumb nail should be twice as long as your other nails.

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23:33 Vic9mm said: its ture ida benn gone she took out like 3 kids before had what was that fat ass asian kid gonna do

Little J.

Thank you for the

Brave Toaster

Joined: Nov 08 2009

Thank you for the information, everyone! When I get all my nails back, I'll try trimming/fileing it in that angle-positioned stuff. I've always trimmed them in a round shape, a little longer than the ideal one on sir Vic9mm's picture. Maybe that will give me a better sound.

It's also nice to know how I should file them. From down is the best way, as Sir Flukeh said.

I discovered some nice things these days, too. Washing your hands with that soap people use to wash dishes(I love my vocabulary) is a nail-killer. I stopped doing that, and my nails have gotten stronger within a few days. Never forget gloves during dish-washing!

And super-glue works as a nice nail protection. ...But I guess this isn't very healthy.

o.o woah. i did not know any

DarkHorizon

Location: Houston, Tx

Joined: Mar 04 2010

o.o woah. i did not know any of this nail care prior to today lol. i would just cut them really short and file them with some metal file??? I'll keep these tips in mind. ^^'

Re: o.o woah. i did not know any

Jacob31593

Location: Tampa, FL

Joined: Jan 04 2009

dont you play with a pick? if so you dont really need to mind your nails as much as whats going on in this thread

Re: o.o woah. i did not know any

surreal

Eric: tank,godlike

Location: Arizona

Joined: Jan 04 2009

DarkHorizon said

o.o woah. i did not know any of this nail care prior to today lol. i would just cut them really short and file them with some metal file??? I'll keep these tips in mind. ^^'

Metal files leave your nails jagged and rough, not the best for playing with on a guitar. As auriplane said, glass files are where it's at.

Another Reason I'm glad I

SpeedStar

SpeedStar

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Joined: Feb 06 2010

Another Reason I'm glad I play electric

If your right handed, its

Ticonderoga

Joined: May 16 2009

If your right handed, its good to "ramp" them so they are higher on the right side. That way when the string hits them, it takes a ride and glides off. This in turn gives you a much better tone. What i do is go into normal playing position, and slowly pick while looking at my nail and this helps me to determine how/where i need to file it.

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http://www.youtube.com/user/Ticonderoga0
My youtube channel

Re: o.o woah. i did not know any

DarkHorizon

Location: Houston, Tx

Joined: Mar 04 2010

surreal said

DarkHorizon said

o.o woah. i did not know any of this nail care prior to today lol. i would just cut them really short and file them with some metal file??? I'll keep these tips in mind. ^^'

Metal files leave your nails jagged and rough, not the best for playing with on a guitar. As auriplane said, glass files are where it's at.

Really? never noticed lol. i'll stop doing that then.

Re: If your right handed, its

DarkHorizon

Location: Houston, Tx

Joined: Mar 04 2010

Ticonderoga said

If your right handed, its good to "ramp" them so they are higher on the right side. That way when the string hits them, it takes a ride and glides off. This in turn gives you a much better tone. What i do is go into normal playing position, and slowly pick while looking at my nail and this helps me to determine how/where i need to file it.

That should help a lot. the sounds would come out rather soft, so i would think i just needed to pluck them with more force. thanks! ^^